Has public school worked for anyone? My child is in special ed and it is not working for him.

Karen - posted on 08/18/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My son frequently gets punished (they make him exercise and talk down to him). I am concerned that this school is hurting him more than helping and I want to try public school. Has anyone had a similar experience and how does public school work for your child with autism. Mine is mid functioning.

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Beneva - posted on 08/27/2009

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I have been thru it all with my 9yr old son who has O.D.D. and Aspergers. He was in a great Special Ed Preschool at a public school. He did so well because the teacher was awesome. But as soon as he went to Kindergarten it went all down hill. Most reg teachers have no clue about special ed and they have their hands full with 20+ typical children. His school was not equipted for special ed past preschool and I if I had known how bad it would get I would have transferred him immediatly to a differnent school. By 2nd grade he was getting suspended. They would seclude him and isolate him in a cooldown room most of the time. Which I was unaware of at first. We tried half days and everything. but nothing worked. It got so bad they brought in a behavior specialist and cleaned out a storage room just to put him in. They would have to physically drag him out of my car every morning. I was a emotionally mess! This just made him hate school and fear them. He would come home with bruises and be exhausted from crying all day. I had to take him out and he missed almost the whole last semester that yeat. I had to become his advocate and make the changes. I took classes that I found through a friend to learn all I could about special education and I.E.Ps. The school district provides advocates ( I went through a few) but they either work for the school district or are so overwhelmed they didn't help much. So I needed to be his advocate. I know my child best and know what he needs and what will work for him. Needless to say I removed him from that school and enrolled him in another. This new school is a godsend. They actually implement his I.E.P and believe in positive reinforcements. It took him a long time to adjust because the other school had traumatized him. But he is doing well now. He even rides a reg bus to and from school. He participates in his reg classroom. He just gets pulled out to his ED (emotional disturbed) classroom for one on one instruction. He does have a aide that goes with him almost everywhere. He seems alot happier and now we can concentrate on academics instead of behavior. I will never go back to that point again. As a parent you have to fight for your child's rights to a free and appropriate education. You have to educate yourself on what your child needs and how to achieve that. There is a system in place and the schools aren't going to exactly point you in that direction. I hope no one ever has to go through what we went through. But now I want to help others avoid what happened to us.

Fran - posted on 09/21/2011

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My son has been in a self contained "Autistic" classroom environment at the public elementary school near my home, since the age 2 years 9 months. I have had terrific parent/teacher communication all this time. The student ratio in class has been low so I believe this has something to do with it. All the teachers through the years have been consistent with the discipline with the students, taking away the thing they enjoy (computer time, recess, etc.). Some times it was time out, at other times they would remove the child from class and have an aide sit with them outside the classroom until they calmed down. I just don't understand why having the child exercise and talking down to them is helping, my son would not understand and would probably cry if yelled at. He just wouldn't understand, however, taking away computer time, that would get his attention....

User - posted on 09/14/2011

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i dont recommend you to send your son to mainstream schools as it would benifit him as he has special needs. they don't help my child they look down to her and treat her different and dont help her with her learning disability.
I think you should send your child to a special needs school.

Karen - posted on 09/09/2011

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I appreciated so much reading everyone's experiences with the school system. It's good to hear what other parents have done to get help with their children. I have my son in a charter school (public). The classes are small and there is a teacher for special ed but he also has time in the regular classes. It has helped him to be with peers that do not have behavioral/emotional disorders and he is also learning from that. I am glad I switched him to the public school system - I wish I had done this years ago.

Katie - posted on 09/09/2011

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Hi, I have a 7 year old son with special needs who is in a public school and I feel the way you feel about YOUR school right now . He is being punished and talked down as well and is in a teir 3 classroom . I am called every other day to either talk about what he did or to come pick him up . I'm tired, stressed and fed up . My husband and I don't know where to turn or what to do . I know this doesn't really answer your question . I guess what I"m saying is that it all depends on WHO - you and your kid is, WHAT - kind of special needs he or she has, WHERE - you live and send your kid to school, WHY - your need differ from others . From one special needs Mom to another, I really hope and pray that you find what answers you need . Good Luck and keep your chin up .

