Showing posts from May, 2010

Evil exists in the world - knowledge can help you overcome it

June 1st is coming - and it reminded me of a particularly sad CSE meeting that I attended a few years ago. There are rules and regulations governing special education in NYS and to some degree there is room for interpretation of those rules and regulations. Parents and districts sometimes disagree on what those rules and regulations mean, and sometimes districts can 'bend' the regulations to accommodate student needs. In the sad meeting I referenced I sat in amazement as the CSE chairperson approved every single service for a child - and I was surprised because this particular chairperson had a reputation among the parents for being somewhat recalcitrant to parent requests and unfriendly in general. I really didn't expect the meeting to go so smoothly because it was the parent's intent to enroll their child in a private school but they were still asking for special education supports from the school district. There are legal parameters for what a district has to do

Maple seeds and putting your face into the wind

The clock was ticking past the 10am appointment time, adding much to the level of stress that Michael's mom was feeling. Michael had more important plans than therapy and did not want to come inside the building for his appointment. Over the weekend several thousand maple seeds fell from the trees, covering the parking lot and creating a rather large distraction for any child who had to make their way from their car to our front door. I watched Michael as he grabbed handfuls of the seeds, stood on top of a stone in the yard (as if this somehow added significantly to his actual elevation!), and launched the helicopters up so he could see them twirl whimsically to the ground. It was such a simple childhood occupation but it was so much fun, and it caused me to pause this morning because I was a little surprised at how simple the play was and how apparently meaningful it was. Playing with the helicopters evoked happy feelings for Michael - and for me - but not for his poor mo

Left and right

The other day five year old Melissa came stumbling into my office, feet intertwined as she made the final leap over the threshold and into the waiting room. Her arms flailed about her in a desperate attempt to regain her balance, she fell into a chair and held her cheek against the back of the seat as she breathed heavily and said, 'Wow! I almost fell!” It amused me, mostly because her definition of 'almost falling' is probably the same as anyone else's definition of 'definitely falling.' Her mom followed into the room behind her, rolling her eyes, and undoubtedly wishing that Melissa would be less clumsy or more attentive or perhaps both. Parents have a unique way of perceiving current problems by projecting them into the future and worrying terribly about whether or not their child will be able to meet the demands of the world and of course meet their greater aspirations. This puts parents into points of conflict with teachers or other school personnel who