My child spends time with a relative on a regular basis. Every month, I take initiative to plan this time with the relative. Then I look through all the different emails with information of plans from school, look through mine and my partner’s shared calendar, and merge it all together in a plan and send to school. I do this to make sure that I, my partner and my child’s teachers will have the same information about what will happen at school, when my child will have time off to go see a doctor or physiotherapist or when he just has time off to be with the relative (school isn’t mandatory for my child yet).
This coordinating and planning takes time and a lot of my energy. Quite often, we find out with very short notice that school has made extra plans to go to a museum or do some other activity that demands preparations to be accessible to our child. The teachers at school are simply not very skilled when it comes to planning and they don’t always communicate well with each other. Every time this happens, it’s a smaller crisis to my child and to me and my partner. Sometimes it means my child can’t join the rest of his group and has to stay at home because necessary accommodations and preparations haven’t been done, sometimes it means that me and my partner to emergency preparations but it ends up stealing a lot of energy from all three of us.
Today, I sent the plan for February and I asked the receiving teachers to please fill me in if I have missed something. After less than an hour I got a reply saying that the plan for the whole semester has already been communicated. My first response was to think “well, yes, but how could I trust that plan when you have failed to communicated changes so many times?” That thought taught me something. My child’s teachers probably don’t understand the disaster in my child’s (and my) health they create when they forget to tell us about demanding upcoming events, and they probably don’t understand that it’s a really huge problem in our lives. I think it’s likely to say that they have no idea how much they have damaged the trust by doing this so many times, and afterwards not taking responsibility for it. Because they never apologize, instead they claim that it isn’t even a problem. This made me realize that they probably have no clue how hard it is for me to take all these fragments and merge to a plan. They don’t realize how a carefully balanced activity level is key for my child’s health, and that their actions have a negative effect on our efforts to balance activities with recovery.
The trust issue is the biggest part of the problem. If my child’s teachers still (after more than four years) don’t even realize how high our stresslevels are when we can’t trust that there will be preparations and accommodations to make school accessible, we will never be able to work together as equal partners. Next year my child is changing school, and it’s time to give up my hope of ever making this a productive partnership with the teachers at this school.