The IEP was finally held for the student whose grandmother is concerned about the fact that he likes “girly” things…Despite my previous distaste for her clear sexism, I warmed up to her a tad at the IEP meeting. I know plenty of people have the ability to dismiss all immigrants to this country (for whatever reasons they think are valid), but when you have a woman speaking to you through a translator about how much better the education system is here, and thanking you for supporting her grandson – while his mother continues dabbling in the drug trade in Mexico – it is hard not to feel at least a little empathy. The child we were meeting for was born very prematurely, is developmentally delayed, and is being evaluated for other medical issues (because someone finally convinced the grandmother that a physical evaluation and medical care was worth the risk of deportation). The grandmother told us through tears how grateful she is that he even is allowed in school – in Mexico, she explained, the child’s older brother was expelled for epilepsy.

The heaviness of the meeting was interrupted by an unexpected fire alarm. While standing around waiting to be allowed back into the building, I asked our speech therapist if she knew why one of our students wasn’t coming to speech therapy, thereby preventing me from ever completing an assessment on him. The speech therapist explained, “His mom said she has very bad gas and has been on bed rest for it.” I’m not sure how she managed to relay that information to me with a straight face, but the mother is not pregnant, and truly has not brought her child to speech therapy because of rumored gas issues. Awesome. 

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