Tuesday, July 11, 2006

CAUTION....

I am a women scorned, is that a phrase? Not even sure it's an accurate statement to describe how I feel. I feel like crap. So many questions and not even sure how to even begin to form them. Why does God give you a peak of how life could be only to not give it to you? Or maybe he is going to give me what I want or desire, he's just making me work really really hard for it. I don't get it, why, what's it all for? For those of you keeping up with the saga that is my life, with a child with special needs, lets have a little recap shall we.

First I'd like to thank all the folks (like 3 maybe) who read my blog on a regular basis. To those of you who have left kind comments to let me know you are thinking about me. And to those who are sincerely have been keeping us in your prayers, I feel it, I know God has a plan, he's just keeping it top secret, for whatever reason.

Now lets recap....

In March Perry completed his evaluations with Childrens hospital, and was diagnosed with a language based learning disability. Diagnosed may or more may not be the correct term since I'm not so sure anyone has actually said "Perry has a language based learning disability, although all the therapists in their reports said "it could be".....why can't anyone be straight with me....and just freakin say this is what he has. The entire report has conflicting information, like them asking me questions and them taking it in a different way and typing stuff out of context....wow feel like a misquoted celebrity. There was only a few instances in the rather lengthy report. For the most part it appears to be an accurate assessment. When we went for our closing interview with Dr. Mason when all the evaluation were complete.

She reccommended Springer. This is the first I had heard of the place, but it sounded interesting, ecspecially after the 2 years in hell otherwise known as public school IEP-BS! So I began investigating. The website described children much like Perry. And lucky us, there was an Open house in a few weeks. This was April. Ron and I attended the Open House. As different administrators descibed Springer and their philosophy on teaching and the types of kids they help to succeed in life, I wanted to cry because it was just so perfect. Like you know that sigh of relief sort of thing.....like someone might actually understand what's going on with my kid. Then we heard the cost of the tuition.....which was like paying for college. And our hearts sank there was no way we could afford it. I took a financial aid form and split, thinking we probably make to much money to qualify, and too little to actually pay for it. I sent it in reluctantly. And heard back from them that we scored 50% tuition aid. It was still pricey but completely doable. Felt like God was on my side. So we met with the admissions director, Ron and I. She had looked over Perry's rather lengthy file, seeing that his IQ was lower than they usually see in their students, and he had some social skill issues they don't normally see. She wasn't sure Perry would be a good fit for Springer. Yeah I know I was devastated too.......How could she say all this having never met the kid? His IQ score is 75-77 for those of you who know what that means. However the therapist who did the test at Childrens said in his report that those numbers should not be considered since he has other focusing issue that could hinder him from being tested properly HELLO, did she skim that part? She said she'd take Perry's file and have a meeting with other administrators, and come to a decision if they wanted to move forward with the admission process. UGH.....

Finally heard back from her, although much longer than she had said it would take. Not sure how that happened but I lose track of time too, it happens. She said they'd like to move forward with the admissions process the next step was for Perry to visit the school. We scheduled a date. Which was today.

I did everything I knew to do to prepare him for the visit. I talked about what kind of school it was. I told him when we'd be going and what I thought we'd do while we were there. I show'd him pictures from their website of what it looked like. I show'd him some things they do there, ect....He was excited. Said he might make new friends at his new school and that would be fun. So we head out, we get to the school and met the admissions director, who is a lovely lady, she reminds me of Cheri Oteri from SNL, the one who did the crazy lady on the porch who'd yell "it's mine I keep it.." and she did the spartan cheerleader with Will Farrel, but I digress....so she's nice. She asked Perry if he'd come back and talk with her in her office for a few minutes, and then they'd take a tour of the school. He was ok with that and went back with her. They were gone at the most 10 minutes. She came out and said that she thought they'd do the tour first. She stated he was pretty much unresponsive to any question she'd ask. Yeah that's cause he don't know you.

So we walked around and he was acting kind of shy, and not saying ANYTHING, he'd point at the ceiling in the artroom that had planets on it and said "cool", but expressive in anyway he was not. She'd ask him general questions like how is this school different than your school, and he'd give a one word response..."bigger"....we finished the tour, which was rather short. We went back to her office, and she said "maybe your mom can come back with us would that make you feel better, he shrugged then nodded......she had a paper with general questions like favorite holiday, what do you like about school, favorite toy, pets name, ect......yeah he answered none of it. As far as I could tell. So she sat right next to him at her desk I was behind them, so she was pretty close, asking him questions and waiting....in silence for a response. "what's your favorite holiday?......." He would look around, squeeze his lips together and look at me....as if to say why is she asking all these questions....I DON'T KNOW HER.... I had this sick feeling in my stomach as I sat back and watched this back and forth of nothingness. Knowing that him getting to go to Springer was going to be solely based on his file of low IQ scores and this strange meeting with the admissions director. It's like the people who are suppose to know the most about kids with learning disabilities, do the things to them that they have to know aren't going to work, as if they are set up to fail. As we ended the meeting of nothingness which lasted a total of less than 45 minutes, she said "we're kind of stuck aren't we?" You think? She said "we'll keep in touch, I'd like to see him here but maybe next year....." That's it? You aren't going to take my kid in your school, because he won't answer your questions about his life? HE DON'T KNOW YOU! Apparently shy kids don't go to Springer. Did you happen to notice LANGUAGE BASED LEARNING DISABILITY?

