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I’m really confused. Shocking, I know, but it does happen.
Ted is in a special autism classroom. He is six, functioning somewhere around a four year old in most cognitive endeavors. Beyond his developmental delays, the largest obstacle to Ted’s academic and social success is his extreme behavioral problem.
Of course, the special autism school with its ABA-based principles, specialty teachers who really understand that autism is a spectrum disorder, and the incredible IEP, FBA and BIP assigned to Ted have really made a significant dent in his completely inappropriate and maladaptive – not to mention aggressive and dangerous – behaviors.
But I digress.Ted finished kindergarten this year and is an incoming first grader. He has mastered precisely zero academic goals of a typical kinder. Rather than count to 100, Ted has only mastered counting to the mid-teens reliably. He cannot give correct personal information, such as our name, address and phone number. Cannot read, although he recognizes approximately 30 site words – if the staff would mold his feet to the fire. His writing skills are well-below grade level, as he is still around prewriting levels. Recall, cause and effect, vocabulary…I can go on and in about his academic deficits.
My question is, then, why would the powers that be promote him to first grade. If he hasn’t mastered the kinder goals and material, what is the point of exposing him to material way above his level. Presumed competence aside, this makes as much sense as putting me in a master’s level quantum physics class. If he cannot grasp rote counting, the idea of exposing him to addition and subtraction seems like a waste of everyone’s time. Expecting him to sit and listen to this material may in fact, exacerbate his behavioral problems at that time, simply because he has no idea what is being said & therefore is bored.
I imagine this deficit snowballing to the point where he is a fifth grader still doing second grade work, and expecting him to sit through long division and sentence diagraming. Perhaps that example is a bit extreme, but you get the idea.
i would love your input. Please, if you understand this line of thinking (promote no matter what), pled explain it to me. I don’t get it at all. I can’t see how this is in my son’s best interest.
Help a special needs momma out, would you?
Kelly is a Navy wife and mother to three children; 17 year old NT, 6 and 5 year old boys on the spectrum; and, a perfect-to-her beautiful baby girl. Kelly has been featured in a collection of essays on special needs children entitled, “Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Children.” She can also be found at MyTidewaterMoms.com, and as a guest blogger throughout the blog-iverse. In her spare time, Kelly is the Blog Master for, and member of, the Military Special Needs Network Executive Board. You can contact her via email at KellyHafer@MilitarySpecialNeedsNetwork.com.
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