Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Troubling Prescription


Pharmacy Rx symbol used on prescriptions 

For over a year, T has been pushing to leave his parochial school and be placed in our local public school.  We prefer he stay in his current school because it is small and he gets a lot of individualized attention.  As a private school, they do not create or support IEPs or 504 plans.  Rather they collaborate with families to ensure they are meeting the needs of the student.

Last year T shared this desire to his diagnosing physician during our regular yearly appointment with her.  She is a highly regarded Developmental Pediatrician for the Children's Hospital in the city near us, and we have a lot of respect for her.  She's a bit blunt, but I prefer directness to pussy-footing around an issue.  When he raised this issue last year, she agreed that it might be a good idea for him to make the switch to the larger school, as he might have a better chance at finding kids with whom he can connect.  But she agreed with us that we should take it into consideration and make the decision we think is best for him.

Fast forward to yesterday: Same doctor, same office, same T.  Same statement of desiring a move to public school.  This time, however, the good Doctor openly recommends that T move to the public school.  In front of him.  Without clearing it with us first.

Now, I'm actually not totally against this idea.  Really, I'm not.  But moving a child from one school to another isn't as simple as trying a new physical therapy exercise or trying out a dietary restriction.  It raises an enormous number of questions and considerations that reach into the very fabric of our family dynamics and schedules.  Does B also change schools?  We would have to get T to Sunday school from now on since he'd no longer get religion in public school.  Now instead of a couple of uniforms, we have to have 'school clothes' to purchase.  Does he realize he'll no longer have a personal iPad since that is a perk only at his current school?  What about the relationships we've built with the current school staff, who have bent over backwards to meet his needs?  What kind of new influences will he encounter in this school that will then become added behavioral issues in the home?

And WTF ever happened to conferring with the parents before prescribing the treatment?

A troubling prescription, indeed.

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