As the mother of a totally blind 9 year old son, Josh, who has 2 prosthetic eyes, I have heard many crazy things said to or about him. I have had people ask me if he can see with his prosthetic eyes, I have been asked, "Are you sure he is blind because I swear he is looking right at me." One day as I was walking with him and he was using his cane a man said, "Oh look at you dressed up as a little blind boy today." Now, I have a great sense of humor and can almost always laugh these things off but.... When his 3rd grade teacher approached me yesterday with a complaint about him, it crossed my line! You see, everyday my son waits in his schools main office from 7;30-8:00, while his dad and I volunteer in the school parking lot directing traffic and drop off. (He attends a public elementary school and is in a normal classroom) While he waits, he ususally brings his little digital recorder. He has recordings on it of me reading books to him out loud or he will record he and his friends playing and talking together in the office for that short time. When his teacher walked through the office the other morning and saw his recorder, she asked him if it was recording. He told her that it was and she told him that he needed to turn it off! She said, "you know there is a law against recording people without their permission!"
Josh was very upset when he got home that day from school and told me about what had happened. I just had to laugh! His dad and I told him that he was not breaking any laws and that he could continue to use his digital recorder before school. But yesterday at his IEP meeting, his teacher brought the issue up with me! I couldn't believe it! I informed her that the law states that I cannot record a phone call with another person and then use any incriminating words in that call as evidence against them in a court of law, because it would be inadmissable! I said, "Look, in this age of technology, these kids go to school with cell phones, video tape each other and then post it on the web! Are you really going to make an issue about my blind son using a digital recorder to record himself having fun with his friends before school?!" Her response was simply that she thought it was wrong and was not sure that I had the law correct. She felt that it is rude to record someone without their permission! REALLY????!!! This from the same teacher who complained to me earlier this year that the sound of his brailler makes him crazy and that the vibrations from it through off the calibrations of her Smart Board in her classroom!
I am so grateful today to be the mother of a special needs child! My life is not so meaningless and petty that I would need to go around and pick on little things like that in life! It is sad though, that I need to teach my son, that there are people in this world who are just so unhappy that they feel the need to steal the joy from someone else! Don't we as parents of these kids have enough to deal with without stupid things like this! For now, I take a deep breath and tonite I will resist the urge to record a very special message on his recorder for his teacher......
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