I love Facebook. Out of all the social media platforms out, it is by far my favourite. I love being able to stay in touch with old friends and with family members who live far away. I love seeing their photos and status updates and I love reading the comments on the things I post. Okay, yes, I could do without the barrage of Candy Crush invites, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoy my time spent on Facebook. Once in awhile, though, Facebook can be the bearer of bad news.
I belong to a few groups that are neighbourhood- and parent-specific. Last night, in one of these groups, a mom posted a question, asking if anyone else in the group had experience dealing with special ed at the TDSB. Apparently, when she called her home school to inquire about their special ed program for her developmentally delayed child, she was told that they did not have a special ed program, and that her child would have to go to an out-of-district school, which meant that her two children would have to attend different schools. I was shocked to read this. I could not believe that it was true. Almost immediately, I asked Mark about it, thinking he would reassure me and tell me that is something that wouldn’t happen, but he confirmed it. Not all schools have special education programs in place, and in all likelihood, Penelope will have to go to a different school than Charlotte.
To say that I am saddened by this news would be an understatement. I am devastated and heartbroken. I am fully prepared for the fact that Penelope will certainly need to attend a special ed program, but I just assumed that our home school would make the necessary accommodations for her. I never, even for a moment, had considered the possibility that she would not be able to go to the same school as her sister. I had this vision in my head of Charlotte being able to look out for Penelope at school, the way she does at home. Penelope adores her big sister, and it makes me so sad to think that they will be at separate schools. It astounds me that the TDSB doesn’t have “equality of access” or some other such phrase as part of their charter.
I mean, sure, I could throw a fit and probably cause enough of a fuss over the next 2 or 3 years to force our home school to accommodate her, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to force the school to accept her. I want Penelope to go to a school that will welcome her and include her and provide her with the best care and most suitable education. I just can’t believe that in Canada, in Toronto, that’s not available at every school.
I suppose that I am just going to have to make my peace with this information, though at this point, I am a long way from accepting it. I shed a lot of tears last night after finding this out, and I’d hoped that upon waking up this morning, I would feel better about it. I don’t. Right now, I feel sad and defeated. And I don’t know how to feel better about this yet.