I’m having a really tough day today. Both kids have had meltdowns, it’s a Monday, and my plate is overflowing at this point. While escaping the chaos for 10 minutes in the shower, I had a revelation and a light bulb go off in my brain. The short version of the idea, to make a school for autistic kids in our area.
I think to myself, I’ve dove into the deep end of the autism ocean, but actually it’s not a bad idea. It’s what we need. Seriously. How in the world do I go about doing this. I am one person. An autism mom with no money, and no time. So now my brain is swirling with ideas.
The bottom line is this: The school systems are failing our kids. Autism is a growing disability, with the last numbers being roughly 1 in 70 kids having autism. We have disability schools in our area. One for elementary and one for middle school and high school. These schools house all disabilities from autism to down syndrome to severe MR. These schools are full and have long waiting lists to get in. Our school district has specialized structured learning centers inside regular schools for the growing autism population. These classrooms are full as well and are not geared enough in the right autism direction. There is not enough support for these schools to handle the kids with autism when issues arise. Not enough one on one, associates, trained autism teachers and not enough support for behavior interventions. We are a prime example of this lack of service. Forced to home school Dustin because of it and have a mess on our hands regarding John’s classroom as I type this.
So many parents not only in our community but around the globe are forced to home school their autistic children. We shouldn’t be forced to do this because of lack of options. It should be a choice.
I can’t even count how many empty schools sit in our town, because of revamping and remodeling. There are many. Why in the world couldn’t they open one of them up and house all the autism kids in the district there, or even in this region if parents are willing to travel. Get special trained staff, we have an agency here called The Homestead that could do the training, and there we go.
I’m sure MONEY is first and foremost an issue with this idea. There has got to be funding somewhere to cover this I would think. Schools get funding for special education don’t they? Gear it in an Autism school instead. I am sure there are private entities that would consider investing in this idea. I don’t know?
So there I am, I have an idea. I need to write some people and see what I can come up with. I know I’m not the only parent who thinks this should happen. I guess it won’t happen unless someone steps up to the plate. Batter up! It is a long shot for sure, but I look at it this way, what have I got to lose? I am already home schooling my child.
*image from Autism Snags and Tags