Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Resisting the Urge

to breakdown and cry, kicking and screaming
after touring yet another school
that seems terrified at the prospect of
A Child with Special Needs.

Is it too much to ask that my children go to the same school?

On the drive home, this is what I read in the Information Packet:
X does not provide special education services or facilities.
THe administration reserves the right to determine if the academic program of the school is appropriate for the needs of the individual child and may make minor adjustments in the school's education program to attempt to accommodate whatever special needs a student may have. If the principal determines that these minor adjustments have not resulted in satisfactory accommodation of the program to the special needs of the individual child, and that it is in the best interests of the school and teh child that he/she be placed in a more appropriate learning environment, then the principal may ask the parent to withdraw the student from X.

What did you just read? I just read that it's just SO damn inconvenient to have a child that doesn't fit right into that cookie shaped mold. I wish this was unique to this one place, but everywhere I go, when I ask about a child with special needs, I'm met with the same fear and controlled panic.

And instead of feeling like they don't know what they're missing (they don't), and that I don't want a school that doesn't want us (I don't), I'm beginning to feel hopeless. That there is no place for both my children, no place where the lessons of diversity include ability. I'm feeling less like I can work to revolutionize inclusion, and more despair, and I am praying for the strength to fight, because I have a lot of fighting ahead of me.

Where do we belong?


Erin said...

Is this the school you thought to be the school?

Emmy said...

No, it isn't. But I can say that the guarded fear is the same response I received from THE school. Once the principal realized she knew "of me," that she knew more about my son, she was more open, and generally felt that her school was the place for my son. I had intentionally not introduced myself as friend of X. Rather, I was just the mom of a child with special needs. How would this school respond? And while it seems that El could go to that school, what about the other moms of anonymous children who don't know someone? How does the school generally deal with children of special needs?