Don't worry School Divsion 2... This is not about you.
I get reader emails once in a while. Not tons of it, but enough to want to start a newspaper column called Dear Lola the Crazy Diva. I do my best NOT to blog about emails I receive, but this one is laying heavy on my heart. I just can't stop thinking about it. It's really upsetting to me that schools do this all the time, and yet when we as parents call CFS to complain about how schools treat or manhandle our children, nothing is done.
People wonder why our kids are a generation away from barbarianism... This is why people!!! We're not allowed to discipline our kids anymore. Don't even think of raising your voice at them, or the school WILL call CFS. You will be investigated for abuse, and God help you... Teacher stuffs a special needs child in a duffel bag, and that's OK, but raise your voice or shove your child out away from danger... All hell breaks loose, and you've just become the WORST PARENT EVER!!!
Settle down... I'm not promoting child abuse here folks. My dad took a belt to me, and I remember it well. I'm 37 years old and still afraid of my dad. As a result, we don't have a relationship, leaving me without a family to turn to... But ch'a know what? I'm OK. I'm not breaking and entering, I'm not using drugs, I'm not a drunk, and I pay my taxes... Have I thought of smacking Dayton with a belt? Absolutely NOT. NEVER, EVER would I take a belt to my babe. Have I smacked his butt? Yup. With my hand. Believe me when I tell you, the boy must have a callused butt or something, because my hand hurt more than his bony, little butt. Now, before you start dialling CFS, I gave him one swat on a fully clothed butt. No bruises on his body, but I believe I may have bruised his ego. Have I raised my voice at my son? I plead the 5th. Does Canada have the 5th? Hmmmm... I'm sure we do... Either way, I'm not discussing my parenting style, as I plan on writing a book titled How To Raise The Perfect Child and I'm a gonna make a kill'n on it.
For some reason, kids with special needs are an enormous headache on our schools. I don't know what the problem is with our educators, but they view our kids' disabilities as a "parenting problem." Say the word ADHD, and you can literally see their eyes glaze over. They're not listening to a single word you're telling them after you've said ADHD. Behavioural issue. That's all they see. Tell them you're going through a separation with your spouse, and they're dialling the number to CFS. I'm not kidding here, that's what's happened to this poor guy who emailed me. There were other things that went on for this dad of two, but I can't share more because I don't know how many incidences schools have with the same behaviour's and I don't want to jeopardize this dad's chances at an amicable resolution... if this school is capable of it that is...
I can't be too hard on the schools though. Dayton's school has been a blessing this year, and his teacher just absolutely amazing. I've missed triage conferences this week, and the teacher actually emailed me wanting me us to meet up at a more convenient time for her to show me Dayton's work! I've never had a teacher do that before!!! She actually cares!!! Last weekend (yes, you read that right, Saturday evening actually), Dayton's teacher called me at home to discuss his magnet board for earning rewards and was concerned for Dayton, wanting him to feel successful and wanting to WORK WITH ME to tweak the reward system!!! Again, this is the first time EVER that I've had a teacher do this. But, not all of us are so lucky. I know I wasn't last year, or the year before, or the year before that... Ugh. I wish I could name Dayton's teacher, so that everyone would know who this amazing woman is. It's killing me not being able to share with you all, and let you know that she is real and not a figment of my imagination... Now, back to this poor dad's problem, a problem most of us face.
Schools will always call CFS on a kid with a label. This is not coming from me, but from a CFS worker I used to work with. Yes, I worked with a CFS worker, and no, no one made me. I loved her. She was a fire cracker. Dayton's school's biggest threat was to call CFS (which they did three times), so I brought CFS to them. The school didn't like that AT ALL. Their power over me was gone. Nothing left to threaten me with. As you know, I always carry a little crazy with me, you just never know when it will come in handy, and it sure did last year when I'd finally had enough of their BS. It was the best thing I ever did.
So yes, schools do use CFS to threaten parents. It sucks, but it's very, very true. The way to get around it? Even though uncomfortable, invite them in your home, it's not like you have anything to hide, unless of course you DO have a gun hiding under your bed. Invite CFS to ALL school meetings. You would be surprised how helpful CFS can be TO THE PARENT! Take whatever CFS offers you, for example: counselling. Counselling never hurt anyone, and let's face it, raising a child with disabilities is NOT an easy task. Some of us have no families to turn to, and it's nice to have someone to vent to. Not only that, but maybe, just maybe, they might have suggestions in parenting. You just never know until you keep an open mind and give it a shot.
By the way... The CFS worker/fire cracker told me to get used to it... That's right, schools will call CFS on you many, many times, especially those of us who have kids with ADHD and kids on the autism spectrum. Awesome. And those of us with kids diagnosed with PDD-NOS... well, it appears that we are haunted by threats of CFS the most. FANTASTIC!!! So, buckle up folks, we're in for a loooooong ride. Personally, I've got eight years left to go. I think I can make it. If not, there's always Valium. And wine, mommy's little helper.
Consider yourselves hugged,