We have been working tirelessly at trying to retain Matthew’s Teacher’s Assistant as he moves from elementary to junior high school. He will still have a full time TA but it won’t be the same TA he has had for the last 3 out of 4 years.
We began back early July with petitioning the school board (elected and administrative members). Trying to personally see each elected member, this took a lot of our time but we felt if they could hear our story in person they would form a better connection with Matthew and with our plight.
With vacations, our progress was a snail’s pace at best. We also continued to wait for a letter from Matthew’s pediatrician explaining how change is not conducive to someone who lives with Asperger’s Syndrome. He is a busy man. Our letter was not coming.
Finally, after taking the last meltdown we could handle we decided that once the pediatrician returned from vacation we would sit in his office until he had 5 minutes available to see us. Time is getting on, school would be starting soon and Matthew’s anxiety was growing.
Monday arrived and he was back from his vacation so Mike headed to the office. Fortunately, his receptionist was aware of our issues this summer and had Mike in to see him within 40 minutes. the conversation was short and sweet. He wanted to see Matthew. He would write a letter but he wanted to talk with Matthew first.
Yikes!!! This is good and bad as Matthew has no clue that we are attempting to keep his TA with him. In case we were unsuccessful with our journey we didn’t want to have to disappoint Matt again. However, it looks as though we are going to have to bring him into the loop. We talked with him that night and told him he would be going in to talk with the pediatrician. He immediately started to cry. He didn’t want to, he was nervous, he was scared, what if he said something wrong, and on and on. We tried to validate and work our way through his feelings.
We just arrived home from the appointment.
I am emotionally exhausted. I can only imagine how Matthew is feeling.
He was a bundle of nerves heading up to the hospital. He was crying and all upset. We had to wait about 35 minutes once we got there and then the receptionist came out and said Dr Lynk wanted to talk to Matthew alone. I almost threw up – I couldn’t even look at Matt because I knew he would lose it. I sat there and thankfully Titia, Sharon and Liz kept me sane by talking with me via BBM. He was in there probably 15-20 minutes and then he came out and said Dr Lynk wanted to see me. When I got in there Dr Lynk was taking his blood pressure, pulse and listening to his heart rate. He told Matt to go out in the outer office that he wanted to talk with me.
He started off by apologizing that this has taken so long and I immediately thanked him for finally being the one who spoke with Matthew and took the time to listen to how he felt about all this.
He told me point blank that he was VERY concerned about Matthew’s well-being and that 5 days was absolutely not going to be acceptable. Matthew needed more than that and although he could not promise Michelle for a full year he could promise that he was going to have her for more than 5 days because “at this point there is no way Matthew can go to that school without her”. He told me that if anything Mike “under-exaggerated” what Matthew has gone through this summer when Mike spoke with him on Monday.
Long story as short as I can make it he is writing a letter – however, before he writes the letter he will be having a conversation with the person at the school board who can make this happen. he is calling her tomorrow. He wanted to know where he could reach us tomorrow and started that if we do not hear from him by 5pm that I am to call his office. This is being dealt with “immediately”.
He was frazzled by Matthew and FINALLY someone else saw what we have lived with the last few months. Not that I like to see Matt upset, but I am so glad Matthew really REALLY showed his emotions today and let the Dr see how this has affected him.
I am so proud of him!! It tore my heart and soul right out of my body to see him in that state today but I’m glad he reacted the way I hoped he would and Dr Lynk could see that this just wasn’t Tracey and Mike squawking, not knowing what we were talking about. HE GETS IT!!! And he has the authority to make something happen and he said he would do it!!!!!!!!!!
With any luck, this time tomorrow we will have a better idea of what’s going to happen, but I’m pretty sure that if nothing happens he will be under Dr.’s orders NOT to go to school until things are settled.
Guys, I know I have been going on and on about this for a while now – today someone saw a glimpse into our world and is willing to help us. Thank you all for standing by us and offering as much support as you have. You gave both Mike and I the strength we needed to go on some days. This may not be settled yet but I feel as though we’re a whole lot closer than we were 5 hours ago.