Rant

Today's blog challenge topic is suppose to be a rant about something. I don't really feel in the ranting mood today. so I'll just let you read Our Dyslexia Story. If there is one topic that can usually get me ranting its this one. Not that Dyslexia exists although it sucks, but that colleges don't take the time to educate future teachers on the topic. That when there was a free seminar by an expert on the subject the teachers that were present couldn't sit still to listen. If I moved once so people could get up and down, I did it a million times. They talked and talked amongst themselves. Which also annoyed me. This is behavior they would never let happen in their classroom because its disrespectful and yet they were doing it to the speaker. That I sent the information to my daughters school who belive me needed to hear the information. They could have even gotten free PD hours, but I didn't see any of them there. Hmmm.

So this is where the story begins. Its long and I apologize. But its a topic I am passionate about. There is no excuse for how this story goes down. There just isn't.

Our dyslexia story.....

I have a BS in early Child hood Development. I’ve taught preschool for years. My ex husband has a BS in Chemistry. Our first child breezed through school, her reading level was always at least 2 grades ahead of her grade year. She was the child that every teacher begged to have in their class. I was always the class mom....the one that arranged the parties and helped on field trips and any other last minute project.

Then Emmy started school.

Emmy. My sweet, hysterically funny, sensitive to everyone’s needs, can’t sit without snuggling in your lap (even now). I knew something was different as soon as she started preschool. She wasn’t in my class but in the room beside mine. She just did NOT grasp letters. She went into Kindergarten not able to write her name, not able to recognize her left and her right, not able to write her name.

But she could remember a song after hearing it once. She could paint the prettiest pictures and tell the most elaborate stories and Remember things that happened from the time she was two. I use to say don’t talk about things in front of Em unless you want her to quote it back to you later.

Kindergarten passed with me feeling frustrated because she didn’t get a lot of the concepts. She knew very little sight words spelling tests were a nightmare. The teacher was wonderful and we talked often about Emmy’s struggles.

First grade passed the same way. The teacher wanted to hold her back, but Em showed enough progress after Christmas to put that on hold. Again  the teacher was there to talk about the problems we were facing and we worked on strategies to try to over come them.

Second grade.

This is where our nightmare really begins. up until this point. We have had supportive teachers, the staff at the school treats us like people (that’s important for later) The teacher never spoke to us despite us showing up to every class party. She sent a progress report home at Christmas that said she MAY want to consider holding her back. I said I would be available to meet with her any time after school or any time on Fridays. I never heard a word from her, so I assumed everything was ok as it had been the year before. Boy was that a mistake on my part.
 

The last day of school her report card said that they were holding her back. I called the school requesting to speak with the teacher. She never returned my call, My ex husband did the same with the same results. I emailed her, no reply. I asked to speak with the principle. Still no reply. I asked several teachers what their thoughts were on how I should handle this situation. They all said I had given everyone a chance to respond so the next step should be the superintendent. This is what I did. I explained to him what happened; I asked that she call me. She did and I lost my temper because I was livid at how we had been treated. I wanted to know primarily why she never let me know when she could meet with me, Why she never helped me work on a plan to improve Emmy’s scores, Why she would go from Emmy MAY be held back to Emmy IS held back without a heads up. I never got those answers. So I called the super back and asked for a meeting with the principle, teacher, and counselor. They all showed up and it basically went down like this......The teacher said her piece, She didn’t push Emmy by giving her work on her level (she was doing well on her homework papers but we learned that they were 1st grade work) because she didn’t want her to hate school. I congratulated her on that because Emmy in fact hates school and never wants to go back. I told her that if I had ran my classroom (I taught Head Start at the time) that I would be fired. She should thank her stars that she has tenure because she is in fact the shittiest teacher I had ever encountered in my life. That was mean and pissy on my part but I meant it and I still mean it. The counselor gave us some reading pages to tutor her with. I mentioned that Emmy shows signs of dyslexia and I would like to have her tested. They all looked at me like I had grown an extra head. Said they didn’t know anything about dyslexia and that they didn’t know anyone to test for it that I needed to see our pediatrician for that. (That is false a pediatrician does NOT test for dyslexia.) I pointed out that we have the same degree and I knew about dyslexia so how did they get through school without learning anything about it. I got no response. My ex husband was also pissed and said his goal is to yes help Em but we know in the big picture Emmy will be fine because she has parents that support her education and are willing to do whatever. His concern is the other children that get this teacher and struggle and fail because she just doesn’t care. I left with the validation that she would not be held back but I knew we all had a lot of work to do. I needed to start tutoring her and research dyslexia.

Third grade

I began by going to the teacher before school started and said I really think she is dyslexic and we are looking into having her tested. I wanted her to know right from the start that her dad and I are supportive and that we can be reached anytime and we are willing to do whatever if it has even a hint of helping her. Education is important we understand that and want her to succeed. The year was a series of ups and down. The up we got her diagnosed with dyslexia. It cost us 900 dollars and I think it was the most well spent money EVER! The school said she doesn’t qualify for an IEP and her 504 doesn’t really cover anything that the dyslexia specialist suggested she try. I should mention that none of these accommodations cost. It was all free things. Emmy would leave blanks on her page because she was told to “do the problems that you know” which may work with a traditional student but with Em she would lose her place and leave several blanks. The teachers punishment was for her to write “I will not leave blanks on my page” By her having to write this she didn’t have the time to read and if the students don’t read 4 books in a week (hers was lowered to 2) then she couldn’t get fun Friday. She never got fun Friday because she was always trying to catch up. Imagine how this affected her morale? I am so sad for her. She is being tutored by us with a dyslexia specific program. Barton Reading for anyone interested.


I should mention that her teacher in third grade has taught for many, many years and I am sure she just does what she always does. She is a sweet lady, but obviously not enthusiastic about embracing change. She has been in contact with us all year long so we can work together to help. I love that about her. As we leave third grade and look ahead to next year I am scared for what Emmy faces. I'm scared we will have another lazy bitch like we had in second. Believe me it is all I can do to keep myself from posting her name and the name of the school. If I was able to home school her I would, simply because being where she is at is not the best thing for her. We are doing the best we can with the situation by giving her specific tutoring at home.

 I am not longer accepted at the school as I was before. I get the feeling that I’ve been labeled the difficult parent. I’m now the parent who complains. In my opinion that just translates into the parent that cares. The parent that fights for what is right.

 

6 comments

  1. I am so sorry! Are there other schools you can look at? I remember a family friend that found the best solution was the private, catholic school because they had smaller classes and more training was required of the teachers.

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    1. We live in a small town. We do have a few private schools while they have advanced curriculum they don't have the ability to make any accomodations for her to keep up. They can't do her tests orally etc.... Its sad to say but this is really our only option. I just keep telling myseld two more years and she is at the middle school.

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  2. Ugh I hate this story :( I feel so bad for Em.

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    1. I hate it to. Its my worst story to tell, but since today was suppose to be a rant. Its my biggest rant. I can be laid back about most things, but not this.

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  3. i can't believe the lack of support you are getting from the school! This really made me angry, they are totally ruining learning for her :(

    my mum is a teacher for kids with learning disabilities and she would be glad to have a parent like you.

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  4. I hate how people label you difficult when you try to shake them out of their complacency. I feel really bad for Em and I hope next year is much better.

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