Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rewards for Hiding and Rest for the Weary

My son had a rough day at school today. There was a substitute teacher today. Substitute teachers are usually bad news for Sandis. This isn't because Sandis is belligerant and purposefully bad, but because they just don't know how to handle Sandis. It isn't really their fault though. Due to the fact that Sandis does not yet have an IEP, all the special little Sandis rules and regulations get lost in the shuffle when his regular teacher isn't there. Rules like Sandis always holds the teacher's hand in transitions from one room to the next, and other rules that state Sandis cannot use the big restroom down the hall only the small restroom in the classroom. They seem like such little things, but when not communicated, disaster strikes! Sandis's teacher is a smart woman. She made those little rules out of necessity.

Today Sandis hid from his substitute teacher. He went with the class to music, and although he struggled through music, he made it through. But....(and a big but here!) he decided not to join the class in the commute from music room to class. He apparently lingered behind his classmates and hid when the perfect opportunity struck. His poor substitute teacher with 22 other students entrusted to her did not notice he was missing until almost a full hour after music class. (MY! MY! MY!) Sandis also was given free reign to use the big restroom down the hall. This resulted in a toilet flushing, light switch flicking, animal sound making frenzy. And yes, frenzy would be the correct word for it. There is a good reason I ALWAYS take Sandis with me into the Women's Restroom.

Long story short, I received a call from Sandis's Behavior Interventionist. Ahhhhhhh! The joys of receiving behavior related phone calls during work hours from the school! He kindly explained the situation to me, stressing that Sandis had caused quite the stir when he had turned up (or rather failed to turn up) missing. I listen to the story, consternation in my voice, but heart a leaping and stifling a chuckle. These people DESERVE this. Don't get me wrong, Sandis doesn't deserve the harm that comes to him from being given the opportunity to misbehave in such a flagrant manner, but......I requested special education evaluations to begin in OCTOBER! I needn't remind anyone that it is FEBRUARY! and evaluations are FINALLY being completed this week. They have denied (or rather not begun) accommodations for his special needs because of:
1. the school psychologist's vacation
2. their inability to get their shit together
3. their REQUIREMENT of written request (given in November) before accomodating my verbal request for evaluations
4. further postponing ALL EVALUATIONS until receipt of written proof of Sandis's diagnosis

Need I say it again? They DESERVE his behavior. He wouldn't for the life of him get away with that shit at home, but then again, at home, his sensory needs are accommodated. He is NEVER expected to have the normal sense of personal safety that other children may have. Sandis is almost CONSTANTLY under 1:1 or 1:2 supervision at home. He doesn't have the opportunity to sneak away and wreak havoc at home and in the community. His needs are met in ways that the school hasn't been able to do.

So you know what? When Sandis throws a book at a fellow student, destroys something in a fit of aggression (more than likely caused by sensory overload), spits at the teacher, throws himself down and indulges in a tantrum because he was tagged in PE.....I think he needs to do this because they need to see the behavior. And they need to address the behavior in the IEP and make appropriate accommodations. And when they do, we will all be smiling. You know why? We will be smiling because Sandis will have appropriate supervision and won't sneak off when no one is looking (my ever wandering boy). We will be smiling because Sandis will be able to complete all his work, and his teacher won't have to sacrifice helping all the other students so she can devote extra 1:1 time with Sandis. We will be smiling because Sandis will be on an appropriate diet of sensory stimulation that will curb his spitting, hitting, pushing, kicking, and self injurious behaviors at school We will all be smiling because of the accomodations they will make.

And until they do that.....I'll be laughing at their misery. And I'll be writing a whole lot of letters.

On another note, I have been approved for one weekend of respite a month for three months. Depending on my situation with Sandis's SSI application at that time, they will reevaluate my case.

I have not had babysitting since October, and with Gracie's diabetes, I can't afford and don't even KNOW a local person who is willing to take on the fabulously busy son and the equally busy but health challenging daughter. This respite, my friends, is truly going to provide the rest for the weary (the weary person here is me!).

If you ever question whether God provides, think of this. I have been given a weekend a month of free babysitting for my son. And you know what? I can split that up and use it one night for both children a month. Do you know what I'm going to do?

I'm gonna go on a date with Bob.


Molly said...

I'm smiling with you! :-)

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Yeah - go out on that date with Bob and HAVE fun. You deserve it!!!!

The school DESERVES the problems thay caused!

Minnesota Nice said...

Glad there are at least a few resources you can take advantage of - you need a break. Enjoy.

Penny Ratzlaff said...

And, you DESRVE the date.

Have fun.

Kelsey said...

Wow, God does provide huh?

Enjoy your time off!