Sorry, Sydney’s Not Smart Enough




Brooke, you will never be able to have children. Brooke, Sydney has autism…and epilepsy. Brooke, I had an affair. This case is closed your marriage is dissolved.

All of these statement broke me down to the lowest points in my life. Just when I thought I had heard all of the worst possible news that someone could tell me. I was wrong.  Hearing the next statement hurt me to the core. It hurt because I knew this would be my biggest battle yet. Those other comments were nothing compared to the pain that I would feel next.

I am not going to reveal the name of the teacher, the school district or state that this incident occurred. That’s not the focus of the blog. The focus of the blog is remain classy, and use the words of others that were meant to hurt you as your weapon for survival.

The day that Sydney’s teacher told me in these exact words. “Sydney is not smart enough to be included in that class.” Was the day I knew why people snap. All I saw was red and it was hard for me to breathe. I could not believe what I just heard. How could I send my child to school with a teacher that had given up on her so early in the school year?

In my head I was thinking. Jesus just saved your life, Hallelujah, in my Tyler Perry’s Madea voice. I kept it together and told the teacher that I would need to take Sydney with me. Then I explained that I would like to go home and reflect on what just happened. She knew I would request an emergency IEP meeting. She was trying to close the barn doors. But it was too late the horses were already out!

That day I cried for hours. I felt lost, scared, pissed, angry and hurt. The worse feeling was that I had to send her back to school. I had to work. I felt so guilty that I wasn’t there for her. Eventually when we met. I had an opportunity to share my concerns. Her statement was inappropriate and unprofessional. I fought back tears as I read my statement. I made sure to make copies for everyone at the meeting.

Let’s focus on how Sydney is smart? Will you take the time to watch her learning style? She may not be the “smart” you are looking for. But she is capable of learning and has proven that. I want my child included! If you don’t want to teach her. Please send the work home and I will modify the curriculum for her. It is hard enough that she can’t earn a diploma.

Today she can tell me about Egypt, figure out passwords, and memorize keystrokes. Sydney can cook, read, spell, type, and play a freaking lute!!!!! Sydney is smart.

It was that day that I would make sure Sydney was included. I would teach her the best way I knew how. I will be her voice. Being calm is powerful.

I expect great things from Sydney. She has done things that doctors, teachers and therapists said that she never would accomplish.

2 thoughts on “Sorry, Sydney’s Not Smart Enough

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