I read quite a few blogs. I am trying to listen and speak when God leads and to this post on the Autism Blog I felt I must write this:
I’ve found that it isn’t the school district but the individual school that determines a successful outcome. My son was in his fourth elementary school by the time he was in the last part of kindergarten (he started at age three).
I’ve always tried to work with teachers who seemed willing but the truth always came out when they were unhappy about inclusion. All the moving around did hurt us a bit financially but I KNOW it has served my son well. He is now included and accepted by the staff (teachers WANT him in their class), the kids and the community. **a tear of joy** It also benefits by being involved with the school through activities, PTA and community/neighborhood functions.
I feel I must speak to the confrontational method of pursuit. Especially for those who are in smaller communities, this just IS NOT going to work and your child will suffer for it (even more than you think they already are). So be kind, treat people as you want to be treated, try their plan first (if compromising doesn’t work) and if it doesn’t work for your child, be kind when you make strong suggestions (possibly backed by the doctor) as to what you’ve found that works for your child and ask for changes. Be involved with showing how something isn’t or is working but give issues time to resolve on their own unless immediately detrimental.
Confrontational tactics should ALWAYS be the very last resort. I say this because I come across so very many well meaning parents who’ve pushed and shoved (those are the kids I’ve seen suffer the most).
By being kind, I’m always asked to be on committees, attend functions to represent special needs, etc. You know, flies and honey…THAT is where the REAL differences are made…having input from the get go.
Early on I had one principal come out and tell me at an IEP meeting that I needed to put my son in a different school. I thanked her, and I did, it was more than clear my son wasn’t going to get the support he needed there. I was thankful for her honesty, it was the best thing that ever happened to my son.