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Laurie - posted on 03/08/2013

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I live in NYC, so it may be different, but my son way offered a public school placement for special ed during his first IEP meeting. Prior to the meeting the district had evaluations done and based off their recommendations (smaller class size, ABA therapy, PT, OT, Speech Therapy), I was able to build a case stating that the public school placement wouldn't meet his needs and request a private school that I had toured and been wait listed at. The school had an opening and I was able to get my son into a private school that offered full day ABA, access to his related services, and a class with only 6 students.

I suggest that you speak to a parent advocate from your district or research your child's rights so that you can effectively advocate for the services/placements that they're entitled to.

God Bless!

User - posted on 02/28/2013

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Bonnie Saavedra

My daughter is seven years old and is a second grader who has DiGeorge syndrome and although she has a one on one, she still struggles with the pace of learning. Every child is unique and reading these blogs makes me understand we need to remain focused on what is best for our child and not whats best for us! I'm currently enrolling my daughter in Special Day Class out in our district and felt they had the teaching strategies and environment (self contained) which would offer my daughter the most during her experience in school. While observing this class I saw students: cooperate, engaged in learning, focused, and content. I was very pleased with this program and Im hoping my daughter can at last reach her full potential because she will finally get the attention she needs. Every program is different, every learner is different! Nothing is set in stone and if we dont try every avenue, we will never know what the best fit is for our beautiful children!!! Good Luck everyone. xoxo

Michelle - posted on 01/21/2012

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My daughter has never been in sp. ed. classroom because she has been on par with others academically. The only thing sp. ed. class has been used for is standardized testing, as she needed movement breaks and the ability to talk out loud as she was taking her test, things that would disturb the concentration of the others in the class.

She's had what i would consider normal school experience, some friends, some bullies, good teachers and bad. She has had an aide for most of the time, this year she had to share an aide and it was rocky going at first but has responded well enough we're asking to start next year without an aide.

I think it depends on your child and your child's needs. This was the first year I was extremely dissatisfied with the school's treatment of her so I suppose (since it 5 years) that is better than many :-0 A friend of mine is having her best year with the schools but had to sue the district to get her child in a special school so, it just depends.

LINDA - posted on 09/12/2011

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I have a niece that is autistic and she went to a public school and graduated there a couple years ago. It worked out well. If it doesn't work out for your son u might want to try home schooling.

Jeannie - posted on 08/30/2009

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No..we have been fighting with my son's school for 4 years it is sooo frustrating! do not give up, i belive we r finally on the right track. good luck!

Rebekah - posted on 08/30/2009

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Hi my name is Rebekah and my son Sean is 8 and he has Asperger's and is also ADHD inactive. I have discovered that some schools have better programs than others when it comes to special ed and that smaller towns seem to be more receptive the children that have special needs. We have also inquired at the school he is currently at about a circle of friends for him cause he is not very good at just going out and making friends due to the asperger's. My advice is that make sure you check out the programs first before enrolling him into a public school. Unfortunately there will be bullies at any school.

Julie - posted on 08/30/2009

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Both of my children with Autism attend public school and I have had my differences this school year. Both of them are in special needs classes and have great teachers but if the class is too big you might need to talk to the school district about getting an aide to help him in the classroom. Even with my sons aide he was still having a lot of trouble, we are taking it week by week and if it doesn't work I will have to homeschool him until he is able to handle a classroom setting.

Lynne - posted on 08/29/2009

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My 7 yr old son who is autistic has always been in public school and they have gone out of their way to accommodate his every special need. I work for the school that my child attends but even before I did, they did everything they could for him to help him succeed.

Lynsey - posted on 08/23/2009

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to be honest normal mainstream school never worked for either of my sons, my youngest whose 8, only stayed at mainstream for reception year. in my opinion they couldnt wait to get rid of him. in a class of 30 others he was struggling and thatmade his behavior worse. now he's in a special school he's a lot happier, in fact he's missing school now. even in the holidays.

Natalie - posted on 08/23/2009

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My youngest son is in a self contained ESE class with a 2nd grader who has mild autism and she seems to be doing well. My son has a PDD and was retained and has to repeat kindergarten in an ESE class and he is doing SO MUCH BETTER in the ESE class versus an ordinary kindergarten. I think a public school works if parents put time into their child's school and classroom and also your child needs an IEP ( individual education plan) so the teachers understand his functioning. Good luck and I hope this helps.

Ann - posted on 08/23/2009

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hi i have a 23yr autistic son who went though special ed i found it did more harm than good. my 10 yr son is also autistic is in main stream with a aide who helps with him.

