• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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Aspie Injustice: It keeps us up at Night

Scales_of_justice

Justice—a subject near and dear to my heart. One thing I find that most of us Aspies have in common is a profound sense of justice and morality. Admittedly it  may not be the same sense of justice that others have but that shouldn’t surprise anyone by now because we tend to march to the beat of our own drums.

Justice definitely means different things to different people, but for me (and my ASD kids) I can tell you that when an injustice is perceived, it is very difficult to move past. These are the things, these slights, that keep me up at night. They wake me out of my sleep, and make it impossible to go back to sleep. I have a very difficult time accepting a situation I feel is unfair.

You hear things like “they can’t do that;” “ that is against the law;” “they must provide…,” but the problem with these statements is that usually people/agencies/companies/government can and will do whatever they want until you ENFORCE what they should not be able to do. In other words, you must be able to enforce the law to guarantee your rights, which usually means lawyers, courts, etc.

Most of us, do not or can  not go this route…whether because of finances or the undue amount of stress it would put us and it leaves us feeling slighted. It makes me feel like unless I am able to DO something about it, people will get away with doing whatever they want with no consequences whatsoever—and that DRIVES ME CRAZY.  I personally cannot tell you WHY I cannot reconcile myself to these injustices, just that I simple cannot.

As many of you know I have had a difficult time with my son’s school lately. We had our first IEP meeting last week that did not go well at all. I complained to the district and just got a call this morning. They think that moving my son is the best way to go (switching schools) and in this way they can accommodate his needs and address all my concerns.  But—in the current school, with the current power wielding principal (my words not theirs) he will likely not get what he needs. My bigger concern is for next year when he enters the 5th grade. The amount of times he will need to change classes will double and the workload will be more difficult.

It makes sense to move to an environment that is filled with people more willing to work with him (the district’s autism program is based out of this other school). BUT and this is a big BUT for me…I feel like if I move him then the school who was unwilling to work with me, the principal who was obnoxious and rude—wins. They get to dictate what my son needs or doesn’t need, and which struggles they are going to acknowledge.  For me, this is not acceptable.  It upsets me because I feel like if I do nothing about it then I am just as responsible for what happens to the next special needs kid that doesn’t get the help they need from that school.

Beyond my feelings of injustice is the fact that I would have to move my son  mid-school year, which could be—WILL BE—disruptive to him, and he will have to have a MUCH longer school bus ride.  I am very very concerned about adding 3 hours onto my boy’s school day because the special ed bus must come really early and then drop him off really late.  To me, again, this is extremely unfair. I don’t want to add to his school day like that, and there is always the fact that he will no longer be able to ride home with his friends AND not be able to ride to school some mornings with his friends. 

My awesome neighbor drives him to school a couple of days per week with his children, which is a tremendous help to me in the mornings dealing with Aspie Teen, Tantrum Tot, and the Baby in addition to getting the little man out the door to school.  *Sigh*

So I’m frustrated.  Part of me wants to fight this school and MAKE them do what they should, but that will be stressful on me and the boys. Plus there is no way to know that they will do it, and it will likely create a hostile environment for the little man.  It is just this feeling of the whole situation being unfair that I am having trouble getting over.

I haven’t made any decisions yet–

Another tid-bit of information: Tantrum Tot is still being evaluated for special education services, and if he qualifies to attend the 3 year old autism class it will be in the school that I need to move my 9 year old to—so they would both go to the same school.  Then, the move would  make sense…but–

I don’t know; What do you all think?  Sounding board time.

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.