Category Archives: Special education

And the House was Open

Last week we went to an Open House at Bridget’s school. It was the first Open House that I’ve been to since the disastrous kindergarten play date. I didn’t want to go, but since first grade was so incredible I wanted to make sure Bridget’s second grade is as successful. We entered the school lobby, tried to explain to Bridget why she did not have her backpack and took a deep breath anticipating the sure-to-be-awful-night.

Except the House was Open and Inviting. Continue reading

The Turtle

I have to start this post with a bit of honesty. Those that know me understand that I am a suck it up buttercup type of person. While I do believe that you get what you give, that if you embrace this world and are kind the world will be kind in return. I do not believe in the other-world, spirits or destiny. I believe we make our own destiny by the actions we undertake. For example I believe that if I stay up all night playing Cribbage with my best brother-in-law I will have a headache the next morning. If I run an obstacle race with Lauren I will be bruised but my stomach will hurt from laughing.

I have, no word of a lie, been asked to leave a spirit shop when I brought Tia (who does believe) to a mystic (?). I was told by the woman that I was cold and not only blocking the spirits but killing their desire to interact. Apparently I was also spiritually blocking someone’s uterus. Anyway, I left (without police escort!) and have led a very happy life even if the spirits believe in me as much as I believe in them.

Then I met Beth from NJ.   Continue reading

On the job training

Before you become a parent you do a lot of reading and researching.  You read What to Expect and (the more honest) Girlfriend’s Guide.  You sign up for every blog, baby website and scour the Internet for a small glimpse to your highly anticipated new life.

You give birth to a healthy baby and rejoice.  You ask Jenn before making any rash decisions. Then you quote her when you say, Well Jenn said it was okay to not the wash baby clothes before you put them in the dresser. You choose to breast feed or bottle, whatever is the healthiest choice for your family. Continue reading

The games we play

All parents wonder when their child will accomplish a goal.  Parents whose child has a disability play a vicious game with themselves. The game is called, “Will my child ever….”

Will my child ever roll over?
Will my child ever stand up?
Will my child ever say my name?
Will my child ever speak?
Will my child ever walk?
Will my child ever say she loves me? Continue reading

This is Public Education

Dear US Congress and House of Representatives,

I am writing to you as a concerned parent of two children who currently benefit from public education.  I am very concerned with the vacancy of Education Secretary and the nominee who is seeking to fulfill the post.

I am sure Ms. DeVos is a wonderful woman. I do not believe she is qualified to make important decisions on the public school system. There are positions that you do not need experience in order to succeed, education is not one of those positions. It is imperative that the Education Secretary have a background in education. Although your child may not attend public school, I do not believe you would send them to be educated by a person who has no experience in shaping young minds.  Continue reading

When First Grade is more

I understand it has only been half a year. However I want to go on record (and brag) that the combination of Bridget’s special education teacher and (epic) first grade teacher is more than I could ever had hoped. The first grade teacher not only understands inclusion, she “gets” that Bridget isn’t the class pet there to give hugs but to be a part of her classroom. Though Bridget’s hugs are a hot commodity. Continue reading

For the uninitiated, this is what it looks like

I’m going to feel all lapsed-Catholic guilt for admitting this, but I sometimes despise this life. I hate that I don’t understand my own child. I despair that by my own actions I am the trigger to her crisis. I freaking loathe that this behavior doesn’t happen at school but only at home (see trigger comment).  I despise that I cannot calm her, I cannot reason with her, I cannot even give in to her because if I do this will not be a daily occurrence but an hourly one.

For the uninitiated, this is what a meltdown looks like. Continue reading

Forget the ABC’s

Bridget has been trying to learn her letters for about 3 years. We have struggled with her learning the letters in her name. We jumped with joy when she started saying: B, Bridget. We thought YES!! She is learning her letters.

We were wrong. She only knew the “B” and no matter how we tried we were not successful in her learning her letters. Continue reading

This is SPECIAL education

In September I was terrified of Bridget entering kindergarten and transitioning from the Spinnaker program to a new self-contained special education classroom. Even though I knew the special education teacher for years, leaving the sanctuary of Spinnaker was heart wrenching.

I knew I was over-reacting and worrying for nothing. However loud the brain is shouting, the heart beat of panic is louder. Six months later I am happy to report that not only are we surviving kindergarten, Bridget is thriving.  Continue reading