Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Special Education... Heartbreaking

The little girl in the above picture is named Angie - a 7 year old Wisconsin girl with special needs who was killed while being physically restrained and secluded at her school.

Recently my six year old son, who has autism, was restrained at the public school that he attended before we moved him to a private school for children with mild disabilities. The school district we are dealing with is now denying the incident ever happened. The lawyer we have, who is helping us to obtain a Free and Appropriate Eduction (FAPE), is telling us that eventually we're going to have to sign a paper that releases the district of any liability.

It's complete Bull Shit.

Over the weekend I was doing some research.. because we can't be the only family in this situation, my son can't be the only one that's ever been restrained at school. What I found was horrifying. It actually made me sick to my stomach to read the report I found..

School is Not Supposed to Hurt:
Investigative Report on Abusive
Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

If you decide to read the report.. please be forewarned, it's very heartbreaking. I cried through reading most of it.

So.. earlier this week I spent most of my time doing Internet searches, trying to find out what to do, who to tell, about what happened to my son. He's showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He's been back to the campus twice since the incident happened and both times he tells us, "This is where they held me down. This is where they were mean to me." And now the district is offering us a FAPE in a classroom at the same location the incident happened.

Are they insane?

I've sent complaint letters to the California Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Will they even care? I've been calling agencies and advocates trying to find someone who can help, someone who even cares.

I can't believe that this is the best the government can do. One poor set of parents from the School Shouldn't Hurt Report... they got a million dollars for their pain and suffering and the teacher that killed their child STILL GOT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND TEACH AGAIN, the death was reported as accidental.

It makes me sick.


Ange said...

this just popped up in my google reader. There was just a hearing regarding this. Make sure you send in your story.

Sarah said...

Hi hon... love the blog. I'm a teacher - mainly preschool - but have done my share of working with older kiddos. There is a clear line that we are given with any child in the Public system here - no restaining unless it is in their Dr. orders and the parents are agreed! I'm really shocked that your son was treated that way!! I'm so sorry! I work with autistic kiddos alot and it sure doesn't sound to me like he needed to be physically restrained!! Huge hugs, Sarah

Sage Moonstone said...


Sarah.. I appreciate the kind words.

Right now I'm on a mission to help my son as well as other families in the area. It shouldn't be this hard to get help or to find the right person to talk to when something horrible like this happens. So, I'm working on a blog and possibly a website that might be useful for other families out there.. this shouldn't happen to our little ones.

Mama Kelly said...

I do not have the words to express how sorry I am for what was done to your son. I do not have the words to express my horror that things like this happen to so many children (even one is too many).

Blessings to you both

Mama Kelly

mrsb said...

I do not know how I missed this post until today. Just heartbreaking. There was a death in NJ of a 14 year old boy who had been in restraints for 16 months at a program for autistic kids (this happened a few years ago). No child should ever have to go through anything like this.

If you didn't run across it, maybe you can find something helpful here:

It's just insane how they treat these kids.

Marie said...

That is horrible that that happened. My mom is a teacher's assistant for a special needs class. She has been doing it for years. I know that when they go to their in service in the summer they are taught the proper way to restrain. Luckily my mom has only had to do that once or twice when i student was having a bad day and was endangering other students and teachers. But the hold calms them down and then they are fine. Obviously these teachers did not have the proper training.

Dia said...

How very, very sad!
Do you know the work of Barry & Susi Kauffman with autistic kids?? Some of my friends went to study at their 'Options Institute' & the wife worked in the day care for autistic kids whose folks were attending classes - very sweet & humane work!
The husband worked with the son, now a Harvard Grad, who was diagnosed as autistic in preschool, & attending 'normal' schools by 6 or 7 . . .