Charlie (my 8-year-old) came home school today with a deflated spirit. When his Grandma and I both asked him what was troubling him, we got the standard “Nothing Mommy, it’s okay Mommy”.
You see Charlie has apraxia which has resulted in some pretty significant speech and language delays-when he was younger, and would become frustrated at folks for not understanding him he would just mumble…”noffing, nevermine”
Because of his super teachers and a well crafted collaborative IEP (Individualized Educational PLan) for the most part we are passed that. I still worry though. Charlie is kind of a quiet introverted kid by nature and I never want his needs to go unmet because of his reserved personality.
Today he told us what was bothering him. His best friend Oliver had returned to school during the lunch hour today, after being away due to illness. They hugged and were busy chatting over their boxed, sent-from-home lunches. Suddenly a lunch time supervisor placed her hand on the back of Charlie’s neck, held on and forced his face into his lunch box, telling hime to “Shut their mouthes”. Now I know kids exaggerate, and I really love our little community school. So I called Oliver’s Mom to find out if she had heard the same story – sure enough, Oliver re-counted the same circumstances.
I called the school of course, spoke to the principal, and I have every confidence this supervisors behaviour will be addressed appropriately, and you can bet I’ll be following up.
But here is the rub. Charlie talks, Oliver talks, all the kids in the crowded lunch room talk. What about our children who attend schools, live in service delivery systems, group homes, institutions, and in segregated settings who don’t talk in a way that is easy to understand.
Sadly and coincidently I received the following link to the latest in what has become an on-going threat of tyranny and abuse in paid service delivery.
Hold your babies tighter tonight and offer up a prayer, meditation, or positive karma for the people who float through this life unconnected to the real world, for those whose lives are defined by service delivery and for those who are most in need of protection.