Rest In Peace O Captain, My Captain

I first saw Robin Williams on an episode of Happy Days way back in 1978. He was this alien named Mork from the planet Ork. He soon received his own series, and ever since then, he has made us laugh and made us cry.

Williams died today from an apparent suicide. Apparently he had been battling depression for several years. We don’t always know what is going on in someone’s head, but if you suspect something, please get help for that person. If you are feeling suicidal, take the time and the courage to ask for help. It only takes one time to die, but several opportunities exist to make a lifetime.

I will probably best remember Williams in his Oscar winning role for Good Will Hunting. Only Sean Maguire could penetrate Will Hunting’s hard shell and help him find his peace. Williams gave that character a personality I had never seen before in any of his roles, or since. Other memorable roles are Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poet’s Society, Hook and Good Morning Vietnam.

We lost one of the greats today folks.

You’ll Never Guess What My Son Got In The Mail Yesterday!!! Will He Go? Hell No!!!

So I get home from work yesterday, go to the mailbox, and I see this in there:

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For those unfamiliar with this story, please read this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/disability-discrimination-local-church-youth-leader-assaults-my-son/

and this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eagles-wings-ministries-started-their-bible-school-this-week-parents-beware/

and this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/the-eagles-wings-ministries-and-pizza-google-search/

Okay, now that you know the lowdown, I will address the rest of this post to Eagles Wings Ministries. before you go, please don’t go to this bizarre Lion King Pride Rock thing. A guy named Jim Jones had some church thing with Kool-Aid once. Stay home, watch Shark Week. It’s free, and your children won’t be emotionally scarred. But if you do go, watch your kids, especially if they don’t go on the slip and slide! Back to the church that may have named themselves after a Bette Midler song.

Are you out of your friggin’ mind? You knew my son lived in this neighborhood. You couldn’t have done just a tiny bit of research to know which mailbox NOT to put your Lion King Thing inside of? Really? Do you honestly think for one second I would bring my child back to your Child Abuse-Denial Church? The odds of me ever bringing him back to your little safari adventure are about as great as me bringing him to special education night at Campus Community School with Janet Asay Miller and Chuck Taylor. My bad, Chuck isn’t there anymore. He’s too busy blowing the Charter School Network trumpet. Or is that Kendall? You can never tell these days. Hey Readers, did you check this out: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/the-charter-school-network-wants-you-to-comment-cmon-special-needs-parents-lets-comment-netde-edude-delaware_gov/ or this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/googling-delaware-charter-schools-network-special-education-netde-edude-delawarebats/

Whoa, got off track there. Too busy shameless plugging when I was talking about your cult, er, uhm, AHEM, Church! You see, this almost went away. Right after (and I mean literally, right after, I posted the Eagles Wings and Pizza Google thing, I saw an article from the News Journal which prompted this: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/breaking-news-feds-want-to-intervene-in-delaware-special-education/ and I that got me upset too. But that was a good thing, cause I’ve done a bit of investigating to find out what was up with that: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-netde-edude-del_gov-destateboarded-usedgov/ and https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-part-2-netde-edude-usedgov-delaware_gov/ and https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/part-3-of-the-delaware-doe-the-eye-of-the-hurricane-in-special-education-netde-edude-usedgov-delaware_gov/ All those stories totally kicked your ass in terms of readers. But up until my last story about your bird church, the story of how your Youth Group Leader assaulted my son got the most readers. And people still read it, just about every day since.

But I’m sure you don’t want to hear about blog statistics. Let’s get back to disability discrimination! I never heard back from you guys at all. We left a message with your “district” headquarters, but they never called. Maybe they were feeding kids at summer camp like it’s ration night in London during the Blitz in World War II. Just because I got distracted on my special education blog with, you know, special education, doesn’t mean I forgot about you. I drive past your church all the time. And instead of what I used to think before my son went to your famine dinner youth group, “Wow, that church is empty all the time”, I now think “That’s where Stacie Bohannon told my son to consider his ways before and after she kicked, tripped, and pushed him to the ground.”

In any event, just between us, you may want to keep the kids away from Miss You-Know-Who. I understand this event will have trips through the Amazon Rainforest, the African Savannah and The Australian Plains (which most people call “The Outback” by the way, they even named a steak house after it. Oh wait, don’t want families to think they are getting steak. Gotcha!). Kids might get pushed into quicksand, thrown off a cliff, or kicked by a kangaroo if Miss You-Know-Who has her way. Just sayin’. Since your going with The Lion King theme, you might want to have parents stay away from Miss Scar.

