Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is getting old already.

Had ANOTHER meeting today about my son. Actually two. The first was a meeting for them to tell us that he doesn't qualify for social skills training because he does not have a language deficiency which causes him to wrongly interpret social situations.

Yes. He misinterprets social situations and ascribes motives to others which are wrong. However, that issue is not *rooted* in a language deficiency, so therefore he doesn't qualify to receive training and support in social situations. (And how did they come to this assessment? By having an adult give him a standardized test, which he loves, and by having the adult observe him during one recess where he spent the whole time interacting with one child to the exclusion of: can I scream here? GROUPS OF CHILDREN!!)

Okay fine. He doesn't qualify, so no services. Love the bureaucracy.

Then we went to another meeting with me, Dear Butcher, the principal, and the case manager to go over the October/November IEP. I had changes, they needed to review the proposed edits to the notes, so we met.

It was at least two hours long, and I ended the meeting both crying and shaking. I have to stop doing this.

It was a good thing Dear Butcher was there, because we do the Good Cop - Bad Cop thing well. I would get frustrated and my voice would go up, and he would step in to smooth things over. Then he would get upset and I'd step in. Round and round we went.

We don't know how to serve him. OK, but you can't just stop serving him -- you have to figure out what will work. Talk to the psychiatrist. Talk to the therapist. Talk to us. "Well, I have six teaching credentials and nothing I do is working." My dear lady, this isn't ABOUT YOU and your ego. This is about the nine year old boy. Remember?

The principal is waiting for him to disappear from her school, and the case manager is waiting to get fired -- she told us that she knew that we wanted her gone. So it's up to the parents to say, "Guys. Cut it out. He's not going anywhere. You've been working with him for years, and you get to say goodbye to him at the end of next year anyway. We have to take care of him for the rest of his life, and right now you are Doing Damage to him. If you won't listen to us, please listen to the mental health professionals who are working with him. They Won't Medicate him until his environment at school changes."

To which the case manager replies in a very snarky tone, "Well, I'd like to have the psychiatrist come down here and see what we do all day. I'll bet he's never set foot in a school."

That's where I lost it. Shaking, crying, unable to speak, felt like I was going to throw up.

"You have him in school all day, and you're right. I don't know what goes on at school. But I have him at home all the time too. And you have no idea what goes on at home. Why don't you come over to my house some night when he can't sleep because he's scared to go to school? You have no idea how terrified he is at school, at home, all day long. The therapist is only just beginning to scratch the surface and there are a lot of monsters in there. Don't add to them.

"You don't know how he's convinced himself that the teacher hates him. You don't know that he wasn't able to go to the Valentine's Day party because he was sure that the party was an opportunity for th kids to show how much they hated him. You don't know that because you won't listen to us when we say that he has a complex disability. Something mental. Something physical. He is getting substantially worse and not only are you refusing to see it, but you are causing him damage. And for that I'm supposed to thank you."

So I'm glad I said all that, and I'm glad that at least two people seemed to "get it" by the end of the meeting that he isn't going to become a normal kid by the end of next week. But I'm pissed that it came to tears. I hate being the crying woman in the room. Why is it only worthy of being heard when a crying woman is delivering the message?

So the upshot of today's meeting? You're not going to believe it.

The principal says, "We need to have a meeting where everybody who works with Saul is all around one table and we need to talk this thing out. Having him in class isn't working. We don't have a pull-out program that fits him, and there aren't any programs in the area which are suitable. So lets meet, everyone, and figure out how we are going to help this kid."


Isn't that what we did in October?

Aren't the notes that we are meeting about TODAY, in February, to discuss and edit from that meeting in October? The one where everyone was in the room?

After I left the meeting I shook for about another hour.

I can't keep doing this. I may have a stress-induced heart attack right there in the room.

Hey, but maybe as the survivor of a parent death he'll qualify for different services. Maybe I'll do my "due diligence" and investigate that option.


Megan Frampton said...

Oh, Suisan, that is just so awful. I am so, so sorry you have to go through this again and again and again, just to get Saul help he needs and deserves.

So sorry.

CindyS said...

Lord have Mercy!! I swear I would have taken someone out. It's time for someone to give and I'm thinking the guy not giving him meds - even anxiety reducing ones is doing Saul a great injustice.

I'm sure you don't get a mental break ever cause right now the stuff going through mine - Gah! Is it time to look out of state or area for a better place for Saul. I can't imagine the expense but maybe there are financial programs to help. I swear, there should be way more support for people who have children with special needs.