Monday, February 9, 2009

More On My Mind

I hope I don't look like a "labeler" after that last post. It's really not my thing. I also don't mean to minimize Goldie's Down syndrome in any way either. Its just their mom I worry about all of them. Mini Me's math struggles are on my mind just as much as Goldie's learning to drink from a cup. kwim?

This is Mini Me's first year in public school and up until now I've placed a lot of blame on myself. For the first time, I've been able to step back and see that I've done so much with her and maybe there is something else going on. I went to the school to ask for extra help for her and was told they already have an aide in the room. She helps all the kids. It wasn't until I suggested my child could have a learning disability did they offer to do anything. Do I think she needs an IEP? Probably not. But, unless I'm willing to speak the Special Needs language, she isn't going to get the help she needs. After talking to the principal for 2 hours (!) he tells me "parents don't usually ask for help for their child" She still hasn't mastered concepts that wre introduced at the end of 2nd grade and she's half way thru 4th! How far behind were they waiting for her to get? This is the only subject she needs support in, so it looks to them like she's just slacking. But I see the tears of frustration at home.

Before Goldie, I don't know if I would have sought help from the school. I would have been too proud. But now that I have a child whose diagnosis includes mental retardation, I don't care what people think.

Aaah. Its nice to get all of that out.

Now, why its really bothering me...

I keep thinking about inclusion. If they can't meet a "typical" child's needs, what will they have to offer Goldie? The Special Needs classroom is at a school on the other side of town and the Autism class is also at another building. I may be new to all of this, but I don't think inclusion means having a seperate class in your district. Then there was the comment to me by one of Mini Me's teacher suggesting that she just doesn't think my daughter is very smart. I wanted to puke. Where did she get that idea? Please tell me its because of the math anxiety and not because she has a sibling with DS. Will I fight for inclusion for Goldie so she can have this woman as a teacher?

I shouldn't even be thinking this far ahead. I have to trust that it will all work out. I'll have the wisdom when the time comes to decide what is best for Goldie.

Now, when I'm not bitching about my kid's school, I'm actually doing things with her. This weekend we made a 3-D version of the North Eastern states to help her learn the landmarks. Mini Me reports that the teacher was way impressed :)


Beverly said...

What a cool little map you all made!

Hey, it is all so frustrating thinking of school and all that goes with it. I thought ahead like you are doing now and prayed for what was best for Noah. I never thought I would ever homeschool, never entered my mind, that is until the bruise on his arm and fighting for a year for them to actually teach my child instead of just baby sitting.

SunflowerMom said...

When I think of kgarten for Sean I hyperventalate! It is hard not to think ahead and I have to constantly remind myself that he changes slowly but in many ways drastically within a year. Thank God his bday is after the cut off daye and he has an extra year of preschool. I hope by then I will have a better idea of what is the right thing to do.

I love reading Beverly's homeschooling blog! She has so many great things she is working on with Noah.

Your map project is terrific! It looks like you are finding ways to reach her and help her. I hope you can get the extra help she needs to succeed. I am sure she is a bright girl, she just needs creative teaching!

Jennifer said...

I dread fighting the school battle for Aidan. Apparently, our district is not so much about inclusion come kindergarten. They want all the special needs kiddos in one building. I like to think that all of our kids have special needs. I'm sure your daughter is very smart, even if she learns in a different way than the school is used to. I wish teachers and schools could start treating all of our kids like individuals.

Monica said...

Ugg how frustrating for you!!!! I really wonder sometimes about some people, saying or suggesting your daughter just isn't smart is so wrong!!! Instead she she be wondering how to better reach her, makes me think she is a lazy teacher looking for excuses. I'm okay sorry, I'm probably the wrong person to comment on this after the school year we had!!! Good Luck!!! I think your girls are very lucky to have you for their Mom!!! Love the map!

Ruby's Mom said...

I left you an award on my blog.

Great map!

Lisa said...

I think you're an amazing mama. Doesn't help you, I'm sure, but I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you.