Lori - posted on 08/22/2009

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check out what programs for special needs children that the public school has.. the talking down to the kid is not good. most public schools do have programs for children with autism.

Roseanne - posted on 08/22/2009

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Hello I have a 7 year ole who has been in the public school system sine he was 3. He is in a reg ed classroom with no aids but he steps out to go to reading in a resource classroom. The first thing I did was to educate myself on what the school system had to provide by reading up on the Education for all Handicapped Children act. Since I was in college to become a teacher, I was already familiar with some of the laws. Next don't be afraid to tell the school what works best for your child. They are there to help your child learn. If they are not helpful go to the next person up. Somebody has to help you or they are not following the law. I am very blessed to have a good team of those who are involved with my child's education at his school. My son is pdd-nos with ADHD. Also prepare yourself that it will not always be easy.There will be times you want to yell at the school but think about that these people are here for you and your child to get the education they need and deserve. I wish you the best of luck.

Kelly - posted on 08/22/2009

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I have a 7yr old daughter with mild autism and she has always been main streamed with a one-on-one parapro, it has worked very well. The parapro backs off when she sees she can do something alone, but is there to take her for a walk if things in the class are just too hectic. You really have to insist on the one-on-one.

Trudy - posted on 08/22/2009

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I started my daughter's public schooling at the age of 3 1/2. The very first day, I dropped her off in her classroom, and when I picked her up, she was in the special needs class. The teacher at that time asked if I ever had her diagnosed for autism. This was the first time anyone mentioned anything about it. I assumed her problems were from having 2 sets of tubes. I told her pediatrician and she refererred us to a pediatric developmental nuerologists, and here we are. She just started high school 2 days ago and has been main-streamed the whole time. We do have IEP in place just so that if she needs the extra, she can get it. And that works very well for her. She only leaves class for help if she really needs it. When she went on to elementary, not very many teachers had heard of asperger's, so I would share my videos and doctor's reports with each teacher at the beginning of each school year. They pretty much give us anything we need. I let the teacher and my daughter try and work it out first, then I step in if I need too. My daughter has done great. Every teacher loves her probably because she is the best student because she follows rules to the T! And she tries to keep everyone else in line. ;) When she was diagnosed, she was the only aspergers kid in our school of about 300 kids. Now our district of 2000 kids has about 8 and some come from other towns. So yes, public schools are good for us and should be for you as long as you are vocal and in view. Most teachers love the fact that parents are involved in their kids school lives. That is the mosst important rule, stay involved!

Awdanis - posted on 08/22/2009

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Whenever one of the kids in my son's classroom starts having a meltdown or misbehaving, the teacher (wonderful teacher, by the way) takes the child's backpack and fills it with heavy books and they take a 5 minute walk down the hall or outside. He can do that because there are plenty of aids and paraprofessionals in the classroom to take care of the rest of the class. The child wears the weighted bag and it calms down the child and does not feel like punishment. Find out what is triggering his behavior, is it the stimulating environment or too much work or a particular noise. It might be something that can be easily fixed. Talk to the school counselor and tell him what been going on. Teachers have a code of ethics that they have to follow and talking back to students in a big no-no. What they are doing to your son is definetely against the code of ethics! Also, if your son doesnot have an IEP ask for one. Good luck!

[deleted account]

It's not worked for us. I have always ended up having to pull my son out when his meltdowns got too severe. One principal told my son he was just a rotten kid and acting stupid because if he just did his work he could be the smartest kid in the school.



Last school year (not the one that just ended) they had to restrain him, they had to remove the classroom several times when his meltdowns got severe, they almost had to call the police because he had hit people, many more times I came to school and picked him up cowering in a corner or under a table, some kids cornered him on the playground one time and tried to strangle him, those same kids also attacked his sisters who went there (that do not have aspergers/autism) and she ended up having to have surgery on her ear. The principal, vice principal and other school officials we had to deal with talked down to me and my son. They constantly tried to tell me that my son was the way he is because I was a single mother. They would arrange meetings so that we were sitting at a table with them all facing me. They would then sit in adult chairs and leave me a kiddie chair to sit in so they had a psychological advantage in those meetings.



