Saturday, February 26, 2011

PsychoMum or Advocate?

This is one that I am still negotiating. It's a matter of trial and error - or so I am learning. Take this morning. I take Hannah to her dance class which she loves. I noticed that she had a little ooze in one ear beforehand but she really wanted to go and to all intents and purposes seemed fine. I mentioned the ear infection to her teacher - he is lovely btw - about 23 and he signs (!) Hannah is in love with him (as are many of the little girls). He asked what I wanted him to do - I simply said to send her out if she wasn't coping.
I then went and got a t/a coffee and pastry - and came back and sat out in the foyer with a couple of other Mums. A couple of times I heard him say her name loudly - which is unusual. Then after about 40 minutes I heard him yell "I can't do anything with Hannah" to the woman on the front desk (his Mum) who went down to his class. I hesitated and then got up and went down the hall - to meet her as she was leaving the room. "Is that my Hannah?" I asked. She said that the teacher wanted to see me at the end of the lesson - and that he wanted to suggest putting Hannah back into the younger class because she wasn't coping with the routines in this older group. I sat down and felt tears well up but supressed them.
He was clearly having a bad day - came out with young girl who needed ice and cuddles. Then he spoke with me - said that he thought she'd be better off in the younger group again - and perhaps she could come to that group (her age appropriate one) for the warm up. I told him that that was fine by me.
As she and I walked back to the car i gave her lots of cuddles and hugs. I felt the tears come up again. Another Mum (who was in the foyer all lesson too) asked me how she was going. I said that she was going back to the younger group. We chatted a bit more and then went our separate ways. When I got home I told DH what had happened - I still felt teary about it. The yelling really upset me. It didn't respect Hannah as a person - a person who is working so hard to 'keep up' and who they are lucky to have in their danceschool. I felt that I had let her down by not taking her out as soon as I heard that yelling.
I decided I needed to redeem myself as a parent before next week so I rang up and spoke to the woman from the front desk. I reiterated that I think the teacher is great with Hannah but that I really didn't like to hear him yelling like that. I also restated that I was happy to be guided by them as to the best class for Hannah. Yes I understood he needs to be firm with her but I didn't think that raising his voice so it could be heard out in the foyer was appropriate. Anyways it is done and I feel better because psychomum or no - I didn't just let it pass without comment.
There is of course a part of me that is sad that she isn't coping in the age appropriate group but I don't believe that is what had me in hyper protective mode. I hope not anyway because that is my issue not Hannah's and not her dance teachers either. Sigh. A blip on the journey - one of many I know - I wonder how long she'll be able to stay at dance? Special needs dance classes near us seem to be for older kids....we'll see how she goes next week. I have always dreaded the 'advocate' part of being a special needs Mum - I am such a wimp. Yesterday's incident was minor yet I felt totally buggered by it all. It wasn't about any significant learning opportunity either - Hannah doesn't have to go to dance - she goes for fun, exercise and because she wants to. I am very lucky to have good friends so I popped around the corner for a cup of tea and a chat with an old friend and felt much better. Today I discussed it with another Mum whose daughter is in the younger class - so Hannah will have someone she knows there. There is a strong circle of protective love for my girl that comes from our community. It is her and my safety net and I am very glad of it.
The next day I took the brats to a party. 10 minutes in Hannah's ear was much worse and she just wanted cuddles. Her father came and got her early and I stayed with Kit. Today I have had to take a day off work - I have made a drs appointment for her later on and kept her home from school. Hopefully antibiotics will fix it soon. She seems to be enjoying a day of rest at home.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

It's a shame about the ear pussing and everything.

Lots of shakes in the vestibular: not much good for dancing, I agree!

At least Han has a friend/somebody she knows in the younger group.

It's interesting to see that the special needs dance groups might be for older kids.

"Yesterday's incident was minor yet I felt totally buggered by it all. It wasn't about any significant learning opportunity either - Hannah doesn't have to go to dance - she goes for fun, exercise and because she wants to."

(I think the significant learning opportunity was for the teacher!)