My title isn't even a little bit kidding. I feel like I've ruined Vince forever regarding school.
As a child, I always looked at school as something fun. I enjoyed learning and I RELISHED taking tests because I liked to challenge myself to see how much I knew. I even liked pop quizzes. I always assumed my kids would one day be the same way.
How wrong I was and how incredibly harmful my expectation has been for Vincent.
I fear I pushed him too early into preschool, and the experience has left him scared of school altogether.
The knowledge of that kills me. It absolutely kills me.
Once again, I got a call from the principal telling me they could not work with his specific set of issues in the classroom. My husband and I had warned them of this MONTHS ago, but they poo-pooed us and assured us they were more than capable of handling his particular brand of behavior.
Now they realize they should've listened to us a little more carefully, because their Child Study Team could not assess what we'd already seen firsthand - Vincent is not equipped to handle a mainstream classroom. He's certainly smart enough, but from a behavioral standpoint, he is simply not ready to handle mainstream education. At least not yet.
And now they realize it after a grueling two months of frustration on their part and on Vincent's part.
I hate this. Vincent gets such anxiety about going to school which only makes his time there that much more difficult. The teachers are getting overly frustrated with him and it makes for a very upsetting experience for everyone... most especially Vincent. That sort of experience is enough to scare him off of school forever. What's to stop him from being terrified of school next September?
Four schools in 9 months. The Learning Experience (which he loved), St. Theresa's (which helped us diagnose him with Sensory Processing), Tippy Toes (which harbored a bully), and now the public school which gave us an overly confident CST that now only wants to touch him if he gets an Autism diagnosis.
Pardon me while I cry my eyes out in frustration, disgust, and guilt.
I feel like I've failed him so terribly in such an important area of his life... I don't even know how to handle myself right now. I don't know how to handle him. I don't know how to handle John who is just as upset and frustrated as I am.
This entire year has been one massive struggle after another with his schooling, diagnosis, therapy and ARGH. I don't know how to navigate this for him. It's my job to know... my expertise is education, and I can't figure out what to do or where to turn without causing even greater damage to him.
There is no school that will take him now... not with only a few weeks left in the year. Next year no one wants to touch him because he doesn't have a "proper diagnosis."
WTH is a proper diagnosis??? He's been seen by a developmental pediatrician and she diagnosed him with Sensory Processing Disorder. It's not in the DSM, but it's recognized as a valid disorder by doctors across the world. There are therapies aimed at teaching a child to handle the symptoms. But yet because it isn't in some stupid blue book schools use as guidelines for IEPs, Vincent can't get the help he needs???
THAT ENRAGES ME!
It's not like he's a bad kid. All of his teachers insist that his intelligence is above average and he is perfectly sweet, obedient and docile in a small group environment. He's super affectionate and compliant. It's only when he's in a large group that his symptoms show and he falls apart and becomes a wailing, inconsolable mess of screams, tears and frustration.
I can understand that. It's like asking a blind kid to read a book. It's going to solicit frustration and tears because a blind kid CANNOT READ until you give him braille.
Vincent CANNOT learn in a large group. He is best suited to a small group environment. We've known this since the beginning of the school year, yet no one wants to try that because he doesn't have an Autism diagnosis.
What they're telling me is that they don't want to try that approach because without a "proper diagnosis" the government won't subsidize him as a special ed student. If they're not getting paid to teach him, why bother?
*Cue more tears*
I hate this so much, and I pushed him into it thinking that along the line, they'd finally understand he needs a small group and allow him access.
Stupid me. Arrogant me.
And now my son has almost 9 months of fear and anxiety under his belt by being bounced around in my attempt at giving him what I thought he needed.
And what has it done for him? What have I done to him long-term?
I shudder to think of it.
And now I don't know what to do. Short of quitting my job and homeschooling him, myself, I have no idea what to do.
I am lost. God help me, I am lost.
((HUGS)) my friend. First off, you did not ruin Vincent. You will all survive. Trust me, I've been there. Some lessons are harder than others for us and our kids. The issue of SPD not being recognized in the DSM is huge, huge enough that kids who were diagnosed with SPD under previous DSM versions were virtually all "migrated" to an autism diagnosis (just as aspergers were) when the DSM-V came out. And it's not just the school systems, a friend locally resisted having her son moved to an autism diagnosis and lost her insurance coverage for occupational therapy. Yes, there is money involved but I've had to be of the mind that sometimes you have to play the game in order to get what you need. Which is why children with mitochondrial disorder/disease are in my child's autism classroom. Their parents can't get services for them any other way. Four months is a much longer time for our kids than we give them credit for. Four months after my husband threw my child with autism into the ocean scaring the crap out of her so badly she refused to get into the tub again, she was surfing. It is just as possible that Vincent won't remember or will be willing to try again as it is that he resists it. But right now, right in this moment of confusion and sadness and regret, it's hard to think of that at all. Enjoy Vincent, do what you can therapy-wise without school assistance, if you have friends or family that can help out in any way, let them (I wish someone had said that to me when my girl was younger). Give yourself time to relax and pray and just love your boy. God's timing and plans are greater than ours and someday, I promise, you'll look back and think of this as just a small detour. Praying for you and John and Vincent.
4/16/2014 12:12:34 pm
I know you mentioned homeschooling in a "this is not a serious option" way, but could it work? I say this because in the past I used to facetiously say "well maybe I should just stay at home with our daughter" and now I'm graduating college and doing exactly that.
4/16/2014 03:33:41 pm
If I remember correctly you did research on this school and you were the one who was misled when they told you it would work. We as moms take the guilt when things like this happens to our children. You will feel the frustration because what you thought was a solution turned into another problem. You can't be too hard on yourself there is another door waiting to be opened by the 3 of you and knowing your determination you will find it. My prayers are with you and finding that door.
4/19/2014 04:47:55 am
Please don't toss homeschool out as your last resort but a viable option (maybe not the right one, but one to consider). I chose to homeschool my son and it was not what I expected myself to do. I was making small talk with a coworker and just to find SOMETHING to say, as I didn't know her very well but knew she was homeschooling her daughter, I said, "So, how's the homeschooling going?" I THANK GOD everyday for the events that lead to me being next to that coworker at that moment. After researching it after that for a year and a half, I convinced my husband who has a bad back and is home, for us to give a home-based charter school a try. My number one reason was that when a child turns 5 or 6, they still learn at different times. When they are babies, you aren't supposed to worry about who walks first, talks first, etc. because they are all different. Yet that is supposed to change at 5? We are finishing our 2nd year (first grade) and even though I'm the one who leaves to go to work, we do our schooling on the weekend and the kids hang out with dad during the week, learning gardening, carpentry, chores, etc. I really love it. Since then, I look forward to learning more about my Catholic faith, more apologetics, as I teach it to my kids and I didn't get in 12 years of Catholic school. I'm not saying that this is definitely the right thing for you, but consider it as a possible option, not a last resort. Prayers for you!
Leave a Reply.
Top Rated Entries
My Darkest Secret
Do Animals Have Souls?
10 Things a Parent of an SPD Kid Wants to Say
Fun and Easy Lenten Crafts
Blessed Mother as Intercessor
Loss of Life
Women Priests II
Render Unto Caesar
The Godparent Poem
NYT Anti-Catholic Ad
Pages I Stalk
A Woman's Place
Having Left the Altar
Fr. Z @ WDTPRS
These Stone Walls
St. Joseph's Vanguard
Traditional Latin Mass
Truth, Beauty and Goodness
The Way Out There
Written by the Finger of
Little Catholic Bubble
So You're a Church Musician
There and Back Again
Make It - Love It
St. Monica's Bridge