Well I had finished my Bible study on “Peace” (Jeffrey Starts Kindergarten), and unfortunately it didn’t take long for me to totally and completely forget everything that I had just studied and learned…
As parents with special needs children know, once your child is in school hardly a day will go by without getting some sort of phone call from the school office. Usually the phone calls were asking me to drive down to the school and help out in one way or the other. Either the aide didn’t know how to handle a situation; or she was out sick; or the teachers had her busy helping some other kids (wait a minute – isn’t she supposed to be Jeffrey’s aide?).
I certainly had no problem in helping out in the classroom occasionally – the classroom teachers were so wonderful – yet my emotions started going into overdrive as it was so difficult to watch little Jeffrey in the classroom with all the other kids. He was by far the student with the severest disabilities, and he just could never keep up with what the rest of the class was doing.
But oh he wanted to – so very badly – and that was what was breaking my heart into the smallest of small pieces. Usually when I left the school to go home I would find myself falling into a deep depression because I loved my little boy so much and it just didn’t seem fair for him to have to fight so hard to do even the simplest things.
But what really started to push me over the edge were all the different therapies the school was pulling Jeffrey out of class to do.
Don’t get me wrong – Jeffrey needed them, and we were thankful for all that they were doing. The problems were when their suggestions started to contradict what our private therapists were having little Jeffrey do.
We could see that he was becoming very confused at times. One therapist would be telling him that he needed to do an exercise in one way, but then when he would go see another one, they would tell him to do it totally different!
Then came blowout time…
We had been paying Jeffrey’s private speech therapist for a few years prior to him starting school there, and she had been doing a wonderful job in teaching Jeffrey how to take the time to pronounce certain words. But the school decided that was too difficult for him to try and do that – they wanted to have him start using picture boards instead of trying to speak.
If he was thirsty, he could point to a glass of juice, and then they would bring him one. If he wanted to color, he would point to that picture, etc.
Sorry, but this had gone far enough.
Really – I tried to remain calm, cool and collected – at first…
But when I kept going in to meet with his school speech therapist, I began to become more and more short-tempered until the time came when I finally told her she just didn’t know what Jeffrey could do, and she was hurting him, rather than helping him.
Needless to say, she didn’t take it very well.
So the school called a meeting with all of Jeffrey’s teachers and in-house therapists. Since the speech therapist had felt I was being a little too hostile as of late, they decided to call in one of the district’s big-wig psychologists to sit in on the meeting.
My first impression of her? Not good, not good at all…
It was clear that she knew everything, and we, as Jeffrey’s parents, were clueless as to what Jeffrey really needed. She even went so far as to say that after spending 2 short 1-on-1 sessions observing him, she was far better equipped to tell the district what Jeffrey really needed.
That was all I could handle – and I flew into an outrage: How DARE you try and tell us that you know more about Jeffrey and his needs when we’ve raised him since he was a baby, and you’ve only seen him ONCE OR TWICE!!!
I was yelling – and I was yelling LOUDLY. I made her cry… But you know what? I really didn’t care.
Not long after, the district decided that Jeffrey didn’t need to take speech at that school anymore. And the Lord? He continued to love me – despite my frailties…