Thursday, September 25, 2008

So yesterday just plan sucked

Be warned--this post is going to contain an unusual amount of rambling, and this comes from someone who always rambles.

I am dealing with more junk from Dino's special ed program. As you might remember, Dino goes to a special ed preschool with the public school program for speech and gross motor issues three days a week and a private school two days a week.

We had what I thought was a quick meeting. I thought it would be the typical quick parent conference. Dino is great at this, we love his little smile, work a bit on this, he's a joy, he has trouble here, blah, blah, blah. Not quite. I walked in thinking I have a little boy who is a bit delayed thanks to minor low muscle tone issue (as I have been told by doctor after doctor, expert, after expert). I left the room scared my son has a serious problem with his brain and needing an MRI now.

So yeah, not feeling too great.

The meeting started off OK. Not many positives but pretty much things I knew. He can't balance on one foot, he doesn't alternate feet on steps, he only plays with the three other children (all girls--two of which are 'peer' models--ie advanced for their ages) for short amounts of time. And he isn't holding his pencil right. I was not too concerned. I know this. I work with him at home.  He didn't walk until 24 months, I know many physical things are going to require more practice and effort. I smiled and jointed done notes--we'd do more climbing, work on walking in straight lines, writing correctly with stubby crayons. He was going to be fine.

And then the physical and occupational teachers walk in. My world crumbled very quickly.

They began stressing how bad he is at jumping, not jumping with feet together,  not jumping over objects, not hopping around on one foot, using his feet to kick off his shoes. I mentioned his doctor said he would be a good year behind for a while because of the low muscle tone and as long as he was improving (and oh my goodness--can I brag--he has amazed me with his improvements, willingness to try; the boy is night and day from a year ago), he was not concerned.

"Oh he's over a year behind," the teacher begins.

I purse my lips and look at her.

She continues, "What does his neurologist say?"

"He never saw a...."

"He's never been seen by a neurologist?" her tone is almost scolding. "Do you mean he has never had an MRI?"

"The thing on his head is just a birth defect, "I said. 

Dino was born with some skin missing on the top of his head that showed his skull. I have discussed this with his doctors at birth, the doctors at the hospital, his old ped, his new ped and anyone who listen. ALL of them assured me he was OK and this rare condition just happens from time to time.

"Well, "she says. "If it were my child, I would have had an MRI done."

The other teacher is quickly nodding her head and I want to sink in my chair and die.

"I mean. There could be something very wrong and we need to know."

"Does it seem like something is very wrong with him? No one has ever said this. His other preschool says he is great and just like the other kids. He does well in his Sunday school class too."

"Really?" she looks shocked. "But did your other kids act like this?"

"Not to this degree but Sarah and Spanky were late walkers," I really want to cry right now.

"Well, we need the MRI. We need to know what is wrong."

"You don't think it's his muscles?"


And that was pretty much it. I went over to the other side of the room to get the kids and asked Spanky to stop throwing the play food. Dino started to pick it up. And then the teachers were calling Dino "Spanky" again and again. I don't know if they were just thinking of how I was just speaking to Spanky and since I said his name if they just got mixed up. Or did they just not remember Dino's name. The boy they just said had serious problems.

I left and scheduled an appointment with a neurologist.

Fast forward to today I have cried enough tears to fill a small lake. I have thrown up. I have balled up on the sofa. I did not sleep. 

I always thought I was there for my kids. Could it really be possible that my gut feeling that Dino is really OK but just needs a bit more, well a lot more pushing is wrong. Did I make a big mistake not demanding more tests when he was little? What have I done?

And then I think back to those teachers. Maybe it is just my defenses but I did not feel they truly cared for Dino. I have been around a lot of teachers and I know when there is compassion. I did not feel that from this school. I have never felt that from this school. Am I allowing this school to label him and do him more harm than good?

Regardless, he will see the neurologist and if that comes out OK, we will go to Shriners to see what could be happening. I do not want to feel like I have not done everything. But one thing I won't do, I won't label Dino. Even if something is very wrong, I will not label my wonderful, sweet, caring son. In my mind, he is and always will be perfect.


Mrs. Newlywed said...

Oh my goodness! I would be so upset! I can't even imagine.

You are a much better person than I. I wouldn't have been able to keep my attitude in check, and those teachers would have gotten an earful.

I hope it is all okay.

If it makes you feel better, I didn't walk down the steps right until 3rd grade. My teachers called my mom and told her there had to be something wrong with me. I hadn't done anything else slow, and I was way ahead for reading and math. She took me to see a neurologist, a psychologist, basically any doctor she could.

I was fine. I just needed someone to tell me I was doing it one ever had.

I know it isn't the same thing, but I think sometimes teachers tend to be a bit overcautious.

Amanda said...

I know that it's not the same thing, but i have problems at school with my eldest, he is a bit hyperactive and very easily distracted, but the school has him labeled, and this is a teachers quote " Andrew is a immature, lazy little boy ~ he is not one of my high fliers" I left the school, went home and cried.

