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Something's Not Right
One Family's Struggle with Learning Disabilities
by Nancy Lelewer

From Chapter 3

Invited, but Not Invited Back

As the time approached for Brian to enter three-year-olds nursery school, I tried again to put some of my fears behind me and focus on his strengths. After Brian's initial interview (if "interview" is the right word for asking a child to play in front of someone), the school had made an exception in enrolling him. "His sisters are already going here," Miss Lock, the nursery school teacher, had said. "A lot can happen in a year. Maybe some of his difficulties will work themselves out."

By the end of every day, I needed a vacation, but Brian did not seem to be tired. At night, after he was in his pajamas, he would wait for me on his bed, loudly propelling a miniature road-grader or dump truck through a terrain of blankets and pillows. He was so active that up to the very last instant of wakefulness he was on the move. Hours later, when making the rounds of the children's bedrooms before I went to bed, Brian in bed I often found him asleep draped over his night table or sprawled atop a pile of toy cars in his closet. He slept with his eyes half-open, as if watching me, as if keeping an uneasy eye on a world that must have seemed more an enemy than a friend. But, still, he slept. The question was, Was he ready for school?
That was September. The following March, after Brian had been in nursery school for six months, the question was answered. Miss Lock looked at me from across her desk and said, "I'm afraid we just can't offer Brian the right environment after all."

Miss Lock cleared her throat. We were at an awkward juncture. She was a sympathetic woman and undoubtedly what she had to say was painful for her, although not as painful for her to say as for me to hear. After all, Kelly and Whitney had already blazed a family trail through Ridge's nursery program, and Penny was scheduled to begin next year.
And Brian? To put it charitably, Brian had proved to be a challenge. The file in front of Miss Lock was a prop, an unnecessary aid to her memory. No teacher would ever forget Brian.
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