Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Have I Done Enough?

A new school year is upon us again and I am filled with dread. Yes me.

You see my youngest child, R2, has dyslexia. And each and every school year has been a fight for me to make sure he receives the accommodations the law says he is entitled to.

In the very beginning of his diagnoses I used to walk out of our 504 meetings feeling as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest and feeling as if I had been defeated. After our meetings, I somehow always managed to hold it together walking down the school hallway until I reached my car and then I would turn into a crying mess.

 When R2 began third grade I began to really educate myself about my rights as a parent and my child’s education regarding dyslexia.  I no longer wanted to feel crushed. I wanted the school district to do everything they are required by law to do. I showed up to our first meeting of that year with a 3 inch thick red binder. The look on the 504 coordinators face was one of complete and total shock.  I printed out more laws and information that I’m sure no other parent has even come close too. I spent weeks reading laws and interpretations of those laws. I also learned that a school does not always have your child’s learning as their best interest. It is a business for them, but not for me.

So when she began stating incorrect information regarding dyslexia accommodations, I would open my book find the laws written not only by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) but by the U.S. Department of Education as well. I had done extensive research and I could quote a few of the laws from memory but I wanted hard evidence to show her where her statements were incorrect. As one point during our many meetings she asked me if she could have a copy of the STAAR guidelines provided by the TEA. While I know I could have easily pulled out my copy for her to make one for herself, my reply was short and simple.  “I’m sorry but no you may not, you can find this information by doing a little research on the TEA website, just as I did”.

So here we are at the beginning of a new school year and my anxiety is already in over drive mode. Did I do enough preparation last year that this year will be an easier process. Did I do enough last year that R2 will have everything he needs in place as the school year begins? Did I do enough last year to ensure that his teachers are well informed of his accommodations provided in his 504 letter? Did I do enough that moving forward to Junior High School in the next school year will be an easy transition? (Yes I am already worried about Junior High and it’s a whole year away). Did I do enough that he will make significant progress this year? Did the private tutoring we did over the summer stay with him? Did I do enough?

This thing I call “mama guilt” can and has racked through me with such destruction I am left feeling destroyed. While I know in the overall scheme of things I’m a good mom and I have done everything I could/can to help him, its times like this and throughout the school year I am left feeling overwhelmed thinking I haven’t done enough for him. I haven’t done enough to help him adapt to this learning disability that does not define who he is? I don’t want him to have an advantage, I just want him to have a level playing field.

Have I done enough?

1 comment:

{amy} said...

I'm sure it is hard to know whether or not you've done enough. Praying that this year is the best yet!