You may remember from an earlier post that our elementary school is not very fond of me walking my son into school in the morning. The thing is, Little Dude has a really hard time with transitioning from home to school in the morning. Having me there for even a very short period of time helps to normalize things for him.
Last week when I tried to walk my son into the cafeteria (where his class meets in the morning), I asked an aide, "May I walk him in? I need to speak with his teacher." The aide said, "no, you can't come in." And the door was summarily slammed in my face. Slammed. in. my. face. y'all.
So now? I am going to mess with certain people at this school for sport.
This morning I walked directly into the front office, produced my ID, and said, "I need a pass so I can walk Little Dude into the cafeteria."
The secretary said, "Um, do you just want to talk to his teacher? I can get her."
"No, I need to talk with his teacher, but I'm going to walk him into the cafeteria."
She took my ID and ever-so-slowly produced a pass for me. Seriously. I have seen her produce a sticker in under 15 seconds in the past. This time, you would think she had to cut down the trees, mash the pulp, and make the sticky paper herself. A pass consists of a sticker with my driver's license photo printed on it. There is a special machine that makes it. I'm pretty sure the scanner actually checks my driver's license against a national database of sex offenders. So yay. I'm all about keeping sex offenders out of the school. However, once the system shows that a person is the legal guardian and not a sex offender, I don't really get the point of keeping parents out.
Once I had procured my sticker (and been buzzed into the cafeteria), I made myself at home. I sat down and had a nice chat with Little Dude's teacher. We discussed his progress in potty-training and By the way, his teacher is amazing. I'm starting to love her the way I loved our old pediatrician, Dr. McAwesome. I want to sit in her lap and have her read me a story about how I can be anything I want to be when I grow up.
Before anyone decides to defend the school's position on keeping me out, let me review some important points:
- All this cafeteria business takes place before school hours. Once the school bell rings, the special needs class walks to their classroom with their teacher and aides. The only thing I'm interrupting is, well, nothing. There are some kids eating cereal, and there's Little Dude's class. That's it.
- Little Dude was absent last week for four days with a sinus infection, so we had to basically start over again with the separation anxiety problem. By the way, separation anxiety would be better termed "panicked freak-out while child is forcibly peeled from your body from you like industrial-strength Velcro." (Oooh, another suggestion for the Big Book o' Crazy. I should totally help those guys write that DSM-V.)
- I love security as much as the next mommy. I want to know that my kids are safe, too. I have no problem with someone politely asking me to get a security pass before I step into the cafeteria. I do have a problem a door being slammed in my face as an aide hustles my child away from me. It sends the wrong message to my child and it makes me all kinds of paranoid.
- Our IEP specifically states that I can be in the school. Texas education law requires that the school provide in-home training to parents of children with autism. I asked for in-school "observation" in lieu of the in-home training.
- I'm his mommy.