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S02.E13: D-I--DIMEO A-C--ACADEMY

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After a dust-up with Lafayette High, Maya runs to JJ’s rescue and launches her own school out of the DiMeo home. Her program becomes a true DiMeo affair when Ray and Dylan enroll and Jimmy joins the faculty. Meanwhile, Kenneth sets out to prove to his ex-wife that he’s living a successful life.

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I’m a little nervous about this one. I know a lot of families where homeschooling ends up being the only viable option for their kids with special needs, and TV shows tend to play on the stereotypes heavily, not the reality. 

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Except for maybe the Kenneth stuff, I'm concerned purely from a story / character standpoint: After all of Maya's efforts and everything she's put her family through over the years to find the best school for JJ, for the show to suddenly introduce a home-schooling storyline now (especially with JJ midway through his Senior year and having recently started a Film class) seems kind of a waste; and if it ends up being just a one- or two-episode plot before restoring the status quo, why even mess with the topic? Also, as for the rest of the family getting involved, I'm especially curious to see what would ever make Ray want to be taught by one of his parents (unless Maya pulls him out of school so he has no choice), and how Jimmy could help Maya teach the kids at home when he's still got his airline job (unless he loses it somehow, takes time off, or maybe takes the kids to work with him...).

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I think Jimmy said it best about Maya throwing a tantrum because that's what she has done all these years. Granted, some of the schools I'm sure did try to get rid of JJ because being SpEd he would bring down test scores, or they didn't want to hire a full time aid or anything. However, you can tell she blames herself all these years for screwing this up for everyone, but she isn't going to really admit it yet. As for Kenneth's story, I like he basically changed from a selfish person, but really I hate story lines where someone is trying to prove themselves to their exes, either girlfriends or ex-wives. It's a tired story and really, I just wonder what Kenny ever saw in her. 

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I guess the homeschooling thing was kind of a red herring -- if anything, this was primarily about Maya pushing the limits of how far she'll go for JJ, Jimmy reaching his limit of how much he'll back her up (foreshadowed a bit in 2x2 when she wanted to uproot the family again and he stood up to her), and JJ ultimately figuring out what might be best for himself.

Even if he did need help catching up with his school work (due to procedure- and therapy-related absences, sure, but also some of the slacking we've seen from him before in episodes like "C-H--Cheater" and "B-I--Bikini U-N--University"), I knew going into this ep that JJ being home-schooled by Maya would not be conducive to his pursuit of independence from her (nor her figuring out who she is outside of her bond with him), so I'm relieved "DiMeo Academy" won't be an ongoing thing.  

The stuff with Ray and Dylan was kinda silly -- he just wanted to get away from taunts and teasing after an embarrassing moment (he gets enough from his siblings, but when all his schoolmates are doing it too, it gets to be a bit much), while she had a tantrum over not getting picked captain of the track team, and both seemed to misunderstand the concept of homeschooling altogether (not that Jimmy was up to the task of teaching, anyway*) -- but it was sweet that Dylan's former teammates helped her out when she got hurt on the track. :)

(* - though I'm glad that had to do with him being rightly upset over having been roped into something Maya hadn't sought his input on in the first place, as opposed to insecurity about his parenting abilities, not feeling smart enough or whatever. While they do have their "division of labor," and he doesn't always feel the need to voice his disagreement with her over little things, when she makes major decisions that affect him -- he ended up having to call in "sick" to work so he could pick up the slack with Ray and Dylan while Maya was laser-focused on JJ -- he knows he needs to speak up.)

 

32 minutes ago, readster said:

As for Kenneth's story, I like he basically changed from a selfish person, but really I hate story lines where someone is trying to prove themselves to their exes, either girlfriends or ex-wives. It's a tired story and really, I just wonder what Kenny ever saw in her. 

Agreed -- I was pretty disappointed with his plot. :\ Aside from a little more insight into his marital history (he says the ex who kept his baseball cards was the MEAN one compared with the ex who burned his stuff?), we already sort of got this side of him in "R-U-N--Runaway" (1x20) when he opened up to Dylan about his days as a college athlete and how he doesn't like the cocky, self-centered person he was then (not to mention that the "this is actually a rental car" reveal was recycled from Uncle Billy in 1x7, "T-H-A--Thanksgiving"!).

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Did I hear that exchange between Kenneth and J.J. correctly? J.J.: "When did you become rich?" Kenneth: "The day I met you." Whoa. Where are my tissues?

