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KenG
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29 Jan 2011, 1:40 pm

By Ari Ne'eman:
"Gov. Chris Christie's recent proposal to create a state-funded autism school in every county has turned a lot of heads. Coming from a Republican governor in a time of fiscal austerity, many disability advocates have seen it as a welcome statement that some things are still worth spending money on.

Yet despite appreciation of Christie's support for autism and disability issues, many advocates have serious questions about the wisdom of constructing new segregated programs when both federal law and an overwhelming body of research say that autistic students are best served in inclusive settings":
http://www.app.com/article/20110128/NJO ... nts-autism


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ci
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29 Jan 2011, 1:56 pm

I wholly support adaptive settings for those who choose these types of settings. To remove this accommodation and choice is not a segregation concern but a human rights issue.


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aghogday
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29 Jan 2011, 2:34 pm

Do Segregated schools offer special educational opportunities for those lower on the spectrum that integrated schools can't provide? Given the opportunity to go to both kinds of schools are there some autistic children that can adapt better to a segregated school than an integrated school and in the end may actually be better off, than if they went to a segregated school?

It makes since that most Autistic children would be better off included in the mainstream, and have a better chance of reaching the mainstream in life by being afforded this opportunity.

I'm not sure this is the case for all autistic children. I have heard of instances of particular children that were moved into a segregated school because they could not function in an integrated school and did much better in a segregated school. These are stories from parents, so I do not know all of the mitigating circumstances. It would be easy to blame the parents, teachers, or school; the last thing a person would want to do is blame the child.

It seems to be a volatile issue. From a personal perspective, I'm glad this kind of thing wasn't available when I was a child, because with a speech delay until age 4, I might of been placed in a school like this. Eventually, I graduated close to the top of my class, and I don't think I would have ever had the ability to be part of mainstream life, if I were part of one of these schools.

If a segregated school can provide the opportunity for an education for a few children that might not get an education, if only integrated schools were available, I wouldn't want to be the one to take this opportunity away from them.



ci
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29 Jan 2011, 2:44 pm

To me integration when not able and or tolerated by someone is more of a therapeutic model that needs to be deployed. Still yet choice is the human right. Remember there is are cookie cutters but lots of different kinds of cookies. The cookie cutters must oblige the IEP and if a custom mold is needed one will be made within macro cookies like more so adaptive and specialized settings.


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Janissy
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29 Jan 2011, 5:34 pm

aghogday wrote:
Do Segregated schools offer special educational opportunities for those lower on the spectrum that integrated schools can't provide? Given the opportunity to go to both kinds of schools are there some autistic children that can adapt better to a segregated school than an integrated school and in the end may actually be better off, than if they went to a segregated school?

It makes since that most Autistic children would be better off included in the mainstream, and have a better chance of reaching the mainstream in life by being afforded this opportunity.

I'm not sure this is the case for all autistic children. I have heard of instances of particular children that were moved into a segregated school because they could not function in an integrated school and did much better in a segregated school. These are stories from parents, so I do not know all of the mitigating circumstances. It would be easy to blame the parents, teachers, or school; the last thing a person would want to do is blame the child.

It seems to be a volatile issue. From a personal perspective, I'm glad this kind of thing wasn't available when I was a child, because with a speech delay until age 4, I might of been placed in a school like this. Eventually, I graduated close to the top of my class, and I don't think I would have ever had the ability to be part of mainstream life, if I were part of one of these schools.

If a segregated school can provide the opportunity for an education for a few children that might not get an education, if only integrated schools were available, I wouldn't want to be the one to take this opportunity away from them.


My daughter is one of the case histories you are thinking of. Since she is verbal, potty trained yada yada they decided that she was the right fit for inclusion. It worked at first. But over time she grew less and less able to deal with the sheer number of students who surrounded her, their noise, their motion, their everything. She was learning nothing- absolutely nothing- because her school day consisted entirely of melting down from overwhelm and then attempting to recover from that.

The school stuck to their guns that "studies show that inclusion is the best model". They kept saying this over and over even as she nearly self-destructed right in front of their eyes. They finally relented after a year. Now she attends a tiny little school where everybody is trained in meltdown-avoidance and there are no more than 5 srtudents in each class. Finally she can learn some academics now that her brain isn't completely devoted to trying to cope with 30 NT kids being their noisy selves.



Janissy
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29 Jan 2011, 5:37 pm

ci wrote:
To me integration when not able and or tolerated by someone is more of a therapeutic model that needs to be deployed. Still yet choice is the human right. Remember there is are cookie cutters but lots of different kinds of cookies. The cookie cutters must oblige the IEP and if a custom mold is needed one will be made within macro cookies like more so adaptive and specialized settings.


I sure do agree. Sometimes inclusion is not tolerated at all and a more therapeutic model needs to be deployed. Thabnk goodness those exist where I live. I fully support more being built, for the kids who don't fit the mold of "inclusion is best".

Inclusion is best for many, but not all.



vermontsavant
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29 Jan 2011, 5:39 pm

its not a perfect plan,but its better than public school or the old days where the dept. of social services would just throw you in a random home for screw ups



buryuntime
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29 Jan 2011, 6:14 pm

Mainstreaming doesn't work. It's basically a way to throw you into a classroom where everybody can make fun of you and you never learn anything for the sake of not excluding you.

I've been isolated into my own room before. That is isolation. Having a school for kids who need to be there is not isolation.

The only worry I would have is that public schools would dismiss autistic kids who wanted to go to public school and send them over to the special school.



ci
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29 Jan 2011, 6:57 pm

When I wanted to be away from the ciaos which caused me allot of trouble growing up let alone keeping up 2 grades behind with sensory problems I was told they didn't have enough money for that. I still feel ripped off from an education. Yet now I consult inclusion professionals, head my areas regional inclusion campaign and consult behavioral majors and they consult me with governing macro strategies. I decide how to represent the image of DD people and lead and I get to make differences others didn't have the imagination for. Life is my school now and I can choose to go where I want!


