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Student with Autism's Desk Placed in Bathroom

Vomit'We're at a loss for words. This sounds like retribution, not education.

BELLINGHAM, Washington -- A middle school in Washington State was alerted that one of their students has special needs and does best in a quiet place.

His mom says the space they moved him to is definitely not a room for rest, no matter what it's called.

Lucas Goodwin, 11, has a disgusted look on his face in a photo his mom took when they arrived to school Monday to find his new quiet learning place, in a functioning bathroom.

KOMO reports his new desk was over a toilet.

"I was like how is this happening? How am I in the bathroom? Why?," said Lucas.

His mom Danielle says the teacher also gave him a camping mat to nap on the bathroom floor.

"I was so shocked. I just took the picture because I didn't believe what I was seeing," Danielle recalled.

Lucas is autistic and has an autoimmune disorder.

Danielle says she asked if there was another option for his desk, but Lucas' teacher said no. Read more here.

Comments

Gary Ogden

Linda 1: The public schools are full of good people who care deeply about their students. I know because I was there. It is the leadership which sucks. In most of our institutions in modern America, management sucks. Saying that the people who work in schools are idiots is like saying the police are vicious thugs. They are not. In rare cases, police officers can and do terrible things, but most of them are decent, honorable people who do a very difficult job as well as they can and get little respect. Again, with the police it is leadership which makes a difference in how officers impact the community. Think of Chicago. I do think the public schools do a terrible job of nurturing the intellect and delight in learning in children, but I do not know how to fix this. I advise everyone to homeschool if at all possible, at least during the elementary years.

Cia

Thank you, Grace. One autism resource specialist, the one who nodded to the AA about autistic kids being given passing grades no matter what, SAID that Cecily's problem was social anxiety. As if. Of COURSE she feels social anxiety, who wouldn't under the circumstances, but the reason for it is BRAIN DAMAGE, INABILITY to understand or use language at anything approaching a typical level, that makes it very hard for her to feel accepted, respected, liked, and so on.

Grace Green

This boy is well-spoken, intelligent and reasonable. What sort of kids do they prefer to have in their classrooms?

Beleaguered Autism Mom

Danielle is on her well on her way to being a fellow beleaguered autism mom. Society cannot bear "autism" and this story illustrates it. At a recent family visit an aunt commented there were no autistic kids when she was growing up and “now they are everywhere”. I told her to discuss the cause of the dramatic increase of autism with the people in the courthouse where she works, to see what they think. This week, I asked two new school district employees what causes autism – one said environmental toxins and one said vaccines. Keep asking the question, you will find out people are more knowledgeable that they were 5 years ago. Keep asking the question, what causes autism, of everyone you meet. The bullies have a lot of money, but most people are not swayed by propaganda. The Pharmafia’s position is indefensible and when enough people consider the bare facts of this matter, the greedy bastards behind this nightmare will finally have to face the consequences for what they have done to children, their families, schools and society.

nhokkanen

More evidence that autism has not always been with us.
Especially not in the bathroom.

My son’s elementary school put him in the “quiet room” with the misbehaving kids. Luckily the monitor was a kind, intuitive person who made his stays tolerable.

Cia

I just looked it up. The online learning program they subjected my daughter to for months without realizing that she wasn't understanding a word or doing anything, was PLATO. That's right, West Middle School decided that THAT was the best option, a typical seventh-grade program, for an EXTREMELY low-verbal autistic student.

Benedetta

Teacher needs a new job.

Grace Green

Cia,
I couldn't agree more. Your description is deeply saddening that autistic children are being treated that way, and I'm sure it's very similar in the UK, though others who have more recent contact with our system may correct me. Of course, a large part of the cause is the fact that it is still believed that autism is just an emotional/social problem, hence the chat therapy! And the whole idea that putting autistic kids in with the non-autistic will cause some of their abilities to rub off on them. Nothing could be worse. They just don't get it (or they don't want to). All these poor kids must be so miserable and it doesn't need to be like that. When will they start listening to us?

