“So, do you get to keep the rope?” he asked me on the way out of the Township Development Standards Committee meeting.
I was there, with son John in tow, because my neighbor complained about John’s therapy climbing rope in a front-yard tree.
I started my 3-minutes at the hearing by saying,
“This is a sad affair. My neighbor’s wife is a retired special ed teacher, and I don’t understand this.”
I went on to briefly discuss John’s interventions, mid-line crossover, primitive reflexes, building skills for the classroom, my role in community learning projects, and why I couldn’t give up on his interventions.
I said we had only 1 branch on the entire property which supports his (physical, educational) learning.
I finished by respectfully reminding the full room of two national laws protecting the rights of the disabled:
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 2004, Part B, which discusses physical learning and physical education.
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act, 2008, which discusses how the law can be “interpreted broadly”.
(I have been prepping for John’s annual ARD, so the laws have been very weighty in my vertical learning curve these days.)
After brief discussion, they gave me the conditions of the temporary approval of my “improvement”.
So, on our way out, when asked, I got to tell him, “Yes”.
He nodded in approval, and I took it for a vote for Underdog John.
John did quite well during the meeting, and got excited when he saw his house, front yard, and rope up on the big screen.
He shook hands and thanked the men at the door as we left.
And, of course, he just had to make a poor behavior choice, so I had to make him “do it right”, with a small audience.
So, maybe this helps you when you face yet another unexpected teachable moment.
As John says, “practice brave”, and speak up.
Peace be with us,