Stirring the pot

February 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

So I have been working on a letter to send the special education director in my town in response to a meeting we had 2 weeks ago about my daughter. It is a powerful and direct letter but also very fair. And….. I haven’t sent it.

I haven’t sent it because when I do everything will get “bigger”. A family member told me I would be “shutting the door” with the school. Hearing that frightened me. Although I don’t agree with that, it made me take pause. It also infuriated me that I have to worry about “being nice” and “holding back” in concern for my relationship with the school district. I thought to myself “I don’t want them to hate me.”

With typical children we don’t have these thoughts or have to send letter to administrators or fight. But with our kids with needs we feel the need to be careful not to “stir the pot” too much. Why?? What will happen if we do? The school won’t like us? I can bet they already don’t like me – I’ve called them out too many times. And should I care? It’s my daughters education at stake!

A note to teachers and administrators need you forget our fighting, our advocating, is NEVER personal! We like you – we like you a lot! But, when comes to our children school is all business and not about how we feel but about doing the right thing for our child.

As an educator I try to remember when dealing with parents that they are the authority about their own child and I am a person working on a set of skills with them for a couple hours a week – I don’t know them best. I try to remember they are just advocating for their child even if it feels like they are “stirring the pot.”

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§ 2 Responses to Stirring the pot

  • olive davis says:

    This is one of the most unwelcome necessities of being a parent of a child with special needs and it depends a lot on the maturity of who your dealing with.

  • Carolyn says:

    You can be a strong advocate for your child and still be professional about it. When you are in a team meeting you are the one who knows your child best and will be the one who sees the effects on your child if they do not get appropriate services. You have no choice but to fight hard for their right to appropriate services. Always make the point that it is not personal and ask the school personnel what they would do if they were in your shoes. Most understand that you are doing what needs to be done to get the services your child NEEDS.

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