Friday, May 23, 2008

Offensive?

I was watching the news last night when a story came on about a rape occuring at a local highschool between 2 students in a stairwell that is off limits to everyone but staff. Much of the report focused on kids and parents commenting on "how could this happen", "where were the hall monitors?"...as they wrapped up the report, the reporter covering closed by saying something to the effect of "it should be known that the 2 students involved are in some special education classes. Mike Whoever, Local 7 News."


Hhhhmmmm, I thought, did he just say what I think he did? Did he just say that the students were involved in special education classes? What the hell? What could that possibly have to do with the matter at hand, one student raped another student! That reporter would never say "and it should be known that the 2 students involved were African American." or "Hindu" or Puerto Rican. I just couldn't imagine what his point was in saying this!

I mean, are we supposed to surmise from know this that it was a totally unusual situation? Were we supposed to think "Oh, they must have been mentally retarded, they didn't know the difference!". I can't say enough that I don't get why he would make a point of relaying that information.

I emailed the studio I felt so strongly about this. I noted that in the 7pm newscast they replayed the story, but that part was left out. Coincidence? Maybe others were offended as well. I don't know, am I wrong to be so offended?

Where does this child belong?

It's been awhile since I blogged, but it seems these last weeks of school and a few other activities Casey is involved, plus work, has taken up a lot of time. I find myself reading others thinking "Gee, I need to blog" and then get distracted.

Not that there isn't lots to talk about, so many things changing for Case. So many things in the works, summer, camp, Indy visits. I guess the biggest issue is considering and then acting upon changing what we sorta established last week as his educational plan for next year in his IEP.

Ever since I went to visit his new school next year, I have had trepedations about moving him into the same situation he's in now- part of the day in the Autism program, part in regular ed. But, after seeing the room that I thought that he would be in for AI (this is the term they use for the Autism program), I basically shed tears, thinking I was sorta setting him up for the rest of his career in school to be obtaining lifeskills and not a lot of emphasis on being "diploma bound" if you will. I am not putting down a lifeskills curriculum for some kids, it's reality, it's what will work for them, and hopefully make their adult lives tolerable and happy. But I want to find out if Case could do more than that, I want to see if maybe, just maybe, he could go to college, he could have a career. Who knows. But I know deep down, if I keep him in the AI program, I probably won't see that happen if it is possible.

We had the IEP though, and we basically signed off on another year of the same, I think more out of familiarity, uncertainty, security. THis will be a new school, 5th graders are bigger, more mature. Did I want him around them all day had I done things differently on the IEP. We left feeling ok about things, but I still have an itch that I can't scratch. One that is telling me that we didnt' make the right move for Casey, considering what we want for him.

I had avoided my dear friend who is an activist in the field of inclusion in our school district. Her son is a year older than Casey, incredibly intelligent, but still having some issues, and his verbals skills are still a work in progress. But she's had him in full on regular ed for the past 3 years, and doing fine. She has always encouraged me to do the same. But I have so much fear about it, would he get services if he wasn't in a special program, would he have to ride the regular bus with regular kids who picked on him? WOuld have a good paraprofessional that would work with him, not for him, but still make sure he wasnt' getting beat up in the bathroom or on the playground. All these thoughts have held me back, despite the fact that my friend has never reported such issues about her son's situation. I hadn't spoken to her about much of anything, for fear she would lull me into wanting to change things for him.

Stupid me called her the other day, and of course being the awesome, on top of things person that she is, knew I had had our IEP. I told her the whole story, and of course, she started on me:
"So, you are going to put him in a program that left you in
tears after you saw it?".
Stunned silence......
"yeah" I replied, in a stupid child to her mother after doing something dumb and having to answer to it.
"Hhhmmm" she replied without really saying anything but everything.

The conversation continued, and in short, she has offered to be an advocate if we wanted to get him in regular ed and do it right.

I can't stop thinking about it now, and will continue this train of thought later......