I fear I have been extremely tight-lipped on this blog for quite some time. Life, as it is for some many parents, has just not been easy for quite some time. Though, that is not the reason for my lack of updates. A month ago, today, I discovered something that the school had done to my son. Because of the nature of it, I feel it’s best not to discuss the exact details. What I can say is this:
From February 12, 2013 – February 21, 2013, my son’s school violated the law, my child’s rights and my rights as his mother. During that time frame, they removed him from the safety of his class and interrogated him, without my knowledge or permission. As I was not consulted about these interrogations, I have no idea how many times they occurred, how everything that was said/done or even how long each interrogation lasted. I was only briefly shown a notebook full of dates and brief descriptions.
Needless to say, it has been a month since Cameron has been to school. I feel like I am fighting an endless battle.I have attempted to get help from the school board in this matter, only to be told if I continued to keep my son from that school, they would file truancy charges against me. Those who know me personally, know I have been seeking other educational avenues for quite some time. In fact, the very moment I received the call about what was occurring, I was in the meeting with a local agency that was going to help in acting as an advocate for my son and myself.
I have been lucky to locate a school in the area that is geared towards helping children on the autism spectrum. They are a small school, roughly only 9 students, I believe? But their teachers are kind and friendly and their space, though unusual (it’s in an actual house) is comforting. They do not gear their educational program to just reading and arithmetic, but also social skills and everyday skills to help the children later on in life. It is a place where I hope Cameron can find that he belongs. One where he can have the opportunities to not only learn from the teachers, but also the older children who have at one time or another, been where he is. The downside is, he must be awarded the Autism Scholarship to attend, as the school would cost me more than I can make in a year, since my capability to work is greatly diminished by the fact that there are no daycares who will take Cameron and as his only parent, I’m stuck with two options: work part-time during school hours and work from home. Fortunately, with my current job, I can work from home. However, until he begins school, I can not apply for a second job. The deadline for his autism scholarship is March 31st and ironically, it is still the school district that hasn’t approved it, even though they’ve had it for nearly a month. Even more irony comes in the form that after tomorrow, they will be closed until April 1st for Spring Break. So, if it’s not approved by tomorrow, my son will have no where to attend school at and I will not be able to attempt to find a second job.
This state may have failed to provide something as simple and vital as a well deserved education to my child, but I will not. I have his homeschooling application printed off and should they fail to approve his application, I will permanently remove him from this school district. They will not benefit financially for my son, whom they have refused to treat properly. They will not use his disability as a means to get more money to put into the education of another child, when they refused to even attempt to teach mine. The concept of no child left behind is a foolhearted one. Because if your child is not “normal” enough or “disabled” enough, they are tossed aside and forgotten. Well, they may have thought he wasn’t worthy of an education, but I will prove them wrong. My child is extremely bright and though his disability makes teaching him difficult, he can be taught and he will succeed in his education. Mark my words, Cameron will have a thorough education and he will continue to exceed their expectations.