Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last Rites

Dear Scottish Rite Lady,
Here is what I do understand from our conversation. I understand that you do not accept autistic kids into your speech program. Actually, I really do understand that, even if I do not like it. I'm assuming you have policies, reasons, mission statements, whatever, and that I can grasp.

But here is what else I understand from our conversation. You are young, tactless, and you clearly do not have children.

Now, for what I do not understand about our conversation.

I mean, what were you thinking? "Yeah." ?

You called, left a message, asked me to call you back. So, I'm thinking, okay, maybe you're signing us up for speech for the rooster. I have been on your waiting list for over a year, before even we had a diagnosis, after all. I have not only completed all your paperwork and requirements, but I sent you an undeniably adorable photo of my rooster boy, with a not too shabby personal letter attached. But look, when I sent it, I still expected to get turned down. I just expected a form letter or something. When I got your message, I thought, okay, it worked: you liked my letter, you want to help my cute boy. Or you are going to turn me down at least very gently and supportively (and in fact today is a day I could use a little gentle support). Why else would you leave a message and ask me to call you? Apparently, it was very important to you to say this to me, live, person to person:

"I just wanted to give you a heads up, we don't take autistic kids."

That was what you wanted to tell me? Put the emphasis on whatever word of that sentence you want, it sounds just as lousy. THAT was what you wanted to tell me? That was what you WANTED to tell me?

All I could muster in response to your tone, your comment, was, "Oh." To which you responded, adeptly, pointedly, "Yeah." And then you said a formal rejection would come by mail, and goodbye.

Of course, the form letter hasn't come yet, but I'm sure it has ten times the warmth that you do. How could it not?

Let me be clear: it is not what you said, it's how you said it.

Let me be clear, too: You can expect me to call and say all this, as well as send you this letter.

If you think double doses of rejection, pulling no punches, offering no kindness, makes good policy, well then, so do I.

Rooster's Mama (Bear)


Niksmom said...

Wow, that totally sucks. BTW, is this a publicly funded program? In any case, I'd ask for a written statement that they don't take autistics and WHY. Then, I'd go to the press. But, that's just MY mama bear getting all riled up on your behalf.

redheadmomma said...

I am so very sorry this happened to you. People suck sometimes. Unfortunately, in our world, there are many people who deal with us who do not yet have kids - and sometimes, that's a lethal combination. Just a lack of understanding and compassion. Of this I am sure: she will be humbled someday.