Question about toileting/hygiene

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by cupcakefairy, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. cupcakefairy

    cupcakefairy New Member

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    Sep 29, 2015

    Hello all,

    I arrived here searching online for some answers to a very difficult question for my mother, who is a para in a SPED classroom at a very small high school. The class tends to be a "catch-all" type of classroom for cognitive & behavioral disorders. My mom really loves what she does. She cares about her kids a great deal. She has, in my opinion, revived a classroom with a burnt-out teacher of 20+ years due to the amount of love she has for her kids. When she was hired, the kids mostly watched movies, spent time on the computers, and did a small amount of worksheets. Now, they have e-readers they read books on. She takes those that are capable to cooking and vocational ag classes (she even accompanies them to FFA competitions!) My mom was a homemaker for most of her life, and I'm really proud of her for finding something she loves to do outside of home.

    She understood when she took this job that it included toileting of several students. She was completely unfazed by that. Recently, though, she's found herself in the worst situation and she's frustrated and upset by it. The student that has the highest need in the classroom is wheelchair bound, and has no ability to care for herself. She has a very limited amount of words due to a physical condition. I would guess that her physical disability is much greater than her cognitive disability, but I don't know. Up until this year, she had been in a much better care situation at home. Due to recent events, however, she is now being cared for by a family member who was once in the same SPED class. In that time, the student has changed birth control twice, and now is completely off of it. No explanation from family. The student is miserable (complaining of pain, missing school.) My mom has dealt with assisting students with menstrual care before, but she says this is something different entirely. The student's flow is extremely heavy, and she requires much more frequent bathroom trips for diaper changes. My mom is lifting this girl with no equipment onto the toilet to change her. She weighs approx 160#. The supervisor of SPED has basically refused to make any provisions concerning lifting equipment. Mom was never even trained in how to lift properly....but that is another story for another day.

    My mom's biggest complaint is that this student is coming to school every morning in a heavily soiled, extremely smelly diaper with "mess" halfway up her back and sometimes running down her legs to her knees. She says it is obvious she has been gotten out of bed and not changed, just brought to the bus stop. She is frustrated with the caretaker...who she has spoken to on a 1-on-1 basis. The caretaker insists that the choice to have periods was the student's own, because her doctor told her if she stayed on BC she would "end up weighing 300#." So, a child, let to make an unsound decision that will make her miserable, based on misinformation. Sigh.

    Aside from reporting this to the principal (done, she could care less) and to CPS (for the neglect aspect of heavily soiled diapers, plus other issues of unfitness I won't go into here,) what else can be done? I'm worried about my mom's personal safety, honestly. I'm not even sure if this falls under the scope of para work. At the very least I feel like she should have been trained in universal precaution specifically dealing with menstrual hygiene. I have read some other sites that say this type of thing gets relegated to a school nurse. Is that true?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts. I apologize in advance for using any incorrect terms/being uninformed. Like I said, I'm just a daughter trying to help her mom out.
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2015

    If the student is coming in like that every morning, call CPS, DHR, or whatever you call it to report abuse or neglect.
     
    teacherpippi likes this.
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2015

    A call to CPS should be your mom's first priority. She's a mandated reporter.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2015

    Definitely have your mom put a call into CPS. This student should not be making medical decisions on her own.
     
  6. cupcakefairy

    cupcakefairy New Member

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    Sep 29, 2015

    Thanks for your responses. You basically have backed up exactly what I thought about the situation, as well.
     
  7. manda80411

    manda80411 Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2015

    My question is why is the classroom teacher not doing this reporting? I report on everything and I have dealt with something very similar. I would also refuse to life her without some type of life. I have made my assistants use a hoyer lift for one student. They have a sling for it that can be used on the toilet and it works perfectly. I would address this with the school. High school students are full grown adults and no one person can lift them by themselves.
     

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