Friday, March 22, 2013

Just blame the mother... a time honored tradition

It's been a while since I had a good rant on the school. I think we're due. As a bit of a preview, a little of an introduction, here's the text message I sent after getting the e-mails scheduling a conference...

"F*** this son of a b******* bull****, I've f****** HAD IT!!! Piece of s***, a** f******, hell hole of a so called school!!! ...personal attacks on certain staff members edited out... I can't wait for this soul sucking year to be over! In related news, I got the conference I wanted."
and this is what happened... it all started long ago with Walter and Alex. but we're not going that far back. we're just going a little back... like, two weeks. or a week... something like that. Anyway, I took the Goofy One to see the eye doctor. His reading/writing trouble is not his eyes. ok, fine. I go back to the school, to the counselor, because someone has to have an idea of what we can do. I'm willing to try anything. I'm desperate to try anything. The counselor says she can go to Goofy's parent/teacher conference with me and we can discuss what's going on with him, if he needs help, and what we can do to help him. Great. That sounds awesome. He has a parent/teacher conference sometime the third week of March.

Except, when I checked my calendar, the third week was over and we never had a conference. Never got a date. or a time. nothing. So, I e-mail the teacher. The teacher says she sent out a form the week of March 7. I didn't get a form. I didn't return a form. and she never thought to see why not? Especially considering the amount of time I spend in her face about his problems? Whatever. my bad. She agrees to set a date to have the conference I missed. I told her the counselor was coming, I told her I have concerns about reading/writing. I thanked her for going out of her way to do this.

Yesterday, the Goofy One comes in and looking at his daily behavior report, I see he is now on spring break. with no word on a conference. as soon as I message my friend Bec that this is really starting to piss me off because I really feel like I'm being avoided, I see I have a new e-mail. From Goofy's teacher. to set a date/time. Yay, I'm so excited! This is GREAT! until I see she cc'd in someone I don't know. Why is she cc'ing an unknown address? until I look closer and see she cc'd the effing nurse!!!!

Now, I like the nurse. quite a bit. but not to be going to Goofy's meeting. because I have a feeling the blame is going to be laid on his meds. or me. about his meds. no matter what, this invitation involves his meds. and that's horsecrap.
  1. I very rarely forget to give him his meds. those are just seriously messed up mornings and I always call school when it happens. and the nurse always has a few pills on hand for when it does.
  2. No, he has not been doing so much better with the increased dose because a) I e-mailed her the very day he started it which means she did not see all of those improvements in the days leading up to the e-mail, or if she did, it was not because of the meds. b) he's angry, aggressive, defiant and not friggin sleeping.
  3. No, he is not doing so much better taking the meds at school because a) the mornings are pure hell, b) the bus driver sighed when he got on the bus yesterday. The man who always has a smile and an "I got this" attitude. c) he can't go back and sit with his friends on the bus. and he worked hard to not have to sit in the front seat.
No matter what, inviting the nurse to this meeting is a signal that we are not going to have a nice, easy meeting where I can ask and they can answer. This is a signal that we are arming up for an all out poop flinging extravaganza. so, fine. I'll see your nurse and raise you two principals. So, I cc'd the principal (who likes to be in on all of my meetings when she can) and the Mystery Man (who likes to be in the loop) to let them know that either date was good for me.

and now, I'm just tired. So very tired. Tired of the constant fight, tired of the blame, tired of everything turning into a parenting issue. It's bad enough we parents (mothers) cause our children's autism, it really sucks that we're also to blame for every single thing that goes wrong at school. For example...


and...


I may be to blame for a lot of things that my kids do, maybe I could do a lot of things better. Maybe I could be stricter in some areas, maybe I could lighten up in others. Maybe I could work harder and use less excuses. I may be the reason he has ADHD but, let me tell you something right now, I am not the reason my son can't read.

Yes, I could work with him more on sight words... if I knew what they were.

Yes, I could work with him at home on the things they work on at school... if I knew what that was.

Yes, I could help him more in the areas he's struggling... If I didn't have to guess at it.

