trying to take the emotion out of it.

So today I got an email telling me my son isn’t getting OT. This time they gave me the line that they always do when they tell me my kids are not being considered. I’m sorry Mrs. ____ but your son just isn’t bad enough. Well how bad do they have to be when my son is already in the first percentile (meaning out of 100, 99 kids are doing better than him)? But this time they followed it up with our mandate is to focus on grades 1-4 and since he is now outside the range he no longer is a priority, but the school OT thinks that the strategies we have in place namely dragon naturally speaking and typing are enough (neither of which have been put into practice in the classroom yet).

I am not angry, I am not even surprised. I am just a little sad. I have to come up with an appropriate response that hold them accountable (because that is what I want them to be, if not for my kids, but for future kids) and yet I don’t want to burn bridges. I have a draft my people are going over and I have put a message in to a friend that is an OT that might have an opinion. You see, if there truly is a child worse off than both my sons are, then I feel sorry for that parent and their children, but to say that what they are doing in school is enough, when it really isn’t is irresponsible. Perhaps, I could have gotten OT privately and helped my kids. I may not have due to cost, but that was not their call and if a child needs help and it can’t be done through the school they should let the parent know instead of saying “it’s just not bad enough”. Thats what happened to my eldest Tweedle to only find out last year that there were programs in place when he was younger. Now he doesn’t qualify for these programs because he is a teen and it’s too late. I am afeard that the same might be so for the middle Tweedle.

Strangely enough after getting the email, I don’t feel like eating a pie. Things might be taking a turn for the better

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3 thoughts on “trying to take the emotion out of it.

  1. Sorry for my usual essay-length comment, but here goes:

    I know you have been pursuing OT, but there are a lot of other interventions (besides DNS, which doesn’t work well in our experience — it requires time to “train” the software, and kids don’t have the patience for it). Regardless of the OT thing, your son needs to get accommodations allowing him to succeed when he is being tested, especially now in the higher grades. Does your son get a scribe for tests? Does he get extra time? Since testing from this point on involves a lot of writing, and writing quickly, he should definitely have a scribe, or extra time, or both. It needs to be written up in an education plan. I don’t know how your school system works, but if the slow writing is documented, your son will need practical accommodations in place before he hits high school exams. My son just did his grade 12 English exam. One large essay question. It was a 3-hour exam, but he gets up to double the amount of time. He took the ENTIRE 6 HOURS for his exam. He also had a scribe to do the writing for him. (Of all the many official accommodations we have tried through the years, the ones that have consistently worked best are being given more time for tests and assignments, and having access to a scribe for Board tests and exams. His own way of using his iPad to take notes has also worked well, but that is sort of a self-accommodation, not done through the school, except perhaps that they allow him to use the iPad in class.)

    Okay, having said that, I know it’s hard. It’s awful, dealing with the bureaucracy and teachers and dreading getting a phone call from the school about the work not being done. (And I only had one child to deal with.) What got better was as my son got older, I gradually passed on responsibility to him, got him to advocate for himself. It’s not perfect, but the high school Spec Ed department was really understanding and has helped us out a lot. (They deal directly with the kids and the teachers, very rarely going through parents, except the occasional phone call or email to inform them what is going on.) So don’t forget to pass the torch. And school is only a limited part of life, but teaching your kid to speak up for himself when he’s having trouble will have (positive) repercussions down the road.

    And I think you are doing a great job. I can’t imagine having to go through all that for more than one child, and you are living it every day. And handling it. Go you!

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