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Thread: Info for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

  1. #11
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    relational theophysis and bioregional witchery
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    Re: Info for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by Wenny View Post
    My mom taught high school and middle school. From what I saw (and I didn't know more then what she told me, you know work ranting) that it is schools 20% effort to the parents 80% effort to advocate for the child but parents don't know how to advocate or just don't care.
    The problem from my observation and experience (as the parent of a special needs kid, and as a neighbor and friend to a special ed teacher) is that 1) the laws involved are complicated, and very few people actually understand them 2) lots of schools don't want to help--it costs them time and money and its easier to shuffle the student through than to actually educate them, 3) parents don't know their rights or their child's rights (and many schools certainly don't help that), 4) parents don't want to make waves--I've been guilty of kid has one option for a teacher because he's in an inclusion class--if that teacher sucks (like last year's teacher), there is only so much I can do before my kid is going to be treated even more poorly by that teacher because I caused a ruckus, 5) yeah, some parents *don't* care, OR the don't know better, OR they don't want their child treated as being "different", and 6) good teachers don't get enough support or training and bad teachers don't get fired.

    Some of this, IMO, is our health system as terms of the advocacy and honestly, in terms of interventions. I really think that once your kid is diagnosed with X, you and your family should have training available on X, and that it should be covered by health care as counseling or therapy would be...and that includes working with schools and teachers for those children.

    I'm not a special education professional, I'm not a neurologist, psychologist, or other mental health professional, I don't know the ins and outs Cognative Behavioral Therapy or medication trials or classroom management. Because those things aren't my job. My job is to love my kid, feed him, and try to get him to be the best future adult he can manage. I need help with that. I have a full time job (in addition to being a mom), I don't have the luxury of spending my time figuring out what to try next when something doesn't work at school...that is what the professionals are supposed to be there for. I know my kid, I know what works at home...I don't know how to make that work in a classroom. Goodness knows that I get called all the time at work to give my professional advice of how to manage the issues that I am knowlegable about...because that's my job. I know what other parents and teachers have said works for other kids in those classrooms...but when you don't have a teacher willing to try those things, when they are convinced that the child with Aspergers (not to mention my son that *just* has ADHD and OCD) is just a "behavioral problem", well, you as a parent are sort of screwed for the school year. There were days I had to take off from work or let him stay at the babysitter because KINDERGARDEN was so stressful for him that he literally fell to pieces. Kindergarden should be reading books and finger painting and running around outside.
    Last edited by thalassa; 05 Aug 2015 at 06:35.
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  2. #12
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
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    Re: Info for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

    It is sooo complicated...

    Special ed teachers have a difficult job in everything from the students (not their fault, but they are often as difficult as it is rewarding to work with them) to gooberment required paperwork. They have an average working life of 5 years (after 4 - 5 years of college. Student loans paid off? Shit no).

    Money is a huge issue that CAN NOT be ignored. The greater part (much greater) of a school's "per pupil" budget goes to special ed programs. State and federal laws mandate certain programs and procedures, but frequently do not provide funds to support them (this is typical political sleigh-of-hand. It allows a politico to claim he/she/it is doing something FOR educating those in need, while simultaneously avoiding the need to raise taxes. End result? Eviscerate public ed).

    The above often results in untrained teachers being forced to do specialist work (which is like going to a podiatrist for brain surgery. No matter how well educated, well meaning, or hard working the podiatrist, it's a really bad idea). It results in some schools having nominal (in name only) programs. It results in some schools activity avoiding informing parents of their rights - for fear that they will ask for what the school can't afford.

    Honest to f'ing god, there are no free lunches. A parent needs to advocate for their child, AND for higher taxes, less money squandered on high-stakes, test-and-punish tests that do no good, except to the ginormous, multi-billion dollar testing companies that sell them, and other unpleasant stuff like that.

    In fact, it isn't only parents. Anybody who doesn't want to live in a degenerating country needs to look a public education in the US - not as something to fling shit at, but as something to be supported (with real cash) and improved (really improved, not pseudo improved via assignation).*

    * I believe this is the last time I will ever say this. Currently, my wife, who works at Walmart, a company universally despised for abusive practices toward employees, in a job where she has been for five years less than me, which requires no higher education, no continuing education, no unpaid overtime, and no mandatory volunteerism, makes as much money as I do, and has much better benefits. For the sake of my sanity, I have to let it go...

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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Eclectic Pagan
    So. MD

    Re: Info for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

    We have four teenagers, all with special needs. Our 15 y.o. son is Autistic (high functioning). He can communicate, but in very limited scope. Our 16 y.o. daughter has Asperger's Syndrome. She is an amazing singer and aspiring actress - you don't see her disability when she's on stage. Our 17 y.o. son is ADHD (Inattentive Type). He struggled all through high school but now, in college, the light has come on and he's doing well. Our 18 y.o. daughter is ADHD and "Other Emotional Disorder" (as I stated in another thread, we think it's Borderline Personality Disorder. She's a wonderful young lady, if overly impulsive and mischievous.

    My wife is a Special Ed teacher (she certainly has the experience) and is the department chair for the kids' high school.

    Thanks for posting the article.

  4. #14
    Supporter callmeclemens's Avatar
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    Sep 2012

    Re: Info for Parents of Kids with Special Needs

    I have a unique perspective on this, especially involving an aging population and restraints. I'm a certified ABA specialist that serves a immensely challenging population in an isolated private community.
    “A lifetime may not be long enough to attune ourselves fully to the harmony of the universe. But just to become aware that we can resonate with it -- that alone can be like waking up from a dream.” - Br. David Steindl Rast

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