Thursday, March 10, 2011

Part II: Poker Face

I don't have a poker face.

If you could see me now, you'd know that today, I am sad. And who wouldn't be. I asked for help and was turned down.

That's the simplest reduction of the situation anyway. Of course it's more complex than that. But even if I step it up just a little bit to: I contacted the school social worker to share my concern about my child's struggles. While she empathized, she also made certain to point out that some sort of misstep had been made. She felt the school should have been contacted for input. But when I then requested their input in the form of testing, I'm forced into the situation of requesting services I don't really want or feel she needs, and so into a situation that puts the school staff on the defensive.

And so I, one parent, face off against their whole 5-member team. In this form, the sweet teacher and the charming principal are no longer caring, empathetic individuals. They will not offer reassurances that they understand my concerns or even recognize the struggles that seem so very evident to me. Not only does no one seemed concerned at all about her drastically falling scores, but they actually go so far as to suggest that my daughter sabotaged her tests. And doing so, they not only indicated how clearly blind they are to her struggles to navigate our public school, but also implied that might be because we were forcing her into something she didn't want. Really, that's the sort of caring perspective our school social worker can offer.

Clearly the school has no idea how incredibly earnest DeDe is. But we all know she's a great kid. We know how wonderful she is. But they must know how intensely secretive she is too. She flies under the radar beautifully. Because she doesn't grab attention with bad behavior or bad grades, that is no reason to neglect the obvious signs she does present, that problems that persist.

And so, post PPT, I feel like the school just doesn't give a s#@t.

Silver Lining: OK. So that's how I feel right now. It's a feeling all tangled up with not only Monday, but PPTs past also. And so, its good to remember, that C.S. is much happier now. He is receiving support and it has made a world of difference for him. DeDe's struggles are nothing like his. They don't compare. She is doing "well" at school. She makes A's. She gets along with most children beautifully. She's involved in after school activities. And thankfully, she is not the sort of kid who needs special services. But, still, I recognize how much she is struggling and how difficult it has been for her lately all the same. She's had some noticeable falls. I want to help DeDe, too. So how do I find support for that? That a 5-member team could listen to my concerns, review her tests, receive her diagnosis and offer me nothing, well, it just hurts.

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