Special Education And Parents Who Give A Damn

Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Savannah, Georgia I worked at a school. The school was a very good school which educated some of Savannah’s richest families. I didn’t understand the politics involved in education until I started working in the Special Education department. It would become a stark lesson in life about inequality inside the classroom because of status.

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It would be my first lesson in social status division and my first lesson in how schools viewed children with special needs. My oldest daughter at the time was in the third grade. She was invited to two parties within the same week about halfway into the school year. One of the parties was being help at a child’s house in the Landings and the other was being held at a house at a mobile home community.

I remember asking the teacher who worked over me about both areas. I didn’t know anything about the Landings and I didn’t know anything about the mobile home park due to the fact that I liked to keep on base as much as possible. She informed me that the Landing’s party was the party I needed to let child attend. She giggled about the VIP invite and then started laughing about the mobile home invite. She insisted on keeping my child away from the child who stayed in the mobile homes because they were basically trashy.

Time came for the two parties which were held days apart. I decided against letting my daughter attend both parties due to the fact that I didn’t know the parents. I like to know parents before I say yes. However, due to the response of the teacher, I have always looked on schools with a bit of skepticism. I remember the importance the teachers held on children who were in Special Education with parents who had good jobs and the lack of importance they held for children from poor areas.

It really put me on a mission to make sure that each child knew of their importance no matter their parent’s status. I will never forget the time when I was told by a teacher that she would rather have a classroom of ghetto children than teach children under the Special Education umbrella. The sad fact is that parents do not have any idea of how some educators view their children if they have special needs. It is important perhaps more important for parents of children with special needs to stay involved with the schools and to monitor their children’s interactions due to these issues.

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Years later my daughter would get service from under the umbrella because of her ADHD and her ADD. However, those two issues weren’t the issues that would cause her to retreat inside herself, it would be a bullying attack that would hinder her from being able to interact socially. I find myself blessed with the inside knowledge of two things because of my occupational travels. I understand how certain children are regarded due to their disability and I understand how schools do not tell you about the obstacles these children face inside and outside the classroom.

So this brings me to my conversation with my daughter before we went to bed. Last night my daughter entered the room and gave me this very meaningful speech as I gazed out the window.

“Mom, I do not want you to worry about me being placed in another theater class because at the end of the day, I know you believe in me. I know dad believes in me and I believe in me. I don’t need a teacher to give me the green light when I have you guys. If she doesn’t want me in her class, I don’t want to be in it. I’ll just do my best in the new class and prove her wrong.-Ariana

I guess that is the point of it all. It is my support that will protect and propel her. Schools are set on default educations which means they do not always give what each and every kid needs. No matter how much we want to elevate the idea of teachers, there will always be those teachers who aren’t encouraging to all children. So, as parents we must lift our children up when the world tries to bring them down and remember it is our support that gives them wings.

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Schools Are Still Not Getting The Point.

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Our daughter came home last night and told us about a female student who was clearly showing signs of distress. My husband and I both informed her that she needed to talk to her school counselor about the student in question. After we picked her up today from school, we asked her if she talked to the counselor and her reply with unfortunate.

“Mom, I really don’ t think they care. When I talked to the counselor, she didn’t really seem to want to hear it.”

We both stated that she had done her job and now it was time for the school to do their job and follow up with the report. Right now children are looking and they are paying attention, more than ever. If you work in a school and see problematic behavior, you must act. If you think your role isn’t important, think again. You are a lifeline, a lifeguard and even the it factor in some of the children’s lives.

About four year ago, I got the chance to go to a conference and see Kevin Hines as one of the main speakers. It was an eye opening experience in how we should all be dealing with people who show signs of distress. You don’t wait, you check it out.

Here We Go!!! First Morning Of School 2019/2020

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And we are off! Alison has to be at swim class in 42 minutes. Yes. I said it right, she is in swim class. I am really thankful I taught her how to swim about two years ago, but I am willing to bet they might have to go over a few things. She has a really demanding schedule for this year. Ariana is taking ROTC this year which is different. When we lived in Garland, the school wanted her to take ROTC for the Air Force, but she chickened out. She isn’t overly happy about ROTC, but it might help her with self discipline.

