Can I tell you something. Got to tell you one thing. If you expect the freedom that you say is yours prove that you deserve it. Help us to preserve it or being free will just be words and nothing more.
Kansas, 1974

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Autism Report Cards

I've got this idea rolling around in my head about how to help parents of autistic children help their kids. What I would love to have is a district by district, school by school break down on what services are available for autistic students. I want to know how accommodating districts are in meeting the diverse needs of autistic students. Some schools and districts do better by their students than others and I want to know which is which.

As parents we are often at the mercy of the school districts who hold all of the cards and know more about what programs are available than we do. It has been my experience that they don't always share that information. We've had to go to outside sources to get a more clear picture of what we could and couldn't expect from our school district. It is also the case that some school districts are unaware of what programs they could utilize to help their autistic students.

Over the years of my involvement with our school district I've gotten the impression that school districts have their cookie cutter solutions that they offer to every parent. This is to be expected when dealing with government bureaucracy. As a parent knowing this significantly before hand can a big help in getting your school district to provide you with what your child needs rather than what the district wants to give.

Having said that I'm looking for a starting point for this project. I'm looking for ideas for how this could work. I'm looking for parents to share their experiences with their school districts and their children's schools. And I'm looking for an established organization (with more resources at their disposal) that could help make this work.

2 comments:

  1. Hello. I am a Montessori teacher working at a private school. Although I see the value in your idea, I would imagine if there was a specially designed report card for Autistic children, children with other Neurological and Developmental challenges would need the same thing. In addition, children who fall under the Autism spectrum are all very different from one another. I think what would help parents of Autistic children would be a written "progress" report- outlining the progress the child is making in each area- rather than using the grading system. Again though, this could raise much conterversy with other parents of children with special needs. I suppose that is why I am on the fence about mainstreaming/integration V.S. "special needs" schools.

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  2. I don't want report cards for the children. I want report cards for the schools. I want parents to be able to know if a school or school district has a good track record of providing services for special needs children or if the school or district is the kind that is more likely to throw road blocks in their way. The later is more common than the former and if parents knew which they were dealing with before hand that would give then one more advantage in a situation that is usually stacked against them.

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