Jan. 26 update

Ben began some language, memory and other testing with a psychologist on Monday.

My hope is that it will show that he's capable of learning academics at his own pace. “I have already seen evidence that he can do academic work in the true sense of the word, even though it is obviously nowhere near a high-school level,” the psychologist told me.

We hope to have an IPRC to look at other possible school placements in late February. However, through my meetings with the school and board I’m not confident there will be many, if any, options.

I spoke to the parent of another student in Ben’s class and she had identical concerns. “But there aren’t any alternatives!” she said. This mom is a high-powered accountant. It made me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling to get my son an education.

And it got me thinking about who advocates for students who aren’t following the standard curriculum, to ensure that expectations are high. Who decides that the focus will be life skills and stops academic learning? Why is there no government-approved curriculum as there is for typical children? It seems the curriculum ends up being what the teacher or school want to teach, with no mechanism for accountability. What say do parents have in what is taught?

On an unrelated note, Disability Scoop is an excellent online resource for news about intellectual disability. Inside the World of Siblings is a great Disability Scoop interview with Don Meyer, director of the Sibling Support Project.

And on the topic of siblings, here’s an interesting blog by Tim Gort on Hopeful Parents: Siblings have their own special needs too.Tim has three daughters, two of whom have cerebral palsy.

And another sibling post from Ellen at Love that Max: Her brother’s keeper.

This professor of narrative medicine looks at Masculinity and Disability on Downtown Abbey, which runs on Masterpiece Theatre.

Here’s an interview with a psychiatrist about Autism and Holidays on the New York Times’ Well blog.

And finally, a heartbreaking story about a mom who became disabled due to medical error at the birth of her triplets. She has waited to see them for four-and-a-half years because her husband argues that seeing her would damage them: Disabled mom battles for visitation.