Thursday, December 3, 2009
Poor Little Sick Disabled Girl
I’ve warned Ashley’s teachers. Amy, Ashley’s intervener, has warned Ashley’s teacher. Yet they still fall for Ashley’s manipulation.
Yes, Ashley is very cute. Yes, that sweet smile will melt your heart and make you want to do anything you can to keep the smiles coming. Yes, your heart melts when she leans in to kiss your cheek and sign “I love you.” And yes, she knows exactly what effect she has on people.
Ashley wasn’t in the mood to go to school yesterday. It was a gloomy, rainy morning and she preferred to stay curled up on the couch next to me. But, when the bus arrived, her cute self had to get up and get on the bus. You see, I am somewhat immune to her antics. But the staff at this new school is not, and they are not heeding our warnings.
Ashley acted tired when she got to school. She kept putting her head down on the desk. When her well-meaning aide and teachers asked her what was wrong, she signed that her head hurt and her throat hurt. “Poor thing”, they thought and immediately carted her off to the clinic. They told the school nurse that Ashley just wasn’t acting like her normal cheery self. They, and the school nurse, decided she must be sick and then decided to call me to come and pick her up.
She had no fever. She wasn’t vomiting. She had no diarrhea. But because she just wasn’t “being herself”, she was allowed to lie down in the quiet, dark nurse’s office, and immediately she took a nap.
I arrived to get her. I woke her up, and the first thing I saw was her sly smile. Then came the giggle. She knew she had won – I was there and I was taking her home. (Once the decision is made by the school nurse that a child needs to go home, the decision will not be reversed.) It was amazing how much better she seemed as we walked to the car. And her good spirits continued through the afternoon and evening.
Ashley knows how to manipulate. Just because she has disabilities, it does not mean she is stupid. She is a teenager, and somehow very soon, her teachers and aides need to understand what she is doing.
Somehow I need to help them learn how to unwrap themselves from her little finger!
Today I am thankful that the rain has stopped and the sun is out. We haven't seen the sun much recently.