Young Mr. Castejon, "We Love You, You Do Not Annoy Us!"
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By Kim Rossi
My God, everything is upside down and wrong today. Have you read about the piece of poop teacher in Indiana who gave a boy - preverbal with autism - like my Bella - a trophy for Most Annoying Male? This "teacher"CHOSE HIS OR HER JOB (why don't any articles tell us his or her name???) and still found a student "annoying" and actually made an award for him. The cruelty is shocking. This is like pouring a bucket of blood on Carrie after making her Prom Queen - a hideous, evil joke. I can only imagine the treatment the boy received during the school year - from the teacher and OTHERS. This kind of personality doesn't go unnoticed or unsupported by others. Bus drivers, aides, teachers, paras - turning violent and nasty on disabled children because they can not handle the job they took is unacceptable. QUIT. Go work at Target. Go work at the local dump. GET OUT OF THE SCHOOLS.
GARY, Ind. – An Indiana father says he was “blindsided” after a teacher gave his 11-year-old son, who has autism, an award for “most annoying male.”
“We just weren’t expecting it,” dad Rick Castejon told The Times of Northwest Indiana. “As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student.”
Castejon said a special education teacher at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary handed out the awards in May during an annual end-of-year ceremony and luncheon for fifth-graders. Read more at FOX 59.
I'm an upbeat woman, despite the serious challenges in my life and my daughters' lives. But stories like this shake my faith. People are often surprised when I say, "We are happy!"My girls are safe and smiling in the life that I have been able to create and secure for them. And I am gloriously content and proud of myself for being able to make ends meet (stretched like Yoga masters!) and that I can take care of myself and my girls 100% on my own. Well, to be exact, around 331 days and nights a year. I did not choose the autism life. But my girls have autism. I chose to be a single parent. And for those of you who are also single, divorced, widowed or widowered, you know that it's a never ending responsibility and it's tough. But we are tougher. Sure, sometimes my girls frustrate me, worry me, exhaust me and dare I say "annoy" me - like EVERY child. Ours with autism do it with a particular skill, and for a very long time, (like forever for most of us.) I can't get fired. I can't fade from the girls' lives. I gave them life. And it's up to me to protect their lives. And when we send our kids to school, we expect the teachers to protect and keep our kids from harm as well. We do not expect them to publicly shame then, which lets all of us know that they treat our kids far worse when no one is is looking.
Join us at a new site called AutismAges.org - a forum based site to discuss the issues of autism and aging. If school is this tough on children, it's hard to think about what our not so cute full grown adult children will face as adults. We need to get busy now. Please join the site and start talking!
Just to be fair, here is the teachers side of the story
Seems like basic teaching about kindness to the kids in that school was severely lacking, imo. But it does seem the teacher wasn't directly responsible for who was chosen. This doesn't make any of it right. But even when I am angry, it seems only fair to give both sides a chance to respond.
Posted by: Hera | June 10, 2019 at 01:06 PM
Per the news articles, it seems that there were two students who received a "most annoying" award; don't know the gender of the other child,nor any information about them, but am guessing probably it was the matching award for most annoying female.. Bullying and cruelty by the teachers, and shame on the principal for allowing it..
As bad as what you described with a higher functioning child would have been, this imo was even worse; the child is described in multiple news outlets as "pre verbal", "non verbal" or "unable to speak".
From the article
"Estella and her husband Rick Castejon said Achilles is nonverbal and can be emotional sometimes, adding that he has been bullied, according to WMAQ. They said they don’t believe Achilles understood what was written on the trophy but he “wanted it just because it was a nice, shiny star.”
Like Kim, I was sick to my stomach. The blatant,shameless cruelty both to the family of the young man, ( in a formal ceremony in front of other parents and students, no less) and to a defenseless child without even the ability to speak to defend himself, is astounding. The only good thing is the huge media outcry is resulting in teacher discipline and possibly firing. It is good for them all to know that there are some people out there who will help defend the defenseless.
