Monday, January 16, 2012

Near And Dear - Support Needed

A month ago, my mother, who is an aide in the program for Autistic children in her school district, was suspended following an incident along with 2 other aides. Last week, following a school board meeting that was basically for show, all 3 of them were officially fired.

An article appeared in the local paper that unfortunately was rather skewed and highlighted just how ignorant of the situation and the program the district's own administrators are.

If you get a chance, read through the comments; they give a better picture of what actually happened, what issues they face, and how out of left field this dismissal is. I will spare you the details here, but I needed to get this out there.

Not only are the families of those dismissed affected, so are the students. In addition, my mother and step-dad rely on her benefits to cover his significant health issues. Losing those benefits is a huge hit to them. All three of the aides involved have a lawyer fighting on their behalf, but it coudl take up to a year to reinstate their jobs.

For those of you in the educational system familiar with these types of programs, any input is greatly appreciated. If you feel comfortable doing it, please comment on the article. Anonymously is fine (that's what I did).

In the meantime, please keep these women, and their students, in your thoughts as they fight to right a very serious wrong.


  1. That's just terrible. Instead of remedying what is obviously wrong with the physical situation of the school (that appears to have been brought to their attention multiple times by the aides and the parents) they just fire the people who are putting in all this effort to try to overcome the shortcomings of the school? That's ridiculous. I hope that this can be overcome soon and your mom and the other aides can get back to work as they should be. ((hugs))

  2. This is really upsetting. Having spent one school year working as a 1:1 aide, it is unfathomable to me how they would so callously fire 3 people who were able and willing to work with austitic children. Not being there I don't know exactly what happened, but knowing my own experience, if an autistic child wants to run away, they are going to run fast and hard. I've chased my fair share of students and did my best in an understaffed position for pay so far below what it should be with not much more than a "good job and thanks" when it was over. It is, without question, the hardest job I have ever done and it saddens me that the school district was so quick to fire these three without understanding their side or position they are in daily.

    It is my hope and prayer that the school rethinks their decision, reinstates these aides and gives them all the tools they need to do the best job they can do. It is not about money, it is about kids who need help.

  3. This makes me so ANGRY. When you have the families of the children in question begging the board not to fire the aides, that should tell you something. The board and the district should be ashamed that they don't know more about Autism. I feel like I know very little about it; most of what I know came from watching Parenthood and seeing a few friends struggle with their autistic kids. And even *I* know that when an autistic child becomes determined to do something like running away, there's nothing an aide will be able to do unless by chance they can run faster AND are physically stronger too.

    If it helps at all, either your or your mom's heart, please know that any reasonable person who reads this will think the district is completely out of line. I felt like the article painted the aides in a positive light and the district to be the bunch of jackasses they are.

    PS, "we can't put up a fence because the fire department might need to access that side of the building" ??? Are you freaking kidding me? If there's a fire, the fire department will kindly remove that fence in 2 milliseconds flat and no one will complain about having to re-build it. OMG. I'm just pissed.

    Please give your mom a hug from me and my family, and thank her for doing what 99% of people wouldn't be willing to do. <3

  4. I will hop right on over. I am the mother of an autistic child and will come to rely on people like your mom when he is school aged.

  5. Seriously, blogger comments are so complicated! (Second time I have written this) I will hop on over. My 3 YO son has autism and I will come to rely on people like your mom when he is school aged.


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