There's Something About Alex

Living with Down Syndrome and autism

June 12, 2014

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Trusting your school employees

I am assuming that most parents of special needs children are like me. I cringe every time I have to think about hiring a new aide for Alex, or starting a new year with a new para-pro at school. In the back of my mind I keep wondering, will this person be good to my child, will they pay attention to what he’s trying to tell them, will they care? But most of all hidden in the dark reaches of my mind is that greatest of fears that someone might hurt him. I of course worried about my girls when they were young too, but the difference here is that they could talk, he can’t. I knew that if anyone dared to touch them, their little mouths would let loose with a scream loud enough to shatter glass. Alex is in a different world, one where sign language is his communication.
Today CNN reported that in Pensacola, FL a bus driver slapped a special needs child. It of course was caught on the bus camera. My stomach cringed as I watched it thinking that could have been my child. The little boy wears hearing aides. If she had hit them how much damage would it have done to his already diminished hearing? She was put on paid leave while they investigated.
First question – At what point is it ever acceptable to strike a child when you are an employee of a school?
Second question – knowing that this child has multiple disabilities, what would ever give anyone the right to strike this child?

So once again thru truth in the news that old fear keeps creeping back in and haunting my dreams. Can I ever protect him enough……


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