Dylan is Carrying a Flash Pass.
Dylan came home in serious emotional distress. He finally admitted that trying to keep up with the rest of the class was nearly impossible for him. He said he’s been overwhelmed with feeling that he may as well just give up.
“Sometimes I just sit through an entire class with my head in my hands,” he said. “And no one even notices.”
The boy needs a break, I thought. He just really needs to be able to take a break when he needs one.
I spoke with Dylan’s case manager about it.
“In elementary school, his IEP used to suggest ‘frequent breaks,'” I told her. “Dylan could get up and walk to the back of the room, or stand up and walk around during class. But now that he’s in high school….”
“You have to be concerned with how it affects the other students,” she said. “Frequent breaks aren’t as easy in high school. But let me meet with Dylan and I’ll see what we can do.”
The case manager and I talked for a long time. I felt confident that she could do something – but I had no idea what she could do. It seemed impossible to give Dylan the leeway he needed, especially since he is often so far behind in his work.
The next day, I was ‘cc’d on an email to Dylan’s teachers:
Dylan is carrying a Flash Pass. He will show/flash you this pass when he needs to use it and no words need be exchanged during the class period either upon leaving or returning.
He is to use this Flash Pass when unfocused or stressed. He will be able to do one of two things:
- He can step outside the classroom for a couple of minutes to regroup and then return.
- He will take his backpack with him and come to my room.
Dylan is aware that he will be responsible for the work in your class. He can either access materials online or meet with you before/after school or during lunch. Please feel free to email me with work and I can also pass it along.
I know it sounds extreme, but this solution may change Dylan’s life.
He can finally take the breaks he needs, when he needs to take them.