Now, I understand the concerns of parents who feel a lot of early intervention will help their children. I do! I'm a parent like that. Give my child all the help he can get early on, when their behaviours and attitudes are as malleable as they're going to be. (Note that I did not just say "malleable." As the mom of six kids, I have to clue you in to the fact that not every child is "malleable," even when an infant!)
We had tons of extra help for G when he was little. He went to a special preschool and has been receiving speech since he was three. He also receives occupational therapy and social skills help occasionally. To be honest, the help the school district offers isn't always the same help I'd like for my child. But I can't say that G hasn't been helped.
It didn't stop him from being placed into special education classes. These classes, I must admit, are a long sight better for him than the continual frustration everyone undergoes otherwise. And that includes his teachers and classmates as well as his family.
The way this article is written, you'd swear special education is some sort of horrible disease-y place that you'd never want to send your child. All those "dumb cooties" are catching and you don't want to be labelled! *Nice* people somehow magically *make* their children do well.
Nice, good parents who read to their children and don't have the TV blaring all the time are the ones who get to send their children to the best colleges. BAD parents are almost always to blame for a special ed placement:
"But researchers, including some influential with federal education officials, have long argued that students were getting stuck in special education not because of biological disabilities, but because of environmental factors.
They say their parents may have not read to them enough or allowed the children to stay home from school too often."
I suppose it never occured to these folks that the egg came before the chicken. We almost NEVER had the tv on with Patrick when he was a baby. Then we got Mr. G, who would bang his head and have all kinds of problems. You bet we turned on the tv more for him. If you don't have a child with these problems, you have no clue how bad things can get. I think turning the tv on is a long sight better than beating the kid in frustration. Judge not and all that. You can't tell from parent-reporting of tv hours if they've switched the set on BECAUSE they're frustrated and unable to cope, or if they're rotten folks who are just too lazy to actually raise their kids. I'm sure there are some of the latter out there, too, but boy, don't you sound high and mighty when you make blanket statements about parents who don't read "enough." How much is "enough?" You judgmental little swinedog! Did it ever occur to you that parents for the most part do the best they can??
We're going to give a little extra tutoring to kids in younger grades so that they avoid the horrible, awful, NOTHING WORSE THAN sort of fate than to be labelled as special ed:
"Identifying kids that need not be identified is the worst thing," Farmer said.
Yep, it is. Not teaching children how to use a condom or that homosexuality is ok. Not being bullied at school - that isn't the worst thing. Oh, if you have a bad home life and Papa beats you? Not the worst. The worst most horrible-est bad bad bad thing (you know, that's REALLY bad) is being labelled special-ed.
Um, thanks a lot. I'm sure that students with developmental disabilities and autism like G would appreciate the sentiment.