Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Child appreciation

I'm really running the gauntlet of child evaluations this week, and it's got me a little on edge. Yesterday was progress report day, and we got through that with relatively little shock and upset. Tomorrow, I have my first meeting with my daughter's teachers, the whole lot of them, regular-education and inclusion alike, and I hope I'll hear what the progress report indicates -- that she's basically doing well -- and not what I usually hear in meetings like this, which is that she's doing well considering. Most desperately, I'm hoping that there won't be a repeat of my meeting with her teacher and instructional aide last year -- the one where I asked the aide what she would be doing to help my daughter, and she looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights. Her inability to articulate what an instructional aide does, exactly, pretty much carried into a whole year of not doing much but hovering and making my girl nervous. This year, there are actual special education teachers in my daughter's classroom doing their inclusion thing, and if they can't explain to me what that is, I'm going to the Board of Ed.

Then, on Thursday, comes our annual visit with the pediatric neurologist. The appointment for my daughter is always a piece of cake, since she can sit through grown-ups talking and follow instructions and answer questions in a way that's pretty appropriate, considering. My son, on the other hand, has no consideration at all, and tends to display his most impulsive, most uncooperative, most out-of-control behavior for this particular doctor. And since she sees him once a year, and only at his absolute rock-bottom worst, I shouldn't be upset that she thinks I'm nuts not to medicate him into a stupor. But I always am anyway. Why can't she just take my word for it that he's doing fine? Or his father's word, or his teachers' word, or his therapists' word? And more importantly, if I have all those words, why do I need this doctor's word, anyway? I guess we all like to think that everybody looks at our kids in the same appreciative way we do. And if they don't, man, I'll tell you, they all deserve bad grades on their progress reports.

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