Friday, October 3, 2014

Heavy Doses Of Reality

 Source of all Beautiful Images in Today's Post: Bing.com
 
** DISCLAIMER: DIFFICULT READ AHEAD but loads of Pretty Images to Soothe the Soul**
 
 
Been Dealing with some heavy doses of Reality lately and so I needed a Beauty Break from Soul Crushing experiences... perusing the Internet via Bing Images for all that I find to be Lovely and Ethereal... Reality can sometimes be the polar opposite of that... so some Escapism was necessary to keep Centered and bouy the Spirit after this week.
 
 



You see... I had back to back Parent-Teacher Conferences this week for the G-Force and I Dreaded both, rightly so, I knew how it would play out, this is not my first Rodeo.  First to update and Amend the Grandson's IEP with the High School Administration, since the Generic Version they implemented at the beginning of High School was a dismal failure.  I Invited his CPS Caseworker to attend so I'd have someone knowledgeable and intimidating in my corner, might as well use her leverage and knowledge while I have her assigned to our Case.   She has a strong background in Special Ed and Mental Health, which is why she was Assigned to us, so she brought a lot to the table to Advocate for him and us.   She was furiously taking Notes and Clearly upset by the experience, Administrative 'Suggestions' and obvious Ignorance about Mental Health and how best to Deal with Students who are Afflicted... but now she knows what I've been going thru year after year.
 
 
 
 
 And then... the 'Progress Report' {or lack thereof} on the Semester the Princess just got through... barely apparently.   She still can't read and they aren't sure why... so it could be a reason for her not being Promoted to Fourth Grade if they cannot Identify her barrier and bring her up to speed by year's end.  She's already self-conscious of her deficiencies, embarrassed and enduring Teasing, so I don't want her held back if we can avoid it.  We signed her up for a Fall Break Intercession Class funded by a recent Grant... the Princess is not Happy to be spending most of her long awaited Break in School.  Because she tries so very hard to keep up in School and do good work... she just can't and is falling further and further behind and no amount of Help has helped yet.   Both were rather dismal experiences... the Bipolar Child... and Meth Babies in general, fall into the Netherworld Educationally that nobody much wants to appropriately Deal with.  Because there is so much to Misunderstand about their particular Challenges and State of Being and so much not known or conclusive.
 
 


What to do with and for them in order to Help them Succeed is no small feat, no matter how Brilliant a Mind they possess.  A 'Beautiful Mind' is a very complex, often Tormented and unpredictable one, with barriers that often defy explanation... or solutions.   I'm no Miracle Worker and I grow Weary of being incessantly told what I already know, these Kiddos have 'Issues'.   I also don't like to be made to feel that there's something so 'wrong' with them that they can't be Educated.  Yeah, we already know it's not gonna be easy to figure out coz they're not textbook type Children, we Live it twenty-four-seven and three-hundred-and-sixty-five, this is no Revelation you're Imparting... and NO, I can't 'fix' it or them and I don't have the Answers.  Wish I did, Life would be so much easier, kinder and Drama free.  
 
 


I guess what frustrates and angers me most of all is that so many, even of the most Educated, seem to Believe that those suffering from Serious Mental Health Issues CHOOSE to be the way they are... like they have a Choice to BE differently and act the way they do on Purpose!   Now... if my Special Needs Kiddo rolled up in a Wheelchair the very same people would NEVER dare to suggest that the Child just get up and walk or run by sheer Will Power to make their Life and everyone Dealing with them easier so that accommodations didn't have to be made for their Disability.  Nor would they be Punished for not walking every day by privileges being taken away or 'earned' if they just get up and Walk for Heaven's Sakes!   But the Mentally Ill Child is often made to Feel they're a Problem Student and Abnormal because of their Medical Condition... which only serves to Magnify the particular Challenges they face daily.
 
