Appropriate question from Special Education Director?
Question:She stated that children with disabilities will "fail to leave school with a diploma, fail to be employed, and are much more likely to be incarcerated". What would your reaction and response be to this having a disabled child of your own?
You give the quote, but not the context or setting. If this was said to a family or gathering of students and parents, then yes that is totally wrong. If this quote was taken as part of discussion or lecture/speech about special education, than I would need to see the rest of the speech to decide. It is possible she was using this statement to set up a discussion of the programs the district has or would like to have to prove this to be untrue. However, if this is her personal feelings on special education and is using it to formulate the programs in her district, than it is time to organzie and have her removed. Her position needs to be filled by a person who see the potentials and advocates for them rahter than settling for what she feels is "good enough".
She is only giving parents who have children with learning disabilities the true facts. It would be inappropriate for her not to address these issues. Parents who have children need to know how vulerable their children are for failing school and not graduating or becoming a criminal. My sister is a special education and learning disabilities teacher, and I am a professional nanny who specializes in children with special needs.
Instead of becoming offended at the Special Educatin Director who said this, I would like to ask you a simple question. Did you know this before she pointed this out? I do not think she is trying to hurt anyone. She is trying to make parents aware of how lost these kids become when they have a learning disability, as some parent/s are in denial. I know this first hand with the children I work with. To lose almost half of these children is 1/2 too many.
I would be very angry. When I was younger, I worked with disabled children, emotionally disabled to be exact and I take offense to that. A Special Education Director should be a person who looks out for these children and someone they can look up to. I think the comment that this person made is disgraceful. No matter what disabilities a child has, with the right kind of people in their life, in which I mean positive people, they can achieve alot more than expected. I would confront this person and tell them what I think of their comment. Then I would report them to a higher person within the school and suggest they find themselves a new Director.
I would be very upset, and probably pissed off if I heard a special education teacher said this. I have known alot of children that had disabilities that have led very productive lives. I know that there are different degrees of disabilities, but to make a statement like that is just wrong. Did a teacher actually say this, it is just appalling to me.
I would write a letter that discussed everything you talked about and mail it to the Superintendent of the school-certified and with a copy of course ! Then, I would show up at the next school board meeting and let them know about it. If this keeps happening,because they all rub elbows,I would write a letter to the state with a complaint. You might be surprised how many others are complaining too. Make a voice and let yourself be heard ! Good luck to you ! E-mail me if you would like to talk some more.
What state are you in? Well, I, too, have a special education son and this comment would really piss me off. My response would be "I realize that you feel the need to make sure I am being realistic in my expectations of my son and his future. However, I know better than anyone how difficult his life is and is going to be. What I need from you, as the SED, is what plan and what opportunities you might be able to offer for his 'positive' future, not his negative one." By the way, my 16 year old son just got his first paying job in the maintenance department at our church. That position is one of importance and prestige and the others who work there actually support their families on that income, so I know he's going to be fine. Not only that, my sister also has a special needs son who is now 21, lives in his own apartment and is working at a supermarket where the people really love him because of his hard work and sweet spirit.
On the other hand, my non-disabled son is serving time in prison for his drug addiction criminal activities. Which one would you rather raise? I know what my answer is! lol.
I would make it a personal mission to see her fired, her professional ciertification revoked, and never allowed to teach ANY child again.
With regard to her specific lies:
1) Over half of children with disabilities graduate high school--with high school diplomas. And those who don''t include those issued "IEP diplomas"--which essentially are nothing but a CYA document used to excuse people like her when they don't do their job of educating children with disabilities. It also includes many extreme cases who don't have the cognitive ability to handle the academic work but are warehoused in special ed classes instead of getting the kind of help that might actually do them some good.
2) The majority of adults with disabilities who survive the tendermercies of people like this woman ARE employed. Many have college degrees (In my case, three advanced degrees) and statistically, perform just as well as the non-disabled. And most ARE employed.
3)There is a somewhat higher rate of incarceration--but when you control for education (IF, again, the child gets an education) the correlation dissappears. And the correlation is with education, not disability. The percentage of non-disabled persons without education in prison is comparable to that of those with disabilities, lacking education, who are incarcerated.
I would have asked her why she even bothered taking the job she has. I would then quit wasting my time with her. Compose a letter stating when and where this comment was made and who else heard it, and asking every single parent with a child with special needs to attend the next School Board meeting to ask the board to remove her from her job. Good luck!
Fire her disfunctional NT **. And fire the fool(s) who hired such a JERK!
I yanked both of my ASD children out of the dismal local public school system and that school wasn't as bad as that.
I would be calling my lawyer.
I have to agree, the context of the statement is an important consideration. However, as an individual with Asperger's, mother of an Aspie, grandmother and cousin to preschooler and adult "classic autism" individuals, I have to say I would be extremely disturbed by such a comment.
First of all, it is a bad policy, in my opinion, to quote statistics. They are seldom accurate and generally skewed to fit a particular goal. I think the figures listed by another poster, the sociologist, would be more accurate.
Secondly, the statement is negative to a point that I would wonder if this person either dislikes her job, or has suffered from burnout. (Special Ed is an easy area to burn out as it is often a thankless job trying to make up for a lack of involvement from parents. Obviously, this isn't always the case, but I've worked Special Ed in a large inner city, and it broke my heart the potential that was being wasted because the parents couldn't be bothered with their "defective" children.)
I would definitely meet with this person and discuss my concerns. If she maintains her stance and sees no problem with her attitude, I would consider alternative education options for my child. You should be aware that the more involved you are in your child's education the better the final outcome is likely to be.
I have three daughters with LD each one differs in how it how it has affected their lives. My oldest daughter is developmentally delayed and still works. She won't ever be rich but she can function well enough to live on her own. My middle daughter is making around 30,000 and is going back to school to become an art teacher. Her LD is less limiting, my youngest is only 15 and in a school for children with LD and plans on becoming a psychologist and working with children with LD. She takes all of the same state tests that every other high school student takes and has been able to maintain an average of 90 and above for the first three semesters. We won't know about the last semester until report cards on the 22 of June. I would take my complaint to her supervisor and request that she no longer deal with my child's case. I would also tell her that she's prejudiced against children with LD and that she should reconsider her job.
I do not have a disabled child, but want to work with the disabled. I disagree with her statement. If I was interviewing for a position with her as my boss, I don't think I would want to take the position because she does not feel that the disabled can succeed in life. There are some people with disabilities that will not receive a diploma, some will fail to be employed, and some are more likely to be incarcerated. However, the same is true of the general public.
The reaction I would give at the time the statement was made would depend on the situation, setting, and relationship with the director. It could be anything from debating it with her, to not saying anything, to changing the subject.
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