Some of you know this, I am the parent of a little girl in grade 4 in the Toronto District School Board. Today we had Roo’s annual review. I asked questions specifically about things that will help her as she has an learning disability as well as walking the Asperger’s/ADHD line ( which means she is dually tracked LD/behavior for IPRC purposes).
I have been asking for an OT assessment since the beginning of the school year as my daughter writes at about a early grade 2 level( this has not improved at all over the last 18 months where she has done amazing well in getting better at reading, and in self control-thanks in large part to the great staff at her school). Writing is her handicap and really it is stopping her from having the education that most children receive.
A computer in the classroom that was assigned to her would help so much but it seems that if I stay inside the system that the need will NOT get met for at least another school year, in the meantime my child languishes with a substandard education. It is now taking the average special needs child over 18 months to get any type of assessments in this board. For her assignments, homework and the like take twice as long, she becomes frustrated with herself and it becomes a battle.
A computer would really give us a handle on where she is really at as assignments etc would be done faster, better and handed in in a manner that a teacher can properly evaluate where she is at. I want what every parent wants a good quality education that leaves her in the regular classroom with her self esteem intact as much as possible. In Toronto special needs children do not get the education for the most part that they need. Funding is more then lacking for this children. Getting testing and things like computers that would put them on a equal footing are hard to get inside the system that frustrates both parent and child as well as the local school. I found a computer and the 2 programs that would have to be loaded on it for her to get the best benefit
now I just need $450… and for this mom who isn’t working because I have a child who needs me at home it is not doable. So I am starting the ROO FUND.. every penny of change I get will go to the ROO FUND to get her a computer for the classroom before the end of THIS year, not next or the year after that…If you can think of creative ways for me to raise funds let me know. If you want to donate or have a laptop that you can spare that is less then 2 years old, and is in working order let me know that too..I don’t want her to fall through the cracks and I can see we are sitting on the ledge between educational success and failure.
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Tagged computer, education, family, fund raising, IPRC, news, Ontario government, opinion, personal, school funding, special needs, TDSB, Toronto
As I wrote on Saturday about what happened on Friday, today Roo( my nine year old daughter who walks the spectrum line) got her verdict. The director of the program she was attending called and basically said Roo is not welcome for a MONTH!
So 3 months ago when I first heard of the program I thought it was a god send and much needed here in the community. Is the program meeting who it is attended and is it helping all the chidren grow? Those children at risk of having to be latch key kids working, with them and encouraging them while meeting the mission statements of the Salvation Army who fund the program…right now I am not sure they do.
The program which began this fall was to offer a safe affordable fun teaching inclusive environment for all children who are apart of it. There emphasis is respect, but where is the Christian love that the Salvation Army is supposed to be so very good at? Don’t the both go hand in hand? When the program director called it was all about Roo and her lack of respect on Friday. As I posted Roo was asked to sit out after being tagged out in dodge ball and didn’t think she was really out and it escalated from there. The director told me tried to get Roo to do what she thought was right, sit out, then she said to Roo if she didn’t sit out she was ruining the game and day for all. Roo of course got more and more upset ( that linear thinking was happening). Well Roo from somewhere i don’t know where still threw a small ( a piece that might fit on your thumb)amount of plasticine. The director took that as utter disrespect, called me and asked me to pick her up which I did. Roo later that night did apologize to the director on her own.
Roo had only been in the program for 10 days total time. I actually looked at the calendar of days when she had been there…10 days that is all..
Now what are the results of this:
First,Roo is left with a shattered self esteem. She is a 9 yr old after all who at school right now isn’t feeling like she fits in, so here is another place she feels not welcome.
Second, it punishes not only the child but the parent that the program is supposed to help as well.
What would you think? and what would you do? Roo can return to the program in January but not until then…the reasoning behind this the director felt like she needed to set and example or she would lose control of the group, and to teach Roo there are consequences for her actions: do you really think any child will be thinking of what they did for a month or that some one else doesn’t want her?The impression I was left with today is that Roo is not really wanted in the program. So please leave comments and let me know what you think as I try and pray through what to do with Roo to try and boost my gal back upand show her the love she so desperately needs right now.
As my daughter’s illness started to come under control this year, I began to dream again: dreams like going back to work full time, of Roo fitting in. Well this week this mom got a couple of slaps upside the head and was faced with the realities that can come.
First is on the behavioral end of things, yes Roo has gotten so much better, but she still has far to go. She gets caught up in a linear thought and cant change it and then that becomes her truth, and she will stick to it no matter what. She can become stubborn beyond stubborn when in a cycle like this and until she has had time to first calm her body and her thoughts down she is stuck. At home when I see these coming I try and nip it is the bud and tell Roo to go and have some cool down time, often after this she then she can talk through any problem. In the real world though and when she is dealing with others who can have temporary authority over her some days she doesn’t fair well.
Yesterday at her new after school program was one of those days. Roo was playing dodge ball and was supposed to be out. She says she never felt the ball hit her, her teacher asks her to sit and it spirals downward from there. There was no hitting, no biting ( some of the things she used to d0-) just a level of disrespect and not following the rules).Resulting in Roo being asked to take a break from the program which means I at this time do not have childcare for Roo.
Finding childcare for a child with special needs in Toronto is extremely difficult if not impossible and is VERY costly if you have to do it yourself. It makes it that you have to earn at least $15 an hour minimum and then you would be back to what you got on welfare. You see a babysitter would charge at a minimum $10 for 3 hours a day=$150 dollars. That is something that I can not afford and with Roo turning 10 on January 2nd she no longer qualifies for child care subsides and to get a space in a daycare here lets just say she will in junior high before her name got to where she would have a spot.
So basically this means that the $100 I spent on bus-fare in the last 3 weeks is for naught, as once again I have to pick her up at 3:30 every day. So my dream of returning to the work force are once again on hold.
With this said and done I really had wanted to be working by my birthday which is now 25 days away but I feel that is an impossibility so I am trying hard to just deal with the hand that is dealt.
It has also made for a change in the Christmas budget. There will be less here. We will make due, and we willing be going to less things then I had planned: There will be more things done at home like game playing, movie watching, and crafts.
It has also changed my volunteering plans for the month as well as I am first and foremost the mom of a special child.