I know, this story is getting tedious. It was tedious going through it and it is getting tedious retelling it. I guess you could say there is a life truth in what I just wrote and that is, well, sometimes life IS tedious. Sometimes life can be outright drudgery. I have come to accept if my life is a bed of roses, then those beautiful and fragrant roses are also full of pokey thorns.
The idea, I think, is rather than fight the existence of tedious, to accept that it exists, work through it and remember, when in it’s throes that, “This too shall pass” and on the other side of tedious, there will be better times. The secret, I believe, is to know how to be content through both the good times and the tedious times. Easier said than done, I know.
But you see, that is one reason why I shared this story, tedious as it may have been, because it was from these events that I learned “This too shall pass” – because, dear reader, it did. From the horribleness that was 1st grade and 3rd grade for my son, good came. A wrong was righted. A school district that thought they could ignore the needs of a child learned they couldn’t. They learned they had to do the right thing. They had to do their best to help my child. And finally, with force, they did. But from that force, came an underlying attitude change, and even though there were still problems along the way, those problems were more easily solved. A depth of caring that was not there before, emerged. It changed for Teddy, the first child diagnosed with Aspergers our school system ever served, and maybe, because of Teddy, the system and the environment improved for the next child with Aspergers.
Just the thought of that brings tears of joy to my eyes.
Maybe, just maybe, because we fought, because we didn’t give up, because of what Teddy endured, our local schools are a little better for a child.
There is nothing tedious about that.
* * *
May 2. 2000
To our attorney from the School Board’s attorney
Re: Teddy v. County Board of Education
This letter will serve as the settlement agreement in the above-referenced due process hearing request. If your clients are in agreement with the settlement as detailed in this letter, please have them execute the letter and return the original to me. I will have the Superintendent execute the agreement and will forward a copy to you. The terms of the settlement are as follows:
1. The school system has convened an IEP meeting to develop an IEP for the remainder of the 1999-2000 school year which focuses on one or more of the behaviors relating to anger management. It is agreed that a functional behavioral assessment will be conducted after the 2000-2001 school year begins.
2. It is agreed that the IEP for the 2000-2001 school year will be developed prior to July 1, 2000.
3. It is agreed that the school system will provide in-service training to the teachers and principal who will be dealing with Ted during the 2000-2001 school year. It is further understood that a minimum of four hours of in-service training will be provided and the in-service training will be completed before the 2000-2001 school year begins.
4. It is agreed that Ted will be provided with an aide for the first eight weeks of the 2000-2001 school year, with the IEP committee to determine at the end of that time to what extent an aide continues to be required.
5. It is agreed that the school system will reimburse the parents for one half of the cost for weekly counseling sessions. The cost to the school system for the weekly counseling sessions will not exceed $55.00 per week for a period beginning April 10 and continuing through August 21, 2000 with the understanding that the total cost to the Board for counseling will not exceed $1,155.00. It is further understood that the parents will submit invoices showing the date of the counseling sessions to the Special Education Director. It is further understood that the agreement to fund counseling at this time and under the terms set forth in this letter shall not be construed as an agreement by the Board to fund counseling in the future.
6. It is agreed that the Board will pay reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses in an amount not to exceed $1,913.44.
7. It is understood and agreed that this settlement constitutes a settlement of any and all claims which could have been brought on behalf of Ted by his parents in the due process hearing request. It is further agreed and understood that the parents of Ted will dismiss the due process hearing request.
Next: Leaving 3rd grade and lawsuits behind to meet Rainbow Woman and HIV Guy. A funny special education story about how life reminds me to have a sense of humor while simultaneously showing me what I’ve got really ain’t so bad.