Apparently, the school has taken it upon themselves to share personally identifiable information about our daughter and her family. We are being harassed in our home. And now, they may have come to my blog. My blog where I do not identify my daughter, my location, or the school that was bullying her.
While I will not allow the comment to stay on my blog, I will address some things that the “parent” posted in their comment.
First and foremost, NO my child does not belong institutionalized. She has an anxiety disorder. Being bullied is one of the biggest stressors to her anxiety disorder. This parent wanted to know how exactly it is that I see the school as bullying my child when they are putting so much energy into her. That energy IS being used to bully her.
We have indicated stressors. We have told them exactly what is triggering the anxiety in our daughter each and every time that they did it. Every time we gave them a known trigger (many before they even attempted them), they would increase the use of that trigger.
We also informed them what anxiety looks like in our daughter:
- She will start by clearing her throat. This will become more and more frequent as her anxiety is increasing.
- She will begin to whimper as things become worse for her.
- At this time, she may try to retreat from the thing that is causing her stress. Often times this looks like hiding (the school punishing her for hiding under a table), or she will retreat to the bathroom (also punishable at this school), where she can feel safe and reset herself. (flight mode)
- Then, if she is unable to retreat, she may start blurting out random words. Most common for her has become “peanut butter pancakes” (at some points the stress of her day has caused her to blurt these things out in her sleep)
- These “outbursts” will become more and more frequent as the levels of adrenaline and cortisol rise.
- She will begin to yell and shout (usually this is where she will communicate what exactly is causing her so much anxiety if no one has taken the time at any of the above points to talk to her and determine what is wrong)
- Once the adrenaline and cortisol levels have reached an extremely high level, her FIGHT mode kicks in.
Everyone’s flight or fight kicks in when these hormones flood their body. It is our body’s natural defense system. A drowning person will fight against their rescuer because once fight mode kicks in, we are no longer aware of who or what we are fighting. We are simply fighting for survival at that point.
We also have ATTEMPTED to work very closely with the school to determine what supports would be effective versus what supports would cause an increase in anxiety hormones. The school’s response was to only implement the things we did not agree with. The things that we told them would increase her anxiety. They did not implement anything that they offered with which we agreed to. They did not use any of the supports that we told them would help to reduce our daughter’s anxiety. There were times I would be on the speaker phone listening to three grown ups yelling and screaming at my daughter. She has an anxiety attack if her father or I yell at her brother. Can you imagine being 10 years old and having THREE adults yelling at you, cornering you, and trapping you into a location? Your “typical” child would feel scared and attacked if this happened to her. What if it happened to your special needs child?
This is a common practice across the nation. If you can cause a child’s disability to impair their ability to learn, then you can use this as an excuse to change their placement. That is why the law was adjusted. That is why they now have to prove that they put into place supports to attempt to help the child in class to stay in class with their non-disabled peers.
It sickens me that our child has suffered bullying at the hands of school staff. It sickens me more that the school has now employed the help of parents to assist in the bullying of our child. These parents now know where our child lives and how to find my blog.
As for our financial situation, yes we are struggling right now (though we are hard pressed to understand why the school shared our financial struggles with another parent). My husband was laid off while we were caring for his dying grandmother (yes, our GAD daughter was here helping care for her dying granny and recently lost someone she loves dearly). We are both working when we can. However, it is difficult to work when you are constantly at the school for meetings or to pick up your child because she said “peanut butter pancakes” one too many times. And as for the thought that I should go to school all day with my child to help calm her when she is having an anxiety attack, I did tell the school I would be happy to do this if they were going to pay me for the position of para pro. If I cannot be working because I am at the school, then I need to be paid for my time. Perhaps if they had chosen a para pro for our daughter who was not a bully (teasing her with popcorn after they were told that food is A. her coping mechanism and B. a great source of anxiety if she does not know if/when she will have access to that coping mechanism), then we may not be where we are today.
But the school and those “parents” who have begun to bully and harass our daughter and our family at our home and online, you win. We do not feel that our daughter is safe going to that school any longer. And we feel she needs an education, which she has not been receiving. Even the work I know for a fact she has done because I’ve been doing it with her (also impairing my ability to work) has not been getting graded. She has received exactly ZERO credit for the things she has done.
So, CONGRATULATIONS to yet another school that used bullying to increase the anxiety of a special needs child with Generalized Anxiety Disorder to create a situation where she cannot be at school any longer. Congratulations to a group of adults who banded together to emotionally and verbally abuse a child to the point where they could no longer function and then punish that child for responding to the deplorable treatment she received.