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Is It Almost Summer Break?

June 9, 2010

The last few weeks have been so busy, I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I mean, it’s always busy, with four kids, a home daycare, this blog, a side business, two exceptional kids and all their related appointments… the list goes on and on. But the last week or two have been particularly busy, even for us. The end of the school year has brought a ton of extra homework, including a big project for my second grader that has been a ton of work and is due after report cards have been written (really, what’s the point?), and I have spent so many hours reading up and making notes for two IEPs [Independent Education Plans] that I feel Ike I’m back in school. Everything about the public school system is so mired in bureaucracy, it’s a wonder anything ever gets done. Can you believe at this point in the school year we’re still having issues with what is and is not allowed to be sent in school lunches?! But I digress… Our IEP meeting for our eldest son is today, and I’ve been cramming like it’s my final exam.

Interestingly, although ADHD is recognized under the Ontario Human Rights Commision as a physical disability, the Ministry of Education does not consider it a physical exceptionality. This means that children with ADHD do not have an automatic right to an IEP, and that even if they are granted one, they will be identified under the “behaviour” category and not under “physical”. Never mind that ADHD is a biological disorder, and legally recognized as a disability, I have to ask the school to please accommodate my children so that they can hope to have a measure of success at school. The school may or may not grant my request, despite the fact that refusing to accommodate the kids is in violation of their human rights under the Code. There is at least one case in litigation in Ontario at the moment, but not all of us have the resources for that. So I have been researching and preparing and making sure I have all my stuff in order for this meeting. As angry as all this policy and official in-your-face discrimination makes me, I’m fortunate that my kids go to a pretty good school with a really experienced and caring principal, and I’m hoping for the best. Although I’m still really peeved that they could end up being labeled as having a behavior disorder, as if sheer willpower will change their biological make up, until the Ministry of Education catches up with current laws and medicine, my hands are really tied.

All that to say, I’m stretched a little thin these days, both physically and emotionally. I will be glad to have these meetings out of the way, in addition to Julian’s asinine family history project with a family tree diagram that our family doesn’t fit on, squabbles with lunch monitors and daily battles over homework. Is it almost summer break?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    June 9, 2010 11:25 am

    What a great post Miranda. Your children (yours and those you care for) are all very lucky to have you as their guardian angel!
    I am looking forward to it all being done too, and I don’t have half the battles you do.
    Hold tight, almost there.

    • June 9, 2010 11:47 am

      Thanks Bonnie! I’m sure we’re all looking forward to no more homework and more flexible schedules. It can’t come soon enough!

  2. June 9, 2010 11:55 am

    you could take the fact that the big project is due after report cards as an indication that the teachers are actually interested in delivering the curriculum for the sake of learning and not just for the sake of evaluation. meaning, it’s something worthwhile spending time learning and doing, and will provide something of value for them to take on to their next grade and it’s curriculum expectations next year. I think it’s great to hear that there are indeed some teachers (of course there are!) that don’t quit once report cards are written, but continue to care about the kids and what happens in school. after all, i’m sure we wouldn’t want to see a june filled with movies and “free choice” in the classrooms. it is still instructional time. you are at liberty, i am sure, to approach the project in a way that makes sense both for your family tree, and your child.

    • June 9, 2010 7:04 pm

      Excellent point, and I totally agree. I didn’t really think of it that way, but of course you’re right. However I do feel like the teachers are dumping a lot of work at the end of the year, and I guess I’m just totally fed up with homework at this point.

      As for the family tree, we were specifically instructed to use the form provided and weighed the pros and cons of cutting off part of our family vs having his be different than everyone else’s, as they are going to be bound in a book after. I find it odd that they did that in the first place, and it’s a little frustrating, as our family is not made up strictly of blood relations, so we had to cut some people off and then add people that Julian doesn’t know or has never heard of. But it didn’t seem easy to change it or do our own, so we just explained it the best we could. I doubt he will remember who most of those people are when it’s time to do the presentation, but after all the work we put into the rest it came down to just “getting it done” KWIM?

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