It has been a great couple of weeks for our little company. I haven’t been writing many posts, but there hasn’t been a need for that in order to build business, or for advertising; we are as busy as we can possibly be. For me that has been a very good thing as if I had time for reflection, it would be, I’m sure, concerning regret that we didn’t do this sooner.
There are several items I want to clear up, particularly for our followers. The ASD from the inside hotline is open and functional; we have logged dozens of calls already, so we are seeing a need for this to continue. See How we work for that information. The call # is our main #.
Donations for the freestore for teachers are arriving almost faster than we can store them. That is good news for educators in southeast Volusia, some whom have already met with us to pick up items. We may need to open the tutoring center before planned to accommodate this free service for teachers. However, as stated previously the freestore will only be open during contracted hours. See previous posts as to the rationale for this.
I’d particularly like to thank those teachers and administrators who have called for my assistance. I know I have apologized personally, but I want to apologize for being unavailable to you for the last several years in my position with the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. One teacher I met with recently was reminiscing that in the early years of my service, there, I often showed up at her classroom on Friday afternoons and pitched in, and that was what she missed the most. These past few weeks I have loved being able to get back in the classroom and it has deepened my regret as to my past behavior of not standing up for those in my charge. While I seek, now, to fill gaps rather than try to fill my old shoes; I pledge to take the time to meet with those who can and will guide change for students in the southeast Volusia area.
I know that I cannot make up for what I did not do, before. However, since I am a good writer and have many contacts in the field I pledge to make sure I don’t repeat the same mistakes. This was on my mind yesterday in an IEP meeting for a child who has been misserved for an entire year; although the school system had everything needed to serve her, she had no services and was in danger of retention. Through frank discussion, we were able to secure a rigorous IEP and extensive services. At one point, I even had to say if it will get all of you on the same side of the table for this child, let me be the bad guy! Let me say the hard stuff! The strategies worked. One teacher at the table had the courage to back me up and stand up to a misguided placement specialist, and called later to thank me. It is my hope that soon this sort of behavior on my part will become unnecessary and we will witness rigor returning to the process and full implementation of ALL IEPs. I will be haunted forever by those I wasn’t allowed to serve–and that I didn’t have what it took to follow my heart and do so anyway–the last few years at CARD.
You may have noticed I don’t talk much, here, about CARD. Right now, I can’t. CEG can’t recommend, currently, CARD to our clients. As I have explained to those I’ve discussed this with personally, this has nothing to do with my own experiences. It has to do with the experiences of family members. I will let them explain if they choose to when the time is right for that. When it comes to ASD, I learn the most about the needs of those on the spectrum by engaging with them, not by instructing them on how to fit into my world.