Being a special needs parent and starting a new school year is incredibly stressful, the uncertainty, the new teacher, new room, new kids, new schedule. The district I live in is incredibly negligent and irresponsible where Special Education population is concerned, the anxiety goes on all year. You never know what is going to happen at school, and frankly the schools are no longer about education. I haven't figured out what the hell they're doing but they are not interested in educating special needs kids, they are more like a mediocre babysitter. So we prep, prime the kid, and hope and pray for the best. The jury is still out on the teacher and his aide, I'll give them time to get their feet wet with the kids, if I don't see progress by back to school night, then my charming but firm side will come out.
I make a very valiant effort to start the school with giving the administration, principal, and special education departments the benefit of the doubt, and try to swallow that they "have our kids best interests at heart". I'm going to really try this year, I'm going to try to not yell, scream, and freak out when my kid is being marginalized, forgotten, and excluded from things because their classroom is at the back of the school, not encouraging inclusion. When they leave a kid on a playground that can't talk, I won't let them have it. When a kid gets out of school that can't talk, I won't call them incompetent. When a kid goes home with a bruise, scrape, or bite mark and we are told we are not entitled to an incident, or "he fell". None of this is over dramatic imagination, this stuff happens to special education children, especially non verbal ones, EVERY SINGLE DAY all over the country.
But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact. But I'm going to try and plead to their common sense and decency, because the reactionary mom is just as bad as a reactionary school I am usually the mom doing the happy dance when kids go back to school. As an Autism mom, summer is sometimes really really really long. After many years of work, finding my kids "thing", and doing our best to set the kids up for success, I was a little sad to see this summer come to an end.
But this year I'm not screaming at people after the fact. But I'm going to try and plead to Administrators of school districts everywhere.
Please to Special Education Teachers, and Staff.
These are our children. We love them, we worship them, they are tiny humans just like the neurotypical kids. Please protect them, follow their IEP, work with the parents to make the kid as successful as you can. Please assume competence and capability. This is how you do it right.
How you don't do it right, is lie to parents, deny or withhold services or knowledge of services to a kid that clearly needs them. Treating our kids like they don't matter and that any hurt that happens isn't an enormous deal. And Never Never Never tell a parent their child is unteachable.
We know who is doing it right, and we love who is doing it right. And so do our kids, and we know who isn't doing it right.
Let's do it right together, forget what the Administrators want you to do, they're really just overpaid buffoons, that couldn't walk 5 feet in a teachers shoes. Kick their rules and their control to the curb, our kids matter too. You can do it, the parents will stand with you if we know you have our kids backs. We can do this, we really can - I hope.