Recently, we had my son’s annual Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting for school. The meeting was to review his progress and go over future goals. And, as usual, it got a little heated. I didn’t go with the mindset to disagree. But as usual, I seemed to be the only one fighting for my son 120%.
The meeting started off OK. And then we got to the autism supplement. It specifies the teacher-to-student ratio. I found out the day before that a teacher assistant (TA) was moved out of my son's class. That left 1 teacher and 1 assistant for 14 students with disabilities.
Common sense can tell you that this ratio is insane. My son is probably the lowest level in this class. He has the most needs. He has both behavioral and medical issues. So even though the teacher kept reassuring me and the ARD committee that she had the class under control, I had to continue questioning this.
I finally asked the Assistant Principal if he was a parent in my shoes, and had a child with many medical issues, would he agree to this ratio? All he said was that he understood.
My solution was simple. Use other staff, or high school students for peer interaction. This has worked successfully on elementary campuses. Until they hired another TA, Jac would not come to school.
The staff told me they were interviewing and, again, all was under control.
As the meeting was ending, there was a knock at the door. A teacher was there to tell us to go to Jac's classroom. He had been bitten by another classmate. His skin was broken, and he needed an examination by the nurse.
I just kept thinking, "Well, this doesn’t look 'under control' to me." When it’s your child, these meetings can be very frustrating.