 



Challenges nobody BUT the Afflicted could possibly Understand or Relate to... which is why there is still so much Misunderstanding, blatant Discrimination and Social Stigma.   A Bipolar Child will Present like they do because that unfortunately is the Nature of the Beast of the Burden they bear with this Medical Condition.   Sometimes it's all this Child can do to get out of bed and show up every day or stay awake if they've been unable to sleep for days on end, even with strong Medication to ease symptoms or have debilitating Depression that renders them non-functional at any level.   They complained that he falls asleep a lot in class and doesn't take Notes... yet still aces his Tests and Quizzes, Scoring higher than anyone in the Class, sometimes even in his Grade Level... so THAT'S why they must give him a Failing Grade in every class because it's a 'Problem' that the inbetween work is too much for him!!!   Because apparently it wouldn't be 'Fair' to the other Students and Families to give him preferential treatment to properly Accommodate his needs in order to Grade him on what he CAN do, rather than focusing on what he CAN'T do.  REALLY... well lemme tell ya, Life ain't Fair otherwise Bras wouldn't come in sizes... and frankly it's none of the other Students and their Families damn business why a disabled Child is being accommodated due to a Medical Condition they don't need to know the details of... is it?  Yeah, I Roll Hard to Advocate for my Disabled Loved Ones, they Endure too much for me not to!  "I Hope you're not mad at me Gramma?" he said after the Meeting... No, I'm not mad at you darling, just trying to figure this out for you to best Succeed, Okay?
 
 


Oh... and BTW I had to bring this up too... the Letters and all you're sending Home to me saying he's missing too much School because he's Sick so often that he has excessive absences... well, YOU'RE the ones calling me to come pick him up during one of his Anxiety Attacks or Mental Health days!!!  So... whaddya want and expect me to do, NOT pick him up and take him Home when you can't handle him or he's Clearly too Sick to stay? A Responsible Parent does not insist a Sick Child remain in or go to School, just common sense.  So... we'll be before a Review Board to ensure he gets the Credits he HAS Earned in spite of being Chronically Ill due to a legit Medical Condition that he, nor we, have any Control over.  Until such time as the Good Lord Miraculously Heals him or a Cure is Discovered, this is just how it is and what we've got to Deal with as best we can, period, no further discussions about it needed.
 
 

 
 
I thought the CPS Caseworker was gonna explode when it was 'suggested' that as a 'Reward' IF he was Good, they'd find a way to allow him to eat Lunch in a setting he can handle, by maybe leaving Class two minutes early to be able to get Served, since the chaos of the packed Lunchroom and long lines freaks him out so he's just not eating at School!!!   WTF!!?!??!  Okay... so when is a basic function like being fed considered a 'Reward' for any Child... and what are you suggesting, with-holding food as a Punishment if they don't perform to your standards, which are set too high for him to attain anyways?   I couldn't even Believe I was hearing it myself... and especially with a Child Protective Services Caseworker present... and of coarse the entire conversation was recanted and re-phrased after our Caseworker went off... and took some more Notes which I'm sure will be reviewed by an even higher power!
 
 


By now I was Feeling quite defeated, faint and exhausted, so glad the Meeting was finally over and we had a Witness that totally concurred with us that this is not at all adequate or likely to work or end well.  The new IEP is somewhat Improved... but at the end of the day the Expectations are rather lofty given that he's still gonna be Mentally Ill any way it's cut and if the Condition isn't being acknowledged or understood for what it is by those Teaching him since they lack the Training to Guide him, then how can they really Help him Succeed?  It just sets him up to continue to Fail... though Home Schooling was suggested again... because they'd much rather slough it off on the Families if they Fail to teach your Special Needs Child, less expensive and less of a pain in the ass for them too.  No way the Caseworker said even before I told them I don't have the ability to be an Educator too along with Full Time Caregiving of a brain damaged disabled Spouse and two Special Needs G-Kids.   I don't have the Credentials nor the Stamina for one more Job that someone else don't wanna do.  Been outta School about forty years now too so I'm a Dinosaur when it comes to what Kiddos need to be taught and know to Succeed in this Modern World and be Competitive Academically??!?  And The Man can no longer Help, the Princess had to Teach him to read again after his Accident... even tho' she can't read herself, what a jacked up Comedy of Errors it all is!!!!   And besides, I'm pretty certain Prince R is Smarter than I am or ever will be, the Kid is probably a Genius, and you can only take someone as far as you are, he's already surpassed me by miles with his 'Beautiful Mind' that his Teachers cannot unlock or seem to Engage.
 
