Saturday, August 9, 2008

Luckier Than We Knew

I bumped into a mom I know who has an autistic (Asperger's) son near Diana's age. Sadly, he doesn't have the supportive network of teachers and professionals behind him like she does. The family is looking at litigation for the last school year, where (in the opinion of the psychologist who visited on the boy's behalf) he was deliberately placed with a teacher who knows nothing about autism, in the hopes of convincing the family to move the boy out of the school and into an autism school (out of their hair/pocketbook).

This child ended up having panic attacks and nightmares through her ignorance, and if the doc is right about his being placed in there to force them to move him out of the school district, that is not only criminal but immoral. Assuming all this is true, how could they play games with a child's education and LIFE this way?! It will take at least one school year to undo the damage this teacher did. The mom had to double his dosage of antidepressants, just so he could squeak through the year. A child who used to get As and Bs, talkative and involved, became silent, scared and unable to concentrate. 

Unfortunately, I've heard all too many horror stories like this to dismiss it as hyperbole on the part of the mother. That "teacher" ought to be horse-whipped for what she did to that poor kid. Thank all that's holy that the child's aide DID know what she was doing, and was able to help him limp through the year, and she's moving on with the boy into middle school - away from the teacher from hell. Shame on the principal and the superintendent for not acting when the mom said something was wrong. Shame on them for covering for an inadequate teacher, to cover their own asses.   

We are so lucky - Diana's team has been nothing but supportive from day one. I've never needed to ask for anything, what I want for her is provided before I have to ask. I sincerely hope the trend continues as we move into middle school...

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