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kinda indifferent, a few things, i don't get why jj couldn't take summer school or try to catch up at home so he could graduate, why could he not do that?

kenneth should have said that him helping people when all the exwife does is mooch off people and not do anything useful makes him  a better person then her regardless of her wealth

 

 

also i find maya to be an annoying character lately, it'd be nice if they did an episode where she is completely in the wrong about something, no more the show bending over backwards to try and make her look good or make us feel bad for her or think that she can do no wrong, she screwed up and is completely wrong and she needs to own up to it and fix it if possible

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20 minutes ago, balmz said:

kinda indifferent, a few things, i don't get why jj couldn't take summer school or try to catch up at home so he could graduate, why could he not do that?

kenneth should have said that him helping people when all the exwife does is mooch off people and not do anything useful makes him  a better person then her regardless of her wealth

 

 

also i find maya to be an annoying character lately, it'd be nice if they did an episode where she is completely in the wrong about something, no more the show bending over backwards to try and make her look good or make us feel bad for her or think that she can do no wrong, she screwed up and is completely wrong and she needs to own up to it and fix it if possible

I agree on summer school as the only show seem to show that summer school or classes was a thing was Fuller House. However, they could also go with JJ taking a gap year and him getting more of taking care of himself with maybe Kenny still there at times for him. I do enjoy that over the course of 2 years and the history with Kenneth, he has become a better person. Unlike his exes (seriously, that's a lot of ex wifes). He realized he wasn't getting anywhere in life. His athletic early on worked, but like many people, what happens afterwards? He didn't have a back up and he found himself in one tired relationship after another, who either mooched off him and others and he learned to stop doing that. However, as much as I like to see more insight on why Kenneth didn't fall back on other things after his sports days were done, seriously what did he see in these women? They all seem like batshit idiots. As for Maya, I'm just hoping to leads to her realizing in the long run, she can't control the planet as much as she cares and loves JJ, she can't be narrowed to just him all the time. Even JJ has realized that, Maya, is getting there, very slowly. 

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I absolutely loved Jimmy in this episode, from his little "and what does the kids' father think about that?" and the accompanying expression to the 'blow up'. Guess I've been waiting for that for years. There's no way Maya would really want to be with someone without opinions or a voice because however much she likes to win, she likes the fight too. I just thought it was a great scene. 

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I loved Jimmy too, and I loved John Ross Bowie's reading of JJ's lines at the end, about the family already knowing that Maya would do anything for JJ, and how he'd been attending the DiMeo Academy all his life. JRB sounded like he was choking up a little. 

I just assumed that like other TV shows, Speechless would find a way to keep a popular character around after that character should have graduated high school. 

Hated Ray's plot. In fact I hate just about everything the show does with him, these days. 

It was funny how Dylan completely ignored her coach speaking right at her about not being chosen captain. 

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20 minutes ago, Mystery said:

I loved Jimmy too, and I loved John Ross Bowie's reading of JJ's lines at the end, about the family already knowing that Maya would do anything for JJ, and how he'd been attending the DiMeo Academy all his life. JRB sounded like he was choking up a little. 

It was funny how Dylan completely ignored her coach speaking right at her about not being chosen captain. 

Yes! The actor made some really wonderful acting choices tonight. Not that he doesn't usually.

It was a night of comeuppance. I forgot to mention that I also really liked the principal standing up to Maya. Forceful, refused to be cowed, don't bother trying to talk your way out of this. Even if she had to sit down afterwards. I guess I like the usually quiet agreeable person speaking up. 

I thought that Dylan scene was hilarious too. Eye contact, repeated hints and clues, plenty of foreshadowing. Nope. Right over her head. 

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1 hour ago, Lyinfait said:

I guess I like the usually quiet agreeable person speaking up. 

Especially when it was for the good of JJ. I really like the principal. 

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I am very mixed n this episode, mostly because of the actual rules regarding special education - absences would not matter, they would waive any absence limit in JJ's IEP - but IEPs seem to not exist in the world of Speechless - since JJ would not have to take traditional gym class, he would have Adaptive PE, which would be tailored towards his needs - and the school, until recently, didn't have any students with disabilities other than him. For missed classes, that is why homebound instruction is a thing.

Okay, now that I got that out of the way. I liked Maya & the principal preparing in their cars. I also liked Jimmy standing up to Maya.

 

Kenneth's plot felt a bit disconnected, though.

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I think they handled the homeschooling stuff well, and JJ needing an extra year makes sense, except that this shouldn’t be coming up in Spring of his senior year, it should have come up in his IEP and transition planning meetings.  I love that Maya was being largely successful-and that JJ was the one who decided that he needed to go back. 

And I loved Jimmy saying his piece for once. 

 

Dylan and Ray were shoehorned in to keep them from being entirely absent. 

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2 hours ago, dmmetler said:

I think they handled the homeschooling stuff well, and JJ needing an extra year makes sense, except that this shouldn’t be coming up in Spring of his senior year, it should have come up in his IEP and transition planning meetings.  I love that Maya was being largely successful-and that JJ was the one who decided that he needed to go back.

