Today was a day of aggravation. Not really anyone’s fault in particular. It’s just the grueling process of getting Little Bear’s sleep cycle back to a day/night “normal” people routine. Which involves both Little Bear and I not sleeping at all at night several nights in a row and trying to stay awake as long as possible during the day. Well more specifically trying to keep HIM awake during the day so at some point he will fall asleep at night and stay asleep all night, hoping that this time the rhythm will stay that way forever but knowing that it never will. Tonight was finally that night. The kiddo made it through the entire day without a wink of sleep and passed out by 9pm.
The only problem with this is I had a slug of errands to run and about only half of them made it on the completed list. Somehow while getting Scholar Owl reestablished as a patient at the hospital I forget to sign the release forms that I needed to while I was there so they could send Little Bear’s IEP recommendation packet over to the school. So now tomorrow I need to make the extra hour drive over there to take care of that. I also had to attend the elementary school’s open house to learn that not only do they want him to do Kindergarten yet again for the third time, Little Bear has been assigned the exact same teacher he had last year. The good news is they finally have two special ed teachers. Unfortunately one of them is the same one I locked horns with when trying to get Scholar Owl an IEP two years ago. The other nice piece of info I got today is that if you can’t get a case manager, you can get an IEP advocate directly from the State Dept. of Education. This I found out from the intake staff from the hospital. I’d like to know why no one has told me about this before. So now I need to find out how to go about getting that set up. The sooner the better.
I’m unbelievably exhausted and I am tired of fighting this battle with this school. The depressing thing is that school hasn’t started yet and already Little Bear has started screaming at me about not wanting to go to school. This is a really bad sign. I seriously hope that the people at the school will listen to me this year because my husband is dead set against homeschooling Little Bear. If Little Bear destabilizes again it’s very likely that he will end up being inpatient rather than intensive outpatient care. The part that pisses me off about it all is now I know that the school’s policy is to not approve the funding for his education while he’s in there. So what the hell am I supposed to do if all these people are not willing to work together to support this child? He can’t be in Kindergarten forever and what they have been doing hasn’t been working.
And this bullshit of an IEP is only for those with a learning disability is just that bullshit. There is a reason that mood disorders are on the list of qualifiers for IEPs. Because of things just like what happened to Little Bear last year. His mood destabilized and had to be pulled from the regular school program. So now what? Thanks to a lack of an IEP no education happened AT ALL. None, nothing. No funding was approved and the district office said if he had been in the special ed program he would have been granted the funding. This is complete bullshit all around. They were given funding at the beginning of the year to teach this child and the moment he was shipped off due to his mental health they basically say “sucks to be you, we aren’t sending you a dime for your education.” I don’t understand how this is even legal. The hospital tells me this school district does this all the time with the children that don’t have IEPs. They also told me that the children from that elementary in particular cycle in and out of their intensive outpatient program quite often.
This tells me a couple of things. Namely as someone that lives in the area I can already tell you the support system here sucks. If you live here and you are a special needs family you are driving at minimum an hour away for anything you need. Pray like hell that someone can come to you. And people wonder why I don’t ditch my family. Not everyone has family like I do with the medical background like they do. Yes they can be stressful and we have a complex past, but damn you can’t beat the supports like that. Anyway the other thing that concerns me about hearing that the children are continually cycling through the day program is that it suggests there is something wrong with the school’s staff too.
Just last year it hit the Channel 5 news that parents in our school district petitioned for legal action to be taken against a teacher in one of the other elementary schools for 11 years worth of reported physical abuse towards Kindergarten students. The same school I was thinking about switching Little Bear over to since it was 5 minutes down the bus route. These complaints had been filed and filed and administration over the years had been turning a blind eye, doing nothing. My therapist informed me that the news channel showed photos that were filed in the complaints and everything since I had missed it personally. Last I heard the teacher in question was suspended at the end of last year for investigation after that. This year district wide there was a scramble to hire teachers. Not entirely sure what that’s all about but from what I understand it’s mostly due to bullshit over the budget. The towns that are part of the school district are seriously not happy with the fat on the top level – especially since those were the people that got caught misappropriating funds a few years back and putting the district in the red that we are still trying to climb out of – and want it cut, but every time cuts are made it happens to the teachers. So the townsfolk around here are pretty damn livid. The teachers are pretty damn livid too. And in the end we’re expecting a quality education out of this mess? All I can say is the cards are seriously stacked against it.
When I graduated from high school – from this very same district I might add – I didn’t have much faith in the public school system. I was burnt out completely. It wasn’t until I entered college 10 years later that I rediscovered my joy in learning and that thirst for knowledge hasn’t quenched since. My sons do not have that quest for learning at all. The only time I ever saw that questioning gleam in Scholar Owl’s eye was before he started school. Even now, although he has started to question it’s only the topic at hand. He doesn’t launch an epic journey of knowledge of his own, just for the sake of finding out. Little Bear complains that Kindergarten is boring. And my middle son? I don’t know. As far as I know school is just one more routine that he’s supposed to do. It’s just work. This makes me sad. It took me hitting high school to hit that burnt out point. My oldest son hit that 4 years ago. My youngest hit it in Kindergarten! Say whatever you want but there is something fundamentally wrong with the Common Core if this is what it’s doing to our children.
I remember looking forward to the first day of school as a kid, even in high school. My children never do – save just one. Scholar Owl is looking forward to his first day of school this year for the first time since Kindergarten. Doesn’t matter that we have promised to up the ante this year because it’s high school, he’s still looking forward to it. We’ve already discussed possible routines. He’s leaning towards a 6 day week which should give us greater flexibility while still roughly following the public school schedule. Kind of hard having different school holidays, but we’ll see. If push comes to shove, I can always homeschool the other two to supplement public school stuff. My middle son has already expressed an interest in taking cooking lessons with Scholar Owl. I see no reason to turn him down and cooking from scratch is an excellent skill to have. Maybe we should throw Little Bear into the mix a few times and teach them all some tolerance and patience while we’re at it. Let’s pray we don’t blow up the kitchen while we’re at it! 😉
Anyway, we’ll see what the future brings. I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself here. I’m just not going to hold my breath with this school. They have let me and Little Bear down too many times already. I just wish my husband would understand that and stop living in denial about what’s going on with our son – or what ever it is he’s telling himself.