Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rude Professionals

This will be a compilation of a few incidents over the past few days that really annoyed me.

While driving to the SSI office to report income I got paged by the school where my youngest son Matthew attends. I am probably one of the few souls left in this world that does not own a cellphone - I saw on Regis and Kelly one time where Regis mentioned not having one or knowing how to operate one - so at least I am not totally alone in my cluelessness regarding cellphones.

I turned around and headed to the school - this was 9:30 am, school starts at 8:10 am. The office personnel told me the aide for my son was there saying his face was red, he had a fever, blah blah. My son looked pale when he was brought to the office and did not feel like he had a fever. They use the excuse that they cannot take his temperature. I have mentioned over the years that the forehead thermomenter is the one I have and it works fine, he has no problems with it.

In fact, a few years ago I brought it to the other school he attended, where his brother still goes, and showed it to the nurse and principal. The Principal told them to get one of these kinds, but they never followed through. Sure would be more sanitary than the ear kind for use with students.

So I called SSI to find out what the cut off date is for the month to report income and was asked if this was Social Security or SSI. I said SSI so that means they have different dates, makes sense since one check comes on the first and one on the third of each month.

I kept Matthew home Friday and brought him to SSI with me. We got there as it opened and the line was outside and then we got our bags checked and waited in another line to explain to counter person why we were there and than take a seat. Wait, wait, wait - the name of the game at the SSI office.

I come here almost every month, sometimes every two and this time they had not sent me the letter since October and I had to report income from November of 2005. The security guard has seen me there for a long time coming and even with my kids a few times. This time there was this guy in line behind me entering the building who was wearing a short black mini dress and high heels. He had on a football type jacket that covered nothing.

Instead of removing the guy/girl from the facility the Security guard was more interested in what Matthew was doing. He was skipping around the waiting room with a magazine brought from home, his stim to keep him occupied. Security guard asked me to keep my son under control since he is hyper. I said he is not hyper, he is autistic and the guy asked if I was applying for Social Security for him. I said no he already has it and I am reporting income for his brother.

A few minutes later the security guard comes over with a paper and asks me to write down name and SSI# of my other son. He took that to the counter and then our name was called. I don't like going places where there is a security guard sine they have weapons and one shake from my son could swipe their body and who knows the outcome. I was glad to get out of there so quickly, and guess I should bring my son with me more often for fast service!

Another issue is with my insurance agent who came over for my Life Insurance policy I ordered. It was hard to communicate with him since English is not his first language and based on zip code you are assigned your agent. Would be nice if we could pick our own, but no options nowadays.

I turn 46 in two weeks and this guy did not believe me when I said I dont have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and nothing wrong with me. He knew about the asthma and eczema and asked several times again and left before the lab person came for the blood and urine tests. He came back to the house to ask me one last time if I was sure I had nothing wrong with me.

He called later to find out the lab person's phone number and wanted to know when I last went to the Doctor. He said I will need more information and after he spoke to the lab person said did not need more. My blood pressure was normal. I hope my blood and urine tests come back okay since he kind of scared me thinking I should have something when I don't!

The last issue that bothered me was regarding the therapies my kids get through the Regional Center. This is part of the Developmental Disabilities system in the State of California. The kids worker sent me a letter since she lost my phone number - I just had it changed a month or two ago due to ex husband calling 12 times in one day - he has paranoid schizophrenia and lives on the streets in San Francisco.

Her letter indicated that someone from the social skills office called to ask why my son Nicholas had not been atending sessions. This really ticked me off since not one person called me to inqure , so instead they call and make a complaint against me with the State worker!

To me it is a complaint because it comes back to me when I request services for my kids and they say well you did not go regularly as they called on such and such date. This is actually the second call in the past year. The first one was from some girl who was leaving the company and make the call. I made a complaint with the therapy place saying I did not appreciate this at all and wanted to make sure the lines of communication were open between me and them.

I went to the emergency room in late Feb for my eczema and had my face swollen for one week, and I was not about to drive in the hot sun 45 minutes each way to the therapy. I cancelled and then we had a power outage that day and stayed at a super 8 motel so I could have ventilation and the kids would have tv and microwave for eating.

Then Mathew as out sick for one week with running nose and then I had bronchitis and Mat was sick with coughing, being sent home twice from school. I called early in the morning the day of the appt since Matt also has feeding therapy on the same day and the appts coincide so we can go there. The feeding therapist did a home visit one week on the same day as the appt so I called to say that Nick would not be there.

I called and spoke to the Program Specialist and person at the front desk and she had notes in compuet for each week I called and gave information to the two therapists. The Program Sopecialist said she did not call and I got a call back from State worker giving me name and date the person called. I left a message for the Program Specialist with this data and have not heard back yet.

I am tempted to not continue with the social skills because I do not want to associate with people or companies that treat families this way. The social skills is approved through the end of the year, but I feel like why bother? Someone dropped the ball and should be penalized for their lack of comunication with family and should lose the case for their actions.

