"As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected
and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever
~Clarence Darrow

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mulligan Stew

Or perhaps this post most would more accurately be named bean soup ...

At any rate, I am heading off to Bean Town Boston for a week (a rare and wonderful opportunity for me) sans husband and children. 

I'm not quite sure why but I have always wanted to go to Boston.  So off I am with plans to meet up with a good friend from Pennsylvania.  It will be a true Girls Week Out!

And yet I feel the slightest tinge of guilt.  There have been a few articles I have stumbled across recently which I thought might make good blawg folder.  But, which, unfortunately I never got around to actually blogging about.

So, in no particular order, for your weekend (and next week's ) viewing pleasure, I offer you the following:

Taking the Next Step
Although this is an American article, I believe it is, at least somewhat, relevant  to us here in Canada.  Because what happens in the US eventually will happen here.  Perhaps a toned down version in some way, but, make no mistake, it will happen here.

Witness the Regulations made pursuant to Nova Scotia's Education Act and Special Education Policy Manual (see link on the sidebar under "Helpful Links - Education").   Both of which refer to a student's right to an "appropriate education". 

Wording copied directly from the American legislation (IDEA) which provides that all students have a right to a "free and appropriate" education.   Alas, our legislation and policy has the wording but not the teeth behind the American legislation to back it up. 

Still, I have seen recent moves within my own school board to move IPPs more towards the American model in that now finally we are suppose to have "measurable goals and objectives".  "Measurable goals and objectives"?  Who woulda thunk it?

On no doubt related note, I offer you More Intellectually Disabled Youths Go To College

Some good news perhaps for your higher functioning challenged young adult.  But which, unfortunately, also receives The Disgusting Quote of the Week Award:
The infusion of federal money has generated some criticism. Conservative commentator Charlotte Allen said it's a waste to spend federal tax dollars on the programs and insisted that calling them college dilutes the meaning of college.

"It's a kind of fantasy," said Allen, a contributing editor for Minding the Campus, a publication of the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute. "It may make intellectually disabled people feel better, but is that what college is supposed to be all about?"
Some people just don't get it, do they?

But, for those who have given up all hope in our provincial education system, there's always this.

First Virtual School in Mass. Opens Thursday
I've often been curious as to the exact number of students with special needs who have been pulled from schools that simply cannot or will not meet their needs and are now being home schooled, whether formally or informally.  And yet, something tells me that's a number that neither the school boards nor the Education Department wants us to know.  After all, we all know that sort of thing simply Does. Not. Happen.

At any rate, perhaps, some day, a "virtual" school for our children?

Nah, I can't really see it either (not unless they also provide "virtual" educational assistants - which, come to think of it, would likely be far better than what many students with special needs receive in school today) but, still, it was an interesting thought in passing.  After all, something has to give.  Doesn't it?

But let's move on, shall we?

Mother's Fight For Jailed Son Exposes Special Education Gaps
Although there is also some related commentary, it's really the above article that deserves your attention. 

Quite an amazing story, really.  How far and for how long will a parent advocate for their child's right to a free appropriate education? Reminding me us yet once again that anything we do for our one child often benefits the many.  First requirement - DO.

And, last but certainly not least.

Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award
Which makes me wonder - if the long-suspected link between vaccines and autism has been so thoroughly debunked, why would a court order a $1.5 million damage award?
In acknowledging Hannah's injuries, the government said vaccines aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder Hannah had which didn't "cause" her autism, but "resulted" in it. It's unknown how many other children have similar undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder. All other autism "test cases" have been defeated at trial. Approximately 4,800 are awaiting disposition in federal vaccine court.
Oh, okay, now I get it.  "Aggravated an unknown mitochondrial disorder" ... but isn't that exactly the risk?  The end of the article has a link to the actual court decision.  For those so inclined.

And on that note, I will bid you a fond adieu.

Have a good week.  I know I intend to!


Bridgeway Academy said...

Hi Michelle,

Your musings on the virtual school made me think about a segement I heard on CBC Radio's The Current last week. Twin autistic high school girls were interviewed about their schooling experience. They are working through grade 11 from home via an online school, with the help of a support person. They speak very eloquently about why this learning format is important to them.
You can listen to the interview at www.cbc.ca/thecurrent. Go to the segment titled "Nov 04/10 - Pt 3: Letters". The intro to their interview starts about 2 1/2 minutes into the program

Rhonda Brown
Bridgeway Academy

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