Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It's just not fair!

I had been waiting to post about this. It is not that I am putting a particular school system or even special education down. I am very frustrated with what has transpired with Benji's education in the last couple months. I appreciate all the compassionate teachers and therapists that have worked with Benji and have got him to where he is.

My complaint, or whine, is simply that it's just not fair!

At the end of Benji's preschool career, he was more than ready for kindergarten. He was writing his name very well, knew his full alphabet and could count to 20. Plus he knew all of his basic colors and shapes (even the harder ones like trapezoid). Over the summer I casually worked with him. Not necessarily on a daily basis, but when the opportunity struck. (I believe in using the environment to reinforce what has already been taught)

So that brings us to kindergarten. There was the mandatory Brigance testing, he did well but not as good as he could have. This I contributed to him being stubborn and not knowing the teacher that was doing the testing. However, his handwriting became illegible and then we started noticing that on his classwork he just doesn't do it. He will color with the right color, but when it comes to writing he wasn't doing it. In addition his coloring became scribble.

I brought this up and was told that because he is "on par" with the rest of the class that he is fine. It seems that the way our school district interprets the IDEA 2004 is as long as the child isn't significantly behind other children in his grade and are not causing a major distraction in class that they do not have the resources to help them. I said I wasn't happy, but I knew I would get nowhere.

I then decided to focus on other issues that I knew where going on.   Benji complains about writing. He says it hurts. (In preschool because he was not a righty or lefty, he was pushed to use his right hand. His right hand is his weaker hand due to his medical stuff.) So I asked about doing the OT evaluation that both his PT suggested and that VCH had suggested. By the time my request got back to the OT that does the evaluations, she assumed that I was complaining about Benji's sensory stuff. (Benji has sensory integration disorder as dx by Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson and agreed on by Vanderbilt Childrens) Instead of calling a meeting or sending me an email or letter, the OT confronted me at church. I was dumbfounded. I was also speechless because I was told that I didn't know what was best for my child. I was also lied to.

I am not going into details because it doesn't matter. The school system is refusing to do the OT evaluation. So now, I have to schedule an OT evaluation, again, so that he can get the help he needs. Yes, he has sensory issues. The good thing is we have them covered at home. I have been trained how to help him with that and we work with him. The reason behind his OT evaluation is because I suspect he may be a lefty like his brother and writing with his right hand is awkward for him. He no longer holds pencils and crayons correctly, even with the grips. His left hand is weak. He needs help, but until he is substandard he can not get it from the school system.
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