16 September 2008

Joe's Journey

An excerpt from Joe's blog, about his autistic son "Buddy Boy"'s difficulties in school:

Due mostly to an idiotic curriculum not suited to him, and probably partially to lack of self control (in the face of being taught by idiots) Buddy Boy trashed the classroom one day. He first threatened to trash the classroom (“I’m going to throw things”) to which they responded with their direction of “Sit down, Buddy Boy” three times, dutifully recorded on their chart that he had refused to sit down, then stood back when he started pulling things off the shelf.

No one acknowledged that he was angry and/or frustrated. No one tried to find out why he was upset. Just a command to sit down repeated three times.

Mom was called to come and get him and take him home.Buddy Boy was suspended for three days for that, and moved to a “resource room” where he was the only student. We were warned at that time that if he continued to be violent and a threat to others and himself that the police would be involved. Despite our convening another IEP (which they kept delaying) and attempting to get a much better behavioral intervention plan in place, the staff continued to do things to set him off (deliberately, I suspect, but have no way of knowing other than their e-mails obtained later which intimated that they had a plan for a solution in place, while during this time they were telling us that everything was fine).

They had him “taught” by as many as 7-8 different “teachers” per day, on no consistent schedule. They would print up a schedule and show him on the clock when he would have a break, then another teacher would come in and cut the break short. Still, all they were teaching was compliance with rules, and repetition of busywork. He lashed out a couple of times at them (slapping and kicking), and each time he got “written up” without suspension. The disciplinary write ups had these check off boxes on the form for reasons they thought the behavior occurred. Almost all of the boxes had to do with the student (acting out, seeking attention, secondary gain, etc.). There maybe was one for the environment, and none at all for “provoked by idiot staff”, which was what I would have checked off.

Well, as I said, this is just an excerpt. People wonder why I'm so down on public education when obviously my oldest son is doing quite well. Um, it's because of stuff like this. And that I'm NOT ALONE in having "stuff like this" happen. Yes, there are a couple of posts together on the same idea. I just keep bumping into the same sad stories over the internet. I also can tell you I have seen several stories where the moms and dads are going to keep fighting the idiocy. Well, good for them. We just reached a point though, for us, where we decided we were finished fighting for Elf's sake. I do liken this bad treatment of autistics in public education to the civil rights movement. Where is our Little Rock going to be? And I'm thinking just like those children entering school for the first time with the white kiddos, community feeling is just not "for" our children right now. Take a look at the comments under the news stories about the "brats" who get kicked out of kindergarten classes and aeroplanes and see if I'm not right.

3 comments:

  1. Thankfully, my daughter doesn't have special needs, but we still have to contend with idiot teachers on an almost daily basis. It is so frustrating, and must be 1000 times worse when you have a child who finds it difficult to cope/understand what is going on. I can just say to my daughter 'don't worry, he/she is an idiot' and she gets over it. You don't have that luxury. Not all teachers are idiots, by any means, but my, oh my, they are quite prevalent! I have no idea what the answer is, I think the biggest problem is that there is an assumption that all children will conform to certain rigid expectations. A bit unrealistic, I feel!

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  2. This story makes me angry. It's stinking ridiculous.

    I got really, really lucky having Chaz's teacher. It wasn't till he got her that he took a turn for the better. She had 3 years of training of how to work with Autisic/Asperger kids. I think every single special needs teacher needs to have this type of training. She has Chaz on a visual schedule for him to see and always gives him warning before moving from one thing to the next. Because of her, Chaz has calmed down a lot.

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  3. My oldest, who may or may not have Aspergers (extremely high functioning if he has) got this ~ from th Head of his high school!! And the man had the gall to ask why was puling my son out & THEN tell me how wrong I was to conider homechool. Really? Funny, my kid didn't act out like that for me.

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