When Bird was in Kindergarten is was a year of huge change and lots of work (this is another story for another day). First grade was different in so many ways 1) Bird had learned a lot over the summer in our school in the basement 2) he had already been at LRE School the year before and had a better idea of the expectations 3) He had a just amazing teacher Mrs. Sheehy who really knuckled down and made sure he was learning, complying and succeeding in her class.
Mrs. Sheehy used the tape on the desk method explained in the summer school in my basement blog with HUGE success. She (like very few) seem to have a inner ABA (applied behavior analysis) voice in her head giving perfect instructions. Each day she would email or call me (yep, I know we are so lucky to have such communiciative teachers EVERY YEAR…except one…which likely means we might have had something to do with it and were not just part of some astronomical odds…but that’s another blog for another day, suffice to say be good to your teachers).
Bird would rush through his work at times and Mrs. Sheehy would take the paper from him look at it later and then at recess show him the work he rushed through express that it was not acceptable and hand him a clip board telling him he may not play until it is done correctly! Some might think this heartless especially since Bird REALLY needed to run and get out his sillies and truly loved recess…IT WASN’T and he needed it! Mrs. Sheehy would tell me that when she would let the kids go out to recess (and Bird did not have work to make up) he would stretch his arms out all the way and run as fast as he could do the end of the field as if powered by the need to be free! This for some will sound unkind but life does not reward shotty half done work and while YES he did need to run he MUST do his work correctly and to the best of his ability FIRST. Bird really needed someone at school to hold him to a higher standard and take away things he wanted to get the best work from him as he was so motivated to get it done and go look at books in the corner of the room or simply be first.
One day Bird was not going to take this missing recess anymore. He was ready to run across that field and needed a break. Mrs. Sheehy handed him the clip board of work and informed him that he actually needed to do a page over again and in a fit of rage he said,”No, your fired…good luck getting a job!” This was a script I would use on the kids jokingly that he needed to express rage. The whole class erupted into laughter and Mrs. Sheehy almost did as well. For a few days afterward kids would joking say it to Bird who took it okay for a time then a truly unkind child named Scum for the purposes of anonymity took this light joke and decided to taunt Bird repeatedly saying,”Your fired, your fired, your fired” in Bird’s face. This escalated into a daily ritual of Scum getting in Bird’s face and making him cry. I took the issue to Mrs. Sheehy who had already spoken to Scum’s parents. I took the issue to the Dominatrix Principal and she defended the child as did the schools psychologist who was incredibly unimpressive in her need to defend the Principal but not address my child’s needs! I took matters into my own hands 2 weeks later when Bird no longer wanted to go to school and left a voice mail on Scum’s parents machine after two days I knew they were not calling us back so I took the time to email them. I let them know that we had spent well over $100,000 to get our son to speak so that he could even be in a class with other children like Scum. I let them know that I understood they had already heard from the school and that Scum was not able to change his behavior. I informed that of my plan to stand in front of here house with a sign stating that Scum was being badly raised by parents who had no desire to stop him from Bullying a child with AUTISM. I told them they would not be okay to walk around Fairfax without hearing me scream at them anytime we were in a 3 block radius as I would tell the world what SUCK ASS parents they are and people might think me crazy but they for damn sure were not going to be excited about the kid with autism being bullied! Scum’s parents denied knowing about the issue, the mark of a truly great parent is one who does not even know what is going on with their child or school when contacted by the school. Sure enough Scum STOPPED his bullying of my son and never THANK YOU GOD spoke to Bird again! Scum has moved out of country and I have no idea who he is bullying now but I doubt his parents expressed to him how awful it is to treat someone like this they likely just told him off and left him at that!
WHY don’t parents talk to their kids anymore???????????????????????????? Little girl with ID needed a champion to show her she had more than physical beauty (she is very pretty) to offer the world. Scum needed someone to give him ethics and tell him mocking anyone till they cry for 2 straight weeks is EVIL! Have are kids become worth so little these days?
There was another girl in Bird’s class that year who I knew was struggling a lot academically. The year before she was held back but her Grandmother proudly told me that she was NOT autistic and while she had no idea what in particular was up with grand daughter it should be know that it was NOT autism (as if you get some prize for NOT having autism) well I think the child now being socially promoted in 4th grade. The grandma would complain to me each time I say her about unfair it was that her grand daughter was being held to such a high standard and that she should NOT have to preform at the level of the class (with kids already 1 year younger). This little girl is one I knew really well and believed she could do 1st grade work at 7 and I would try each time I spoke to grandma about having higher expectations for this child and remind her that if her own family does not work with her to succeed and believe that she will than likely nobody else will believe in her success either.
This brings me to the point of my blog- Set the bar high for your child and even if they don’t meet it at least they will try and believe that somebody thought they could! NO excuses or apologies for their disability as most of us have NO idea what our kids are capable of doing in life!