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The Bully & The Brat… And One Mama That Is Fighting Back.

As some know, my son has a lot of problems mentally and behaviorally (which stem from the mentally disabling aspects). And for YEARS he has been bullied. But only primarily by one particular boy.

Now another boy is in the mix. As is a girl as of late, and where this morning’s call to come down and intercede is rooted. Because my son completely shut down on his teacher and the student teacher (or whatever his area is).

So we got myself, the teacher, my son and the other person who was TRYING to handle things together and got the complete story. We (as in my son and I) talked about what he should have done (again), versus what he didn’t do. And what he wouldn’t let the adults do to rectify the situation.

Yes, my boy will be punished (at home) for how he mishandled all this and not cooperating with his authority figures, and for not coming to the phone to talk to me as requested, resulting in my having to go down there.

But the girl is also in trouble for starting crap and calling my kid names and making fun of him.

Hell, I’m so classy and I’m so awesome, I have the balls to not be ashamed of leaving the room and crying in front of the teacher. Again. I’m just sick of this BS. Add in embarrassment and the fact that once more, I felt like I failed him, and it’s a mess of reasons behind why I broke down.

And people are wondering WHY our youth are offing themselves?

Gee! Let’s take a look at how them bully kids are being raised in a home of intolerance and no teaching of respecting those that are different from themselves in terms of disability (of ANY nature). It’s not just the teen and pre-teen GLBT group.

Then, opportunity knocked on my imaginary door… Have (one of the few of them) bullys in room, take a chance. That’s how good I am. I don’t have to talk TO you, for you to know I am referring to you.

Let’s hope my conversation with the brat being present sinks in. It was dealing with the one boy that has picked on my son for YEARS in this school. And now, they are BOTH going to the same Middle School next year.

I even made certain the little demon heard about MY OWN problems with being made fun of as a kid.

I KNOW he listened because if I turned to glance at him, he turned his eyes from me like he wasn’t paying attention. And he now knows I will NOT tolerate it, am utterly sick of it, and this is DAMAGING my child.

Believe me, bullying today is on an entirely different level than it was in my days as a kid with physical differences. I would NOT want to be a kid in today’s society.

UPDATE

He’s fine. Took him off one of his meds myself. Doing good for the most part in school. Great teacher.

Short and sweet being I know it won’t really be read.

May not do another post for a good while. Seeing as I haven’t blogged in here for OVER a month, and no one missed me.

Sorry. I have a life. Laters!

The end.

Changes

On Tuesday, I had to work the Volunteer table at registration. After getting there, I registered the two kids that still will be attending (third is going to Middle School).

The School Nurse was seated in the Library and I was in the cafeteria. But this nurse was NOT the same nurse as from the previous school years. And knowing how busy she is, sometimes (due to health) she needs a sub nurse. Which is what I had thought of as I had seen the lady sitting at the desk.

Come to find out, that this woman IS the School Nurse, and is replacing the one that I have come to value as a friend, and whom my son was EXTREMELY attached to.

As I am sitting in my spot at Registration, another friend comes up, who’s child is going to Second grade, and is a Title 1 Reading Aide to say hi. We haven’t talked all summer. Well, then SHE to drops a bombshell. She is leaving at the end of the month to work in a Dentist’s office, in the same building as her twin sister.

Needless to say, telling B was no picnic. And he wasn’t all too happy. But also, where the School Nurse is concerned, I can ALREADY see it coming. That is, unless his Homeroom Teacher (and my oldest’s former teacher, and she also taught my husband in third grade, many moons ago) catches on to the tricks first and thwarts his idea.

B can be highly manipulative. And if you don’t know his subtle ways, his mannerisms and his voice changes, he can EASILY pull a fast one on you. And it usually happens when he doesn’t want to do something, trying to get out of classwork or a test or is in an environment he doesn’t care to be in at the moment.

The former school’s nurse knew ALL of his tricks. She knew when she needed to call me. She knew when she just needed to shoo him off back to class. She even knew when he HONESTLY did not get his Vyvanse that particular morning, and instead of calling, knowing B NEVER, EVER lies about it, just would give him his pill and then send him on his merry little way.

This year, I can see A LOT of phone calls from the nurse in my future. Then again, knowing the teacher, she will be able to catch him in his little cat/mouse game and thwart his ruse. Because she is just that covered and smothered in Awesome Sauce!.. I at least hope.

Schoolward Bound. Fifth Grade, Here He Comes!!

This past week we are about to leave, and the one that is coming upon us has been and will be fairly busy. It’s back to school time. And I think that ALL of us are ready. For the most part, anyways.

