Monday, January 17, 2011


A few months ago, I heard one of our district administrators say that he wishes labels did not exist in education. He is a strong proponent of delivering interventions and modifications based on the student, not the label.  I had never given it much thought but now I agree with him - student 'needs based' education makes much more sense to me and all children would benefit if done universally and well.

Not everyone agrees.  Like the arguments and infighting about vaccines, how to educate our children brings out the debate club persona  in all of us. 

I live in a district that is fully integrated via a great inclusion model.  Its truly provides individualization for each child.  M spent most of his time in class with his peers with many of his services and interventions completed as "push ins" rather then "pull outs".  It works for him.  I know other children on the spectrum that need more pull out services and time away from the class - they have plans that work for them. 

Meanwhile, I have a friend that spent years fighting the district to get her son labeled autistic.  He was receiving services all along and none of the services changed when he was finally labeled.  She thinks labels should define how we educate our children.  She doesn't understand why I say M has pdd-nos and thinks its a cop out, that I should be fighting the district to label him with something more specific (his IEP says autism but his official dx from specialists is pdd-nos).  
She wants autism classrooms and programs because she strongly believes students with autism would be better educated in a specific separate program.  I have agreed to disagree and now bite my tongue when the subject comes up.  I don't think our children can be shoehorned into a one size fits all autism classroom - they are too unique and their needs are too widespread for it to work here.  Maybe in a bigger district it could work but for now, I'll stick with individualization, staff education about disabilities and better programming within an inclusion model.  Our children aren't  going to be segregated in life and I refuse to segregate him now if he can function in the regular environment.

I hate the fighting and disagreement within the community - whether its about vaccines, labels, education models, interventions... lets stop fighting each other and focus on fighting together to make the world a better place for our children.

1 comment:

  1. amen.
    My son is in a classroom environment like your son, but we have a Learning Center for the kids who aren't ready to be in full inclusion all day. He gets pulled out for his "work".
    just like every kid on the spectrum is different, every way of working with a child on the spectrum is different. Someday we'll all come together and just do what's best for each child/person. I hope.