Monday, October 28, 2013


(written 10/28/13)

Need. To. Rant.

Waiting.  I'm tired of waiting.  If it was just for me, that'd be one thing, but this is my son, who has special needs who doesn't understand waiting, nor does he have the ability to wait.

Waiting.  Since he was an infant, I have been struggling with his tantrums, his oddities, his differences.  Now he's 8.  Eight years of waiting and trying to mold him into a good young man, a contributing member to society.

Waiting.  For almost four years now, we have been waiting for doctors and counselors to help us with him.  To head off major problems like suspensions, expulsions, injuring others, and self-injurious behavior.  Four years and all of those major things have happened anyway.

Waiting.  Tired of waiting for doctors and counselors to stop acting self-important and start helping my son, we started seeking evaluations and were put on months-long waiting lists.

Waiting.  Waiting for the school to recognize the problem that we had seen all along.  Day after day of destructive and violent behavior and time spent in the recovery room with the behavior interventionist or being sent home because they can't handle him, yet refusing to assess him for special education, even with a doctor's recommendation, and calling his behavior "average" when they are forced to assess him.

Waiting.  Waiting for evaluation reports to be sent and for assessment testing to be completed.  Waiting for the verdict of what they are going to do with him.

Waiting.  Answers to simple questions that no one wants to respond to.  Listening to people back-pedal and explain and skirt around the issue and refuse to acknowledge me.

Waiting.  The state's finding that the school was not in compliance with state law after a two-month investigation, which brought out lies and covering up.  Findings that will not likely help anything since what's done is done and there's not much they can make up for.

Waiting.  Two months before appointments were available with a new psychiatrist and a new therapist, who will hopefully be able to help more than the others did.

And meanwhile, in the midst of all of this by people who decided at some point in their life that they wanted to help children yet have lost the focus somewhere along the way, there's a little boy who is lost.  A little boy who doesn't understand why he is the way he is.  A little boy that feels unliked by his peers and different from the other kids, made abundantly clear by isolation inflicted by the school.  A little boy that is so anxious about making mistakes that he won't even try.  A little boy who is so frustrated with it all that he has asked numerous times to be checked into a hospital so someone can fix him.  A little boy who is so depressed that he often remarks that he wishes he was dead or that he wants to kill himself and a couple of times has been prevented from grabbing knives to do harm to himself.  A little boy that thinks he is all alone and no one else understands or has struggled like he does.  A little boy who has to try five times as hard as the next kid to pay attention and learn and comes home exhausted from the effort.  A little boy who learns differently and processes slower but is expected to keep up with the status quo.  A little boy who can't even enjoy birthday parties or theme parks or entertainment centers because it's too overwhelming for him.  A little boy with a hyperactivity problem that is expected to sit still all day and had his recess taken away long-term last year.

Bureaucracy and covering your own rear end.  That's what it's all about.  Not about this little boy that has been on crisis mode.  When did the school become this way?  And it's not just him.  I hear stories from other parents who have been fighting the same battle.  There exists a parent advocacy group just because this happens so often.  And even aside from special education, the stories I hear from my daughters about what goes on at school, the lack of teaching, the kids in crisis that no one seems to care about.  Little girls who are not little girls anymore, but exposed to sexuality and violence and drugs as young as the fourth grade.  Having to explain to your daughter what a vibrator is because her 9-10 year old classmate said she was using one and being afraid to allow what used to be an innocent slumber party because fifth grade classmates decided to experiment with homosexuality after their parents went to sleep.  Girls that are so confused that they are cutting themselves and contemplating suicide and experimenting sexually and getting pregnant as early as age 13.  In schools where rapes can occur during school hours.  Teachers yell at them to "shut the f*** up!" or laugh along with other students at special needs' kids and don't defend students against peer bullying, despite all the attention called to the bullying problem in this country.  I know there are good teachers out there (one example) and we have known some excellent ones, but they are outnumbered and fighting an uphill battle.  And in most cases, the problem is lack of parenting.  It just makes me sick.  I know we can't shut ourselves off to the world, even if it feels like we should.  But, how long, Lord?  How far will it go before you return?  I wonder if we are better or worse than it was in the days of Noah when God was sorry He made man and destroyed all but one righteous family.

We are waiting, Lord, for your return.  Anxiously.

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