June 09, 2009

Rage at the educational machine

Educators have horrid paradigms. Periodically I need to engage our educational system to get needed things in place for Connor (If you do not know, Connor has autism). The teach-speak term is "Advocating". This runs in a near predictable pattern.

I want something "extra" from the school for my child.
The educators say this is not needed and they have something already in place which will fill that requirement.
I then question what they have in place, point out how that "something" will not fill the needs of my request. After all this is not something they can just "do" for all the students.
The educators assure me that said "something" will work fine and be flexible enough to cover the needs.
I further point out the apples .vs. oranges of what my son needs compared to what they are actually offering.
The educators begin to "educate me" on what my child "really" needs and try to minimize my request. Stating they need to "assess" the situation to make a better decision.
Further, they explain this will take into account my little concern and will allow them to make an intelligent choice which will be the best thing for my child.

Around this point of the conversation, I have either been convinced that this would be the best route...

They have belayed out enough rope for a good ole fashion hanging.

You see I have some experience with negotiations (I have been a purchasing agent). There have been many studies on my child's classification of Autism, and I have either read them or via my wife been informed of the outcomes. Also, I have detailed knowledge of mistakes the school system has made with my sons education and the outcome of those as well. In other words, I am well armed. Finally I am tenacious and I have no fear of confrontation.

The usually results in getting needed services into place for my Son. I just wish it was not always a battle to demonstrate I know what the hell I am talking about. *sigh*

Autism is not widely understood. Perhaps educators are stuck on thinking its a behavioral problem. There are those who dismiss Autism as a myth spread by enabling parents. People tend to fear the unknown and defensively define to justify what they observe. Perhaps some people do not have the luxury of curiosity or cannot be bothered.


Tina said...

I'm excited about the program next year, teaching him more life skills. The classroom that taught that sort of thing in elementary school was just set up for kids much, much lower in ability than Connor.

This new program will be a smaller class with more assistance & they will have people experienced with Autism setting up his individual program.

It should be good :)

keeka said...

Glad to hear it, I see a lot of kids come through our system that show signs of Autism (the main one being no eye contact when you speak with them and selective hearing) we of course cannot and should not diagnose, but I did get a good bit of information from a seminar on Autism at our yearly early ed convention. I liked the fact that the speaker says that it is not outside of our legal system to say that a child is "Autistic-like", a good way to warn the parents that they should have testing done. We just cannot say, "he may be autistic or he is autistic". We also do not have any of the same help that public schools provide, which makes it extremely difficult to keep a child in our system if they have any special needs tendencies.