Sunday, February 13, 2011

A TEACHER'S PERSPECTIVE

Age of Autism posted a letter from a teacher who has a lot to say. Unfortunately, her work environment has degenerated to the point where she needs to say it anonymously.
I am a teacher and like other teachers, I am afraid of speaking up on the increasing numbers of ill, disabled and IEP students as I fear that my job will be on the line. I know others have spoken up who then had the hand of the dark Blogosphere then dial their Principals, Superintendents or Board of Education to make a complaint. It was not a complaint from a parent of a child at the school, a teacher there, or even a known person in the school district. It was a John Doe who scared that Administrator with words like "confidentiality," or "lawsuit."
Her fear is real.
Both doctor and teacher have information to share of what they are witnessing with their own eyes. Real evidence of a change, a pattern, a devastating increase in human suffering that they want to explore and discuss. But that message is ugly, toxic and so damning in its connection to public health that the messengers are being attacked.
What this teacher has seen speaks volumes about what others choose to ignore.
I am here to anonymously say that the number of teens with diagnoses of Autism, Seizure Disorders/Epilepsy, Specific Learning Disability, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Speech and Language Disorder, Other Health Impaired (ADHD/ADD, Bipolar, Social-Emotional Disorder), Crohn's, Irritable Bowel Disorder, Allergies (with significant Food especially Peanut), Asthma, and Diabetes are horrific. Connections, like seeing Specific Learning Disability AND Asthma as paired diagnoses in many children, makes one wonder if anyone is doing research on that curious and sad occurrence. I am also here to tell you that the increase is NOT because of improved diagnoses of the children or a loosening of criteria. If anything, the elementary schools are really trying to raise the bar on entering special ed.
Through the years, we have encountered so many teachers who see the truth, and support us as best they can, but find themselves frustrated by the system. We also see others who are more-than-willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

Read the whole letter here.

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