Heather - I said it was the last time that I would respond to you - but, ok, I've changed my mind... because I feel the need to defend myself.
First - I don't how or why you feel that you know me so well that you can claim that I am a person who makes excuses for myself or for my son. You know absolutely nothing about me other than what you've read in a few posts. Yes, my son has dyslexia - as do I. However, I do not use that as an excuse for anything - nor do I allow my son to use it as an excuse. I went to college and graduated with a degree in English. I volunteer a great deal of time at my sons school to help kids learn to read. I do not allow my son to use his dyslexia as an excuse for anything - but rather teach him other ways to learn. However, yes - as I have stated in this and other threads - I have had to FIGHT for his right to a fair and equal education. I have had teachers tell me that "he's never going to learn to read" - well, we proved them wrong. I have had teachers tell me to have him put on medication because he can't pay attention... and I have gone to school board meetings and educated the educators on dyslexia and how it affects the ability to concentrate. I have had to become an advocate for my son because it became obvious that if I didn't - he wasn't going to get the help that he needed. You see - times have changed... when I was a kid - if you told a teacher - "hey, my kid has dyslexia and learns differently than other kids..." the teacher would research ways to help and offer assistance in any way that they could. I didn't have an IEP - I had a phonics teacher who met with me every day for a half hour and I had teachers that wanted to help me learn... and I did. With my son - things have been much different... there is a whole level of bureacracy to get around in order to get him help - and even then - the help offered is not the appropriate help. However, my son and I work on homework for 3-4 hours a night, he is expected to do everything that the rest of the kids are... and I will not allow him to slack off. So Heather - what you're seeing is not a mother who makes excuses for her child.... what you're seeing is a mother is angry and tired of having to FIGHT for her child. You're seeing a mother who is tired of seeing her baby come home from school every day in tears. You're seeing a mother who is frustrated with the system. . Heather, I love my child more than anything on this world - and anyone on this board who has spoken with me at length knows this... I am a good mother and I would do anything for my child... he is EVERYTHING to me. If you knew 1/2 of what he and I have been through together - you would realize how truly outrageous your accusations are. I don't know if you are a parent or not - but if you are - you understand what I mean. You and I obviously disagree on this issue and ya know what - it's ok. I can disagree about issues all day long and we can talk about why our opinions and point of views are right or wrong. But I would seriously suggest that take a step back and not attack my personal character or that of my child.
As for who is coming up with the far-fetched analogies and scenarios - well dear, I'm not the one who mentioned running around naked - I simply gave one example of when the dog might be of service. Especially since it has been stated in MANY articles that the dog is to alert him to alarms, people knocking on the door and other sounds. "The dog has been trained to alert John to potential danger, such as smoke and fire alarms." http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lidog095045398jan09,0,3940341.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines You ask what he did "before" he got the dog... obviously he went to school and he learned. However - as his mother said in this article...(http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-lidog0104,0,7450539.story?track=mostemailedlink) she wanted to give one more step towards independence. No, he may not NEED the dog in school - but maybe he will if he wants to go to college away from home... or maybe he will when he wants to live on his own. The dog has been trained to help him - as part of having a service dog or a "helper" dog (I've seen Simba referred to as both) - the point is for the dog to be with his partner all the time... the dog becomes an extension of the person... And yes -the school is willing to sit down and discuss with Mrs. Cave the issue of Simba... but Mrs. Cave has the valid point that under the ADA - she doesn't have to. They have no say in it... no more than a restaurant owner gets a say in whether or not a blind person can bring their seeing eye dog into a restaurant.
***Edited By: sonjavon on 1/12/2007 2:45:17 PM*** Reason: sp?
Wow this thread is entirely too long. There are enough points and posts for me to feel comfortable in saying that I honestly cannot think of anything to add at this point.
I will however, choose to respond to HeatherFeather this time since clearly, she has a lot invested in the subject as it seems to strike a major nerve...
"I am very capable of putting myself in other people's shoes and seeing things from other people's point of view...my job requires that of me on a daily basis.
Directly followed by:
"I refuse to stand in your shoes, as your responses, petty and far-fetched scenarios, inconsistent comparisons, and prior posts, strike me as the kind of person that makes excuses for yourself, and your son"
Wow, talk about setting someone up for a huge blow.
Since when should a friendly debate escalate into an educated woman, hurling insults like this to someone who clearly appears to have a different point of view?
I don't know what is going on in your own life Heather, or what this thing you have with sonja is that has you so sharp tongued and quick to pounce lately, but you are definitely bringing it over to this forum.
For someone who has a job that requires some sensitivity and tact when talking to the public, also having worked as a teacher, I do not understand how you can come across as so belligerent to someone who clearly loves her child and is obviously offended each time you say something nasty attached to her sons name.
Now go ahead and drag this thread out more and more pointing out how you have over come obstacles in your life, and how apparently how that makes you so much better then the rest of a percentage of posters on here in the career path and life you have led.
To me, what is really attractive... is a humble but proud, well balanced person. That is something I consider worthy of striving to be. Not becoming big headed, bitter and redundant because I am "off the clock" just because I simply can.
