Friday, November 21, 2008

The Ugliness and Misunderstandings

So, shocked and surprised MJ's teachers didn't respond as I thought they would, I went and talked to the Special Ed teacher. I told him how I thought it was dumb that the district didn't care about accommodating a child with high functioning autism unless he was failing. So what if academically he is doing "alright". "Alright" is fine, but from all the tests they had done with MJ, they had come to the results that his intelligence was within what they called "genius range", and so I thought--let this kid live to show his full potential!

MJ was in a gifted program, but I know he would soon fall behind. He could not communicate smoothly or fast enough. His handwriting was terrible and so slow that he could not finish assignments on time or finish in class. He needed to be "cued in" before explaining any important information or else it would not register with him later.

I remember earlier, as they were coming to a possible conclusion of Asperger's Syndrome, that when I told this to the teacher, she immediately disagreed. But it's OK. There are actually a lot of variations of Asperger's Syndrome. It doesn't always mean you are antisocial or only smart focusing on one subject. It can have all sorts of characteristics.

But now, here we were, and this was the diagnosis, and why did she want me to figure this out, when she wasn't going to accept it in the end?

I talked to the Special Ed teacher about the lack of response from MJ's teacher, and he suggested making some sort of a notebook to pass to and from school as a communicater between the teacher and me. I thought this was weird somewhat, but I left and figured something might get passed along to the teacher.

And yes, I received phone calls and a letter--all which made me feel dumb and embarrassed, but MJ's teacher said she didn't read the paperwork and emails and reports as being a final diagnosis. She thought they were still trying to figure things out, so that is why she didn't respond much. (Of course, having a form of autism will be a lifetime of figuring out things, and this is only the beginning, but it is enough to want to start something in the school system as far as restructuring some things.)

I felt bad I had created this sort of ugliness and tension between us, but I was angry that after sending in pages of medical paperwork and writing a super long email, she had come back with so little. She apologized up and down, and being that it was nearing the end of the school year, she made plans on what she would do for MJ starting next fall.

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