Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Here's What's Been Going On

It's been a very difficult two months.

I was finally beginning to get my health issues under control when we got hit with two major crises:

1) Icon, our service dog, was diagnosed with diabetes.  This would have been difficult enough to cope with but was compounded by the fact that the pet insurance company lost our application.  Thus not only was the $ 1500 testing to figure this out not covered, but the daily medication (at $45 per week) would also not be covered, along with any health complications that arose from the diabetes or could be argued to have arisen from the diabetes.  

The diagnosis means that he is no longer qualified to serve as a service dog.  He will be returning to National Service Dogs this summer to find a new adoptive family as a companion dog and we will be receiving a new dog in the fall.

I'm absolutely heartbroken over this.  Alex is still in the bonding process but I bonded with Icon completely.  If there was any way to keep him, I would, but it wouldn't be fair to Alex or Icon.

2) Alex's issues at school hit a crisis.  I was asked to bring him home because of a massive tantrum (which dissipated as soon as he was told I was coming to get him).  Then we got a few hints that maybe it would be best to just keep him home for the remainder of the school year so that his behaviour issues wouldn't affect the rest of the class.

I don't want to paint a bad picture here.  The teacher in the class strikes me as very well-intentioned and someone who genuinely wants Alex and her other students to succeed.  But there have been some pretty substantial gaps in the application of basic behaviour theory, such as rewarding tantrum behaviour by allowing Alex to avoid demands to avoid tantrums.

On the advice of our behaviour consultant and Alex's head therapist, we have hired an education advocate, a lawyer who specializes in helping special needs children and their families deal with the education system.  She has gotten them to drop the request to keep Alex home and is working on making sure that his IEP and other documentation is up to date and accurate.

Unfortunately, it does look as if a lot of information was lost during the hasty transfer from J.H. Putman to his new school.  And more was lost when his regular teacher had to go on a surprise medical leave.  Hopefully we can get this all sorted out but I'm anticipating a long and drawn out fight.

So, that's what's been going on and why I haven't been posting.  I hit my limit and was honestly struggling just to get through the day.  I'm slowly getting myself back together now and I'll try to go back to a daily post.

Thanks everyone for your well-wishes and patience.

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