OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Our son recently completed an O.S.S for dislocating his teacher's knee.

He is autistic.

Of course, autism is no excuse, and I do not seek to excuse his behavior. He understands that what he did is wrong. He was saddened and distressed when I explained why he could not attend school last week, and apologized to his teacher on Monday.

The educational side of the school understands this, and says they will not hold his actions against him. The only reason an O.S.S was given was because the teacher had to go to the doctor for the injury. Again, I have no issue with this. Andrew understands what he did is wrong.

However, I believe the fault lies mainly with the school's Special Services Department, and I will explain why after the fold.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

When Andrew was first admitted to school, the SSD assured us that they would get him assessed for what was (to us) obviously autism. Three weeks later, the results were in; Touchpoint had allegedly come in and "ruled out Autism", preferring instead to label it a "Sound System Disorder". Andrew was, at that time, functionally mute.

My wife has a doctorate in Psychology; she has the education to know that "Sound System Disorder" is 100% meaningless. It's akin to diagnosing spina bifida as a "walking system disorder", or PTSD as a "worrying disorder". In one sense it describes a symptom of the disorder, but in no way has any explanatory power in treating the problem.

Still, we went along with it, mindful that an educational diagnosis would be different from a psychological one. And Andrew progressed, improved, made huge strides.

In December, my wife and I finally obtained a medical diagnosis of what we expected all along; Autism Spectrum Disorder. We duly passed it along to the school and they did precisely; nothing.

The IEP was not amended. The paras assigned him received no special instruction. Nothing. All that happened was a rider on his IEP saying that his primary diagnosis was now ASD, but they still stood by the (now secondary) diagnosis of "Sound System Disorder"

Worse still, when we contacted Touchpoint to arrange a formal assessment for the summer, they had no knowledge of Andrew at all. They had never assessed him at any point. The school, basically, lied to us.

Nice.

Worse still, the attitude of the paras and staff has changed since getting he formal diagnosis. They became more standoffish, more distant. Instead of animatedly discussing Andrew's day with us and him when we collected him from school they shoved him towards us with a muttered "here; bye."

What the hell is going on?

Then Andrew's grandmother died. Naturally, he began to act out; pushing, yelling, hitting. And their solution? Again, do nothing. Let it fester until it erupted in the kicking incident.

At the last IEP meeting on Monday, the staff assured us they would give Andrew a "dedicated" para for 100% of his school hours; we're waiting to see if this happens.

Andrew is smart, sensitive and kind. He only resorts to pushing if you are in his bubble or he feels unwell or threatened. We simply don't know what's going on with him at school, but it seems that the SSD at his school is so concerned with championing him as their poster-child for "most improved" (as they actually do; every time State regulators come, they trot him out as their standard-bearer), his actual care is suffering.

We don't want to damage our relationship with the school, and we are pursuing other avenues (including sending him to the local Catholic School who have already assured us they will be able to get all the resources he needs through the Knights of Columbus and the Diocese), but 'till then, it seems Andrew is stuck, as with so much in his life, in a situation not of his making.

The point of this diary? A rant, perhaps. Or another tale to add to the woeful state of Special Education in this country. Take your pick. It seems the list of victims is increasing, and God help me, Andrew will not be one of them.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Freelance Escapologist on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Parenting on the Autism Spectrum.

Poll

What do you think we should do?

31%6 votes
31%6 votes
10%2 votes
10%2 votes
15%3 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.