Monday, January 18, 2010

Has history taught us nothing?

My mind is racing today as I have come from a very long meeting involving one Principal and two teachers in my daughters school. My head is pounding and my heart is racing from all that both they and I had to take in this morning. You see today I went to the school to go about getting my daughter the intervention and resource hours she needs to help her achieve her full potential in a mainstream setting, this is no mean feat as the Principal and I are not on the same wavelength, the resource teacher is a dote and wants to help in anyway possible and her classroom teacher resembles Barbie in every way possible and has a bit of dopey thrown in for good measure!!
I hand over copies of the report from the infamous Prof to each of them and wait for responses to be given, the principal's response is to tell me I need a letter from my GP stating she is on meds for ADHD as that is the only way that the SENO will take it seriously, he then informs me that he is not hopeful of her getting her resource hours as he has had two cases worse than her refused recently, my heart sinks I have to start another battle just like I had to with Kyle only this one seems tougher to me due to the cutbacks in place.
The dote of a resource teacher wants to help in any way possible and says he will speak to the principal about the possibility of having a half a hour one to one lesson with her every day. I could kiss this man, he enquires after my well being and remarks it must be tough having two children on the spectrum, I nod my head afraid that if I respond to his kindness I will dissolve into tears, he knows this of course and gently touches me on the arm as if to say "I understand and its ok"
The Barbie doll has to be told what way to teach my child so therefore I go in armed with a copy of the Dept of Eds recommendations on how to teach a child with a learning disability, she looks at me in shock and nearly falls off the chair in surprise, I think she assumes I must have a learning disability as well as she treats me as if I have not got a brain in my head, well today she had her eyes opened!! No more Mrs nice guy.
The one thing that struck me about these encounters was when I posed the question to the principle as to what would happen to children in mainstream whose hours were taken off them or the sna's removed. He said it would pose a serious dilemma for schools as to how they would be able to teach them, He said the Dept were clamping down on resource hours and eventually wanted them gone altogether as well as the sna's. I said to him surely this is consigning children like mine to the scrapheap and he nodded his head sadly.
Now this is where the history bit in the title comes in, it strikes me that like Hitler wanting a super race this also goes for the Dept of Education! They want children who have blonde hair and blue eyes and brains to burn in their schools, not for them are the children who are just as bright but have difficulties in expressing their potential in a conventional way in our society. We all know of the practise of some schools CHERRYPICKING their students, they wheedle out the weakest link without so much as a by or leave, thats what the entrance exam is there for. I find myself questioning what life would be like with all these blonde haired perfect children and the answer is simply this, AUTOMATED! Who wants to be perfect anyway? Not me.
I am not going to allow anyone consign my children to the scrapheap or to be extinguished like in the holocaust just because the powers that be want everyone to conform and be a super race so I will continue my fight for my children's rights and pray to god to give me the strength to do it.


  1. it makes my blood boil that in this day and age we have to fight for what should be an automatic right for our children. Keep on going Andra, you're a fab mum, and your children are very lucky to have you in their corner! I'm quoting Belle today (age 3!) "Everybody is different and being yourself is the way to be"! if she can see this, why do others have such a problem with it xx

  2. Andra, your principal has a lot to answer for...he clearly has no intention of fighting for your little girl. What a waste of space he is.
    Well done on getting through such a difficult meeting and for not being a pushover.
    And, yeah, that disgraceful attitude towards the education of our kids could be compred to eugenics.
    Even though the dept are playing hardball with him, it's his duty to say "no, that's not good enough"...I've seen firsthand (praise the heavens!!) the difference a solid principal who has a backbone and can say "We need more!" can make.
    I hate asking you to consider this, but are there any alternative schools in the area that have a principal who can actually do his/her job?
    Have you spoken to your td or IAA?
    I think you're amazing Andra. You have lucky kids XXX

  3. oh andra, were at the same stage of this fight im afraid, and i sympathise and empathise all the way

    its so tough but try and learn from my mistake, take time to breath and try not to get overloaded and run down as it has a nasty fall at the end of the hole

    make sure you allow your self to gather info and go in armed when you have all you need

    i hear ya hun and i hope you win the fight, but its a very long and painful one and its harder with aspergers than it is with an autism fight, im finding this my worst fight of my life and im beat evry corner im turning xx

  4. Oooh...this makes my blood boil Andra! If a child has been "coping" (in their eyes) in a mainstream setting then it's easy for some to ignore any subsequent diagnosis.

