Shortly after making my last post about our dyslexic struggle, I learned we would be moving to Louisiana. I have to say that this move has been a HUGE blessing in so many ways, but mainly because we are finally getting help for our son. Many things we experienced at the Vicksburg Warren School District, I am now finding were not so much issues with Dyslexia. I don't exactly know what to call what we experienced there, but I know that the affects on our son will be long lasting.
If I had a nickle for every time I was told "MS doesn't recognize Dyslexia" and have my concerns about my sons education dismissed I would be a very rich lady. For 4-5 years that is basically what I was told. After being told that continuously and DISMISSED, it becomes very clear that the interest in the child is not there. Why not try the approach of...."I understand your concerns about dyslexia. By law we can not provide accomodations based on dyslexia alone, but lets take a look at things and see what we CAN do to help." That never happened. So let me tell you what HAS happened since the move...
I had a lady call me from SPED right before school started. She saw the Dx of ADHD with the learning disability in Math and Reading that was in Brayden's file. She wanted to know my concerns and wanted to know about what the school did when I brought that in. She had not received any info on any further testing or anything. She was shocked to find that the reason she had no other paperwork was not because they had not sent it yet, but because they did nothing more. She was floored to find out that for 4-5 years no testing was done....nothing...he just drifted through struggling each year just to make it to the next grade. I told her our story and what we had done and what we had tried. I told her about how one of his teachers wanted him on meds, and our concerns about not using meds because of his reaction to them. I found out that it is not required to have him on meds for him to qualify for help. (YES....I actually had someone tell me before we moved that if we did not put him on meds we wouldn't be able to get any help for him.)
After going through his history from 2nd grade to present I thought the conversation would be over. It was far from over. She then wanted to know about him as a kid....his interests, what made him tick. To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement. Other than his 2nd grade teacher and 6th grade teacher noone in the school system had ever showed an interest in him....not really. After finding out a little about his interest and his character she then contacted the school and put him on their radar. She said that she wanted to make sure that he was encouraged in his stregnths and interest. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.
They contacted me mid-term to have a meeting so we could set up a plan. Once again I went through his history and got asked all the same questions again only to hear gasps and sighs at my answers. Then the team wanted to know about his stregnths and interests. A plan was set up between them and I as to how we would proceed. They made suggestions to me on how I could help him better and they agreed on accomodations to start implementing. They plan to start guaging his progress or lack of so they know how to better help him. We are shooting for a 504 plan. They even suggested picking a class that he did well in and possibly placing him in an Honor's class in that subject in order to help boost his self-esteem and show him he is not a lost cause. I'm hoping that will be something that will come later.
I don't want to dwell on the bad, but it angers me so much that my child has had to suffer for the past 6 years. He never felt like he counted. He wasn't a kid that didn't care. The problem was that he DID care about school, but it became easier to shut down because noone else seemed to care. I don't have rose-colored glasses on....I know that there are problems in every school district, and I'm sure there are issues down here as well. I can honestly say though that it is like night and day from VWSD and here. I wish I could say that it was because of the state laws, but what I've seen so far the difference is geared more towards the capacity of the staff to care about those that learn differently and the efficiency of doing the job and not dropping the ball.