January 31, 2010
The weekly e-mail
It may not be obvious to everyone, because it shocks even me, but I like to write. I find writing an opportunity to organize my thoughts, monitor my anger, and express thanks on my own time. Ironic coming from someone who never learned to type!
Writing to me, is different than a face to face meeting, or a phone call. So often, I can lose my train of thought and/or get carried away by passion. Writing levels the playing field for me - it lets me be me.
The key to writing though, which I learned from 14 years in Banking, is waiting. My rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours before reacting to anything - positive or negative. 24 hours calms me down and allows my logical and rational self to immerge (hopefully). So I try to wait, but I must admit I am not always successful.
I am happy to report, after our school pow-wow two weeks ago, I have received the promised Friday e-mail updates from Alex’s teachers. Most of the team has reported in, not all, but I understand it is not necessary to send an email for the sake of sending an email. This is okay with me.
The latest update came this past Friday and it took me until today, almost 48 hours later, to be able to respond. It was not a bad e-mail at all; I just would like some more information next time. Here is my response - names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I want to thank everyone for their commitment to making this a successful communication strategy for Alex. I know spending a couple extra minutes at the end of a busy week to write an e-mail can be challenging - believe me - that is why I waited until today. But it is worth it in the long run to see my very special daughter succeed in our school. Who knows..perhaps we can help the next special child and the one after that......
I already have one HUGE success to report - Alex played in the JV basketball game on Friday night. John was able to go -and he said the team, the parents and the entire gym was so excited to see Alex in the game - and it made Alex feel proud and included. Thanks PRINCIPAL for your efforts in making that happen. Let's keep it up!
SPEECH THERAPIST and SCHOOL COUNSELOR- I appreciate your added commitment to Alex's success - as we all know the more she feels comfortable talking with people in a confident manner, the easier it will be for all of us to help her express any frustrating thoughts she may have. Hopefully - these frustrations can be worked out with her words, rather than her actions i.e. bathroom graffiti. Every action, or lack of action, she takes is so directly related to something going on in her world - for me the tough part is trying to figure it out. It will be interesting this week to see if her behavior and motivation improves - based on her success in basketball on Friday night.
REGULAR ED TEACHER and REGULAR ED TEACHER - thank you for keeping us in the loop in regards to Alex's regular ed - I am glad she is participating in your classrooms and working on modified assignments. I am assuming that she is getting the support she needs to keep on task? I am also assuming she feels a part of your class - included, responsive and respectful?
However (as there is always an however when you are a parent of a child with special needs).....I am hoping for a couple of things in the next couple of weeks....IEP CONSULTANT - can we get her goals finalized so they can be incorporated into all her lessons and services. SPECIAL ED TEACHER - can we work on a "goal" oriented report to show what she is working on and how we are incorporating this into everything - including Sports? PRINCIPAL and DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS - can we start to put some thoughts on paper about Alex (and any child with special needs) participating in sports - I think we need to prep the coaches a bit better than we did this basketball season.
That's it for now....my thanks for your commitment.
Have a great week - ALEX'S MOM
I am back on my "team" approach wagon. As I have said many a time, almost ad nausea, I truly believe everyone involved with Alex wants her to succeed. The road block has been on the "how" part of this, but we should be able to figure this out. Aren't we all smart, capable, human beings?
A single teacher can not meet all the needs of our special kids - as John says "it takes a village". He stole that from someone with the initials HRC, she has made it part of our American vernacular. Team, team, team - it just seems so obvious to me in so many ways.