This is a lazy post for me, since I’m just posting what I wrote to our lawyer today. She represents us when we meet with the school system. Here is yet another side of autism. Actually this side isn’t exclusive to just having an autistic child, but any child that need special accommodations. Normally when you have a problem with your child that involves school, you meet with a teacher or counselor. When you have a problem with a special needs child, you meet with your lawyer, their lawyer, the teacher, the head of secondary special education, the coordinator, the principal, the speech pathologist, the occupational therapist……and on it goes. Nothing is easy, and its a bureaucratic nightmare. Everything becomes an ordeal that costs money and time, sometimes when you don’t have money or time to spare. For Dayna, its been a hard time lately trying to get her to go to school. Something has to change. It’s been one hell of a rough ride for us the past few weeks, here is what it’s leading to:
I hope all is well. Deb and I wanted to reach out to you about Dayna. It has now been weeks of us fighting with Dayna to go to school. Some days she will, but the majority of days lately she will not. She screams, kicks and fights us horribly. The school district sent out her teacher and the head of secondary special education to help Monday and Tuesday of this week. Even with two of them they missed the bus on Monday and had problems with Dayna both days. After Tuesday morning the head of secondary special ed sent us a note that she had prior obligations the rest of the week and there was no one else available in the district to help, so they would be discontinuing the support this week. Even when they are there, they just state we have to be strong and not give in, which leads to Dayna screaming and kicking for 50 minutes. I now work in Rockville and cannot always be there, and it’s impossible for Deb to get Dayna ready and battle her when there are two other children in the house to care for as well. On Monday, they basically had Deb wake our son up, then put him and Kiley in the car (he was still in PJs and no shoes), drop Kiley off at her bus, then drive Dayna to school. Dayna was crying, Kiley was upset, Sean was upset. After one more day of support all that we get is an email sent off an iPhone that basically says they won’t be back, try doing what they showed us and let them know if we think we will need help next week. All they say is that Dayna is happy in school. Maybe she is, but we are not happy at home anymore. It is hurting the entire family.
We are at wits end. We don’t know why she doesn’t want to go so many days, but it is literally destroying us. The school district has blinders on, all they want to do is to prove that with a good fight we can force Dayna to go to school. Meanwhile our house has become miserable, mornings are unbearable, and I have stopped attending cardiac rehab so I can be there to help. I struggle with wondering why. Why are we putting ourselves through this? Why are we potentially causing damage elsewhere physically and mentally to everyone, when we know her learning is already limited? Can she be taught in a different way in a different place? Can she be taught at home and if so will the district pay for that? Is a residential program a better option? I struggle with the fact that we take a child with autism, who has typically broken sleep patterns, and force her into a bathtub at 6:45am to start an hour of fighting. She’s tired, she’s doesn’t want to go, it’s just not working anymore.
Susan, I can’t stress enough the pain that is going on now. Deb is no longer able to work. After my heart attack in an effort to reduce stress I left my sales job for a 40 hour a week job, but at a reduced income. I thought it would help but the issue with Dayna has added a tremendous amount of stress instead. We are worn down, everyone in the family is feeling it, and cannot continue the mayhem that our mornings have become. We need help knowing what to do, and what options we have. I know I owe you $750 still from the last meeting. (this section removed due to financial discussions I did not want to post.) I will borrow whatever is needed from family and friends to pay that and whatever else will be needed to get the county to do something different. I just need an idea of what options we have and what it will cost.
Thanks for reviewing this. Let me know your thoughts, I look forward to hearing from you.
Wish us luck. I don’t know what the answers are, if I did we would be in a much better place. Until we find the answer, it is day by day.