Thursday, October 2, 2014

September Update on Goldilocks

We have attended two major meetings about Goldilocks in the past few weeks. The first one was an IEP/Child Family Team meeting with Day Treatment at the public school. There are so many things to say about this meeting. However, I am not going to go on for hours (I have already done that with my face to face friends...LOL). One thing that really sticks out from the meeting is that one of the teachers was trying to comfort Goldilocks about her very poor math skills. The teacher told a story about how she herself had FAILED three years of high school math and had to retake them all. Despite obviously not being gifted in math, she went on to become an eighth grade math teacher! Why do we wonder about the failure of our educational system in our country with information like that? By the way, no one else in the room seemed at all shocked by this story -- except for me.

Another thing about the meeting that surprised me was Goldilocks' honest candor. She told them that she needed to have very strict rules and permission for everything or "my brain and I will do bad things". She said she did not want to be empowered to make even the simplest decisions. For instance, she wants to wait to be told to start eating at school, whereas the teacher wants her to be self-empowered. She said she would do many bad things if she was returned home. She said that there were too many "openings" (opportunities to be up to no good) when she lived at home and that she would make bad choices at home. She mentioned to them that she had put poisonous substances on her brother's toothbrush. She told them that as soon as there are openings she will make bad choices! They asked her how much control she had over her brain on a scale of 0 (no control) to 10 (total control). She said a 2 or 3 but even a lower number when living at home. Her honesty really left them scratching their heads.

A few days later we attended another meeting. This one was a Child Family Team meeting to welcome her into the IAFT program (mental health foster care) and at the same time to simultaneously start the process to discharge her from IAFT. Yes, right from that very first meeting, they began to figure out how quickly they will be able to discharge her. Goldilocks did not attend this meeting, but an interview with her was read aloud to the group. In this interview she explained that what made home unacceptable was that there were holidays, noise, busy schedules, and sometimes things did not go as planned. On top of all that, her very annoying brother lives there. One example given in the interview was "Mom will say we have four errands to run or five items to get at the store and we will end up going on more errands or getting more or less things at the store than she said." Also, she said that her family could not help her calm down in a crisis. A crisis could be as small as her brother needing new shoes but she doesn't need any so doesn't get anything purchased for her. Another was the possibility of a store not having (insert item) that Mom said she was going to purchase. For Goldilocks, such everyday occurrences are catastrophes. She stated that getting in trouble or having consequences for her actions did not help her deal with the crisis. Consequently, no amount of good parenting helps this child resolve her issues. She is screaming for help! But she clearly states that she cannot or will not accept it from her family.

Lastly, despite the school stating that she is working on a third to fourth grade level but is currently enrolled in the eighth grade, they gave her three A's and one B on her report card. This includes an A in English, even though she spells very poorly and doesn't use punctuation or proper sentence structure. When I questioned the grades, the school stated, "We are not in the business of failing students," and "We are trying to raise her self esteem." I guess they are not in the business of educating students, either! Apparently, if you have a special education label, you get a free ride with no real education. I am just beyond frustrated.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I totally understand everything you are talking about. I remember Alex used to come home from public school with spelling words on index cards that he was supposed to study at home, but sometimes the words were spelled wrong! They catered to him, too.

  2. If days not going according to plan cause her a crisis, I could see how homeschooling would have been next to impossible for Goldilocks. What a pity they can't raise her self-esteem by helping her to actually do better.

  3. I tried to comment on this a few days ago but was having no luck at all! I shall try again...
    I'm sorry, you must be so frustrated to have to hand over the care of someone you love so much. I couldn't agree more with Leah, if she was being helped to really do better that would naturally raise her self esteem.
    My heart goes out to you, I think you are amazing for keeping it all together the way you do.

  4. This must be so frustrating - the education system can be such a let down.