Agreed -- JJ realized it wasn't catching up on his course work and graduating on time that he wanted (especially if it meant having extra help from his mom), so much as he wanted to be better prepared for a more independent life after high school (even if it meant another year at Lafayette). :) (Also, I think technically we're in winter -- I'm assuming last week's episode likely took place just after school resumed from Winter Break, and this one covered the next week or so -- but yeah, that's still about half a school-year spent without the parents being aware that JJ was so far behind in his classes.)

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Not a disaster, but not a great episode either. Too many plots. Jimmy's lines and scenes came off best.

Kenneth's ex was uninteresting. Put Kenneth and JJ back together - they've barely had any plots this season.

Ray's plot was juvenile - and it didn't go anywhere. The writers don't have to humiliate Ray every week, no matter how willing Mason is. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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1 hour ago, GRChereck said:

Agreed -- JJ realized it wasn't catching up on his course work and graduating on time that he wanted (especially if it meant having extra help from his mom), so much as he wanted to be better prepared for a more independent life after high school (even if it meant another year at Lafayette). :) (Also, I think technically we're in winter -- I'm assuming last week's episode likely took place just after school resumed from Winter Break, and this one covered the next week or so -- but yeah, that's still about half a school-year spent without the parents being aware that JJ was so far behind in his classes.)

Yeah, that is what doesn't make sense, no matter how much the prinicpal was right to tell Maya that you can't change this, it would have been known since the semester started or at least when JJ's junior year ended. I'm sorry, you can't hand wave that. High schools no matter what they do, they see if a kid is on track from freshman year, especially if they have any IEP. because let's say they failed 3 classes freshman year and were not sophomores and they didn't pass the classes the second time for whatever reason. You on the: "off track list" meaning you are not on track to graduate. It was like many shows in the 90s where they had main characters have to do a school play or something to make up a missing credit so they could graduate. That doesn't happen 2 months before graduation. They would know by the beginning of the year or end of Junior going: "You need this much to graduate." Then they put them on that, not some magical: "Well, we forgot to tell you." 

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2 hours ago, 71dude said:

Put Kenneth and JJ back together - they've barely had any plots this season.

Good point -- except for 2x2 (when JJ found out about Kenneth's personal life and they had that talk about privacy / boundaries) and 2x6 (the "shipping" one), most of this season has been focusing on Kenneth outside of his work / friendship with JJ: 2x1, DiMeo family (both without and with JJ); 2x3, Dylan; 2x4, Maya; 2x5, DiMeo family (primarily the kids), though he basically dreamed the whole thing; 2x7, The Colonel (his dad); 2x8, Ray; 2x9, Dr. Miller; 2x10, Jimmy; 2x11, Ray (and some Joyce); 2x12, Jimmy and Maya; and 2x13, Robin (his ex-wife). :\

Also, I agree that Ray was pretty wasted in this one. :p Still, the last two episodes focused on him quite a bit while JJ was fairly underused, and I'm kinda glad they switched it up this time -- especially with JJ ending up making a major decision about his education and future. :)

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Definitely thought Jimmy was the best - love "and what does their Dad think about this?" and him standing up to Maya.

The problem was I found the setup nonsensical - I'm not an expert in special needs education and stayed in one school for all my high school education, but even I know between meetings to discuss a plan to meet JJ's needs and meetings to discuss where all the kids were at based on switching districts there's no way it would take a year and a half to realize JJ was missing so many requirements for graduation.  Maybe if it they just went with he failed all his first semester classes and didn't bring up missing days because of his health needs I could kind of understand, but if he was doing that poorly in school why did it take a whole semester for his teachers to raise concern.  I feel like this might have made more sense if halfway through first semester he failed most of his midterms and his teachers realized he was lacking a lot of the foundational material he should have learned freshman/sophmore years and raised concerns that he would in no way be ready for college even if on paper he had the correct course credits. 

Every plot not featuring JJ felt completely throwaway this week.  I don't even know the point of Kenneth's - the writer realized they were short a few minutes so threw something in for him?  Ray and Dylan's were both dumb, but I guess they needed some excuse for all kids to be willing to homeschool a few days after setting up how content they were to be at Lafayette.

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2 hours ago, athelyna said:

I don't even know the point of Kenneth's - the writer realized they were short a few minutes so threw something in for him?  Ray and Dylan's were both dumb, but I guess they needed some excuse for all kids to be willing to homeschool a few days after setting up how content they were to be at Lafayette.

In Kenneth's case, Maya letting JJ quit Lafayette screwed things up for him because he was getting paid through the school district to be JJ's aide there; I suppose with him temporarily out of his aide job, he could've had a plot where he had to pick up extra hours at the supermarket or try to find another job, but the writers at this point were probably just looking for another opportunity to dig into his past (hence the baseball cards he could sell for quick income, and the ex-wife with whom he'd left them). 

