I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Special Kids

Recently I had a meeting with the trio's new teacher, as well as the acting Principal of their school. The discussion centered around one of my kids who has some emotional and behavioral issues which need some attention. The purpose of the meeting was basically to let these two educators know what the issues were, to let them know what we as parents were doing about it, and to basically get them "on side." At the end of the day this child will spend a LOT of hours at school, and these teachers will be almost as important as I will be in terms of shaping her and helping her grow. So I need their help and support - more importantly, my KID needs their help and support. It was a good meeting, and I'm confident that my little one will get what she needs, when she needs it. In fact I was quite surprised to find that they had already spoken to the trio's current teacher, and had already put in place some strategies to help her. So YAY them.

However. In late January she will be getting a formal evaluation - as in on paper - to help us determine how we can best help her. Her issues are fairly minor and as such haven't required formal evaluation to date, but as she is now entering a more structured environment I thought it best if we go through this process. Here is the thing - both those teachers told me not to panic if the evaluator makes it seem worse than it is, in order for 'us' to secure funding. In other words, it's entirely possible that this person would embellish the truth (okay: LIE), in order to get the school access to money to pay for an aide if my child needed it. This makes me slightly ill, it really does. I want the best for my kid, and would do whatever it takes in order to get her what she needs. But how totally FUCKED UP is the system that in order to GET her help, we have to LIE about it? If my kid is nuts, but not nuts enough to 'attract funding', then it's the poor overworked and underpaid teacher who has to try and do it all for her, and it's my kid who will miss out on the best start to schooling. We're in an enviable position of being able to afford private school - and a tiny school which means the class size is very small anyway - but what if we weren't? What if my kid were just one of a HUNDRED kids? There would still be a professional out there, exaggerating my kids issues, just so we can get "the system" to work for us.

I know, I'm not pointing out anything new. I know the system is in place for a reason, and I know that by and large it works, and I know there are parents and children out there with far bigger issues than we have. I just can't shake that feeling, though - that my kid is somehow just a pawn in this game. I went from feeling like "they really will help her" to "they just want to make sure we get money so that they don't have one more thing to deal with." I sympathise with them. I get it, I really do - how frustrating must it be to want to give each of these kids a fighting chance, but not necessarily have the time or resources to do it? Clearly, some reform is needed - and to be honest, I'm not sure what that reform is. My kid would be one of those who fall through the cracks if the evaluator wrote down the truth. I don't want her to fail - and so I have to be a part of this, well, deception.

To be fair, we haven't had the evaluation yet, and I don't know if the person doing it even would exaggerate the truth - perhaps she won't. The people in the meeting, though, basically encouraged me to encourage the evaluator to "use the right words to get funding" - in effect asking me to ask someone else to lie. The whole thing just leaves me with a horrid taste in my mouth. Reality is, sometimes the truth has to be bent in order to achieve your goals - but it still leaves me feeling pretty awful.

Anyone out there felt the same, or dealt with the same issues? What do you think?

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