Saturday, October 21, 2023

A Teacher's Perspective: When Parents Need Help Before Their Children

Today, I spent some time with a special education teacher. We met for a Cranberry bog tour and had no idea that our conversation would take this turn. After our initial introduction, we found ourselves with a lot to discuss, but it wasn't about the group we were a part of or the purpose of our tour. Instead, we delved into the world of special education, families, the struggles, and the ethical dilemmas that teachers face.

Normally, I'm more accustomed to hearing the parents' side of the story, but today was different. I listened as she described how parents often dismiss the concerns that teachers have, how stigma and shame can overshadow the well-being of children, and how parents sometimes refuse to give consent when teachers want to evaluate a student. Red flags are sometimes entirely ignored, and in some cases, disgruntled parents write to school principals, accusing teachers of trying to label their child without cause.

She also shared many stories about Indian parents. They often demand "extra" homework for their children, advanced math and reading materials, without considering the burden of these expectations. She frequently worries about how to support these kids who unquestionably need help but are unable to access it because their parents are unwilling to accept the label of special needs.

I've heard countless stories from parents about their relentless battles for services, how their children don't receive adequate support, and how schools sometimes try to push these children out of the system, even when they aren't ready. I was already aware of the prevailing stigma and state of denial in this field, which was one of the primary motivations behind creating Desi Moms Network. Nevertheless, hearing this teacher's perspective was quite eye-opening.

All of this brings me to a profound question: Would you inform a friend or relative if you noticed red flags in their child's development, or would you choose to remain silent?

A silk saree for a navratri visit. Met some amazing mothers over a delicious meal. Saw a pumpkin patch on the way, had to stop and take a pic. 

and here is my sunshine. someone from my village sent this pic.with a comment - "So proud of him"

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