Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The big bad school system has feelings too!!!!!!

You know I get it!  I really do.  The public school system isn't the best sometimes.  Special education and all that it entails is also another system where things can go right or things can go awry. 

However, the people working with the kids, sometimes YOUR kids....they have feelings too.  Sometimes it just gets old to hear people venting away about how evil the school district is;  how people in special education don't care about their child, how they aren't doing anything.....people are people, some people are very good at their job and some aren't.  It's really that simple....then it gets complex because us laypeople in the schools (Special Education Teacher, Speech Therapist, School Psychologist) are doing what we can do in adherence to the law and to our districts school policy.  Then if a parent isn't happy with their child's educational plan they can take it up with the special education department, and then there are parent rights that let you file against the district if you think your family/child has been wronged. 

It's in my nature to be a people pleaser, to sit down and listen, to try and come up with a better plan if a parent is upset, but I draw the line at rudeness.  *I* am not the enemy.  *I* am not the evil one.  *I* am not part of a big conspiracy to keep your kid from learning or speaking.  Believe it or not *I* am tired of being 'god' (if your child begins to talk and use language and progress in that area) and *I* am tired of being the evil speech therapist (if your child is not becoming verbal in a quick amount of time).  *I* am not a robot and *I* don't like to be ragged on and be made out to be an evil part of a conspiracy that is hell bent on making sure your child doesn't learn.  Yes parents, *I* have feelings too and they can be hurt. 

If you are feeling angry or frustrated with your staff at your child's school site or think your special education team isn't listening to you, here are some things to try:

*Call an IEP meeting and beforehand make a list of concerns you would like to discuss
*Ask for a special education administrator or program specialist to attend so your concerns are documented not only with the school but with the special education
*Read your parent rights.  If you really are not happy with a particular service or services ask where the directions are to file for a due process hearing....if the team is shady and doesn't want to tell you, call the department of ed. or the district's office of resolution
*attempt to work out differences with the individual....if there is animosity or you do have a special ed. team member that is rude, cease contact and speak to that person in the principal's office
*seek and inter or intra district transfer....sometimes things are better at another school.

Above all, remember we who work in the public system are people too....and we do care about your kids and their success. 


Ticia said...

I think in most cases where things aren't working, it's not because someone doesn't care. It's because they are trying to help so many people they may not be aware they're not doing their best for child X.

So, it takes a parent making people aware of the problem.

DannieA said...

In some cases I would agree, in the vast majority of cases I would not. It takes some specialness to say and do the things that are done.

It's different to ask for a daily communication log so everyone is informed and everyone is on the same page and things can then be tweaked...

it's quite different to challenge a person's intellect while demanding equestrian therapy and dolphin therapy paid in full...when request denied, all heck breaks loose.

The former is a parent that is a wonderful advocate for their child....that I enjoy....the latter scenario, not so much.