The Evening of Doubts and Regrets

July 26, 2013

Today I did not study with Robert.  We did not do anything.  Anything.  We did not go to the store, we did not go for a walk. We did not read.  Nothing.  I learned that the summer program my son  attends , doesn’t have room for him in the fall.  Of course it is always much more complicated than that.  I have learned to read what the teachers tell me. I know that when the teacher says ” We don’t feel we can help him.” It means “He is too much to handle.”  I know that when the teacher says, that Robert is sweet, the bitter pill will follow.    It is surprising how many times that has already happened.  I usually swallow and end up even more confused.

I swallow  and I get bitter.  I blame myself for being bitter.  Whom else to blame?  I understand the teacher.  It is only six months until Robert leaves the school. That means that after six months there would be a vacancy in the program which has to sustain itself  in those hard times. Moreover, those months require a lot of extra work with transition programing.  Robert has very specific learning profile, probably not matching any other student.  That doesn’t make teaching easier. He has a mother, who writes about his learning for better or worse.  That doesn’t really help either.

I wanted Robert to have a decent program, just for those last six months in the school. I wanted him to have friends who act  more or less like him, experienced teachers who know him and have control over his behavior, a speech therapist who is in the classroom for most of the week.  This is a program my son has been attending during last two summers.  A year and two ago, the same teacher would have welcomed Robert with open arms, but my town’s  Special Ed Director would not hear about sending him there.  Now it is too late.

I couldn’t work with Robert today.  Many thoughts attacked me from different directions.  Many doubts.  Why am I  teaching Robert?  Would his knowledge became useless load?   Am I hurting Robert by teaching him fractions, or calendar and maps skills  when he hardly can talk?  Was it a mistake to increase his hours in the public school from two to the full day? Should I continue teaching him at home for most of the day?  Should I sell the house and move four years ago, when the principal, new teacher and the sped director dragged me through hell in 2010?  Why didn’t I?

What is my responsibility for allowing the school to neglect Robert, to  ignore his IEP,,to  keep him hostage between teachers who did not want to teach him and sped director who did not want to pay for programs that would teach him.  How much better he would be if I  negotiated his release from town’s program or escaped it altogether?

What does our teaching/learning do to Robert?  I know that it makes him more aware and more sensitive to his surroundings .  He better reads people emotions, he gets distressed when other people are angry and confused when other showed exasperation with him.  He reads people better.  But the people don’t read him well. They don’t know what he knows and mainly don’t want to be bothered. He doesn’t have any tools to defends himself against false assumptions.  Am I hurting my son by teaching him?  I am extending his knowledge without improving his ability to communicate it .  That has to make him unhappy, does it? What he will do with everything he learned.  Most of the people will ignore his skills or render them useless just like a few influential people in his school.

I try to equip Robert in skills and knowledge to access the world, the same world  that ignores or dismisses his right to know and understand.

Am I making him even weirder?  So what  am I exactly doing to Robert when I am teaching him?


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