Monday, February 26, 2007

Stupid, stupid school nurse. OK, maybe just unthinking.

Remember the school nurse? The nice lady who held onto the Bandaids and wiped scrapes from when you fell underneath the old open centered merry go round on the playground? Oh, you managed to hang on? I fell off. Anyway, today's school nurse is a far cry from the old days. Today she has to lock up dozens on high powered prescription drugs for her young students. And manage intense behaviors. Often she helps with toileting issues too. She's a busy lady with a serious job. Sometimes she's a complete putz too. Or too busy to think about what she's doing.

Got an email on a Yahoo group I run. Do not wish you were a member. Trust me. It's a lovely group. You don't WANT to be a member of this particular club. Sorry, I'm rambling. Long week plus a snowday. I good man on this list has a young son on the autism spectrum. He gets a note from school today. "Albert (not the boy's name) did not pass his vision test. Call your pediatrician immediately." And Dad, who is a great guy. Funny. Devoted. Energetic. Handsome (I've seen his photo.) Loving husband. And Dad extraordinaire emails the group, VERY WORRIED.

Like rifle shots - many of us old timers fired back responses. Here's one of the little ironies of autism. The child probably has perfect eyesight. However, since he CAN NOT SAY "The E is turned to the left. That row has a star, a duck, a moo cow and a pig." HE FLUNKED the test. The vision test requires verbal skills. Like most IQ tests. So the child who can not speak or speaks very little "flunks."

My Miss M flunked her eye test too. As I told Worried Dad, Miss M can spot the anus on the duck from two miles away. She just can't say "I see the duck's anus and the duck has worms, four of them." So Miss M FAILS. I also had pediatrician tell me "I can't test her hearing. She can't speak." You see, the child has to indicate when she hears the "beep" in the headphones. So we had so devote a DAY to going to a Children's Hospital to take a hearing exam in the chamber where the child just has to turn in one direction according to where she hears the sound. Probably cost thousands in insurance coverage.

That school nurse should have sent a personal note to Dad. Explaining why she couldn't test Albert. He deserved a lot better than "He didn't pass his eye test."

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