Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Fun Today

Unfortunately,
my mood fits the weather today.
Or maybe,
the weather fits my mood.
Either way,
this won't be a happy go lucky read today.
I understand if you hit "home" immediately.

As many of you know,
I am an advocate for
those with Special Needs.
I came upon this by choice.
I have two children
with Special Needs.
I chose them.

In the past,
I chose to be
a Special Educational Assistant
in the local school district.

I have been dealing
with Special Education issues
for 23 years.
Some progress has been made.
But not enough.

I've dealt with the
Minnesota Dept. of Education:
Special Education.
I've dealt with
politicians (to a small degree).
I've worked with attorneys.
I've verbally advocated for
not only my children,
but others as well.

I've been accused of having expectations
that are too high by various
staff of schools or group homes.
I've been called
"little Miss Perfect"
because I won't accept
hitting as a "normal"
fact of life.

I've learned a lot.

First the good:
There are some wonderful avocates
for Special Needs poeple:
parents,
teachers,
educational assistants,
staff in group homes,
medical people,
family members,
students.

Sadly,
in my humble opinion,
there are others
that simply accept whatever is
told to them.
Others still,
accept poor treatment from others.
They don't ask questions.
They don't do research.
They remain
oblivious (by choice)
of the laws.
They would rather
be quiet then
"cause a problem."

I.
Can't.
Live.
Like.
That.

Sometimes,
I wish I could.
I am sure many others do too.

But as a parent,
don't I owe it to my children
to assure them
of their safe being?
That their rights are being
protected?
To teach them
they deserve
the same as any other
person
gracing this
planet earth?

I believe I do.

Yet I struggle
daily with whether
or not I'm doing the
right things.
I'm sure every parent does.

I often ask myself if I've become
a "right fighter."
I constantly second guess
myself on whether or not
I am fighting the
"good fight."

I always come up with a yes.

Yet, I think I know
what the salmon swimming
up stream feels like.
How tired they must be.
One stroke forward,
two back.
I guess if they can do it,
I can too.

To those of you
that are swimming up stream with me,
THANK YOU...
there really is power in numbers.
I love you for loving
my children,
just as they are.
Thank you for protecting
them with your love
and prayers.
I have to believe
it can be a better place
for all...
if not today...
tomorrow.


9 comments:

Kandi said...

Thinking of you today. You're right, special needs kids deserve the same kind of treatment as any other person. The wonderful thing about God is He sees us all as His perfect children and loves us, no matter what the world considers "normal." Hang in there and keep fighting! :)

Heidi said...

Don't you ever give up the good fight!! To give in and accept that " One person can't make a difference", "I am just here to do my job and keep my mouth shout", "if none of the other parents don't care than why should I" attitude is not what God planned. I believe he gave you the passion for a reason he knew you wouldn't ignore it. Yes, life would be easier and less frustrating if you could but I have realized that the silver lining is finding "once in a lifetime" friends that also share that passion. :)

Kayla said...

I used to hear the phrase, "Be a lover, not a fighter." But I think in this case, it should be changed, "Because I am a lover, I CHOOSE to fight."

thesedaysofmine.com said...

Thinking about you - hoping things are okay.

Sending you a hug!

:)

Nanniepannie said...

I just became your latest follower...looking forward to keeping up with whats going on there with you. Your post was moving, keep on with the good fight.

Young Adventures... said...

Hi Jill,

Thanks for sharing your journey. I never knew what advocating for your child meant, until we had to deal with the educational system. I have learned that I know what is best for my child, and not someone who has spent 1 hour with him. We actually pulled our son out of special ed at school, because they kept trying to put him in a box that he didn't fit in. It was the best decision we made with him. Thank you for fighting for all of the children out there! Have a wonderful weekend.

http://adventurezinchildrearing.blogspot.com said...

I knew I liked you!
In college I worked for the psychology dept. helping to provide necessary equipment, supplies, and encouragement for students with special needs. I became a special needs tutor as well - In high school I volunteered during a summer and worked with a group of special needs children at a day camp- and it all started because of a wonderful friend named Sally whom I met at the beach when I was a child. She was sitting on a towel- with her leg braces laying beside her - as I began to talk to her I realized she was deaf- that week she taught me sign language. I went home and volunteered in the deaf ministry at church.
You keep fighting the good fight! It reminds me of the story about the fellow walking along the beach full of hundreds of starfish that had washed ashore and lay dying. He walked along slowly and picked up one at a time and threw it back into the water. Another man watching, asked him why he would bother when there were so many - he couldn't possibly expect to make a difference. As he bent down to pick up yet another starfish and tossed it out into the water - the gentleman simply replied, "It made a difference to THAT one!"
(i'm sure you've heard it but just love that story)

http://adventurezinchildrearing.blogspot.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
http://adventurezinchildrearing.blogspot.com said...

posting a great article for you from The Post-
check it out - told ya it wasn't just about homeschooling! :)

When In Doubt-Doubt the Limits

http://hsbapost.com/2011/03/28/when-in-doubt-doubt-the-limits/

I hope it will post as a link- if not just go to http://hsbapost.com/ and search for it - definately worth the read! hugs- kelli