Saturday, 04 June 2011
I think educators think we [parents] are stupid.
However, I would like to remind them all [teachers, principles, aides and administrators] that as a professional counselor it is my job to see through people’s bull s**t. And lately I have been wading in a lot of that.
I have tried to be nice, like Peter Wright suggests... but I have had my fill of social etiquette this year.
(For those of you who don't know: The district is moving our autistic daughter from her current building to the home building based on residency because of 'district growth challenges' or so they say... and we have let them know we do not approve. She is not only flourishing but has built friendships with the kids in her grade level.)
Anyways, the principle out right lied at the IEP meeting stating that the 'administrative team' reviewed her records and the decision was based on her excessive tardiness... "REALLY? because I put her on the bus on time every day this year; she better have gotten to school ON TIME". Of course her school record confirm that she was NEVER late to school. So we were told about 3 more songs and dances on why she couldn’t stay in the building where she was not only established, but flourishing!
What is interesting, we know there are other children in this same building who are not in their home building... and yet they did not get the same letter that we were told was 'standard' and sent to all students not in their appropriate building based on residency.
But the thing that bothered me the most... was the teacher I lovED and respectED didn’t correct the principle in her tardiness accusations... she sat there wide eyed and didn’t say a word... until the principle left the room. THEN she whispered, “She has never been tardy!!” Why didn’t you speak up when the principle was ‘arguing’ with me about this? I thought you were supposed to be Sahara’s advocate. (3 professionals you work with told me you have 'pull' with the district and could advocate for her to stay... so why aren't you??)
Then the therapist and teacher refused to add accommodations into the IEP that support these statements.... “she reads better with the lights off” (sensory issues) AND“she does better in OT with fine motor activities (like writing) when she does Brain Gym first”.
When I tell you I am unhappy about this not being in the IEP I get the response, “they will figure it out.” That Is not only an unprofessional statement, but unacceptable.
My poker face went out the window weeks ago, so you add, “well, Sahara just might tell them herself.”
The child still often speaks in jargon and you are going to expect that level of verbal communication from her? Yet alone that is not the child's responsibility!!
“I thought you said you were going to relay that to the new team yourself?”
"Oh yeah I will” [big cheesy smile]... pardon me I think you are bullshitting me again!!!
This makes me wonder how much more bullshit you dealt out this year. Unfortunately, I will never know since my daughter has gross communication and language delays. But I wonder about the rides home when she said, “Sad... school... sad” as she whimpered. Or the day she came home saying, “Arm hurt....” And when I asked about it ‘nothing’ out of the ordinary was reported.
If you cannot speak your truth in front of the principle or directly to me when confronted.... I wonder how truthful you have been all year. So maybe, just maybe... once again, God is protecting Sahara by having her forced to move on from this building.
I know I have been very verbal about this on facebook lately... that helps me process. And I knew I would eventually get to the silver lining... I think I got there today.
I really was hoping for different outcomes... but time to move on. So, we are agreeing (as if we had a choice) to put her in the home building under the contingency that if we note ANY regression, we are reconvening the IEP team! And I WILL have my head so far up the new team's butt... they will be crossing every T and dotting every I for me next year. I will not let my guard down nor get all buddy-buddy with the new team. They are being hired by me to do a job... and I will make sure they are doing it.
So we end the school year bitter sweet.... you just heard the bitter.
The sweet is Sahara has made HUGE HUGE HUGE progress this year. She has bloomed socially and academically (reading, writing and doing math!!). If I see any hint of regression in the new setting I am no longer afraid to go to bat for this kid!! And again as an educated mother who has worked in the education and counseling fields... I am not hesitant on pulling her and home schooling. She deserves that and much more!
((Stay tuned for part 2 on Stop Bullshitting Me... Part 2 on Emily's adventure!))