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Thread: sorry to leave you all hanging! here's our update:

  1. #1
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    Default sorry to leave you all hanging! here's our update:

    How wonderful to sign on and see all of your thoughtful posts! I have been without a computer because my FIL went into the hospital unexpectedly on Friday a.m., and dh rushed to be with him (2 hours away) and took the computer in case he needed to do research. FIL is now better, dh is home, and I am catching up!

    I managed to skate the issue through with Evan this Saturday because (1) with dh away we didn't have a car and couldn't have gone anyway, and (2) we were "on call" to get on a train if FIL took a turn for the worse, and Evan knew that we were waiting to hear.

    I took that opportunity tell Evan that he is "graduating" from Miss Miae and we are going to find a wonderful new teacher with whom he can learn to play even more things. He was sad, but he understands the concept because he recently left his preschool to start K. He did not ask, and I did not volunteer, when his last session with Miae will be. Luckily, we have an appointment on the 19th to go visit a new music school and see if we like it. I have been talking that up (showed Evan their brochure) and, if he asks about Miae next weekend, I will just say "we're going to [the new place] on Monday!"

    We did have a rough moment when he was practicing his new song on Sunday and said "I can't wait to show Miss Miae that I know the third line!" I just said "it will be even more fun to show your new teacher all that you know!" Gulp.

    I had left Miae two phone messages and dh left her two also, asking to talk (both before and after we knew that she had revealed his medical info). She finally called dh back on Friday, but she refused to say anything more than that she would not be “comfortable” seeing Evan again. Dh was frantic to avoid the hurt to Evan, and kept her on the phone 15 mins explaining and begging. She wouldn’t budge. So believe me, now I know that she does not really care about him, and she is just defensive and unprofessional, and a lot of other words I could say . . . .

    So, I did something evil. But kind of funny (if you ask me). After she spoke with dh I sent her one last email begging her to see Evan. With the subject line “please don’t hurt Evan,” I told her that we have been through many transitions of teachers/therapists and Evan cannot go “cold turkey”; it will be a hurt that won’t heal. I told her I am afraid that he will quit piano. I told her that if she cares about him, she will give him a half-hour that will save him a world of hurt. And . . . I cc’d her friend the therapist. OK, I am ducking . . . tell me I am evil! I figured hey . . . she brought her friend the therapist into this, maybe it would help! I was desperate.

    Of course I did not hear back (from either of them!). Dh got home today and it turns out that he has totally turned the corner and is furious at Miae, wants to send her a letter, report her to whatever organization she belongs to (we have to figure that out!). So that is good, dh and I are on the same page. Although honestly I am "past" the anger now, and just want to warn other parents.

    I do think that we have to wait until we have a new teacher before we do something “official” to complain about what she did. I am a little afraid that she would go on a rampage and get us blacklisted at the other close-by schools. I mean, we certainly know that she is not concerned with Evan’s best interest!

    Dh and I are going to have a “graduation” party for Evan, I think, and make a big deal out of the transition (even though Miae won’t be here, we can probably enlist some neighbors to come over for cake!). Wish us luck! And THANK YOU all for your support and concern!

    Lisa

  2. #2
    NancyR's Avatar
    NancyR is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Ya know...if the piano teachers friend is really a therapist..

    would she need to be licensed in your state? I know here in NY, you need to be licensed and you can verify the license thru the NYS BOE...

    (Uhm, that way you can see if the parent really IS a therapist...)...

    That I'd probably do just out of curiousity really...

    Glad Even was OK! Sorry to hear about your dh's dad's health issues, and relieved he pulled thru!

    Hugs! Someone cute wants to play with the emoticons! HELP!

    Leela sends these to Evan...



    And, since I told Leela only 3, she's making me sign off, lol!!

    HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! N

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    JulieATL is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Wow, you sound so much more positive....m

    First of all, I hope FIL is ok. The fact that you didn't have to rush on the train over there is a good sign. I hope things are looking up for him.

