Friday, February 19, 2010

The same boat

On Saturday, our base is hosting a Special Needs Conference for the families enrolled in the EFMP program. EFMP stands for Exceptional Family Member Program and is basically a computer database program that labels the families as having a special need. Just in case we get orders to a new base, they can review our EFMP and see if the base can support the family. We all have read how that works in my previous rants about the program. It's a completely flawed system and sadly the people running it wouldn't know a special need from the man on the moon. Anyway, I'm excited about the conference. I am curious as to what the Conference has to offer, what information, what programs.

I have to tell you that I'm hesitate to go. Often, disabilities like Emmie's, get the cold shoulder because it's not something you "see". You can't look at Emmie and tell that she has a need beyond most 3rd graders. And if you spend time playing with her, chances are, you won't notice either. But if you spend time with everyday activities, around the house and doing schoolwork, you'll notice somethings different. It frustrates me that disabilities like Emmie's get swept under the rug and not taken seriously. Our insurance won't cover any additional programs for Emmie. Not even a dime for anything that will help her be successful in school, help her auditory memory skills grow, help her processors move faster, NOTHING. But let's label her as ADHD and we'll have workshops for her, we'll have support groups. I'm sure you'll hear my ADHD rant soon, don't worry, I'll warn you first.

I'm just frustrated. I am working my butt off, along with her teachers, to help keep her head above water. It would be nice to get support, nice to get validation, nice to get a "hey, we didn't know this was a problem..what can we do to help." Instead of looking at me like I'm crazy. But, I'm going to keep an open mind about the Conference. I'm going in the hopes of meeting other people who are in the same boat and can relate. I'm going with the hopes of finding a resource that will help Emmie. Reluctantly, I'm going to walk in the room and put on my pretend smile and see what happens.

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