Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Still in shock and a few days later, I went to get my hair cut. Renee does both mine and Allison's hair. We were there just the week before getting Allison's done before school started. It was my turn now without the little one tagging along. I hadn't planned on discussing what was going on with us with anyone until I had time to process it in my own mind. However, when Renee asked how school was going for Allison, it just spilled out about our meeting. She was shocked too. Actually, everyone we have talked to about this is shocked when we tell them about the parent teacher conference after only one day of school. She was also surprised when she said Allison was anti-social. Anti-social is not how people perceive her...at all. She offered her advice. Her son is A.D.H.D. so she has been through it all. She suggested we get our own doctor and professionals and not use the one Mrs. B. had suggested. She shared with me that she had called her pediatrician and went from there. He referred her to a child counselor who specializes in A.D.H.D. and A.D.D. kids. She said the woman is wonderful and her son has shown great progress with her help. As luck would have it, we have the same pediatrician. I love our pediatrician so I felt good that if he directed her in the right direction for his son, we would be on the right path too. Funny how I hadn't planned on talking about it with Renee but I'm so glad that it just popped out of my mouth when she asked me how school was going. She's just one of the angels that was leading us in the right direction.
...to be continued...
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
I had to enlarge the mums. Take a good look at them in all their glory. They will be dead soon. I don't know why but I can't keep mums to save my life!
This next pic is one of the reasons you should have a second child. So the older one has someone to read to!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Curtis had come up from the basement and sat down in the living room and was listening to the television. He said "Why is this on now?" Apparently I wasn't the only one that was thinking this related to our situation. Allison possesses several of the attributes they were talking about. So, why WAS this on right then? That night of all nights? I don't know but I took it as a sign. A sign that there may be more to this whole thing than what Mrs. B. thinks. I think there was someone up there leading us into another direction. Forcing us to think for ourselves and against a teacher who had been teaching for 20 years. It was our responsibility to find the answers and the solutions for Allison. She was counting on us to fight this fight for her... but how? Where do we start?
...to be continued...
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Allison was so excited for the first day of school. At first she didn't want to go back but then she got caught up in everything and was ready when the day came. The first day was only 3 hours. They had Chapel for an hour, put their supplies away, drew a picture, played on the playground and then came home on the bus. She had a good day. So we thought.
The second day seemed to have gone good also. However, we soon found out that it was Allison's perception that they day went good. That early evening we got a phone call from her teacher who I will refer to as Mrs. B. from here on out. She said that there were some things that happened in school that day and wanted to meet with me to discuss them. She wanted to start the year off on the right foot. I told her that she would have to meet with both of us and Curtis didn't get off of work until 4 pm. She agreed to stay a little after school because she felt it was important. After I hung up, we asked Allison what she did that day and she said nothing. Unfortunately, we didn't believe her and took her new television that she received for her birthday in July out of her room and sent her to bed early.
The next day (Wednesday) we met with Mrs. B. that afternoon. She started the conversation by saying that she has been teaching for 20 years. Let me say here that her credentials were not in question. If they had been, we would not have been paying for Allison to attend that school. She also said she watched Allison on the playground and in the halls last year...I guess this was her way of justifying what she was about to say. She said that Allison was anti-social, opposition defiant, easily distracted, doesn't follow instructions, has inappropriate responses and has signs of A.D.D. and that she should be tested and that they can have people come in and do it. She showed us a school paper where she doodled a couple of faces in the right hand margin. She asked Allison what is was and she said Allison's response was that it was the confused Allison. I asked her later about this and she said it was Mommy and Daddy because she missed us. Allison is smart. Last year she was reprimanded for doodling on her work paper. She knew she shouldn't have done it so she said to each of us what she thought she should to keep herself out of trouble. This is my opinion of the faces. Mrs. B. felt that there were a lot of things going on in her little head and that she needs all the professional help that we could give her. That we needed to peel back the layers and help her. She suggested the school guidance counselor, school psychologist and also an outside child psychologist that she could refer us to that she has worked with in the past. She also said that she suggested that we put her back into Kindergarten. She said that she was the one that held Curtis' niece back in Kindergarten thirteen years ago. What does that have to do with Allison? They are two different kids. Raised differently by two very different set of parents. So we refused to hold her back. We didn't feel it was a good idea because academically, she never had a bad mark on her weekly progress reports