Camera’s in all special needs classrooms
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I am compelled to share my story.
My 7 year old daughter is a student at a local Elementary school.
She has a condition called Autism Spectrum Disorder.
There was an incident involving modification to my daughter's school desk, in order to keep her physically contained, to be focused on classwork. There were wooden walls that were attached to the desk, along with a wooden plank under the legs of the desk-- raising it up several inches off the floor.
This was done completely without my (or my husband's) knowledge, and not part of her guidelines outlined in her IEP.
She is in second grade, and has been in the same classroom-- and had the same teacher, since kindergarten.
I kind of thought it was strange that my husband, or myself had walked my daughter to her classroom for over 2 years --and now for the past few weeks, We were met at the front doors of the school by the principal, who would have the teacher take my daughter's hand and walk her to her classroom. Something wasn't right, and after observing my daughters behavioral changes-- mood swings, more frequent meltdowns, nightmares, refusing to wear a seat belt in the car, and basically anything that involved being structured-- and outside of free play-- triggered her to into five alarm meltdowns. These behavioral changes were getting worse.... This was not in any way, my daughter's normal behavior.
She had come home with unexplained skin abrasions/bruising near her lower back, and hip area-- and after further investigation, there was a desk discovered in her classroom-- that had been modified with wood walls, and a wood plank under the legs.
The walls were covered in a light felt-like material, to be easy on the eyes.
I was told this desk was built by the teachers father.
My daughter's name was on the desk.
An emergency meeting was called, and my husband and I expressed our concern, regarding what had been done to my daughter's desk-- along with the adverse effects she is experiencing.... The administrative staff/faculty explained that my daughter was contained "put" in this desk "for her own safety."
My husband and I wholeheartedly disagree with their assessment....
She was placed in the desk for staff CONVENIENCE.
Our daughter is a very active child, and since the basic curriculum of this classroom is on repeat, and she was being forced to focus-- She was continually attempting to seek sensory input elsewhere. To put in another way... She was BORED.
She was also denied free play at recess. She was contained on a swing, and although she initially enjoyed this-- she was pushed so high, that she could not escape without hurting herself. After 15 minutes of being pushed at this height, she was visibly distraught. She wanted off the swing, and she was continually pushed, until she inevitably ran off the swing when it reached ground level. She was then contained in the time out area, then told to sit on the hot concrete in the sun.
She was merely attempting to seek shelter from the 85 degree heat, and hot sun at noon. My daughter does not do well on very hot days like this.
Her sensory input is off the charts, and it upsets her.
Containing/Restraining/Holding against freewill.... Whatever YOU choose to call it-- is wrong on every level imaginable. Especially involving a child on the Autism Spectrum.
My husband and I are not professionals, but we are concerned parents that truly care about the well being of our child.
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