I haven’t given an update on Elise in quite a while, so if you are wondering, this is the post for you!
Short story is: nothing much is new. We are waiting, waiting, waiting for a piece of paper that will lead us to another piece of paper, that will hopefully lead to the evaulation necessary to get Elise a good, solid, and enjoyable educational experience.
Basically, a few weeks ago we met with her new doctor, an honest to god neuropsychologist who will, in theory, evaluate and test Elise for every known thing under the sun until we know exactly the extent of her issues. I’ve been told that with a neuropsych exam, you can diagnos schizophrenia years before the first onset of symptoms. No stone will be left unturned and we will finally have our answer.
If our insurance approves the $2500 exam.
And that’s only half the battle, because we already know it’s going to come a little too late.
I am not sure yet whether the insurance has approved it, and at this point it doesn’t matter anyway, because Dr. D is on vacation until the middle of August. We have a tentative appointment to go back and start the evaluation on August 31st (the Friday after school starts, so she would miss the third day of school) and that is only IF the insurance approves it.
The thing is, I really don’t want to put Elise back in school right now. Not even a little bit. But we just don’t have options like some people do.
I can’t afford to leave work to homeschool and neither can Elise’s dad, and I don’t think I would trust her education in the hands of any other relative.
The thought of homeschooling is so alien to me. I’ve pretty much always been against it, but now I finally understand it – well, maybe I don’t understand homeschooling exactly, but I understand something about education, quite clearly, that I never did before.
Education is a package deal. It’s not like going to work, where sometimes I have to chant to myself “I’m here to work, not here to be friends, I’m here to work, not here to be friends.” I think that some teachers and administrators would like for school to be that – a place where you come, you learn to a set of arbitrary standards, and then you go out the door and back to life until the next morning. But it just isn’t like that, especially for little kids.
One of the hardest things we’ve had to go through with Elise is the fact that she just doesn’t get that school is something you have to do. You have to go, you have to listen and do as the teacher asks, you have to finish your work. It’s like she thinks it’s just a place to play and be with kids (which doesn’t work in her favor either) and she puts up a huge fight about getting work done. Elise missed tons of recess, tons of fun center time, because didn’t finish her work on time. She was slow to complete just about everything, but here’s the kicker – she DID complete everything, eventually. And she did well.
Elise tested at or above grade level at every single thing she did in kindergarten, but she didn’t make one single friend. She would come home with her backpack stuffed with papers and artwork that all had the approving marks and legible handwriting and she would read her correct answers back to me – but she would cry because no one liked her. No one sat with her at lunch. No one wanted to play with her. No one was nice.
Granted, Elise has behavior problems. She flies off the handle sometimes. She hits sometimes. But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deserve to have a school experience like other kids. It doesn’t mean she deserves to be labeled the “bad kid” that everyone should stay away from because sometimes she gets mean.
She doesn’t deserve anything, really, except happiness and a chance at fitting in. But we can’t help her until we know exactly what is wrong. We’ll get there eventually I guess, but damn. This waiting sucks.