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Remedial Aid Required

Parents hate to admit it when their kid isn’t quite where he should be developmentally.  Dads especially seem to have a hard time with this.  Hey, that’s my kid.  He’s perfect!  We had one of those dads in today.  We recommended that the child see a speech therapist weekly.  We explained that the child has difficulty interacting with his peers because they don’t understand much of what he says.  The speech therapist who tested the child said the child is unable to articulate the letter sounds c, d, f, g, j, k, l, p, q, t, v and x.  The child’s classroom teacher told about instances when the child couldn’t make himself understood and simply sat on the floor and sobbed in frustration.

The mother’s reaction to this?  “Please help my child learn.  What do I have to do to get him this aid?”

The father’s reaction to this?  “I can understand my kid just fine.  Maybe you need to listen better.”

They left the office without signing the papers.  We don’t know if they will allow the child to receive services or not.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Ohhhhh that is sO sad. And I know it happens a LOT! Parents also don’t like to be told that it’s to their child’s BENEFIT to hold them back a year. Nope nope nope… push ’em through so they stay with their “age group”… or with their friends… or just cuz… with no care as to what is best for the child. It makes me cry.

  2. I bet that’s so frustrating. On both sides. When it was time to enroll my son, we were told that academically, he wasn’t ready. With that one, I knew that she was wrong, but I held him back anyway. He wasn’t ready socially. It worked to his benefit. With my daughter, we were offered a spot in a program that allows her to get specialized help at school. Sure, there’s the chance of her being branded as the “difficult kid” or the kid that needs “special help”. Better now than 5, 10, or 40 years from now. It’s not as if they are looking at her and saying, “Hmph! She always wears pink. I hate pink. Let’s pick on her!!” They see that she needs help, so it’s time to get her help. And thankfully, my husband agrees totally.

  3. I recognise this both as a school governor (we have a system in the UK where the responsibility for running a school rests ultimately with an elected governing body taken from parents and local community) and as a dad. we all want to think our kids are going to turn out articulate, clever and able to keep us in a manner to which we’d like to become accustomed in our old age, and its heartbreaking to see otherwise. or at least it might be, we’re still waiting with our own children!

    But my experience has been that the professionals (teachers, ed psychs etc) are doing this for the best of everyone and knowing their positive agenda makes me much more liable to accept help should i ever need it….

  4. Some parents are indeed a pain I learned that when I was on the school board. But sometimes the school doesn’t listen to the parent when they know the child has a problem. We knew Patrick had a problem but the teacher’s said he was lazy ( a half truth) so we took him to a different school district and had him tested ( we paid). He did indeed have a problem he reversed letters and numbers. The school was upset when we gave them the test results because ” we could have done that testing”.

  5. I know from doing pediatric home care that there are parents like this… and I also have a good idea how very frustrating it is to deal with them. I hope this father makes the right decision for his son.

  6. Melli — I think the parents are doing what they think is best for the child. They cannot be impartial. They move to immediately protect the child’s ego and don’t realize the long-term damage will be so much worse.

    Brig — it does help when both parents look from the same perspective.

    Alastair — exactly. The professionals aren’t looking for another child to “label”. They are seeking a way to help. What is sad in this case, is that the boy scored above average in every domain except communication. With early remediation, he need never fall behind his peers, but I am very much afraid the dad won’t see it that way.

    Polona — no, but I would like to educate him.

    Dr. John — the school was upset because they didn’t have the right to refuse to test and when you got it done somewhere else and proved them negligent with your child, you could have sued their desks out from under them. (But, of course you know as a tax payer that you’d just be suing yourself.)

    Dawg — you really know how to live down to your nickname.

    Brooke — denial is a very strong convincer. Not my child!

  7. A difficult moment for a parent. I am sure, after some discussion, both mother and father will conclude speech therapy for a child is not uncommon and is very beneficial. Hugs to a wonderful teacher…

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