Special Needs Kids:They aren’t always the challenge

I spent at least three hours on the phone yesterday talking to various people about two of my children.  By the time I was done, the thoughts and information were swimming around in my head and I could hardly remember my own name!!  Navigating the system in order to best advocate for your special needs child is very overwhelming.  It could take a lifetime to understand how it all works and what the best resources are for them.  The school system alone is so crazy, at least in our area.  I find that, more often than not, the person, or persons in charge have been there less than two years and are still learning the system themselves!  How can they possibly be able to know what resources to tap into to help your child succeed?

Its such a delicate dance to be an advocate and not come across sounding like a @#* !  I’m not naturally bold so I have a hard time pushing an agenda.  Our daughter is diagnosed MR (mentally retarded) but it is not outwardly apparent.  She is engaging and social, and for the most part, very appropriate.  She simply struggles to understand things academically.  The only thing the school can offer her is a functional academic classroom, which really isn’t appropriate for her.  A functional classroom is perfect placement for her academic needs but not her emotional or social needs.  She understands enough to be keenly aware that the other kids cant build friendships with her or visa versa.  The stress of this situation played a part in her complete psychotic breakdown last September, which we are just now come out of.  She hasnt been able to return to school, she can barely leave the house without being overly stressed.  I am not suggesting that the school system is to blame for her pain.  My anger would be displaced, indeed!  What I am grappling with at this time is, what now? What is available to help her when she returns?  The school is strapped for funds, the government doesn’t provide help until she is out of high school, we cant afford private tutors and will have a greater struggle accessing government help if she isn’t in school (at least that’s what they say!).  She’s a gem, the system is challenging!!!

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