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School vs. Parent Perspective in Special Education
Ever wonder how a parent and school official don't see eye to eye on resources and your child? Well, let's say it can have a lot to do with perspective. I have no idea of how parents (especially ones that advocate hard) and teachers and administrators (especially as resources are dwindling and unions are stratifying the benefits between overwhelmed newbie teachers and teachers with seniority).
Here is an analogy:
Watering your lawn
A School Official's View
A new member of a residential community who was not familiar with water restrictions and not aware of the techniques of water conservation began watering without regard to waste, because of ignorance. As a member of the community, it was her duty to act responsibly. She didn't argue that her roses were more valuable than the daisies next door - she didn't contend that she should be immune from the water restrictions because her property provided more shade trees than other properties on the block. Had this neighbor rejected the information and had she continued to water her lawn at the expense of everyone else in the community, she would have been fined and penalized. But not before everyone else in the community was also made to pay the price of her self-indulgent, ignorant usage.
Problem parents are the ones that refuse to be responsible in advocating for their kids.
Problem parents are like the ignorant, self -indulgent citizen who ignores the needs of the community in order to satisfy her own wants and desires at everyone else's expense.
Teachers and educational support staff are precious, but limited resources. Refusal to take advantage of available programs for becoming skilled at advocacy, failure to become informed, misusing limited time and resources ( i.e. teachers and support staff) to meet personal interests are examples of those actions that hurt all parents and all kids with special needs.
We've got to work together to get this right, because there are too many obstacles out there to overcome. Wouldn't you be willing to speak to your neighbor if you saw them wasting water and you had information that could help them achieve their goals but not at the expense of others? Wouldn't you be willing to share information that could help others who are ignorant so that everyone could benefit?
A Parent's View
- You notice your lawn has a problem [child has autism and cannot communicate]
- You really know very little about lawn care [what are the options?]
- There is a lack of a resource your lawn needs (but you've never had a lawn so you don't know what that is!!)
- The homeowners association offers you 5 gallons of resource (your lawn really needs 100 gallons) [eclectic methodology that has no scientific evidence of efficacy]
- The resource you are offered to help your lawn grow is dry SAND. [all we offer is xyz]
Now you're standing there with your 5 gallon bucket of sand to pour over your lawn but it is still turning yellow [your child is not improving].
You meet other lawn-owners (in person and on the internet :) and find out that there's a great method of lawn care called watering [Applied Behavior Analysis]. You ask the homeowners association about this miraculous cure for your lawn but you're told that the research behind watering is flawed and that water just makes a lawn soggy (and robotic :) [yes, schools will say that ABA is experimental, not effective, etc].
If you complain loudly and long enough, you are offered 6 gallons of moist sand and you're told that you're lucky because other lawns are still only getting 5 gallons of dry sand [you are given very watered down ABA].
At that point most would give up on having a lawn [parents will just do their own home program or take what they get from the schools].