How do we know if we have failed a student?

Here’s normal- for us.

Today, the Boy stimmed so much and pinched himself so much and banged his head with his hands out of sheer frustration, he physically hurt and I cried. Then I gave him his PRN.

This is the stuff NO ONE wants to read, not because they think it’s a lie, but because they have no words or actions to make A or his family have any comfort. We read so many inclusion (that word can mean many things) success stories, we can’t acknowledge as a special needs community sometimes we, the system, fail.

This is what breaks my heart about A: He KNOWS he has no friends. His last one, way more impaired than him, dropped him. Defriending for no explanation at all 😢

His school (I’m hoping mistakenly) forgot to send me the emails of parents who said they would release their emails (love the non-rights and inequality of students with disabilities and those without- no student handbooks even with parental permission, this is a first in his ed career) but this is how he sees his friends in black and white.

He’s trying to have a *small* bday party with actual peers (and a few specially chosen adult friends) but this is how he feels in his heart. I don’t blame most of the kids- they don’t know they hurt him bc of their disabilities- but I do question their parents’ roles. Anyone who has met A, teachers etc, will tell you how kind he is.

***Why as a society do we allow kids with autism to feel this way because they are treated as second class citizens?***

No speech by an SLP. I can only advocate so much. Some kids and their parents and some schools simply are not good and we will make the best out of a non-ideal situation.

Does this not make you sad? Maybe it’s a mama thing. ***Maybe the best we can do is teach our kids with autism how to get along with adults.***

He will have a birthday party with a few, or no, friends. These are HIS words below, not mine.

He can’t go to church without be ostracized. He CAN go to the pool, Echo, or Yogibo. Thank goodness. He doesn’t have enough hours with his PCA and respite worker because of the worker’s schedule now, so I do the best I can. We have used a family friend to cover weeks of hours, as needed.

But this is a SAD reflection on how we as teams and professionals (DDS, schools, districts, churches, HUMANS) see kids feel. We don’t, or rarely can’t, do anything. The older the person with a disability gets, the less people are responsive.

Another birthday, after being physically mistreated or maybe sexually abused at his old school, we simply don’t know, *after sitting at home for two months* to go to a school it took 90 minutes the last two Fridays for him to get home from…. shouldn’t he have the ability to have a birthday celebration with his peers and shouldn’t we have the ability to *invite* people?

Instead, I will be sending him things in the mail and pretending they are from people who care about him and I will be forging cards. The school prior (EVERY school prior) at least had a parent directory- this one refuses/doesn’t.

Let’s be honest. Have you met my son? The labels (ASD, ID) don’t do him justice. He is kind and friendly. He loves weather and teddy bears. He is affectionate.

He is not a bad young man, he has never in his life had a discipline problem. He has been failed by so many people, but now I am beginning to wonder if I am one of them, as well. Did I not do the right things or enough things?

Special ed. Too many politics, too much drama, not enough caring about students and people.

Thanks for walking in our shoes for a few minutes.

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