There has been a lot of talk lately, due to news stories coming out, about the pros and cons of having children with Autism pushed out there into public schools or secluded away into private schools. Quite frankly, I’m surprised this is even a debate.
Here is my question for all involved… how can you possibly debate one or the other when what we need is both?
Autism is a general term encompassing a spectrum of disorders in a variety of levels of severity… you know this, I know this… these people debating should know it.. right?
If you are debating this topic at a political or journalistic level, please listen to me very carefully.
We need both!
Children that are newly diagnosed likely need the extra hand holding… a child that is so severely low functioning that they’re unable to speak or be toilet trained, they should probably not be in a public school. No, I don’t think the parent has to choose between an institution and home schooling either. A school should be an option… an OPTION. They should not be forced into school and they should not be forced to send their defenceless child to what will likely be a very difficult and cruel time at public school.
Conversely, a child that is speaking, rather intelligent and capable of maintaining at least one friendship at a time will likely benefit from being in a public school. Here, their social skills are put to the test as well as their intellect… also, if they’re high functioning, they won’t be subject to the lesser desired behaviours of the lower functioning children around them in an all Autism school.
A spectrum of children with a spectrum of functioning levels requires a spectrum of solutions… not ‘a solution.‘
There is never one solution for all children when Autism is involved.
I understand there is seldom the money available when having to choose which services will get which funding but I’m afraid you don’t get to choose… there really is not a choice. Parents need both because our children need both.
This is where we need to step it up to another level beyond Autism Awareness and institute a policy of Autism Understanding and Acceptance.