This week was filled with filling out paperwork, taking in paperwork to be filled out by Medical Professionals, a doctor appointment and school supply shopping.

Geez! Just thinking of what I just listed, I’m tired all over again! *hehe* (=

This coming week, it’s REGISTRATION time! And this means now, TWO different schools for three different kids. My oldest is moving on to Middle School.

B is in fifth grade this year. And thankfully, I was able to place him in with my oldest’s former homeroom teacher, who is the ONLY one of the three in their grade to be Special Education certified.

It also helps that she taught my HUSBAND when he was a kid at another school, for the third grade. And she started LAST school year to acclimate him by saying good morning to him, giving him his “morning hug” (their classrooms were next to one another at the time between the two grades). And she already has gotten an idea of what his needs will be with classroom placement and what will possibly work best to get the best ability out of his potential.

She runs a pretty tight ship. You do as expected, she is your BFF. You decide to make her life hell and not do as instructed, then your ass is grass. And he needs that kind of firm structure. And she is already on to his manipulations. BONUS!

Do I worry? Yep! But not as much as I have with the teachers of the past in regards to B. This lady is one of the best in her field. And one of the most patient and kind. But also one of the most strict and not able to be bamboozled, too.

I’ll more so worry NEXT year, then I will THIS year. Because there is a VERY good chance that B and his older sister will NOT be in the same Middle School, being she was accepted in to a school across town that takes those that are highly advanced/gifted. If she is able to remain there next school year (2012-2013), then he will be in our Zone School for Middle School all on his own.

Yes, he too is advanced in most areas of study. But he doesn’t have the work ethic and focus for a Gifted Program. Thanks to his emotional instability, lack of maturity, and his severe ADHD it takes him out of the running for advancement such as what his sister is in. And it hurts me. But at the same time, I can safely say that a setting such as that is clearly not for him.

Should I compare? No. But it is extremely hard to NOT see the difference versus the similarities.

You sometimes, I feel, HAVE TO compare the “odd one out” to the others because it forces you to see just how different the one with the problems truly is from most of society. It makes you step back and think a little more and be more compassionate, understanding and willing to have more patience. Not just with YOUR child with Silent Disabilities, but other children (and adults) with the same afflictions as well.

So, here is to (hopefully) smooth sailing for this school year. In just over a week, and then all three are off on another school-year adventure of learning and fun. But this year, it will be minus their big sister. And I think they will do just fine.

Inclusion…As it should be.

My child has mental health issues. They do NOT have him, though. He may have his quirks and his ways of viewing the world around him. But when you get down to the brass tacks of it all, he is just your average, ordinary, everyday kid who loves, loves to be loved, plays hard and loves to play with others (most of the time).

Also, we got his SOL (Standards of Learning) scores back from taking them for Reading and Math. He placed Advanced in both. One of them (Reading) was a 2 hour to 2 1/2 hour test. He was able to go to another area to take his test and have as much time as he needed. He felt less stressed and anxiety-ridden, and felt more at ease at knowing that he could just take HIS time and not feel any pressure.

We are now officially out of school for the Summer. But we are getting B in to the Day Treatment Camp. And I already have his new Homeroom teacher lined up for next year. She is the ONLY one of the three in the 5th Grade Unit Special Ed. certified and is already acclimating him to be with her. In fact she started it MONTHS ago, seeing as they are only three doors down from one another. I love H’s (now former) teacher!

     (My niece who is going to be a Senior in HS and B at the family reunion)

     (Five…yes, F-I-V-E generations of my husband’s late Grandfather’s side of the family. 7 kids, 16 grands and 32 great-grands, and 1 great-great grand. NOT all pictured here, but includes spouses/significant others, with my son in very front in red shirt and blue shorts.)

                (B in the school’s Field Day race this past Thursday.)

SOL Testing & My Kid (PYHO)

I’ve decided to do this as a POUR YOUR HEART OUT post, seeing as indeed, I’m writing in regards to something that I have kept bottled up inside since last Friday.

Now, the main rule with this hop/carnival/meme is the “golden rule” of life. If you can’t say something nice (or constructive, even if you disagree), then refrain from saying anything at all. Why? Because this may be the ONLY time/place that we that participate in PYHO CAN say what we feel about something that is going on in our lives or are on our hearts/minds.

With that said, if you want to participate too, just click on the PYHO button below, grab the link-up and go for it.

Thanks to a friend over on Twitter, Tough Cookie Mommy, who also has a blog here on Blogger of the same title, I have today’s post.

She is a teacher, and I am just a parent. But our kids, two states different are having major testing this week. I think her’s have more state-based types of testing, due to the name of what it is.

