Friday, August 27, 2010

Expert Witness

Just one more thing, and then I'll let you go...

I took the first step in the process of enhancing Elysse's educational experience yesterday. I met with the Special Education people at the school and discussed her diagnosis by Dr. Hupp and how we proceed from here. They both felt that Elysse would probably benefit from services provided in the general education environment and would not require placement in the Special Education environment. Karen mentioned a program that they already have called "Brain Train" that may help Elysse bridge the gap between her high intellect and her significantly lower processing speed which may be the source of much of her frustration. She knows that she knows it, but she gets frustrated because she just can't access the information when she wants to. It was comforting to know that her issues may be handled with limited intervention.

The most comforting thing of all was sitting for the few minutes we had together with Brooke, the person on campus, and talking - talking about life, about experiences, about the loss of innocence, about the crushing reality of the world our kids are growing up in. It was very comforting to hear from her that she shares my values. I feel very comfortable that she is going to do what is in Elysse's best interest. She shared with me that the district held a convocation prior to the first day of school and offered several prayers during the event for the staff and the students. It's so comforting to know that we live in a district that unabashedly embraces its Christian values and doesn't care what the federal autocrats say about it. That may be contrary to the prevailing theory in Washington and in the halls of academia, but Son, we're in Texas now. Out here we still seek God's blessing on what we're about to do.

I had a lot of apprehension when we got the diagnosis last spring of Aspergers Syndrome. I envisioned our family being railroaded into DOE hell, of placing our child on the altar of academia where people with PhDs in curricula I think of as witch science tell me how to raise my child. I had thoughts of those quintuplets who were taken from their poor uneducated parents back in the '50s and "given a better life," only to be in reality a set of highly intelligent lab rats raised by intellectuals who thought they knew better what to do for these children than their own parents. While I feel so far out of my level of expertise when it comes to dealing with a child who is remarkably intelligent and still has a learning disability, I'm not ready to let the Department of Education raise my child for me. But I know I can't do it alone, either.

I missed you so much at that meeting. We were talking about possible issues like low blood sugar and it made me think of that story you told me about the little boy who had so much trouble around the same time every day. You would give him cheese and crackers out of your purse or arranged for a special snack for him from the school cafeteria. When you began intervening with his low blood sugar, his behavior and grades improved dramatically. I really started to miss you right then. Tears started to trickle down my cheeks. Who will I run things by now? How will I know if what I'm doing is the right thing. I wasn't ready to lose you yet. I need you to reassure me that I'm doing the right thing and making the right decisions for my daughters. I need your 40 years of combat experience - your expert testimony - to lead me through this maze of acronyms and synonyms, antonyms and homonyms.

I guess this means I have to grow up now. I have to have the confidence to make these decisions on my own without you as my expert witness/confidante. If they turn out to be something other than President of the United States or the finder of a cure for cancer... it will all be your fault for leaving before I was ready. But... no pressure.

Love, Julie

1 comment:

  1. I have been through much of what you may experience having a child with Asperger's. Things were great in elementary school because Cait always attended the same schools I taught in. But when I transferred her to our hometown school district's Jr. Hi, the administrators were not as understanding of a child with a high IQ. They said she has good grades, what does she need help for? They failed to grasp the concept that the reason she DID do so well was because of parental perseverance and educator accommodations.

    Today as an 8th grader she still struggles to remember assignments, remember what it was the teacher specifically asked them to do and so on. My only advice for you is to remain vigilant and keep the constant communication going between you, the teacher and the administration.

    Love ya,