I know some people are curious about the Zachary situation. So here it is. No sugarcoating or tiptoeing.
If you have followed me for awhile, you know that Zachary is an amazing, gifted, creative, loving soul. He also struggles with ADHD, OCD, and anxiety.
These conflicting diagnosis can cause conflicts at school.
Most often is extreme frustration - where he will yell and cry; anxiety - where he will refuse to do something because he is overwhelmed; not staying on task - because he tends to work far ahead and gets distracted. He also needs to have a logical reason for doing most tasks, which can present in the way of him questioning his teachers.
Right now, after moving to a new place and attending a new school, Zachary is running on high. Which means instead of starting the day neutral, he starts the day already frustrated and anxious. No one knows him here, he knows no one.
He has been yelling at teachers, refusing to do work, and crying often. He hides in the library at recess, and sits alone at lunch. This is not normal for Zachary.
And it kills me. Because no one has seen the true Zachary yet.
The incident that I alluded to on instagram happened in gym class. A paraprofessional (aka teacher's aid) was assisting in that class on that day. I so happened to drop by the school and had them call Zach to the office to grab his yoga ball. He said "Mommy, I need to tell you something." And proceeded to tell me that this para got frustrated with Zachary when his foot got tangled up in a soccer net. This para, who works primarily with the severely disabled children, then made a comment about how the kids in her class listen better than Zachary does.
Zachary understood what she was implying.
He was understandably very upset. I called, talked to teachers, had meetings, and luckily this will no longer be an issue.
But I was furious. I don't even care if Zachary was losing his shit that day, comments in any disparaging connotation are 100% inappropriate for children of any kind. If you work in a school, you should do better.
This brought up some painful experiences from Zachary's past.
Before Zachary was diagnosed, he struggled in school. He was constantly moving around, going 100 miles a minute, not listening. I sat with him in class for weeks on end to try to help. We couldn't figure out what was going on.
One day, I got a call from the principle. She said that Zachary had been forcefully shaken by a volunteer the week before and that they had "taken care of the situation". I was beyond flabbergasted at this handling. They didn't call me the second it happened?? I immediately called the superintendent and had a meeting with him the very next day. Once again, it was taken care of but I was furious it had been allowed to happen in the first place.
We moved shortly after.
In the next school, they knew Zachary for one month before they recommended to me that he be placed in a class for "emotionally disturbed children". This class is not a support class. It's a class for the actually disturbed children - extreme bullies, violent kids, etc. Once again, I could not believe this was happening. Yes, Zachary obviously had some sort of issue happening, but this was extreme.
We said no more, and signed the kids up for a charter school. To say it was amazing is an understatement. We had amazing support, the principle, the teachers, the staff were all 100% there for Zach and helping him. For the first time, people truly cared to see my sweet boy for who he is.
They ended up having their special ed department observe him in different settings for a few weeks. They suggested I take him to be evaluated.
Best decision we ever made!
He had several sessions of testing and finally a diagnosis! And a way to help him!
We moved right after this, to be closer to family, and that school was phenomenal. We put an IEP into place right away, he had supports, amazing teachers, and he grew so much during our three years there.
And believe me, I am not unaware of the struggles a school faces in dealing with an outburst or an anxiety attack. I am fully aware of how hard it can be to handle my child. That does not mean he deserves less. In fact, he deserves more. He cannot help the way his brain developed, but he can learn with the help of loving, caring, and genuine professionals.
So for this to be happening to him all over again, we are struggling. We are down, we are sad. I want my Zachy baby to be himself again and fill the school with his spirit.
At the end of the day, if you knew Zachary, you would do anything for him. Just as I will.