Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Ok, I think I am in one of those moods that everything makes me mad! I am so frustrated with the public school system that I can not see straight! All of the research shows that children with Down syndrome learn much better in a typical school environment with their typical peers. The government even put into law the IDEA. IDEA mandates that a "free and appropriate public education" be available for all children with special needs starting at age 3, regardless of disability. A free and appropriate public education(FAPE) requires that students receive special education and related services that meet their unique needs and prepare them for independent living, employment, or post-secondary education. IDEA mandates that an Individual Education Program(IEP) be developed for each student by a team, including the parents. The IDEA also mandates least restrictive environment(LRE) to assure that to the maximum extent appropriate children with disabilities should be educated with their typical peers. All of this gets complicated in the preschool area, because many districts do not have general education classes for this age. This is the deep dark hole we are currently in. Our school district only offers special education classes for preschool and only offers pre-K to low income families. Sarah needs to have typical peers as role models. We were told there would be typical peers in this class. There is 1 to the 10-12 special needs children. Hmm, don't think that is helping. On top of all of that, the goals that were written for Sarah are ridiculous to put it mildly. I am at fault in this. I went to the first meeting 2 days before my hysterectomy. Not a good time to be writing goals. I was also told that Sarah was "only" developmentally delayed. As if that is not enough! When possible they like to put mental retardation on the file, then they only have to educate to the IQ, not the ability. I WILL FIGHT THAT LABEL! So let's see, I was hormonal, in the middle of a major life change, and my child is for now not mentally retarded, again not a good way to start a meeting. I did not hear a word after that. I just want to take my baby and RUN, RUN, RUN. I really wish at this point that is what I did. I did not. I stayed and put my child in this class. Nothing bad with the class, but not what she needs. Now, I can not get her out of this class. I did call a new IEP meeting and we are rewriting her goals to be more individualized. I spent all day yesterday trying to find a private preschool that will take a child with special needs for Sarah to go to next year. Not as easy as I thought. We are on the waiting list for one, waiting on an application for one, have to go meet with one first and would really like to send her to one, but they are outrageously expensive. To top it off, last week Sarah fell in the mud going into school last week and so now I am mad that they have her in a portable classroom, segregated from the rest of the school and we have to park in the muddy back forty and walk our kids into the trailer. I am trying to get them to work out a solution to the parking for us. There is a drive in front of the building , but it is gated for the safety of the school kids. Is my child not one of these kids? What about her safety? See, I told you I am in one of those moods. I just keep getting mad. Today it is snowing/raining. Sarah also does not regulate her body temp, so with the cold damp day, it is too far to go from the back field to her classroom and her not get chilled, so she is missing school. More frustration. I feel it bubbling up. Don't mess with my baby!

Posted on by Oily Special Momma | 4 comments

4 friends said:

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. I read every word of that as if it was me speaking and now I am mad. I just can't believe we are still fighting the same battles nearly 20 years later. It just boggles my mind. I hate that you have to go through all this, but it seems to be part of the process. I hope something works out with one of the other preschools for you. It sounds like it might be a better placement for Sarah. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey Robin,
It's Kathryn. I have a family that is working with STEPS, an advocacy group, that works with families. I know it's not a fix, but just an idea to see if they can help you out during this difficult time.

Hope it all gets better. You have always been so strong for your family and I am so upset this is happening. Good luck!

Mommyto2 said...

Thanks guy. Yes, it makes me mad that the schools are not getting the message. We have found a preschool for Sarah and will be pulling her out of the school system for next year, maybe 2. I figure I have to work with the system for the next 15 or so yrs, so we are waiting to kindy to focus our efforts. I am just ready to let her be a 3 yr old and quit trying to hit the next milestone, she will succeed.

Runningmama said...

Oh my, Emily is only 9 months old and I have to say...situations like this are what concerns me. I am sorry you are having to deal with this, it just isn't right.