I don't know that I even have the means to put into words how I have felt for the past week, let alone the past month. As a special ed teacher I knew our state sucked at providing for its students with disabilities, but I never knew just how crappy Illinois was until I tried to navigate the system for my son Dill Pickles myself.
Way back in April, my mom's gut feeling that my son has sensory issues and possibly sensory processing disorder was confirmed. Occupational therapy helps treat sensory issues and yesterday, July 29th, was the first day my son actually received his first day of real therapy. You want to know how? Daddy Pickles and I paid for it ourselves. Sure, he has an occupational therapist through Early Intervention that provides services at our house- if he decides to show up. We got sick and tired of waiting for the "system" to start working correctly. Months of promises have turned into nothing. Transition to pre-school? Yeah, that's a joke. By law we should have had our transition meeting already. But you know, it's summer and heaven forbid our HUGE public school distrct dishes out any money for summer staffings. Our HUGE public school district is a joke. Part of me wants Dill not to qualify for early childhood services because maybe nothing at all is better than crap. And as a former special education teacher/administrator I know it's not always the teacher's fault. They can only do so much with what they are given. They can only spend so much of their tiny paycheck to supplement the little they get from the school.
I could go on forever, but I'm starting to get upset all over again after I finally calmed down a bit. Daddy Pickles and I have a feeling I'm going to end up homeschooling Dill. That's not a bad thing, but I really wish he could be in a classroom with his peers. Tell me, what teacher is going to go out of his/her way to help a kid who bounces around more than a Super Ball thrown into a ceiling fan? There aren't many. Teachers already have to do so much work in the classroom and then take hours more work home with them. I just pray we are fortunate to find one of the few that are out there.