Monday, May 12, 2014

Disability of Choice?

The Autism community has done a bang up job of getting their message heard.  There are so many organizations, some good, some not so good, but all of which have the ears of some very important people.  The results are, to name a few:
  • Specialized schools and classes in regular schools
  • Quite a bit of spending on research and teaching methods
  • Whole industries popping up that offer support tools and products for educators and parents alike
  • State governing bodies listening and changing laws
  • State and Federal education departments which have built entire bureaucratic structures to support the Autism community.
Now I wish the Autism community, parents and professionals alike, would share their strategies, share those things which gets the notice and gets the dollars.  So many other disabilities, and yes, the numbers may be fewer, could use some of that notice and money.  It seems sometimes like the disability to have is Autism, not Down Syndrome, not Learning Disabilities, not Deafness or Blindness, and not Physical Disabilities.  If you want the school systems to pay attention to you, it seems it would be better to have Autism than to be deaf or blind.

I know this may sound a little bitter, and perhaps it is.  But after a total of over 20 years of having children with disabilities in our school systems, and none of those having a child with Autism, it gets a little frustrating watching new technologies, new teacher trainings, articles in the press, etc. all the while children with other disabilities often seem to be lumped together and the I in IEP forgotten.

I'm sure this post may upset some, but that really is not my intent.  I am just trying to understand how children with any disability can receive the services they need.

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