Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ideal School?

Yesterday I was reading a blog post that essentially was claiming that parents are the best advocates and experts of our own children.  Right! Of course!  Perhaps this is why school is so incredibly difficult for our ADHD and FASD children, we don't rely enough on information from the parents about their own children!

In Ontario schools, parents are involved in the IPRC process and get input into the development of their child's IEP.  Check, yep, we do that.  But, do we really allow the parents to be the experts?  I mean truly.  Or, perhaps, for the most part do teachers and administrators listen politely and nod and smile at the parents advice and then carry on with the standard, cookie cutter IEP drop box suggestions?  I dare say in most cases it's the latter.

Please hear me loud and clear, I am NOT saying this is true in all cases!!!  I have had amazing teachers that thought of accommodations for my children that I would have never come up with.  Alternatively, as a teacher I have come across parents that have not taken the time to educate themselves about their child's relative issues.  Then throw in the fact that, as teachers, we have to teach about 15 neuro-typical children (who still all progress at different rates) and about 5 more neuro-atypical children who probably all have different needs from each other.  Getting it exactly right everytime is an impossible task.

I am NOT blaming teachers for not getting it right.  I am NOT blaming parents for being uneducated.  I am saying that the current school system on the whole is inherently flawed, especially for our atypical children!!!

Parents you are the most accurate experts where your own children are concerned.  What would be the most ideal school setting for your ADHD or FASD child?  Shoot for the moon, I'm asking for pie in the sky wishes.  I'd love to hear the wish list!!!


  1. Let's see--things that made me take my eldest out of public school despite his IEP

    1. the noise of the cafeteria. My son would flip out at lunch every single day. The noise, the lights, it was stim city. He'd be so dysregulated after lunch that the next period was a disaster. I begged for an alternative for the lunch room. I was told there was no possible way because teachers need their time and space too.
    2. Stop taking recess away as a consequence for behavior issues. If a high energy kid has no other opportunity to move around, what do you think is going to happen? I would have supported a private recess, or a loss of computer lab time or anything. But invariabley it was indoor recess with sitting at a desk which led to a meltdown.

    3. Create a buddy system with peers that behave in socially appropriate manners. My son had no friends and thus when the thugs told him to do things he did it because he thought that they were his friends.

    4. Teach him as much as he can learn. Instead my son was in grade 6 but using a grade 5 curriculum because that was the highest level they could use in the inclusion classroom. Within 6 months of homeschooling he was caught up academically to his appropriate grade. He was being held back by the others in the class not his inability to learn.

    5. Educate teachers and professionals to say something nice about our kids. We love them. We know their weaknesses and faults but it doesn't mean that is all we want to hear about every time we meet.

  2. Sounds like you guys had a pretty awful experience that was very unnecessary. What a shame. Some of your suggestions could have been very easily implemented! That is exactly my frustration too.