As for Dylan and Ray, before I saw the episode I had assumed either 1) they would be unhappy with how the school was treating JJ and join him in solidarity, or 2) Maya would pull them out of Lafayette for the convenience of having them at the same school as their brother (even if it's at home). While their actual reasons for wanting to quit ended up seeming pretty ridiculous and trifling compared with their brother's situation, I'm guessing in any event the writers simply wanted all three kids to be involved so Maya would have to pull Jimmy out of work to help her, which in turn was what pushed him over the edge so he was able to call her out the way he did. :\

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Thumbs down for Ray's teacher.  Ray was embarrassed enough without the teacher calling attention to his warm air.

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6 hours ago, athelyna said:

Definitely thought Jimmy was the best - love "and what does their Dad think about this?" and him standing up to Maya.

The problem was I found the setup nonsensical - I'm not an expert in special needs education and stayed in one school for all my high school education, but even I know between meetings to discuss a plan to meet JJ's needs and meetings to discuss where all the kids were at based on switching districts there's no way it would take a year and a half to realize JJ was missing so many requirements for graduation.  Maybe if it they just went with he failed all his first semester classes and didn't bring up missing days because of his health needs I could kind of understand, but if he was doing that poorly in school why did it take a whole semester for his teachers to raise concern.  I feel like this might have made more sense if halfway through first semester he failed most of his midterms and his teachers realized he was lacking a lot of the foundational material he should have learned freshman/sophmore years and raised concerns that he would in no way be ready for college even if on paper he had the correct course credits. 

Every plot not featuring JJ felt completely throwaway this week.  I don't even know the point of Kenneth's - the writer realized they were short a few minutes so threw something in for him?  Ray and Dylan's were both dumb, but I guess they needed some excuse for all kids to be willing to homeschool a few days after setting up how content they were to be at Lafayette.

Under the law, IEP meeting has to be held within 30 days of a student entering the school.

In my IEP, the district had a "standard" accommodation of "Contact parents with failing grades (marking period)" - and that was pretty much the only accommodation all of my teachers followed. I imagine with how helicopter-y Maya is, JJ has an accommodation like that, or calls the teachers every day asking how he is doing

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4 hours ago, bros402 said:

Under the law, IEP meeting has to be held within 30 days of a student entering the school.

In my IEP, the district had a "standard" accommodation of "Contact parents with failing grades (marking period)" - and that was pretty much the only accommodation all of my teachers followed. I imagine with how helicopter-y Maya is, JJ has an accommodation like that, or calls the teachers every day asking how he is doing

Right, so Maya and Jimmy not knowing is what makes no sense. Even the principal being how she was. Her response should have been: "I'm sorry, my counselors are lazy and they are going to be looking for new jobs in the summer and I should have taken care of this earlier. But the truth is, Jimmy is not on track to graduate and that can't be made up this easily." Instead they act like: "Here is the big revelation, You are not graduating JJ! Surprise!" 

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I think my favorite part was Maya practicing yelling at the principle in the car, only to pull up next to the principle, who is practicing how to fight against her. "Oh look! We`re practicing for the same fight! See you there!" 

That, and Jimmy's reactions to Mayas latest fight. "Did you ask their father?" 

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21 hours ago, readster said:

Right, so Maya and Jimmy not knowing is what makes no sense. Even the principal being how she was. Her response should have been: "I'm sorry, my counselors are lazy and they are going to be looking for new jobs in the summer and I should have taken care of this earlier. But the truth is, Jimmy is not on track to graduate and that can't be made up this easily." Instead they act like: "Here is the big revelation, You are not graduating JJ! Surprise!" 

I hated this episode due to lazy writing. This show doesn't understand special education. In Cheater Kenneth should have been taught to write what JJ says and not to coach him. The school should have provided him with adaptive gym classes and tutoring while he was in the hospital. If he was missing classes he should have been a sophomore instead of a junior when the show began. Speechless gets it right when discussing accessibility and attitudes toward the disabled there is no excuse for them to get this wrong.

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7 hours ago, kathyk24 said:

I hated this episode due to lazy writing. This show doesn't understand special education. In Cheater Kenneth should have been taught to write what JJ says and not to coach him. The school should have provided him with adaptive gym classes and tutoring while he was in the hospital. If he was missing classes he should have been a sophomore instead of a junior when the show began. Speechless gets it right when discussing accessibility and attitudes toward the disabled there is no excuse for them to get this wrong.