I'm sending big hugs to you. You are a good Mum, not only to Dino, but to all of your children.

Love and Big ((hugs))
Amanda x

Clare said...

I am just in aww of this story, and how uncaring it seems that the teachers were being to you. As a teacher for five years before having Bradley I have sat in many conferences, and I hate that the teachers treated you like this!!! There should of been more of a conversation and support given to you! I just hate that teachers isolate children's strongest role models.

I will be thinking of you and praying for you! I am so sorry that you are going through all this. Bloggy hugs!! Clare

Marketing Gurl said...

Your kids are so so cute!!! Adorable!

Heidi said...

I appreciate your candidness on Wednesday. I wanted to just take it all away, I could see your anguish. Keep walking one step at a time, and the Lord is by your side. Don't ever forget.

Anonymous said...

This brings tears to my eyes! You are a great mother and you care for them so much... they are not doctors and cannot diagnose anything. Just take him to the neurologist and go from there. Only YOU know what is best!

ex. remember when I had poision ivy.. i called this nurses line with my symptoms and got off the phone crying thinking I had shingles! I went to the doctor and he knew right away it was poison ivy.

take a deep breath and relax


Jacque said...

I'm sorry. It's too bad the teachers couldn't have handled the meeting in a more caring way. Praying the appt. with the neurologist is fine. Hugs to you and Dino.

mamachristina said...

I would have had my defenses up with those teachers too. There are right ways to discuss what is best for a child and they didn't use it. I would also research into it for your own peace of mind but I will pray for the best for your little guy!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Oh whoa, you must have been kicking yourself. I can only imagine! But, try to remember, you are a very attentive mommy and you have always done what you thought was best for Dino. If your earlier doctors had ever even hinted that you needed to see a specialist, you would have! In a minute! But, there comes a time when you have to trust what doctors say, that they know what they are talking about to the best of their knowledge. If you trust the doctor and if you like him/her, you have to have faith that they have your child's best interest at heart. You were doing exactly what you should have. If the doctors had said, "there is no need to get an MRI. No need to put Dino through that" but you made him have the test anyway, people would have called you neurotic or a hypochondriac.

Don't beat yourself up. Try to stand tall and remember how great of a job you're doing. Look at your wonderful kids - how could they turn out like that if you didn't watch out for them and pray for them every night? I know, all too well - it is easy for others to knock us down and criticize our parenting choices. Don't let these people, those who barely know you, do that to you. Don't give them that power or privilege.

Elaine A. said...

I can't believe they steam-rolled you like that. Where's the compassion?

I hope the MRI turns out fine. You are a great Mommy, never doubt that!!

Carol said...

Honey, how awful.

Those teachers sound like they lack any amount of compassion for you or your super handsome little boy.

Must be such a difficult time for you right now, I hope the neuro gives you some promising feedback and you can go back and tell those teachers they suck.

But prob not using the words I just did of course.

Carolina Mama said...

Bless your heart. That is goo much and I am sorry they were not more compassionate with you. Thoughts and prayers are with you and Dino at the Neurologist. God is in control. You are giving your very best to your children and the rest is in His hands no matter what we do or do not do. Right!

Thinking of you.
God Bless!

Elizabeth said...

oh my...please know that you are in my prayers. keep your faith strong in God and remember...even the time in the valley (as you feel now) can be good b/c when it rains...the valley's fill first! keep communicating with your hubby, teachers, docs, dino, and especially God. You will get thru this. please please keep us updated!

KC said...

((((HUGS))))))) don't question if you are a good mother.. just the little I have known you from your blog.. I can tell you are a wonderful mother.. I don't think having him tested will hurt.. but if your pedi and other doctors never saw a need for it, I tend to think there isn't anything wrong at all and that those teachers are just over reacting..
My Little Man is not in preschool yet due to a speech delay, and the private preschools don't offer the speech and the public one I have never heard or seen anything good come from it..So I'm paying for his speech so I don't have the money for the preschool also. But at 2 years old he still wasn't talking anymore then just mama and dada and then a bunch of babble.. It took me 6 months to get in to have his speech tested so at 2 1/2 years old he was only talking at an 18 month old leavel..
We start the speech at the hospital and it was determined that his speech delay was caused from the lack of oxegen from his tramatic birth.
At that point I felt bad, like maybe i should have started pushing to have his speech taken care of sooner like at a year old when he wasn't talking at all and my older three were but I figured it was because he was the youngest of 4 and the other kids did the talking for him.. But then he started the speech and the speech teacher started telling me she thought he had other problems then just speech tried to say that his left shoulder dropped and he didn't have the straight in that side as he did his right, and wanted to run all sorts of test on him and wanted to label him and get him in to PT there at the hospital..
Oh my goodness did I get scared.. I went to Little Man's doctor told him everything that the speech teacher was telling me that besides speech delays she could she had had trouble with this and this and this.. stuff I never saw.. The doctor told me the speech teacher and other people at the hospital were just nuts.. he had been seeing Little Man since birth and there was nothing wrong with him and there was no reason to have test and theropy for him beyound speech..
Not that it is the same thing.. but alot of times teachers who work in special needs are just looking for things that aren't there.. sometimes maybe they do know more then us but you can't always say..
I will pray that all goes well.
Keep us posted.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, heart hurts because I know you're hurting. But know are a wonderful mother, the mama that God knew these kids would need, and so He gave them to you. I am so sorry you were treated this way and that you have had this burden on you for the past few days. I will be praying for you, that the steps you need to take will be made clear and also that your mind would be at peace.

andreawilliams said...

