A few days ago, I had a startling revelation. It may seem that we are having lots of little problems, but in fact, there is one big underlying problem -- the public school makes decisions that are neutral on their face that have a huge impact on our daughter with autism. They have three times the rate of autistic kids you would expect in the general population, because they have a local reputation for being good for kids with disabilities. And overall, they are.
It is full inclusion, all the time, for everybody. They don't just sing the song, they believe in it. Sometimes, though, they miss the obvious. I want to approach the administration and explain my insight, but I am not sure I can explain it. Help me figure this out. It seems that changing the pick up routine a tiny bit, or suddenly locking doors to the classrooms for security reasons,or lining kids up for picture day by height are neutral, meaningless decisions
. But for a kid with autism, or at least for my daughter, it can be a HUGE deal. I want them to include the special ed staff on these decisions at the beginning, or give them a big head's up before implementing. Instead, we show up at school, find out a change or neutral policy is in place, then I have to waste my time writing emails, the team has to come up with solutions, etc. Over and over again. Multiply that times the number of kids with disabilities, and it seems like a colossal waste of time.
I feel like I am being a pain,and yet, there seems to be little advance planning by the people making decisions about things that appear neutral. Now I know the hard way to look out for picture day, plays, field trips, and I know every day that they may decide to lock doors we use, or change the pick up routine, or something. Is there a checklist somewhere that tells me what to look for?
Do you have one? What do you suggest in terms of approaching the principal and asking that this be done? They could save many hours every week.
Get your stuff in order, all the talking points you want to discuss, and make an appointment.
Principal, I have noticed some things that appear to be causing stress to some of the kids. I came up with some solutions that will help minimize problems...
Name what you've noticed, tell how you've come up with a solution.
I noticed, when addressing school personnel, that if I say, "I'll provide/do [x]" they suddenly get VERY cooperative and do things we need.
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