As we head into the most important week of the year if you are celebrating Easter or Passover, I wanted to share with you something that I am going to be focusing “Going the Distance” more on down the line. I just want to make thing quite clear when it comes to this two part blog: I am NOT abandoning Neurodiversity and talking about growing up with it entirely!
But I just want to focus on the factor that Individual Educational Plans and Transitioning from High School to the Real World are two of the most important factors that a lot of neurodiverse and disabled families struggle with the most right now, especially with the COVID Pandemic still out there.
IEP’s and Transitional processes are two very stressful factors that my family and I have lived through in the course of my education. While I was fortunate to have had a strong IEP team, there are plenty of other families who do not have as strong a system. Many special education students have a lot of needs that are required to help them succeed in school.
Perhaps the most critical factor is that the ratio of 1 in 44 for an autism diagnosis is sending many families into a tailspin as to what services are best suited for their children and there are also the fact that many parents don’t even want to go through the process of an IEP because they are scared of it.
The fact of the matter is that my folks and I have been through the process and through my knowledge as well as theirs, we can help reduce the stigma that many families fear when it comes to Individual Educational Plans.
IEP meetings are not meant to be viewed as something where you get intentionally hurt, but rather something that is to be embraced and valued as something to learn from, not just about the student, but about the participants themselves!
The other factor that I am trying to zero in on is the matter of not just IEP’s, but also school safety drills and school assemblies. A lot of schools really seem to ignore the fact that school safety drills and assemblies are very bothersome to sensory friendly students and it really upsets people like me who have been through the process.
With the increased ratio of a 1 in 44 diagnosis, schools need to embrace the fact that there can be modifications for students to cope with such traumatic experiences. Remember, and this is something that I frequently put in my presentations:
“THIS IS NOT MEANT TO TAKE STUDENTS OUT OF DOING THE DRILL OR SCHOOL ASSEMBLY!”
Especially now with virtual options like Zoom, schools have to consider the fact that traditions and methods can be modified to better suit the student’s needs. At the time of this blog, I have not created a presentation on how to help students cope with school assemblies, but I look to create one at some point. Any suggestions or methods that can be put into a presentation is greatly appreciated.
Be sure to read part 2 of this blog tomorrow that will cover the second part of my main current focus which is transitional matters.
Catch you all later!!