Suzanne and Rebecca survived the school year just fine this year. Me, not so much.
This was Suzanne's last year of elementary school, and it marks an intermission, I guess you'd call it, in my four-year-long battle to get her school to a) acknowledge her organizational issues related to ADHD and b) help her with them. I would say that overall, Suzanne got sporadic help from some of her teachers--and that was only after I called, e-mailed, asked for meetings, jumped up and down, went up the line to county administration, beat my head against a wall in frustration and threatened to hold my breath until I turned purple. Well, okay, I didn't do that last thing, and the next to last thing was more metaphorical than actual, but....you get the idea. Throughout, the folks at her school met my demands with cheerful impeturbability and utter cluelessness. If I heard it once I heard it at least a dozen times: "Suzanne just needs to learn to focus...."
And then there was this year's math teacher, who took cluelessness and jacked it up a notch or two to active opposition. This lady regarded me as an intrusion and my attempts to get bare-bones accommodations (we're talking about making sure Suzanne had her assignments written down and all her materials at the end of the day) as if I had snapped my fingers and demanded that she hop to and wipe my child's butt. When Suzanne got so frustrated with this lady that she scratched and tore at her own skin (the scar's still there--this happened several months ago), and subsequently had an anxiety attack and asked to go to the nurse's office, the teacher's response was, "No. You're just trying to get out of class." When Suzanne misbehaved, the teacher would respond by saying, "Suzanne, here's what I don't like about you." When Suzanne didn't understand some instruction, the teacher's response was to repeat the same thing, over and over, as if Suzanne was stupid, or deaf, or both. When it was time for some standardized test, which Suzanne and another student got to take in another room with minimal distractions, this teacher made the two of them stand at the front of the class for 10 minutes while everybody else got started--needlessly and ostentatiously humiliating them both. There's more, but you get the idea.
Suzanne has a great therapist, and despite days when she wept and pleaded with me not to send her to school "because this lady hates me," she got through. She even developed a sense of humor about things. "I'm going to get Mrs. _____ some nail polish," she said to me once. "And lots of it." When I asked why, she said, "She needs a lot, for her cloven hooves." I'm glad she can find something funny in all this, because it'll be a while before I do. You know that old saying about "the fury of a woman scorned"? That's nothing compared to the fury of a mom who has seen her kid mistreated--and who must put a lid on it, because getting angry doesn't help.