That's what we are all upset about and one of the main writers grew up with a sibling who was wheel bound too. It was basically: "We want to keep the kids in high school one more year and we have to come up with a dumb ass excuse to keep it there." Unlike The Goldbergs they have a constant sliding timeline and why they kept Erica in an extra season in high school, but they admitted they had to move on. Just college life for her character hasn't worked so well (maybe if they get rid of her roommate and Geoff). Back to this show, it just comes off as lazy writing and plot driving character and not the other way around. Maya throwing a tantrum because JJ is getting screwed. That's completely in character but not her or Jimmy and then the Principal (who apparently got her PhD through mail order) didn't see or know about it. Just completely stupid. 

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2 hours ago, readster said:

That's what we are all upset about and one of the main writers grew up with a sibling who was wheel bound too. It was basically: "We want to keep the kids in high school one more year and we have to come up with a dumb ass excuse to keep it there."

Well, another season with JJ as a Senior would be an excuse to keep him and Kenneth together longer--otherwise, I imagine the writers weren't able to figure out what else to do with him if JJ were to go off to college. (Though I would think if JJ took classes at a local college while still living at home, Kenneth wouldn't be an aide anymore but he could either work full-time at the supermarket or take a second job, and then just hang out with JJ as friends during his off-hours...)

As for Maya, I have noticed that she mostly seems to have backed off on JJ in s.2 (this episode and the season-premiere road trip aside) -- which I think may have to do with what she and JJ learned about him needing to make more space for himself in 1x20 -- but still, I would think she ought to have learned something from what happened in "C-H--Cheater" (1x19), when she didn't find out until at least late-winter / early-spring (as the family did their big mail/message "purge") that his teachers had been letting him slack through his Junior year.

Apparently, JJ must have gotten his act together and done well enough after that to get passed to his Senior year; but even so, because this was supposed to be his last year of high school, all the more reason everyone involved (parents, teachers, principal, Kenneth, and JJ himself) should've been more diligent in making sure he keeps up and does what he has to do -- rather than waiting 4-5 months for him to fall so far behind on this year's course work, he'll have to repeat the grade no matter what he does in the next 4 months or so. :\

The best I can figure is they wanted to show how kids like JJ can easily slip through the cracks, have Maya realize she still needs to find a better balance between micromanaging her son's life and letting him be more independent, and/or have JJ learn the hard way about personal responsibility and self-discipline (as part of his pursuit of independence). 

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For a full time Kenneth in college, Voc Rehab might continue the arrangement and help pay for Kenneth. When I was in CC & the state university I attended, having a scribe write all of the notes I needed in my classes was an option - the options they had were either pay someone in the class for good notes, or hire someone to take the notes.

Obviously, they wouldn't pay much, but it would be something. Voc Rehab, or some other agency, would probably pay for part of Kenneth.

They should've just been like "We are concerned about JJ's life skills and are wondering if JJ would be willing to stay an extra year so we can help him become more independent."

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Actually, JJ dealing with Voc Rehab could be comedy gold.  Especially since Maya has no standing with them whatsoever. 

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7 hours ago, bros402 said:

They should've just been like "We are concerned about JJ's life skills and are wondering if JJ would be willing to stay an extra year so we can help him become more independent."

That would've been a better way for Dr. Miller to put it. :) It's possible she may have had that in mind when, even after Maya had struck a deal with each teacher, she insisted JJ would simply not be prepared for life after high school even if he did catch up on his work.

Another thought: I got the impression that the contrast between how his Junior-year teachers treated him (not being accustomed to dealing with a disabled student, out of overly-PC condescension they didn't expect much from him and thus gave him special treatment) and his Senior-year teachers (who probably expect more personal responsibility from their students anyway, as they're almost adults preparing for college and/or the real world -- plus, with JJ being in his second year there, they might have heard a thing or two about how his mom chewed out the Junior-year teachers for cutting him too much slack, so they erred in the other direction by expecting too much self-reliance) was meant to make a point about how the school in general is still trying to navigate the line between doing too much for JJ (seeing only his disability) and treating him literally just like everyone else (trying to look so far past his special needs that they don't even consider things like reasonable accommodation).

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9 minutes ago, GRChereck said:

That would've been a better way for Dr. Miller to put it. :) It's possible she may have had that in mind when, even after Maya had struck a deal with each teacher, she insisted JJ would simply not be prepared for life after high school even if he did catch up on his work.

Another thought: I got the impression that the contrast between how his Junior-year teachers treated him (not being accustomed to dealing with a disabled student, out of overly-PC condescension they didn't expect much from him and thus gave him special treatment) and his Senior-year teachers (who probably expect more personal responsibility from their students anyway, as they're almost adults preparing for college and/or the real world -- plus, with JJ being in his second year there, they might have heard a thing or two about how his mom chewed out the Junior-year teachers for cutting him too much slack, so they erred in the other direction by expecting too much self-reliance) was meant to make a point about how the school in general is still trying to navigate the line between doing too much for JJ (seeing only his disability) and treating him literally just like everyone else (trying to look so far past his special needs that they don't even consider things like reasonable accommodation).

