Well I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later....things seemed to be too perfect with Brenden in school. Let's just say round 1 of Dugan's vs. Berkeley County Schools is over. Let me start by saying that Brenden's IEP states that the school will provide the least restrictive environment. Which means that when possible, he will be given the freedom to use his walker when possible.
Last week after the IEP meeting was over, Brenden was in PE class so I got to peek in for about 5 minutes. Well, momma didn't like what she saw and when Jonathan found out, I knew it was about to hit the fan. The kids were playing a game with balls (I will also say that I am less then impressed with the PE teacher. ) but Brenden....well he was sitting off to the side, not involved. at. all. Then, another day last week, a private set of eyes we occasionally have at the school told us that he was in a stroller out on the playground while playing at the sand table. Um, he can stand. He can use his walker. And still play at the sand table. Least restrictive environment, huh?!?
So today, Jonathan confronted the teacher regarding our concerns. I don't think she took it very well being confronted, but sorry, when my child isn't being cared for as he should be, you're getting called out on it! Of course there was an excuse for the situations we brought up which were totally unacceptable responses. There are two teachers in Brenden's class...one special needs and the other a Head Start teacher. The Head Start teacher intervened and talked to Jonathan while the other teacher took a moment to calm down.
Jonathan made it very clear that we do realize there are times, i.e. going to the cafeteria, that Brenden will need to be in a stroller. But he also made it very clear that Brenden needs to be able to walk when he wants to. We have spent 3 years pushing him, not allowing him to give up, and focusing on what he CAN do, as opposed to what he can't. And it was unacceptable that they were confining him to a stroller when he clearly didn't need to be. After more conversation, everyone calmed down and left on good terms.
As Jonathan told the teacher, we know that the day will come when Brenden gets excluded because he's not physically able to do something. But in a preschool environment, especially one that is primarily special needs, there is no reason under the sun for him to be excluded. Hopefully our point was made. I think this was a wake up call for them that we aren't the type of parents to send our kid to school and not worry about what he does while there. The classroom Brenden is in has an open door policy so we can drop in anytime we want. We will fight for our child and do whatever it takes to make sure he's getting everything he should.
So, the moral of the story is, don't mess with this Mama and Papa bear.