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I have to ask. Why the whole Lion King theme? That would have been cool if it was, I don’t know, 1994! Kids these days aren’t into Lion King that much. Their more into The Lego Movie and the other 50 movies Disney has released since the Simba Death movie. Whatever floats your boat. Speaking of boats, did you check this out dear readers: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/indian-river-student-injured-in-classroom-titanic-experiment/ Dammit, I strayed again. Sorry Eagles Wings. I keep doing that, don’t I? What was I saying? Oh yeah, your theme. If your going to go for an older movie theme, might I suggest this:

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But I do see you have more food bait for families to attend your event. More pizza slices cut into four pieces for kids? Or are you going to try new stuff, like rotisserie chicken and the kids get to eat the skin? Or maybe it will be spaghetti night, and each child will get three strands of spaghetti with ketchup! Will drinks be provided or will they have to drink from that nasty water fountain again?

Good luck with the rumble through the jungle Eagles Wings. If I hear any police sirens this week, Monday to Friday, August 11th to the 15th, from 6pm to 9pm, it won’t be hard to guess where they are going! Hakuna Matata!

Why I Care About Special Education in Delaware

I wish I could answer that question with an easy simple sentence, but I can’t.  Before my son was diagnosed with Tourette’s and all it’s friends, I can honestly say I didn’t give too much thought to special needs children.  It just wasn’t in my limited radar.  They were there, and I would see them sometimes, but it wasn’t a major part of my world.  And then a funny thing happened.  It became my world.  My family became very different then.  Every moment, every action, I saw the label.  I saw my son as different, as “not normal”.  I was in denial for a long time.  Not because of him, but because my mind, my heart, it couldn’t accept what was right before my eyes.

Over time, this changed.  My son’s disabilities were with me every waking moment.  I tried to hide from it, to run away from it, but they were there, saying “Help me Daddy”.  And I’ve tried.  For the longest time I thought if I just treated him like every other normal child, maybe things would change.  But they didn’t.  I had to take a strong look at myself before I could accept him for who he was.  I had to, and still have to, realize that it doesn’t matter what others think.  It doesn’t matter, at all.  Let them judge, let them stare.  It’s reality.

First and foremost, I am a husband and a father.  My family isn’t the perfect Norman Rockwell family that so many dream of.  I know I did for a long time, but it’s just not in the cards.  But what I have is something better.  I have something real.  Something so crazy and imperfect that it makes the most sense in the world.  I get to see something some can never see.  I see human emotion in it’s pure, truest form.  Love, anger, sadness, happiness, jealousy, hope.  It’s all there.   My son has the ability to display all of these.  But it’s more than emotions.  It’s like they are colors.  Beautiful, radiant colors, that shine the brightest in his soul.

Conversations I had with people in the past used to consist of my latest TV show craze, whether it was X-Files, Lost, or Game of Thrones. I would talk about music, some politics, but for the most part I was a very self-centered person. My world was MY world and I felt people were crazy for not liking what I liked. Then a little thing became a big thing, and before I knew it, I was fully immersed in a cause. It didn’t happen overnight. It built up for a long time, and I didn’t even realize it.

When my son started having numerous problems at his old school, I figured he was just a misfit of sorts and he liked causing trouble. But it continued, and I knew something was off, but I didn’t know what. Eventually, I found out. He had Tourette’s Syndrome. And ADHD. And Sensory Processing Disorder. And OCD. And Anxiety. And Depression. He wasn’t even in double digits yet, and he had all of this to look forward to. I didn’t have the slightest clue how to help him, and I’ll be honest, sometimes I still don’t.

I don’t expect perfection. Let’s get that on the table right now. I accept mistakes, if they are made with the right intentions. But when the “old school” denied my son services that should have been his by federal law, I was pissed off. When I fully realized the scope of it all, I was well beyond pissed off. So I researched everything. Schools. The DOE. The Government. Common Core. Rodel. Smarter Balanced Assessments. The Charter School Network. What I found was a clear path, visible to those who follow the steps.

It’s the oldest game in the world. Survival of the fittest. Cavemen did it, and those in power do it now. They don’t want to relinquish their power and they will hold onto it as long as they can. Those who get in their way are pushed aside. But something new and bizarre is happening in the power landscape. The Power People are getting together and banding together. They are forcing their will on the people through coercion and specific techniques. And it all begins with education.

We think we know what’s going on, but there are depths and levels of which most people don’t have a clue. It’s a game of chess, and their pieces have been placed in a potential checkmate position for a long time.