Friday, June 16, 2017

Autism Journey

Recently, I was told by an educator that she did not want her son to be in a class with students like my son. She was afraid that her son would get bored in that type of class. Mind you, my son has no cognitive deficits on the IQ scale and also does not have deficits on achievement scales. Does he think differently? Absolutely! Will he need some support in navigating some areas of academia, for sure. She is entitled to what she thinks is best for her son. But you better believe that my son will never excel with a teacher who shares her mindset! To this day in Texas, there is no education setting that is "best" for students without intellectual deficits who have autism. For most parents the best is still public education. There are apparent changes that can be made to improve the outcome for all. In Texas, when you are a teacher servicing a child who is labelled GT, you have to have 30 hours of GT training and then 6 hours annually. When you service ESL students, you have to take a state test. However, when you are an inclusion teacher, there is no requirement whatsoever but the general standard teaching certificate to serve students like my son. This is not ok! Teachers who serve kids that need accommodations and support need specific training and staff development. If no one changes it, you better believe, I am going to be part of the change.

My son and your children deserve better than teachers who fail to use current research and accommodations in their classrooms. My son and your children deserve better than teachers who do not have an inclusion mindset for kids without intellectual disabilities.