Thursday, March 24, 2011

To blog or not to blog...

After a day like today, I wonder whether I should sit down and write it all out or just stick it away in the 'never to access again' files. No... I will blog. Probably. And when I'm done I'll decide if I will actually publish it or not.

Short story: good meeting with RR this morning and then a meeting at the school which wasn't awful but wasn't great. I was surprised by a few things and not by others. In general I am more educated as far as what our trouble areas area and what potential combinations there may be to be able to make things work. And yet still no solutions which actually solve all the difficulties.

Main issue: we have 6 special needs students all needing to be educated and no school can accommodate all of them.
General answer we could fight for: accommodate them all at their home school, as many as possible in inclusive educational classrooms.
Reality that we are instead heading for: educate them all within the same building in educationally appropriate settings.

Apparently that isn't possible. And that's just plain sad...

More later, when I have more of my thoughts together. Things like the staffing specialist that literally laughed and said "you can't be serious" when I mentioned full inclusion for Brianna, and the look I received from her when she asked if I had considered keeping some of there kids home again next year too (meaning Aleksa and Wesley)and I answered "I'm considering keeping 6 of them home" as her jaw dropped.

Yes, it was an interesting meeting. Time for a relaxing evening out with my husband after speech...


  1. hugs, are such a wonderful mama and advocate for your kids....praying for you!

  2. I hope you have a nice date out with your husband. This post made me so sad. (Don't take that the wrong way, it's not because of you). I am sad at the way we treat the exceptional learners in our country. I could go on a rant but I won't. Just know that I am praying for you and sad with you.

  3. Looking forward to hearing more :) You are my learning curve helper! This is ALL new to me.

  4. Wow.

    Glad your kids have a mama and a papa that are fighting for them every step of the way! Even in the area of education where some people think it’s pointless to even try.

  5. Meredith, i am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with school placement. I know what it is like. I have two boys with special needs. My oldest, now 8, has bounced from program to program, school to school, to get teh right placement. However, the classrooom he is in now is exactly what he has been needing, and it is a grade 2-5 combined classroom, so he can have teh same environment through 5th grade, which will provide him the stability he needs to really progress.

    My other son has CP (tripelegic) and uses a wheel chair and is learning to use a walker. he is in Pre-K this year, and the best program for him was a center nearly 60 miles away. This year I am told that my youngest should be able to go to Kindergarten in our home school district, which would be a mainstream classroom (but only 7 kids--we are very rural).

    Having them in different schools in completely different districts, and out of our home district was not as bad as I thought it would be. I found myself to be glad that they had programs that fit their needs even though at first I was very upset about it.

    As for Brianna, I am shocked that they were resistant to having her in full inclusion. She seems from your pics, video's, and descriptions to be a very cabable and self-motivate little girl. An inclusion classroom would most likely help her reach her full potential. Make sure they give concrete, legal reasons why an inclusive classroom would be restrictive for her.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

  6. Oh no she didn't!!!!!!!!!! There are SO many wrong things...that staffing specialist clearly needs a new career cause she has NO idea how to talk to parents. Even if she feels full inclusion isn't appropriate...laughing and saying 'are you serious' is reprehensible Meredith, I know you have to moderate don't feel the need to publish this's really just for you. I hope you will post on the board about this situation so we can get some good conversation going. . We are also transitioning with I hope you share on the board so we can chat further.

  7. I'm sorry the meeting didn't go as well as you'd wanted. Unfortunately our home town doesn't have a stellar track record with special needs kids. You have to fight tooth and nail with the schools to get your kids what they need. My sister Holly is special needs and was mainstreamed for her first few school years even though it was more than obvious she shouldn't be in a mainstream class. (She went to the same school your kids go to and that I went to as well.) Then they labeled her as "mentally retarded" and insisted she be placed in the special needs classes but a grade behind where she was in mainstream classes. So basically they pushed her through the system for a few years and then labeled her "retarded" and tossed her in with other kids with various needs but no specific attention to what any of them needed. I've heard things have gotten better some since then. Turned out she was misdiagnosed as a toddler as ADHD and Dyslexic and then labeled as developmentally disabled. My Mother, unfortunately, wasn't as focused as you are on being an advocate for her children and just accepted the diagnosis and medicated her. Turns out, she was none of those things but severely epileptic and her seizures were causing a sort of black out every few minutes and she wasn't developing on time because of those seizures.

    Anyway, I'm sorry that the specialist was rude and that your school worries haven't been solved. You are a great Mama and doing a fabulous job advocating for your kids and what you think is best from them.

  8. Oh, Meredith! I am furious at the "you can't be serious" comment!!! FURIOUS!! She needs to look around Brevard County. Our children are being included DAILY! I need to stop writing now and take a deep breath... UGH!
    Did you call or email Emily DeWoody at the Family Liaison Project? She is passionate about inclusion and has a daughter with Ds.

  9. You are my IEP hero. I think of you whenever I attend them at the school I work at. My jaw dropped yesterday when the OT said that she was reccomending discontinuing services because the child did not meet his goals.... I'm sorry, I feel that if the student isn't learning, it's the teacher that needs to adjust the teaching!!

  10. As a parent, you do have a lot of rights. Unfortunately, you've got to be a really squeaky, persistent wheel to get them sometimes. If you have the stomach for it, mention a lawyer. For some reason, this often seems to lube the wheels for school districts. If you believe that Brianna belongs or could even do well in a regular ed. setting, don't give up on it. It can be done - the school is just resisting because it's not comfortable for them. I am in the process of getting my SPED endorsement, and have just completed the Law class we have to take. My professor is very knowledgeable and passionate in this area -if you would like her email to get an idea of where you stand legally, I'd be glad to give it. But please don't give up on that free, appropriate, public education just because the schools aren't willing to do their job. They can, and should,
    be encouraged to do so. It makes a difference for everybody when parents are willing to follow up on this kind of problem. Good luck, and hang in there!