Educational Label

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!!!!!!!!

So asinine.


6 thoughts on “Educational Label

  1. Totally outrageous. But something I’ve also faced to some degree. The educational decisions special needs parents face are difficult enough without dealing with limited school resources. Would your neurologist provide a report that states that the Roc needs a home ABA program to supplement his education?

    In my blog, “What I Really Learned on Tuesday”, (, I describe visiting two schools for Jon, going into 1st grade. He would be included in the general classroom in both, but in one school, there was a separate classroom where he could come for tutoring, and a good motor room where he could take breaks. The classrooms were nice, separate, and the school seemed calm.

    The second school had classrooms organized in pods, that is, each grade was all in one large area, with a common space in the middle of the separate “classrooms”. It was really loud, not to mention there was no real motor room, and the bathrooms were less accessible. I describe both visits in my blog, What I Really Learned on Tuesday (, and I’ll be posting an update about our decision, hopefully later today.

    Bottom line, we are going with the district’s recommendation that the second school is more appropriate based on the functioning level of the special needs peers. We’re lucky to live in a place that can provide an appropriate class for Jon, at least one we believe will be appropriate. Quite a few areas would put him in a segregated classroom where he would not have the opportunity to eventually get a diploma.

    To the Roc – good luck in preschool! To mom – never stop fighting for what is right. GL

  2. It’s like dueling diagnosis … and as if they are choosing children – handpicking children! – most likely to make their program look successful.

    You know what he needs. That’s all that matters.


  3. It’s almost as if the state does not recognize the milder forms of autism or something.

    So long as the accommodations written are what The Roc needs, I guess that is what matters. Who cares what they call it, right?

  4. I’ve had this happen a few times. It’ll be that much more important for you now to be a strong advocate for what Roocco needs as far as support in school. I know the label doesn’t really matter, but it does when it helps your child get the support he needs in school. Hopefully the kindergarten staff will support his needs no matter what label he is given.

  5. Pingback: Emotionally Disturbed… « The Roc Chronicles

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