Monday, May 21, 2007

PE--persistently evil?

BugsMom is wondering what sort of difficulty she will face getting Bug proper adaptive physical education. Good luck with that. I can only hope that things have changed for children with EDS over the past 15 years.

Before MD was diagnosed with HEDS, she was seeing a podiatrist who, not otherwise knowing what he was looking at, was at least able to say that under no circumstances was she to either run or jump until she had finished growing. (At that point, she was walking on the outsides of her feet, with her soles turned inwards.) Armed with this doctor's order, and soon by other doctors giving the same order, we were repeatedly assured that she would only be given activities that were safe for her to do.

That never happened. She constantly was told to do what the other kids were doing, which was always running and jumping. There were so many injuries, I begged that she be allowed to substitute some other activity for PE. Eventually, the school district conceded, and I paid for activity lessons privately, getting the teacher to sign off on the proper forms. I always thought it was foolish to require a child who had to spend an hour every day doing physical therapy to also have to do a "proper" activity, but that was as far as I could get a couple decades ago. It wasn't helped by the fact that, back then, even though I had access to the internet, there was virtually no information on EDS available on the web, and even less on IEP. MD's school district made it plain that no "special" services were going to be offered to her unless she transferred to the "special" school.

It didn't help that the best advice the doctors could come up with regarding HEDS was to avoid doing anything that put impact on the joints. It was hard to go to the school with such vague recommendations. It also didn't help that I was a single parent, trying to keep things together and still expected to somehow find time to jump through each and every one of the school district's infinite number of hoops. Or that genetics had caught up with me and I was also falling apart physically.

I hope that schools have changed, and also that the newly available information makes some difference. While the opportunity for education and socialization in the schools is wonderful, when MD and I look back on her childhood, neither one of us feels any nostalgia for the school bureaucracy and its drive to make sure all the pegs were round.

1 comment:

bangambiki said...

keep on speaking out.We can only improve things by by speaking out