Thursday, September 30, 2010

If you think you're right, you don't know you're wrong.

On Tuesday, a high-up in my school system said that it was disingenuous of me to say that my son hadn't grown in the four years that she had known him. She said that when she first started in our school system, he was by himself with only adults around him, and now he's successful in the STEM program.  It was through the work of his Special Education teams, she said, that he had grown to where he is now.

Hmm...  We can skip over the fact that, disingenuous or not, I didn't say that.  But doesn't that description of his placement and the implementation of his IEP from four years ago really say that he wasn't in the right place back then?  When we agreed to his placement in the just-formed Autsim Class at our elementary school, when he was set to start 2nd grade, it was because it had been presented to us as the perfect match for him.  Compound that with the fact that to date, general education teachers hadn't been supported in the ways they needed to be in order to reach him.  Well, the proof of the pudding was in the eating, and I've already said what I have to say about those really bad years.

You can't say that his elementary school team "knew the learner and the learning" -- certainly not by the end, when the members of his 5th-grade team were beyond doubtful that he should go into STEM6 -- and no one expected excellence from him.  He couldn't do what was then asked of him without intense supports, was the thought; how could he succeed in the rigorous STEM program?  And now, in the middle school STEM program, though he receives Special Education services, he has constraints on what they are and how they can be implemented.  And while he has had a para with him throughout this time, what he has needed hasn't been consistently supplied -- supplied in ways that he can understand.  He is still not understood as a person with Asperger's.

I acknowledge that many have tried.  I acknowledge that much has been done.  What I won't accept is denying that there are still holes in his educational "quilt" just because it provides some coverage.

No comments: