What’s the big IDEA?

The one beautiful thing about having a child on the autism spectrum is that you never stop learning.  Today’s lesson was not given by Kaitlyn though.  Instead, it was the local school district.

For the record, the school district feels it can deny reassignment requests without providing a valid reason or offering alternatives.  Nice to know.  Also nice to know is that some people in the district office are clearly ignorant of autism spectrum disorders, and allow their ignorance to cloud their judgement.

The lesson for today is that school district policy can apparently define “disability” when it comes to providing services.  Having a professional diagnosis is not sufficient, and does not mean a thing to them.  Because Kaitlyn is on the autism spectrum, she is, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled.  One one think that the designation, coupled with the definition of “disabled” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) would qualify her for services in our school district.  We’re not talking anything over the top, just allowing her to have a teacher next year that has an autism endorsement…someone who took the time and effort to become specialized in teaching children with autism.  According to the school district, that is flawed logic on my part.  So is my citing, verbatum, Supreme Court decisions regarding just that.

I am going to continue to fight for Kaitlyn to get the best possible teacher in the fall, and have already spoken to a nice lady at the Florida Department of Education and a nice man at the U.S. Department of Education.  I will not sit idly by and allow Kaitlyn to be subject to ridicule because her Asperger’s makes her classroom experience different from others.  At this point, I am fighting not only for Kaitlyn, but for other autistic children, because if they treat my daughter this way and I am a thorn in their side, imagine how they treat the kids with parents that take the first rejection and move on.  Kaitlyn teaches me everyday what intense, unconditional love is, and I owe the same to her in all aspects of her life. 

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5 responses

  1. Besides to the “nice people” that you mentioned maybe you should also speak to the “nice man” who prepared your will.

    1. It may eventually come to that. Right now, I am finishing up the complaint regarding the guy’s ADA violation. Even if nothing comes of the complaint, he will certainly get the message that he should educate himself more about autism. ADA violations can be costly…$55,000 for the first, $110,000 for each one thereafter.

  2. You keep fighting for my granddaughter. If you don’t no one else will.

  3. Go get ’em Tommy! Treat them like they stole your tickets to a Sox game! One of the first things we were told, when Caedmon was diagnosed, was that we would have to fight like dogs to get his treated approproately in the schools. Getting the local school on board is just the first step. The subsequent battles of red tape, school boards, etc will be a laborious task… good thing you are a marathoner.

    For the record, K is welcome to come to the Sprague School. Just sign the form that you are home schooling her and bring her over.

  4. […] They might describe remodeling their home or moving to a new one, you might hear how they had to fight their local school or find a new education plan altogether, and you could hear about the staggering amounts of money […]

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