So a few weeks ago I made that unannounced visit to Kiddo's school.
I specifically went around lunch time, planning to catch them in the lunch room where the teacher and aide couldn't scramble to make it look like they are doing their jobs. My timing was perfect... they were about ten minutes into lunch with about twenty more to go. The look on Kiddo's teacher's face said it all when I came in. Plastered on her mug was the exact expression I get from kids when I catch them doing something I just told them not to do.
Her face said "OH CRAP" but after an awkward pause she chirped, "Oh, hello!"
And as anticipated, no Go Talk in sight. Weird, seeing as lunch is the most practical time for him to have it out!
I sat across from her and Kiddo and painfully watched as she almost completely ignored him for the rest of lunch. She was sitting near several other students and didn't seem to have a problem regularly interacting with them. The only thing she had to say to Kiddo (who, interestingly enough, was the only student without a lunch tray in front of him) was to occasionally verbally remind and then prompt him to keep his feet flat on the ground when he got bored after fifteen more minutes and started stimming. A cursory glance of the lunchroom revealed that few of the other boys his age had both their feet down. In fact, many of them were standing, moving around the table, etc.
I had many opportunities to question and criticize the teacher, but that was not the goal of my visit. My plan was to just grin and bear it... stay quiet and uninvolved. After "hey how you doing?" I actually didn't say anything at all to Kiddo's teacher, just watched her. Which obviously ruffled some feathers.
I have this thing about handholding with people just because they have a disability. It pisses me off. If you can walk by yourself and don't want to hold someone's hand, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO! In fact, its one of Kiddo's goals with me to walk more independently. So what does his teacher want Kiddo to do as soon as the kids get up to leave for lunch? Hold MY hand!
"Would you like to walk with Kiddo?"
"Sure, he can walk with me. Lead the way, buddy."
Kiddo obviously knew how to get back to his classroom and walked just fine on his own, stopping once to laugh and hug me briefly before merrily moving along.
By the time we got back to the classroom, I'd been in the school for about forty minutes. I had gone to the office and gotten a visitor's pass, though I suspected that wasn't enough to technically observe Kiddo's class.
I quietly watched as Kiddo ran towards the new mini trampoline in his classroom (again, Go Talk has a trampoline button!) while his teacher looked around nervously. Then suddenly, she walked up to me and informed me that in order to observe her class I needed confidentiality clearance and an appointment. Why didn't she just kick me out at lunch? Interesting.
"Oh, well, they gave me a visitor's pass and I thought that was all I needed. Next time I'll make sure I get the necessary appointment. Thanks so much!" Then I left.
Take note, that last sentence was just about all I said the entire time I was at the school. Apparently Kiddo's teacher recalls a very different conversation.
Later at work I told Kiddo's mom about our encounter. She was of course, not surprised but irked that his Go Talk wasn't out. She told me she'd call the school as soon as she could to get the proper paperwork sent so I could visit again soon.
The next day Kiddo's mom said she'd called his teacher to get the paperwork, but that she had a really strange story to tell. According to her, I had gone into the school for less time, acted in a rage, and-- best of all-- CUSSED AT THEM! She of course found this story completely ridiculous and we both wondered aloud why she would make up such an absurd lie. Later, I was saying how crazy she must be to my husband. He replied with, "Crazy? Its not crazy to lie when you think your job is threatened."
The good news though... Kiddo got a Go Talk 9 (finally!)!!!! At least his speech therapist isn't a lazyass.