Friday, August 27, 2010

Shaky Start, but Ooooo I Feel Lucky Today!!!

Well, per usual, our local school district (lsd--- just like a bad drug LOL) did not fail to disappoint.

Right out of the gate, no bus. The lsd got lucky cause the first day of school, I had to work. They dealt with the hubs. They tried to tell him "if it makes you feel any better, the sped** buses didn't come for about 12 of the kids here". Ummmm, NO!!!! That means that the parents who have enough to worry about sending their children with handicaps off to school had no busing! Sheesh.... so NOT okay. The hubs called & left a message with transportation. The next day, still no bus. They had to deal with me. Ut-oh!!! Mrs.I-know-our-rights-and-am-not-afraid-to-quote-them-or-go-over-your-head-and-won't-take-no-as-an-acceptable-answer-when-it's-on-the-IEP.

Yep, the b!tch is back.

Upon dropping her off at school, I met with the vice principal. She said it was a district thing, not at the school level. I went home and called the person in charge of transportation for special education. I called & called & called. I kept getting VM! Frustrating! I am going to make this long story short, for I spent hours chasing this down. I chewed out the lady who is in charge (but claims she is not), then talked to her supervisor and continued on up the chain. Upon all the calls & investigating, I found out the bus owner did ask why MM wasn't on the list! They claimed they had no paper work. WHATEV!!! The lady in charge was quite rude (hence the butt chewing from me. If you are rude to me, I push back---- HARD! If she hadn't been rude, I might have been content to wait it out for the week. I would have asked for transportation reimbursement, but I could have waited it out) and tried to claim it was a fluke. Not believing that for: 1.) She has been riding special transportation to this school for 3 years, this makes year 4. 2.) The bus owner asked why she wasn't on the list. 3.) This happened with kindergarten!!!! It was a large amount of finger pointing & blame shifting, just like our good bureaucratic system does at its finest.

Needless to say, the bus showed up on day three. Hee hee.... LSD 0 MM 1

As I have mentioned before, MM often has troubles with lunch at school. She doesn't always eat. She also doesn't drink sometimes. Not drinking is very bad as we all know, special needs or not. It is not good for a person to go 8 hours without drinking! We have it written on her IEP that she can drink when she wants. She is very prone to UTIs due to her CP issues & the autoimmune stuff. We are approaching the end of week two. I have been diligently documenting what she does or does not eat or drink from her lunch (long story on this cause the principal claims that they make sure all the children eat and drink when at school~ all except MY child). She has not been drinking ANYTHING from her lunch box. I have asked if she is drinking something else. I never get a clear answer, but I am guessing not because she is parched when she gets home & drinks like a fish. She came out of PT today & they asked if she was getting a UTI cause she kept holding herself. I didn't tell them about her not drinking, they know her & pick up on her cues quite well. After talking to my mom (who got her off the bus), she said she went to the bathroom 5 times in the 30minutes of being home from school. UGH!!! SO, after today, I will have almost two weeks of documentation to back up my concerns. I will meet with the teacher, the school nurse & the principal to get this resolved. WHY oh WHY does common sense elude these people????

MM does appear to be enjoying school so far. The work is quite easy for her so far. They do have her Neo & she is using it. The teacher has sent me quite a few notes as well as some emails. She says she loves having MM cause she is super smart & sweet! She is also behaving quite well.

I have had a week of ups & downs. One of the coolest ups, hence the lucky today, is that I actually won a really cool prize on Ellen's blog! I am super excited to get it! This was the first time I have one a major award and can't wait to receive my fragile package! (lol...Christmas Story reference). Go show Ellen, Sabrina & Super Purple Max some bloggy love! THANKS ELLEN! You are an amazing writer with some great kiddos & some cool give aways!

**"professional" people referring to it as SPED when talking to a parent is a whole other issue!!! I find it to be derogatory & will bring this up to the principal as well ! ARgh!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to School

Every where we look, we are inundated with back to school stuff. Advertisements on TV. Advertisements in the paper & online. Displays as soon as you enter the store.

Most parents are excited about the words back to school. The children have been fighting all summer. The children are bored. The parents are ready to send them off so they can relax, get their house back in order and do all the things that are hard to do with children around.

