The things people say…about my son


This is a small sampling of things that have been said to me over the past 9 years by parents on the playground, friends, family, speech pathologists, guidance counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, special education teachers, general education teachers, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, tutors and various people on the street.

“You are STILL swaddling him?”

“He’s fine. Stop worrying, he will talk when he’s ready to talk.”

“He’s fine. Stop worrying, he will walk when he’s ready to walk.”

“Just enjoy him.”

“You need to call Early Intervention for an evaluation since he’s got less than 10 words at this point.”

“He’s very active.”

“He’s a playground bully!”

“He can’t really pay attention.”

“He’s not going to do anything just to please you. That’s just his personality.”

“He isn’t really able to attend to anything.”

“Do you feed him sugar?”

“You need to say NO and mean it.”

“A good spanking might stop that.”

“Give him a nap.”

“Just enjoy him. You are not enjoying him.”

“If you say no and stick to it, he will eventually stop tantruming.”

“He’s going to be fine!”

“He’s too young to care about letters anyways!”

“He’s dangerous and I’m afraid he will hurt himself or others.”

“He’s out of control.”

“He’s so adorable and funny.”

“In some ways, he is an old soul. He is wise beyond his years.”

“He’s improving.”

“He hasn’t made any progress.”

“When I tell him NO, he listens to me. I just am firm with him.”

“I think another school might be better for him.”

“He meets the criteria for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.”

“I cannot diagnose him with an anxiety disorder because of your recent separation which is likely causing his anxiety.”

“He meets the criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and has had these symptoms since he was very young.”

“His disfluency isn’t considered stuttering because it’s still developmentally appropriate.”

“His disfluency qualifies as stuttering.”

“Have you considered that he might be PDD?”

“He has dyslexia.”

“We can’t diagnose dyslexia persay because he has learning disability across all subject areas and the anxiety is so pervasive that we don’t know if he would struggle learning if he did not have the anxiety.”

“He knows 3 letters.”

“He knows 12 letters.”

“He knows 6 letters.”

“He is making progress.”

“We are not sure what to do with him, do you have any suggestions?”

“He is very kind.”

“He cares a lot about the rules.”

“He’s so dramatic.”

“He’s funny.”

“He’s been very weepy this week.”

“He’s going to be fine.”

“He’s really still so young. He’s going to be okay.”

“Some kids don’t learn to read until they are older.”

“My kid didn’t really read until 3rd grade.”

“He just needs a sensory gym.”

“He just needs a good tutor who he will like.”

“He has many of the symptoms of autism, but he’s not autistic.”

“He falls under the autism spectrum. I could diagnose him as autistic or we could just list this long list of diagnoses which are consistent with the neurological condition of autism.”

“Maybe you should just send him to live with his father, if you can’t do it.”

“You should look at schools in Texas.”

“You don’t need a lawyer yet.”

“You need to take time for yourself. What are you doing for you?”

“You pay a flat fee of $4500 and I see your case all the way through to settlement to cover full tuition of private special ed school. If we have to go to a hearing, it’s $1500 more.

“My evaluation with the report and expert testimony will be about $1,000.”

“A full neuropsych evaluation including my participation in meetings/proceedings is $3,500.”

“Summer camp for children with ADHD is $7,500 for 2 weeks. It’s a GREAT program!”

“A full neuropsych evaluation is $6,000 and we have no waiting list. We can do it immediately.”

“We do not deal with insurance.”

“I do not accept insurance.”

“I will file with your insurance company, but they don’t pay very much at all…less than 10%.

“Your claim for the neuropsychological evaluation exceeds our acceptable limit of $125.”

“We have hundreds of applications and only 8 spots open for next year. We will not be able to respond to your application. If you don’t hear from us, then your child is not being considered for a spot.”

“We currently have no spots for 3rd grade next year, but we will keep your application.”

“It sounds like your son is lovely and we would be able to meet his social/emotional needs, but he is too low academically and everyone in his class would be reading far above him.”

“If we offer you a spot, you will need to put down a $10,000 non-refundable deposit to hold the spot and then sue the DOE to cover tuition. If your case is not settled by September, you will need to pay the $57,000 tuition up front and wait for reimbursement from the DOE. That reimbursement would then pay for your second year at the school and so on.”

“He’s so smart.”

“He is able to figure things out that no one else in the group figured out.”

“He’s doing so well.”

“He’s going to be okay.”

“He’s not autistic!”

“People just don’t know how hard it is to have children.”

“Children really aren’t ready to be on their own these days until they are about 25 years old. So he has time.”

“You are doing everything you can to help him!”

(He’s not okay now, but) “He’s going to be okay.”

(We have no idea how, but) “He will learn to read.”

(We have done everything we can so) “We support your decision to seek private school.”

“Things are going to get better.”


About kdiannepannullo

I am a teacher, lover, aunt, creator, writer, sister, liberal, socialist, designer, native Texan, poet, sister-in-law, crafter, student, dreamer, believer, advocate, recovering alcoholic, New Yorker, artist, and passionate consumer of McDonalds and Frito pie.

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