A good friend showed me this video earlier today. It is about a high school student that was told that he was not allowed in the business program simply because he has ADHD. The principal who was speaking to him was worried that the student would bring the test scores down. He wanted to keep him in a special ed class. Not that there was anything wrong with a special ed class, that child in the video did not belong in that class. Not every class is appropriate for every student. The principal tells the student that he wont reach his goals because he can’t focus. Then a person who does not have arms due to a medication his mother took, came in to explain that no one can tell him that he can’t do something.
Instead of the student’s mother appropriately advocating for her son, she was listening to the principal. She signed the paper moving him into special ed when he was not supposed to be there. The school was not acting in the best interest of the child. The stranger who is disabled walked in and advocated for the student. They did not know each other. He empowered the student to rip up the form.
How It Reminded Me of My School Career
As I was watching it, I was brought back to 3rd grade. She unburied a memory and I thank her for it.This was the only time my mother was my best advocate. She was a lot of bad things but in the school setting she was my best advocate.
Ms. Braun. She was my special ed teacher during the year I was first mainstreamed into a typical class for some subjects. Ms. Braun gave me 3 hours of homework because she I was doing homework for the subjects I was mainstreamed out for both the special ed class and the typical class. With doing all this homework, when I could not finish I was put out in the hallway. She would put my desk in the hallway as I worked on my homework.
The reason Ms Braun is so important is because she was the first teacher who told me I would never graduate from high school and would never accomplish anything. I did not fully grasp what she was saying but it never left my mind.
I found out later that she gave me double homework so I would not be mainstreamed anymore. She was trying to sabotage me. I also found out that my mother was pushing to mainstream me because she felt I could handle it. She was right.
From the beginning my mother fought for me to be mainstreamed. It was the best choice for me. The following year, my mother pushed the school to mainstream me completely. Academically it was the right choice but not socially. We are going to concentrate on the academics. I wound up doing well in school and finishing elementary school.
Fast forward to high school. I was in regular classes and put into A track classes. My mother pushed for this. For the regents program in New York State there was A track and B track. A track is more advance than B track. They kept me in A track because of my disability and my mother fought like hell to get me in A track. Not only did she fight for that, in my senior year in high school, she fought for me to be included into the SCALE program. This program allowed me to take college level English instead of year 12 English and Psychology instead of social studies.
When I graduated from High School, I graduated with my Regents diploma. Not only that, I received an award for the most academically improved in my graduating class. They made a big deal that I came from a self contained class to graduating with a regents diploma and 12 college credits. The best thing about it was when I graduated, Ms Braun was a high school resource room teacher so I shoved my diploma in her face.
Not every child should be pushed like this but I needed to be pushed. There are children who need to be pushed so they see what they can do. I was one of those kids. I do have to thank my mother for pushing me. When I was in school, if I had not been pushed, I would not see what I was capable of. I was considered ADHD as my autism diagnosis did not happen until I was 32.