    Holy moly, are you brave. I LOVE the fact that you copied the other parent/therapist on your email to the teacher. I have to say that if there were any chance the teacher might have responded to your final plea, it was definitely nixed by your cc to the parent, which was really a "dig." But it sounds like you and Evan are moving on and you really don't need her final goodbye after all, though it would be nice. You are not evil, you are a hurt mom and this woman is a nutjob and you were just basically pi$$ed off! You know, come to think of it, if this parent/friend lady really were a therapist and a true friend, she would be telling Miss Piano teacher to cut the crap, call you and have a healthy transition with Evan. (I'm a therapist, and I'd totally tell my friend that if I were involved in this situation). So they're both ninnies!

    But I'm glad to read that you're pretty much past the anger and you're already on the way to finding a new music school for him. Evan will the better off for it. How do people like this wind up working with children anyway?????

    Glad that dh finally realized how nutty this woman is. Good thing he spoke with her so he could see she truly was not thinking of Evan's best interests, just hiding behind her own poor judgment and guilt and righteousness. It feels so much better when you're on the same page, doesn't it?

    I found the Music Teacher's National Association online (mtna.org) so maybe she's a member of that or a local chapter. I'd definitely try to find a local association or licensing agency that you can file a complaint with after you find a new teacher. I believe it would be considered unethical to fire a client, particularly a minor child, without a transition/closure period.

    Well, good luck and keep us posted!

    - Julie

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    danellsar is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Just out of curiosity, I called my dd's piano teacher and asked her if there was some professional organization that she belonged to or knew of. She does not belong, and says most of the other music teachers she knows also do not. They just have a small business license and advertise wherever.

    I described the gist of your situation to her, and she, too, was apalled! She said that she'd NEVER talk to someone else about one of her student's personal medical history without asking the parent first. Her comment was that this was just common sense to keep private information private.

    Hope you and dh find a good easy way to help Evan transition to a new teacher.
    Ellen

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    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Wow, glad things are looking up!

    Glad that dh's father is better too.

    Glad that dh is on the same page!

    Glad that you are feeling better about it.

    Sounds like that teacher is a horrible person!!!!!!!!!!!

    -Angi

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    Thanks everyone! Yep, it was definitely a "dig" when I cc'd the other parent! I figured I had nothing to lose at that point. Dh and I had both already left phone and email messages saying the same thing, and she still refused to see Evan again. Dh said it was like talking to a brick wall. I did think (as Julie mentioned) that the therapist/parent/friend might talk some sense into her -- but no go! Whether that means that the therapist tried and failed, or that the therapist is also a ninny, I don't know (but you'd think that the therapist would also have pointed out to her that she was in the wrong for sharing the medical info). Oh well.

    Nancy, I did find the therapist on the web site of the university where she's on the counseling staff, so I guess she's legit.

    The good news is that Evan practiced and practiced yesterday until he learned all of his new song, and we acted all excited that he will play that for his new teacher. So that is good -- his enjoyment appears to have survived!

    I just hope that we can quickly find a new teacher whom he "clicks" with. That is now the key to getting through this smoothly. Wish us luck!

    Lisa

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    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    good luck finding a new teacher.
    so sorrya bout the other teacher, but Evan is probably in the long run better off without her.

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    SueW is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Lisa - I am confused. I went back and read your original post about the piano concert and the third row. You didn't tell the teacher that Evan has CP, but you expect her to notice and accomodate his mobility issues on her own. Then, she consults with a friend, who is a therapist, asking for advice or information. She should have come to you, and she did not - but you don't want to share his medical information. Why not? Doesn't his teacher need to know so that she can make necessary accomodations for him? How can she be expected to without knowing? I am confused, and also worried that Evan may be the victim here as his love of music may be compromised.

    Of course I do not know the whole situation, but I do have similar issues with Keagan - as Nancy does with Leela, etc. Keagan is now 9 and in 3rd grade. I tell his teachers what his diagnosis is. It is in his 504 (if they read it, which I doubt). I tell his swim coaches, so they know that Keagan cannot do some things and know how hard to push him on others (and he's doing great and has great coaches who expect him to do what he can). But I would not ever expect someone to watch him walk, see his limp and scars, and form some opinion of their own - because it would likely be wrong and worse than reality.

    So, why could you not have taken the piano teacher aside (and she seems like a good piano teacher) when she kept asking him to keep his knees togetehr and just simply say, "Evan has minor cerebral palsy. It affects his balance and he may have trouble keeping his knees together. Other than that, he is basically fine." This would have given her the small amount of information she needs, and opened the door for her to accomdate his needs and to ask for more information IF she needed it.

