Must. Control. Fists. Of. Death.

By Mir
October 18, 2007

I am trying.

I am trying to see and appreciate the good in the folks who are TRYING to help my child despite various limitations, be they the constraints of school policy, understaffing, or their own preconceived notions.

Or their own faulty memories.

So let’s get this right out of the way up front: I love Monkey’s teacher. I do. She’s a veteran and she has gone out of her way to to do certain things for him even when the school administration has dragged their feet, and despite the occasional interesting spelling (this week’s feature: candycorn! all one word!) I think she’s pretty good at her job. More importantly, I can tell that she genuinely cares for Monkey. I can forgive a lot in the face of genuine affection.

But I am reaching my limit.

Monkey is having a pretty difficult week; no one who’s come into contact with him lately is going to argue that. Whether the recent incident sparked this downward spiral or was merely the herald of a difficult time… well, that remains to be seen. The bottom line, however, is that he is struggling. (And if you can watch a kid like Monkey struggle and not have it make your heart hurt, you have no soul.)

So Monkey’s teacher called me up yesterday to discuss the current “situation,” and in the course of our conversation, she kept calling him… oh, let’s say… Lemur.

(You know, because a lemur and a monkey are SORT OF similar, but not really. And the words themselves aren’t similar at all.)

After the third “Well you know, Lemur sometimes—” I couldn’t take it anymore.

“MONKEY. His name is Monkey.”

“Oh, I know! That’s just our little joke, my little pet name for him.”

Here I almost dropped the phone. A pet name for a person is Snookums or Buddy or Scooter. A pet name for a person is NOT a name that BELONGS TO SOMEONE ELSE. (I know the pseudonyms may make this difficult to understand; think of it like this: Let’s say his real name is William, and she keeps calling him Steven. It’s like that. It’s WRONG WRONG WRONG.) And the sad part is that she DOES know his name. But she called him by the wrong name no less than FIVE times during the course of our discussion, and I have to tell you, even if she had pulled a dozen children out of a burning building during the course of our call, it would not have changed the tendrils of anger that were unfurling in me.

[As an aside: Does anyone remember that many years ago Chickadee also had a teacher who couldn’t get her name right? I am experiencing deja vu here.]

So there was that, and she also wanted to let me know that when Monkey had forgotten his folder the previous day, it was “because” he had a note from the gifted teacher about his misbehavior in her class.

“Come again? He often forgets his folder. That was something I wanted to talk to you about, actually….”

“Oh yes,” she responded with a chuckle, “I’m sure he just didn’t want you to see it. I do believe there’s some manipulation going on here.”

My child is many things, people. Not all of them are good. Some of them are less than desirable, sure. But I KNOW SNEAKY (see: firstborn girl child) and this is not a sneaky or manipulative kid. Open book, thy name is Monkey.

You know what Monkey IS? Monkey is very easily distracted. Monkey has been suspected of having ADD here and there, and eventually it was decided that his inattentiveness could be easily connected to his sensory overwhelmedness (okay, that might not be a word), and in times of stress/overload his distractability looks an awful lot like a kid with ADD. And? It is NOT HIS FAULT.

This doesn’t excuse him from doing what he’s supposed to do, of course. But it means that he needs extra help. He needs more support than the average kid in following some tasks through to completion. He needs extra reminders. He needs someone to check and make sure he did what he was supposed to.

If only there was a way to make all of this clear and get the school to agree to help him. OH WAIT. There is! IT’S ALL RIGHT THERE IN HIS 504 PLAN!

And that’s what I would’ve said, if I hadn’t been sitting there looking at the phone in my hand with disbelief while the teacher told me that “Lemur” is “plenty smart enough” to take care of these things, but is “clearly choosing not to.”

I am trying, here. But the gloves are about to come off.


  1. Burgh Baby's Mom

    It sounds like it’s totally time for the gloves to come off. Go Mir!

  2. RuthWells

    I am right behind you, Mir. Do what you need to do, and get the principal involved if you have to.

  3. Megan

    Good. Take ’em off (but watch the knuckles – they bruise). No assvice, no clever remarks to make just… oh, I’m sorry you and Monkey and Otto and Chickadee are all going through this. Just seems like one of those weeks where you have to breath your way through this five minutes, okay and now the next five minutes… I’m hoping HARD that somehow some way can be found to make teacher – and the administration – understand what Monkey needs.

