Alright, deep breath, Deb. Paranoia will destroy ya, eh?!
If in fact someone from my school district is reading this blog, I hope that she understands just how much I love my kid, how much he has regressed since we moved here, and how the right thing to do is to put him in an appropriate environment where he has some shot at achieving goals and being able to live a reasonably independent life. I completely get that funds are tight to non-existent. I am sorry for that and the domino effect of problems that comes with it. But a child is in an inappropriate, HARMFUL situation here, and something needed to be done about it...yesterday.
I may have noted this in a previous post, but a very well-respected school director told me last year in dead seriousness, 'Deb, I don't mean to scare you, but there is a very real urgency to getting your child out of the situation he is currently in.'
This is a person who knows. Someone with decades and decades worth of experience in teaching and advocating for children on the spectrum. She has seen so many of our kids damaged by inappropriate teaching who have ended up--finally, when it was nearly too late--at her schools. Why must we wait until a child gets so far down the wrong path behaviorally before our schools decide it is time to do something about it?
I was telling a friend today about the boy M used to be...the boy everyone called 'an old soul,' 'a seer,' 'intuitive and wise,' 'sweet and gentle.'
We haven't quite taken the full leap off that cliff to the negative behaviors I have sadly heard other parents talk about; he scratches those he works closest with, and fortunately that is about it at this point. He does not self-harm, he does not head butt. He does not throw things. Yes, for this we are very lucky. But since we haven't gotten there yet, isn't now the very best time to take all measures to make sure those things DON'T happen?
But beyond that, let's talk about teacher accountability. If you've got a teacher who is blatantly prejudiced toward a student in her classroom who is significantly lower-functioning from the peers in his classroom...to the point that he must sit alone at a table with his aide and not participate in most class activities...to the point where she 'forgets' to put things in his backpack or tell him about fun things the other students get to do...to the point she 'suggests' he not attend a day at special olympics...well, do I need to continue on as to why he does not belong in this classroom? And shame on you, teacher, for being so horridly insensitive.
If I had the money to send my son to the schools he needs to attend, I would in a heartbeat. But I don't. I don't know anyone with a similar case who does. So I have to rely on the school district to do the right thing and place my child there for me..because that is what FAPE (free and APPROPRIATE education) is in place to do.
So, with that...I will see you tomorrow, district employee. I hope we have a productive discussion about M's future.