Friday, May 30, 2008

Autism - The News - and Personal Timing

I don't know if you've heard about this story. A teacher led her students to vote an autistic child out of class because of his disruptive behavior. Teacher lets Morningside students vote out 5 year old classmate

This is just the tip of the iceberg on this story and it sure got my dander up. Having just posted this Arabian Horses as Healers I'm feeling a bit sensitive on the subject. The post tells about my two grandsons who have autism spectrum disorder.

The oldest grandson has never been officially diagnosed. However, it has been clear to me since he was an infant that he is a high functioning autistic. I think his life would be alot different if he had gotten early intervention. I'm not sure if there is help for him at the age of 21.

I just found out on Saturday that the second grandson has just been diagnosed. He is four years old and is just now beginning a program for children his age with autism spectrum disorder. I understand that he is also being evaluated for Asperger's Syndrome.

Anyway, back to the point of a teacher behaving in such a manner. What kind of hope for these kids is there if a teacher who has the pertinent information chooses to deal with them like this. Not to mention about the message it sends to the rest of the kids in that classroom.

This blog has seen lots of posts about abuse but I'm not sure I was prepared for this kind of callousness in this day and age. We're supposed to be becoming more enlightened. Aren't we?


Lynn said...

I think, the bottom line is, most people just think that no matter what the problem is, or what is going on, that people should just 'act normal'. This is a very pervasive message in society.

I remember how my parents, especially my mother, used to torment me and threaten when I couldn't make myself stop crying because of having a panic attack.

I think actions like this are mean and thoughtless and belong to the whole 'just get over it' mentality. The poor little boy is supposed to just decide to not be autistic anymore because it is inconvenient for other people? I wonder if that teacher thinks it's convenient for HIM?! I'm sure she didn't even consider him, he's just too inconvenient! Yes, I really think that is exactly how many people are.

Clueless said...

Okay, I can't be silent. I was a social worker for people with developmental disabilities in California and have worked with such individuals for almost 20 years.

This just outrages me to no end. First of all, you do not to that to any child or adult no matter what the circumstances are. There would be severe consequences in California with the Regional Center system. I don't know what Florida is like. Does the teacher obtain her judgement skills by watching reality television? Actually, this horrifies me that she is a teacher. What about respect, common decency, common sense. Not to mention, classroom management skills and who was his aide and what other things did they try, who did she consult with, did the parents know, and on and on. Not to mention his disability which just magnifies everything. What a traumatic experience for him. I just pray that the parents know how to handle it well. Sorry to go on, but this really angered me. This one event can potentially effect him for the rest of his life!!!

By the way, your blog has been an encouragement to me and helped me to take a very bold step yesterday, where I actually summarized my abuse right below my profile. Scary!!! Thank you for your inspiration.

Rising Rainbow said...

lynn, I think you're right that lots of people just want others to act normal. I think that's because of their own insecurities and feeling somehow they might be exposed.

From what I can tell his parents are really on the ball on this one. They see their son as a gift and undestand their role in making the world a safer place for him. But still how can this NOT scar this little boy? This is clearly abuse in my book.

I can easily see what it would do to my sweet grandson. The thought breaks my heart.

clueless, I did immediately think of reality tv and wondered if the teached couldn't tell the difference between those games and real life. I think all those little kids must have thought it was normal to be voting him "off." How sick is that?

If I have been an ecouragement to you, I am pleased.It makes all I've gone through worthwhile if others can be helped by it. I wish you success in your healing process.

Enola said...

Wow. How horrible. My BIL is autistic. This outrages me.

Kahless said...

Unfortunately I am not surprised. I see prejudism all over the place with Mrs K being in a wheelchair. Even these last few days I have seen it up close. We see it even worse abroad when we follow the football. Mrs K tends to be ignored and wished away by society. It pisses me off and saddens me. I have just posted a bit myself on the subject.

One of my blog-friends has Aspergers as does her son. Check out her blog. She is DJKirkby linked on my side-bar. She has just started her son with horse-riding lessons which he loves. So I was thinking about maybe her son would love to see the pictures on your other blog.

Rising Rainbow said...

Enola, yes this outrages me as well. And it's not just because I love someone how is autistic. I would hate it regardless. No child should be treated in that manner.

kahless, I know how having someone in a wheelchair can be as well, with all those months we went through that with Lindsay. Many people are just so self-centered an insensitive.

As for djkirby, I read her blog (I even won one of her caption awards but have never gotten around to posting it, bad bad MiKael!) and I know all about her son's horse riding lessons. As a matter of fact she commented on my horse blog she wishes we were closer so I could give him lessons because his instructors are not understanding. I think that both she and her son visit my horse blog to see the "pretty horse pictures!" lol So you are right on in your thinking.

DJ Kirkby said...

I don't know if you know but I have Asperger syndrome and my youngest is beinging the diagnostic process. I hated school, it was soul destroying and he feels much the same way and for good reason.

keepers said...

horrible is the first word to pop in our head and we could go on from there, just totally disgusting.


jumpinginpuddles said...

we have an autistic son who is often misunderstood but until we understand their world isnt our world then we got to know him. For us it was easy for our world isnt like others and autism was easy for us to get while others struggled we didnt.

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

That just makes me angry! I can't believe that people (especially a teacher) act like that!

April_optimist said...

My heart tightened as I read your post. Too many memories of my son not being accepted too many places I wish he had been. Mind you, there were moments and people who unexpectedly accepted him when I was sure they wouldn't. But too many times--including his paternal grandmother's house--where he wasn't. (((((Hugs))))) at having these issues hit home with you, too.

Cheesemeister said...

With that attitude, the teacher should have also had the class put on swastika arm bands and taught them to do the Hitler salute while saying "zieg heil!" I hope they fired her stupid ass and she will never be allowed to teach again.

austin said...

My 4th grade teacher did this to me so I know too well how this little boy feels. My gracious!!!! They voted the boy "off the island" so to speak as if his schooling and social acceptance were a game.

This hits me hard not just because we're talking about a child here or because I can relate to the story but because my roommate has AS. I live with behaviors that others would find odd. This story is touching in so many ways. That woman should so truly have her license pulled. She humiliated him, simple and true, she humiliated him.