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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Being the Difficult Mom

This is a post that is being donein haste- i should be on the road on the way to Nashville (Karyn Purvis!!)- but right now my heart feels like it was handed to me on a plate. Apparently- in the last few weeks as I have advocated for my son, inquired about certain issues that were very unclear and as I have felt hurt in being greeted with a "your son needs to be evaluated and have a 504" on the first day of school- I have now become a mom to be talked about and ridiculed at my sons school, by teachers, behind my back. I have no doubt he needs, will most likley get a 504- that is not an issue. What has been an issue is that communication has been lacking and Sam's expectatons have been unclearly relayed to us. Not only that as I have correspnded with his teacher via email, my concerns about Sam- his sensory.behavior issues- apparently these emails have been relayed around to at least one other teacher ( a 4th grade teacher who has nothing to do with our son or his learning). Said teacher emailed me back mistakenly- going off on a tirade of how I did not respect teachers and have no clue about primary education yadda yuadd (maybe i will post it)> I guess she thought she was emailing Sams teacher back, not the "Crazy" mom. This woman then asked Sams teacher for a link to my blog (Welcome, Ms. K- hope you are well). Apparently my blog was mentioned in thier correspondence. Regardless- at this point our confidentiality has been breeched, i feel that my sons (both of them) may not be treated objectivley, and i certainly feel disrespected as a parent and educational professional. I am super hurt because these emails really seemed to be an attack on me, my character, my professional background and me as parent. I am beyond livid, i seriously feel sick. I have emailed both teachers back in a respectful way- letting them know that i have now been clued into this unprofessional, ILLEGAL, conversation about me and my son. Of course my husband and I have also reported this breech and lack of professionalism higher up as well. I worked for the district for 8 years- I know what teachers are and are not allowed to say to one another, I have had to sign confedentiality statements, IEPs, 504 and the like left and right. I fear what will come of this and realize that when and if i have to move my boys from this school, that it is really only them that end up suffering- at the hands of very unprofessional teachers who have mistepped in a major way.

All parents of older adopted children- advocate for your kids and thier needs- but be aware that you may become the mom who gets ridiculed or talked about behind yourback. I would not change any action that i have taken- and do not regret advocating for Sam. 'Also p[arents- please feel free to email me privately if you care to understand more of our situation and your rights

As for Sam's teacher and her "friend"- Welcome to my blog- I will be posting information from the conference I am attending, of which several sessions are about advocating for a child from trauma with sensory issues, in school. I hope i can relay some helpful information to you.



  1. Oh, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I just got through debating (with myself) and blogging about this issue of communication with teachers, how much to tell them, etc. It's tough. I'm SURE at some point I will be "that mom."

    Enjoy ETC. I went last fall and it was amazing!

  2. Autumn, I am hurt for you. This is awful and unjust! I experienced the same thing last year at my son's school. I had an AP diagnosing my child when she was not qualified. Needless to say her DISTRICT supervisor was contacted as well as the Special Ed Coordinator for the district. I had other teachers in other grades come up to my son that knew him by name, and made comments that I found to be tasteless. I finally told the principal that I will not stand for it. If standing up for your child makes you CRAZY, then I am proud to be that CRAZY parent. Call me when you get back. Thank you for bringing this to light.

    BTW my child is having an AWESOME year. I guess his teacher this year is understanding and knows how to deal with my child. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. This is disturbing Autumn. I know that we are all human and have a tendancy to gossip, but to put it in writing and email it no less shows the unprofessionalism of those teachers. I live by the rule that if you email it, it will be seen by those other than the intended audience.

  4. I am most thankful co so much support. To clarify, Sam does have an IEP for speech and is being serviced under special ed. So any discussion of his issues with outsider s without my consent is a breech of confidentiality . The langauge used about me and the personal attacks sting, but ultimately this is harmful to Sam's right to an education. I was very pleased that our principal contacted me this afternoon and is taking appropriate action. Ironically I had an indepth conversation with the Africa program director with our new agency. She was comforting and reassuring. If this experience tells me anything, its that I must navigate the system and stick up for myself and my children.

  5. I'm so sorry Autumn. That's horrible. Be proud of yourself for always advocating for Sam. Shame on the teachers.

  6. Not sure how I got to your blog, but read your post~~brought back memories. I was teaching third grade and my adopted daughter was at the same school. One day in the staff lunch room, the assistant principal came in and announced for all to hear that my daughter was being suspended. I was mortified. As teachers we are held to a standard of confidentiality that should not ever be breached. I am so sorry that this happened to you and your little one.

  7. Wow. That's appallingly unprofessional of them. It also shows a complete and utter lack of care for their students and charges. Frankly, their response seems appropriate to a retail store or fast food restaurant jobs and indicates contempt for their own jobs. (Not to mention their behavior dehumanizes and puts you in the category of "other". so disprespectful.)

    It sounds to me like she wants to coast through her days on autopilot, without the challenges found in a school setting.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Annie, Cami and Michelle- I am thankful that the attacks came my way, and not towards Sam. Sam's teacher is well experienced with special needs kids and i believe she was frustrated with me failing to just go along with her plans. I guess she has felt too challenged with the research I have done and having really prompted her to do things differently with Sam because of his history, brain chemistry/sensory issues. She felt threatened and frustrated and thus made personal attacks against me-
    Ironically that Ira Glass's This American Life did a special on education and how children from stressful/traumatic environments learn differently. I hope Sams teacher can get on board, and i do feel shes willing to work with us