Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Teachers Come Marching In.....

   The time had come for the teachers to meet with our family, assess Mikey , and begin services. By this time, we had already had an educational evaluation, and an occupational therapy evaluation. It had been determined that he would receive speech three times a week, OT twice a week, and a special education teacher would work with him a few days a week as well.
   Here is how this process works. If you have a child who has a learning disability ,or has special needs, you meet with the Committee for Special Education in your school district. Together, you discuss what is best for your child, and an IEP, or Individualized Educational Program is developed. This is the plan that the teachers follow in order to help  your child learn to the best of his/her ability. We had our meetings, developed a plan, and the teachers began working with Mikey.
   To be honest, I did not enjoy the parade of teachers. They were all nice enough, but it changed our daily schedule, and I had to keep my son Timmy away from all of the fun toys they were bringing into our house.Not an easy task. However, if there is one thing I have learned throughout this entire journey it is this...it was not about me, and it was not about Mike,our schedules, or anything like that. It was about Mikey. We would have gone to the ends of the earth in order to help him. With that in mind, we continued
with our new daily routine.
   Mikey loved OT, as I think most kids do. His teacher was a bubbly, young girl, who seemed to enjoy her job. For speech, I actually took him to the teacher's office, which was about five minutes from our home. I liked this teacher, she was a sassy lady with a bright smile, and Mikey liked her too.His special education teacher started out fine, but somewhere along the line, I sensed that something was not right. Eventually, she left, citing personal health issues, so now we were in search of a new special education teacher. Then we met the  teacher who I felt really cared about Mikey and his situation. Her name was Amie ,and she would be his new special education teacher. She did a great job with him, and showed such interest and dedication.
   Months had passed,and  things were moving along nicely, but I began to sense that the speech teacher felt that she was not making any progress. She seemed frustrated at times. I think that may have been because the majority of children she worked with only had speech issues, they did not have autism.  It was just a gut feeling, but as my husband can tell you, my instincts are usually spot on. I remember taking him to speech one day after I had discovered that I was pregnant with my fourth son. Near the end of our session, I wanted to tell her that I was indeed pregnant, because our sessions were early in the morning, and I was usually very sick. If I needed to eat crackers in front of her, I  did not want her to think I was rude, so I told her. Her answer blew me away." Oh no, this is the last thing you need!" I couldn't believe my ears, and here I had been worried about her thinking I was rude! I went on to tell her how we were all thrilled about the pregnancy, and that Mike and I had always wanted four children. She looked at me ,sort of dumbfounded, and she finished up with Mikey.
   As we left that day, I had a few things going through my mind. Do people think before they speak? Do people realize that just because you are thinking something doesn't mean you have to announce it? Do people understand that just because you have an opinion, that does not mean everyone wants to hear it?
I loved all of my children, including the one I was carrying. Mike and I considered it a blessing, and if she did not, too bad. I decided right then and there, that it was once again time to make some changes.

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