Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day #84

Since the first couple weeks of school I've been trying to get Priceless tested for special ed services. She is incapable of writing her own name. There is no way she belongs in sixth grade. I've been watching her carefully to try and figure out how she got this far, and her MO is pretty ingenious: she's quite crafty at moving her eyes around and copying work from a variety of papers. She'll copy #1 from one student, #2 from another, and #3 from a third. She's incapable of reading, but she can copy letters and shapes reasonably well.

And when I say "incapable of reading," I don't mean that she's a couple years below grade level. She is literally incapable. I knew it the first week of school, and submitted a form for testing. Nothing happened.

Then, her behavior went off the rails a couple weeks ago. Apparently Priceless has had enough of the frustration, and she's decided to force the school system to help her. I had a parent conference with her mother and father and the first thing they said was "she doesn't belong in regular ed. She can't read the TV Guide."

So today Priceless was tested. She is below kindergarten level in reading and writing. Her math skills are immeasurably low, off the charts.

I love Priceless. She is one of the most charming and pleasant children I know. She is strong and athletic and lovely, and when the boys call her names or make fun of her I wish I could knock their blocks off. I will miss her when they take her out of my class, but she needs help beyond what I can provide in that gonzo 2nd period class.

How does a child slip through the cracks for this many years? I can't help but think she's simply being passed on from grade to grade by people too lazy to fill in an SST form.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it also seems like there simply isn't ENOUGH special ed resources in the whole US, much less baltimore, so everyone just "passes" because there's no other option... I doubt it's ALL just laziness for filling out a form (although that no doubt is still an issue)... just a hunch though.

:) jv