Thursday, March 17, 2016

Special Ed for Special Ted

Yesterday we had the initial meeting with someone from the school district for Teddy. She gave us basic information and got to meet Teddy to understand who should be on the team for his assessment. This is part of his transition plan since oddly enough Birth to Three won't allow Teddy to stay in the program once he turns 3 no matter how adorable he is.

For the most part, I'm really excited for Teddy to go to school.

It's not because I'll get a break a few hours a day because 2 hours of school a couple days a week really just makes scheduling the rest of life (like work, therapy, medical appointments, etc.) more complicated. (I won't lie, though. There is a small part of me that thinks about everything I could do home alone uninterrupted for 2 hours. The possibilities are endless!)

The reason I'm excited for him to go to school is because I think he will love it. He is such a social little boy who usually perks up when there's other people around, even if he's crabby to start. I think he will thrive in the social environment with other children and adults. I also believe it's a good possibility that his skills will increase solely from watching other children do things and attempting to do the same. That's how he learned to slide down the stairs on his belly. He watched his brother and cousins fly down the stairs and thought it looked fun.

I'll save all my anxieties about how he'll adapt without AJ and vice versa. (AJ doesn't want to go to school because "I'll miss Teddy.") And I'll push back all my worries about what will happen because no one he knows will be with him, and AJ won't be along to report back to us what happens. There's no sense in fretting over the fact that life will become much more complicated because his team will include a speech therapist, OT, PT, nurse, psychologist and his early childhood educators. None of this will happen until fall, so it's pointless to spend my time worrying. And the bottom line is I know this will be a great thing for Teddy.

There's one piece, though, that stings already. I had to complete a few informational forms about Teddy, and it's hard for me to do that without tears. Anyone who knows Teddy sees his personality and what a remarkable boy he is, but any time I have to fill out these types of forms all I get to do is check boxes showing everything he cannot do.

I understand fully why this information is necessary. I understand the need for explaining to others why he needs certain services, qualifies for whichever program, etc. I know providing this information benefits Teddy. But as his mom, it's one of the things I hate doing most because I get sad ... or mad.

One form I filled out yesterday hasn't been revised since 1998. I wasn't too fond of one of the phrases used, especially since it was one I had to check for Teddy:

This is the paperwork I had to complete for Teddy.

I know mental retardation was used as a legitimate medical term and medical diagnosis. However in the past nearly two decades, that phrase and even diagnosis has been updated, even in the medical field. I know it's still used in some situations, but does it really need to be on an informational sheet for a 3-year-old going into the school system?

I'm sure some of my irritation comes from the fact that I despise filling out these forms in the first place, but checking that box still made me give Teddy some extra snuggles and hugs and tell him how awesome he is.

And I was glad there was a comments section on the form. I tried my best to be non-offensive.

Will this change anything? Maybe not. But perhaps no one's really looked at the wording in the past decade.

1 comment:

  1. Kerry & David, none of the forms, assessments or progress reports will ever be able to measure just how AWESOME Teddy is or how much joy, happiness and love he gives to all of us! Love you guys ~Mom & Dad