Which would have worked better with the story line. It just comes across that Maya, Jimmy, Dr. Miller and the Faculty are just dense and oblivious to things. As someone who has been in education for 8 years as both a teacher and administrator. I've seen things from everywhere. From schools that have passed students along for so many years, but then they get to the final years of high school and they are not only so off track to graduate, but see no point in school at all. They figure they will just a job, or deal with under handed things and be fine. Then they end up basically living out of their car or in prison and then they go: "Shit! I should have cared." Or you have people who might have been great as teachers, but then become administrators and either are slaves to politics or people with money on the board or just drown as an administrator (like Dr. Miller acts at times). Or you have ones that come in, try to kick ass and take names and then hit heads with the students or parents because students have been passed along and screwed up scores, graduation percentages ect and really they needed to go to the previous teachers and been like: "Get out, you're fired because you are just doing this for a job." Of course 9 times out of 10 those teachers are long gone, usually by their own choice because they knew they would get caught or were burned out from too many students being so horrible and parents not caring or helicoptering like no tomorrow. 

   Here it comes off that the moral of the story is: "JJ needs more life skills before he can truly graduate" when it comes off as: "We needed an excuse to keep him in high school one more year because having go to college or community college, we don't know how to write." 

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Maybe next season they will play around with JJ in a college environment - he could go to CC part time while attending his second senior year of HS. So the writers can see how their college storylines & characters work, while having another year of HS.

 

17 hours ago, dmmetler said:

Actually, JJ dealing with Voc Rehab could be comedy gold.  Especially since Maya has no standing with them whatsoever. 

Yeah, they won't care how much Maya has intimidated the schools, they're the government. They move at the speed of bureaucracy. Speaking of that, I wonder if JJ receives SSI? If he does, he would be up for an evaluation of disability when he turns 18. They have to do it no matter what. Sure, if he signs up with DVR he would qualify under some regulation in the red book where if you are a DVR client in a job training program or college, you can continue to receive SSI even if you no loner medically qualify, but yeah.

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My guess is that it’s less not knowing how to write college and more wanting to keep the number of settings low. It won’t particularly surprise me to have Ray start dual enrollment when JJ starts college. Which, by delaying JJ’s start by a year becomes more reasonable. 

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Wow. I really don't understand the blow back on this board about this episode. I thought it was WONDERFUL! First of all, hilarious. But 2nd, with this JJ not graduating part. It TOTALLY makes sense! It's not lazy writing in the least! Lazy writing is letting him graduate! Complicated writing is writing yourself into a corner and you have to write yourself out of it, and that's what they've done here. I'm sorry but maybe you want JJ to be exceptional but he isn't! They've made it abundantly clear that he is an AVERAGE teenager, which means he messes up sometimes. He's really supposed to graduate high school after finally being in a mainstream school for only a year and missing some with surgeries and illnesses?? Come on. Be realistic. There are a lot of kids with special needs/disabilities that have to be held back a year. This ACTUALLY happens. And that's what's so awesome about the show. As funny as it is, it tries to give a somewhat realistic depiction of these FICTIONAL characters. 3rd, why is this FICTIONAL character of JJ showing more emotional maturity than some of you? He finally realizes that it's not a personal blight on him. He isn't ready for college and there's nothing wrong with it. He needs to cook a little more. 4th, it's a show! This is how they get us invested and to care. Lazy writing? Not at all. It's called 'drama'. 5th, I'm not sure why Kenneth wouldn't be able to go to college with him. Unless it's out of state, why wouldn't he need Kenneth? (for the rest of their lives?)

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JJ needs to take the SAT or the ACT also. It would be good to see the accommodations for those tests worked into college admissions.

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It’s not JJ not being ready. It’s that those of us with experience with the IEP/transition process know that there would have been multiple points before this time where the team would have sat down to evaluate JJ’s progress, and it wouldn’t be a surprise. If JJ were lacking credits coming into a mainstream school, that would have been know when he came in. If he had to miss for medical reasons, there would have been Home or hospital instruction provided, and if it wasn’t enough, that would have been known then. He would have had adaptive PE, not regular gym, and that would have taken his medical absences into account.   Failing a child on an IEP without a lot of prior records leads to a great deal of questions as to whether the IEP is being followed at all.

It wouldn’t have been a blindside.  That’s the lazy writing that smacks of “oh, yeah..we really don’t want JJ to go to college yet”. 

