Riana - posted on 09/11/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )
I'm a single mom who's been navigating the special needs world and schools since my son was a toddler and it seems like all I'm seeing are roadblocks, excuses why they can't provide essential accommodations or an adult with time to help my son succeed and a high lack in knowledge and training by teachers and staff, some within SPED, on behaviors, characteristics and the medical and psychological information crucial to understanding the way they function, behave and think. They lump every kid with a diagnosis of ADHD, as an example, as being the same and not having individual needs that differ from other kids with the same diagnosis. This does not count in also the fact or possiblity of other comorbid disabilites like Emotional Disturbance, Short Term memory disability, Sensory processing disorder and Spectrum disorders or traits. It's bad enough the round hole they try and force all the kids into in general is not reasonable or achievable and creates behavioral problems and does not allow time to deviate from schedules for necessary therapeutic free/creative release of energy, especially since recess is becoming not only a thing of the past, but being as a substitute for PE time and used against kids/special ed kids by removing that time as punishment. My son is drowning and so am I in this minefield where I am always outnumbered at least 7-10 to one and affording an attorney or advocate isn't possible with a $1500 min retainer. The laws are set up to protect children and say when a school cannot provide the necessary resources for a child with needs to succeed, the school must pay for an institution or school that can. For years I have heard, without the actual words ever being uttered, we cannot do this for your child, when pertaining to many and most of his needs. This allows for the schools to not be held responsible for the exorbitant tuition to special schools that can provide precisely what they need. So they can't and won't provide the necessary measures, whether it's hiring a specialist or someone trained to keep an eye your child and help them with remembering to put work in their binder, take it home, writing down assignments, giving one on one needs within the classroom and teaching skills/training the brain in note taking, and task prioritizing, because their brain is unable to do it for them, but your child is barely passing, so it's good enough. Your child is deeply depressed because of yelling by teachers all the time (states in IEP yelling emotionally effects him and turns him inwards), kids picking on them, assaulting them and putting the blame on them when incidents occur because they pay attention to how the teachers treat them and know they already stay on your child so much, it's second nature for the teachers to reprimand your child, for them to be at fault and has become a habit. School causes severe anxiety and outbursts by your kid because the teachers do not listen when your child is telling them when horrible things are being said or done to them ( 5th grade-being cursed at, called racist names, told f you, being called a pussy or a hoe) and told to not tattle, they are not allowed to go to the bathroom and are forced embarrassingly to wet themselves, even when they tell the teacher they cannot hold it and are in line at the bathrooms. They are embarrassed in front of the whole class for asking basic questions teachers are annoyed by, like "Can I go to the bathroom?" and then angrily screams to the whole class, "Who wants to waste time and not learn so they can take (child's name) to the bathroom?" (example from 5th grade, my son had issues since he was little not recognizing when he had to pee until the last minute. Happened right before class was about to start in the last period of the day and last teacher wouldn't let him go/no time between classes to either) or need explanation or understanding of word meanings, etc during a lesson because they can't remember the question they need to ask by the time the teacher's done, but they're told not right now every time. Teachers, including specials like art, music and PE, don't follow IEP's and BIPs, you are constantly getting phone calls at work, being told you have to leave because there was an incident, constant meetings with the teachers, principal, Sped team and behavioral specialist every week, ARD meetings every 2 months that appear to give you what you've asked and leave you exhausted and confused as to if what was discussed is actually in the IEP/BIP paperwork, only to find out later it isn't, and your child says over and over I don't want to go to school anymore and you are right there with them. But everything is ok to the school and state education agency because they're still barely passing and well designed mirage has been set in place to make it appear as if your child is getting what they need as far as the they're concerned and the only way you can prove it's not real is with paper proof that you will never be given and will only be discussed verbally, if at all. My son even endured physical abuse by a teacher, who when frustrated would squeeze his arm as tight as she could to force him to do what she wanted (he was left with red marks 2 hours later when I picked him up on multiple occasions and bruises), after they were told he had been physically abused at 3 by a teacher who would punch him in the stomach and was part of the reason he doesn't trust teachers. It wasn't documented on paper, even though there was an admission by the principal who told me the problem was properly taken care of and the teacher was reprimanded after an investigation of the allegations. I was never given paper proof of the incidences. How can I protect my smart, bright, clever child from being passed over and his well being destroyed for the sake of a school keeping their funding and not handing it over to a school that he will flourish in? What's the point if my child of 11 may very well kill himself, as he has already started talking about for the past 2 years, because of the treatment endured in school that is not appropriate to his needs, teachers that are unqualified to handle him or appropriate resources available? They spend millions in litigation fighting parents protecting their kids, but can't afford to admit they are failing and can't accommodate the needs of thousands of children who need a facility that's appropriate for these children. I feel like I've been screaming inside for so long and the anxiety and depression my child and I endure is tearing us apart. How are there not more advocates, that don't take advantage by asking for high fees to help them, and protections in place so families and children with needs aren't punished to the point that by the time something is done, it's too late and the child has been failed and irreparable damage is done?