(About the video: Please, excuse my heavy accent) Twitter: @believekenia
Amend Section 504 to qualify non-verbal individuals with Autism or disrupted behavior to be protected from discrimination based on their disability, so they can receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and education at home as a Homeward Bound Service by trained and qualified teachers in any of the three proven effective techniques listed below that parents might choose until the child demonstrates social integration readiness to go back to classrooms:
· “The Son-Rise program” ( http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/ )
· “Floor Time” (http://www.autismweb.com/floortime.htm )
Autism is a complex disorder that interferes with a person's ability to communicate with and relate to others. Approximately one in every 166 people has it, and four out of every five of those people are boys. Children with severe autism have problems in areas of social skills and communication and often present inappropriate, interfering, and even dangerous behaviors. To be placed in overpopulated public schools during these stages not only affects the autistic child, but those in the classroom as well. ( http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/ ).
Due to budget restrictions, teachers do not have the help they need, nor the training that could help students with autism learn to cope in the classroom. For example, "according to the State of North Carolina report to the U.S. Department of Education, there are only 20 Therapists Licensed to Serve 9,000+ Kids" (http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=4923) In the other hand, these students are sensory overwhelmed in overpopulated classrooms provoking in them excessive tantrums. ( http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=3933 )
It is said by researchers that early interventions using these proven techniques increases the chances in a child with autism to learn how to auto regulate and be ready for learning and join a group class after the program is completed. ( http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/ )
An amendment in 2009 was made to section 504 in which even services were extended to LD AD/HD students (to be educated under 504). However, more and more students are entering classrooms in distress or non classroom ready to either regular or to life skill classes; good-hearted teachers try to deal with a situation that it is out of their control as well as school personnel.
Parents, teachers and sometime administrators are not aware of these federal grants or the process is abandoned because it would require a humongous amount of "paper from the overstressed teacher, lacking of time and overwhelmed parents, counselors, and specialists." ( http://www.fetaweb.com/02/mistakes.parents.crabtree.htm )
Schools have enough problems with all the educational "flawless issues," and budget cuts, that even, wanting to help, sometimes is impossible. (http://www.fetaweb.com/02/mistakes.school.crabtree.htm)
There are many battles against the school system, insurance, Medicaid ( http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=4550) these parents are fighting in the dark. Even advocates who have the time to research and access to educational systems are confused. Advocacy and social workers or law professionals willing to donate their time are required to help these families who are overwhelmed enough to go through nightmares like this.
Autism drains a family financially and emotionally only thinking what will be the future of these children after they close their eyes. I invite whoever feels or believes in helping children with Autism or disabilities to advocate and fight along these families. If we don't act these children are destined to be in long term care facilities when they might have a chance in life.
"If you save a child you will save an entire generation becoming a stakeholder of your own future"
Disclaimer: I am not an expert, all my opinions are based in what I have learned through all these years that I have been helping and working with children. I am only someone who happens to love children dearly and got inspired by a boy (my soul son) whose story represents many like him. I feel desperation for him, to save his life even though he is not my son, I cannot imagine what a parent of one might feel every day.