Posted by: Hera | June 09, 2019 at 08:04 PM
Sounds more like an anti-male thing than anti-autism. Why would a “most annoying award” need to specify gender? How about most annoying “student”, if such an award was even deemed necessary
Playing devils advocate, I have to imagine the child was a higher functioning autistic child and with so many neurologically damaged students, many with non -autistic behavioral disorders, the teacher may not distinguish between his autism and another child's bad behavior due to ADD or other reason.
While teachers certainly have chosen their profession, such decisions may have taken place before the explosion of “damaged” children and many probably are not qualified or happy to be teaching special needs students, especially when there seem to be so many of them. After awhile, I imagine it wears you down. Unlike parents they are handling multiple students with such disorders and don't have the connection to the child parents do.
That said, a teacher feeling the need to belittle students with such awards should probably be looking at a career change, perhaps taking on an administrative role or teaching college or private schools .
Posted by: Pft | June 08, 2019 at 08:09 PM
I wish what you say were true, but I don't think you will find many autistic adults who say, "Everyone is really nice and supportive, just occasionally someone is nasty". Why would the Neuro-diverse have felt the need to form a self- advocacy group unless they had to stick up for themselves against a world which doesn't understand them? Autistic people are always alone because no-one wants to be with us. Medieval bear bating is alive and well.
Posted by: Grace Green | June 08, 2019 at 03:53 PM
Reads like the teacher should be receiving help.Just getting them fed and dressed for school and off to school is a major achievement then for the family to have this sick joke comment..grrr!!
Pharma For Prison
Posted by: Angus Files | June 08, 2019 at 01:19 PM
first time I have heard a candidate frame recognition for caregivers quite this way...keeping in mind of, course its politics. at about 6:00
Posted by: greyone | June 08, 2019 at 12:17 PM
Here's a trophy for that teacher:
Most Likely To Be Unemployed
Posted by: nhokkanen | June 08, 2019 at 09:35 AM
Kim-that is outrageous to give a boy with autism a poop for being most annoying. That teacher should be fired NOW. The abuse of people with autism should never be allowed in any school anywhere and it has got to be stopped NOW! We have to protect our children from this kind of abuse and be on the alert at all times for any sign of it happening. You are right they should not be teachers but work at he city dump where they belong and the punishment for the teacher should be a present of a big piece of poop all wrapped up in a nice heap! God help us and our children!
Posted by: Gayle | June 08, 2019 at 09:28 AM
Unfortunately there will ALWAYS be people in positions to abuse those entrusted to their care .. be they the occasional drill sergeant in the military or an orderly in a senior citizen's home … it is simply human nature that SOME of those individuals .. hopefully a small minority .. will be exposed for the abusive inconsiderate individuals they are .. removed and marked forever as unworthy of being in a position where further abuse can occur.
Which is why it should not be necessary to file a 'Freedom of Information" request to find out what disciplinary action was meted out to the offender. That information should have been immediately made public and available to all in the community who deserve to know the offender was disciplined appropriately … fired without any recommendations for future employment where such abuse can occur.
While these types of outrageous examples of mistreating our children are more common than we should expect .. and they deserve widespread publicity when they are discovered … it only makes me appreciate even more that my 19 year old nonverbal grandson was recently presented an "award" for "cooperation and flexibility" by his caretakers .. during a well attended ceremony by his parents and others .. just days before he attended a "prom" held for those who graduated.
We ought not lose sight that the vast majority of caretakers of our highly vulnerable children do an excellent job for our families.
Posted by: Bob Moffit | June 08, 2019 at 06:51 AM
That's a super new site, I hope it takes off. This item is so heartbreaking. I've often tried to tell how much abuse an adult with autism gets, from absolutely everyone from every walk of life. I don't think people can believe it because it's so unbelievable. One family doctor said to me, "Do you think they think you're loopy?" I thought that was a funny thing for a doctor to say so I asked, "Is that what you think?" He replied, "That's not what I said." For one thing, doesn't a doctor know that autistic people can't understand riddles? But then, they deny that I'm autistic, so that takes care of that. Or does it? People less "intelligent" than doctors use more physical methods, as you've often reported here. I hate to scare people with tales of what awaits adult auties and aspies, but I think we need to pull together and find some means of supporting our community of children and adults.
Posted by: Grace Green | June 08, 2019 at 06:41 AM