Several years ago I had a three year-old boy in my class who just seemed "different." He was odd and smaller then the rest but the lead teacher told me 3 year olds can have a wide developmental span and I should not jump to conclusions. I pushed and said I thought the mom needed to know her child was not like the other children. I was told firmly to stay out of it.
This child is now 7 and in my current school. His mom is an assistant just like me for the other preschool classroom. When I saw her son again, I mentioned to my lead teacher (who had continued on as his preschool teacher when the former school I worked at closed) that I thought the boy needed to be tested. He just seemed odd to me. But I could never say what was wrong. He was developing in a forward pattern. He was learning skills and lessons. He had friends. Again, I was told to keep my my nose out of it.
Today I had to hold his mom in my arms as she cried inconsolably. Her doctor is sending her son upstate to a genetic specialist because he is fairly certain he has a rare, untreatable disease. A disease that leads to a slow, painful death. It would not have made a difference if this had been discovered at age 3 or now in a course of treatment. It would have made a difference in the mom's guilt at how she has felt at dealing with such a difficult child. It would have made a difference to have a teacher back her up when she tried to tell her pediatrician that she felt like something was wrong. It would have made a difference to her.
This is why I am seriously thinking of either leaving the teaching field all together or just working with troubled kids. I am tired of being told to keep my mouth shut. I don't think all kids have issues. I am just really observant and get to know a child very well. I listen and observe. Just because I don't have a teacher's certificate doesn't mean I'm not qualified to tell you if your child needs some support.
But I have been beaten down...and this...this leaves me numb. And more than a lot sad.