Good question. A lot of tears. A lot of frustration. Some swearing. Temper tantrums. And then finally laying my head down on a table and saying to school administrators, “Honestly, I have never been more frustrated or beaten down in my life.”
Let me explain.
After #2 was diagnosed I was naive enough to think he would get the help he needed to be successful. Because his learning disability was so severe and he was so incredibly behind where he should be, I knew he would qualify for special education and was looking forward to him getting the support he deserved. The exact opposite happened….nothing. A couple months later we did some more testing at school. The same tests he had taken that summer. The same tests he had taken that fall. Now he was taking the same tests that winter. The testing dragged on and on for weeks….all the while he was falling further and further behind.
They diagnosed #2 at school with some incredibly random LD not-specified-something-because-we-actually-don’t-know-what-we-are-talking-about label…who knows. I was so angry I put the first draft through the shredder because the school assessment and initial IEP were incredibly non-helpful and vague. At one of the many meetings concerning #2 I said, “We know the problem. He’s dyslexic. We also know how to help. It’s called Orton Gillingham or a related curriculum. This is not difficult and we are wasting time as he continues in a downward spiral and falls further and further behind.” I was met with crickets…silence around the table. Finally someone said, “Our school district does not recognize dyslexia.”
I broke into tears. There is research. Books. A local school. Curriculums. A center at Yale…..all about dyslexia and YOU PEOPLE ARE TELLING ME IT DOESN’T EXIST? You don’t recognize it? Should I introduce you? You can do a brain scan and see dyslexia….but this school district is telling me its not real? Is that what they mean? This is a physical difference my child has and that is why he is having a difficult time learning, yet you are saying it’s not real.
Oh the rage.
I was speechless.
And that takes a lot.
Just when I thought I had found answers and we could move forward with a plan for both #1 (who had been privately diagnosed while all this was going on) and #2 I was met with a brick wall….and two children that were beginning to unravel.