Thursday, April 7, 2011

Euphemism Is Just a Euphemism For I Don't Know What the Hell You Are Talking About

The main topic of Audrey's IEP meeting today will be transition planning.  As in her transition from the private, self-contained autism school that she currently attends to her "home" public school in a general education classroom.

Audrey is currently in a sort of "grade-less" situation.  The classrooms at her school are not set up according to age, but skill-set, level of functioning, etc.  Assuming that she begins this transition in the fall, she would age-wise be going into 2nd grade, but I would like to hold her back and have her start 1st grade instead.

The first thing that I learned about this particular topic is that there is, as per usual, some euphemistic nomenclature that goes along with it.  It's not called "holding back", but retention.  I first heard the word retention used in this context just a couple of weeks ago, and it took me a minute to figure out what it meant.

Here's what I think of when I hear the word "retention":
  • Those ponds that old and/or drunk people drive into by accident.  I don't know about where you live, but this happens at least once a week in my neck of the woods.
  • What my brain is incapable of since I had Audrey.
  • My perennial excuse, no matter what time of the month it is, for why I can't get into my jeans and have to stay in my flannel pajama pants all day.
  • Accounting profits earned by a company but not distributed as dividends.  Because I majored in Finance and some of those brain cells are apparently dying a slower death than others.
And with that I am off to the Individualized Education Program meeting for my differently-abled child to discuss the determinant factors to her functional performance.

35 comments:

  1. My brain thinks that retention is a fancy way of saying constipated. I don't often get my mind out of the toilet though. We are in the same boat as Louis goes into mainstream next year. It scares me so much that I want to drink to forget and drive gaily into a local pond.

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  2. When my son transitioned back into public school (he should have gone to 4th grade), I held him back (no fancy retention with me), and let him try 3rd grade.

    I told him it was because he didn't get a chance to learn everything the other kids did, not that he wasn't ready to move on - but that I didn't want him to miss out on the subjects that third grade public school kids get to do.

    It was a win/win.

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  3. Please, please, please tell me you will not be attending the IEP in those ratty flannel pajama pants you insisted on wearing the whole time we were in Disney.

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  4. i don't like the word retention either. it sounds like retarded. my older NT son was "retained" in 2ndgrade...he was in 2nd when we moved from CA to PA but with the combination of poor CA public schools in the area where we lived and his Sept bday we put him back in 1st....I was so upset at the time but it was the best thing 4 him. He is all A's now in 3rd in a catholic school.

    Its a tough decision but i think your dd is very smart and more advanced than most 2nd graders in public. Her writing and reading level from what you have put up on here is very good for her age. The only thing is emotionally how she is. You could probably put her in 1st and then have her in a gifted program if your school does that. A lot of 1st graders can't read at all or at a beginning level so compared to them she is a genius.
    good luck w/ iep

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  5. So weird how retention/holding back means such different things today. My sister was held back in 1 st grade because she had scarlet fever and missed a lot of school. And I see retention ponds by where I live too. There was a scenic one at a Taco Bell until an old lady drove right into it instead of the drive thru.
    Good luck at the IEP today.

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  6. when i hear retention, it makes me want to go pee--or massage my ankles. LIke the first commenter, my brain goes straight for the toilet.

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  7. I hate that we have to learn a new language to be able to attend a school meeting for our children. Good luck and god speed.

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  8. My son was in a Montessori school for a while because it was much more calm than regular schools. It didn't specialize in autism, and I think he may have been the only one, but they were kind of 'hippies'. They mostly used natural light, didn't have desks, children wore slippers in the room, only healthy food (and no meat), etc. Their focus on the individual strengths and weaknesses (though I think they used a nicer word!) worked well for ALL the kids.

    His transition to a regular classroom went surprisingly well. I think because he had built up such confidence at the Montessori school.

    Good luck! (By the way, he is now a junior in HS, making great grades, and is college-bound. I never would have thought it back then.)

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  9. I could talk to you off blog about the pros and cons of retention, if you like. I specialize in transitioning kids from self-contained to regular ed.

    I bombed an IEP meeting for my son yesterday. Heavy sigh. Not working that side of the table too well these days...

    Wishing you all the best today. xo.

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  10. Gotta love the code that's used when you're at the IEP meeting. Uggh...
    And retention is what happens to water in my body once a month. See, there is no way that word can come to any good...

    In all seriousness, good luck today Lynn. I'll be thnking of you--L

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  11. I think of anal retention. Is that bad?

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

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  12. If you care to share, I'd love to read more about your reasons for wanting to hold back Audrey. Does she know that she will transition back to her home school? If so, how does she feel about it? After my son started to do better at his self-contained school, he started to have more problems and it might have been because he realized that if he kept doing that well, he might transition back to him "home" school.