  4. jennielynn

    This is going to be a tough year, it seems. Its pretty hard to change a teacher’s idea of who your child is. This is why we’re starting the sreening process for autism. Because even though I taught SDC and worked with a dozen autistic kids, Missy Hoohaw’s stupid, bark-eating teacher is convinced she is autistic.

  5. Lisa in NJ

    The gloves need to come off. The school needs to follow the 504 plan or they can get in some serious trouble. Go put the beat down on them!!!! Kick some school butt. I’ve had to do it here in the great (HA HA) state of NJ. You will win. Just keep fighting for the little guy.

  6. McSwain

    That is awful. You need an emergency meeting with administration and all other involved staff on that 504 plan. Threaten to file a complaint. I can’t fathom being that oblivious to an IEP or a 504 on one of my students. Or calling a student by someone else’s name. Unbelievable.

  7. Trish

    Why, why, why would she use her “pet name” for him while talking to his parent??? That makes her seem either senile or unprofessional (or really irritating, whatever). I wonder if Monkey likes being called Lemur. There are a lot of nicknames (that people call me) that I don’t mind, but there are some that make me want to punch people and they don’t even realize it bothers me.

    Also, LOVE Fists of Death!

  8. janet

    go, mir! get ’em. and hang ’em high.

  9. kate

    I think you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. This is your kid and the school system in GA seems to not care so much that he needs special attention. (Okay, maybe they do care, but they don’t seem to care on a regular basis, so it’s the same.) Is there any sort of helper you can hire for him? One who could ghost him around the school, brush him when he needs to be brushed, get him back on track? Poor Monkey needs an advocate. I know, $. But really, who needs food, Ramen is sort of nutritional.

  10. All Adither

    Yes, NURSE… oops, I mean TEACHER seems to be acting a little bit oblivious.

  11. Ani

    This has been said before but it deserves a repeat. It’s time to involve some legal advice. Section 504 is a LAW and the school is not fulfilling its legal obligations which are already agreed upon. The mere presence, heck, even mention, of a lawyer can light much-needed fire under reluctant administrators’ and school personnels’ rear ends.

    As to the teacher, I will give her the benefit of the doubt (although the wrong name? WTF?) BUT…perhaps she could use to read some material on teaching/managing SID children. Heck even if she read on ADD/ADHD it might be helpful. Even “veteran” teachers (esp. veteran teachers?) can use an update on current educational research. Perhaps Chickie’s therapist could suggest a good reference?

    Much hugs and moral support. We’re with you all the way.

  12. Ei.

    Kick some, Mir.

    If any teacher were calling MY kid Lemur, that would be all it took anyway. I’ve struggled with this same ‘oh it’s a manipulation’ thing. No. You are an idiot who managed to get a teaching degree without knowing how to read because it is all right here in black and white in his IEP, his psychological profile and in the begining of the school year paperwork that YOU asked me to fill out.

    Sorry, this was about Monkey right? I love me some righteous indignation sometimes. Go, Mir.

  13. PunditMom

    Sometimes they have to come off to advocate for our children. If we don’t do it, the system won’t.

  14. cursingmama

    Holy crap on a cracker! You could fast forward this a few years and would have a very similar conversation that we had at Gameboys school just 2 weeks ago. We haven’t hit 504 plan status (maybe we should take that leap); but the school counselor blindsided us with my son in the room advising us to do something that was 100% against what his Dr. wants.

    I have come to believe that many of those working in schools have a tendency to generalize students into 1 category (PITA) regardless of what diagnosis and plans are in place. It’s frustrating as hell & I’m getting tired of fighting, but I won’t stop.

    I hope that your fight goes better.

  15. JustRandi

    You know, I think the teacher is clearly overwhelmed. Every kid in her class has some issue or another, I guarantee it. I think the gloves need to come off to get Monkey some help, but this woman seems to be doing the best she can with no school support.
    If the 504 plan were being followed, wouldn’t many of these issues take care of themselves?
    I’m just sayin’ if you’re going to make a fuss (and I thing you should) do it with the right person. The teacher has no control over getting help into that room or she would have done it already.