    It also depends very much on the Principal and class ateacher in question. I suspect that he's simply giving you the brush off. Maybe I'm wrong but I've heard no such rumours about getting rid of SNA's or Resource hours!! That's Bullsh1t!! It has to be!

    If it's true then they'll have one hell of a fight on their hands. And it won't be just us'll be the Teachers too. Because of all the wage cuts they won't put up with that crap! Most of them are encouraging and want our children to thrive AND they won't want the disruption to the classroom that any such changes would entail.

    You need a letter from GP to say she's on meds so that SENO will accept a diagnosis of ADHD??? What a load of me-you-know-what!! is THAT REALLY TRUE, i WONDER?? Have you gone into Dept of Ed website?? Check out criteria for acceptance of diagnosis and what the CURRENT entitlements are then ring the SENO yourself.

    I wish you all the luck with this Andra....we're right behind you. xx

  5. This is amazing! I cannot believe that you wrote this at the very time when Griffin's school is about to take away his services just because he is in a mainstream classroom. He is so behind in his speech yet they feel that it is an issue of self-esteem instead of an actual speech problem. I am livid and I imagine that you are as well!!!! I cannot believe how the principal has treated you! But KUDOS to you for sticking to your guns and making things happen. This is exactly what I plan to do! They will not bulldoze me and manipulate me, or intimidate me into thinking the way that they do! Just because he is in mainstream doesn't mean that he is not in need of services.

    Just reading this makes me so anxious for you, I just want to reach through the computer and grab the principal by the collar and yell at him asking him exactly what does he hope to accomplish? You are the #1 advocate for your daughter and you are doing an excellent job so there's no worries, I am sure that you will get things taken care of, it may take some work but it will happen.

    Hugs and lots of support to you Andra!!!!

  6. thats the kind of support i'v had from schools over the years, starting with dyslexic child nine years ago. my middle son with asperger's has adhd but is not on meds and his diagnosis was accepted despite the fact that he survived up to fifth class without diagnosis. my son got 5 hrs but is in fact going to resource teachers made up psychotherapy classes every day, good luck Andra and big hugsxxx

  7. Andra, I'm so sorry that people can not (or do not want to, more like) understand that children on the spectrum need support in the classroom. Keep up the fight! Cannot they not realize that our children (with special needs or not) are the future of this country??? X

  8. Why? Seriously, its what I want to know... why? Why do we have to fight every step of the way? Why should our children have to lose out and not get the services they deserve? If anyone finds out the answer, can they stick it on a postcard and let us know??

    Well done on going in prepared for the meeting missus, you truely are your childs best advocate and good on you for putting Barbie in her place! xxx

  9. andra i really dont know what to say. im so sorry for u both. this is one of them times that makes me so glad AJ isnt able for mainstream.
    this country is an absolute disgrace.
    hope it imroves soon

  10. An absolute disgrace Andra, im too angry to leave a proper comment, but you go in there and kick ass!!! They are a shower of plonkers.

  11. You left out how the blonde haired blue eyed master race will need to speak irish!

    Start shopping for a new school. We are lucky in this part of the country that there are little schools with arse kicking principals who know how to be tricky when it comes to getting resources. meet with people on your side of Lough Dan who can give you the wink.

    Finding a school with an outreach unit is a good start as while you are aiming for mainstream, there will be a culture of resource aquisition within the school.

    Maybe using outreach will be a good way to access an SNA while still being in mainstream the majority of the time. Yes it will mean travel hon.

    If you need help with advocacy, you know who to call....Ghost Busters!

    no actually, ARSEHOLE BUSTERS!