Allow me to explain this the best that I can.
I have ADHD that I have struggled with my entire life. Those who don’t know me may not be able to tell and may just think I get distracted a little easier than some. I have worked very hard to get to this point. Those who know me make jokes about my ADHD sometimes. One person use to say that I was the most ADHD person they know!
Anyway, not surprisingly, my son struggles with ADHD. He also struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder, and he also struggles with self-esteem because of this.
Anyway, he was super excited about this Lego Robotics day camp that was happening during his spring break.
I was excited, too, because I would have a few childless hours for a few days since I took off work (because I figured something would happen. Smart Mommy.) I figured that maybe I could finally snazzy up the stairs and do some painting. (Our house has been in the “pretty-fying” stage since I got it last July. The previous owners had some horrible taste. It takes a while to do this stuff when you’re working, going to school, interning, and taking care of basically a tiny insane person. 😉 )
Even though it was $179 for 4 days–steep for a single mommy who just graduated college–I shelled out the money, because I knew he’d be great at it and would have fun.
He was great at it. And he had fun.
I explained this to the person who picked up the phone when I called to ask about enrolling him in the class.
And to the instructor on the first day.
And to the person who called me the second day.
And to the person who called me the third day (today).
Long story short, today my son got kicked out of his spring break day camp.
So day camp was short-lived, as was my “trying to get my house finished” thing… Though I did accomplish some staining and sealing of the stairs each day this week (each coat took 24 hours to dry.)
Anyhow, I was able to get my “Run” in, as the app calls it. I’m still in the “Walk Briskly” stage, but I know that I need to take it slowly to build my muscles back up. After all, I haven’t really been an athlete since high school… (My 10 year reunion is this year… I’m getting old!)
My walk was 2.54 miles today.
How did I do that, while also getting housework done?
This morning I thought to myself that maybe if I make my son walk to day camp he would burn off enough energy to be able to settle down in the classroom. I made him walk about half a mile.
I didn’t have enough time to get him to day camp on time by making him walk all the way from our house to the community college it was at (which would have been almost 3 miles.) Secondly, he’s not use to that much exercise, and I don’t want to hurt him. Also, I would have had to walk home 3 miles.
Instead, I used my GPS to map 0.5 miles from the college. When I found the spot, I parked there and locked the car. I made him get out and walk with me.
He gasped in anger, kind of like a teenage girl.
He said, “Are you kidding me?!”
I laughed. “No, I’m really not. It will be great exercise, and it will be fun!”
Many angry groans, mumbles, and times throwing himself to the ground later, we were up and walking.
We had a great walk, and the community college is pretty scenic! It’s in a county outside of the city limits, is in a very tree-friendly area, and has a lake and walking trails. My son was very happy to see all of it, and especially excited to go over a bridge.
Yet, the 0.5 mile walk was not enough to “wear him out” to the point that he could basically sit still and listen to instructions for 3.5 hours straight… What seven year old can handle sitting that long?! I can’t even sit still that long!
Back to now!
I was called twice today. The first person who called today was not the same person who called yesterday. The second person who called today was the same person who called yesterday. I wasn’t sure of this at first as they were both women, but as I began talking to the second woman I started to realize this. (I make this distinction so that you can realize how confused and annoyed I was, having to explain this situation more times than necessary.)
I essentially “went off” on the first woman who called today, because I was not aware that it was not the same woman as the previous day.
The lightbulb went off for me (and for her as well) when I said that my son has ADHD and and IEP, and that this was discussed with the instructor and the person I initially called to enroll him. The woman proceeded to tell me that she did not know that he had this, and I said that I told her yesterday. She said that she is not the person who called yesterday.
She wanted me to know that she “was calling to inform [me] that he [my son] was having trouble sitting still, was crawling under tables, and was biting at peoples’ legs in the classroom.”
(He was pretending to bite at them, not actually biting them, but yes, I understood why he would be kicked out.)
I told her that I told everyone about his condition prior to, and then I asked, “Do you accommodate people with disabilities?”
She said, “Of course we do, but we need to know this prior to.”
I argued with her, saying, again, that I mentioned it to everyone. I also said that no one mentioned to me how to make sure he got accommodations.
She said, “It was on the form you filled out.”
I asked, “The one I filled out this morning when I was signing him in for the first day and they told me I needed to fill out the form?”
She said that that was the correct form.
I asked, “Where was that? Because I would have noticed that and wrote something!”
She said, “It was the last sentence in the paragraph under the ‘Medical’ part.”
I said, “Ma’am, he isn’t on medication, so it doesn’t pertain to medical. He has a disorder. I skipped over that section because he doesn’t take medication. That part of the form said that if he needed medication administered to sign that line for authorization. I stopped reading after that part. Also, why would that be the last sentence and not a sentence on its own?”
She then mentioned that, “It is there, and it says that we need 10 days notice before the start of the camp.”
Very annoyed at this point, I sarcastically asked her, “How would I give you 10 days notice if I signed it the day of? Also, is this in the brochure that I got in the mail? That’s how I found out about this in the first place.”
She said that it was in the brochure.
I said, “Ma’am, I read every single word on every page of that brochure. That information was not in the brochure.”
She said, “It has a link to our website under the ‘Policies’ section.”
I said, “Ma’am, isn’t that an awful lot of bullshit for someone to go through to accommodate someone with disabilities? And how come no one told me this when I told them about it? I told three people about this, and not one of them mentioned this information!”
She said, “It was on the form you were suppose to fill out online when you registered him.”
Very angry at this point, I said, “I signed up online and filled out everything they requested me to fill out. I read everything on every form. This was never mentioned.”
I am sure I said some other things in a snarky way, but I didn’t mean to take it out on her. I did end up apologizing to her, but I told her that money is hard to come by and that I always have to fight for my son and get the same result… She did offer me half my money back and told me to try again for the summer time.
The point is this: Never stop fighting for your child’s rights. And also make sure to plan everything out far in advance… Get your ducks in a row!
I would have given them the information they needed prior to so that my son would be able to have a one-on-one helper at the camp. I was never given the help I needed to get him the help, not only for him, but also for the other kids in the day camp.
Now I have a few days to figure out what I need to do to get my son back into settling down in a classroom situation… I feel like I’m going to have to make him walk and exercise a little more than 0.5 miles.