I am so freakin confused. What was I suppose to do beg? Answer the questions for him? Explain to her it'd be helpful if you got to know him a little bit before you drilled him with question after question and then just sit there while he doesn't answer. As she was behind me, and I was leaving, I had to walk away no eye contact because I was going to cry. And cry I did in the car. I was mad, and I lashed out a tiny bit at Perry. Why not just answer her simple questions? Why not? Why not be your charming cute self you normally are on any other given day? Why clam up when I need you to talk? WHY? Why not draw her a picture something to show your personality? So we went to Deweys, and I sat alone at the table and discreetly wiped my tears, while my non-interactive kid interacted with the pizza making guys, as he watched them toss dough through the window. Waving, smiling and playing peek-a-boo. So I sat a cried.......what happens now? I don't know. I'm numb......

9 comments:

Heather said...

You need to throw the ball back in Springer's court. Call her back up tomorrow -- even type out a "script" if it will help you stay on target and say what you need to say. But, you need to reiterate to her that he has a language-based learning disability and read to her (word for word) what the report says. Explain to her that he doesn't talk to "strangers" and that combined with the disability made it nearly impossible for him to answer her. And, that if she were to do the interview again, now that he knows her, and if she would allow him to answer in a different form - other than verbal - OR allow him to see the questions before (or even AS) he answered, there would be a better response. Finally, ask her for her "professional" opinion of what she would do if Perry were her child. Where would she want him placed, if he were her child? And, I'd call her tomorrow. It sounds as if she'd like to work with you, but she's not sure where you stand (as if there would be any doubt!). If that doesn't work, and you do go back to public school, find another exceptional child parent (or even call Children's Hospital and ask for a referral to a parent support group). There are parental support groups NATION-WIDE that do NOTHING but keep parents of exceptional children informed of their rights and changes in legislation, etc... With Perry being on an IEP, you have the right to call together the team (teacher, student, parent, administration) at any time you wish -- and if you wish to call them together weekly, that's your choice and it will happen. AND, if Perry's current school cannot accomodate him according to his educational plan, they are OBLIGATED to find a school that can. (that's law!) When you've gone to your IEP meetings, have you been given a copy of your parental rights? Have you been given copies of Perry's IEP and testing (by the school)? Has the school seen Perry's Children's Hospital report?

God is still on your side. Who knows why these things happen? God thought it would be fun to see what happened when we thought on our own -- and so, we have to live with our own decisions (as well as the decisions of others). The good news is this: God loves you and loves PERRY! As much as you want what's best for Perry, God wants what's best for you both MORE! And, His grace is sufficient for any time -- any place -- any situation. And, while the ride may not be what we had in mind, the destination is greater than we can ever imagine!

Heather said...

dang if that wasn't long!!! ;)

sewcynful said...

Ditto to what Heather said. ANd let's say the Springer thing doesn't work out and Perry stays at West. Third grade will not be like last year. Every year is different. This might be the BEST year for Perry and for you. His teacher might be 180 degrees different from Mrs M. Just remember there are pros to both situations, and God does have a plan for you. I am praying and open for Coldstone anytime you're ready to talk.

Teresa said...

Ditto Heather's comment. Hang in there and I'll keep praying.

Melinda said...

Heather gave tons of good advice & even though you feel like you've had some shoveling of junk on top of you, I say, take the bull by the horns and GO FOR IT AGAIN.

I must say that I would know lots of kids Perry's age who would NOT be able to hold a decent conversation with an adult in an interview situation like that. Seems a little ridiculous to me to expect that from a kid especially if activities were not going on (say she asks him questions while he's drawing or they are doing something unrelated to interviewing).

Please keep us posted. I've been thinking about you a lot. The blanket is Maggie's favorite b-day gift & EVERYONE at her school is very jealous. (Don't worry...I'm telling them all where I got it). :)

Kathryn said...

Heather has given you some great advice......hugs and prayers to you, my friend! :)

Kathryn<---one of your faithful blog readers :)

Solidarity said...

Jodi, I am at a loss for words for you because I can't possibly imagine how you feel right now. I am not at a loss for words for God, though. I will ask him [again, and again, and again] to guide you. I believe that all things do happen for a reason. I know that you'll get where you're going and say, "Oh, so *that's* what He wanted. *Now* I get it." I know that and feel that to my core.

I don't know if you read on my blog awhile back that I think you are one of the most dedicated and loving mothers I know. You are selfless and patient and loving. It comes through in everything you do and say... yes, even when you're frustrated. Hang in there, my friend. You (collectively) are on my mind and in my heart.

I know you hate this, but you know I gotta... {{HUGS}} K.

Connie P. said...

Jodi, my heart is breaking for you right now. I agree with everything Heather said.

And, you know what? Megan would probably act the same exact way in that situation with an adult she has never met. Heck, she acts that way with people in my family who she doesn't see often (like my dad).

I will continue to pray for you and Perry.

Julie said...

Big hugs to you! (even tho you don't like them). :-) Wish I was closer to you!! Don't give up - you can't!!
xoxoxox