Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ARD or as I call it Anxiety Rising Dilemma

Yesterday was Matthew's first ARD.

Or as I now lovingly refer to it as Anxiety Rising Dilemma.

In my head I pictured being seated at a large oval table with my "peeps" on one side and the school figures on the other.  We were both reviewing our arguments and eventually the judge ruled for our side.

Yeah, it was nothing like that.

We gathered in a tiny room.  It was very informal.

And yet, there was an sense of negativity in the air.

For the first half of the meeting, we discussed everything Matthew cannot do.

When compared to a standardized test, its a long list.
I know the list.
I hate the list.

I am aware of my son's disAbilities.  I am well versed in his cans and cant's.

And here I was, in a room suddenly loosing air, being schooled in Matthew's shortcomings.

As the meeting progressed, the air came back into the room.  For the most part, I am 100% on board with the school's recommendations for Matthew.

He will continue to receive Vision therapy, Occupational therapy, and Physical therapy five times per six weeks.

He will be introduced to a calendar box.  His teachers seem wonderful.  He has achievable goals.

Oh, and he's the best dressed little guy there!

The meeting was in all measurable accounts, a success.

Yet, my heart is heavy.

I hate hate hate that children like Matthew are measured against a test.  Their special personalities, their charisma, their determination, and their spirit are not taken into account.

Most of the time I live in Special Needstopia.  I like it here.  It is comfortable.  People understand us.  They accept us.

And the weather isn't that bad either.

Every once in a while, we have to travel to Normal-opolis.  I don't like it there.  People stare.  They ask questions.  They judge.  And it seems to always rain.

Today, I stayed in Normal-opolis for much longer than I wanted.

Its not that I expect the world to suddenly understand  children with special needs.  As beautiful of a concept as that is, its completely unrealistic.

It is just a hard pill to swallow, the list.

I don't ever want the school, or society for that matter, to judge Matthew by what he can't do.  When you judge someone by what they can't do, you have already set them up for failure.  I just want them to see his smile, his eyes, his spirit and watch and learn from him.

He is a fantastic teacher.

And maybe I have been spoiled by our ECI.  They understand Matthew.  They love him.  They celebrate and mourn with us.

I hope the same can be said for the school.

I guess time will only truly tell.

I guess the best we can pray for is that Matthew will consistently prove them wrong, just like he has done from the day he was diagnosed.



I mean, he is kind of a Rock Star!



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