Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don't Mess with a Special Needs Mom!

Ok, here is what has been going on for the past few weeks. I got a call a few weeks ago saying that Nick would have to transfer schools. The reason I was told this was because there were too many special needs kids from our neighborhood going to this particular school and they were going to set-up a class for them at a school closer to us. I had already dealt with this school before when Michael went there-so despite being told that it was a "great school", I knew otherwise. Needless to say, the transfer was forced upon us, and we were to start there on the 17th. That gave the school TWO WEEKS to prepare for a special needs class. TWO WEEKS.

Fast forward to last Friday when all of us mothers met with our kids teachers and had a chance to see the classroom. The room itself was not made for these kids. There was no theraputic equipment such as a big bouncy ball or swings. Fine. Ok, we can deal with that. I asked if there was going to be a registered nurse at the school-I was told no. Wait a minute. "My daughter has seizures!" one of the moms exclaimed. No nurse-just one of those "health clinicians"-someone to basically put a band aid on a scraped knee. Strike one for the school. There is no bathroom connected to the classroom-our kids must be escorted down the hall, and use the school bathroom. No problem for typical kids. But, our kids are not typical are they? The trip to the bathroom has a greater chance of resulting in soiled clothes-not to mention the fact that Nicholas himself cannot tolerate public restrooms(which we are working on, but it has been a slow process). Plus, our kids like to be independent just like other kids, and having an escort to the bathroom just makes them stand out even more. Strike two. The school is not fenced in and is next to a major road. Our kids will not be able to participate in recess. Which they were doing at the other school-participating with the typical kids. My son won't have recess. "What's the big deal?" you might ask? Well, my kid deserves recess just like the other kids. Nicholas is more like typical kids than he is different. He likes to slide, and swing, and climb around just as they do. So, due to this little oversight by the school, him and his classmates are cooped up in the classroom the whole time and have no opportunity to mix with other kids their age. Not to mention that the school does not seem to have a plan once these kids get past pre-school. I have joined with the other moms and we are wanting to meet with this principle so we can discuss these things in depth with him.

I am angry. No one gave much thought into this at all. They uprooted these kids from a school they loved and was prepared for them, and put them in a school that was not. No thought was given to these children at all. No thought beyond "we'll just shove them in a room with toys and attempt to teach them". Why would they think any more of Special Needs kids? At the meeting, it was also said that the teachers would escort our kids to the classroom upon being dropped off. Great. Why is it that when one mom dropped off her child this week, that the teacher that was there just let him wander off?? Another mom had to step in and guide him to his class. Mike and I have some major issues with this school not being the least bit educated on autism-which is a major problem if you have a so-called Special Needs program don't ya think?? I am going to Nick's class today to observe what goes on, and hopefully us moms can get with this principle very soon.

2 comments:

Eudea-Mamia said...

Oh Lord Amy - my heart aches for you. What the hell is that district thinking?! Not of the children, that's for sure. I don't know what to say, really. In this day and age that they would pull this crap - surely they are (should be!) more educated in the needs of these children.

I don't even know where to start - the nurse, the fence, NO RECESS!!?! You might want to point out that even jail birds get fresh-air time. WTH?!

My head is in my hands for you.

Go get 'em tiger!!!!

Em

msmichelel said...

I am amazed at what schools think they can get away with.
We have one of the best school districts, but not in Special Needs and it makes me pretty upset.

That is terrible that the Nick and the other Special needs kids seem to be being "punished".
I hope maybe you and the otehr moms can get them to make some adjustments - gosh, that is just so bad!