A case for Autism

Reflective Blog on Your Experiences with the Educational Communique for Policy Makers:

This was an incredible and extremely personal experience.  At the age of two and a half, my son was diagnosed with autism and we were reassured that schools are well equipped to handle autistic students and address their needs. Boy were we in for a surprise!  For six months, he had worked with experts from Easter Seals and we were very pleased with his improvement.  Although he spoke very few words for his age, his vocabulary was steadily increasing.  He could draw or scribble on his sketcho-pad all the time.  When we enrolled him in public school (one of the best schools in our town), he lost his steady increase in vocabulary, would not write anything at all and was crying the whole time (sometimes for four hours straight).  The teacher repeatedly informed us that she was not equipped to handle his situation.  She did not have any books designed for three year olds, any writing material and the helpers she had were not reading to the students. Although we repeatedly told them that my son was interested in swinging, running and climbing, they never let him play when he got to the gym.  They claimed that the other kids would run him over!  I wondered why he was not taken to the gym at a different time when it was not packed with students!  I voiced my concerns about the EXTREMELY loud music at the gym and how that affected all autistic children and the teachers just ignored my concerns.  After five months, we had had enough and enrolled him into a private therapeutic school.  This started my investigation into other public schools.  I wondered whether this was the only “bad” school but I was surprised to learn that all public schools are ill-equipped to handle autistic students.  It may be due to lack of training but there is a shortage in professional manpower. During this project, I figured the best way to display my concerns was to let policy makers know what autistic students need based on results achieved by private therapeutic schools.  The examples provided are based on information obtained from the therapeutic school that my son attends.  This is a call to all policy makers for schools to realize that the needs of special education students are not being adequately met and parents are extremely frustrated.  It is to show the department of education that there is need for change since we do have an epidemic.  The CDC reported last year that 1 in every 68 children in 2014 has autism.  While working on this project, I wonder what will happen to all these children as they become adults. Is the government prepared to take care of all of them?

The digital divide for autistic students is real.  Many of them are extremely smart and can perform so well with digital tools but the schools that have these resources are the same schools that fail to appropriately address the students’ other needs. Private schools are not as well equipped with modern technology and depend on grants from the public or religious establishments to ensure that the students get all the necessary digital tools like IPADs, Computers, playground equipment like rock climbing walls and many more.  The reason for creating this video is to hopefully get public schools to embrace the system established by therapeutic schools and adequately meet the needs of autistic children.  In addition to that, we can have policy makers decide to allocate the funds for special instruction to therapeutic schools based on merit.  Result oriented schools.  Policy makers should be able to apply the same policy making process that is reserved for public schools and similar establishments.

Resources used:

Software:

 Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop Elements

Sony Vegas Pro 10

 Web Resources:

 My video, “Don’t Forget Me! A Case for Autism”, is focused on changing the approach to Special Education in the United States as it relates to autistic children and public schools.  For creating my video, I looked at the online digital story telling examples and videos like the Bryan Independent School district testimony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epCGyT7iXps or the Searching for Sugar Man video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie_fWmZ3gFM or the Tunnel of oppression – I am different video at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7p9jSm21rE.  There are a number of resources that we were given at

For autism statistics I used http://www.autismspeaks.org/

Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 68 children is autistic http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-autism-spectrum-disorder.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/10/autisms-first-child/308227/ Donald T FIRST DIAGNOSIS 1943

Epidemic of autism.

http://www.guidingtech.com/6549/free-video-editing-software-online-tools/

Link to the video created:

http://youtu.be/3wfXo9UNqv0

 

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One thought on “A case for Autism

  1. Oh, Sylvia, you definitely have a much more important battle to win then the one about having social media in the classroom. I wish you all the luck you can have with making difference for autistic students. And for your son, of course. Is there really 1 autistic kid in 68 in the USA? That’s an incredibly huge percentage…

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