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This is why we keep being vocal

9 Sep

Us, the people of the disabled community – people with disabilities, their parents, loved ones – this is why we keep being vocal. It’s stuff like this that makes us be vocal, be continuously pushing for change, for better options. These are the things we fear, that keep us up at night, that we fight to change. Stories like this –

“Cage for autistic child at Canbera school a shocking wake-up call”

 

And because that wasn’t enough, that link shared a similar story –

“”Cage” for autistic Nicolson Institute pupil removed”

 

These are the crazy-makers. The greatest fears. The things that trouble us. People with disabilities are, first and foremost, people. Not creatures to be locked up in cages and dog runs.

I’m going to go off and be grateful for the wonderful school we have now.

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9 Responses to “This is why we keep being vocal”

  1. Cheyanne September 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    WOW!!! This is horrible. NO child should be locked in a cage. EVER.

    • Cheyanne September 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

      ESPECIALLY a child with a disability.

    • franhunne4u September 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      No child that is no danger … Children that go around trying to hurt others severely I would lock up, too. Not in a cage! But you cannot have the freedom of one child trump the health of the other children.
      I do not know the reasons for these cages, and yes, you are right, cages should not be used. But what would you do with a child that went berserk? That bites, that beats, that kicks, that smashes things on other children?

      • phoebz4 September 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

        There are procedures to deal with those who are having violent outlashes. Some schools have “safe” rooms that are supposed to follow strict guidelines – be a certain size, certain amount of safety, the child is not to be left alone, etc. Those are not popular either, I’ll admit. Most of the time, if you tell the child that “this area is your safe spot” – it does help. You don’t need bars and locks.

        The problem is, when you lock them up like that, it just causes the behaviors you’re locking them up for become worse. Because you lose trust.

        I’ve hung out in different special ed classrooms, and I’ve never seen any child lash out enough to need to be put in a room/cage. Granted, I know my views are a bit narrow, but they’re wider than the average person’s.

      • franhunne4u September 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

        Of course, and I say it again (I did in my last comment) a CAGE can not be a solution. But the safety of the other children has to be thought of, too.
        What has brought those cages (which are despised by you and by me) into the classroom? What was the rationale behind?

      • phoebz4 September 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

        I think part of it, at least here in the states, is that we’ve all but done away with special schools. Those are for the most extreme cases. Some of it, I think, is because we’re trying to mainstream as many of these kids as possible, and mainstreaming can be very overwhelming to some kids. Also, the people working with these kids are usually not trained, or given training. They get paid very little, and aren’t given the support they need to support kids. Like here, an aide only needs a high school diploma, no college or special ed training needed. I know in our case, when Maura started school, me AND the staff were begging for some seizure training for the staff – took months to get it done, and that was with all of us pestering, and still weeks after Maura had yet another seizure at school. Because the woman in charge of funding, the special ed director, didn’t think it was urgent. (Teacher totally felt the need.)

        So sometimes, in these cases, you have a principal or administrator – someone who doesn’t work one on one with these kids – who are the ones who must come up with the solution. They don’t have special ed training, or maybe only a few hours here and there. They try to come up with a cheap and fast solution, and it usually falls very short. It takes time and money to train a person in how to handle someone with behavioral issues, and many schools don’t want to spend that money.

        In this particular case, my only theory is that the principal was drunk when she came up with the cage solution because OMG it’s a freaking cage! Iron bar cage! A broom closet would have been a better solution than that!

      • franhunne4u September 10, 2015 at 12:39 am #

        Agree with the person having been under influence who came up with cages. Cages are reserved for terrorists in high-security court cases – when they have no other way to keep the prisoner safe.

  2. politicaljules September 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    We moved to Kansas from Texas and are completely devastated with how poorly children with special needs are treated. My daughter 6 with Down syndrome is very high functioning. Knows her numbers up to 30, Days of the week, and is reading approximately 50 + sight words. She is very high functioning and has beautifully emerging articulation and is very chatty. We live on the same street as a bright cheery elementary school where all her friends attend. When we went to enroll her for classes, we were turned away at the door. Children with disabilities do not attend that school.

    Without ever evaluating my child we were told she would be bussed across town to a school in a bad neighborhood with double chain link fences around it. There are no cages at that school because the entire school is a cage. I was told this is where the most “severely disabled children go.”

    I tried to explain my daughter was not severely disabled, and they could evaluate her to see how much more she was like her typical peers than not. We were told her evaluation would be done there because that was going to be her placement anyway.

    I fought them with every fiber in my being to get it changed, but I was threatened with truancy charges and was visited at my home by social workers. I pulled her out to homeschool her because did not have anymore fight in me. We are going backwards in this country and our children are treated worse than ever.

  3. cliff445 September 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Thank you for taking time to post this. That is shocking! Have we learned nothing from the past? Locking children away, like convicts or wild animals? That solves nothing! Getting to the root of the Child’s problem is a much better approach, in most situations.

    Our Teachers/administrators/caregivers, should be far better equipped to deal with problems than most obviously are. Hey, I know it’s not easy, and they are asked to shoulder a ton of responsibility, but if the effort is made to find answers, as opposed to exacerbating or compounding the issue, alternative solutions will likely become self evident.
    Cages are not the answer!

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