SCHOOL TOO EARLY?
I have had second thoughts about DJ’s public school many times. Personally, I am all for ABA therapy which is not what the public schools do. DJ was only 3 yrs old when he started. Just 3! It felt like my baby was being taken away from me. But I also knew that I had to do what was best for him. At that time, it was to let him go. We were still so new on this journey and I still had many questions and a lot to learn. Deep down, I knew that I could not give him what he needed and the 1 hour of speech a week we were getting at home; wasn’t going to do it.
So that was then. Now, I again have to do what I feel is best for my son. What I feel is best is to take him out of public school. I withdrew him this morning. It was not an easy decision and not anything personal at the school or staff. There have been several on going issues (just this school year) that I needed to do what I felt was necessary.
Main reason is personal safety. There have been numerous times where DJ has been hurt in some way and no one even knows how it happened. That is unacceptable in my book and I blame lack of training more than a teacher or aide. After having had several conversations with the aides in his class, I am not impressed. They are not trained even close to enough. You are dealing with special needs children and as such, need to know the basics and they do not. Anyone in the autism community know what ABA is. Now they may not know all the details or how to do it; but they know the term. These aides did not. Now they have some understanding as I have educated them myself, but to not even have heard of the term? That is a minor thing and there is much more, but I don’t feel the need to make these public.
I will say that I had a wonderful talk with the principal. He is aware of the issues and informed me that he’d just met with the staff last week about the need to correct these. Safety was one of those things. I assured him that I know he is trying, and that DJ’s actual teacher is awesome. But I did express that the aides, while not bad people; are just not trained enough for this job. As such, my child has been hurt too many times. They are minor, yes. But I am his voice for he has no voice right now. And, as his voice and his mother who wants to protect her child; I can not in good conscience let him go back. I explained how I have already thought of withdrawing him but gave it more than another try. I can’t wait for something major to happen. I will never forgive myself. So I thanked him for his time, for meeting and hearing my concerns; but politely turned down the please give us time request.
Time is not something you have much of these days. And when early intervention is the key, it is even more precious. So while I do not doubt they will get things as they should be, I can not waste valuable time while they do so. I have many resources to teach my son for now and have made great progress the last few months with it being just him and I. It will be work, but when it’s your child and their well being; is it really work?