Monday, October 15, 2007

One More Thing...

I just got to thinking, that I went on in great length regarding the joke of an education my nephew received in Portland Public Schools special education, without telling you what he’s doing now. After the hearing we pulled him out of Marshall due to the same old same old. We gave ‘em one more chance at Lincoln High while we were waiting for them to pay up on the remedy, but within a week we knew that too was a bust.

After he was finished at Sylvan Learning Center Joseph got a job where the idea was for him to develop work appropriate behavior in order to become competitively employed. He’s been there for the last 4+ years as one of their best employees. The problem is that he’s still not doing what he loves most... working with numbers. Last Spring we decided to do something about that.

We put together what is called a “Person Centered Plan”, where the people involved in a person’s life gather with a facilitator to discuss someone’s hopes, dreams, and strengths. When we were finished, we had a solid plan on steps to assist Joseph with getting into the numbers racquet (couldn’t resist). He now is moving in the right direction.

First we got him a calculator/adding machine. He’s learned to make a monthly budget and has done really well with this. We purchased a laptop with a printer and software having to do with accounting type stuff. He’s enrolled at Clackamas Community College, where he’s taking some basic computer classes this fall. By all accounts he’s doing great. This winter he’ll be taking a class on Excel and may get an internship doing some data entry or basic accounting. He tells (yes, he can say most of what he’s thinking these days) anyone who asks him that he wants to eventually work in a bank. For Joseph; he'll go as far as he wants to go.

Joseph was never unteachable. He was never physically aggressive. He was never any more difficult to educate than any other kid. He was failed by the education system in Portland.



Rob at Kintropy said...

We're just starting the education system w/ our daughter (3 years). At least, we feel armed with info, Hannah's own person-centered-plan, & experiences like Joseph's to help us wade through all the red-tape. Thanks!

David McDonald said...

I don't like to give unrequested advice, so I won't. I will say that to make things work for Joseph, It has (and is still) taken much time and energy. If you ever run into difficulties, you know where to find me. I'm more than glad to help.