Is that the sound of my sanity snapping?
I think it could be.
Here I am ALMOST at the end of August. In denial? Sure. Freaking out? Absolutely. WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO? So here it is, almost back to school time. The most wonderful time of the year. Right? RIGHT??
You know that commercial with the “That Was Easy” theme. Press a button and send them back to school with new supplies and then do a little happy jig that summer is over. Well, I kind of wish they had a version of that for special needs parents. This is my back to school for special needs parents commercial for us. I think it would look like this:
|THAT WAS Unbelievably hard button
MY back to school for special needs parents COMMERCIAL
Slow pan in on the “That Was Unbelievably Hard” Button.
That’s the button you press just to get the game started. You know the one where your resistant to change inflexible child suddenly has to change all their routines again to go to school. Unbelievably hard is sometimes getting them to buy in that they need to be there. Sometimes it is the transition into the school.
Zoom out and hit the next button. No soft focus here. This button is a bigger one that reads: “No Freakin’ Way” on it. You can hit it when you need something for your child and it will blast a negative Blart sound at you. Like a bull horn. Nobody answers the Blart sound. Also it startles you when you hit it. It jars your nerves and sets your hair on end. Keep shopping.
Camera moves in on shopping cart. Camera person is pushing the cart along so shooting through the cart giving perspective they are the shopper/consumer/parent. It stops at end of aisle. Zoom up high. Look, there’s the holy grail – the one with three little letters on it: IEP (Individual education plan for those of you not familiar with our special needs alphabet). Why is it so high up on a shelf near the ceiling where you cannot reach it? Jump for it, Mom and Dad. Come on, you can get it. What’s that? You almost hit it, and then they moved it. They hit the IEP quota for the year at 9:02 a.m. and you got there at 9:03. DRAT! Well, there’s always next year. Someone hits the shopping cart with their cart because there is a mad rush over to your area of the store. You extricate your cart and move on. Someone in sound effects department will hit the censor button here to mask all the swearing going on in the corner from which the IEP button has just vanished.
There is one more button that reads: “No problem, we love parent feedback.” It is nailed to the floor. It makes no noise, but when you hit it sometimes it responds like a bobble head car toy and Nods. That is all. Nodding. Nodding. It taunts you until you contemplate kicking it. Shopping cart backs up and looks like it’s getting ready to ram into the bobble head.
Cue image of the That Was Unbelievably Hard button again.
Back to School for special needs parents is not a cutesy TV commercial for parents trying to get their special needs kids what they need in public school. It can be a totally frustrating anxiety inducing experience. Can you relate?