I warn you that this is a pretty lengthy post. I applaud you if you read it from top to bottom.
An article entitled, “Special needs kids forced to leave public school system advocates say” was shared in a local autism spectrum disorder moms support group I was in. It addressed concerns for parents in the province I live in.
An advocacy group is calling on the British Columbia government to address gaps in the public school system after an online survey revealed more than half of polled parents have removed their special needs children from school because their needs aren’t being met.
...The group polled 236 of its members...
About 51 percent of those polled said they had removed their children. Thirty-one per cent of those that had removed their children said they were forced to do so, while 18 per cent said they did it by choice.
Like most online groups, especially ones where you have been a member of for over a year and should feel safe and everyone respects each others opinions, I thought I’d share my story. How I have had a great experience in the school system so far for my son. Here’s the comment I left to that article posted (a little of the wording is changed for a more clean read on a blog post, but I assure you, the point remains the same):
My son has been in three schools between two cities: Elementary school for grade Grade kindergarten to grade 5, another elementary school for grade 6 and 7, middle school for grade 8, and come next year another new school for high school for grade 9 to grade 12.
Every year we have had an amazing support staff, incredible teachers, great communication, and never have had a problem. We make staff cry at the end of the year as we say goodbye. They are like family to me and I love each and everyone of them.
It saddens me when I see parents posting on social media groups that they have to homeschool their kids because they left the school system, the teacher called and so-and-so needs to go home for reasons that imply the teacher or support staff can’t handle it, or bullying, etc. I don’t know if it’s the school districts, schools, area, lack of parent involvement or communication, or their child isn’t adjusting to a school setting, but it seems to be a combination of things and not just the school to blame.
Nobody is “forced” to leave the school system. You chose to leave the school system.
And honestly I don’t understand how a poll of 200ish people are the voice for every parent who has a child with special needs. It mentions in the article that parents removed their child from the school because their needs weren’t being met. Why weren’t your child's needs being met? Did your Individual Education Plan (IEP) have unrealistic goals? Does your Education Assistant (EA) or supportive staff not communicate with you or you to them? It breaks my heart if someone felt compelled to leave a school for whatever reason but regardless of the circumstances I would fight for my sons education and rights to an education until I was blue in the face, and even then, I’d keep fighting.
I realize that everyone has different circumstances, situations, reasons, whatever you would like to call it, for leaving the public school system but I don’t understand how one is “forced” to.
If you’re not on the same page with your child’s support staff, fight until you were not only on the same page but they memorized it word for word and then recited it back to you.
This is no disrespect to anyone who leaves the school system or feels “forced” out but it’s almost like giving up on your child’s rights to an education. You have to fight because nobody else will. Change schools if you have to but never give up. It’s your choice to do what you feel is best for your child but never, ever give up.
I apologize if I have offended anyone. I’m biased because I have had a great experience with the school system.
Boy was leaving that comment a big mistake! Forget feeling safe and respecting each others opinions. It was their opinion or no opinion at all. Monopolizing how you are to think and no room for disagreements.
I was removed from the group being told in a private message from one of the admins that “we have been notified about some of your posts that don’t really fit with what the etiquette in the ASD group and just wanted to give you a heads up as I will be removing you from the group”.
“Etiquette”?? I had an opinion that was different than yours, and I’m being punished for it? Because you can’t handle someone else’s opinion?
I simply replied, “Whatever.”
And then I got angry, which, I’m sure most people in these types of situations do:
...It is very sad to be removed from a group because an opinion differs. If we all had the same opinion, we wouldn’t need a support group. Good luck.
I was disappointed.
I don’t have any close family or support outside of the school, and to be in a group with other local moms who are all on the same boat as me, who ‘get’ me, meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to me for my son. I was even looking forward to a meetup that was being planned at a local park, but that’s clearly off the table.
Being in a group that is supposed to be about supporting each other, listening to each other, respecting each other, and I’m removed from the group because you don’t want to support me, you don’t want to listen, and you don’t want to respect me? “Whatever!!”
It does suck. I’m not going to lie. But to know that those were the type of women in the group, attacking me over my opinion differing their own, well, I don’t want to be a part of a group like that anyways.
Shortly after I was removed I received several private messages from members who either were agreeing with me or sharing that the school system hasn’t failed them.
Sadktm something I have noticed over the year that I’ve been in groups. You stand alone when you post something online until you have people agreeing with you. If you have people agreeing with you you will get all kinds of support. If anyone disagrees with you nobody who agrees with you will say anything in fear that they too will be attacked.
I ended up saving the entire conversation that took place. Me defending my opinion, then being attacked for it, people disagreeing with me, words being put into my mouth when they are clearly typed for all to see, you know, the whole typical crap you would expect whenever opinions differ.
I was debating if I should add some of the things people said, some of my responses to this post, but I honestly just don’t care anymore.
I’m done with support groups.
From now on it’s just me, myself, and Bryce.
Thanks for reading,