from a well-meaning, but misguided person?
I'm dealing with a person (let's call them Bureaucrat #1 or B#1) who couldn't pick any member of our family out of a line up, and yet Bureaucrat #1 has absolute control over where we go next. Or at least where The Boy goes. Crazy. B#1 is actually assigned to The Boy, but has to be reminded that he is in fact a boy, is home schooled, is 12. B#1 has never once asked me anything about him. Like what our goals are for him or his goals for himself. Or like what our family values are, at least in respect to education. Or about our family dynamics. B#1 has never even asked to speak with him. And yet B#1 has the audacity to tell me that B#1 is his greatest advocate. Hate to break it too you sweetheart, but I AM his greatest advocate! I always have been and will be always.
I personally believe that college is not for everybody. I am also a strong proponent of a gap year(s) to help you figure yourself out - what you want to do or not do with your life. As far as I'm concerned, a gap year is not an indication of a lack of intelligence or motivation. It is actually a sign of a maturity, an I'm-not-a-lemming-and-following-the-crowd kind of personality. I am certainly not advocating that someone graduate from high school and move into Mom and Dad's basement. I do advocate that the gap year involve volunteering, working, traveling, and/or military service. You get an idea of what the world is really like. You get an idea of what you are really like. You learn what your strengths and weaknesses are and how to use them to your advantage. If at that point you decide college is in your future, well have at it! Mom and Dad are more than willing to help! If after a gap year(s), you decide that college is just not in the cards, or not in the cards right now, well then great! You've just made an informed decision.
What does this have to do with The Boy's 'greatest advocate'? Well B#1 thinks The Boy should go to college. He's 12. He's in the fifth grade. I just want him to finish this school year in a successful manner, and he is on track to do so. Then I want him to finish next year in a successful manner. Then I want him to finish the following year in a successful manner, and so on and so forth, until he graduates from high school. Yes he has some special needs, but that is irrelevant to him having a successful educational experience.
State has a vested interest in the well-being of FS families. For obvious reasons, I fully appreciate that mind-set. They provide support for children with special needs and again I fully appreciate that stance. They want what is in the child's best interest. Who can argue with that? What twists my knickers though is that a total stranger, who can't even remember that The Boy is in fact a boy, believes they know what is in his best interest better than his own mother. Really?! I mean REALLY?!?