Yes you read that correctly.
Those of you who know us will wonder if there is anything else I can do to annoy the school further. Just asking them to obey the law and provide inclusion supports is proving too hard for too many.
The thing is, the cool boys get into trouble. That’s why they’re cool. Well, they are 13. So Mr S wants to be cool too. I guess he thinks he will be part of the gang that way. Makes sense to me.
So it’s my job – as helpful mama – to come up with some ideas for how he can get into enough trouble to get some cred, but not so much trouble he actually gets into trouble, if that makes sense.
Fortunately I’ve had plenty of experience getting into trouble with bureaucracies in the last 10 years. Something to do with not being able to be told what to do. Especially when my kid is treated differently, as if he is special or something.
So yesterday he wore jewellery to school. That worked quite well because he was told to remove it and of course couldn’t. The whole class noticed the fruitless struggle to lift both arms up to try to undo the neck chain. So it stayed dangling around his neck.
What bad thing can he do next week?
It can’t be obvious stuff like driving the wheelchair too fast because that really gets him into trouble. Although he has my approval for doing that when teachers are not looking and there is plenty of space.
It’s hard enough trying to live within (or gently bend) rules and not get into trouble, especially when the world is not inclusive.
But I’m amazed how much harder it is to try to get into trouble, albeit carefully and with credibility.
Today is my son’s first day of high school and my daughter’s first day of her last year of high school. And my husband started a new job. We were a household of “funny tummies” this morning …
We arrived at high school without knowing who the aides were, if indeed they had been hired. Even worse, my big 12 year-old was in his manual wheelchair which horrified him, as with immaculate timing his power chair has died. At the end of the welcome assembly parents were politely dismissed and I asked if the school had uh you know actually hired any aides.
And lo and behold they had hired the two aides I requested when I helped interview for the role – a confident young woman with 4 brothers who my hormone-ridden son will fall in love with by the end of the day, and a fit, sporty bloke in his 40s who will not complain about OH&S crap. My son beamed, stood up (with my help) offered his hand to them both and welcomed them to “his” school. And he’d only been there 45 minutes.
Two diverse aides were was just one item on my list of requested supports, many of which the Ed Dept has never done before. Let’s see how the school goes with managing the technological supports and “left field” inclusion options which were recommended at my request.
So thank you God and principal, and Paul and Michael in the Ed Dept for listening to my views on what support at school kids with disability really need, and making it happen. I came home and cried tears of gratitude.
I remember when my daughter started high school: shy, anxious, knowing few other kids. I just wanted her to feel happy, safe and welcomed. That’s all I want for my son. He just needs different supports from my daughter because he can’t walk like she can. They’re both special, and equal.