Our little former micropreemie, C, is now in intermediate school.
She was only two when I first started writing in this space. Now,- she’s a fourth grader.
This was the first year since we moved to Connecticut that she attended a new school. Two years of preschool, kindergarten, first, second, and third were in the same space.
So it was new.
People ask me how the transition went. How she’s doing. If things are going well.
I tell most of them that’s it’s been great– she’s done beautifully. It’s mostly true.
But the truth– that I share with only a very few people– is that, in the six weeks since school began, C. has yet to get to go to library with her class. And she LOVES library. She adores books and reading and escaping into a world of words. It brings her great joy.
I know that she receives lots of services and therapies. I know that scheduling is brutal. I know that people are trying to fit in a lot.
Added to that, she’s missing snack. Again, I think it’s been her crazy schedule and all her movement around the building, but she’s been told that she can’t have her snack and, thus, she misses it. Added to the fact that she’s a slow eater, she’s simply not eating enough during the school day. C. is healthy enough, but she hovers ever on the brink of underweight– she simply NEEDS to eat more than she’s getting. Even if it takes her awhile.
And, so, when people who know C. well hear all this, they get frustrated. Irritated. Angry, on her behalf. And they say to me, “Have you called them? They need to fix this! This is not okay!”
And I respond, each and every time, “It’s not okay. But it will be.”
Because, you see, I have always and ever approached my relationship with the school from the angle the we are on THE SAME SIDE.
They are not my adversaries. They are not there to make our lives awful. They are not singling us out or trying to upset us.
I walked into today’s PPT with complete confidence that these situations would be resolved without issue.
And you know what?
Some of that might be luck. Some might be having a good school. Some might be that they weren’t hard issues to solve.
But, without a doubt, some of it is because I voiced my concerns completely from a place of, “Oh, hey, let me tell about what’s been going on so we can get it all sorted out.”
Attitude? . . . Matters.
Approach? . . . Matters.
Be confident, parents of students with special needs. Know your rights and know your priorities.
But, also, know that the people at the table? They’re fighting on the same army.
It wasn’t okay.
But it will be now.