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Featured Let's create our own dream school for autistic people and not only..

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by SageRose, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    I've always believed that the way society is and treats people who are less priviledged emotionally, socially or even mentally, such people should be able to have the benefit of a specially designed education system just for them, which does happen in many areas of the world but not in all, and even where it happens, it doesn't always have the consistency and the qualifications it should have for these people to finish their education successfully.

    So beginning from the kindergarten stage and slowly going forward until the university/college stage, how do you imagine the ideal education system for people of the spectrum as well as people with severe social anxiety, depression, OCD and any other condition that usually teams up with autism or is comorbid to it? I have a plethora of ideas and I'm trying to organise them. Share your thoughts starting from kindergarten and up until the uni/college years.
    P.S. The education system I refer to is about both the general quality of the education AND it goes even to the way the school buildings should be structured and designed to host their students and classes. It also doesn't have to be all up to the uni, it can be just about kindergartens and elementary schools or high schools. Your choice.

    Ex: I think the ideal kindergarten for kids of the spectrum should be specifically designed in a way to address the issues such kids face, such as the sensory ones. Or those kids refusal to be very verbal or very emotionally expressive. For instance the kindergarten should have a stable schedule that all kids would grow comfortable with and be able to follow, they should have toys that are autism-friendly and not toys that might make loud sounds or whose feel is weird,etc.., the breakfast time should be held in a seperate clean and organised room just for that purpose,etc..
     
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  2. 55853

    55853 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't believe segregation is the answer. I am incredibly glad that I was only in "mainstream" education. Of course it's not comfortable, but I believe it prepares you for life better than sheltering you from it. I don't believe I'd have much, if any, independence or resilience if I was never made to do things which were uncomfortable. I don't believe I'd have any understanding of the majority of the population if I was kept away from them.

    Sorry to disagree with your whole idea. I wasn't diagnosed until adulthood, and in some ways, I'm glad about this. I don't believe it'd have been helpful for my schools to know, in the long term.
     
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  3. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Great way to totally handicap kids in learning how to deal with the real world. Not only that, you seem to be assuming that every autistic child is like every other and can be treated the same way. Stereotyping much?
     
  4. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    1) For me, handicapping kids means putting them in an environment that doesn't give them ANY chance to develop their natural abilities, be themselves and evolve their own personality. For me handicapping kids means that you force them to grow up in an environment that makes them feel sick, abnormal and incapable of most if not ALL things and be usually bullied from an early age, often led into even suicide due to the ENORMOUS emotional and even practical pressure both by peers, teachers and parents. So I think our definition of handicapping kids is quite different.
    2) Not stereotyping at all. Where in my text did I imply that I think ALL autistic kids are the same? I pointed out a few ideas about things that are simply COMMON among autistics, that doesn't mean that those are the golden rule. I never wrote that. Don't randomly assume something without knowing or at least asking me to clarify something you did not understand. A bit on the rush?? Also are you under the impression that kids who enter special education are handicapped later in life? I ask that because I know kids who were in the special education and were perfectly capable of both surviving in the world and finding a job they liked..so how exactly do you think that putting such kids in an environment meant for them and their special talents and gifts, would be 'handicapping' them?
     
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  5. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron Just a Professional Weirdo w/Autism and ADHD

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    Online school helps, since I am in my own, comfortable home.
     
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  6. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    That's a perfectly respectable opinion. I personally think that while some people of the spectrum manage the general education just fine, many if not most of them have severe issues, mainly because the general education usually forces kids of the spectrum to adopt personas that are foreign to them, mask whatever special ability/talent they might have in order to 'blend in', and oppress their true nature and talents just to fit in. And neither teachers, nor students are usually understanding or they're just indifferent which further isolates the person in the spectrum, anyway. What I mean is that if spectrum kids get isolated in the general education ANYWAY, then wouldn't it be better if they at least got to complete their education in an environment that both accepts and encourages their abilities?
     
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  7. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    Also a good idea.
     
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  8. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I think specialized education for students with autism and other conditions could be extremely useful. I don't believe that the best way to raise strong, resourceful, resilient and determined people is to force them to "tough it out" without any accomodation for serious difficulties.

    I think that education should be more individualized for all students, though, not just those with disabilities.

    I think it would be good to have a sensory break room to go to for the prevention of meltdowns/shutdown, or a room with pillows and shreddable paper and things for a kid to have meltdowns in. Allowing hyperactive children to sit on exercise balls when they are required to be sitting down (so they can bounce and rock and move around more without getting in trouble) would be good. Also, more hands on learning would have been good for me.
     
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  9. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There's a big difference between most special ed programs and a school that puts children in a closed environment five days a week, where the only other children they come in contact with are also autistic. That's really all I need to say about it. Take some time to think about it instead of jumping to deny it.
     
  10. Graphin

    Graphin Serial conversation Killer V.I.P Member

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    Sure, except that current education also significantly holds back Neurotypical people, sure they may get some more use out of it, but it's evident that current popular systems are just really failing everyone.
     
