Let’s talk #Autism and the #Education system

I think there’s an even more pressing matter than the vaccine debate.  Crazy right? When you think of Autism and debates or polarizing issues within the the Autism Community, vaccines is the very first thing that comes to the minds of many. 

However, I really think that there are significantly more pressing, more important things regarding Autism that must be discussed. 

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My goal with this post is to get a dialogue going on the topic of Autism and the educational system. 

I’m reading more and more about how the educational system, at least here in the United States, is attending to or in many casing, not attending to the needs of our unique children. 

As a special needs parent, what are your concerns when it comes to educating your child with Autism or some other type of special needs? What are your expectations in regards to their treatment, both physical and emotional?

Do you find that your experience educating your child in the public or private school system, has been largely positive or negative?

I think It’s important to talk about these issues in an open and honest way because whether the world likes it or not, our kids are the future generations of this planet and we need to insure that we do everything possible to help them reach their own potential. 

It’s very important to remember that while there are clearly some horrible and abusive teachers out there in the world, there are many more that are truly dedicated to the happiness and wellbeing of our kids.  How can we deal with the bad apples, while supporting the educators that are making a difference.???

Please keep this discussion on topic by sharing your personal experience with Autism or Special Needs Parenting and school.  Please be sure to let us know where abouts you live, especially what country. 

Let us know what perspective your coming from.  Are you a parent, teacher or personal with Autism..

Please remain respectful of others and their views and for goodness sake, please don’t lump all teachers together because not only is that unfair, it’s also inaccurate…….

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES me. 😉

Update: If you like this post, check out these as well. Click —–> Here <—– for my Top Posts.



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I live in Washington state and have a son on the spectrum, who wasn’t officially diagnosed until 4th grade. He went from developmental preschool, to a pilot integrated Kindergarten program, and I homeschooled him for first grade. I panicked, and sent him back to school for 2nd and half of third grade, bringing him home for good at Christmas that year. What I expect from my local school is the protection of kids who cannot speak for themselves. Bullies should be punished, not special needs kids. My son has an ASSAULT “on his record” (school record) from when he was SIX because he pushed a kid on the bus, after enduring three MONTHS of the kid tormenting him. We didn’t know about it, he couldn’t express it, and when it finally came to a head the bus driver told us later that he’d watched this kid pick on him all that time and didn’t stop it. The bully got to watch a movie on proper bus behavior in the principal’s office during lunch, but my son has the record that makes him sound criminal. I expect teachers to take the time to try to get to know my son. I expect a lot, apparently. He’s been home since third grade, now finishing up 8th and while he is a bit behind due to his delays and writing issues, he is fluorishing. He loves being home, loves being able to follow his techie bent (read: ongoing science experiments, Minecraft projects and he’s teaching himself JavaScript). He is closer to his agemates academically now than he was a few years ago, and every day he makes new steps forward. For us, homeschooling is the answer. I know this isn’t the case with other families but it works for him.

chels

I would have told the school to come up with a better attitude in approaching me. And I would threaten legal council the next time they try to be passive aggressive with an autism mom.

But I’m glad it worked out for the best for you and yours! 🙂

chels

Hey Rob 🙂

Both of my boys, ages 11 & 9, are on the spectrum. My youngest, however, has a severe diagnosis of autism–he is considered to officially be non-verbal. His behavior got to the point where the choice was presented to us, his parents, that we keep him in the current school he was attending at the time…..OR transfer him to an alternative public school with an autism room. I was more than apprehensive…I was terrified. These decisions hang on the parents like the edge of a cliff, looking into darkness. You have no clue if you’re making the right choice 100%–you just have to do the research, think as clearly as you can, and trust your instincts.

The previous school, was good for him, for a time. But he needed more structure, more support, more and better trained (trained to restrain a child if need be) staff to handle his aggressive behaviors. So we met with the new (albeit alternative…) school’s staff and teacher for his autism classroom. It turned out to be the best thing for him. His speech progressed past what I thought he would be doing at this time. He is able to independantly complete tasks, be patient for his teacher to come to him, and his desire for peer social interaction has increased. This is a child who was biting, kicking, scratching and drawing blood (I have the scars to prove it), and at one point threw a chair. He rarely scratches, never bites any more, doesn’t kick, hasn’t thrown an object one at another person, and who has only had to be restrained once in his time there of 2 years. I call that success. Because when we don’t have to worry about or deal with behaviors, we can pave the way for him to learn and be curious about his world.

We live in Tennessee (and I am VERY on the fence about inclusion settings and classrooms). And although he still has problem days, he is less agitated, more willing to learn, listen, and try his best to not get so worked up about certain triggers. I can see it that he’s trying to keep a tight lid on it, and I am so proud of him for as far as he has come.

There were 5 schools in less than 9 years for us. Most of them were not the right fit for what my son needed. He is now in the alternative school, and he is having tremendous success. But, we are now faced with a proposed school change, given his progress. It is completely overwhelming, terrifying, and nerve wracking!! And while I know my instincts are pretty spot on with the right choice for him…I know there will be bumps, if not mountains in his and in my way….nothing will be perfect, because no school is perfect for every child and every situation and particular time.

I will say this though….my son’s school now (the alternative school) has been great with him! I couldn’t be happier with them and in helping him reach his goals.

Bonnie Elizabeth

The program that they are starting to use in Pennsylvania in the public schools is a variation of ABA and verbal behavior that is starting to see huge benefits in the districts that are adopting it and is providing an extreme amount of help in getting kids with autism to communicate and learn the language skills necessary not just for learning but also life.