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As for me, I’m scared and excited all at once. I am scared because I need to be something I have never really been in the past. I have to be super structured in making sure they have their allotted time for homework. So, this is the plan, I will pick them up after school and bring them home. Last year Ally walked and it was super stressful because at times she would go over her friend’s house which would take away from homework time.

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This year we will come home station ourselves in the living room and put all cellphones in the table and have 1 hour of homework time or school depress time if you may. After I told them about the new rules, Alison whispered to Ariana that we were turning white! Whatever that means!!! As for mom, I signed up for Ubereats! I want to do something that allows me the freedom that I need when it comes with taking care of my mommy responsibilities. It’s 6:21 and a hear a coffee cup calling my name. So, have a great morning and I will see you later to let you know how the new rules work out.

Update!!! 7:08 So, we dropped Alison off and she isn’t really feeling the before 7 AM class! I hope she feels better as time goes by because the schedule isn’t changing. I felt a little bad for the reporter that tried to talk to her this morning. From the looks of it, Ally kind of pushed her away with her eyes. I saw her pull my daughter over only to see her look a little funny as Ally walked away in her leave me alone mood. Welcome to my world!

Summer School My Way

My children can’t go to summer school, so I will bring it to them this year. It appears that both of my children have inherited my husband’s disdain for history. I happen to love history, life science, social science, and even managed to take extra classes in those areas in college. So, it is safe to say we will start today with a lesson on how it all started.

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This morning we will start off talking about Pangaea, Continental Drift theory, Southern/Northern Hemisphere and how we all started. If you are wondering how and why we decided that our children needed this lesson, it is because one of our lovely children thought California was in Texas. It really was a wtf moment. We have helped with history homework in the past, but for some reason that lack of knowledge never came to surface.

After we made it to the store, my husband politely asked me if I would teach our children this summer exclusively over the subjects they seem to be low in, and of course, I was delighted. This morning I will work on my lesson plan, and try to help the girls better understand the world as we know it. I knew those classes would matter one day!

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I have science and history covered. However, I need help with drama. Both girls are in theater and both are on the fence about their drama classes. I would like to do something for them to help them gain more confidence in reading plays and memorizing them. Does anyone know of a good method for studying drama?

Nextdoor App Exposes People You Do Not Want Living Next Door.

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For the past few months I’ve been reading the post on Nextdoor. If you aren’t familiar with the app, let me give you the run down. Nextdoor is an application that neighbors use to post various things for their neighborhood to see. Some of the information can be useful, but often some of the information seems to be a little too dramatic.

One morning someone posted a vent asking people to walk their pets in their backyards due to her being tired of seeing poop in her yard. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well. Apparently, people like walking their dogs, but they do not like taking doggy bags with them for the retrieval method!

Another evening, a thread was started about someone selling internet, or some other service from house to house. The author of the post stated that the person in question was told that he pretty much wasn’t welcomed. So, instead of leaving the property, the individual decided to ask the owner of the house if he was being turned away due to his race? The author of the post went on to talk about how the person used the race card, while another member stated that door to door salesmen didn’t have equal opportunity.

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At that point, I told my husband our neighborhood seems to have a drama problem. From frequent posters speaking of shootings every weekend minus emergency vehicle follow-ups to neighborhood watchmen wanting to play cops, I felt it was time for my review. After reading a thread about events unwinding at a “local” crack house near the neighborhood, my husband questioned the authors about the location. Instead of us getting a response, we got silence. Another person questioned about the house, again nothing but silence.

I have come to the conclusion that Nextdoor, helps me know exactly who I do not want living next door to me. If you can’t give accurate details, you are doing nothing more than spreading gossip.

