Well I’ve survived. Bethie’s home from camp tomorrow, I hope she’s had a good time. It’s been wonderful weather for a camp, 24 today, spring truly has sprung.

It’s good timing for pickup, I have to pick Beth up at 12 noon and my other kids aren’t at school tomorrow. It’s a teacher’s strike day which means I don’t have to drop off, pick up Beth, come home for an hour or so then go back to pick up Bill and Bridie. We can all go to pick up Beth, get the promised MacDonalds for lunch and come home for the afternoon.

I talk to a lot of parents about autism, either through my support group, through facebook or through this blog. I fully support the teachers striking, I believe their job is unbelievably difficult and often thankless. I see both sides as far as kids are concerned. By that I mean I can see parents points of view as a parent of a special needs child but I can also see the point of view from the parents of kids who have no disability. Notice I didn’t say ‘kids without issues’ as I believe most kids have issues.

The more autism seems to rise in the community the less help schools seem to get. When we started school with Beth we (after an appeal) got level four funding which was nearly a full time aide. Mind you we had to make her out to be almost unrecognisable in the paperwork to get that funding. Sadly it was all true but to see every little thing down on paper was a slap in the face. Same thing again for high school funding. The thing is though that every parent has to go through that gut wrenching process to get aide funding and nowadays many kids don’t get any. I know of several kids who aren’t much ‘better’ than Beth and they haven’t received funding. It’s unbelievable. I couldn’t have sent Beth to school without an aide. Unfortunately many parents don’t have that option, they have to both work and they have to send their children to school.

The school’s don’t have the right to say no to these children. They have to have somewhere to go. And there’s the problem. There are classrooms with special needs kids and no aides. They can be a danger to themselves and to others and to keep the peace the poor teachers have to let them do what they want at times otherwise they may run off. I have a friend who has moved her son at least four times because the school can’t control her child yet as he is not aided it’s not really the school’s fault. Other parents complain because they don’t believe their child is in a good environment with all of ‘those’ children. And as I said, I can see both sides. I feel for this friend of mine because it is so hard that she can’t find a school to suit her child. But I feel for the teachers at his schools too, and for the other kids in his class who have to bear the brunt of his behaviour. It’s just not fair on anybody involved and the government need to see that autism is now at nearly epidemic proportions. There has to be SOMEWHERE for these kids to go. If society wants our kids to not be a drain on the government when they are older they have to be able to teach them now.

Anyway, I just want to wish all the teachers out there good luck tomorrow. And the wonderful intergration aides. I was (and am) so thankful for the teachers that have helped mold and nurture my Beth. They were supportive of both her and myself and I’ll forever be grateful. But I’ve got to tell you, I wouldn’t be a bloody teacher for quids!

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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