or her quarterly report cards. We felt that she would be bored and then act out even more. She also told us that if things continued that Allison would have a bad year, she (Mrs. B.) would have a bad year and we would have a bad year. She said if something didn't change, then she would be retained. She also told us that we were wrong to reward her with a kitten last year. If you don't know what I am talking about, read here. She asked us if we "paid" her often for doing what we wanted her to do. She asked us what was next..."a diamond bracelet or a new car?" Excuse me, but WHAT THE HECK? She doesn't even know us! How dare she give us parenting advice. If she took the time to know us, she would know that Allison has what she needs but does not get everything that she wants. If we are guilty of anything, it's giving Allison more love and attention than most kids get. Their theme for the school year this year is Family. Some of the suggestions were to eat dinner as a family at the dinner table together, worship together, bake cookies together and basically do things together as a family. We already do all those things but she doesn't know that because she never took the time to find out what kind of a family we are. She just immediately passed judgement on us and assumed that we "pay" Allison for everything. The ironic thing is that she just told us 6 days before this meeting that her and her husband had told their two sons that they would pay for their college education if they help out. They wanted to send them off into the world without a college debt. Excuse me but what would you call that? A bribe, a reward or an incentive? They put a condition out there for their sons (if they helped pay for it) and then the reward was to be debt free. Hmm, I don't know but it looks like the pot calling the kettle black! Ha...and the kitten was FREE! Anyway, let me explain the inappropriate response. She said that on the first day of school that they were asked to draw their favorite place. Allison drew a rectangle with a stick figure (herself) in it and two snakes. She said she wanted to live with snakes. Well Mrs. B. said that was an inappropriate response. That it is not normal for her to want to live with snakes. Hmm, for watching Allison and thinking she knows her and what her problems are, she really doesn't know her at all! All of our family and friends said "That's Allison!" when we told them about the picture. Did I mention the stick figure had a smiley face on it? The only reason she doesn't have one as a pet (she has asked) is that I told I would have to move out. So far, I'm winning over the snake. I only pray that she feels the same way when she's 16 and I'm a drag! Here's the pic....
So we agreed to get her the help that she felt Allison needed. We also asked her to let us know how each day was going. She hesitated by saying that she had 17 other students but Curtis insisted and asked for a little post-it note with either a smiley or a frown face so we knew where to take the conversation with Allison at dinner. She finally gave in and agreed.
Curtis asked her if she had had many of these conversations with other parents and what the outcomes were. She said that she had it with another set of parents. She implied it was in a previous year. She said they got mad at her and withdrew their son from the school. She asked us to please not be mad at her. She just wanted "to help" Allison.
As you can imagine, we were shocked at everything that had been said. I started to cry for my baby early into the meeting and just couldn't get my composure back. I was so mad at myself that all of the things that she observed about Allison had slipped by me. How could I not have known any of these things about my daughter? I have good people skills and read people really well. It's one of those things that I've been complimented on. Where did I go wrong? Or did I go wrong? Was there more to this whole thing? It was all so strange. How does a teacher make these assumptions about a student after just one day of school? It all seemed pretty odd to us. I'm so glad that I didn't meet with her alone. I am not sure that anyone would have believed me when I told them what she said. I'm glad Curtis and I had each other to witness this.
...to be continued...Pin It
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Obviously I haven't posted in a while. I haven't felt like it. I've had a heavy load on my mind. It's been consuming my thoughts, actions and mood. It's been very stressful. I didn't want to post and be a downer so I didn't post.
Several posts ago, I asked for prayers for us. I said I wasn't ready to talk about it here but Curtis, Allison and I needed your prayers. THANK YOU! Curtis and I have had some big decisions to make and I feel we are on the right path. I feel through your prayers, God has guided us in the right direction for Allison. He gave us the strength to see this through and the support of everyone around us. It's amazing how things fell into place. How we met the right people with the right advice at the right time. I believe it was all through the work of God that Allison's sweet smile is intact. We owe all of you a lot. Thank you!
I will talk about this here but I don't have time right now. We have moved Allison to a new school and today is her second day. I think this is a good move. No, I KNOW this is a good move. Allison has made the change beautifully and we have had no regrets. I know this is only the second day at this new school but we are hopeful. When our pediatrician released her from the hospital, he told me to always go with my gut feeling. It has been the best advice I have received and used since Allison was born. My gut feeling is this is right. The new school is exactly where Allison needs to be. Of course, a little more prayers from all of you won't hurt either.
I'll try to clue you all in this weekend some time.
Love you all!
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