  16. alala

    You like Monkey’s teacher? Gee, I don’t. I had teachers who couldn’t be bothered to learn my name, but deliberately using another name? That is a kind of aggression, and the smiling and being all affectionate and the “our little joke”? And then she has the gall to call HIM manipulative? Seriously?

  17. InterstellarLass

    I’m getting to the point where I just hate public schools. And this is one of the reasons why. Teachers just don’t THINK anymore. Sounds like you need to go down to that school and, as any good Southern Woman will advise, Raise Some Hell. Really, it’s OK. We are taught to be sweet, but when it comes to our babies, watch out!

    Oh, and I checked. And per, it’s either candy corn or candy-corn. And a Google search of candycorn comes up with a Did you mean candy corn? I’d take this straight to the teacher and drop kick her with her compound words.

  18. Karen

    I was the kind of kid who would forget to give my parents an undesireabe note — or even forget to show my husbnd a credit card statement where I charged 12 pairs of shoes. But that sounds NOTHING like Monkey.

    Poor Monkey. Mir are there advocates in GA who will take on the school for you? Here in NJ I have a friend who works for a non-profit agency that does only that. Maybe they need to be threatened with legal action to get their “rears in gear”. Or maybe that is the just the lawyer in me who goes right to the legal recourse.

  19. Ann

    You rock, mom! Go get ’em!

  20. Weetzie

    “Lemur” is “plenty smart enough” to take care of these things, but is “clearly choosing not to.”

    Clearly, this is a teacher who doesn’t understand the real issues.

  21. Paula

    Mmmm…yeah. As both a teacher and a mom to a 13 year-old with ADD, I feel your pain. I just don’t think many educators take those 504 plans seriously. Obviously her comments about “plenty smart enough to take care of those things” has no clue that this has nothing to do with intelligence. My son STILL forgets important things on a regular basis. My recommendation is to ask for a “homework buddy,” preferably a friend of monkey’s, who can help him pack up. You’re in a difficult place here because she will be his teacher all year, you’re stuck, and you need to be diplomatic. Can you bring her something to read about his issues? Good luck.

  22. Aimee

    Yeah. It’s definitely time for the fists of death. Especially if Monkey seems to be in a spiral, as you said, I wouldn’t worry about hurting Mrs. Wrongname Candycorn’s feelings. Go down there and Kick. Heavy. Metal. Ass. Good luck — I’ll be thinking about you guys!

  23. StephLove

    I’m so sorry things are rough for Monkey right now. When my son (also with SPD but a milder case) hit a rough patch last year, we were all miserable for months. I don’t have any words of wisdom either, since things just got slightly better for no reason we could tell toward the end of the school year, then MUCH better once school was out.

    I’d ask him how he feels about being called Lemur. He might not mind. If he doesn’t, I might let it go so you can concentrate on the big stuff. If he does, of course, I’d ask her to knock it off. He doesn’t need any extra annoyances.

  24. becky

    oh, mir. i think at least one glove needs to come off. maybe both. because this sounds SO unacceptable. i hope you can get this worked out.

  25. Karen

    Go you! I have nothing else to add except that it is heartwarming to see all the support here for you and your family.

  26. Kris

    *about* to come off? Oh sweetie, rip ’em off and go at them with fire. That’s totally ridiculous.

    Bug is an Aspie and so totally in the sensory overwhelmedness theatre with Monkey (I spell it that way – theatre – because we’re fancy).

    Go get ’em and let us know how you do. I’m so tired of hearing “She’s manipulating you” from everyone except her psych. JERKS!

  27. hokgardner

    Welcome to schools in Georgia. When my parents moved there – I was already in college and therefore not affected – they were appalled at what they found in my younger sister’s middle and high schools. And they live in Atlanta, and you would think they had good schools in Atlanta, its being a major city and all, but no. Fight the good fight Mir.

  28. LuAnn

    I know what you mean about the heart hurting for your kids watching their struggles. Hope things get better soon. *HUGS*

  29. Cele

    Oh, I can’t imagine the size hole to be left in the wall after this head banging is done.

  30. Karin

    Yep, you definitely need to get them to get with it on his 504 plan. You are the best advocate for your child, and unfortunately it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. So squeak away if that’s what it takes.

