Over the past few months the Roc has undergone testing to receive an educational label of Autism. He has a medical diagnosis of Autism from a neurologist, a developmental pediatrician, and a psychologist. Not to mention a mother who is educated and KNOWS her son and the ASD criteria. I know that he has Autism. I live with it. HE lives with it. It is what it is, and my job is to get him the support and help he needs to be successful. I felt that the Autism label would be helpful for teachers to understand more about my son and make sure he would get that help and support he needs to be successful in school. I’m not shy about the label. Like I said, it is what it is.
We had a feedback meeting before we went to South Carolina. He didn’t get an educational label of Autism…wwhhhaattt? Here’s why:
Delaware has a unique program called the Delaware Autistim Program (DAP) which is in a school district north of ours. It is a special education school just for children with Autism. They have one school that is PreK through 12th grade and they have an off site program for children who can be mainstreamed part of the day. They use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach the children in the program. DAP did the testing on the Roc, which included a parent interview, an evaluation at their school, and a classroom observation at his preschool. Based off of what they saw from the Roc they decided that he doesn’t fit their criteria and therefore he doesn’t deserve an educational label of Autism. Basically, he’s not Autistic-enough for their program so in their eyes he doesn’t have Autism (educationally). How stupid.
I wasn’t surprised by this. I had a feeling that he wouldn’t meet their criteria and all three of the “professionals” who gave the Roc his medical diagnosis (agreed with me when I said he has Autism) stated that the program wouldn’t be a good fit for him. His neurologist said DAP is very picky about who they let into their school and was very adament about it not being a good fit for the Roc, and that they wouldn’t accept him anyway. His neurologist has said that the Roc needs to be mainstreamed with his typical peers. I was worried about having to make the decision if DAP said they would accept him and am kind of relieved that the decision was made for me. I feel that he has progressed so much since starting the special ed preschool in our school district and I want him to keep making that progress. But I still find it laughable that because he didn’t fit the strict and selective criteria for the DAP program we now have to come up with another educational label for him. I’m guessing our school district will now label him as “learning disabled” when he really has AUTISM!!!!!!!!