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  11. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    IMO most textbooks would need to be re-written, with clear, unambiguous explanations, plenty of diagrams and visual aids, each lesson would start with the teacher explaining at the start what the lesson was going to involve, what he/she expected of the students, and what the final goal of the lesson is. Also, more emphasis on self-exploration/discovery, rather than the kids just being dictated to by the teacher. No insistence on pairwork or group work, unless they wanted to. Projects take place, but it's up to the students how they conduct them, with flexible deadlines. The accuracy or their results and conclusions is more important than how they came to that result.
     
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  12. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It sounds expensive, who would pay for the buildings, specialist staff, dietary requirements, insurance etc, etc? Where would the money come from do you think to fund the school?
     
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  13. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of molding them from a young age (say age 7) to a warrior cannibal society. The old or infirm we could utilize in a crochet potholder making operation. Sold on Etsy, we would use the proceeds to build endless monuments.

    ;)
     
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  14. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    Not sure I see your point. Could you elaborate?
     
  15. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    I have thought about it. I work in the field of special education. I had in the past assisted and accompanied a kid with severe autism in her school, which was of general education. You probably think that having autistics joining general schools is far better than having them ''isolated'' in schools specific to their needs right? But could you tell me how a child with, say...extra needs or a child with a lot of challenging aspects to his/her autism, would be any better off at a general education school in which he/she will be isolated from the very first years by almost everyone? The kid I used to accompany, despite having several talents of her own and being awfully good at specific things, was not in any way appreciated for them, nor was she accepted by the other kids. In fact, if I (the special ed companion), wasn't by her side, she would have been constantly bullied or isolated.

    On the other side, a friend of mine who works in a special ed school where I live has often reported to me that kids with challenges who join such schools have way more chances to learn necessary real world skills and develop their own further, precisely because those schools are meant to address those kids needs and gifts. A general ed school won't give even a single minute of their day to understand, appreciate or help a child who isn't as adaptable to it as most of its students. What use will it then be for that kid? There are of course several autistics who are highly functioning and could easily blend in general ed schools but I'm also refering to the general spectrum, not just the highly functioning ones. And I dare say, that even among people with difficulties, there is a quite big amount of prejudice and 'shame' when it comes to talking about special ed, as if special ed is only about mentally retarded people or something. I understand your point of view but I definitely disagree. I see absolutely no point in having a child with mild or serious difficulties, undergoing the extremely painful procedure of surviving general ed schools when neither those schools can do much to help them nor can they do much in them.

    So let's agree to disagree on this.
     
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  16. SageRose

    SageRose Active Member It's My Birthday!

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    It doesn't have to be any more expensive than general ed schools. Don't special ed schools exist and get funded already? All I'm saying is that we could have the same for the spectrum people. If not all of the stages, then at least some elementary and high schools.
     
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  17. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Elaborate? Why, I hardly know you! No, pay no attention to me. Just joking. That what the ;) was for.
     
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  18. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It would cost considerably more than general ed because in the UK at least, class sizes are often 25 or more students to one teacher. In the sort of school you are suggesting the ratio would be more like 3-4 students per teacher max, with a classroom assistant for low functioning students hence a considerably larger wage bill. Teachers would also need considerably more training than mainstream teachers due to the additional challenges teachers would face.

    Special ed schools do exist at the moment but are constantly looking for sponsors, and creating fund raising events, etc etc to raise additional funds. The high cost of these schools is one of the reasons government tries to integrate higher functioning students in mainstream schools.

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I don’t think keeping high functioning students separate from society at large would be beneficial. Ultimately, we have to learn to function with NTs, and the NT world of work where most of us will be seeking work at some stage, or further education likewise.
     
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  19. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I don't believe being forced to be uncomfortable is helpful. I never became more comfortable with each forcing.

    One example is public speaking. They shove it down your throat, touting it as an invaluable skill. I avoided it at all costs. It was horrifying to me. I never did it. I just refused.

    And I'm just fine with public speaking now. I dealt with the issues and can do it now. Simply forcing someone may work for some but was useless and counterproductive for me.

    So that'd be one thing for the schools you're talking about! Less forced homogeneity.

    And I don't believe being surrounded by NTs taught me how to interact with them. It only made me terrified and suicidal. The short version is that I was beat until I stopped going and was better off every day afterwards.

    I don't agree that public school is an accurate representation of "the real world". In the real world, there's police and law. In schools, assault and abuse are acceptable. It's "just the way it is". "Zero-tolerance policy" is a thing made-up to put on signs.

    There's another for your school thing! Actually caring about violence prevention.

    I was consistently told how things were going to be and things I needed to know or be able to do, and I have found none of it to be true. School was just a series of lies and adulthood is the gradual realization of that fact.

    Maybe a school for Autistic students could have a focus on openness and honesty.

    But I think the idea that every high functioning autistic person should be forced to go to a "regular" school is cruel and irresponsible.

    Good thread! :)
     
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  20. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You make a lot of good points, so I can't disagree with you entirely. We all know that bullying and failure of teachers to support special needs students are ongoing problems. But if we're going to have a practical solution, I think it comes down to dealing with the problems instead of creating special schools, or sweeping them under the rug, to the detriment of the students. Realistically, I'm afraid that the problems will continue to exist, mostly from lack of will to solve them.