You can not view the little people as a burden. If you do, then you're definitely in the wrong place, not just for the children's sake, but your own. I imagine that when someone becomes abusive, it is because they've lost their 'self control,' and losing 'it' ain't pretty... You know the song "she ain't pretty" by the Northern Pikes? Yeah, that's what a teacher with no self control ends up looking like. All dressed nice and looking the part, but then she opens her mouth and pow! She ain't too pretty no more.
I've met a few of these not so pretty teachers in the last few years. Teachers and daycares. I think the worst incident I had with Dayton where he was abused by a worker was at River Road Child Care which is located in the St. Amant Centre. Here's a quote straight from their website at http://www.stamant.mb.ca/about-us:
Founded by the Grey Nuns in 1931 as the St. Boniface Sanatorium, the Grey Nuns originally cared for patients with tuberculosis. The building was re-named the St. Vital Hospital in 1961.
Children with disabilities were first admitted to the St.Amant Ward in 1959. The organization was re-named St.Amant Centre in 1974 as the space became dedicated to meeting the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.
The Grey Nuns nurtured the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of every individual they cared for, laying the foundation for many generations of work to come. The Grey Nuns were strong advocates for the people they cared for and were determined to teach those who it was said could not be taught, to help children learn to walk who it was said would never walk. They helped each and every individual develop to the best of their abilities.The Grey Nuns were fearless leaders, unafraid to go against the grain or be defeated by the attitudes that prevailed toward those with developmental disabilities at the time. They provided direction and leadership of the organization into the 1990’s.
St.Amant is now the largest provider of community living services in Manitoba supporting individuals and their families with residential options, family care and outreach services. St.Amant also has a growing program for pre-school and school aged children with Autism.
You can see why I would think this was a fantastic place for my little guy! Wow! And speaking with the director of the daycare, I was told that yes, they would have no problems with Dayton. At the time, Dayton's diagnoses were ADHD and global developmental delays. I informed the director that Dayton was also being observed for autism. She assured me there would be no problems, didn't I know where I was? I was at St. Amant! I could not have chosen a better place on the world for my babe.
Here's some information on River Road Child Care located in the St. Amant Centre, again right off their website which you can find at: http://www.stamant.mb.ca/child-care:
We provide high-quality childcare in a warm, loving environment and promote the full development and well-being of all children with various needs and characteristics. We believe children have the right to be cared for in an atmosphere of warmth, acceptance, respect, love and laughter.
Our programming includes:
- Emergent and thematic curriculum
- Special events and field trips
- Gymnasium time
- Computer-assisted learning
- Inclusive approaches
- Natural external environment
- A scheduled, daily routine
Here's a link to the daycare's brochure: http://www.stamant.mb.ca/sites/default/files/River%20Road%20Child%20Care.pdf
So, you can see I did my homework before I decided to enlist their help in taking care of my babe's needs... They found a wonderful assistant to help Dayton throughout the day, who really bonded well with Dayton. We had become friends, play dates with our children were arranged. She's still a friend today. If it were not for her, I never would have found out what they did to my baby...
"Mamma, C hurt me."
"Dayton, how could you say something like that about C? She loves you, and she's like an auntie to you! She would never hurt you."
"Mamma, I no wanna go to deeeecare. Not like. C hurt me."
"Dayton, don't ever let me hear you talk about C like that again!!!"
And then the biting began. My boy had become a carnivore, and his appetite insatiable.... In roughly one month's time, he had bit C as well as other child care professionals a total of seven times. I was informed that Dayton either stopped biting or I would have to find another daycare. Daycares in Winnipeg are not easy to come by. I'm struggling without daycare for the last two years now... Talk about a financial oweeee! Anyways...
I made two crucial mistakes...
Mistake number one: Dayton tried to tell me he someone was hurting him, and I did NOT believe him.
Mistake number two: I didn't question WHY Dayton was becoming a carnivore...
ALL behaviour is COMMUNICATION. Dayton's communication skills were severely delayed, they still are. He was also five years old, functioning at about a three year old level. About half of his communication at age five for Dayton was PHYSICAL.
C called me and wanted to talk to me in person, without the kids present. Just the two of us. She told me, then because of my stunned look had to physically show me what was happening to my child at the hands of the director of the River Road Child Care... I can honestly tell you exactly what it feels like to have your heart ripped in half...
Dayton was forced to sit on the floor with his legs stretched straight in front of him in front of ALL the children at the daycare. Dayton was the example to the other children, treated like an animal. The director would sit behind him with her legs parallel to his, his back against her upper body. She then grabbed his wrists and pinned them behind his back. She put one of her legs across Dayton's upper legs or thighs in order to keep him rooted to the floor. With Dayton's arms stretched out tight, wrists pinned together in her hands, she lifted... she could have dislocated his shoulders!!! All Dayton could do was bite, it was his only defence!!! It seemed she didn't like being bit, so she made C do this to Dayton once a week, in front of EVERYBODY!!!
How painful was this for Dayton? How humiliating for my baby!!! He must have been so scared, so wounded, and he tried to tell me, he wanted me to protect and defend him and I didn't believe him... I let my baby down... Never, ever again will I take someone else's word over his, EVER.
After surviving this experience, I can honestly tell you exactly what it feels like to have your heart ripped in half... I went through four of the five stages of grief, missing only the 'bargaining' stage, which believe it or not, when I reached the anger stage, River Road Child Care tried to bargain with me. Their bargain? They would take Dayton back for one month while I searched for appropriate child care that could take care of his needs!!! What??? Over my dead body! My anger sky rocketed and I contacted the media. The story hit the air, and before it did, the daycare issued a letter to all parents who's children were taken care of at the daycare that I was an angry and desperate mother, and I would lie about their practice because I couldn't find daycare?! Whatever!
It took me every ounce of energy not to drive to the daycare and take matters into my own hands. The woman is lucky to be alive and well. Instead, I did an interview with Global TV, and had my 15 minutes three nights in a row, twice a night, warning everyone in Winnipeg NOT to enrol their child into River Road Child Care.
The province launched an investigation into the matter, and the director had to go back to school...
Come again Lou?
Yes, that's right. She got training which was covered by her employer... How fantastic is that?
Dayton is not the only child that has been abused by "professionals." It happens all the time. Our kiddos with special needs are like moving targets. Child care professionals, teachers and educational assistants are over worked and underpaid (not our problem, I know). Everyone, including the children are fantastic in September, but come December with Christmas holidays... tempers flare up, on both ends.
Here's the latest abuse story in school, this time recorded by a 15 year old, using his cell phone:
Dreadful. Sick. Demented... My heart splits in half again for this family...
Consider yourselves hugged,