The problem here is a complete lack of parent/teacher communication. I don't want to hear "he's fine." just because the teacher doesn't want me to worry. I don't want to see report cards full of "Nears Expectations" and "Meets Expectations" when the work he brings home tells a very different story. I don't want to hear how "normal" he looks or that a stranger walking into the classroom wouldn't be able to see which child is having trouble. I know, believe me, I damned well know how "normal" the boy looks. That doesn't change the fact that he can't read. That doesn't change the fact that going by his kindergarten nephew's work, he is not working anywhere near grade level.

The teacher is doing her best in the classroom, I am doing my best at home but until we can work together as a team, until I know how to help him, until I don't have to beg for homework and get directives like practice using scissors and following multi-step directions, until I get the real story on where he's at vs where he needs to be and how to get him there... I can't help him. and that's not my fault.

I have enough mommy-guilt. I don't need the schools heaping it on just because they don't want to take their part of the blame.

15 comments:

  1. Again, I've got nothing to add, nothing I CAN add, except to say I admire you more with each post I read.

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  2. I have been there. We had our most recent IEP meeting I ended up in tears and screaming my head off in my car afterwards. They actually had nerve to tell me that my 6 year old son that likes to scratch hit behind will have to be put in an institution when he becomes a teen because he may not be safe to be around the general pubic since he will be a sexual predator. I swear, I am about to start a movement to hold seminars for these teachers. They seems to forget that they are talking to people with hearts about their children. Our children matter and aren't things. They need to imagine that it's their own child they are talking about then phrase things appropriately. Our school system hates me because I am one of "those" parents that is very involved and knows all of our rights legally.

    You and I could have vent sessions together lol

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    1. It's always good to know you're not alone ;)

      ...would there be some sort of adult beverage at these vent sessions?

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    2. Wouldn't that be implied? LMAO. I know it sounds clich but I get so sick of my friends that don't have special needs kids telling me how amazing I am. I feel like I am just doing what any mom would do for their kids. But mostly, I feel like I'm just treading water most of the time. I don't complain because I really do have it so much easier with my son that other kids with autism. Heck, my 18 year old daughter with mild Asperger's is harder to deal with than he is. I think we need a private space online somewhere where we just just whine and gripe to our heart's content without feeling guilty about it.

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    3. LOL! You found that place :) we whine about our kids a lot ;)

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  3. All the things you are going through with Goofy is almost identical to what I went through with my son. Why is it when they can't find anything "wrong" they immediately blame the mom's parenting skills?? When my son was finally diagnosed with Aspergers (at age 13!!), it just made me more angrier at what the school put us through all those years. Keep kickin butt girl!!

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    1. Kristy, I always look forward to your comments, thank you. You always make me feel like I'm not as crazy as I worry I may be :)

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  4. I think it is just that time of year! I am in the same space with James's school. PEACE

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    1. Sarah, I hope things work out well for you.

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  5. Oh Mama! It's the finger pointing that gets me too. We changed our son's school & while we like this situation so much more, he's still falling behind his peers. We know it, they know it, he knows it. Except today's excuse is that he really knows the material, but he has some sort of bad habit that needs to be worked on. If the habit can be broken then somehow he'll meet all speech & other special service goals. They say he CAN do it if he's redirected or reminded....but the goal says with 'no more than 2 prompts'....so duh...he doesn't meet the goal, he's NOT doing it. And somehow it's his fault because of a habit he's created? What the he!!. :(

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    1. If they think it's behavior, you can request an FBA...
      ( http://cecp.air.org/fba/default.asp ) Make sure all requests are in writing. If it's a regular school, include the person above the principal. I don't know where you're at but in St. Louis that would be the Special School District Area Coordinator.

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    2. Oh I feel you on this one. Mac is right. Get an FBA. When I made my request I wrote an email and cc'd the principal, the head of the autism dept with the school board, and a facilitator from Families Helping Families in my area. When they say everyone that was included and that I had included the pics of their "modification" that caused marks on my son they hopped to real fast. Once they know that you know your stuff and that you will hold them accountable and responsible for actually teaching the children instead of passing the buck they will do everything to keep you happy.

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