***Edited By: pope1982 on 1/12/2007 1:43:02 PM*** Reason: sp
in my junior and senior years of high school, i worked with the handicapped class. some of the kids had larger amounts of disability than others. some got teased by the other kids in school. i do not think that things have changed that much through the years. kids can be cruel. they do not realize how damaging they can be to the ones that are already physically or mentally challenged, or both. i do not think that it matters to what degree this boy is deaf. the fact remains that he is. if it is any kind of comfort for him to have the dog, then for gods sake. let him have it. if the dog is not being a threat to others, but people feel that it is a distraction, then they need to not make a big deal of it and it will pass. people will eventually adjust to seeing the dog, get bored with its being there as an issue, and find something else to focus their attentions on. if the dog is being a threat, then the mother need to take steps to have the dog socialized where he will fit in without posing a danger. if after that is done, and the dog is still a safety concern, then the dog shouldnt be allowed in the school. then it would become a situation where you have to weigh the needs of one against the safety of many.
If it were my child and I felt that my child needed a helper dog while in school, if I truly felt that, I would go and meet with the school, like they have requested, in order to get the dog allowed in school. Once allowed in school, or even denied, if I felt my or my childs rights were violated in the process, THEN I would do something about it. Instead Mrs. Cave has allowed her son to miss school school and allowed her son unneccessary stress which would distract him in school. IF Simba is an actual service dog and is needed in school for whatever reason, then what's wrong with meeting with the school? Yeah, maybe its a violation of their rights, but if its that important to her that John has the dog in school, suck it up and meet with the school, then complain about a violation of rights. Its obviously not that important to her that Simba be allowed in school, there's other motives there!
Just to clarify, I have NEVER said anything about the character of sonja's son. The only thing I know about him is that he is dyslexic, as she's posted that many times. That is something I do relate to. After being accused of being incapable of many things by sonja, trying to make me out to be a bad person, in my defense, I responded to her accusations. I don't know sonja outside of here, so my opinion is based on her posts here. Again I have not "attached" her son's name to any nasty insults....I don't know his name. I have said nothing bad of sonja's son, as that would be just plain stupid of me to do being that I am also dyslexic, and that's all I know about him. She may be the mother of the year, but this isn't a parenting forum. My heart does hold a special place for disabled children. If I ever go back to teaching, it will be in special ed as I do truly enjoy working with children mainly with emotional and behavioral disabilities. I am however disgusted with the parents looking to gain and who take advantage. So, yes, this topic strikes a nerve with me, as that is what I see Mrs. Cave doing. Furthermore, I have not inferred in any way that I am any better than any other person on here. I have accomplished things of which I am proud of, as I am sure every single person on here has. If I was gloating in any way, I'd be naming those accomplishments. The only thing I have done is said that I have a job, and if that makes anyone feel inferior to me, well then that's their own problem. Lastly Pope, I think you're funny as hell most of the time and I like you and all, but I don't care to take social advice from you. No offense.
SGM, yes I am insensitive to many things and many people. That's me, but lets remember that the "personal attacks" are not one sided. You don't know me or my job. Feel sorry for my clients all you want, but they pay me well and all have been well satisfied.
>> Yeah, maybe its a violation of their rights, but if its that important to her that John has the dog in school, suck it up and meet with the school, then complain about a violation of rights. Its obviously not that important to her that Simba be allowed in school, there's other motives there!
I saw this as a statement-- parents of children with special needs constantly need to fight for the basic rights of their children. The fact is that they shouldn't have to. Fighting and fighting over every little issue takes up an unbelievable amount of time and money, and this in itself is a disadvantage. In my experience, parents of special needs children who are looking to gain from these needs are few and far between. It is difficult to exploit special education laws because they don't even begin to protect children with special needs to the extent that is necessary. It is almost impossible to get all of the services that a child is legitimately entitled to through public schools...nevertheless even MORE!
The majority of these parents are too exhausted from fighting long and hard for their child's basic rights to worry about what type of special treatment they can get. The proposal that parents go around trying to benefit from their child's disability is actually ridiculous, in lieu of the history and current state of special education in practice.
IF Simba is an actual service dog and is needed in school for whatever reason, then what's wrong with meeting with the school?
Because if they do not need to have a meeting, if the dog is a service dog assigned to john. Then he is protected by the ADA, The School cannot ask any questions concerning his need for the dog. or any questions concerning his affliction. The school is not the medium that allows or denies johnthan the dog, nor is it the medium that has the authority to question the need of the dog. Just like cannot ask you to give up your crutches, wheel chair, diabetic monitor. or such there are only 2 reasons they can ask the dog to be removed. 1. the dog is out of control, and john cannot get control. 2. the dog poses a threat.
Johnthan has a right to not be intergated about his loss of hearing or need for the dog. no matter how many speakers or on his desk.
I also saw a fulllength interview onCNN. the dog is trained, not well, but it does serve a purpose. like stopping when cars are coming, poking at his cell phone when it rings. and picking up things he's dropped. and it does not matter if we believe he needs the dog. if the dog is a certified, assigned to him. and the dog has not gone out of control, or posed a threat. then the school must leave him alone.
By ADA rules they can ask him what tasks his dog performs, but they aren't allowed to ask him about his disability.. Being a school though, they are already aware of the disability.
Either way, America has mighty lax laws on what constitutes a service dog, so this dog could qualify with little trouble under the ADA laws, as long as he has enough manners to not be a untrained disturbance.
Lot of the service dog owners on dogster talk about it a lot. What does your dog do.. It's a medical response dog that alert barks if I need help, brings me medication.. You never told them your medical condition.. Most disabilities you can briefly list a few jobs without getting personal.