 

On Kenneth, right now the school district is paying Kenneth’s salary as part of JJ’s IEP. After he graduates, that will stop. It is possible,maybe even likely that Vocafional rehab or SSDI or Medicaid Waiver will cover some aide time while JJ is in college, but that is by no means certain (and I would LOVE them to show that part. )

 

taking another year and letting JJ navigate the college application and transition process is awesome. But I wish they had set it up better. 

Edited by dmmetler

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there was another way they could have gone with this, i don't know if this applies in the us, but in canada, if people want they can go for 5 years of high school, i was thinking it'd be interesting if jj wasn't falling or anything but wanted to stay an extra year so he could learn more about directing and film

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10 hours ago, dmmetler said:

It’s not JJ not being ready. It’s that those of us with experience with the IEP/transition process know that there would have been multiple points before this time where the team would have sat down to evaluate JJ’s progress, and it wouldn’t be a surprise. If JJ were lacking credits coming into a mainstream school, that would have been know when he came in. If he had to miss for medical reasons, there would have been Home or hospital instruction provided, and if it wasn’t enough, that would have been known then. He would have had adaptive PE, not regular gym, and that would have taken his medical absences into account.   Failing a child on an IEP without a lot of prior records leads to a great deal of questions as to whether the IEP is being followed at all.

It wouldn’t have been a blindside.  That’s the lazy writing that smacks of “oh, yeah..we really don’t want JJ to go to college yet”. 

 

On Kenneth, right now the school district is paying Kenneth’s salary as part of JJ’s IEP. After he graduates, that will stop. It is possible,maybe even likely that Vocafional rehab or SSDI or Medicaid Waiver will cover some aide time while JJ is in college, but that is by no means certain (and I would LOVE them to show that part. )

 

taking another year and letting JJ navigate the college application and transition process is awesome. But I wish they had set it up better. 

Exactly! We weren't complaining about JJ, just how it was done with: "The plot driving the characters" instead of the other way around. It comes off as lazy writing and putting things a little too far into being believable. I know some would say: "It's a TV show" but there is a point to where you just shake your head and go: "no, sorry, that doesn't work, in any context." 

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The show could have avoided the whole situation if JJ had been a sophomore in the beginning. Also why is the principal saying that JJ can't graduate that's the responsibility of the IEP team. Speechless acts like IEP's don't exist. I can't believe Maya wouldn't have a copy of JJ's IEP with her at all times. JJ is old enough to participate in the IEP process so there is no excuse for him not to know where he stood academically.

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17 hours ago, rhys said:

JJ needs to take the SAT or the ACT also. It would be good to see the accommodations for those tests worked into college admissions.

Strictly speaking, he doesn't need to take the SAT or ACT. Some schools don't care about them anymore - even moreso if he goes to a community college first, then transfers to a state school

13 hours ago, dmmetler said:

It’s not JJ not being ready. It’s that those of us with experience with the IEP/transition process know that there would have been multiple points before this time where the team would have sat down to evaluate JJ’s progress, and it wouldn’t be a surprise. If JJ were lacking credits coming into a mainstream school, that would have been know when he came in. If he had to miss for medical reasons, there would have been Home or hospital instruction provided, and if it wasn’t enough, that would have been known then. He would have had adaptive PE, not regular gym, and that would have taken his medical absences into account.   Failing a child on an IEP without a lot of prior records leads to a great deal of questions as to whether the IEP is being followed at all.

It wouldn’t have been a blindside.  That’s the lazy writing that smacks of “oh, yeah..we really don’t want JJ to go to college yet”. 

 

On Kenneth, right now the school district is paying Kenneth’s salary as part of JJ’s IEP. After he graduates, that will stop. It is possible,maybe even likely that Vocafional rehab or SSDI or Medicaid Waiver will cover some aide time while JJ is in college, but that is by no means certain (and I would LOVE them to show that part. )

 

taking another year and letting JJ navigate the college application and transition process is awesome. But I wish they had set it up better. 

I was going to type something similar to this, but you already did it for me. Voc Rehab could pay for part of an aide, JJ wouldn't get SSDI - only SSI, but that would only be... (checking the social security site for the California sheet) $664.24 a month. Medicaid probably wouldn't pay for it - Kenneth probably needs certifications or degrees to be one an insurance company would pay for. State might have a caregiver program, though.

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In my state (MA) you can hire your own aides and train them yourself, and you can get them paid for by medicaid if you are low enough income, which I think the Dimeos would be. Once JJ went to college, he would definitely qualify for the PCA program (personal care attendent) at least in MA, which is designed to enable disabled people to live independently, who would otherwise be forced into nursing homes, which is what would happen to JJ once he was an adult, unless he lived with his parents forever.

However, I know of no one who gets full time help, even people with very high needs. Maybe there are people who do, but I  know people at JJ's level of disability who are definitely not getting it.

