Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wait a minute Mr. Postman

I had to write the letter. You know the one where I swallow my pride (didn't know I had any left?) and tell the WHOLE truth about my kids because I have to be sure they get what they need from the school. These issues with attachment don't qualify them for special ed, so I must be the advocate. Teachers are all different in how they run their classrooms and what they believe about children. I need a teacher that will follow my lead, believe me about what my children need, have strong structure in their classroom and follow through on their expectations for my children. I think I'm in the minority (at least at my school) for wanting my kids to get consequences for their actions. can they learn if the rules are different at home and school? I've been blessed this year with their teachers - both open to communication, structured and they LISTEN to me without cocking their heads and reporting me. I can't homeschool - I know myself and my frustration level, which I work hard to keep under control would fly right out the window! That would not be good for our relationship. I'm still sad that schools have become a place where not learning the material is not a reason to hold a kid back. I'm trying to be at a place where I need to let them fail...but I don't think schools are there (less funding???). Not that they are failing their grade. But, what about the future?
So, writing the letter and telling the whole truth - you wouldn't think that would be hard for me. I'm like a walking billboard for AD now. I'll tell anyone the truth. Most people don't want to hear it. It's not a fun truth. No one can understand living with injured kids on a daily basis. I'm not even in the position of so many stronger people than I. I wonder if I'm actually doing enough, but I'm doing what I can do for my family - what works for our family. To summarize the letter in a few words: stealing, lying, manipulating, shopping for new family, angry, flat affect and control. Not all apply to both kids and I admittedly said we are doing better (especially DS2)...but there is a notion of waiting for the other shoe to drop. We aren't out of the woods yet and I know that - I really can't have a bad year with a teacher that won't support us. So, I'm putting on my big girl pants, following the rules (writing the letter first) and planning what to do next. I know their teachers this year will fight for them to have the right teachers too...but I don't know if our school listens to them like they should. We'll see and I'm ready to do what I have to do! DS2 only has one more year of elementary, he needs to get a lot of maturity in regard to school work next year - be held really accountible. Middle school is different and they do let you fail...that will be a major shock to his system.
DS1 was mad this morning...even being driven to school by a PJ clad mom and crazy o'clock in the morning. His partner was apparently not showing up to finish their project that is due today. When I mentioned that waiting until the day it's due is perhaps not the best plan - I got the silent treatment. It's tough when mom is right and you don't want to admit it. He didn't even say good-bye. I didn't follow him today. I was too tired. But, now there are sticky notes on his door outlining what he'll do to make up for that rude behavior. I slid on checking up on his work and his report card came and is not what I expect from him. Yes, his expectations are different and probably higher. I'm not upset, just disappointed. He could have done better. Once it counts for something, once he's in HS...then upset will come!
I booked a trip that doesn't come for 7 months and that is my new "something to look forward to". I'm not talking about it in front of DD - she doesn't need to have something to worry about for 7 months. But, I'm excited. That's a nice feeling!


  1. Kretz--just a thought since I have been through the IEP chase--your kids may qualify for special services under 504--it was put in place for kids with ADHD but kids with emotional needs can fall under this. You might want to check in with it. Schools often do not want to deal with our kids--many times they are bright and do well in the classroom--some times not, some times cause classroom disruption or may have incidents that take place on the playground (a nightmare for kids like ours because they generally do not do well in the "Lord of the Flies" environment of the playground. Heck recess is the same as it was when I was a kid (and that was a LOOOOONG time ago). Survival of the fittest and lets see if we can provoke kids we know who have issues to see what happens.
    Hopefully you can get services through 504. Right now we have a Safety Plan (now formally written down because the verbal agreement with the school was worthless). Check around with other moms in your area who have kids getting special services. They will often walk you though the morass and act as an advocate for you.
    Good luck
    Karen (erickk)

  2. If you want I can e-mail you a copy of the letter I gave to M's teachers at the beginning of the year.

  3. Thanks ladies. Karen - I did look into a 504, but it seems I get gridlocked because they aren't 'a big enough issue'. I'll look into it again for DD if the behavior doesn't stop. Yes, Lord of the flies - except my DS is the dominant...
    Lorraine, I'd love the letter - I think I may have gotten it from you (or someone else brilliant) because I had a great one to use this year. I'll figure out a way to send you my email address!

  4. The therapist who diagnosed M with RAD and GAD said that those diagnoses qualify her for a 504 Plan. I tried to get her evaluated by the child study team the end of last school year and they turned us down. Now I have a meeting this Thursday to put the 504 into effect. Any chance you can share your letter with me??? Or any letters you have from others?? I would really appreciate it!!!!! We have the most issues with school. I need a tranquilizer just thinking about it : )