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Home : 2004 : Aug : 19

    You won't like this...LONG...
    By Not saying this time!

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    In response to the touching "debate": While touching behaviors may be a part of this syndrome, I have a very differing opinion than the last poster. As a regular classroom teacher, I was given 2! Asperger's Syndrome children last year, with a shared PA. I was told one day before school started. I never even received the IEP’s until 2 weeks later. There was no time to plan for these kids, or even to read up on their disorders. I have to say, I think that label was thrown on them. Neither one showed high or even average intelligence. They did have fixations, one on guns, war, and shooting. One definitely had ADHD w/high impulsivity (later diagnosed), and the other IMHO suffers from childhood onset schizophrenia (heard voices, made crazy things up).

    I understand these children are different, but it violates MY personal space to have my breasts grabbed, skirt lifted, hands put into my private areas, and being asked if we can get naked. One of these children jumped on my back while I was tying another child’s shoe, throwing me on the ground (I’m pretty small). I was going home in tears daily. WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS? I quickly learned that IEP means just suck it up. I even considered pressing charges for assault, but reconsidered as that is a pretty drastic measure to take against a kindergartner. Two other teachers were kicked/punched by the student, and again, nothing was done.

    I didn’t sign up to be a special ed teacher, and, NO, I do not have the appropriate training for dealing with these special needs kids (neither did the PA) in a classroom with 25 other kids that also deserve my attention. One of these children screamed out constantly, wandered around the room, basically did the things he felt like doing. He even poked another child in the eye with a pencil! I spent hours redirecting him, sitting in meetings, and making sure he didn’t hurt anyone. What are the rights of the other kids? Are they not entitled to a “distraction reduced” learning environment with a teacher that can give them the attention they deserve?

    I understand these children are entitled by law to the least restrictive learning environment. However, I truly believe that they belong in smaller classes, with teachers and aides trained to handle their specific needs. As hard as I tried to get one child moved to a self-contained class, the parents didn’t want it, so he’ll go to a regular first grade with 25 students. I’ll be watching to see how it goes…

    PS: I know some people with have issues with what I have said, but inclusion doesn’t always work the way it should. A good and noble idea, but lacking in support and training!

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