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  13. Good luck dearest Lynn
    Such a stress it is - planning for school issues

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  14. Lynn, I hope you get everything you need for Audrey. And I know you are a strong and smart woman but don't let them try to sell you on something that you do not believe is right for Audrey. Even though the school personnel knew what I do for a living, they first tried to -ahem- mess with me= the first go-round. It's my understanding that they do not like "retention" because it ends up costing the school district more money. You know what's best! Go get 'em!! Break a leg (or two!)

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  15. I hear retention and I think constipation

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  16. I think of retention as in "water retention" and as in hormonal. Those flannel pajama pants don't sound like a bad idea!

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  17. flannel pants? really, lynn? really?

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  18. Flannel pants ROCK. Do not mock the flannel.

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  19. You know what sounds a lot worse than "retention" (even with all its toilet- based connotations- because really first think I think of is acute urinary retention due to a very large prostate) ? A "repeater". I heard that term being used and totally hate it.
    (I also don't like "differently abled child" very much, but that's because I'm not very PC in the way I tend to express myself.).

    FWIW- my son was a Kindergarten retentive and that worked out good for him.

    Good luck to Audrey ! She certainly writes better than most neurotypical nonrepeating third graders- and here I'm including the content too, not just the form.

    Lillian

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  20. lol I'm with Jen on this one, I was gonna post "is that like anal retention"? cuz it seems anal to me to not be able to say "held back"

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  21. I am currently in a retention-type situation and it makes me sick. Seriously, when I am this bloated I feel sick, and shitty, and I just want to bite someone's face off. Similarly, this is EXACTLY how I feel at IEP meetings. Maybe those bitches are on to something. It sure would explain THEIR actions, too. Good luck, Lynn.

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  22. What a pretentious word. When you first used it I was thinking, What?! Teachers afraid she's fer-gettin stuff?!
    Ok maybe I didn't say it exactly like Ellie May Clampett, but I did feel dumb!

    Also, GA is a retend-ENT? a rentend-ee? A retend.......we are also holding her back this year. Sheesh.
    Oh and I want to go to Alisha's hippie school! Sounds dreamy. Is it too late to retain me?

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  23. I hate IEP meetings... they are the most counter-productive events on the planet... and I was a teacher so I know 90% of the jargon crap that they throw at me... hope you can get something productive accomplished :)

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  24. I hope it went well. We just had our IEP and it was not the best. I knew I should be fighting for more but I am so damn tired. So. Damn. Tired. They win. I only know and use retention the right way because I used to teach. Before I was so tired.

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  25. Can't wait to hear what happened.

    Hey! Speaking of flannel. Did you ever get those pajama jeans? :-)

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  26. Can't wait to hear about this. I enjoy learning about other people's IEPs to make the ones I run better. Keep fighting for what you feel your child needs, you're the only one who knows the whole story.

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  27. Retention huh? I dont' like the sound of that word- it sounds even worse, i think...

    I hope today went well!

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  28. What happened? Hope it went okay.

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  29. How come the words that are used to sound kinder and gentler always make things sound worse? Let's just call it like it is and move on.

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  30. I hope everything went well today!

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  31. Why do they have to have special terms for all this? It's bad enough that they've labeled her "special needs". Now there's a language all it's own for all this? And evaluations and more evaluations. I'm sure Audrey is quite the challenge for you, but she's a cutest and sweetest little girl. I sometimes wonder if some of these professionals are just trying to justify their college degrees.

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  32. Thanks everyone for your good wishes for the IEP!! It was sort of Part I and the next one will be the bigger deal...we have to go look at some potential classroom placements in the meantime.

    @Alisha: That is an awesome success story! Thanks for giving me hope!

    @Movie: I will be in touch.

    @Yuji: Thanks for that insight. That's really interesting. We have not yet broached this with Audrey because there is a chance that she will stay in her current placement, and I don't want to unduly stress her out. We are at a point where we think she's at the top of her current class and needs to be challenged, but I'm not sure that she's ready for gen ed 2nd grade. Just maturity-wise and for the social piece, I think she'd do better starting out in 1st. Thanks for your comment!

    @Dani G: What @Grace said

    @Lillian: Ew. Never heard repeater. Glad it worked out for your son! I definitely think the earlier the better.

    @Laura: #pajamajeans. That is all.

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  33. In our school we have a T1 program-for kids who leave kindergarten but aren't ready for first grade..so the grades are pretty much mixed age wise..and I think it helps..especially when a kid transitions into the regular ed classroom-from a specialized one.

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  34. Alex is doing the reverse. Going from a ECE room in public school to a mainstream with an aide private school situation next year -- and he will be held back, not retained because retention around here is keeping him from kicking my ass during a seizure.

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  35. So glad to know there is someone else who has retention problems since having their child! Looking forward to watching your daughter's progress.

    Love your header, by the way.

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