“You can do better than this” was the common message given to our child. Because we are a high-functioning , educated, middle-class family, our child was always overlooked and under-supported. We did the right things as parents in our home to accommodate his needs but the school didn’t attempt to accommodate. Every intervention to support him was a punishment. “Go to the library to finish your work quietly….go sit in the hall because you’re being too disruptive….your child doesn’t know how to control himself in class….your child would have much better grades if only he applied himself”….IF ONLY…. If only the school would listen and not judge us because we were a “good family with a bad kid”. If only the teachers would make time to communicate with us about the struggles they saw. If only the education system had more services so we didn’t have to wait three entire years for a psychoeducational assessment and an appointment with the school counsellors. If only the school counsellors saw that his need was just as great as the underprivileged kids’ needs. If only being sent to the school counsellor wasn’t a punishment for poor behaviour. If only the city we lived in had more resources. If only people would listen and not judge. If only we didn’t silence our frustrations because we were afraid to “rock the boat” with the school and its staff. We are grateful for the “if onlys” because they have brought us to a new city, a new school, and a new start. We have access to more support, better service with the educational system, and a greater strength to advocate. But all of those “if onlys” came with a cost. A memory of negative experience in school that to this day haunts our son. If only we could erase those memories.