My son was originally dx'd with spd and speech. He scored a high average on his iq test. Maybe not brilliant, but certainly smart enough. But last year in first grade, it really came out that he has some severe learning disabilities. He'll be unable to read an easy word like 'yet' or read it four different ways four different times in one sitting. He has excessive difficulty with writings. He reverses, leaves out all vowels, writes messy, doesn't know what to write. He is disorganized. My dx is dysgraphia, dyslexia, and executive function disorder.
Last year, he was placed in an integrated teaching classroom. I thought I was lucky, until we were invited into the classroom for parent morning. I should have known that it was not going to work because the teachers kept repeating, "And we treat everyone exactly the same." As though that was a badge of honor. They treated everyone like a neuro-typical kid and got upset if they didn't conform. But ds is not the same!!! At parent teacher conferences, they would tell me that ds has trouble sitting and reading. Duh! They told a parent of an autistic child that he has trouble making eye contact. And they look at you as though you should be ashamed of yourself. WTF? At the time, I complained, but not knowing his dx or our rights enough, I just let that go. I honestly thought that we had no right to expect to get that specific an instruction.
Part of the reason I didn't pursue it aggressively is because I had to deal with some bullying that was going on in the classroom and elsewhere. In the beginning of the year, I wrote several notes to his teachers to let them know a little about Kyle. They didn't respond to a single one. After a while I gave up. Then, the bullying stuff happened, like kids holding him down and taking his shoes away. He was so upset. I wrote them a note telling them about his complaints. The only note I get back from them was "We have no bullies in the classroom." I flipped. They and I never were okay after that. At one point, one of the teachers would deliberately turn her back to me when I came to pick up ds or roll up her eyes and refused to greet me. And ultimately, the principal stuck up for them.
His current teachers more responsive, but are using the same teaching methods. I've been picking up ds to complaints from his teachers about his behavior lately. His behavior was fine for two months because he's that GOOD, not bad. But the fact is, if you keep telling a kid with dyslexia to just sit quietly and read, then eventually something is going to happen. It did. Nothing really bad, just getting up and moving around. I asked them if they were trained in executive function disorder, and they said that the only thing they knew about it was an article I printed for them from a website. Later, the assistant principal basically admitted that none of the special ed teachers get trained in special ed issues. Is this completely insane or what??? Isn't this against some federal law or something? I can't see how teachers can accomodate ds' special needs if they no nothing about them.
I finally had it. I wrote a long letter explaining to his teachers that I am not a special education expert. That they and the school need to get it together and actually help ds instead of asking me if I'm rewarding and punishing him enough for his behaviors. I was really nice about it, but still very pointed. I brought up the laws against discrimination, the whole thing. The teachers told the assistant principal, and now I'm going through a whole thing. I met with the principal, assistant principal, social worker, and psychologist. I feel like I'm a pretty confident person, but I realize that being ganged up on like that intimidates me on many levels. I sometimes find that I don't pursue everything I can. But this time I was a little better.
I'm trying to schedule a neuro-psych. I've been trying to figure out a way to get it for free, but I just have to find a way and go the private route. But even the one recommended to me has a waiting list of several months, and it'll cost like $3000-$4000.
I don't feel that anyone really understands me. My family doesn't know what it feels like. I don't know other moms going through the same thing. Some moms think I'm going overboard. It feels so awful to be constantly fighting with my ds' school and teachers. We're not outright fighting, but we see things so differently. I have no respect for their teaching methods. I'm looking into other schools, but I can't really make a case until I can get the eval done which is months away.
Ds looks relatively happy though. He knows little of this. He was actually starting to get anxious when I picked him up because his teachers are complaining about him to me! But I convinced him that we'd stop that, and now he's okay again. He has his issues, but he has a best friend and he's ultimately willing to cooperate. His teachers said he read well today. I just hope we stop relying on his good will and give him some strategies he can use to function.