    When I was teaching, I would often accidentally call different students by the wrong name (like you know when I had a Brenna, Brianna, Brandy and Brenda all in the same class or something), but I would immediately correct myself and I don’t think I ever did it in front of one of their parents. And if I did, I certainly didn’t come up with some lame excuse like “that’s my pet name for him”. Sheesh.

  31. Lori

    Go get em. Perhaps the teacher can be reminded that when she has her own babies, she can name em. Perhaps you quite liked the name Monkey and thus named your child Monkey.

  32. Hamiam


    None of that is acceptable. None.

  33. tammy

    Maybe it’s one of those things where in her mind the name is spelled “W-I-L-L-I-A-M” and pronounced “Steven”? I mean, we do know that her spelling is a little shifty sometimes.

  34. prophet

    oh dear. . . . SO sorry to hear of this latest. Sending you every best wish and thought for a positive outcome here, for ALL concerned. Glad you got to blow some steam off – looking forward to seeing what happens when you get down to work. And it looks like you’ve got quite a haul in front of you. Courage! Again: all the best to you.

  35. Chuck

    Don’t ask where I got these….

    (hands Mir a set of brass knuckles)

    Go, Mir, GO!

  36. Lisa

    This school has messed with the wrong Monkey.

    Sorry you and Monkey are having such a terrible time. It sounds like it’s getting worse not better with the nice guy approach, so it’s time for another tactic. Very sad you have to take the gloves off at all.

  37. Crisanne

    Ugh, what a nightmare for you an poor little Lemur, oops I mean Monkey :)

    Do whatcha gotta do for your kid. Take Otto in with you if you can-a male presence makes a big difference with some people, esp in the South. Any chance Otto knows any lawyers that could help you out? Even someone at the college that could give you advice, maybe even someone in the ed department.

  38. Tracey

    This caused my teacher hiney to cringe. I am a teacher. There is absolutely NO excuse for calling a child the wrong name…to his mother for Gosh Sake! As for the 504 plan? Ummm…IT’S THE LAW! SHE HAS TO DO WHAT IS ON THE PLAN. NO QUESTIONS ASKED! So sorry for the rant…I told you this story made my teacher hiney cringe! Keep doing what you are doing…the squeaky wheel (or irate mother in this case) gets the grease! I’ll be thinking about you! *Hugs*

  39. Lisa

    A good friend’s daughter has an IEP plan for a tremor. She needs a computer provided by the school among other things. My friend now has a lawyer(also a friend) involved so the school will provide what it should have been doing all along. It’s time for help. You will get to play the good guy while the lawyer plays the bad guy and gets this done. Hopefully you know someone. It’s time.

  40. arduous

    That is beyond weird. Why would she call your son a name that is not his? To you of all people?

  41. MoMMY

    Sounds like it’s time.

  42. Summer

    I loved the teacher my son Dorian had last year for Pre-K. Just loved her. She had 20 years experience, she had him all figured out within the first 4 hours in the classroom, and she made him work up to his abilities… and also pretty much civilized him, with far greater efficiency than I’d managed in his first 3.5 years of existence. But when we got his offical end-of-year assessment, although his name was spelled correctly on the top of the page, in the comments, his teacher wrote his name as “Doreen.” Doreen. That is not only someone else’s name, it’s a GIRL’S name. But at least she always called him by the right name, both in class and in discussions with us. I wouldn’t have found it so funny if he was actually having to answer to “Doreen.”

    Sounds like many people at your kids’ school need to feel the Wrath of Mir. I am ready to cheer you on as you kick ass and take (correct) names.

  43. elizabeth

    ok, refer to Monkey as Lemur ONCE since it is your little joke, but after being corrected STOP! is the little pet name contributing to the overwhelmedness? (sure, its a word, gotta be)
    time to lose the gloves.

  44. Jessica

    I can’t fathom that Monkey thinks it’s funny to be called a different name. Way for the teacher to demonstrate that she just doesn’t understand sensory issues.
    I mean seriously, take a child who has just moved to a new home and a new school and confuse him even more… that would be tough for even the best adjusted child in the world!
    I agree with whoever said that it was time for a no nonsense meeting with the principal, teacher, aide, and whoever is in charge of special needs in that school district so that everyone can get on the same page. And if that doesn’t work? Then it’s definitely time for a lawyer.
    No wonder the poor kid is so out of sorts these days.

