March 23, 2010. Today is an all time low. I spend the better part of the afternoon and evening vacillating between uncontrolled sobs and searing anger. Pat and I meet with Peter’s principal after lunch to discuss the poop chore and “beating” comments made by the school psychologist last Thursday. We talk about building trust and the need to have this woman removed from our son’s “team” so that we can focus on helping him improve his cognitive skills rather than constantly having to defend ourselves against callous, unfounded, and harmful allegations. We’ve been making this request since Peter started first grade. But this time he hears us loud and clear and assures us that she won’t be interacting with our son anymore. Pat and I leave thinking we’ve finally put our long-standing problem with this woman to rest. The kids are happy when I pick them up from school and I have an unusually pleasant conversation with Peter’s teacher, who is often reticent with Pat and me. There’s a car in our driveway when we get home. I soon learn that someone from the school – and the school psychologist is the prime suspect – has filed a complaint with Child Protective Services. Yep. The school, or at least a representative thereof, has now officially accused us of child abuse. Apparently giving Peter the consequence of doing chores to deter his day time penchant for wetting, including picking up dog poop in the yard with plastic covering his hands, equates to “excessive corporal punishment” in the eyes of our accuser. Also, my forgetting to send a change of clothes in case Peter wets at school on a day he’s wearing underpants, a request made by his teacher the day before we left for Atlanta, has been transformed into a “refusal to send extra clothes in an attempt to embarrass.” I don’t think the principal was aware of any of this when we met earlier, but trust has been destroyed and so I can’t be sure. Before the CPS investigator comes to our home, which is where I learn of these spurious allegations, he pulled Sophie and Peter out of their classrooms and interviewed them. I have no choice but to send the kids to the playroom in the basement to deal with him and this manufactured situation. Sophie is crying and worried about what’s happening but I can’t’ console her. I’m sure the whole school knows by now and half the town to boot. Ours is a small, tight-knit community where news spreads fast but where I pray judgment takes a slower, more reasoned course. The very polite investigator speaks to Pat, Lindy and I for about an hour and says he needs to call Peter’s pediatrician and psychiatrist to make sure they’ve never noticed anything unusual or untoward. I can’t go into this any further, we’re under investigation after all, but I do find certain parts of this saga ironic. To our knowledge, no one at the school has ever picked up a book or read an article we’ve suggested regarding FAS or attachment issues, though we’ve distributed plenty. These people know little to nothing about a very complex, deceiving set of disabilities, yet they feel empowered, even obligated, to interject their “expertise” into our personal lives and private decisions. If I had to bring my airplane to an auto mechanic, I’d expect him to study car repair before disassembling the engine. A pediatrician has no qualms about admitting she knows almost squat about prostate cancer. But apparently certain educators, by right and title, know everything there is to know about all children, all disabilities, and all psycho-social issues. And if you’re so bold as to question this absolute authority and supreme knowledge? If you’re so bold as to fight for your child’s future, for your family’s stability, by pointing out when these folks are out of their league and causing more harm than good? They get hurt, offended, even outraged. And guess what? They can call CPS and there’s nothing you can do. Yes, this woman is making us suffer, surely. But mostly she’s hurting Peter, the very child she purports to protect. Where do we go from here? Homeschooling? Do we move again? I don’t know the answer but I do know this: the experiment of full-disclosure and presumption of good-will has failed. Miserably.