I don't write much about Elise here. For one thing, I don't always enjoy reading about other people's children and other people's parenting because it always makes me compare myself to others and see how many ways I fall short as a mother in the eyes of the Alpha mom's in the world. I'm surrounded by people who love to tout their wonderful parenting skills and perfect children, and in reality there are times when I feel like I'm barely going to make it through the week and I wonder constantly whether my poor child will survive til adulthood because there are so many ways for a mother to fuck up on a day to day basis.
But then today, I found Janelle. I haven't yet emailed her to tell her how she pretty much changed my outlook on mommyblogging, and made me feel better about my whole existance as a mother, in a short hour this afternoon. But it happened. I found someone who isn't afraid to talk about all the reasons why parenting is hard and it sometimes sucks, and it is made so much harder and suckier by people who just LOVE to tell you how you are doing it all wrong.
Well, I'm frankly sick of feeling bad about the way I parent. I'm sick of feeling bad that Elise has issues and I still don't know whether her upbringing (and not her brain) is to blame. I'm sick of feeling like whatever I do is not going to be enough, and I'm sick of all of the people in my life who make me feel bad about being her mom.
This kid is going to be alright. We've had a lot of bumps in the road, this past year has been a whirlwind of shit, one thing after another that seems to go wrong in all sorts of ways I never could have imagined. But this kid is going to be alright, because as much as I may think I suck, as much as I know her dad sucks, she has a whole team of people behind her now that are going to get her the help that she needs. It's going to be a long road from here on out, I'm sure, but maybe this will help me through it, talking about it. I've heard time and again that blogging is cheaper than therapy, right?
Elise had her PPT today. For those who don't know the lingo, that stands for Planning and Placement Team. We met with her Kindergarten teacher, school Principal, an acedemic evaluator, the school councilor, and the speech therapist, along with Rachel, the therapist that Elise has been seeing since March. I know, you have no clue as to the background of Elise's issues, because I have chosen not to talk about them up until this point, but that's because I was unneccessarily ashamed.
I was ashamed to have a daughter with special needs. Now I just want what's best for her - to be loved openly and unapologetically by everyone she meets, to be taken care of in ways that go above and beyond what I myself can give.
This is going to be a long process, apparently. One that I will probably choose to bitch about here, there, and everywhere, to anyone who wants to listen. Why? Because I'm suddenly okay with admitting how hard this is, now that I know I don't have to go through it alone. Now that I know there are people in the school that have my back, that there are people in the community that have Elise's back - we're going to be alright. The kid's gonna be alright.
But yes, it's going to be long and hard, and it's going to start with a lot of research into why this system is so fucked up, because I hope someday I can do something about it.
Basically, it seems, the school doesn't want to give help to kids with special needs, because the more special needs students attend a school, the less funding that school will receive from the government. In Amurika, we call this "No Child Left Behind." I'd love to know where they got that name, because really, the policies leave EVERY child behind, in my opinion, and the shit needs to stop.
This is only the beginning. The kid's gonna be alright, that's for sure, though. That's something I'll make sure of. This is only the beginning, but already we walked out of that conference room door with more services for Elise than what we walked in with. She'll be fully evaluated by their speech and language pathologist, she'll be fully evaluated by the occupational therapist, and she'll begin seeing the school psychologist at least a half hour per week starting pretty much immediately. We'll get to the bottom of things, and then you'll know what I know, and we'll be on our way.
* Just for the record, it feels really good to get this out there. Every once in a while I have to keep reminding myeslf to be honest about my life, if I ever want this to mean anything.