  45. Lilymane

    I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said by others, but maybe one more voice saying it will help you feel stronger as you advocate for your kid. Go Mir!

  46. BooMom

    Gloves off, let the a$$ kicking commence !!

  47. TC

    You know, it’s totally possible to like a teacher and still have to beat her to a bloody and unrecognizable pulp until she sees sense.

    Which is why I’m off to have a little ‘chat’ with my son N’s teacher–who I, too, like…really!–about his upcoming assessment and all the things she got wrong on his assessment form. The gloves are OFF.

  48. D

    I feel for you! I have the same issue with my child’s teacher and I love your comment about the gloves. I feel that way right now and don’t think the gloves can stay on much longer.

    BTW, you are a wonderful mom to care so much for you children and you are a wonderful writer!

  49. Jeni T

    I totally agree. Don’t have kids but can understand your frustration some. This is def. something that you need to get administration (maybe school board) involved in because what needs to be done for your son is NOT getting done. Good luck – we are with you!

  50. A

    I just don’t know how you didn’t just march over to the school and let the teacher have it when you got off the phone. Georgia’s schools need to be shaken up. They are a total mess. My sister is a special education teacher at a Georgia school and I know that she basically does nothing to help the students. It is a nightmare to have to send children to public schools in Georgia, hence, the many, many private schools. Although, in some school systems, if the school can’t provide the services the child needs, the school system has to pay for the child to attend a private school to receive the needed services. You might want to look into that. With “no child left untested”, right now the only thing in the schools that gets attention is test scores and not the children taking the tests. Well, let me go before I climb up onto that soapbox. Hope things get better.

  51. Carrie

    Yikes. As a parent of my own Monkey who spent 5 years battling a school system to implement the 504 plan that THEY wrote, but wouldn’t use, I feel your pain (We went as far as filing a complaint with the state DOE, who found in our favor — and even after that the school didn’t implement it! ARGH!). As a public school teacher, I am embarrassed by Ms. Candycorn’s behavior on this one. The name thing? One slip, okay, we all have senior moments. But even after you point it out? No, ma’am. That’s when she should apologize for the error and NEVER make it again.
    Time to reconvene the team, including an administrator, and point out the contents of the 504 plan again. Rewrite it in clearer, more precise language if necessary. BTW, you wrote at one point that the new school can’t provide the OT called for on Monkey’s 504 and seemed accepting of that. You shouldn’t be. These things aren’t based on school budget, but on child need. If he needs the OT, they MUST provide it. If he needs brushing, they MUST provide it, etc.,etc.

    I remember you being concerned about Chickadee’s young teacher — I hope she’s working out better than the veteran!

  52. Angela

    For a kid with sensory issues I’d suspect one of those issues is sound. So wouldn’t that mean being constantly called the wrong name could cause problems? Anyway 504 plans mean there are laws protecting your kid. THey’re not obeying the law then right? Gloves off, this is your kid we’re talking about.

  53. Dawn

    Oh, I know your pain. Here the 504 is referred to as an ISSP (individual special services plan). My daughter had one as she has Central Auditory Processing Deficit. Diagnosed by the school system-hired specialist. Not made up by me, despite the high school “guidance” counsellor saying, “She ‘supposedly’ has CAPD…” I let her live. Barely.

    One of my daughter’s needs was a quiet room in which to write tests as she has great difficulty filtering out noise. Where did they consistently put her? In a room with the kids with dyslexia. And what help do those kids need? They need the test questions read out loud to them…

    See “noise” above.

    Words fail me. As the school system did my daughter. She never did finish school and left with only 3 credits needed for a high school diploma.

    Fight the good fight, Mir. Monkey deserves it

  54. kate setzer kamphausen

    So sorry, Mir. Y’all are in my prayers.

  55. Kimberly

    Good. I’ve already told you how bitchy I would get–which was plenty–and I’m a teacher.

    Take it to the mattresses Mir. It’s time.

  56. barb

    Ok, I can’t quite get past the whole “wrong name pet name” thing. WTF? I will freely admit to calling the children in my class by the wrong names on a regular basis – although I do always correct myself and apologize immediately. But to do it to a parent and then offer that lame ass excuse? Are you sure she knew which Monkey she was talking about? Perhaps there really IS a Lemur in his class too and she forgot which parent she was talking to?

