Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Public School System Failed Me: The Back Story

 I find that having a journal during times of emotional crisis beneficial. When you're in the middle of a fire all you can see around you, is more fire and smoke. You can't always tell how deep it is until you've passed through and take a look back.

I hope that someday I will be able to take a look back and say to myself, "It wasn't that bad." or, "Wow! Look at all we've accomplished." but I'm sure there will be some, "I wish I had known this sooner" and "Well that was harder than it looked."

Every story has a beginning and that seems as good as any place to start this tale.

When my son,  TheBoyWhoDidNotTalk(much) was about three a friend of mine that was a speech pathologist told me that she thought we should do an assessment on him. He, as his nickname indicates, did not have much to say and she was concerned and wanted to help me get on the right path to success. With her assessments I was able to enroll my son in school on an IEP for language intervention and some sensory issues about halfway though the school year. 

 TheBoy was born in summer so I knew going into the school system he would likely be held back early on to give him time to mature a bit, so it was not a shock when the school recommended that he repeat Kindergarten. In fact, I was grateful for this.  In 2015, after school let out for summer, my husband and I relocated our family. We settled in a neighborhood with a top-rated elementary school, transferred his IEP over and started anew with First Grade. 

TheBoy worked with a wonderful SPED teacher throughout his years at this school from 1-5th grade. However, as the years progressed and TheBoy learned the rate at which he learned was much slower than his peers and the further behind he became.

I remember sitting in one IEP meeting where I asked, "Could TheBoy be dyslexic?" The teachers and principal were all quick to assure me they did not think this was my child's specific problem. He was just too emotional and sometimes lazy. He was smart but just didn't apply himself or wasn't trying hard enough. And I believed them. I put my full trust and faith in these teachers, they were the experts. So we pushed on, trying to get my son, who was reading on a second grade reading level up.

Then, the pandemic hit and things began to change.

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