The "special needs" Classroom

by Elizabeth
(Nashville, TN)

I recently took a job as an educational aide for a class of autistic kids. I have a son with FX, so I am not new to this type kid. However, the teacher in this class has a MS in SpEd from a prestigious university, and does pretty much nothing at all with these kids.


There are usually 3 aides (11 kids for now---getting an additional teacher in October), but she leaves all the work to us---OK by us, but she also gives us NO instruction on what to do with these kids, what they should be working on, what their capabilities are---none of that.

We have 3 screamers, and one biter. After 2 weeks, I look like I have been in a fight. And yes, the mother is totally aware. She has seen her child in action.

The classroom is terribly unequipped with even the basics. She leaves no lesson plans (since she obviously HAS no lesson plans!), and one day when she was out, I needed pencils for the kids, and there were none. No paper either. I got some from the office, but this is deplorable!

I have spent 18 years with my Fraggle, was involved with his schools, and teachers, and I would jerk him out of this class in a heartbeat.

This is nothing but daycare, and a chaotic one at that! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Oh, and did I mention that school has been going on for 6 weeks now?

Comments for The "special needs" Classroom

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Report Her
by: Anonymous

Where is this school? I would not want my son in a class like that! Go to her boss and report her for not doing her job.

HELP - LSA nervous about special needs classroom
by: Anonymous

Oh help, you have scared me.... I'm an LSA working for an agency.... Tomorrow I am in a Special needs class.... Hope its not like that one...

WOW! (Special Need classroom comments)
by: Anonymous

WOW!
Where are the parents?? Sadly, there will likely never be any changes to her or her classroom if the parents do not begin to speak up!

I have a child with Autism who spends the majority of his day in the special needs classroom. I was adamant that I didn't want my son in a daycare setting.

He deserves the chance and right to learn and thrive like any other student and they have done a wonderful job adjusting their classroom and school to accomodate students of all abilities.

The children with him are varied in their "special powers", he is the only child with Autism in the school....we live in a rural community. The teacher and aides are wonderful and have gone out of their way and on their own time, to educate themselves even further in ways to benefit my son.

They have designed schedule boards and work stations solely for his benefit. They have included and added activities that he enjoys on a daily basis.

Making the special needs classroom work well
by: Anna

I'm so glad to hear from a parent that has had a good experience with their school's special needs classroom!

So often it is the teachers and principal that are willing to go the extra mile that make a huge difference.

Add the right tools, like communication cards or other teaching tools for autism, and great progress can be made.

You may find other useful things in the
special-need-products.com store as well as the new site, teaching-special-needs-students.com

Hope that helps!

School is daycare.
by: Anonymous

That is tough, but yes our education system has become a daycare and not only in your school.

Not all special needs kids belong in gen ed. What if the biter bit your kid? I know I would be really pissed and not want that child in my kids class.

It's not fair to everyone involved. The teachers are expected to make lesson plans for just about every kid in the class and expected to have every kid learn.

How can that happen it there are major distractions by kids that are running, screaming and biting. There is too much expected from teachers and they can't do it all alone.

Every teacher should have an aide in their class to assist and then it there are kids that need paras so be it.

There are kids with special needs that DO belong in gen ed, but when you have a behavior that can distract or cause harm to other children they should NOT be in gen ed.

I'm a para at my kids school and I so agree that it's daycare at it's finest. There is such a lack of parental involvement it's not even funny. One parent told me I am not my kids teacher???!!! REALLY!!!

It's called parenting.....look into it! It's so frustrating to have the special kids get by with doing very little or no work at all and is that really fair.

How do you grade that and pass them on to the next grade? How do you teach a kid that just shuts down and then has a parent that will fight to the ends of the earth for all the "extra" but not do a thing at home.

One parent even adopted three special need kids and the reason for that is because they are paychecks. The more disabled they remain the more money and assistance she gets from the state.

Parents need to be held accountable for their actions and their kids and until they are more involved in their kids education nothing will EVER change. It's very frustrating for everyone involved.

Sad commentary
by: Kristin Whiting

I am a special needs teacher.

I was saddened to read this article. Most teachers are good and if they are not they need support and training.

Parents, if you are dissatisfied with your child's teacher, be an advocate! Stand up! Have a voice!!

Wow...
by: Anonymous

Well, I can't believe what I am hearing because as a parent of an 8 year old autistic son, that has been my fear. I have fought for some form of inclusion for my son since he was in preschool and because he is non-verbal and now has behavioral issues (he did not have so at the start)...he has always been in a separated "special class". I find it deplorable! I can't speak for every parent, and trust me when I tell you I make absolutely NO money on my son. As a matter of fact, I am going broke to some degree with medical bills and supports. But I must say that at least here in RI parents are held in the dark about everything. Services are hidden until you hire advocates and administration finds it easier to "stick them in the back" so to speak. Sone of us parents want to fight back, but have no idea it is even going on. We are told our children are being taught. We are lied to about how much focus is given and we are expected to fiddle through mounds of evaluations and IEP's and evaluations and edu jargon to figure out what the heck our children are actually receiving! It's exhausting. My "typical" son gets a wonderful intro to kindergarten, a schedule, and a curriculum overview. Full with an overview of homework and a website the teacher updates to keep us informed. My son in the autism class....gets NONE OF THE ABOVE. Everytime I ask I get dittos of a makeshift schedule or data sheets of ABA lessons. Never an overall routine, it's frustrating, exhausting and I'm sick of people blaming parents for the disorganization of the schools!

Wow...
by: Anonymous

Well, I can't believe what I am hearing because as a parent of an 8 year old autistic son, that has been my fear. I have fought for some form of inclusion for my son since he was in preschool and because he is non-verbal and now has behavioral issues (he did not have so at the start)...he has always been in a separated "special class". I find it deplorable! I can't speak for every parent, and trust me when I tell you I make absolutely NO money on my son. As a matter of fact, I am going broke to some degree with medical bills and supports. But I must say that at least here in RI parents are held in the dark about everything. Services are hidden until you hire advocates and administration finds it easier to "stick them in the back" so to speak. Sone of us parents want to fight back, but have no idea it is even going on. We are told our children are being taught. We are lied to about how much focus is given and we are expected to fiddle through mounds of evaluations and IEP's and evaluations and edu jargon to figure out what the heck our children are actually receiving! It's exhausting. My "typical" son gets a wonderful intro to kindergarten, a schedule, and a curriculum overview. Full with an overview of homework and a website the teacher updates to keep us informed. My son in the autism class....gets NONE OF THE ABOVE. Everytime I ask I get dittos of a makeshift schedule or data sheets of ABA lessons. Never an overall routine, it's frustrating, exhausting and I'm sick of people blaming parents for the disorganization of the schools!

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