BeckyRogersWiren

Persephone Rising, the way school treated you was awful. My son thinks his teachers tried and were overworked. I doubt it, I think they didn’t want to bother. I hope stuff is going better for you. My Jacob isn’t doing as well as he needs, to function on his own.  There are things we can do now that winter is coming to an end here (we hope!) and I’m thinking of quitting my job to be a full time advocate for him and his brother. God bless you.

Persephone Rising

I hate to just reply to another post without am original one myself lol, but, unfortunately, I had to say something here as well. I was am exceptional “top 10%” student, and very lonely. I got along better with adults at the barn where I boarded my horse than kids my age. I graduated early at 17 and went to college an hour away and did not thrive because I didn’t want to grow up and I missed my horse. Looking back, I wonder if I had had a therapy/service animal like I do now-would I have fared better? I don’t know. But I attempted college near home when I moved back and I…pursued jobs that are only available for the young and pretty. Which turned into more of a disaster because I was self medicating and self injurious as my “bad” period progressed. In 2 years I went from acceptance to all major Texas colleges and Ivy league universities, to living in a 12×12 room with 2 cats at the dorms of the horse racing park here. Perhaps if all the counselors and school psychologists had taken time to actually recommend appropriate secondary schooling, as well as the Aspergers (granted not as widely known then), I wouldn’t have crashed and burned like your son. I was involuntarily committed to the psyche ward for 10 days following Christmas. And my birthday happened there. It just frustrated me that I would ALWAYS eat lunch outside on a bench that was directly across from the school offices. You had to pass me to go there in fact. And no one, not even a teacher, could spare a second glance or give a recommendation for more evaluation to the sad, lonely girl on the bench? For three years?! Finally, into my senior year, another lonely girl, also smart and most definitely on the spectrum too, joined me on my bench, so that was OK even if we weren’t friends after school because we just didn’t have the same interests-just two outcasts on a bench lol! My point is, is that this highly accredited public high school got benefits from me (high grades, high state test scores, high attendance), and that was all they wanted. I made their numbers look good. But they never, EVER tried to help me because they wanted to shove me in a box that I didn’t fit in for their convenience. It is in the past now, I honestly do not care about it, and really never have written about it like here, but I just wanted to say something so that maybe another student doesn’t fall through the cracks later on a life. I made some horrible personal decisions in my late teens/early 20s, but I am older and wiser for it now.

Persephone Rising

Same experience here Avia…I completely understand.

Stephenie

We had a pretty terrible experience with the public schools. They questioned the diagnosis, tried to label him “severely emotionally disturbed,” told me he could only receive special ed OR gifted services (not true, but try fighting with them on it) and told me that they, the school district would be “Number one in his life, but that’s okay, because you’ll still be number two, Mom.”  
We homeschool. Couldn’t be happier about it.

Cassandra Stone Boland

I desperately want Brody to repeat kindergarten. I am being told “this is not done in the special school district.” But I am his guardian and I pay taxes, if I want him to repeat it is my choice. And legally they have to allow it.

Avia Batya

And then there is crap like this and too many other stories like it: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/school-district-destroys-records-autistic-student-hide-them-family

Avia Batya

One thing that has bothered me in hindsight is that because I took gifted classes and got good grades, if I had problems, they were thought to be behavioral instead of disability related. Even with previous OT and a repealed diagnosis (now reinstated). This considerably delayed my diagnoses. This was public school in the United States. I’m not sure whether the over-diagnosing/medicating epidemic has changed this or not.

BeckyRogersWiren

Daeric  There are successful online schools such as Connections Academy that are free. Those schools also are more involved and concerned about their students than the usual schools. Up until high school, however, there is significant parental involvement. Plus, it helps if the student is self motivated and that is hard for autistic people. Still, my younger physically disabled son went with good results until he was unable to go to school. Just my 2 cents. Don’t know if it helps. God bless you.

Daeric

Mostly negative.  After 7 years of fighting for help, my 12 year old just spent a week in a psychiatric hospital.  She became suicidal over the stress of school.  We have not even been successful getting her into special education.  She’s incredibly bright, but has been forced into low level classes to try to help her feel some success.  Now, we’re trying to pick up the pieces and again ask for special education services.  What she needs is accommodations in the high level classes so her intellect and her disability can both be served, but that’s not going to happen and I’m too tired to fight the system.  If I could pull her from school, I would.  If I could afford private school, I would.  By the time this hospitalization hits the insurance books, her medical bills since September will likely hit $100,000.  We hit our out-of-pocket maximum in under 6 weeks.

Lost and Tired

Karen Simpson are you referring to the public or private systems?

Karen Simpson

Basically in the UK the education system is not fit for purpose when it comes to provision for ASD children.

Lost and Tired

What has your experience been while trying to educate your child with #Autism or some other #SpecialNeed?

BeckyRogersWiren

Negative experience. Jacob is so brilliant that he was able to mimic the behavior of NT people. So everyone thought he was dingy and brilliant and a nerd. And he is, but also has Asperger’s! Jacob’s shrink can NOT understand why the diagnosis was missed by so many teachers. We foolishly believed the teachers. It wasn’t until Jacob crashed and burned going to college that we finally found out he was autistic. And if you think the educational system is a failure for autistic people, try being an adult in a rural county with high unemployment for NT people. Autistic people don’t even have a chance here.

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