Saturday, January 23, 2010

Autism Angels

Recently I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole Autism, Aspergers diagnosis of my children, I had hit a big speedbump in the road and couldn't find my way over it. Luckily a Autism angel came to my rescue and kindly offered me the chance of attending the We will Rock you Show in the O2 today. It literally brought me back to life, to be able to take joy in something and see others feel the same way felt wonderful. My Autism Angel knows who she is, she is the angel for so many of us and the one person we look up to in times of crisis and despair.
While we were watching the show my mind was creating this blog, this show was all about a pair of outcasts who dared to step out of the status quo and do their own thing and look for a different way of doing things, does this sound familiar to any of you? I know it certainly resonated our children's differences for me, In the end they overcome their struggle and conquer the world who tried to make them fit in and conform, everyone cheered and clapped, why can't it be like this in the real world when our kids try to do this?
Of course this is make believe, a show for entertainment but it does happen in real life everyday for our kids, they fight to conform in order to fit in so that they won't appear abnormal to the neurotypical world and we try hard to prepare them for this because we are conscious of how cruel the world at large can be.
I find myself cheering at the one's who stand out of the crowd, they walk to their own beat and bang their own drum, yes they try to fit in but stand out sufficiently to be extraordinary and follow their own path. I say thankgod for diversity and all it brings with it!!

I had five Angels with me today and I enjoyed their company very much, you all know who you are. I think we are all fortunate to have met our Angels here on Earth to watch over us.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Has history taught us nothing?

My mind is racing today as I have come from a very long meeting involving one Principal and two teachers in my daughters school. My head is pounding and my heart is racing from all that both they and I had to take in this morning. You see today I went to the school to go about getting my daughter the intervention and resource hours she needs to help her achieve her full potential in a mainstream setting, this is no mean feat as the Principal and I are not on the same wavelength, the resource teacher is a dote and wants to help in anyway possible and her classroom teacher resembles Barbie in every way possible and has a bit of dopey thrown in for good measure!!
I hand over copies of the report from the infamous Prof to each of them and wait for responses to be given, the principal's response is to tell me I need a letter from my GP stating she is on meds for ADHD as that is the only way that the SENO will take it seriously, he then informs me that he is not hopeful of her getting her resource hours as he has had two cases worse than her refused recently, my heart sinks I have to start another battle just like I had to with Kyle only this one seems tougher to me due to the cutbacks in place.
The dote of a resource teacher wants to help in any way possible and says he will speak to the principal about the possibility of having a half a hour one to one lesson with her every day. I could kiss this man, he enquires after my well being and remarks it must be tough having two children on the spectrum, I nod my head afraid that if I respond to his kindness I will dissolve into tears, he knows this of course and gently touches me on the arm as if to say "I understand and its ok"
The Barbie doll has to be told what way to teach my child so therefore I go in armed with a copy of the Dept of Eds recommendations on how to teach a child with a learning disability, she looks at me in shock and nearly falls off the chair in surprise, I think she assumes I must have a learning disability as well as she treats me as if I have not got a brain in my head, well today she had her eyes opened!! No more Mrs nice guy.
The one thing that struck me about these encounters was when I posed the question to the principle as to what would happen to children in mainstream whose hours were taken off them or the sna's removed. He said it would pose a serious dilemma for schools as to how they would be able to teach them, He said the Dept were clamping down on resource hours and eventually wanted them gone altogether as well as the sna's. I said to him surely this is consigning children like mine to the scrapheap and he nodded his head sadly.
Now this is where the history bit in the title comes in, it strikes me that like Hitler wanting a super race this also goes for the Dept of Education! They want children who have blonde hair and blue eyes and brains to burn in their schools, not for them are the children who are just as bright but have difficulties in expressing their potential in a conventional way in our society. We all know of the practise of some schools CHERRYPICKING their students, they wheedle out the weakest link without so much as a by or leave, thats what the entrance exam is there for. I find myself questioning what life would be like with all these blonde haired perfect children and the answer is simply this, AUTOMATED! Who wants to be perfect anyway? Not me.
I am not going to allow anyone consign my children to the scrapheap or to be extinguished like in the holocaust just because the powers that be want everyone to conform and be a super race so I will continue my fight for my children's rights and pray to god to give me the strength to do it.