Part II: No more band aids

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Many parents in the Picayune School District have children on the Autism Spectrum and have the same and even worse horror stories about what they and their children have had to deal with in this school district.
My daughter has already had out of school suspension; it’s only August 31st. She was never given in school suspension; which from the readings, should have been done first. The principal and school personnel in their lack of knowledge on Autism have decided that my daughter should not be allowed to attend regular classes (which are more structured than the special education classroom) until her behaviors change. Great way to work against the Autism. Also, the school has decided to continue to contact me about every incident in writing because they are preparing a case to move my daughter from their school now.
I have a solution and I will outline it here. I am also sending it to every person, board, department, media outlet, and organization that will listen. Autism is not going away. The numbers continue to increase in how many children are on the spectrum and is growing daily. These children are in all the school systems everywhere. But my concern is with only one number, one child, my child. That is the only number that is necessary for a change in policies, procedures, classrooms, and thinking in regards to Autism in the school system.
“No child left behind,” sounds familiar right? This is sadly untrue. Many parents get so frustrated trying to get the school personnel to listen and collaborate, that they ultimately take their children out of the public schools and put them in homeschooling which in many cases the children fall behind academically and even more socially.
My personal favorite saying from the school personnel is “we are the professionals”. If you are so educated and professional, why then are the parents called very time there is a problem?
Doesn’t your knowledge and education that makes you “the professional” teach you how to properly deal with a child during a meltdown or how to redirect a child or how to work with the Autism and not against it? No, it does not.
Let’s start with as the schools say, some teachable moments:
-education for teachers, nurses, counselors, principals, and anyone employed by the school district on what Autism is,
-notable traits and characteristics can be used as strengths and building blocks for these children,
-ways to deal with a child on the Autism Spectrum daily,
-education on how to recognize triggers and the escalating steps of a melt down,
-work on making visible aids which help a lot of children,
-find ways to put into everyday practice-social skills and conversational skills which honestly all children could use,
and last but certainly not least,
-No more band aids.
Real problem- giving children on the Autism Spectrum a quality education.
Real solution-no more temporary fixes, No more Band Aids.
Let me present, the social modification classroom:
This classroom will be designed with a temporary designated safe spot for the child to be able to go to without reprecussions to regroup from overstimulation in school.
-The safe spot will be quiet, no distractions, and soft lighting.

By Melissa Rushing
Check out Wednesday’s Item for Part III.

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