Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Transition to school meeting

I have a little to say about the Sebastian's transition to school meeting. When I came to Children's College there were two, and not just one lady to observe Sebastian, and that let the school know what Sebastian's needs are. I registered Sebastian in St. Lawrence School, and on the meeting before vacation we were told by the principle that St. Lawrence will take in students from St Mary's that was closed, and therefore there will not be an extra room for Sebastian even if he needs it, so maybe he will be taken to another school that has more room. We also do not know, and neither the transition coordinators knew who will be Sebastian's teaching assistant, what kind of qualifications they will have, what kind of experience they have with autistic children. What is required to be qualified to teach autistic children in school system is a part time course that provides some
theory and tips of how to deal with difficult behavior, but not real practical knowledge. The teaching assistant is then guided by a class teacher, whose profession is teaching normally developing children. The teaching assistant has no support from a clinical psychologist or other professional specialized in autism.

Do you understand now why I am concerned?

And the Ministry of education sends me all these long and fancy letters about how much effort they put in "successful transitioning" children to schools. I have no doubt they put in effort. I have no doubt that they are successful in their own minds. I also have no doubt that they are not ready to take on children like Sebastian without him regressing and loosing such painstakingly gained skills.
God help me.

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