Don't Be Afraid to Stand Up for Your Child

7:33 AM


Why? Because if you don't, you will regret it later on. I do. When my 11 year old Jordan was in kindergarten, I knew something was wrong. I asked for testing and they offered to retain him. At that moment, I should have fought for my child and insisted that they do something. I didn't at that time and now it is my son who is paying for it.

{Learn From My Mistake}

Jordan was behind even in Kindergarten. Not horribly so, but enough that I felt there was something going on. When they offered to retain him I chose not to and sent him on to 1st grade. At that point, the teacher at our current school had agreed to look into testing for him to see if he had a learning disability. Unfortunately, we moved to the home we live in now when he was in the middle of the school year.

I mentioned it to the school here and they said they wanted to wait until 2nd grade to test. In second grade he continued to go downhill. His reading fluency was at a Kindergarten level, his grades were failing and his self esteem dropped because he was being told "He could do it if he only tried" by the teacher at the school. He was trying though. They pushed off testing and didn't complete it until the end of the year. Of course he was retained, so he had to repeat 2nd grade. It took until the middle of his second year of second grade to get an IEP in place and for them to implement any "accommodations".

Several times after that I went into the school insisting that they do more to help him. A person from the school board got involved the summer after his second year in second grade and was appalled to see Jordan's progress and level in reading. His reading fluency was still on a kindergarten level! The accommodations in third grade were a joke, they consisted of them pulling him for a special reading group once a day to read a story and do a worksheet. I was always told just to practice frequency with him and eventually he would "get" it. I finally had enough this year and homeschooled him since they wanted to retain him again. My son will now be 12 in December and is only in 3rd / 4th grade for some subjects.

{Make Your Own Decisions for Your Child}

I have done my own research now. Research I should have done long ago, and not have been so trusting of the teachers, thinking they were the professionals. Jordan and other dyslexics could benefit highly from an intensive phonics program. I now have him in an intervention phonics program, an intensive remedial spelling program, a writing program and we read the classics together and do interactive activities/lapbooking with them. Instead of an hour or so devoted to repeatedly reading stories, he now has an intensive language arts program to help him succeed. This is what I should have done as a mother from the beginning. My trust and timidness has now cost my son dearly, but I am doing my best to remedy that mistake.

Parents, please don't make the same mistakes I did. Fight from your child from the beginning. Don't let them convince you that they are doing everything they can, that they know best, because you as the parent are the only one who knows what is best for your child.

You Might Also Like

38 comments

  1. GREAT post! I had a similar experience. I requested an IEP for my oldest in kindergarten and was told by the teacher that he was too young. Not knowing the law, I took her word for it. By the middle of first grade I had done my research but we did not get the IEP in place until the very last month of that school year. He could have benefited for two school years if only I knew better.
    With my second, when he was not reading at all in 1st grade I kept asking the teacher if there could be a learning problem. She INSISTED that he was just young for his grade, immature since he was the youngest in the class. I put up with that for one quarter and then formally requested testing in writing copying everyone relevant. Surprise, learning disabilities galore including dyslexia. He is in 3rd now and with the help in place from his IEP he is reading chapter books. I keep on top of the teachers, making sure they follow the IEPs and add to them throughout the school year.
    The law says that teachers are supposed to identify children like ours. The school districts discourage teachers from doing it. It is a joke,a game,and they take advantage of parents who are new to the system and do not know the laws.
    I admire your decision to home school. I wish that was a real option for my family. The public school system is a disgrace.
    Hopefully, by sharing our stories we can empower other parents and spare other kids the heartache ours endured in those confusing first years of learning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank-you for sharing your experience. I know this is happening to children all over the country each day and it is embarrassing for me to admit that it took me so long to realize that something else needed to happen. The principal kept insisting that they were doing so much to help Jordan, but in reality it jut wasn't true.

    ReplyDelete
  3. But you DID do something. Better late than never. So don't beat yourself up, your son is very lucky to have you on his side! Sounds like he is on the right track now. Good luck to him!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Having a child with special needs makes me a huge advocate. We have constantly monitored how Matthew was doing in school and we even hired an advocate to help us when the school didn't agree with us. WE have gotten him so far.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is really helpful. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad you decided to home school him because it doesn't seem like the school really cared too much :(

    ReplyDelete
  7. I commend you for what you did do. Some parents don't even go that far. Children do not come with a book and it is not wrong for us to rely on doctors and teachers to know more then we do.

