The one thing that I don’t think I will ever get used to with all this autism stuff… is how quickly things change. I am talking emotions.. and not my son’s, mine! (Although his emotions certainly do change quickly as well.) One day I am feeling proud as a peacock riding on a victory high and full of hope. And the next day, I feel like I have been punched in the stomach, the world is spinning and well I just want to get off this emotional roller coaster!
I just found out that my son’s school is set to lose one Special Education teacher and one Special Education Assistant this upcoming 2011-2012 school year. I had heard this was a possibility but now it seems to be set in stone. The IEP population at the school continues to increase and yet the resource staff gets smaller and smaller. We have some of the best Resource teachers I have ever seen, however they are already spread too thin. How in the hell can they possibly take on more students? I just don’t get it.
Many of the special needs parents have started to voice our concerns in a more formal way. We are starting respectfully with the school administration but are ready to take it higher to the County School Board. But deep down I fear that it is all in vain. Decisions have been made and I am not sure even raised voices will be heard. Even if they hear us… they will most likely turn a deaf ear.
And so I am left numb. What will this mean to my son next year? I am not sure. What will it mean to the other kids who already have IEPs? I am not sure.What about those who will be overlooked, the kids who should have an IEP but won’t because the teachers just don’t have the time to see them, to hear them to help them!
What makes me even more scared, is that I am afraid that part way through the year the school will finally come to their senses and hire back those resource staff members and then start shuffling kids around. We all know that most of our kids do not do well with change. How can that possibly be a good thing for anyone?
I was already feeling a little sad today. I mean in two days my kids will graduate from 4th and 2nd grade. They are getting so big and although that makes me happy… well it makes me a little sad too. But I could deal with that, because I had hope that next year, next year was going to be another great year for both of them. I am not so sure of this anymore. Jay flourished this year, he bloomed and made huge leaps and bounds and it is in part due to all the hard work, effort and patience of his special education teacher. Jay was in an inclusive class but the resource teacher was there to help him, to pull him out when he got overwhelmed, to encourage him, to be his biggest fan. How can she do this if she is taking on more students? It is not physically possibly. Or worse yet… what if she is the one let go? Jay would be devastated… I would be devastated.
I have never really liked roller coaster rides. They jerk you around, make your head spin and leave you with a nauseous feeling. Would someone PLEASE tell the operator to let me off this one! I would much rather be on a nice carousal ride instead. You still may go round and round but at least there are no surprises.