Friday, 8 November 2013


I am positively fuming about the meeting we had at BUP (Barn och Ungdoms Psykiatriker - Child and Youth Psychiatrists) as I felt it was so wrong - I was so unprepared and angry with myself for letting it happen.

Today was the day we met the doctor - its not been that easy meeting the pyschiatrist, but Michael has managed - but going to the doctor was more nerve-wracking for him as he REALLY does not like doctors. I had been told that he would be meeting with the doctor so she could do a few tests - blood-pressure, height, weight and balance and motor skills... what I was NOT prepared for - either myself or for Michael's sake was that we would be sitting and talking ABOUT Michael's difficulties in front of him.

Of course this was boring but also completely out of line. Working at preschool we know we do not talk about the children in front of them - we talk with them. So here I was sitting in the "expert's" room watching my son shrink smaller and smaller - which I pointed out to the doctor and then sugar coated and focused on his skills... but I feel so disappointed with myself for not saying "no, I won't talk about my son in front of him"...

There is this trust in the "experts" that they know what they are doing - as preschool teachers we are told over and over again that we are not experts and that we should not express any opinions about diagnosis - which has kind of elevated their status - and of course this feels very scary now when they have done this - why on earth would they want his negative history from his whole life while he is there listening? Is there a real valid point for him listening to all of that?

AND there was also the talk about coming back to find out about medication... errm - sorry... WHAT?
My son will not be medicated - there is NOTHING wrong with my child - BUT there is something wrong with the school system that does not allow all children to learn the way they need and instead force them into an accepted language of learning...
I mean what is the point with working in a preschool to encourage the child to discover their hundred languages if when they get to school they just slap a gag on all those wonderous languages...
Why bother make these children competent learners when they get to school they are being instructed and not trusted in their learning. Why bother support learning based on the child's individual development of the whole child, when they get to school they all need to be the same and sit behind desks.
If we are supporting children to take any shape they want to be in preschool what is the point of sending them to a school that wants to create squares... and what about the children who no matter how hard they try they just cannot make themselves fit that square cookie-cutter, what abut the children who CAN fit themselves in that cookie-cutter but feel absolutely terrible being there, what about the children who just fall through...?

I am doing all of this for/with Michael not because I want to change HIM - but because I want to have the right to try and influence the system - for his sake - and the sake of others... I want a school that is more flexible and sees the gifts of each child rather than viewing the child as silly putty that they need to mould and knead into a shape THEY want.
Why are we in preschool scaffolding children to build their own learning - only to have it knocked down and rebuilt for them in school...?

Its why I won't work in a school - because I think teachers don't get the chance to help each child learn they way they know is right for the child and group - but have to follow a path chosen for them - and even though they can tweak it - it is not the same as being able to create it specifically for the class you are working with...

If you are wondering what I am writing about - read this post... where I talk from the heart about my son...


  1. Oh Suzanne, i'm so sorry, I know you were starting this process to get the best education plan in place that you possibly could for Michael. I hope you will be able to see another doctor who doesn't think it's acceptable to talk about the problems in front of the child, and who thinks that the only way to "manage" the situation is with drugs. Sending you both tons of hugs, and tell Michael that my two sons think he is great.

  2. Oh Suzanne, I can feel it from here... The combination of anger, and sadness, and knowing what's best but also wondering if you really do know... My boy is 12 so we've had longer to work around the system, but the first 7 years were so hard! I had a hard time not arguing every year when told some variation of "It's not that he can't do it (LD) but that he won't!" (Lazy, oppositional, defiant, behavioural....) until so done finally recognized officially what private psychologist had outlined. Not broken, not trying to be bad! Ross Greene was balm for my wounds.
    You sound more sure, more solid in your understanding of your sons needs (than we were back then) so your boy has the best possible backup. Whatever else happens, with you in his corner, he's never going to be left behind, shuffled off, or denied what he needs.
    Never let those hundred languages be silenced. I wish I'd known that poem when I started teaching, which was also the year my son started JK. The first time I read it I sobbed. It has changed me forever, and made me quite the advocate for all the non-neurotypical kids, and the neurotypical too. No child deserves to be stripped of their human heritage - creativity.