    My youngest son was on an IEP from 3-5th grade. He is not doing so well in middle school and I am having some issues with a few things. However I continue to email teachers and even the principal.

    I loved your post and think you are a wonderful mother and your son is getting exactly what he needs from you and that is love and care, and it seems a teacher as well.

    Stay strong!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think as moms, we have all made mistakes and not realized how important it is to fight for something. Hindsight is 20/20!

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a teacher I think this post is great! You are your child's advocate!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post. I think we all have things we wished we pushed harder for.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a great post Kathleen! I tend to be a mama bear about this stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are a great mom. Thanks for the reminder that we are all our children's advocates and their voices.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good for you mama! We're actually looking to move and a good school is what we want.. however there really is not a guarantee it's good :(

    ReplyDelete
  14. I stood up for my daughter today. She has been having issues with a kid at school and I had to take matters into my own hands today and have a talk with the principal. Not fun but you do what you gotta do for your kids.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's a great and heart touching post. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been into a almost similar situation for the past 6 years. It all started with my child having tummy cramps and spanned 3 precious years of our life. I was vigilant from day one. The doctors couldn't detect anything and both the doctors, the teachers at my kids school and even my family and friends thought I was making too big an issue for something that is 'not there'. It was a battle facing her illness and the people around me but I didn't stop in my efforts to bring her towards recovery. Se has finally been diagnosed with SB. Fortunately it's just i one lumbar vertebrae and she'll live a normal life with proper diet, vitamins and a few medicine. She hasn't been going to school for the past 2 years and now that I know what odds are against us, I'm in a better position to handle this and help her move on.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's not your fault- these people are professionals & we expect them to know when something is up. I think it's great that you are standing up for him now & getting him the help he needs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank-you for your kind words ladies. Ana, I am so sorry to hear your daughter has had to suffer for so long. I am glad that she has a diagnosis now and she is on her way to recovering!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for sharing this Kathleen. There are times that I tend to just go along with what the pros tell me when I know I should just follow my gut.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post! We have to stand up or no one else will!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good for you! The world would be such a different place if more moms were like you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Now that I'm a parent, I totally understand where some of the parents were coming from when I was working in education. At the time, I didn't... but now I understand.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing your story! My son has an IEP and after one year in a special preschool class for kids on the autism spectrum, they're placing him in Kindergarten only next year, basically stating he is too high functioning to even remain in the special class half of the day. Although I'm grateful and agree he's ready, I'm nervous and will monitor his progress closely so we can make changes whenever I feel they're necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The system sucks when you are trying to navigate it. I'm glad you were able to help your son.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been lucky in that I haven't had too much of a struggle to get my daughter into therapies and a special classroom, but her special needs are more noticeable than with many children. Even for us, waiting lists can be an issue.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I second what Donna said. You did do something. Maybe not as early as you would like, but you are advocating for your child now. So many kids are falling through the cracks in schools today and not getting the help they need. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  26. YES! We have to be a squeaky wheel -- we are our child's ONLY advocate.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for sharing this experience! We are the only voice our children have. I know you are going to be and are doing the best you can for him now. You are a great mom!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Agree, and can't believe they can't brushing off your concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dyslexia is a HUGE issue with so many people I know, both children and adults. It's usually because they didn't get diagnosed early on or people didn't know how to help that causes these one to feel they have problems and are not 'normal'. This then causes issues in so many other ways such as social interaction and confidence.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I had to FIGHT to get my daughter tested! It took about 2 years. We were always told she was lazy, a spoiled brat, etc., but she is dyslexic. Her undiagnosed dyslexia made reading and writing nearly impossible! She was so frustrated all the time. Now she is receiving the help she needs and is doing much better but it wasn't easy.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Don't beat yourself up because you're doing everything you can, and we've been trained to trust authority so it's not surprising you did!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good for you! Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I choose to live and caring my own children so I wouldn't be afraid anymore. We create something and share it together. That was perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This post surely touches the heart of those mothers who unfailingly love and care their children.

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

Stats and Resources