Out With the Old...In With the New

 

Although I'm sure 2013 had  its triumphs, for instance Felicity successfully completing kindergarten in public school, sadly those moments feel like distant memories now. The last few months of 2013 were not Felicity's finest. We were very lucky prior to first grade to have very dedicated teachers and staff who saw Felicity's assets, believed in her potential to accomplish great things and understood how to support her with reaching her goals.
The first grade experience has been the polar opposite. Aside from the inconsistency of who was playing the role of teacher on a week to week basis, teacher G was trying to get rid of Felicity one week into the school year. Teacher P, the substitute, was nice enough, yet still really couldn't or wouldn't get through to Felicity. It's been suggested that "perhaps the work is getting harder for her to comprehend" . It's not.  I directly asked teacher P if Felicity is the lowest functioning child in the class. Her response to me was," no, she knows all of her site words, etc...but, she is inconsistent".  Ummm... correct me if I'm wrong, but public school or not, it is still a SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASS! I find it hard to believe that the other thirteen children in her class are "consistent". It's a crock of shit, pardon my French. So here I am, January 4, 2014, trying to figure out the next best move for our girl... And I'm truly at a loss. It breaks my heart to pull her from public school because I know how capable of learning and intelligent she is. But what's the point if she's shutting down and refusing to cooperate? I'm sure she understands that the school staff do not believe in her and this is only causing her to react with sheer stubbornness.
 And than there's all of the knowledge and care that is required to treat her extremely involved  physical needs. The therapy, equipment and environment are currently not cutting it. I do not want transfer her to a special school if she's not going to be taught age appropriate material. I have nothing against special schools, most provide loving, caring, nurturing environments. In fact I work in such a place, but it just isn't right for Felicity. In many ways it would be easier if it was an appropriate placement, but it's not. So here I am in search of a school that will meet Felicity's physical and educational needs. I can't believe our situation is so unique that there isn't a greater need  for schools that meet this criteria. After all, cerebral palsy by itself does not impact intelligence. That is not to say a person can not have more than one diagnosis, many people have a other primary diagnoses and cerebral palsy as a secondary diagnosis. Currently Felicity's primary diagnosis is cerebral palsy...spastic quadriplegia with chorea dyskinesia to be exact. 
In a nutshell, I am tired, frustrated, scared and determined. I hope there will be at least some resolve come the next cse meeting and that this time next year I will be writing about what an accomplished year Felicity had...but for today I will keep focused on being the best mom and advocate Felicity deserves. Happy New Year!

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