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aghogday
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29 Jan 2011, 7:20 pm

I know of at least one child that started off with many challenges in a segregated school and made many advancements in that school. He decided with the support of his parents to start high school at a public school at age 14, and while he still has many challenges to meet he is doing okay there. I think this shows that attending a segregated school may not negate the possibility of being mainstreamed at a later date.

I'm glad to see some of the posters here give the perspective of those who have been there done that to this issue.



mila_oblong
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31 Jan 2011, 6:44 pm

I'm probably the only one here so far who can see through Christie's charade here. He's basically doing this


A link to further illustrate what I mean here :
Its Chief Founder...

Just so you know, it's a facebook link, sorry! :?

However, I can see where some autistics would benefit from attending a school like this. I have a problem with the fact that public schools will use this as a crutch to avoid accommodating students like me who had a learning disability along with Asperger's.

Plus, I'm against segregation of any kind. I had a problem with it when it was racial segregation (even though that happened before I was even born) and I definitely have a problem with this form of segregation. That's really all I can say right now because I'm starting to feel myself growing angry over this.



ci
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31 Jan 2011, 7:00 pm

mila_oblong wrote:
I'm probably the only one here so far who can see through Christie's charade here. He's basically doing this


A link to further illustrate what I mean here :
Its Chief Founder...

Just so you know, it's a facebook link, sorry! :?

However, I can see where some autistics would benefit from attending a school like this. I have a problem with the fact that public schools will use this as a crutch to avoid accommodating students like me who had a learning disability along with Asperger's.

Plus, I'm against segregation of any kind. I had a problem with it when it was racial segregation (even though that happened before I was even born) and I definitely have a problem with this form of segregation. That's really all I can say right now because I'm starting to feel myself growing angry over this.


If you are against segregation by choice then you are also perhaps anti-choice.

So as long as choice is intact it is not the same as racial injustice of current or the past. The use of such words can be a political attempt to reduce funding needed for actual environmental and psycho-educational accommodations. Seeing through a issue with an estranged concept in context does not necessary reveal truth and respect human right choices. If you attempt to remove choice because of your own feelings, self-defined dignity and so on it can evade human rights of other individuals.

The political tactics of using other minority group concerns can be both unfair to those minority groups and can be seen as manipulative by let's say other black people by using their groups injustices for other political reasons in context. The social science of this autism pride movement I can assemble the frameworks of in future papers. People cannot be pressured into not funding certain things and making available choices because of comparative illusions as no one can be treated as if they are that dumb or should be feared into a certain decision. The preservation of choice is the honest and wholesome pursuit of a human rights agenda.

Segregation as a disability minority group concern is different from the macro connotation of segregation of the 1960's movement. We can adhere by principle to injustice of inequalities in the pursuit of the justice for equality in context. Moreover we cannot assume inequality is the result in these matters wholly due to a simple word or phraseology. Disability is difference in perspective to the law. What is needed is a culture shift toward mainstream inclusion in all aspects of life to balance these issues and in a friendly way. However educational needs are not an injustice.

context context choice choice

The teachers simply want the budget for themselves I'd think and in this context are a special interest and the same would be true for new teachers of these other accommodating settings. Neutralized...


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AsIndsigt
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01 Feb 2011, 1:58 pm

Living in a country where state-funded Autism Schools exist, im in favour.

Forced inclusion is exclusion.

Forcing anyone, who cannot cope in the normal school system, to remain there, is abuse. Most autistic person are bullied alot in mainstream schools.

Most mainstream school teachers dont know how to handle an AS student, just as most mainstream students dont. Also, most autistic students, dont know how to handle NT students.

The ability to choose a school and suits your needsan. To go somewhere, where teachers and students understand you, or to venture out into a more challenging world -Should be the choice of the individual. Not a law.



Amalgoreaux
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05 Feb 2011, 10:17 pm

buryuntime wrote:
Mainstreaming doesn't work. It's basically a way to throw you into a classroom where everybody can make fun of you and you never learn anything for the sake of not excluding you.

I've been isolated into my own room before. That is isolation. Having a school for kids who need to be there is not isolation.

The only worry I would have is that public schools would dismiss autistic kids who wanted to go to public school and send them over to the special school.


I never liked mainstreaming myself. After all, a lot of kids don't or won't take the time to understand other people, and that's the last thing people on the spectrum need.



KBerg
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06 Feb 2011, 2:43 am

I see it this way. If you know someone doesn't have the tools to survive well in an environment and then don't give them survival tools and teach them how to use them in a practical way, then throwing them into a situation where those tools are required in order to have any sort of quality of life is an act of cruelty. Plain and simple. Once those tools are in place, then yes, by all means try inclusion and see how things work out. I.e. don't just throw them in the class and go "ok, inclusion done, kid got taught to tie his shoelaces in special school so he's been normalized. Lunch everyone!". If I could go back in time and make a program for me I'd have gone split time between Aspie school and NT school with the goal being eventual full time NT school only when I could integrate to a point where I was not an automatic target by virtue of being... well, me. Inclusion is a great thing to strive for, I'm all being included as an equal with NTs. Being included in the fun fun new game of kick the weirdo freak, not as desirable inclusion.



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07 Feb 2011, 8:24 pm

It's all gonna come down to how these schools are going to function IMO but I agree you can't force this on aspies. Each aspies functioning level is going to vary differently so each student would have to carefully analyzed to determine which school environment they will be most successful in.

These low stimulation schools/classes sound like a good idea but I worry that they're hire just any random teachers who may not be up to the task of handling these kind of students.