Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Mothers Frustration ~Dear Vice Principal

Dear Vice Principal,

There are a few things I  need you to know. While my son may seem like a behavior problem and that I'm wishful thinking that he has some sort of special need that would explain away his problems. There is an entire back story you don't know about.

While you've only had these problems with him for the last 4 months, we've been dealing with this for the last 3 years. It started in first grade, when he had a teacher who wasn't so firm or strict I'd call her wishy washy. The problems started then and I voiced my opinions when it started getting out of control. We were referred to SST, then we were lied to about missing paperwork, and paperwork that was never filed and then it was well we filed the wrong paperwork because there is new paperwork. Cut to this teacher retiring and now we'll never know the truth.

Second grade, this is the horror story that I wish never was. This is the year the problems got worse, when he was leaving the classroom and running around campus. This is the year his teacher demeaned him in front of his classmates. This is the year that his teacher ripped his Easter Basket and Bunny in front of him and told him he couldn't go to the Easter party. This is also the year that the school finally decided to test the end of the school year mind you. So that the testing would take longer, so that it wouldn't be complete because his new third grade teacher wouldn't know enough about him to fill out her questionnaire about him.  I cried watching a video of the destruction he caused when his paper was ripped up, at the end of that video my son was sitting hiding under a table.

Third grade....this was the year I was hoping for. Finally we'd get Wolverine some help, this was going to be the year EVERYTHING changed. The year started off slowly, he was doing ok in his class then like all previous years it took a steep dive into the previous behaviors. He was sent home 3 days out of the 5 most weeks. There were days he'd never make it to class because he would hide and then walk around campus. Who was watching my son? Who was making sure he was safe in the one place he was supposed to be protected the most in?

The IEP day  came, I wasn't nervous one bit because with all the problems Wolverine was having who would deny him services? I was seriously wrong, I sat in that meeting gap jawed and in shock. Here sat a group of professionals telling me that all of Wolverines problems weren't anything more than a lack of parenting skills. He excelled at 1:1 testing. He's a bright kid they said, you just need to enforce more that he goes to school and to each class. (because you know, we weren't showing him how important it was already)

It didn't matter that his teacher noticed a entirely different change in him when it was time for a change in classrooms. It didn't matter that he was leaving class and running around. It didn't matter even more that he was at or near borderline for DEPRESSION, HYPERACTIVITY, AGGRESSION, ATYPICALITY, WITHDRAWAL AND ATTENTION PROBLEMS.

None of that mattered because he wasn't learning it had to be the parents right? It didn't matter that both I and his previous teacher noted the same scores and that Wolverine himself had the same scores as both I and his teacher.

I refused to sign this IEP, I knew they would have to take it back to the district, I knew that I could also ask for outside testing to be done at the cost of the school.

But at home trouble was brewing that most people didn't know about. We were about to be homeless, that 30 day timelime I kept in the back of my head was soon forgotten because we lost our house, we lost our dogs and barely able to move in enough time to have a roof over our heads.

Which brings us to current. Lets see what we already know.

1. We know that further testing was requested by the SpEd district.

2. We know that it was never done, that I was never contacted to have that testing started or done.

3. We moved into your school in Jan, plenty of time for that testing to have been finished. For them to realize
    there was more to Wolverines problems then previously stated.

4. Wolverine in the 5 months he has been at your school he has been suspended 3 times. With this last time coming to a head because you decided to put yourself between Wolverine and the wall. That you have threaten to call the police if that happened again.

But let me tell you what I know, what I know to be true for a parent who already has one child with special needs. Who makes it her life's work to help others, to inform herself of laws and regulations and behavior plans and the ins and outs of an IEP.

1. If Wolverine had been tested earlier for an emotional disability, it would have been found that he has one.

2. Because of that he would have a behavior plan. A plan in place to prevent the issues we are having.

3 He'd have a para, because he is a runner. He will ditch when it gets to much for him. A para would know how to handle this kind of situation. YOU never would have been called in to forcibly remove my son from a classroom.

But here is what I really know, YOU have no idea how to handle a child with a possible special need. YOU have no idea what is and what isn't with a special needs child. The perfect example of this is when you told me "well shouldn't Racer be fine now because we punished his bully?" If you knew ANYTHING about him or Autism you'd know we were dealing with a lot more then just a bully but a frame of mind. But my biggest issue with the fact that YOU made the decision to put yourself between Wolverine and the wall. YOU put yourself in harms way. YOU have no idea what is going on in his head and YOU have no idea how to handle the situation.

But I promise you that once Wolverine gets his IEP once he's protected and plans are in place to prevent him from getting suspended again and again. That YOU will never have to handle him again.

Frustrated Mother


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