Different school district this year and at first it started out better but deteriorated. They put him in isolation twice. One of those days he had such a large meltdown that when they told him to come out of the room to have lunch and he couldnt (being in the fetal posistion on the floor) they just left him there and didnt call me till three to come and take him home because he was in no shape to walk home, the next day he ended up in solitary again and he started beating his fists on the wall so badly that when I came to get him after school again his wrist was so swollen I had to take him to the doctor. They have a responsibility to keep him from harming himself as well as from harming others and they didn't do that. I took him home early that day and got a nasty phone call from the special ed teacher about how it was detrimental to his education to take him out of school early and she was jsut wasting her time if I took him out early.



I don't know what else to do though. Online school and homeschooling do NOT work. He doesn't do the work. Flat refuses. I can't afford private school. His counselor has agreed to work as an advocate for us this year so that might help.

Abby - posted on 08/20/2009

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Hi

My boy was in special ed from 3 years old and finally transferred him to public school this year, at 8. Academically he is doing ok. I stay in Singapore, and we have special needs officers in the school to pay extra attention to kids with special needs. Mine is AS. There is a fantastic special needs officer who calls me when she realises my son is late, or is misbehaving.She will also feedback on a communication book if he is naughty, or doing something that he shouldn't be doing, like digging his nose

Tammy - posted on 08/20/2009

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My son is in the 2nd grade and I will say they have bent over backwards for him but I am always available for them, questions, comments, constant communication!!! He has an IEP and we also frequent a behavioral psychologist who makes recommendations to the school and they accept all her suggestions. I agree with a previous post, you have to be your child's constant advocate cuz no one will do it for you! There is a line that is hard not to cross to get assistance and I usually stay on that line, i have visited with the Supt. Principals, sped, teachers frequently and when he is not treated equally and consistently I raise heck-and use Rule 51-they have to know you know all about that. Our school has even begun to praise the good behaviour and use visual cues rather than punish him for certain behaviour. Be your childs advocate-

Cheryl - posted on 08/20/2009

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Hi im Cheryl. My son(7) has AS and we really had a time in public school BEFORE the diagnosis. I even took him out and home-schooled for almost a year. However this year he is back with a 504 plan (working on an IEP) and a WONDERFUL teacher. It has made all the difference. The best advice I can give is put everything in writing, be polite, and push push push for services > you will get them as the squeaky wheel! Good Luck! Cheryl

Bobbie - posted on 08/20/2009

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I have a beautiful nearly 18 yr. old son with Asperger's. he has been in a mainstream class since he started. I was at the school so often, they had a badge with my name on it. LOL. Seriously, the thing is, you need to advocate for your child. Tell them what your child needs. My son had an aide 1-1 in most classes. He had resouurce room, reduced h.w. and reduced curriculum. He had time and a half for tests. When there is a mtg. don;t sign off on anything until you feel you are getting what you need for your child. No one has the right to talk down to your child. Threaten to bring in an outside arbitrator, (that's not the right word, it will come to me, ) and they get scared by that.Stand up for him today and you will be happy you did. good luck, Bobbie

Tammy - posted on 08/19/2009

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Hi,My name it Tammy, and I am a special ed para in a public school. Our school is awsome. Its a small town, so of course everybody knows everybody. I really think it has to be a personnal decision when it comes to your own child, but I know special ed services have come so far. If you are'nt seeing the results you expect, maybe you should set up regular meetings, talk to those that work close with your child. I know from my position, that I'm willing to try anything with our kiddos to help them, but I'm not a mind reader. It's helpful when parents have a comfortable relationship with the staff. Good Luck!! Enjoy the differences that make your child unique!

Shannon - posted on 08/18/2009

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Hello I am a mom of a 10 year old girl who has mid functioning autism and she has always gone to public schools,educationally she is behind,but socially,since she hasbeen in school has worked wonders for her,she is now talking,not in full sentencees but she is trying.she learns more every day,I thank the public school and god they both have worked wonders on her.

Chiquita - posted on 08/18/2009

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Hey, My name is Chiquita Walker, and I am a mother of a child that has Asperger's. He attends public school and I am proud to say that it has been the best experience ever. I have never seen a school go so far out there way to take care of my son's need. He is in an EBD classroom setting, and there are times when he has been sent home but it isn't often. The teacher believes it is important for the children to recieve an education. I had a meeting with the special needs board and obtained my son's rights, and I have been pleased with everything they have done. I truly thank God for them. I live in Warner Robins, Ga (Home of one of the largest Airforce bases) and it is a wonderful city!

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