    As for the spelling thing – you need to point that out to administration ASAP. Honest to God, if you can’t spell you have no business teaching, that should just be a fact of life!

  57. paige

    As a teacher, I have to say that you should take the gloves off. 504 is not an option. If the teacher is having trouble with it, or the school is, they should say so. Then they can figure out how to make it happen.

    Sheesh. I wish I could help in some concrete way. This sort of thing drives me nuts when I hear about it.

    And the name thing? That’s just…weird. I’ve got two kids this year with names that are identical except for ONE LETTER and I sometimes slip up with them (and apologize immediately) but I’ve never ever used the wrong name with a parent.

    This teacher sounds a little loopy and possibly a lot burnt out.

  58. Andrea

    Yes, this teacher is either loopy or trying really hard to be a buddy to her students. Instead of wasting time on pet names, here’s a thought: use that time and energy to implement the 504!
    And if you don’t feel like pulling in some legal guns to let them know you are serious, maybe you could look into hiring a child advocate. Your insurance company may cover it (well….you aren’t too pleased with your insurance thus far, so…). My friend could not get a school to give her preschool son the recommended amount of speech therapy–she pulled in a child advocate–the school finally sat up straight and noticed. State laws require that kids get what services they need.
    You can do it, Mir!!! :) We are all behind you!!

  59. Veronica

    I totally agree with you! Good luck with it.

  60. alice

    Nothing more to add, just ditto to all the great advice above, especially seeking out an advocate from a nonprofit or other source. And lots and lots of good thoughts going your way.

  61. Daisy

    I’m late on the seen, just come home from a night of parent-teacher conferences. Nothing to add; you know where you need to go with this. Keep us posted! Chimp, I mean Lemur, I mean Monkey, deserves no less. It’s time for Gorilla warfare.

  62. carson

    The good thing about homeschooling is when the teacher doesn’t take the quirks of my kid into account, I don’t have to explain over and over again why the quirks, they are not manipulation. The bad thing is that I still get a little pissy with the teacher.

  63. Catherine

    Being in Georgia, make sure they’re white wrist length gloves. I assume that’s what all proper women wear when opening a can of whoop ass.

    And calling Monkey Lemur? That’s crap. I’m offended and I only know you in the computer.

  64. Laura

    Good grief. I know teachers are stretched thin, and overworked- so I can see if she got his name wrong and when you corrected it she apologized for having ‘a moment’- we ALL have those moments. But getting it wrong again? And then trying to justify it? I know it is petty, but I guarantee I would never get her name right again.

    Also, how about not thinking you know a child better than his mom does? No one knows Monkey better than you. You don’t seem the type to gloss over who your children are. If Monkey was manipulative- you’d know it. And if she had bothered to really read his 504 plan, wouldn’t she know that his needing extra help in being organized was part and parcel of the whole deal?

    And candycorn? Really? There are lots and lots of *real* words kids need to learn to spell- let’s stick to those.

  65. Karen

    I don’t know the law in Georgia, but an IEP and a 504 plan are different. Students with an IEP have IDEA protection and 504 protections. 504 plans are covered only by 504 protections. I would advise against involving a lawyer at this stage. That will only antagonize the district and you might find them even less willing to cooperate–and unfortunately Monkey might be the one who would suffer. Let’s face it…schools, teachers, etc. don’t like to be criticized. I’m certainly not saying the district is doing the right thing-but maybe you could go in and ask for another meeting with the staff to provide them even more information about Monkey and what has and hasn’t worked in the past. It takes time to figure out new students and what makes them tick. Being firm but polite might be helpful. I believe that MOST schools and MOST teachers are really trying to do their best with kids. Sure there are some crummy teachers out there–but there are crummy employees out there in just about any line of work. I know if it were my child–I would be outraged as well, but I know that you realize that diplomacy and tact will get you farther than anger and threats. I don’t see you as being the type of person who would really lose their cool, anyway.
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with you tactfully making the staff aware that you understand your rights as a parent–and most likely as intelligent as you are–when you speak (or what I imagine you would say when I read what you write) it is going to be obvious that you have researched Monkey’s disability and can offer some great advice.

