Monday, August 2, 2010

Some people just don't get it

Where to start.....Addy has loved to dance since she has been able to get up on her feet. She is constantly dancing to music or singing her own songs to dance to. As she has been getting stronger on her feet, I have seriously started thinking about enrolling her in a simple dance class. She wants to tap. It's all she talks about.

Each week she dances into her therapy and out of therapy. Her therapists have long known that she loves to dance. So about a month ago I got a call from one of the therapists that she had called the dance studio where her own girls attend and the lady was very open to this idea. So I called her. The original idea of hers was that come fall, she would like to start a dance class specifically for students with special needs. However, when I spoke with her on the phone, she told me that she would be willing to allow Addy to join the summer (month of August) dance class and in the fall if not enough kids could be rounded up for the special needs class, then she was welcome to join one of the ongoing classes. So, me, got very excited about this. Addy was thrilled. I got on the website, downloaded the information and registration and promptly sent in my money to sign Addy up for the August tap dance class. The class meets once a week for 4 weeks, a half hour each time and is for 3-5 year olds.

So, over the last several weeks, we prepared. We talked about it, got excited about it, went to the shoe store and bought tap shoes, went to the store and bought dance clothes and even took our tap shoes to therapy so her PT could help her get used to them a little. This little girl is so excited!

Now for the gist of my story.....some people just don't get it. I get a phone call today from the owner (same lady I originally spoke to) and she states that the class has gotten bigger than originally anticipated and that she noticed that I wrote on my registration that I would be willing to into the class and help Addy physically manage. Well, apparently parents are not allowed in the class and if she makes an exception for one then she would have to make an exception for all. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! She claims that she would receive numerous complaints if she allowed me to go into the class. COME don't think that other parents who see a little girl walk in with a walker would understand that the parent is in there for support purposes? She does not think so. I got to hear the line...."I've been doing this for 21 years and I know how parents are."

So, here's the kicker...her offer to make this all better is to give Addison a free private dance lesson. That is so not what this experience is all about. Addison will never be a dancer. This experience was suppose to allow a little girl who is very excited about dancing, participate with her peers to the best of her ability. She obviously doesn't get that. Addy is so excited to go in and dance with her peers and follow the lead of a teacher. We have spent numerous hours talking about what will be expected of her when she attends class.

The lady obviously knew I was upset and ended the conversation by saying just to come anyway and we will see how it goes. Do you really think I want to go now and take my child to a place where I already feel like she isn't accepted? I think not!! She needs a lesson on what including kids with disabilities is all about.

Addison will never be a dancer, she will never play sports, she won't be a gymnast. All I was asking for was for her to have the experience and make her feel welcome.

Now I have to try to explain this to a little girl who is so excited to dance......