January 20, 2011

Adopting Harmony

I wish I could say I have adopted a harmonious relationship with our school district. I wish I could say we are looking at solutions not over empathizing problems. I wish I could say there is harmony between me and the basketball coach at Alex's High School. I wish I could say others are open to looking at children with special needs from an accepting and inclusive point of view, but right now I can't.

I have reached my saturation point. I cannot and do not believe the educators in our school system do not have Alex's best interest at heart. What I do believe is that our school district is under resourced and is not able to hire more special education teachers. Believe me I get it…that is why I have been trying for FIVE years now to look at creative solutions. When is enough enough? Probably three years ago, but definitely now.

The response from the basketball coach in regards to Alex's lack of play time is not worth sharing. It illustrated the overall attitude of many of the staff members in our school district. I am so sick of hearing "that's not my job". Perhaps including children with special needs is not a bullet point on a regular education or coach's job description, but to me it should be implied. Aren't teachers entrusted to facilitate their student's growth to responsible adulthood? Perhaps I am wrong…I don't know.

I have spent the last two night sleepless and in tears. Sometimes it just becomes too much. I do know how much longer I can advocate in a positive way for my daughter. Everyone seems to agree and think some of our solutions are great, but nobody acts on them and when I ask for feedback I am ignored. What is wrong with this? Next week I am meeting with the assistant superintendent of the school district and asking him to assist me in making a proposal to the school board. This will either work or it will not. But that's the last straw…this will be resolved no matter what it takes.

There is no harmony between me and the school district, and I wish more than anything there was. What a difference we can make to kids with special needs and kids without. Can you imagine the possibilities? I know I can.

Today, as I was driving around aimlessly trying to tame my anger and reenergize I ended up at CARE, our local cat adoption agency. On a whim I walked in and was immediately attracted to an 8 year old neutered female calico. It wasn't only her quiet demeanor and her wise eyes I noticed, it was her name; Harmony.

This beautiful cat is now part of our family. She will bring much joy to us and especially Alex who really needs a friend right now. I welcome Harmony.


  1. i found you from 'life decanted'. i have a 16 year old son who is on the autistic spectrum. the biggest challenge we have faced as a family is sorting out education - huge amounts of energy and time that could have gone into more positive things have been spent fighting with our local education authority. inclusivity in mainstream education was never going to work for our son - what has finally proved to be the answer is a place at an agricultural college where he has been
    lucky to have a tutor with vision and imagination. from being someone who couldn't get out of bed and certainly couldn't leave the house for 9 months our son is now saving up ready for learning to drive.

    i hope things work out for you folks; it seems to me getting through education in one piece is the best a lot of our special kids can hope for.

  2. ps - i started writing meaning to say we took on a puppy just before my husband had a kidney transplant and it was the best thing we could have done - it brought fun and cheerfulness to us when we really needed it!

  3. thanks..it does seem that my energy could be used to work with the school to create solutions for ALL kids..instead of these stupid pissing battles. Thanks for your success story. Harmony the cat is very good medicine!

  4. Why are some school system's such a brick wall?? I hear about some schools that just seem fabulous and open to parent ideas and involvement...and then I look at the one my children are attending and find a lot lacking.

    My oldest is showing signs of being gifted and there are some things that happen at school that are definately dragging him down...but I feel like I have to save "making a name for myself" for when Miss B will be in school. It's not fair to my older son, but I'm not sure how to avoid burning bridges (that seem to burn pretty easily around here) now, when I know I will need some of them later.

    If I had a magic wand, my first thing to do would be to fix our education system in a way that helps each student individually fulfill their potential--and the fear of doing battle with teachers/coaches/administrators would be non-existant.


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