Thursday, September 06, 2012

Autism and Education: Conor Votes For FLEXIBLE Inclusion

UPDATE: Conor had a great day at school today!

Conor got up at 6 am today, as he has for the last 2+ months to mark down the number of days to school. He started doing this with 65 days to go and today he was very happy to mark 0 days to school! He also placed his packed bookbag and lunchbag at the front door to make sure we went to school.

Conor has severe autistic disorder with "profound developmental delays".  He was removed from the regular classroom, at our request, early in his education when we realized that the self inflicted bite marks were happening because of his placement in the regular classroom where he was overhwhelmed.  The biting declined, and disappeared completely, once he was placed in an individual learning environment to receive his ABA based instruction.  Since then adjustments have been made so that he starts his day and spends breaks with other challenged students in a resource center at the Leo Hayes High School. It is an important and valuable resource where Conor has been very well received and where he has made friends.  He also socializes with other students in the halls and in a variety of settings in the school and on expeditions. He receives his primary ABA based instruction outside the mainstream classroom in a quieter, less overwhelming individualized environment.

Conor's flexible model of inclusion works for him and many other students who require accommodation of their disability based challenges. The rigid ideological everyone in the classroom philosophy for learning did not work for Conor and does not work for ALL students with autism and other challenges.  Some students with autism can prosper in the classroom some can't.  

It is necessary, in an evidence based, humane and lawful education system to look at the needs and strengths of each child and accommodate those who require accommodation.  In some cases that means outside the mainstream classroom. 

Conor voted against the rigid inflexible model of full inclusion for all when he came home each day with bite marks on his hands. Today, once again, he voted for FLEXIBLE inclusion when he marked his board to show ZERO days to school.  Conor is going back to school, flexible inclusion and all, and he is very happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the first things Justin said when asked how his day was at school.."I saw Conor".