Monday, October 19, 2015

#SPS is failing my kid

This year my eldest started middle school. New school. New teacher. Luckily two other friends were already there so that made it slightly easier of a transition. My oldest is not a typical student as long time followers of this blog know. She's in special ed and not just that she's in the medically fragile classification group which means she can't just go to her assigned neighborhood school. She also doesn't have a specific diagnoses but is delayed across the boards as far as her motor skills and physical abilities. She cannot speak. She cannot put on her clothes or walk. She cannot use the toilet on her own or feed herself. Someone has to help her with all of that.

Before the school year started we received typical new student welcome emails. I tried to ignore them because they really didn't affect my daughter but after repeatedly receiving ones about 6th grade orientation I had enough. I wrote back to the principal and her assigned teacher and stated that my child was incapable of attending this program and we had not heard anything from our teacher about our own little classroom. The principal responded with a polished politician's answer and tried to appease me with their newly hired assistant principal who had a special education background. And our actual teacher didn't respond at all. When the teacher finally did respond it was  all about the physical school building and absolutely nothing about what happens in the classroom on a daily basis. I found that odd. Then we had a strike and started the school year about a week late. Again nothing from the teacher about what to expect those first few days of school.My husband went to the school that first day and explained about our daughter's care and her needs. The staff was super nice to him.

Since then we have had something wrong happen with our daughter almost daily. From them not feeding her enough to not changing her shirt when it becomes drenched from her massive amounts of saliva. Once a week my husband goes to pick her up for a routine swim lesson and so he takes the time to go over the basics with them again. And per usual they nod and smile and say no problem. Without fail the same problems start happening almost immediately. We actually bought them a toilet seat so that our daughter could sit on the potty while at school because that is part of her normal every day routine.

Last week rolled around and it turned into a lousy one for my oldest. She came home with a sporadic "journal" entry as they call them. At the very bottom of this single piece of paper was this tiny little note:
I never was called by a therapist, nurse or teacher about this during the day (I would have been at her former school) Here is what her knee looked like when I took her off the bus at the end of the day;

Does that look a bit bruised to you? How about severely bruised? If I took her in for a routine doctor appointment I would have been given the third degree of questioning to make sure I wasn't abusing my child. That bruised of course turned a nice purple color later on last week. It also made is so that she could not go in the stander again for the rest of the week. The therapists who were watching her should have known better too. I call this a rookie mistake as I would expect this from a student in physical therapy to make. Any seasoned therapist would have known by looking at my child that she cannot physically stand up tall like the rest of us, her knees stay bent and therefore in a stander you cannot force her to stand up as tall or for that long. If she were say to lift her leg up off the floor while in the stander then all her weight would then be on her knee caps. A therapist should know to look for this and be able to adjust her. When my husband talked to them at the school they didn't offer up what their safety procedures are or how long she was in that stander. My trust of the staff went to zero. I don't care how nice you are, there needs to be a level of understanding when working with special needs kids.

At the top of this post there is a blurry picture of the front page of a seven double sided pages of math homework my oldest came home with a couple days after her stander bruising happened. She cannot hold a pencil or write her name. I don't know why they put this in her backpack. There was no note. No where in her individual education plan (IEP) have we written math as a goal for her. Do we send it back with food splatters or ripped up? That is exactly what would happen to it if I gave it to my daughter. Why is she being wheeled into a typical math class in the first place? Are we going to receive a book report assignment next? I can conjecture all I want because the line of communication from the school is so random and sporadic. When I imagine a good day at school for my oldest it would be filled with the much needed physical, occupational and speech therapies she so needs plus music and art. Not being rolled into a math or science class just so they can say the school is integrated.

Yes, we have written our concerns to the school. We'll see what happens but as it stands I could honestly do better with her then they can right now.


Mardi Brekke said...

you need to file a "citizen complaint" with OSPI.

Luna Indigo said...

Working on it. Thank you!