Understanding Children

So, as many of you know I have been debating the idea of continuing my blog. After thinking about things for a while, I have come to the conclusion that my job isn’t done. There are still so many issues out there and parents need answers.

At any moment parents are championing their children. Some of us are able to do a little more because of who we are. I have come to the conclusion that my blog doesn’t just help me, it also helps those out in the world. At any given time, I have readers from Spain, Africa, India, Europe and of course the USA reading my articles. I have even had people start to follow my blog after I decided to call it quits. My journey can’t be over, because the challenges of being a mother are far from over.

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So, in the latest saga of momville. This is the newest issue. Just this morning, I had to write this email. Just because the year is almost over, doesn’t mean we can’t help to make the next one a little better for our children.

Thank you for reaching out to me. I am in the process of sending emails in regards to Ariana and how relationships with her teachers need to be a little more therapeutic in the future. I think it is important for you guys to understand who you are teaching, so, allow me to introduce you to my daughter. Ariana Santiago, your student was a happy go lucky child. She has dealt with ADHD, and ADD all of her life. She was diagnosed with having an IQ of 65 in the third grade. This diagnosis was very defining in our history because it introduced a new type of struggle. We had to reintroduce things to her that people had sworn she couldn’t do. In the end, it resulted in her being tested again some years later. Her IQ then went from 65 to over 70 which puts her still in a sort of a danger zone, but we are still working with her to overcome obstacles. Some of the things we were told that her IQ wouldn’t allow her to do was to use microwaves, cook using detailed recipes or even use money. Your class is important to her because it will help her to attain even more goals. My daughter is a work in progress. She was able to go from having an intellectual disability to not having one in three years.  


Now, while all of this is happening inside of her body, on April 4th in 2004, she was attacked by 11 girls. This set us back and even added another issue we were never prepared to deal with. She would then try to commit suicide twice that week as a result of how violent the attack was. She has since had issues dealing with children and social interactions. The schools back in Garland worked with her extensively as well as us. Now, I do not want to point fingers, but your class is important to Ariana. Yet, some of the interactions have to stop in order for your class to not become a constant trigger. One of your first encounters with her dealt with you getting the entire class mad at her which made them upset and react in aggressive ways which resulted in her running out of the class into the bathroom and breaking down on the floor. When she came home she talked about how it made her think about those 11 girls and feelings that we were fighting so hard to help her deal with. So, this latest issue with her bringing a pizza into your class which resulted in her getting suspended because she stated that she would not give it up, has placed us on edge. 


Firstly, Ariana now gets how telling you that she purchased it with her money wasn’t the wisest of words, yet she still doesn’t understand why others are allowed to have food in the classroom. As her mother, I have no issues with telling my daughter when she is wrong. As her biggest advocate, I must inform you that if you are allowing others to eat in your room , you are setting up a very confusing situation. I have asked for someone to come to the room from time to time to check in on the treatment of my daughter in regards to you. I am not sure why there are issues or even if there are issues , but since this is the level of your concern ” Hello, this is Mrs. Fyffe.  I am Arianna’s Culinary teacher.  How can I help?”. I thought it was only warranted to let you know. Being her biggest supporter and a blogger on special events, I hope you take the time to read articles on how to interact with children like her. https://shellzonit.com/2019/03/04/our-children-and-our-reaction-to-bullying/ I will also post this email and send it to all of the teachers who work with my daughter and I hope this will be the start to a better bully free zone for her at your school. Bullying is never okay, no matter who the bullying is coming from.

In case you need more clarification, I have posted my daughter’s medical report from the incident; in case you fear I am just blowing smoke. If nothing else comes from this communication, I hope you understand how important it is for you to help Ariana build relationships in that class and not use your power to bring her down.

Keep fighting for those kiddos. The year was 2014, sorry about the typo for all who sees the posting. The recipient of the email has the right date on the medical record. Sorry, and never stop fighting for your children. Be very careful and mindful if your child has a disability that their rights are always respected. We want to make sure that ALL children have the same respect in and out of the classroom.