Do you consider a “banner day” one in which you receive no calls from the school?
On those rare occasions when the school doesn’t call, do you automatically assume you forgot to pay your phone bill or that your phone is in need of service?
If so, you are likely suffering from a serious mental health condition that affects millions of parents and caregivers of special needs children each year — Post Traumatic School Call Distress Disorder or PTSCDD as it is known on the imperfect street. This silent killer can strike any parent at any time; all it takes is a few bad news calls in succession to experience its debilitating effects.
Know the PTSCDD Warning Signs
PTSCDD can be brought on by a variety of causes, including:
- Disciplinary calls from the school principal.
- Teachers seeking field trip permission slips.
- School nurses hunting down required health forms.
- School nurses calling to tell you your child needs to be picked up early.
- Lunch ladies seeking payment (Hell hath no fury like a lunch lady scorned).
- Librarians seeking overdue books.
- Teenagers calling home asking for things.
- Automated calls telling you school is delayed — or worse — cancelled.
- IEP Team leaders attempting to schedule an IEP meeting.
Ways to Avoid PTSCDD
While there is no known cure for PTSCDD, “imperfect experts” recommend taking some preventative measures to lessen its effects, including:
- Activating caller ID, the sophisticated school call advance warning system.
- Destroying your phone. (Note: An alternative excuse to “The dog ate it” is recommended.)
- Changing your phone number and not telling the school — or your teenager.
- Requesting that the school notify you via singing telegram. Nothing softens bad news better than a song.
- Signing up for a Sprint phone, which will ensure you have no signal.
- Hiring a bad news call answering service — a real time-saver for parents who have children with behavioral issues.
- Creating personalized voicemail boxes. “If you’re calling for Gina, press 1. For Mike, press 2. From the school, please hang up and dial someone else.
Do you suffer from PTSCDD?
If you’re among the millions of special needs parents suffering from PTSCDD and would like to share your school call survival tips, post a comment.