Friday, September 14, 2012
The reality of the situation
At home again with a sick Darian, of course she is so happy just being here and knowing I'm with her, that this cold doesn't even phase her. She disposes of her flems like a truck driver!! Hahaha. She is so funny. I'm going through my email, getting some work done. I thought I'd take a break and review one of my client's paperwork, my client by the way is a beautiful 8 year old girl with autism, she looks so much like Darian it's kind of eerie. I remembered her first progress report is next Friday and as I read through her goals, which are a joke, I started feeling this frustration building inside me, the outrage I feel every time I see cases like this. How the school system has failed our disabled children and how the teachers take it so personal and get offended because we point out things that just don't make sense, they are completely off base! Those feelings come back from 2007 when we were told that the ABA therapy she was receiving from the state was not going to be transitioned into the public school system. "What do you mean?" I asked the school district representative sitting at my kitchen table. "Well, we use other methods that work just as well", "Really I asked?", "Oh yes" she says. Very condescending woman by the way. I didn't argue and I let her say her say and asked questions that made her very uncomfortable. At that moment I thought to myself "get ready Annabelle, this is going to get ugly". It sure did get ugly, very ugly. I remember that first IEP meeting. I had done all the research on IEPs, I educated myself on the process and the law behind it, so they were not ready for me. And I remember it like it was just yesterday trying to get clarification on one thing from the speech therapist, and it went something like this: "Let me see if I'm understanding you correctly, so what you're saying is, you want to try the PECs method (just pictures no verbal cues) and see IF it works, when I have documentation proving that ABA therapy has helped her progress tremendously? A system that involves pictures vs verbal interaction? If this is what your telling us? Then I have to say, it would be criminal of us as her parents to accept what you are offering our daughter". Poor thing, her face was so red, she was so irritated by this and of course took it completely personal. She couldn't say anything, someone else had to jump in and try to rectify the situation, which did nothing for us. At that moment I knew we had to be prepared for the fight. It was a pretty good fight, which we won and got her ABA within the district, 2 years later she got physically abused...unbelievable, but so real. And today for some odd reason it hit me like a ton of bricks, my baby got her ass kicked by her own teacher! I cannot believe it. I know it happened, I never really grieved over it, and I think it's because I had no other choice but to keep my head straight and focus on Darian moving on from her tragedy. I just don't think I have moved on from it, how can I? When I see these other parents coming to me for help and I see the desperation in their eyes and the sadness that goes along with everything that comes with having a disabled child. That righteousness inside of me just bursts out of my body like a freakin rocket! And today I came across this: "Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and righteous still do right...". And I realized I'm just as afraid of confrontation as anybody else and as scary as that is, my righteousness will not let me back down from what is right and fair. So I tell you parents out there, you are not alone, the fear, the sadness, the outrage, the anger...we all have it and as long as we know in our heart what the RIGHT THING IS, we shall never back down, no matter how hard and exhausting it may be. Because the reality of the situation is, you and I are the only people on this earth that our children have to really count on. Never, ever forget that and never, ever feel that you are alone. I am here and I will be here to help anyone who needs it. I promise.