Antipathy Between School Districts and Parents of Autistic Children
Feeling left behind: One mother of an Autistic child, numerous school districts, and the strong antipathy between them.
The area we live in is hailed as one of the best areas in the country to raise an autistic child; I’m still looking for the part of this area they’re speaking of. I think I must’ve moved into the wrong corner of the northwest. This school has reduced us to tears many times. Per usual, the issue wasn’t so much the teachers as it was the other staff. The district also seems to think an IEP is optional if the arrangement doesn’t suit them. Our main IEP quarrel was over his paraprofessional. Z has many accommodations, one of which is a 1:1 Paraprofessional [Para] 5 days a week, 6 hours a day.
Issues with Z’s para:
• The district refused his para initially even though one was IEP'ed from the desert.
• They changed his para 3 times from November to May.
• When the para called in the district rarely sent replacements. Instead he was sent home with me.
• All my complaints were ignored
The Transportation Department was another hurdle. Bus Issues:
• They kept altering his bus number and aide
• They dropped him 30 mins-1 hour late to school for over a month.
• Z was written up for stimming on the bus several times, one resulting in him being called a “racist bully” on the document. [Allegedly he was repeating “black cracker” while flapping].
• The district refused to reverse the Transportation Departments decision.
• A girl spent weeks screaming “ASS BURGER” in his face without consequences.
• The nurse gave us a remarkably hard time over Z’s gluten free diet. Apparently "The Autism Diet" isn’t something they have to follow.
• Z was incessantly bullied at school.
• The students eat their lunches in a trailer parked beside the school without a physical connection to the school building.
Eventually my only choice was to make his lunch every day, contact an autism advocate, and update myself on a new state’s IEP laws.
I’ll give the districts I’ve dealt with a little break seeing as though I’m impossible to deal with in an IEP meeting or phone conference that’s not going how it should; however the quandary with schools, school districts, and school systems isn’t isolated to just 3 states or to the borders of this nation. This is a global issue. Despite what may be thought: filing a “Citizen’s Complaint for Due Process” doesn’t always work even though it is suppose too. I queried a large autism support group vis-à-vis school issues. While some parents declared they’re in a fantastic school district--a larger percentage told horror stories.
There were numerous bad stories from each location:
• West Virginia
• New York
• South Carolina
• Rhode Island
• South Africa