Not me.

MM starts school on Tuesday. I have a huge knot in my stomach. It is keeping me up at night with anxiety. Will this year be better? Will I have to fight as much? Will they follow the IEP? Will she eat while at school? Will she use the bathroom so she doesn't get sick? Will her meltdowns be as bad as they usually are when she starts back to school? Will she make any gains after doing so well this summer? Will the bus driver work out? Will she be able to keep up with her peers? Is this the year the kids start making fun of her or are mean to her?

Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to getting a break. It will be nice to have most of my days off to do the things I need to without her in tow. She has also had a great summer (up until the last few weeks which I am sure is HER anxiety about the change coming up) and I have enjoyed working with her, helping her make some real gains.

BUT, I am not looking forward to all the BS of school that goes along with having a SNK.

To end on a good note, we met her teacher the other day. I am excited cause I think we might have a great fit. She has been a teacher for a long time and has spent the majority of her time in special education. She has taught a typical classroom for the last 4 years, with a Sp. Ed. child in the room each year. XXXXfingers crossedXXXX that this is MM's year!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cheer Up...

In the last year, my biological father has gotten in contact with me.

He was MIA for over 20 years. He then got in contact with my older sister. She clearly remembers him, she was three when my mother & he split up. They were already separated when I was born, got back together & then went their own way. I met him back then, about 15 years ago. It was very awkward for me. I already have a dad and this person appeared for a weekend & expected to be as such. I never spoke with him again after that. My sister has maintained contact with him and developed a relationship. The relationship between my sister & I is often tenuous. We didn't talk for a long time as adults. We have reconciled & I try my best with her. However, I feel she compartmentalized her relationship with our biological father from me.

When MM was born, she and I were not talking. (That is a whole other story to be hashed out some other time) MM was a secret from the biological father for a long time. I didn't have any relationship with him. I also didn't feel it was important. When my nephew was born, I guess he assumed it was his first grandchild. Things were fine by me. My sister continued to feel a need to keep her a secret. I could care less either way.

Then along came F.ace.B.ook.

Being friends with my sister, she friended his two daughters (yes, I know they are my half sisters, but I need baby steps with this...) & his current wife. They could see posts & pics (I wasn't savy on how to make things private like I am now). She asked if I cared if they friended me. I didn't mind. My biological father also friended me. Fine. He then found out about MM, that she existed, his FIRST grandchild. Still fine.

I have tried my best to foster a relationship with him. I don't really think it is a familial one, but it is semi cordial. I feel like the more people in MM's life that know her & love her, the better off she will be. He has sent her two packages, I sent a few pics. I occasionally chat online with him & sent a few texts. I have put forth the effort and feel I have done all I can. The ball is in his court if he wants more, but I am not reaching out any more. He was the one who pursued me. I don't feel like I have a void in my life.

All this history leads up to the following:

My sister told him about MM's disabilities when he first found out about her. Things have been said or done that really rub me the wrong way. I know people mean well, but the best of intentions...

I posted about having a bad day yesterday & feeling bad. He texted me to ask how I was doing (btw, I have not heard from him in over a month). I just said I was tired & life was kicking my butt right now (have had several trying ASD days in a row). He txtd back "cheer up, I have days and weeks like that".


That just pi$$ed me off to the hilt. YOU do NOT have days like this or weeks. YOU had four healthy daughters, two of whom you ignored for years. YOU don't know what it's like to be exhausted from ticks, meltdowns, the constant needs of self help, having a 7 year old functioning like a 3.5 year old,worrying about paying medical bills, going to therapy, making sure you are doing enough for her, fretting about IEPs, fighting the school, the constant stares in public, the mental & emotional beat down etc, etc. YOU don't know how hard it is to walk around with your heartbroken cause you can't fix or stop what is going on. It will not change. It will not go away. You have never seen her, spent 1 minute with her, let alone a day.

So, sorry if I don't cheer up immediately. I think I am entitled to a pity party every now & then. They don't come as often as they used to, but they do come, especially on super trying days like the last few have been. If you really knew about our life & really wanted to be involved in a true grandparent role, then you would know. I am sure you meant well, but no.



You do NOT have days like this. You NEVER will.