Back to square one

 

 

 

I hesitate to even begin. Yesterday was a meeting with the VP at my sons’ school. Today was also her last day as the VP at my sons’ school. She is also Tweedle 3’s Kindergarten teacher and the learning co-ordinator for the school. She got offered a tremendous can’t say no to opportunity and well she took it. Who can blame her? HUGE career opportunity. Although some of the Kindy moms are happy for her and are fine with her leaving, I am not. I’ve grown to accept it. I am being mature and I wish her luck. Really I do.

As many of you know, I home schooled Tweedle E last year. I gave him the option because I thought he was getting lost. I could see this ever widening crack between him and the other students and I felt that nothing was getting done to help him. Sure we had our “IPPs” and sure I signed off on them, but at the end of each year we were no further ahead. This year before school started I met with the administration and we decided to put him back in. You see home schooling was rough on us as a family and I just wanted him to be happy when he was at home.

Well yesterdays meeting was just to follow up and see where to go from here. She was making notes and recommendations for the new learning coordinator and Tweedle E was on her “hot list”. It was also in response to me asking if he could have a psychological assessment done through the school. Psychological assessments are more involved than a paediatrician assessment and  therefor cost lots and lots of money if done privately (unless you have a really good insurance plan and the Psyc office has a really creative office manager) *wink*. If the assessment gets done through the school then none of it come out of our pocket.

So anyway the meeting started off kind of confusingly. I was asked what I hope to get out of the assessment, and I was thinking how the heck should I know? I just want to find out what is happening in his little brain and then help him. So in nicer words I said exactly that. I told her we had an appointment with the paediatrician anyway and will still pursue that route. The forms for that assessment we supposed to be in the mail and I should be receiving them any day.

I don’t know how we got on the subject of Occupational Therapy, but we did and then she pulled out his file. I told her, as I have told all learning coordinators and teachers in the past, that he has a fine motor delay. She seemed kind of shocked and looked for the reports. There they were in his file. Her eyes got big and she seemed kind of surprised. You see he has HIGH visual perception like 95 percentile, but a fine motor delay of 1percentile. This supposedly was a huge red flag. Both OT assessments said this and she was shocked to see that nothing had been done. Out of 100 kids Ethan sees things better than 95 kids but writes things only better than one kid. I really feel sorry for that one kid. Anyway she said that all the IPP goals had been wrong or missing. She told me to see if we get any OT coverage in our insurance and to pursue that. She asked me if he had any work done and I said “No just the assessments” I was told that it wasn’t that bad. She then told me it was.

ALL the feelings of frustration came flooding back and there I was crying against my will in her office, kinda like I am right now. I have been asking for help, submitting writing samples since he was in grade 1. That is 5 years lost because someone was justifying why he didn’t get a spot to see have OT therapy through the school. “It’s not that bad” she (former learning coordinator of 2 years ago) said. Not once did anyone mention that he might need therapy, not even the 2 OTs doing 2 separate diagnoses. No one was making accommodations in the classroom even after mentioning it every year. No wonder he is frustrated and overwhelmed. No wonder I am frustrated.

Well anyway kudos to the lady for catching it and making notes and changes and starting us on our way, but… It. Was. Her. Last. Day. Now I’m trying to stuff my emotions down with junk food and a little running because I feel guilty for eating junk food.

I used to judge question why parents, who have children with problems, would not do anything for their kids in the way of learning help. After all this emotional turmoil, I can honestly say I see why they don’t even start. So many Oreos and chocolate bars have died getting me through this, but I wonder, if I had done nothing, would those same Oreos etc. have suffered because of his unhappiness? It’s hard. It sucks. It is humiliating, especially when you cry. But my sister (one who has advocated for 2 children) said, “you need to cry in front of them, or else they won’t know how bad it is.”

I’m going to go get a drink now.*

 

*and by drink I mean one that is flavoured but non alcoholic perhaps even bubbly and with some caffeine because I’m still stuffing my feelings.

 

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2 thoughts on “Back to square one

  1. I am crying with you for the memories of everything I have gone through (and am still going through)… Be prepared if you get a psychological assessment done. They are GREAT as paperwork going forward, but can feel kind of invasive at the time.

    Do you schedule a meeting with the teacher every year at the beginning of the year? I found I had to “teach the [new] teacher” about my son, every year. Having a VP on your side is great for the board stuff and paperwork, but the teacher is the one with the most day-to-day contact and control over the experience at school.

    Once he is at the point where they switch teachers for different classes (this happened in middle school for my son) you have to concentrate on the teacher who has him for English, and any other writing-intensive classes. I had to explain all the time about the wiring in his brain and how with the executive function problems he couldn’t organize or prioritize ideas, then of course when he went to write anything down the dysgraphia (a specific fine motor problem involving writing — allthough my son has other motor problems like tying shoelaces and riding a bike) meant that it took him twice as much effort as a “normal” kid to get his thoughts on paper. All of which is invisible and gets masked by his intelligence and oral abilities.

    Meeting with teachers I asked for my son to be given more structured assignments; for more of his knowledge to be assessed orally, wherever possible; and reminded them that he was entitled to a scribe and extra time for any official (board or provincial) tests.

    It’s a complex process, and yes, tears are part of it. Get whatever paperwork you can (it definitely makes high school easier) but honestly, make the teacher your ally as much as possible.

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