Last week we received a welcome packet from the school we were hoping to keep Elliott in this year. We were very excited to receive this as we were waiting all summer to get word.
As you may recall Elliott was not allowed to return this year because he is on the Autism Spectrum. When we finally were able to meet with person in charge of the school, I thought we had worked everything out. I thought I had cleared things up. I thought I had explained that Autism is different for every child and that simply because Elliott has Aspergers doesn’t mean he will have the same problems as Gavin or Emmett.
However, we received an email this afternoon stating that by trying to service a “gifted child” like Elliott would compromise the integrity of the school. They don’t feel they have the resources to educate Elliott.
They just don’t seem to get that Elliott doesn’t need any special treatment. They should know that as Elliott attended school there last year and had no problems.
They were also supposed to meet with Dr. Pattie so she could address their concerns and explain that Elliott simply needs normalcy and not special treatment. They never followed through on that either. That would have also helped to clear up any misconceptions as well.
I would never try to force Elliott on their school because that wouldn’t be best for Elliott. However, this decision was based purely on ignorance as to what Autism is. What really frustrates me is that we only found out because we were trying to follow up. What makes me angry is that school begins in about a week and a half and they are just now telling us. Why wait this long? Most of our backup plans have fallen through as well.
I really thought we had this figured out. Ignorance is something we really have to work hard to address in the Autism community. However, I would like to think that people in the educational field, especially those in the administrative positions would have a better understanding.
I would also like to know why a school would accept the Autism scholarship and yet not accept kids on the Autism Spectrum. It seems a little counterintuitive to me.
Now we are in a panic as it’s almost impossible to enroll Elliott anywhere else this late in the game. Our options are limited and our public school system is not in good shape at all.
What a great way to start out the weekend. We already had enough on our plate as it is. It wasn’t more then a week or so ago that we found out about Gavin’s severely compromised immune system. That was a shock that we are still adjusting to. We are in the process of trying to work that out and are still waiting for Emmett’s immunological test results to come in. Now we have more to worry about.
I will say that the school is a private school so they have to right to refuse anyone. However, this was handled in a very unprofessional manner and I think Elliott deserved better then that. He is an individual and does not deserve to be stereotyped.
This is a problem that is all to common in todays society. Whether we are talking about children or adults on the spectrum, they are all individuals and should be treated as such. Lumping everyone together is not only wrong but irresponsible as well as inaccurate. Everyone on the Autism Spectrum has their own unique needs, some need more then others and some don’t need much at all. This needs to be fixed so that more people aren’t short changed out of an education due in part to ignorance.
These kids deserve better.