    Try to continue working with the school. I think you’ll make more headway with them if they feel like you aren’t attacking or criticizing. Offer suggestions, tell them what you’d like to see–what you think would work best with Monkey. You MIGHT find that they just really aren’t sure what to do. It’s easy to say and think that the school should know better—but maybe they don’t. I agree you certainly should be an advocate for your child, but I would suggest trying to do it without alienating too many people.

    Just my .02.

  66. Lisa C.

    I don’t know Mir… my total assvice at this point would be to get him out of the public system and into a private school that can deal with his issues. I had SID as a child, and it was hell. It was hell for me and it was hell for the people who were trying to teach me. Monkey and I sound so much alike, especially with things like organization and sensory overload. I just have the feeling that if the school’s not providing for his needs per the 504 plan now, they probably won’t ever do it, no matter how many gloves come off and how much yelling you do.

  67. LadyBug Crossing

    Let it rip!!
    They need to understand. You need to MAKE them understand. If it makes you persona non-grata, so be it.
    Make them do their job.
    Best of luck to you!

  68. Jenny

    Throw down, Mir! To the pain!

    (This reminds me of an experience in our family with a passive-aggressive, sugary-sweet teacher that had decided the situation was X and should be handled X-ly, and very nearly had everyone else convinced of it, too, when the situation turned out to be clearly Y, for which she simply was not equipped. But it’s a long story.)

    No seriously, I’m sending supportive, invigorating thoughts your way.

  69. Lori

    Hold me back, hold me back – nope let me go!

    It’s time. Gloves off, no holds barred, go for the gold.

    Ok, a little over the top, but it sounds like your instincts (and anger) are telling you something. Things are not right and it’s time to go back in there with the 504 plan and do a review. (And who calls a kid by some pet name to their parent? I certainly wouldn’t call a child’s parent and use the wrong name – no matter how funny the kid thought it was at school! Unprofessional. Inappropriate. I’ll stop now.)

    You are doing the right thing for Monkey.

  70. Sheila

    I think you should address the teacher as Shirley whenever you speak to her, just as a little pet name from you to her.

  71. melly

    if your blog doesn’t make me laugh, your comments sure would!

    I’m so sorry you’re struggling.
    As a mom with a special kid, I feel your pain.
    You. Are. Not. Alone.

  72. Carolyn

    Sometimes you just have to take off the gloves,no matter how nice or good the teacher, or team of teachers are. I had to do that earlier this year and I got accomplished what needed to be accomplished.
    Good luck!

  73. Nancy R

    Hello? Maybe being called by a name other than his own is distracting him!

    Gloves Off.

  74. Angel

    ((((((Mir))))))) My heart does hurt for you and Monkey. I hope you kick their ass. You’re both in my thoughts.

  75. Katrina Stonoff

    One word, Mir: attorney. No, three words: special ed attorney.

    At the very least, spend the money for a one-hour’s consultation. Talk to them instead of getting legal advice from us. It might be worth trying to get an IEP for Monkey, especially since his sensory issues clearly are affecting his learning experience and since his 504 is apparently not working.

    However, I would respectfully disagree with Karen. We avoided pulling out the big guns for a long, long time for fear of exactly what Karen described. But when we did call an attorney, it made our relationship with the district much, much better. They finally understood we were serious (something we’d TRIED to tell them, but they couldn’t/wouldn’t hear), so we were able to discuss issues from a “How can we work this out?” position rather than a patronizing “You just don’t understand how these things work” position. It’s true we felt a little resentment from them (though not so much I’d call it animosity) at first, but for a couple of years now, there’s been not a hint of it, and our relationship with everyone at the district is very cordial.

  76. jen

    Ok, can’t wait to hear how this transpires, ’cause I’m about to jump into the same waters with you. And A is only in 1st grade. Sigh…2e can really bite the big one. Hang in there!

  77. Jess

    I just don’t know what to say. I am shocked at how the school seems to be not working with you or Monkey. You are handling this so much better than I would be. They would have that 504 plan shoved up their @sses by now. ((HUGS)) I hope that things improve for the little guy and for you too.

  78. Belinda

    overwhelmededness. Oh, no, wait–“OVERWHELMTH.”


  79. Heather C.

    I am overwhelmeth with the desire to puncheth the teacher.

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