Uck, our 9 month old has low muscle tone too. Someone, a friend, not one of his drs or therapists suggested a MRI. What are they looking for? I have no idea why low tone kiddos even need it.
Anyway, I am sorry. LEt us know the outcome.
Hugs in Idaho

mah-meeee said...

oh... i'm so sorry you have to go through this. some teachers can be so negative!

but then again, good thing is that it won't hurt to check, just to be sure.

hang in there, we're here for you! said...

Oh, Lisa. I'm so sorry. Do not let that school get you down. Is there another option? If you do not like it, do not think it is good for your son, and believe they are out to label, there must be some alternative. I hope the neurologist helps you find answers. You cannot beat yourself up. You listened to the doctors. Your gut says things are okay.

Brian and Staci said...

Oh Lisa! I'm so sorry for all your frustrations with this :( I was not "feeling the love" from these teachers as I was reading this post. I would take him totally out of that school...but that's me being very mad and acting out of frustration. YOU ARE AN AWESOME MOM! You know your son better than ANYONE in this world and for them to make you feel like you haven't done things for him....well, that's just wrong. WRONG! I'm praying first of all that Dino's MRI goes just fine and the neurologist looks at you like you have 3 heads for bringing him in and that you can give the results to those teachers and tell them where to SHOVE IT! Oh my goodness gracious! WHEW...I'm mad...I'm sad for you and someone wanting to "label" your sweet Dino. Hugs and thoughts and prayers to you my sweet friend.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

I would have been very upset as well. You hang in there.

Anonymous said...

You need to read my blog. I don't know how old Dino is... but well, read what I've been going through with my son, who's 4. Your son could have something called Sensory Processing Disorder. We're just now seeing a neurologist... and it's scary, but the truth of the matter is... he's still the same little boy he was before they started poking around at him.

But what I do have to say... YOU, and only you, know best. The one thing that we, as mothers, forget over and over again... is that we know them best. Our gut is the best instinct for our kids until their able to voice their own feelings.

When I was giving birth to my son... I just followed whatever the doctors thought best. It wasn't until having my daughter that I realized I was, ultimately, in charge! There are professionals, doctors, teachers, whatever... that believe they know the right path for each and every child, but only you do! And whatever path you choose is the right one.

Please don't make others make you feel bad... we all do the best we can for our children. You are a great mom.

I will definitely be reading your blog more. :)

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh sweetie. I felt my stomach clench just reading this. I think it sounds like you should get the MRI but I also think that your instincts are probably correct. The teachers DO NOT know your son and they are not hyper alert to everything he says and does the way you are. I think the test will confirm what you know to be true.


EatPlayLove said...

In your heart you know your child and I am sorry the teachers were so incredibly rude. You shouldn't have to feel that way. I think he needs to be surrounded by loving and caring teachers, not finger pointing critics. Many smiles!

Anonymous said...

You did everything right and nothing wrong! You talked to your doctors and followed their advice. The teachers should have been MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more gentle and suggested you seek more information. One good thing, though, is that they did communicate with you -- although in a very wrong way! Can you spend a little more time around these teachers to see how they interact with your child? Say you'd like to pop in from time to time and see how things are going? That might give you a big picture about how they are -- and might send you running to a new school. Also, maybe talk to other parents. Bottom line: You've done nothing wrong. Your baby is happy and trying and feels your love!! Whatever obstacles he has to overcome he will do his very best to clear because he has you as a mommy.

anti-supermom said...

This news does plain suck. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this right now. I hope that everything, MRI, school... everything turns out well.

Not just well, but yes, perfect.

Big Hugs for you and your family.

CC said...

Oh gosh. So I read this after your other post. I should have read this first. I'm so sorry HUGS!!!!!!

JCK said...

Oh, Lisa. I am so very sorry that you had to go through this. Even if the teachers have concerns, they handled this very poorly. And that one woman was incredibly judgemental. Sending hugs late here...

Anna See said...

Oh dear, I am having a huge mommy guilt moment right now myself about some pretty big "should have dones" in our family's life. What a rotten feeling. Please try not to beat yourself up. You are doing a great job as a mom.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh, I'm sorry I missed this post originally. I'll continue to pray and I'm very happy the neurologist wasn't too concerned. Hang in there!