Lynyrd Is At School!!!

It has been a crazy, difficult set of years making this happen, but as of last week, OCDSB has allowed Lynyrd to accompany Alex to school.

To get this done, I needed to involve our district's OCDSB trustee, OCDSB supervisors for both our area and for special needs, the head of the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), the advisors for both the EA and teacher's unions, two lawyers and an education advocate.  It has been five years of fighting since the first denial floated across the table (two years before we actually received a dog).

And most of the opposition came from Learning Support Services, the division of OCDSB which is supposed to advocate for children with special needs within the school system.

This is the level of fighting required for one accommodation.  One.  There are still plenty of others required and that doesn't even begin to touch on actually teaching my child the skills and knowledge he needs and should be being taught in school.

This happened because I refused to sit down and be quiet and not make waves.  But I was also held to an impossibly high standard of documentation and behaviour.  I was well aware that any demonstration of frustration would be held against me.  I needed to maintain a cooperative attitude in the face of people who were actively putting my son's safety at risk.

The system is opaque and labyrinthine by design.  They want parents to give up, because then the board doesn't have to go on record as denying the request.  (And let me be clear, this is an administrative issue at the school board level.  Most teachers are wonderful, dedicated people who are just as frustrated with the restrictions as parents are.)

I am not the smartest person in a room, or the most charismatic.  But I will place safe bets that I am the most stubborn.  I have always refused to accept when I was out-resourced and out-matched.  It has gotten me into a lot of trouble over my lifetime, but this time it paid off.

There are other battles still to fight.   And I'll keep going with them.  But for now I'm taking a moment of celebration.

I think I've earned it.