Last week, we had the review meeting to go over Alex's IEP and I have mixed feelings about it.
On the one hand, the staff were open and honest, asking good questions. While I was there, I really felt like we had a partnership. But I'm still sensing an underlying discomfort with the whole process. And I still feel there's a bit of a disconnect about how certain actions can encourage difficult behaviour.
To illustrate, last Wednesday, Alex and his class were going to a movie. I'd sent a message to the school explaining how we make movies with Alex work: frequent edible rewards and careful control of the elevator being two key points. At the IEP, the teacher shared that they instead gave Alex regular breaks to leave the theatre (every 10 minutes or so). He had a bolting incident and lost access to the elevator.
Their system worked, so I can't really argue, and it's naive of me to expect them to do things exactly as I would have. But one of the reasons that we don't use breaks is that it isn't particularly socially acceptable to be constantly getting up and down from your seat while at the movies. Alex is capable of sitting still, particularly if he's allowed to fidget. And going in and out of the theatre increases the chance that he's going to bolt for the elevator.
None of these things are exactly catastrophic and maybe I'm the one who has too severe an expectation for Alex. Maybe movies would be more enjoyable for him if we did it the way the school did. But I can't help but feel that using those kinds of breaks isn't really compatible with the point of going to the movies.
It just leaves me feeling on edge, wondering if I'm missing something or if they're missing something or if we've both missed something.
We'll see if the new IEP is any more reflective of what Alex needs. And what his behaviour does.