But my two oldest who are in fourth and fifth grades respectively, as well as the third graders, are having SOL testing this week.

What IS an “SOL”, you ask? It stands for Standards of Learning. It is a Federally-based/mandated test that the children take one time during the year (near the end of the school year).

Some (3rd and 5th) take all five subjects (math, reading, soc. studies, science and writing aptitude). The 4th graders take only two subjects (math and reading). Plus the kids take SOLs again in High School, also. And in Senior year, if you fail just ONE subject, they will NOT let you graduate High School with your class.

The higher the overall scores for SOLs that the kids bring in, combined, the more money that they get, as well as more close to complete Accreditation. And their intake of funds depends all on those Accreditation percentages.

Now, what’s MY beef with this, you ask? Let’s start off with the yearly phone call (message board-generated, mind you). It never fails. The weekend before testing week for SOLs and PALS (lower grades) testing, THE call comes in.

“Get a good night’s sleep”, “eat a good, filling breakfast”, “tell them to do their best” and all the other crap.

Now, note that this is the ONLY time of year that this type of call comes out to us parents. And to me, that’s pretty pathetic. Why? Because it *seems* that this is the ONLY time of the year that the school TRULY cares (somewhat) about how these kids do, education-wise. But (to ME) it’s more about “raking in” the money. Remember, the better the overall percentage of Accreditation scores, and individual scoring (up to 600), the more money from the Government the school receives.

Last night, I asked Bryce if they had let him go to another teacher’s room (the Title 1 class), where there would be basically no one but him and said teacher, as to take his portions of the test this week (he did the first of the two already). YEP! He did. And he will again today, as well.

Now, tell me why they would let my child go to another area (be it the classroom, library, office, or wherever) to take his tests for SOL, but they ignore his (and my) request to do this for him during the OTHER TIMES of the school year?

Funny. That has (all along) been one of the (very) few accommodation requests that BOTH (he as the student with special needs, and I as the parent) of us have asked a number of times for during the last few school years. In writing AND in person.

Right now, the school’s finances and their reputation are on the line within the eyes of the Federal Government. But they need to WAKE UP and realize, too that their reps are ALWAYS on the line with the general public at large AND with the parents of the students that they serve.

While it’s no longer surprising that this happens to Bryce EVERY single school year, it certainly does piss me off. Because it blatantly shows (in my eyes) that they care (obviously) more about the money than the children and THEIR potential and ability.

ADA and it’s historical Significance

ADA, also commonly known as Americans with Disabilities Act, which is now integrating more and more Disabilities over the last couple of decades is an often misunderstood Federal Law. There seem to be more assumptions made, than having facts spoken of.

To get a better view about the ADA, please watch this video that is just a few minutes long.

Sadly, for those individulas who like my son, have what are called “invisible” or “silent” disabilities, getting the ADA to work for them is a chore, to say the least.

The less a person LOOKS disabled, the less likely that the ADA will benefit them. At least this is MY personal experience in regards to trying to have the ADA work in Bryce’s favor. I’m still fighting to get simple accommodations at school. Not to mention, he is LEGALLY obliged to receive the 504 Plan. But again, the school is fighting me on that with mundane excuses.

Here’s some facts about Invisible/Silent Disabilities.

We as individuals with invisible/silent disabilities and/or those as their caregivers need to get louder than we have been. We need to start shouting from the rooftops. Especially where CHILDREN are concerned. They are the most overlooked individuals.

Why? The simple answer is that because they are KIDS. Kids are stereotyped as being too young and should be able to have things “bounce off them” as if they were rubber balls. Basically, they are too young to be so inactive. Or too young to have “such things” (such as diabetes, which in its self can be QUITE debilitating).

Some children (and adults) don’t “look” sick on the outside, but are debilitated on the inside. They may keep medical equipment within their vehicles, out of plan sight (which was the case with me as a small child), in case of an emergent situation.

For twenty years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has fought long and hard for those that are VISUALLY (as in seen as they are physically disabled) disabled. Just within the past decade, that I MYSELF know of, have the silently disabled been justified with being included in the fight for Federal Law to also encompass their needs of inclusion and legal fairness to be seen and heard as having REAL disabilities and to be afforded the same rights and Due Processes as their visibly impaired counterparts.

I hope that this post has served it’s purpose as being a learning tool, a historical piece, and a means to get more people involved in the movement to bring to light that those with silent/invisible disabilities can and ARE productive individuals within their communities and that they should be able to obtain the same rights and inclusions as those that are blind, deaf, physically and/or mentally challenged.