I just reviewed your Summer School for Parents: Lesson #4. I am the mom who wrote about the need for a particular type of placement for my son with autism. Never thought that my letter about How I Got the School to Change My Son’s Program & Placement would show up there!
Here’s the further result.
My son is now 17. He is in all regular ed classes. He gets LOTS of supports and takes the same final tests all the other students do. He is on the honor roll. He intends to write books and movies in his future, and I believe he will! He also knows that he wants to have a job to support himself while he writes those books and movies, so he is taking courses in his area of interest.
I can hear some folks thinking – Yeah, but his disability must be pretty mild.
In fact, his level on an autism scale would fall in the moderately affected range. He did not read fluently or from “chapter” books until he was 13. He still requires assistance when writing more than a couple of words. He still needs visual icons connected to content material for storage and retrieval. And thanks to following the FETA (From Emotions to Advocacy) process consistently over the years, he gets all those supports.
This is not a fluke. This is the result of many hours of meetings, evaluations, discussions, notes, and work. It is the result of food brought to meetings, thank you notes written, emotions kept out of letters, assertiveness rather than aggressiveness. It is the result of alliances deliberately developed. Do not think this is a do it once and that’s it process. It will require your direct and very personal involvement from today forward. But it does work!
Take one step. Read one chapter. Document one particular meeting or conversation. It is a one step at a time process, done consistently. Hang in there and do not give up. Things can be changed to become more positive, more responsive, and more appropriate for your child.
I cannot thank Pete and Pam enough. I have followed the web site, newsletter, and now the blog for over 10 years. Their knowledge is invaluable. So keep reading and learning and applying what you have learned. It will help you get where you want to be.
-Debbie from New York