Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Son's Kennedy Krieger Report Might as Well be Written on Toilet Paper

Graduation.  That's how I spell relief.  You have no idea what today being the last day of school means to me.  I think I am only coming to terms with it now that it's over.

My son has been at a "Special School" for over two years and it took until this week for me to realize that perhaps that was to his detriment.  He has had some great teachers there and some teachers I wonder about. I have always liked his speech pathologist who I thought was a dream in her concern and care for my son but it took me this long to get that A/ that may not actually be true and B/ it really hasn't been enough anyway.  If he had a label, like Autism or Aspeger, sadly, I think it might be easier.  If he were disruptive in class and caused a scene daily, I think it might actually be easier as well but because he is quiet, unassuming and kind, he is being overlooked and slowly slipping through the cracks, right before my eyes. 

If I hear one more person say "I had Owen in my class with a few other kids and he was nothing like them" I might actually scream.  Yeah, I get it.  Trust me, I pass kids in the hallways of that school who can't hold their heads up or stop themselves from drooling and it literally hurts my heart.  I have this in perspective.  My son doesn't have cancer and he doesn't have diabetes.  He didn't just thankfully survive 17 rounds of chemo.  He has use of his arms and legs.  He is a beautiful happy child.  He wasn't born with an ailment that will shorten his life or make it so that he is never capable of living alone but he has a learning disability and I as a parent expect that to be taken seriously and not brushed under the rug because it is easier and cheaper to ignore than to get off your ass and attempt to do something about it.

I can put my son in a private school but why should I have to do that?  He should be afforded his rights in this county and not pushed aside because he has "shown progress."  That is bullshit and everyone at that table knew it except perhaps the arrogant administrator.  I also expect for you as a teacher to be open to the fact that you don't know everything.  Get over yourself!  Is this about my son and his development or your own arrogance?  Because if it's actually just about my son, stop getting so offended when a parent, a neurologist AND a pediatrician question your horrible recommendation that has set my son up for failure next year, and years to come.

I'm lucky.  My kids are sweet, loving, fun and respectful.  River has her moments but Owen has always been a gentle soul.  He's just a good kid.  So when I run into administrators at his "Special School" who don't give two shits about his education and or growth, it makes my blood boil.

I'm also highly annoyed by a teacher who calls me aside to try to explain the Kennedy Krieger report.  Umm, I was there.  I discussed it with his Neurologist.  I know exactly what it means so when you then still try to explain it and do it backwards, like being in the 13% for understanding is a good thing, it makes me feel ill.  You as a teacher have written a recommendation for next year that screws him based on shitty, backwards information that you don't understand.  Admit that you don't understand it instead of setting my son up for failure. You think his understanding is ahead of his expression?  Really?  Where were you all year?  Have you been paying attention at all?

IEP, Individualized Education Program.  I can think of a few other things this means.  It also means, "Stripping you of your services if you show an ounce of growth and "Sorry, Kennedy Krieger didn't call me to cut through the red tape of arrogance so your kid gets nothing."  Sadly, both are true.

The exceptionally sad part is the treatment and dismissal my son's Pediatrician and Neurologist receive when they do call the school.  Our Neurologist is smarter than every single person who sat at the table at the last IEP meeting, combined (including me) and some are so arrogant that they will barely speak to them.  It is a travesty and leaves me with zero faith in the Anne Arundel County School System.

I DO NOT want to pull my son out and put him in a private school.  I'm still trying to believe in public schools but that belief is dwindling. I just question if they're equipped to handle any type of special needs that aren't clearly defined.

Oh the Places You'll Go!  I pulled that book out again this week to have his teachers and Speech Pathologist sign it like I have done and plan to do at the end of every school year.  I'm so glad I asked them to do it before that horrible meeting as I'm sure they all hate me now but as a parent of a special needs child, my last concern is making friends.  I thought when I bought him that book of the places he'll go.  I just didn't realize it would be through hell before he even hit kindergarten.

My angel deserves so much more.  We shouldn't have to beg for it.  One good thing, the Principal at his new school seems to listen when I speak and care more about actual facts than what is going on in her own head.  Novel idea.