Sunday, November 16, 2008

Informing the School

So, we took all this paperwork and went to MJ's school. We gave it all to the teacher, and we emailed the speech therapist and talked to the special ed teacher. And then we waited for a response.

And then, to our surprise, we didn't get one. Well, we got a short email back saying something like "thanks for the email and let us know of anything if it pertains to the school setting".

And I was angry and frustrated. Here we had all these teachers and people telling us that we needed to go get MJ checked out, and then we did, and we got an answer, but then it was like nobody cared. I was like, "Hey! YOU are the ones that told us to see what was wrong, but in the end you don't even want to hear it?"

So, being upset and angry, I surpassed his school and went right to the school district. I called up and talked to the district coordinator of children with special needs. And then I was more shocked.

I explained to her how MJ had been diagnosed and I was wondering how his school plan was going to change to help him. Yes, he was smart, but he was having difficulties with writing and speaking as part as his Asperger's and it was taking bad effect at school toward his performance. I wanted to know what I was supposed to be having take place. Like, isn't he supposed to have an I.E.P (specialized individual education plan) and isn't he supposed to have some sort of accomodations if needed now that he has been through all this medical testing and they have officiated an answer?

The district coordinator basically told me that it didn't matter what medical diagnosis anyone had, but that they would not do anything as long as a student was not failing. So, since MJ wasn't failing, then why should he need any changes in the classroom?

I was extremely upset by this woman. Basically, I can have a super smart child who will never be able to show his full potential because the school district won't allow him to produce his work by any other means (word processor, computer, typing, giving extra time, testing orally, etc...) except for the normal rules for any normal student.

No, I didn't want MJ to get special treatment, and I didn't agree that he should not practice his handwriting and go to only typing things, but I did think that some things needed to change or be allowed so he could perform better at school.

To me, it was like having a Stephen Hawking but not allowing him to be in a regular classroom or to use a computer to speak. Yeah, I'm sure he could just go on doing so-so work and not finishing assignments because of his processing delay and coordination issues with handwriting, and not being able to answer questions in class because of his language issues, but if he was really so smart, then why couldn't they let him be able to show it?

OK, so I was somewhat jumping the gun, being that I had not had a real 2 way discussion with the teachers at his school yet, but I was just surprised by their lack or reaction and then the district rules seemed so dumb to me.

So, I went back to the school and went straight to the Special Ed teacher who had been best to help before.

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