There are few things worse than finding out that someone has lied to you. You trusted this person, and they betrayed you. Deliberately, willfully, they lied. But the situation we’re left with is not the real problem – but where do we go from here, knowing that Namine’s teacher is willing to lie to us, now, before the school year has even begun?
One of the most important things that Namine is catching up on, if not the most important, is her speech. And she is catching up indeed – the last time I really talked about her speech, she was still primarily talking in vowels. But once she learned how to make the consonant sounds (even S, which due to her being tongue-tied is still more of a SH, but that’s okay), her speech suddenly transformed. Even Namine’s cardiologist, who had never heard her speak before, could understand about half of what she said.
Prior to the IEP, the IEP team had planned on putting Namine in a class full of nonverbals. Now, if Namine was nonverbal, perhaps that wouldn’t have been a problem. But Namine is as verbal a child as one you’ll ever find! She needs peers who will speak, and preferably peers who speak better than she does. She is learning speech from us, to be sure, but we’d like that to continue in school as well.
During the IEP, we argued this point. The team felt that because Namine’s speech was (at this point) nearly impossible for anyone other than her parents to understand, they were inclined to side with us. They agreed that putting Namine is a classroom with more advanced speakers would benefit her greatly. With that said and done, we moved on to other topics. Whatever else may have come, we were content that the school agreed with us and would do what was best for Namine.
Jessica paid a surprise visit to the school. In this trip, she discovered that while Namine is going to be in a class of talkers, she also discovered that she is at the top of her class, in terms of speech. This is going contrary to what they agreed to in the IEP, and while this may not seem like a big deal to most people, it has the potential to impede Namine’s speech quite a bit. We don’t want her to learn the wrong things*, and that includes babbling. She knows how to babble, and that’s fine. I just don’t want her speech to suffer because her teacher decided to go behind our backs.
The situation would be vastly different if she had notified us, instead of what she did, which was nothing. Had Jessica not stopped by the school, we never would have found out. A simple phone call, an email, something. I would like to believe this is an isolated incident, but I don’t trust her. Any teacher who is fine with lying to parents is not worthy of trust.
* Because Namine attends a class at her therapy, she has already picked up several things we don’t particularly like. She has learned from other children to be whiny, and we have spent quite a bit of time explaining that this is not how to behave. From observing other children (whose parents apparently don’t give a crap how they behave), Namine has learned how to misbehave – whereas before she was well-behaved. I know one parent in particular – and there are undoubtedly more – who would say, “Paul, this is just part of Namine growing up. All children misbehave.” And while sinful nature is just that – natural – the timing of it is such that we are inclined to think that it is more learned behavior. In this particular case, I would argue that it is more likely nurture (but not ours) than nature. But enough sociology.