Sunday, November 9, 2014

Invisible Disability

On Friday Larissa got off of the bus crying. She said that she had hurt her wrist at recess and wanted to see a doctor.  Her recess is in the morning.  She said that she was crying when she hurt it and asked to call me but her teacher wouldn't let her.  She told her to put her head down on her desk. She asked to go to the nurse but her teacher said no.

On the surface her arm looked fine, no swelling and she could use her hand fine but with pain.  However, when a kid asks to see the doctor we listen to them and take them. John took her to our local acute care place where they x-rayed her wrist and determined that she had fractured it.  The doctor was surprised at the results herself.  They put a splint on it and sent her home.  The doctor called it a pull back fracture.  Larissa was playing ball and when she went to catch it her hand got pulled back to the point that it fractured her wrist. 

I imagine it was painful.  I am upset that she was sitting in class all day in pain.  I am upset that she was crying and wasn't allowed to call me when she asked.

Her injury made me think of the struggles that Larissa is having.  To everyone her injury didn't look like and injury, it was invisible.  The only one who could feel the pain was Larissa.  You have to listen to her to understand that there is a problem.

Larissa is living with an invisible disability every day of her life. This article explains what an invisible disability is much better than I could  Invisible disability

On the surface Larissa is a beautiful, active child with no problems.  Underneath she is a tired child who struggles to keep up with her peers every day.  I don't think that her teacher understands that fatigue.

I have asked that she be allowed to call me when she needs to.  The school agrees BUT are afraid that she will take advantage of it.  So far this year she has been able to go to the nurse once, when she had a fever.

At our last meeting her teacher says that she frequently has to wake Larissa in class. At that time I asked that she call me on days in which it is particularly bad.  I know that she has those days.  Some days she comes home complaining of dizziness because she is so tired.  How much learning was she doing in that state.  Her teacher agrees that some days she is not functioning well, her tests scores range from 0 to 100.  However, I have never received any calls because of tiredness, not one.

Once again I will go to the school and I will have it in writing that my daughter must be allowed to call me when she asks.  They are so worried that she will take advantage of that, that they don't allow it.  What is the purpose of stating that she can call home if they don't allow it?

I will also write that if she is in pain and wanting to call me that they need to allow it.  People with chronic fatigue actually feel pain more than others.  It would be my decision whether I pick her up or not.

My husband is very close to pulling her out of school.  I am torn because on those days in which she is making those 100's she is so proud.  I think that we need to readjust how we deal with those days where she is making a zero.  That part falls to her teacher.  I hope that when Larissa goes back to school on Monday with her splint that her teacher realizes that she should have allowed Larissa to call me.  We will see.  I am working on that letter now, open to any suggestions.  I am trying to not be emotional because I could very easily go that way but I know that it isn't the way to go for results.


  1. That is heart-breaking for you and for her! I am so sorry she was hurting all day. It would be very hard for me to keep the emotions out of my letter also. I think I would tell them that given her disabilities that the decision to decide whether she is taking advantage of being able to call is your decision and not theirs and bu not allowing her to call you, they caused a child with an injury to sit in pain all day which exacerbates her other issues. I guess you could say since your child was actually hurt and needed you that if they do not allow her to call you when she asks that you will have to take this to the school board and let them know that your child asked to call you and asked to go to the nurse and was refused. They made a medical decision for your child that they do not have the right to make. Praying for all of yoy!!

  2. Oh I would be FURIOUS with that teacher (I'm a teacher). We had an incident with our son, being denied the bathroom til he had an accident in the class, then he was sent out. Another time the teacher worked him up to tears (1st grade), then sent him to the office because he was "too upset."
    The school has a liability on their hands for L's pain and suffering with her broken wrist. I would consult an attorney, honestly.

  3. I'm sure the teacher will feel really bad. I understand about thinking L will take advantage of it, but you are the mom and know whether she will or not. And you can call her on it if she does. I think she should be allowed to call. I'd rather err on the side of letting the child call. But I had a teacher do that. I've asked that Jasmine be allowed to go to the bathroom whenever she says she has to because of "girl" issues and one teacher told her she should have gone before school started (it was first period and a teacher who really did not like her). She soaked through her khaki (Tan) shorts!!!

  4. Wow, as a teacher myself, I cannot believe that Larissa's needs are not even being taken seriously. I'm so sorry. You are such an amazing advocate for your children, but at the same time, make sure they are growing up to be responsible people. I have no advice-if Larissa was in my class in tears, whether there were arrangements made or not; she'd be allowed to call home. Or at least see a nurse(in our school she'd go to the office since we don't have a nurse on site).

  5. Looking forward to hearing what kind of feedback you get from the teacher regarding the broken wrist. I would be calling people on the carpet!