Tuesday, March 06, 2007

All the World Just Stopped Right Now

Friday night, we had a nice group for dinner. Among my guests was C., whom I misjudged so long ago, and about which I still feel guilty.

“You know,” she mentioned, during dinner, as I was lamenting the difficulties of parenting a child like D., “you could really talk to MomOfTen about some of this. I know she’s been dealing with some of it.”

MomOfTen is, simply, an amazing person. Her first husband passed away, leaving her with five small children. She married a widower who had four children of his own, including one who was born prematurely when her mother (his first wife) had an aneurism. This child has some special needs, and MomOfTen has had to work very hard to get her the proper services and education. They had a tenth child together, and the entire blended family is truly beautiful. I really like MomOfTen. And so at shul on Shabbos, where I put in a rare appearance, I asked her if she’d have time to stop by later on that afternoon and told her what I hoped to talk about.

“Of course,” she said. “I’d be happy to sit down and talk to you. Thank you for asking.” (MomOfTen thanks everyone all the time for everything.)

So we talked, and she gave me some really great ideas and information, and she also mentioned that two of our friends are – wait for it – occupational therapists who work with service providers and could, you know, get D’s services started. This is relevant because we called the damn speech people like two months ago, and yet D. has not had A SINGLE SESSION with them.

I got in touch with one of those women on Monday, and she was fabulous. She gave me the information I needed to get in touch with her company, and today I played tag with the coordinator for a while, but we spoke this evening, and she was fabulous. My friend will come out and do a proper assessment, and the speech therapist will start soon after.

At one point over the weekend, I caught my parents up on what we were doing with D., and they said a couple of things. Some good things, like, “I think you are handling a difficult situation with a great deal of maturity,” and “I am so impressed with the way you have dealt with this, from the first moment.” Some less good, like, “At some point, you may have to decide that you have put enough time and money into D. and that he has achieved all he can.”

I understand what they mean and why they said it, I do, but what hurtful words!

Yesterday morning, the director of D’s school said that his teacher (S.) had requested a meeting with us about D. This struck me as odd, since S. is a close, close friend, and we speak all the time. If she wanted a meeting with us, why not just call us? But, OK, fine. Later, we heard from S. that she most certainly had not requested the meeting, which was set for this morning.

This morning, my housekeeper’s sister called right at the time my housekeeper should have arrived to tell me that she was “really sick.” So Mr. WG went to the meeting alone.

At the meeting, the director explained that D. often leaves the classroom. (“So I’ll install a lock,” said Mr. WG.) Well, it’s not just that. What if he hits the teacher? (“Put him in time out.”) What if he doesn’t stay put? (“What do you mean? Put him back.”) What if other children or parents complain that D. gets all the attention? (They can kiss my ass. That’s MY response. I don’t know what Mr. WG said.)

Mr. WG also told me that S. said that the other kids are aware that D. is different. She told me the same thing herself a little while ago when she was here. Let me tell you all now, I hope you never hear those words about your child. It sucks. It sucks so much, I can’t even explain it. It makes me want to stay in my house forever and never leave.

So, Mr. WG asked, what are you hoping we’ll do?

Hire a psychologist to observe D. in class and make suggestions about how to handle him.

I agree with the theory, but I felt… somewhat attacked. Whatever. I’ve had time to calm down (read: drink) and I am OK with the concept of bringing in a pro to help us through this. I just got off the phone with ADHD Mom’s husband, and he recommended someone local who helped them. So Mr. WG will call him in a bit, and maybe we’ll get a plan together.

And maybe I’ll muster up the courage to leave my house again.


ella said...

How painful this must be. But from all you've written here -- it sounds like you really are handling it with grace. You vent about it here, but you don't ACTUALLY throw hot coffee at the heads of people who say hurtful things. (Wishing that you could does not detract from the grace you show by NOT actually doing it!)

lisa said...

I know my heart would sink and I'd never want to leave the house if I heard those words too. This stuff is hard...

MonkeysMama said...

MomofTen sound amazing, as do you. I cannot even begin to imagine all that you have to juggle! Hugs to you!