Shantel Insists On THAT High School

After I stormed out of the meeting with the “good” Dr. XYZ with her PhD, Bill and I talked on the way home about what we thought our options might be. I knew I had just burnt the bridge to any public high school within our area because Dr. XYZ was the head of all special education programs within the entire district. I told Bill as soon as we got home I was going to start researching private and charter schools within our are. We even discussed looking into the School For The Blind in Tucson, but I told Bill I would never just ship Shantel off to that school alone. I said if she had to go there, I would need to get an apartment in Tucson so I could be with her and we would come home on weekends and school breaks. My mind was racing and my emotions were out of control. I just couldn’t believe it could be this difficult to get our child educated. But, I was determined to do what ever it took to ensure Shantel had a fair and level playing ground to compete with her peers.

When we got home, of course Shantel and my mon both wanted to know how the meeting at the District went. I told them it didn’t go well at all and in fact she would not be attending Mountain Pointe High. I explained what all happened in the meeting and told Shantel the district was not willing to support her needs. I explained everything Dr. XYZ told me about Shantel not having a one-on-one assistant, needing to learn to use a computer, and that they wanted her to braille her own work. Of course mom had opinions on what I should or shouldn’t have said. It is always easy to give an opinion when you are not the one actually fighting the battle. Shantel listened patiently then shocked me with her response. She told me she wanted to go to THAT school and she didn’t care what she had to do to make it happen. She said she would walk there if necessary, braille whatever she needed to braille, learn the computer etc. but she was not going to let anything stand in her way of attending that school. She reminded me that I promised to always be there for her no matter what, and she asked me why I was willing to give up so easily just because things got tough, and she was right. How do you say no to that kind of determination? I told Shantel I needed time to think about all of this and we would discuss it again tomorrow.

Now, I’m thinking “OH S##T”! I told Bill I needed some time alone and asked that he keep mom and Shantel in the house. I went out on our back patio, poured myself a glass of wine, sat down and had a good, long cry. As I sat there, with my glass of wine, I started thinking about the events of the past few hours, I knew what I had to do. I can tell you I learned a lot that day about what it takes to get what you need in the school system for your child with special needs. I learned that I had to find a way to keep my emotions in check at all times because this wasn’t about me, it was about making sure Shantel got what she needed. And, it was about me showing Shantel, by my example, the right way to go about getting things done. I learned it was imperative that I learn the disability laws inside and out, do my research on each and every issue that comes up, and go to every meeting with my (A) game. I learned I was going to have to be the leader to help the school district understand that what Shantel needed was doable and find a way to get them to want to help us. And, I learned what humble pie tastes like, when I picked up the phone and called the district to set up another meeting to go back to the good Dr. XYZ, with her PhD, and apologize to her and her team.

Next: Shantel Is So Worth It!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 19:38:46

    Dr. XYXPHD has no idea who she’s messing with!


  2. Megs
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 20:12:59

    Don’t ever mess with a “Warrior”!!


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