Part III: No more band-aids

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

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.

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Speech and occupational therapies will be included in the classroom focusing on traditional (learning to speak and motor skills) and non-traditional (learning how to start, maintain a conversation, and verbalize unpleasant and/or unknown situations) and sensory perception and stimuli teachings and practices. Structure, structure, structure. Children on the spectrum need structure, need to know at this time this happens, and then this happens afterwards.

-Avoiding change if at all possible. No scantron or multiple choice tests. These children do not understand or comprehend these tests or why someone would put wrong choices with the right one.

Teach and reinforce basic daily living skills. In each district, there needs to be a social modification classroom at the lower elementary level, upper elementary level, junior high level, and high school level.

The teachers and aides need training in autism during the summers (so not to disrupt the classrooms with a change in teacher/aide) to continue giving the children the latest advances and techniques available. More one on one face time with these children. Interns from the colleges and volunteers from the high school can be used to help give the children more one on one.

Oh wait, how will this be funded, one might ask? The schools gets money for children to actually go to the public schools and the school get extra money for each special education child in their school. And honestly speaking, why not pay for classes and accommodations for these children, instead of paying a settlement in a class action lawsuit which would ultimately make changes in classrooms and teachings for children on the spectrum anyway.

In conclusion, federal laws require that the school district accommodate special needs children.

Children on the autism spectrum should not be haphazardly placed in behavior modification classes or special education classes for mentally and physically handicapped children. Children with Autism have socialization deficits. Social modification classes are needed in each school district as a solution for this problem. These children need to quit being bounced from place to place, quit being forced out of public school and into homeschooling due to misunderstanding and frustrations between the parents and the school system. The school system needs to get educated, get active, and start accommodating these children and not just put a band aid on the problem and hope no one is looking.

By Melissa Rushing.