Even the State worker made a comment about lack of communication and did I want to continue working with that agency. This is something I am going to consider and see how it goes the next few sessions. I believe by summer I will cancel services and let them know why.

Nothing bothers me more than a so called professional that goes behind your back to make inquiries instead of going to the source and calling me. The nerve of some people.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

School Observations/Language Issues

The other day while waiting for my son Matthew at school I saw a class walking off the playground in line like school kids are told to do - not sure why we are forced to adhere to this over the years when in real life the only lines one waits in are not quiet. Grocery store, post office, DMV, any county or State office like SSI, Social services requires a wait in a line.

Anyway, back to the class in line - it was a Tuesday which is an early dismissal here in Los Angeles so Teachers can attend meetings. So they were probably coming from recess after lunch. What I observed was the teacher speaking to the students in Spanish.

This bugs me so much and is something I have observed at another Elementary school where my older son attends. I see aides taking kids to the bus speaking all the time in Spanish. Aides converse back and forth with each other in matt's class in Spanish.

One time I attended an event at the other school where one teacher did her entire presentation in Spanish. There are functions at the school where the Principal says something and then the translator repeats I suppose what she said to the spanish speaking parents. By the time they get back to the English I forget what she had just said!

I go to seminars where the translation team is there with headphones for the spanish language attendees and then those who only speak English get a pair so that at the end when a question is asked we can follow along. This should be standard procedure throughout the school district.

There are parents that attend IEP meetings with a translator to tell them what is going on. I cannot imagine being at a meeting for one of mychildren and not being able to follow along what the teacher and therapists are saying. That would be an incentive to learn the Language, you would think!

Both schools even have free classes on site for parents to learn the language. At a back to school nite to meet the teacher when Nick was in the third grade they had to get a student to translate for families. The teacher and Principal did not speak Spanish. At this school for all the functions they sell soda and nachos.

After seeing the teacher converse in Spanish to the studebnts I went to the office to make them aware of what I witnessed, yet upon entering I came upon a teacher speaking Spanish to two office personnel - so I walked out and considered calling the District, but why bother?

The other day I saw someone who worked at Matt's school eating something while walking across the grass and dropped the wrapper to their food right there. Children run all around the grounds with no supervision in the morning or afternoons.

The bus drivers at both schools stand around before school gets out smoking their cigarettes and you never see one window open in the bus. They are rude and mean to kids. I have seen this for eight years now. My kids will never take a bus to school and Matt would have an aide with him but I can easily take him to school.

I wrote on my site about what happens Before The Bell Rings. It is a wakeup call for parents whose children ride the bus. The way the aides treat special needs kids is uncalled for. The one aide at Matt's school has an attitude problem. I have seen her tell the boys to sit still and keep hands away from one another, while the rest of the school population is having fun running around playing. This one boy was crying and she was ignoring him. What goes around comes around and she is now pregnant, so maybe her attitude will change in time.

There is no friendly acknowledgement or greeting upon arrival. They stand around speaking Spanish to one another and just tell kids what to do. It is always negative and nothing pleasant or uplifting for the kids to hear.

I am at the point where I am contemplating whether it is best to have an inept aide or no aide at all. Time for dinner in my house.

Until next time - check out my site, and feel free to post on the forum or leave a comment here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My introduction

This is my first post here. Initially I was trying to create a profile and somehow ended up with a blog. My first post got lost when my connection died - oh how I hate that!

I am Bonnie Sayers - reside in Los Angeles, turning 46 in April, my son turns 11 next week. My kids are Nicholas and Matthew. Both are on the Autism Spectrum - opposite ends as well.

I will not always be posting about autism though. I like to watch Young and the Restless and General Hospital and have an opinion on storylines. Sometimes when I cannot find a message board I will post here about my impressions of shows.

Tomorrow an Allstate agent is coming over with my life insurance policy. Some sort of nurse will be here as well to take blood and urine. At least I will find out with the results what my cholesterol level is, easiest way to find out without having to go to a Dr and then sit at a lab for a long wait. Here they come to me - althouh I do have to pay for it.

I know my BMI though, 23.1 - bought something that tells me this on amazon last month. It looks like a mini steering wheel that tells me my fat percentage and BMI. Speaking of amazon - my son's birthday present arrived yesterday - actually the box was tossed against my door so I called up UPS and made a complaint against the driver. I told the person that the mailman does not throw things at my door and I should not get my packages this way either.

Well kids are in bed and I am in need to find out what happens on Y&R tomorrow. Thankfully those who reside in Canada see the show a day before US residents so I am off to read a recap or two to find out if Phyllis and Nick get caught in the act by her son Daniel. I ashould also note that my sons were named afer characters on Y&R. Nicholas and Matthew - back when they were in college before the character Martt leeft and the actor went on to night time tv. Forget his name now too, but he played a fireman on an NBC show.

Until next time - check out my Site/