Few stories are left untold, few incomplete and most of them are shoved below the carpet. It is those stories that are shoved below I want to reflect. I want you to reflect also.
Those cold, cold instances where you try to put your child with certain challenging behaviors at a nursery or a school. I hear many and all the time due to the lack of knowledge and experience here.
I will tell you a cold story too. I won’t start with “Once upon a time…” because the time is now, this very second and in this moment. A little boy after a great difficulty and a lot of rejections from different educational institutes finally joined a nursery. The nursery spoke about how it is ok for kids to be hyper or lack concentration. Parents were ease; the kid loves going there; excited to see other children around him. The nursery gives a willing hand that they would give their additional needs support team to help him in classroom activities (the charges did apply though, all in good faith). Mind you, the kid is super smart but lacks span of concentration or the willingness to learn. His mind is all about physical fun like the gym, the music, the monkey bars, the balancing. That’s how he is! Tough luck darlings! But, when he was forced and motivated to do something he will. Oh yes he will.
Months go by and they tell the parents he will be brilliant if we get him a “Shadow Teacher”. Parents love the idea because leaving every cost aside they want the best for the child to grow. The nursery was kind and said “Voila! We found a shadow teacher.” Ecstatic parents were relieved. The reports started flowing in all positive and motivating that the little boy is doing so well in the classroom. Taking part in activities, sitting in the library, waiting in ques and things they deem normal.
Then one gloomy morning, parents get the news that unfortunately the Shadow Teacher will have to leave (the tenure of whose was promised till the end of academic year). It all sounds dramatic to you, doesn’t it? Well sadly any parent having a kid with certain additional needs face the dramas with overwhelming emotions on a daily basis.
The saga continues to another level. Right after a week constant off guard pressure builds up on parents again. This kid is that; that kid is this! Marketing other so called institutes where they think he would fit in. Are you sure the parents need your advice? You don’t even know how to take care of him for 2 minutes. You call your assessment trainers who give a million observations in 10 minutes. “Yipee! We found God on earth!” The kid won’t let the assessor touch him; of course that is odd! After all we adults let any stranger touch us right?! Uh huh! He is aggressive; you take away his belongings and you want him to succumb to that! After all we adults give our mobile phones which are our lifelines to strangers right? Ah!
And now it gets better. I call it the chocolate sprinkles on the icing. The kid is disrupting the class and because of him other kids are getting distracted. The other additional needs kids don’t disturb much. Right- so what kind of additional needs kids do you want Sir/Madam? Ones who will not have a mind of their own, or who you have to pay no attention to, or the ones you don’t even know they exist in your classrooms. Yes, you are an all inclusive institute. You take kids with special needs and additional or challenging issues provided you don’t have to cater to them because you really don’t know how to. Your teachers do not have the inclination to deviate even 1 percent or make just that little effort. Because that little effort is all that is required.
So when you brag about your high values and inclusion; I would in this situation tell them “Talking, talking, talking talk- baby let’s knock it off!”
You parents, you reading this blog for god’s sake stop succumbing to the pressures. Reflection is the step towards the change and a voice to address it; that is your prerogative. It is your child in question here. Stop letting your hearts sink in with a 2 minute assessment. You all as adults are still figuring yourself out. How offended do you feel when someone says something about your personality you are not? Then why this kid has to go through a process of justice; a process of law and order? In that court, he will just give an innocent smile because his innocence and a need of understanding him is all he needs.
Please leave your comments and what you feel. I want to hear your opinions too and then a voice becomes one; for the sake of those moms who are weak. I choose to be their voice. Can you help me raise that volume up?