Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fighting for your Gifted Child. Mom vs. The School District, a true story.

Part One

Last year started my sons first year of kindergarten. I don't know about you, but I still remember my first year of school, and my teacher. I remember learning my ABC's and the color wheel, I remember my best friends, and the big yellow bus... when it actually was yellow.

I brought my son to school by car on his first day, because the district had not established his bus route. I knew where he'd go, but I wanted to make sure that we had everything in order. I took the pictures every mom does, outside of the school, in front of the classroom door, at his table with his name on it. Everything went smoothly, and my daughter and I went home.

There I sat, entrusting the care of my very smart, tedious, detail orientated, happy little man into the school system for his first year of school. For almost three months everything seemed all right. The only concerns brought up at our Parent/Teacher meeting was that it was very difficult to get my son to write. Other than that the teacher thought that he was "very bright".

About the third week of October, we started noticing some changes in Alex. He started getting very nasty and defiant, rude, more withdrawn, and definitely not himself. I struggled trying to find the root cause to the sudden shift in his behavior. He wasn't sleeping well, and having nightmares and wetting the bed, something he had never had issues with before. His behavior at school was very spotty, and "green" days were starting to become a rarity. Whenever I asked what was the matter I got a typical, "nothing" and watched helplessly as he stomped into his room.

I called a friend from New York and cried that I didn't think I would have to go through this until his teen years, or when puberty hit. I went to school for education, and my friend is a teacher as well, so we spent the next hour bouncing theories off of each other. Unfortunately, the only theory that kept resurfacing was the sickest idea we had had. I hung up the phone, and snuggled into his room and held him while he slept praying and hoping that nobody was physically, sexually, or mentally hurting him, and that when he woke up he would talk to me.

At breakfast, I began questioning him. Reminding him that only our family doctor, with mommy there, and mommy & daddy should be the only ones to ever see his privates. He assured me no one was looking or touching him there, and I held back tears of relief. We talked for a few moments more, and I reminded him that he should talk to me about anything that makes him uncomfortable. I pleaded with him to let me in, and share with me why he was acting out, what was going on at school to make him so upset, and to tell me what was happening. I told him I could not help him unless he told me what was going on.

"They don't like me, mommy." My heart broke as the words fell out of his mouth. "The other kids, the teacher, all of them." What?! How could they not like my son? My precious boy. The love of my life. The most popular kid in preschool. Why not?! "Because I'm different, Mommy."

The next few weeks I met with his teacher, who assured me that the kids liked him, and that there was no reason for concern. They've noticed the tension between a kid and my son has gotten more difficult, but they are handling it. They've disciplined him for being "fidgety" on the carpet during circle time, and not keeping his hands to himself, (ie touching shoe laces, ribbons in a girls hair, etc). Other than that, they assure me he's doing well.

The phone rang one afternoon to tell me that my son was up at the office because he pushed a kid down to the ground and then kicked him. This was not my son. I was lost, and needed help. I set up an appointment at the office with the assistant principal. Something needed to be done. He needed to talk to someone, if that someone wasn't going to be me, we needed to come up with a root to this problem together, as a team.


Anonymous,  November 09, 2009  

As I read this I feel your pain. Last year was my son's first year of school he was 5. My son has never hit anyone till starting school. The circle time hit home for me always moving around and such. He is in 2nd grade this year at age 6 and I cant say the kids are any better acting to him since they are all 8. I had to argue with his kindergarten teacher that he was bored in her class she thought he was just a bad kid. I hope things go better for you I'm still trying to get things worked out on my end.


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