4/16/2014

What's The Trouble in Music? Special Needs Child or Teacher?



So I emailed I.J.'s kindergarten teacher and paraprofessional about his behavioral issues in music class on Tuesdays.  I voiced my concerns and also that perhaps he was having some sensory issues. 




I received a very nice email back about the situation and the teacher advised "The Music teacher has high expectations during class. She is a great teacher trying to get a lot of great activities and teaching into a short time."   Hmm sounds like the music teacher is a bit controlling to me….hope she isn't ignoring I.J.'s IEP??  However, his Kindergarten teacher went on to say that there are several students in the class who have been having a hard time lately, and especially in that class. So perhaps they have been causing friction with I.J. or enticing him to act up as well.  Any way, they are now sending I.J. to her class with his noise-reduction headphones, sensory seat cushion that helps him focus. Yesterday he had a great day in music and there were no issues. I did notice in I.J.'s daily notes binder that the regular music teacher was out, however, and there was a substitute.  Makes me still wonder if it is something with that teacher.

School only runs through the end of May and then it is summer break. I am hoping whatever issues I.J. is having with music class will work themselves out by then. Perhaps the Kindergarten teacher and the para-professional will see a pattern if the music teacher is out again and a substitute comes and I.J. has a great day…and if so, they will have a talk with Ms. Music?? I know my son has to learn to cope, and be responsible for his own actions and reactions as well as deal with a wide variety of people and personalities….but with his own challenges I hope we won't encounter too many teachers who are inflexible or intolerant when it comes to children with special needs and an IEP.  Yes he needs to behave and to "perform" to a certain standard, especially given his advanced intellect….but he is 5 years old, and does have SPD, ADHD. She needs to keep that in mind and have compassion.  Let's hope she can. 

Making music, listening to and learning about music and instruments should be fun and enjoyable for kids. Auditory Processing issues may make that a problem for kids with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), as well as kids with any form of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders). Compassionate, understanding, dedicated teachers and some minor accommodations can really help kids like my son thrive. My son's kindergarten teacher has helped my son really excel and feel comfortable and safe in an otherwise overwhelming atmosphere. I just  hope his music teacher can follow the lead and example set by his amazing kindergarten teacher and help him thrive in music class too!

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