Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Keep your special needs kids at home!

That basically what I was told on a message board (waves to the cammers if they are still coming over) when I had posted about the use of restraint and seclusion.  "If your kids can't behave - keep them at home!  I don't want them interfering with my child's education!".   One went on to tell me that a child with special needs was allowed to throw heavy objects around the classroom without any discipline or consequence.  That the child was there a good portion of the year and it had to be escalated to the principal to have the child removed.  My response was shame on you for not advocating for your child.  Advocating is not just something the special needs community needs to do (though we usually need to do it a hell of a lot more).

I tried to appeal to them by asking "what would you do if your child was locked into a room for hours, allowed to urinate or defecate on themselves?"  The response was essentially (paraphrasing here) that the kid would be in trouble for whatever caused them to be put into that room in in the first place.  ~insert jaw drop here~.  Now, I know kids can be bad. Hell, I was a handful myself.  But there is no reason for a child to be locked away for hours on end.  They just couldn't understand that. 

I was told that if anything, they would oppose this law because it ties the hands of the teachers.  ~sigh~  They obviously didn't read the act.  While there are some issues that teachers have pointed out to me (not allowed to restrain a child when trying to flee the premises), the idea is not to completely stop the use of restraint and seclusion but to prevent the abuse of these tools.

When I tried to explain that the difference between their child and my child being restrained and/or secluded was that their child had the ability to come home and tell the parents exactly what happened vs. my son (and many other special needs children) who couldn't articulate the experience, they didn't want to hear it.  Our kids are different because they can't defend themselves and can't tell.  That's what I thought until I read this story about the Los Angeles teacher who tied up his 3rd grade students, taped their eyes and mouths shut, put giant cockroaches on their faces and fed them semen.  As far as I can tell, these are neurotypical children.  These children didn't tell.  The only reason he was found out is because he was photographing it and having it developed.  The clerk at the store reporting the photos to the police (bless him!).  They set up surveillance in the classroom and he was caught.

These issues are not special needs vs. neurotypical.  We all need to take notice.  We need to do everything we can to protect our kids. 


  1. OMG! This just is too unbelievable to fathom and makes me sick to my stomach. It also makes me grateful to have a full time independent tutor with my son.

    As for people who get a certain mindset - there's no turning them - they will use whatever information you give them to support their own ridiculous beliefs. I've learned that the hard way. And, have I told you, how much I admire you for what you are doing? Hmmm, I think I just did.

  2. You amaze me. Your fight and determination is so inspirational!!! And that sicko down in LA with those 3rd Graders...thank GOD for wonderful Clerks at the photo place...OMG, those kids...what is WRONG with some people!?!??! Anyway, you're right, if we don't advocate for our kids WHO will!?!?!?! We must BE their voice until they have their own strong voices. And your little man has a real tiger in his court!!! RRRRRRooooar!!! You go Mama!

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