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Kaitlynn was born September 29th, 2004. We have seen neurology specialists from St. Louis to New Orleans since she was born. Unfortunately, we still do not have a definitive diagnosis for Kaitlynn. The best guess her doctors have to offer is mitochondrial disease.

Special Needs Children Abused and Neglected By School Systems Across America

7:28 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 7 Comments »
Just one year ago, congressional auditors brought the widespread abuse techniques used on special education students to the attention of the general public. The report, seen here, uncovered abuse of restraining, seclusion,  and discipline techniques…. some of which were even linked to deaths.

Details from incidences such as: children being secluded for hours at a time while being taunted by teachers, children being held face-down on the ground, handcuffed, etc.. were included in the report.

State law, school policy, and regulation of such varies greatly from area to area, providing the perfect breeding ground for abuse of over 6 million special needs children. At the time of this report, only five states even bothered to keep records of incidents where special needs children were separated or restrained.

Many teachers documented in the report did not have the proper training related to seclusion and restraint. Experts say that children should only be isolated when they pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. Still, many of the teachers were using isolation as punishment to “make” the children comply with  classroom rules.

Yet, with this report giving light to hundreds of special needs children being abused in the school system and the growing incidences actually appearing in national news, still nothing is being done to change a broken system.

Take Port St. Lucie's school system for example. This school felt that it would be okay to vote an autistic boy out of his kindergarten class for being “unruly.” Alex Barton was made to stand in front of his classmates, in Survivor style fashion, and listen to why his peers decided to vote him out of “their” class. See Alex Barton’s story here. A Parkway Elementary School student was handcuffed by a Sheriffs deputy  after a temper tantrum in the middle of class.  A few days later and another temper tantrum, and the girl was transported to the local adult mental institution by the school.See that story here.  I recently wrote about an autistic boy that is being charged with a felony after drawing a picture of a gun. See that story here. These types of incidences occur far too often, and nothing is being done about it.

First, teachers of special needs children need to be better educated. For example, children with autism move around frequently. Trying to restrain the child, only worsens this behavior. Imagine an itch you have and someone holding your hands and not letting you scratch. The itching does not go away just because you are restrained; in fact, the itch becomes worse. It is the same principle for autistic children. 

Plain and simple, the teacher has a  job to teach. Some children require extra measures or special plans of action to be taught. Special Education teachers are supposed to be equipped with this knowledge. We wouldn’t tolerate a math teacher that wasn’t able to do a fundamental element of her job, like add and subtract. So, why are we tolerating special education teachers that obviously lack or ignore the fundamental elements required to teach special needs children? 

Second, it is time for some universal laws to protect these children from abusive school environments. We have tried leaving it up to the states and individual school systems, and they have failed these children. Contact your state elected officials here and here and The House Education and Labor Committee here to demand action!


Velvet Over Steel said...

Sad but very informative post. We all need this information to educate people of the unfortunate truth; so we can stop it and protect these children. Again, So sad!!! Thank you for sharing and being such a Great Advocate for our 'special' children!!!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

That's horrible. I can't believe this happens in schools. I'm glad something is being done to correct it.

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