    I think what was hardest for you was watching Evan make his way painfully down the bleachers in public. I know how hard it is to watch strangers stare at your son's disability. But you know what - you get used to it, and often all it takes is the smallest bit of information to stem that curiosity and redirect attention away from the disability and back toward the person with the disability.

    Keagan just says: "I was born with a short leg." Some kids have a question or two more, and then they go on to normal kid stuff. More often they just say, "Oh" and go on. Adults usually ask a couple questions about treatment - and then that is that.

    I hope this helps some - I am trying to understand your situation and since Keagan is older and has faced this type of issue more often, maybe his and our experiences can help.

    Hugs to you and to Evan -

    Sue

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    Hi Sue, just to clarify: I did not expect the teacher to notice Evan's problems and figure out an accomodation on her own. I told her very specifically what his difficulty was, and made a specific request. I said "Evan has a hard time with stairs; can he sit in the front row?" She said no.

    The teacher knew that he has trouble walking, and that he needs help climbing onto the piano bench. Stairs had never before entered the scene. But it's not like this was the first time she had heard that Evan has motor problems. With the background of his problems walking and climbing, it didn't seem like a leap to expect her to take seriously my statement that he has trouble on stairs. Because there were open seats in the front row, and other kids sitting there, the accomodation I requested did not require any advance planning (not that we knew in advance that there were stairs anyway, because it was a new place).

    In my view, describing functionally what Evan can and can't do gives people specific information that they can actually use. As Nancy pointed out, saying "cerebral palsy" often creates *more* problems. People tend to assume that "CP" means a far greater level of disability than it does. In fact Evan's soccer coach told me today that he thought that all kids with CP also have MR. (And it was only after I said "CP" that the piano teacher questioned whether to continue teaching him; she had never had a problem when I said "he has trouble climbing up on the bench.")

    Rather than leave people to guess at what "CP" means in Evan's case (it's such an umbrella term), I prefer to say things like "he has difficulty on stairs without railings." Or, as I said to her on the other topic, "Evan can't bow with his knees straight, but he is working very hard at getting better, because he wants so much to please you." (Evan's school teachers know his full diagnoses, of course, because they see the 504; and because I know that they are trained professionals who know what "CP" means.) It may be different for Keagan's diagnosis; maybe naming it actually increases people's knowledge base. But "CP" can do very much the opposite.

    I was not at all upset that the teacher consulted with her friend. I was upset that she did not delete Evan's name before forwarding my email (his full name was the subject line, which came back to me intact) with his medical information. It was particularly improper because her friend is the parent of another child in the school. It was not a random third person to whom Evan's name would mean nothing. Respecting his privacy would not have been hard.

    I do agree that sometimes it's hard to see Evan struggling with physical tasks, but that is not what happened here. I couldn't see him; parents were sitting on the other side of the room and couldn't see the kids' aisle at all. So, I have to say that in this case, I was definitely not suffering from watching him.

    Thanks for your input -- hope this helps clarify.

    Lisa

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    SueW is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Hi Lisa - Yes, this clarifies things greatly. I misunderstood when I first read and thought that you were not telling the teacher anything and leaving her to just notice and accomodate him. I am surprised and educated to learn that people have strange ideas about CP! And I did think the therapist was a third-party, not someone who knew Evan.

    As for Keagan, his diagnosis is so rare that I guess it is lucky that people have no idea what it is. If I told them he has Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency - I'd get blank stares and incomprehension. Even from MD's (it's frequency is about 1:200,000). So we just say he was born with a short leg - which is part of it (and a deformed hip, deformed femur, absent cruciate ligaments, undersized patella, tibia, fibula, etc, etc).

    Now that I know the music teacher only considered dropping him AFTER learning the CP diagnosis - and that she had a pupil who loves to play! - I hate her too.

    Hopefully you will find a teacher who appreciates his enthusiasm. I now realize how fortunate Keagan is to have a swimming coach who not only accomodates him but is enthusiastic about everything he accomplishes. - Another person to add to the Thanksgiving special thanks list - and I hope Evan finds a piano teacher who sees Evan and not "the kid with CP."

    Take Care - Sue

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