Dealing with Rejection

Never in a million years did we ever think that pre-schools would discriminate so much. We couldn’t find another school to keep Isaac and they all had some excuse. Potty training was a problem due to age (teachers of 4 to 5 year olds do not want to deal with it, plus they don’t have facilities in the classroom). They wanted to try Isaac out with 2 to 3 year olds because of that, and we were not against it as Isaac does not act his age. His behavior is probably that of a 3 year old, sometimes a bit younger. We’ll find out in approximately a month when we do a neuropsychological evaluation.

We had a hard time in our search as our options were limited due to the school district transportation, which restricted us to about a 2 to 3 mile radius from the Elementary school. We explained the situation and hoped they would show empathy but that didn’t happen. We knew the first few days would be testy as Isaac pushes the limits until he starts trusting. He can’t help wanting to explore around and seeing how everyone around him reacts to his intentional misbehavior (throwing blocks, etc.). Yet schools showed absolutely no patience. One school didn’t even give him more than a 2 hour chance and immediately said no. We were very hopeful as the director had orphanage experience in India. I have to say we were very disappointed with the outcome. Another school just took a look at him and declined. Another one gave us a day to try him out and declined again.

We had a good prospect at another program very close to our house in a church. The facility was very nice, with small classrooms and very nice teachers. However I felt the director was a bit too uptight and snobby. Once Isaac was on test for a week, she kept calling us after an hour or two of dropping him off to come pick him up because he misbehaved (kicked for example). How much damage can a barely 30 pound little boy do? I spent a good amount of time talking to his teacher and she had not seemed concerned at all, but I think the director was just looking for an excuse to not keep him there. On the third trial day once I dropped him off in the morning, she told me it wasn’t going to work out. Nice, wait for me to drop him off to tell me that, instead of calling the day before. So after some B.S., telling me how much she’s going to pray for us (bla bla bla), we left and started searching again. More than disappointment, I was very upset with them as I surely expected a church-based organization to show more empathy. But no, let’s reject a kid that clearly needs help. But we should feel better because they’re praying for us! What a load of bull.

So in the meantime, we had a lot of juggling going on. I worked a lot from home so I could stay with Isaac and worked weekends to try and catch up (and minimize the risk of getting fired!). Lori started working early at 5am so I could drop him off to PPCD at noon, go to work at the office and Lori would finish work at 2pm and pick him up at 3pm. She’s still on that schedule for now until things stabilize. At least my employer has been very accommodating and Lori won’t be able to change her work schedule for long.

HTC 002We finally found another daycare and they gave us a shot. As usual after the first day they starting waffling but Lori managed to talk them into trying a little harder to give him a chance. We told them what we’re trying to do and decided to keep up our schedules for now so as to only leave him in daycare for about 3 1/2 hours in the morning. That way they can slowly get to know him and hopefully not be so apt to show him the door again. So far it seems to be working and they’ve been patient. Transportation resumed on the second day after spring break, so he was back to PPCD on Tuesday and now they’re also going to start monitoring his behavior issues to build a case for getting more services in summer. Miss C. is very nice and it’s a blessing to have her as his teacher. Isaac needs a lot of structure and consistency so we’re hoping that he will settle in after a few weeks of constancy.HTC 007

Is there an upside to the story? Yes. Isabella has improved drastically without  Isaac around. She spent too much time being distracted and concerned with him and in his absence, she is a completely different person at school. Her English has taken off big time over the last weeks. So in a way, this has been a good discovery as we never thought of sending them to separate schools.

Finally, I’d like to close this post by quoting from an email I got:

I have read your blog for awhile now, but normally do not comment. But we also adopted 2 kids Nov/Dec in 2007 and while our kids are not "twins" they are less than a year apart - boy and girl. We have gone thru a similar situation with our son (although we avoided getting kicked out of preschool - but not by much) and our daughter sounds very much like yours. So I wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone and I hope that things get better for you. I know that we still have struggles with our son …we had problems at the school because the other kids were giving him a hard time (due to a physical deformity) and he knew no other way to react except to get "violent". Either way I wanted to let you  know that you’re not alone and maybe there is a better school for your son where the people will be able to help you out (that happened to us we started w/ home daycare and ended up at their preschool) blessing in disguise. Good luck.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. We know there are other families in far worse situations than ours. Our kids have faced rejection before, but we’re here to ensure they continue growing up in an inclusive environment. It’s quite appalling how some people just shut their doors when it comes to kids with special needs. Anyway, if someone reading this wants to learn more about their rights, take a look at this page on the Americans with Disabilities Act website.

HTC 017 HTC 013





HTC 014 HTC 011






Above are some more photos from today’s AGC cook-off. Until next time!

3 clicked here to comment!:

adoptedthree said...

I havent had a chance to read through your other posts but is your son in early intervention? They would be able to help provide the resources for his needs. Also you might want to find a private babysitter which is usually cheaper and less stressful for all.

Just a thought. I have BTDT three times!

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hi, thanks for your comment. Your blog is on my list although I haven't kept up lately! As for Early intervention, they're too old for that (up to age 3...they're 5y 4m as of now). Isaac qualifies for PPCD and we're taking advantage of that. He'll also probably be in an extended summer program in a few months.

As to a baby sitter, based on the costs we've seen around the area for licensed nannies, it's not cost-effective (might as well quit your job and care for the kids yourself). We just want them to get prepared for school where they will be part of a group of kids. Isaac is not easy to make conform to rules hehe, especially if they give up easily on him. We started new meds today and will see how that fares next week! So far the new pre-school seems to want to give him a fair shot and the PPCD teacher is even going there next Monday to observe him in that setting and perhaps give them some pointers (she's awesome!).

Jeri said...

Something I wish that I had heard of when our son was as young as your two are is Neurological Reorganization. I'm not sure if it would contraindicated for Isaac with the seizure issue but it's basically a set of exercises custom tailored to each child replicating the developmental stages of the brain that were inhibited by neglect or abuse. Go look at www.activehealing.org if we had found Sarge or other practitioners when our son was so young, he might not be where he is today. His case is extreme and if you would like to visit, email me at beemommy58@gmail.com Another Texas family, living near Austin