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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Special Needs, Special Education, Aides, And Stuff.

As the mother of a Special Needs child that is NOT Neurotypical, I love to educate others (the public at large) on what it's like as a parent, but also for our kids, that have a SILENT Disability.

What is a Silent Disability you ask? Well, to put it in layman's terms, it means that someone has a disability, or a combination of different disabilities that does NOT outwardly show in physical appearance. They may walk and talk just fine. But on he INSIDE, it is a completely different story. The person may have Lupus or Fibromyalgia. Or they have Bipolar or Oppositional Defiance Disorder. And there are MANY upon many other ailments, malady's and illness that seem to not appear to be noticed on the outside of the body.

My son has several mental disorders. They impede and impact his daily living and social skills. And also his eating and sleeping habits. He has very few friends. He has a very difficult time with outward, verbal expression. He has emotional set backs, as well as a decreased maturity level (that is NOT within 'normal' range for a boy his age). For the most part, he looks, walks, and talks just like you and I. But when he displays his "quirks" and has manic episodes, and angers so badly that the devil looks like an angel, then you know something is seriously off with my boy.

Have you ever gotten upset at ANY person that parks in the Handicapped Parking space, only to see them get out and walk in to the store, minus a cane, walker, or scooter. And even without an oxygen tank? Are you more upset that they took that spot from a REAL disabled person? Or that they walk and act "just fine"? Maybe for you, it's both?

I've honestly lost count of how many stares my mother-in-law and I have gotten as we step out the van and WALK to the store's entrance from her handicapped parking space. She is disabled and cannot stay in the store and walk for too long. And she has a hard time breathing, but not needing oxygen (yet). She has Systemic Lupus, a colostomy bag and she tires easily due to the Lupus. But you cannot see that from just looking at her.

Now, back to children with Special Needs (of any kind, really). I was reading on my local news station's web page that a near-by county is CUTTING Behavioral Aides from their schools. Why? They suddenly became a part of the county's budget cuts.

Those that work with kids like mine are an integral part of those student's having the ability, focus and willingness to learn, and learn effectively. To take them away from those kids (as was said in the article) for even just ONE school year, can set those kids (potentially) back for SEVERAL years to come.

I'm sorry, but no basic Teacher's Aide will be able to 'effectively' assist those children in the manner that they need the help to be within the mainstream classroom setting. Not unless they too have children that have some type of mental/behavioral disability/disorder.

Even then, for as long as I have been dealing with and learning the ropes with my own child, it does NOT make me an "expert" in the field of Childhood Neurological Behavioral Sciences. I'm just a MOM that has a lot of personal experience and literature-based knowledge of what is wrong with MY child.

Many, if not MOST of those children have SSI Disability, as well as Medicaid Insurance. If need be, the kids can still have their Aides (those that will require the most one-on-one assistance), and Medicaid can pick up the bills. All they will need is a Pre-Authorization from their Specialist. Ninety-nine percent of the time, Pre-Auth's are APPROVED.

In the end, it's truly a win-win situation. No money out of the school's pocket (or the children's parents). And the kids get the Aides that they desperately need in order to receive the best education possible for their abilities (and disabilities).

Honestly, this is a 'no-brainer'....


singedwingangel said...

Umm legally speaking, based upon the federal laws for children with special needs in a calssroom, their cutting of those staff may be illegal. Those parents need to find out what they are required to provide by law.. and I agree that is crap those individuals are NEEDED and I can think of a ton of things most schools have that are not needed..

pr0udmom0f3 said...

That was MY thought as well, where the LEGAL aspects are concerned.

I thought *Federal* Law mandated that ALL public schools were to provide ALL necessary tools to individuals that meet the criteria of the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

Even if the Aides are from an outside agency (such as Child and Family Community Services). Same for Day Treatment therapists.

Adoption of Jane said...

Great post! Glad I found your FB too!

Shell said...

Schools like to look at $$$ and not what is best for the kids. I would be having a fit over this.

As for the handicapped spots- my baby brother has Crohn's Disease and for a while, was very sick- he hardly had the energy to walk from that spot to wherever we were going, but people would be nasty about it b/c he didn't "look" sick. He looked like a typical 18/19 year-old who was taking advantage. Really made me mad that people would be rude about it.

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