So, as of Friday Justice came to my house. I know imagine that, just walking up to my door, ringing my bell, and announcing herself! It was pretty awesome in fact. Pretty incredible. I have to say I never thought this would happen. I also never understood what it meant when people would quote “Justice is best served cold” until this year.
My son entered into 2nd grade August 2011. I met his teacher and was not thrilled, of course I’m assuming he was not thrilled with me either. People NEVER like me. Ever. Seriously, I’m one of those people that you really hate or you really love. There is never an in between. Why? I think this has to do with my Asperger’s. When you give me a chance and get beyond my social issues you can see who I truly am, which I hope is a caring person. But anyhow, this story is not about me. So, Dorian started 2nd grade with high hopes. His goal was to be able to read a chapter book. You see Dorian has autism. Dorian also didn’t say his first words until almost 5 years old. Dorian didn’t read his first words until he was 8, so he was super thrilled to start 2nd grade. He was also starting a new school. The year before we had moved to Lexington, KY from Little Rock, AR, but we had no place to call home. We were nomads really, and it was the kindness of friends that allowed us to live in their residence that got us through. Yes, there was more than one friend that we stayed with. This was the hardest thing I ever had to do, which was not have a solid home for my children with autism. We got through the year and finally found a quiet little home for us to stay, and YES I’ve signed a multiple year lease to make sure that I don’t have to uproot my children again until after my PhD! lol However, we didn’t know where we were going to be going to school at. We had registered at a few different schools because my friends moved so I had to find somewhere to go. It’s not easy finding a place that will rent to you when you have such limited income. However, I made it a bit easier on myself by using the rent free year to pay off my car and many of my bills. So, you can see how excited my children were to finally have a home and a solid place to go to school.
Dorian walked in and sat down and immediately started getting into trouble. Literally, from day one he was sent home with reports and was continuously taken off of green. (Green is the color card when you haven’t done anything wrong) I knew within a few weeks that my son was being targeted by his teacher. I called the autism facilitator at the school and discussed the issues with her. Saying, that I understood my son has sensory issues, but these are things that he cannot get into trouble for otherwise it will only get worse because his anxiety will sky rocket. Well it wasn’t even 2 months into the school year when it got bad, VERY BAD.
My son asked to use the bathroom and he was denied the right to go to the bathroom. He raised his hand appropriately, but the teacher said no. Why did he say no? Because he could and because he was targeting my child and had been for weeks. My son having autism didn’t ask again; therefore, he defecated on himself and had to sit with feces for over 4 hours before I could get him completely cleaned.
We got lucky. I had an appointment for both of my children at their doctor at 2 for their checkups. I picked them up a little before 1:30. My son walked by the office and didn’t come in. The secretary noticed the odd behavior and asked if he was ok. I said, I don’t know he hasn’t been sick. As soon as we all three walk out I notice a horrible odor. I asked if they had stepped on dog poop. They both replied no. In the car the smell was so bad I had to leave the windows down. We get to the doctor’s office and that’s where I notice Dorian had used the restroom on himself. He was caked in feces from his penis to the back of his bottom.
He was mortified and so upset. I cannot explain to you the horror of his expression. The doctor saw him and wrote me a letter to give to the school. I was livid. Dorian told me what had happened and I immediately contacted the school. I called the principal and told her that I needed an explanation and I wanted Dorian moved immediately out of that classroom. She later told me that she had told the teacher to call me, but guess what he didn’t. You know why? Because he knew he was guilty.
Anyhow, a little while later Dorian ends up with a life-threatening pseudomonas kidney infection. He also had balanitis. He was prescribed Bactrim, until the results of his urinalysis growth culture could come back. We were sent home. The very next day Dorian was hospitalized. It was serious. Let me explain to you who gets pseudomonas infections. HIV patients that’s who. So, how did my son become infected with that? His feces (which is where pseudomonas can live) was squished inside his penis under his foreskin, my son is not circumcised.
It took weeks and weeks to get everything ironed out with him. He had yeast infection after yeast infection.
Anyhow, eventually he got better and we did such a bang up job he didn’t need a circumcision.
At the hospital the social worker called DHS or child protective services against the teacher. They started a case in October of 2004. As of last Friday, he was found guilty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I kept my mouth shut. I am still not saying the teacher’s name in public, although he does not deserve my kindness. He was found guilty of child abuse! We won. Or did we?
What happens now? What happens almost a year after this incident? Does Dorian become a target at his school? I sure hope not. I hope that others know what happened and can see that it was the fault of the teacher and not my child’s, because you can guarantee that THIS year I’m all up in their business.
What happened to Dorian at school after that incident? He switched classrooms and had no contact with the teacher. He learned to read ON LEVEL. Not bad for a child who couldn’t read two words. He also developed math skills ABOVE grade level! He became the class tutor for math. He became a role model and he never got off green again with Mrs. Farmer. Some say she was old and crotchety, but I say she loved my son JUST RIGHT!. She knew he needed strong guidance and lots of patience and she gave him that. Did we get lucky? Yeah perhaps we did. Many don’t liker her cantankerous personality, but it fits for autistics like me and my children.
So, as we start the new year let this be a lesson to all even to myself. Our choices have consequences and we may not know where our choices will lead us, but sometimes they come back to haunt us.
I just wanted an apology. Dorian deserved an apology. He still deserves a true one, but we will never get that. I can’t say that for a time I didn’t want this teacher to suffer, because I did, but now I just want him to learn this lesson. Our children are different. Our children with autism are concrete and when you say something to them it is as if it’s written in stone. Dorian was told he couldn’t go to the bathroom, so end of story he didn’t. Believe me, this is also a lesson that I have to remember everyday. I attend a parenting class every week so I can be a better parent.
My children deserve the perfect parent and I can’t provide that. I am not perfect, but I want to try. I want to give them all and I do. These last 2 years we have sacrificed alot for my PhD. We didn’t have a home for a year. We didn’t have solid foundation or a stable place to sleep and I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for that. I hope that this PhD is worth it, it better be! I also hope that the control that the teacher wanted to exert on his students was worth all of this, but I bet it’s not.
We all make choices that have consequences. We all regret many of our choices. Hindsight IS 20/20, but I hope I have the power to learn from mine and other’s bad choices.
I hope me and my family can continue to live without reservations!
PS. Thank you for following our family’s story, it may not be an important story, but it’s still ours!