Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Experiments in What?
In my efforts to find alternatives for Jessica’s adult life, I found the article linked below in our city newspaper:
Life Skills Program
I’m pretty familiar with the school referenced in the article, the Faison School. Many of my local school districts either choose to send or are forced to send (due process decisions) children with autism to Faison. The school itself has a good reputation, and is considered a good placement for children with some of the most significant behavior problems. Faison is private school that costs a great deal of money. Although their website points out that they are a 501-3C non-profit organization, and that they are part of a public/private partnership with our local university, the cost of attending Faison is quite large (10’s of thousands of dollars a year). With those costs, you can see why many parents challenge their school districts to provide placement at Faison at school district expense. No one, however, not school district or parents, can dispute that the school is good and that most of the students begin to finally make good academic progress.
So given that reputation, when the article appeared in the newspaper about Faison wanting to create a residnetial community where people with developmental disabilities could live a little more independently than most group home and institutions provide, my interest was piqued. But one phrase I saw in the article concerns me. That phrase is “laboratory school.”
I wonder just what the heck “laboratory school” means and will the proposed residential community also be a “laboratory community”?
Read the article and check out the school’s website and let me know what you think?