 



And I'll continue to have The Princess read to me incessantly in a vain effort to improve her weakest skills... even tho' it takes her about an Hour to get thru a simple Dr. Seuss book she's already read  dozens of times... but it's always as if she's reading it for the very first time and there's no comprehension going on of the Story since she's struggled with just about every single word... *Le Sigh*   And Today will be the Award Ceremony at the Princess' School and she told me with a deadpan Wednesday Addams matter of fact tone that I didn't have to bother coming, she wasn't winning any Awards and she didn't even want to have to be there either to see everyone else getting theirs.  I Encouraged her by saying perhaps next Semester she'll Win one, not to Worry I was still Proud of her for doing her best and trying so very hard... but I felt the lump in my throat and Hoped I sounded Convincing and non-chalant about it at least?  So yes, a Beauty Break was mos def in order and I have to continue to Believe it will be alright in the End... 'cause if it's not alright, then it mustn't be the End.
 
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


8 comments:

  1. Hi Dawn so sorry to hear what is going on. There should be specialists for children who need to be taught in a way for them to 'get it'. We all learn in our own way. Keep fighting for them. I know you must be exhausted but they are so precious and so worth it. You will be blessed for it I am sure. They are so lucky to have you. I will keep you In my prayers. Take care of yourself.
    ~Debra xxx
    capers of the vintage vixens

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Debra, I am in complete Agreement with your Statement that we all learn in different ways and not everyone can fit into the Educational Box designed for the masses. In order to assist anyone to reach their full potential it is crucial to meet them at their point of need and not try to force them into compliance with a learning Style that does not work for them and hasn't worked for them, but which, The System is often too stubborn to be the least bit flexible about. The Young Prince has no problem being Taught at the Art and Science Center which has higher learning Style by Volunteer College Professors... alas, that isn't a School, but I am Thankful it exists to serve the needs of not only the Community, but Gifted Souls like my Grandson who are quite Brilliant and just need someone who can unlock their obvious Potential and Teach them in a way they can understand and become engaged so that Learning becomes something exciting and positive rather than something they are made to Feel isn't working for them becoz they are unable to Learn like the Textbook Child who has no health/mental health barriers or learning disabilities. Prayers and compassion here in the Land of Blog mean so much... it can be very Isolating to fight this fight without sufficient Support in your Corner... I know my Blog Friends provide that Support System that continue to Encourage me to keep on keeping on. Dawn... The Bohemian

      Delete
  2. Oh Dawn.....this post....broke my heart. Those kids deserve none of this treatment and are indeed worth helping.. Children cannot chose their birth parent's and are so often diminished by their parents irresponsible actions....that appears to be the case here. Luckily they have you in their corner....do the best you can as you can do no more!!

    xo

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Jo I agree that I cannot 'undo' any health defects that exist and make Life more of a Challenge for these Precious Ones due to hereditary factors and what they were exposed to prior to being born. I also feel exhausted constantly running damage control for what they often have to endure in Society by those who either lack sufficient compassion, wisdom or understanding about their State of Being and make it all the harder for them, when it's clearly already hard enough. Thank you for your compassion and Prayers, as we continue to do the best we can. Dawn... The Bohemian

      Delete
  3. Hello Dawn, I just read your post. I am so sorry. My heart breaks. I admire your courage and your strength. This Educational system is awful, and children who are already struggling are made to bear even more. My daughter has a very little one who isn't gaining weight, and at her age is not yet talking very well. The people at wic connected her with a Failure to Thrive clinic, these people have been a marvelous resource and help for her child and family. Maybe there is such a place available to you. I am just mentioning this as I pray that there is someone who can give you and your family hands on help. I'll pray for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Vanessa, yes The Princess was enrolled in the Failure to Thrive Program from Birth to Age 5, which is how long they are eligible in our State for that benefit. We are seeking Services that assist Families with Children that have Special Needs and going thru Family Court again to be awarded rights that will make us eligible for more help than the Children or our Family as Kinship Placement presently receive. I Believe in my Grandchildren's Abilities and focus on those rather than their Disabilities, so that they can become productive citizens with a healthy self-esteem... just wish I didn't have to run so much damage control for what those outside of the Fam think, do and say to erode what I am building as a solid foundation for them to Succeed in Life and know that they are Blessed and Highly Favored of God regardless of what any person thinks about their circumstances and medical challenges. Your Prayers and kind words are so appreciated... Dawn... The Bohemian

      Delete
  4. All I can say is God Bless You All for all your effort, and endurance and love! Keep up the fight! Good has got to come from it! Marlynne

    ReplyDelete
  5. So heartbreaking. Once society realizes that mental illness is a disability just as debilitating as a physical illness it will get better but for now, most of society doesn't realize this. My prayers are with you. My heart aches for you and these beautiful children. God Bless You.

    ReplyDelete

A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl