Thursday, February 23, 2012

Living under the eye of the law

I have three children, two of whom are either disabled or sick.  My oldest daughter, 11, has Asperger’s Syndrome.  She was diagnosed last year after a battery of tests performed by an experienced psychologist in Lincoln.  She also completed an intense vision therapy program and continues to have an on-going occupational therapy program.  Due to all those appointments, plus a few small sicknesses, we hit the 20 day mark sometime in April 2011.  The social worker gathered all my data and the county attorney declined to prosecute.

Fast forward to this year.  This same daughter missed two full weeks of school in September after pneumonia was diagnosed later than it should have been.  She then missed another week because she caught influenza (and yes, she had been vaccinated).  Now, on top of her weekly occupational therapy appointments—only 1.5 hours missed per week—her immune system is weak and she is catching every little virus she comes across.  We are now at 23 days absence.

In addition, my second daughter, who is 9, had been diagnosed with IBS, anxiety disorder, and, as of yesterday, vestibular migraines.  She also missed a full week of school with a kidney infection.  So now we’re somewhere around day 18 for her.

We have clearly had an unusal fall as far as attendance goes.  And I have documented every sickness by going to the doctor and wasting their time and my insurance co-pay so I can get a note even though I know we have a migraine situation occurring.   Or my oldest has a 100.5 fever.  Or the middle one hasn’t been able to poop for two days and needs to take a load of Miralax.

In light of all this, our school social worker, who has been exceedingly supportive and helpful with us, told me this week she is concerned that the county attorney will only see that I have one child who was “on the list” both last year and this year and another child who is joining her.   It doesn’t matter that they both are excelling in school.  It also doesn’t matter that my kindergarten-aged son has attended every school day but one. (Because I’m going to drive him 15 minutes to school each day and let the others be truant?  Really?)

I asked if I should get an attorney at this point.  The social worker said that the first round is basically herding the parents into the courtroom and having the judge “read the riot act” to them.  Hmmm…let me think about that…NO WAY am I going to be berated by someone for following the school’s handbook and keeping my kids out of school when necessary.  I’m so frustrated.

So I’m holding on to the rollercoaster as it nears its apex.  Bring it on.


  1. I've been going through the court with my daughter....its been off and on for about 4 years, this year she has been doing better and the caseworker called this morning to say that they are requesting that she become a ward of the state...really?? she has had no other issues other then not getting to school on they threaten to take her away. Its her senior year, she has been excited about homecoming, senior pics, prom, graduation walking across the stage and this?? If the state of Nebraska was waiting to crush her good job! Dont trust any of'll know who you are really against because when you enter the court room all those caseworkers and helpers will be sitting on the opposite side of the table from you...they are not your friend. imo, they are there to do a job and keep getting a paycheck.

  2. Anonymous: Would you be willing to contact me confidentially? We want to help. You can send me a private message via Facebook.