The thing about Kenneth's job that I find the most lacking credibility is how many hours he's with them. In my state, he would only be at school and we see him with JJ all the time at home and elsewhere.

I think they do a lot of it for TV reasons. Having someone voice JJ's words instead of using a speech synthesizer to read his board is an example.

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

In my state (MA) you can hire your own aides and train them yourself, and you can get them paid for by medicaid if you are low enough income, which I think the Dimeos would be. Once JJ went to college, he would definitely qualify for the PCA program (personal care attendent) at least in MA, which is designed to enable disabled people to live independently, who would otherwise be forced into nursing homes, which is what would happen to JJ once he was an adult, unless he lived with his parents forever.

However, I know of no one who gets full time help, even people with very high needs. Maybe there are people who do, but I  know people at JJ's level of disability who are definitely not getting it.

The thing about Kenneth's job that I find the most lacking credibility is how many hours he's with them. In my state, he would only be at school and we see him with JJ all the time at home and elsewhere.

I think they do a lot of it for TV reasons. Having someone voice JJ's words instead of using a speech synthesizer to read his board is an example.

They might have a keep people in the community program, it is probably cheaper than group housing and other situations.

I think most of the time, Kenneth is with JJ on his own time.

However - in the pilot episode - the agency that provided the cartoon voice lady, I believe they were paying for her (and she spent time at their house) - maybe they kick in some of the wages for before/after-school time. The school pays for Kenneth during the school year/during school hours, then someone else picks up the slack.

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On 1/20/2018 at 1:18 PM, readster said:

I hated this episode due to lazy writing. This show doesn't understand special education.

Or homeschooling, apparently. Since when would a homeschooled student be competing in sports as a school against a team from a fairly large public school? I attended a small private high school myself, and my softball team had to drive 40-60 minutes away for games, as we were not considered in the same league as the local public schools, with many times more students. 

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5 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

Or homeschooling, apparently. Since when would a homeschooled student be competing in sports as a school against a team from a fairly large public school? I attended a small private high school myself, and my softball team had to drive 40-60 minutes away for games, as we were not considered in the same league as the local public schools, with many times more students. 

The sports stuff, that is easy to handwave, it's a comedy.

The lack of understanding of special education is what is surprising for this show.

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But a homeschool team does not compete in the same athletic division with public schools. Usually they compete against small private schools or other homeschool teams. 

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13 hours ago, dmmetler said:

But a homeschool team does not compete in the same athletic division with public schools. Usually they compete against small private schools or other homeschool teams. 

Yeah, it's weird, but not stretching suspension of disbelief.

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21 hours ago, bros402 said:

Yeah, it's weird, but not stretching suspension of disbelief.

Even if homeschool students could compete with public-school ones, I had to wonder how Dylan was able to have a match with Lafayette so quickly, within a week of quitting there... But yeah, knowing Maya (and considering that much of this show has been about how far she's willing to go for her children), it would not surprise me if she pulled some strings, worked out a deal with Dr. Miller or whatever -- especially if Dylan quit specifically because she thought it would mean getting a chance to compete against her former teammates at some point, I could see Maya wanting her daughter to get what she wants (the sooner, the better). :D 

***

Programming Note: No rerun this week (ABC is showing the movie 'Inside Out'); but here are the ones that are scheduled to air the next two weeks, opposite the Olympics:

2/14 -- "S-H--Shipping" (2x6) (one of my favorites! :) )

2/21 -- "B-I--Bikini U-N--University" (2x8) (polarizing for sure, though I thought it was a fun one; still, I'm kinda disappointed they're skipping over the one where JJ and Jimmy went camping...)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: typo
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15 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Even if homeschool students could compete with public-school ones, I had to wonder how Dylan was able to have a match with Lafayette so quickly, within a week of quitting there... But yeah, knowing Maya (and considering that much of this show has been about how far she's willing to go for her children), it would not surprise me if she pulled some strings, worked out a deal with Dr. Miller or whatever -- especially if Dylan quit specifically because she thought it would mean getting a chance to compete against her former teammates at some point, I could see Maya wanting her daughter to get what she wants (the sooner, the better). :D 

***

Programming Note: No rerun this week (ABC is showing the movie 'Inside Out'); but here are the ones that are scheduled to air the next two weeks, opposite the Olympics:

2/14 -- "S-H--Shipping" (2x6) (one of my favorites! :) )

2/21 -- "B-I--Bikini U-N--University" (2x8) (polarizing for sure, though I thought it was a fun one; still, I'm kinda disappointed they're skipping over the one where JJ and Jimmy went camping...)

Maybe Dylan was still registered under Lafayette and Maya threatened the teacher reading the announcements to read what she told them to read :P

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