Cia

One other thing I was going to mention, but forgot. In seventh grade, West Middle School, once they realized my daughter could not participate in the typical classes at all, they put her in a room all by herself, alone with a computer, and told her to do the lessons in a computer course for all the core subjects, typical seventh grade level. That was in January 2014. It wasn't until MAY, when she failed all the TESTS in the online curriculum, that they realized she hadn't understood ONE SINGLE THING. I'm too depressed at the memory to even put an exclamation point. I wrote to every member of the school board, but, once again, they don't care. No one gives a damn. That being said, if you get the credentials to put initials after your name, there are BIG BUCKS to be had in this area, even though no one in it knows or does a thing.

lorim

Linda1, agreed. Some are good and caring but others are NOT. And most can't love the children like their parents. And with all the medical conditions vaccines and pesticides have done to our children, it complicates it even more! They don't have an understanding of what has happened to these children and they are overwhelmed because they have 25-30 students who have different injuries and abilities. If parents are able, relaxed homeschooling is a good option. "There's no place like home" is a you tube channel done by a relaxed homeschooling mom. I noticed You Tube disabled her comments soon after she did a video where she mentioned about how one of her daughters got Crohn's disease following the HPV vaccine and a friend told her it is one of the side effects of that vaccine.

lorim

They tried to play it off saying the school was short on space, but how would that explain the teacher giving him a camping mat to nap on the floor?!? This teacher had disdain for this student! How is she still a teacher at this school??

Cia

I think the bigger moral is that we have to end the current legal philosophy of having autistic students in the same classroom as typical students, theoretically the least restrictive environment possible. The motivation was originally good, to let handicapped students benefit from contact with and observation of typical peers, but in the case of autism, it is completely misconceived and very harmful. My daughter, very low-verbal, was put in an isolation room a number of times, I don't know how many, in fifth grade, in a typical classroom. When the autism resource specialist found out, she was appalled and arranged for her to spend the rest of fifth grade after Thanksgiving and all of sixth grade (a special arrangement, as that should have been the first of middle school) in a self-contained autism classroom for grades 3 through 5. And my daughter loved it, although, again, it was misconceived, refusing to teach and drill the grammatical structures of English in her language therapy, and push push push all the time for inclusion in typical classrooms. By the end of sixth grade the teacher swore that she was recovered, could converse with typical peers appropriately on many subjects (a total lie), and I guess she covered herself and justified the huge cost of the arrangement. And then in seventh grade they put her in all typical classes, although I said she couldn't understand much of what was said and could not do any of the work. They said But we have it right here that she can use language at a typical level. They refused to put her in the special needs classroom, saying it was filled up with ten students and couldn't accept any more (??!!). This was West Middle School by the way, Columbia, Missouri, to its shame let it be said. Meanwhile, she was disruptive, saying Cat food! Litter box! out loud in class and asking the teacher, loudly, Are you a cat? She was bored out of her mind and frustrated, felt inferior, learned not one single thing. I said she was given hours of homework a night and couldn't do any of it. I helped her, it took hours, and did no good at all, because she had not been taught the structures of English. The autism resource specialist said, Oh, you need to keep doing her homework with (for) her, we call that scaffolding up here on Academic Mt. Olympus, she sees how it is done and will learn to do it herself. I said Not when there's this big a gap between the task and her abilities. I brought information about textbooks at all levels, all the main subjects, written at the comprehension level of several levels, and that my daughter should be given a task within her abilities to do at her desk in the typical classroom, although it wouldn't be the same textbook or the same topics. They said they couldn't afford that (even though I said I'd buy the materials) and would need permission from the High Commissariat of Education. I said she needed instruction in English and recommended an ESL book. They said that their chat therapy, which a later resource specialist said just didn't work, was fine. Who cares if it works? Honestly, who cares? An August Authority on autism designed a social skills program she wanted to demonstrate in the autistic students at that school that year, and I said it would do no good at all in my daughter, who didn't have sufficient language to participate. She said Yes, she did, the records showed that her language ability was in the typical range. The skills to be practiced included negotiating for grades. Yeah, right. I never heard another word about how it went. And grades. They gave her passing grades no matter what she did. I mentioned that at a meeting with another August Authority, and a resource specialist who said my daughter's problem was only social anxiety (not brain damage), and the August Authority leafed through my daughter's documents and said Well, I see that she's getting Bs and Cs in everything, so what's the problem? I said that the Bs and Cs meant nothing, they were only to pass her along and not have to fool with her anymore, she writes not one single coherent, correct answer, and what would normally have been an F (through no fault of her own, she tried very hard), was alchemically transmuted to B or C. The AA looked quizzically at the RS, who nodded her head in agreement, without saying a word. My daughter got worse and worse and finally refused to get up and go to school. Her teacher said Well, they have a solution for that, they have special personnel put them in handcuffs and force them to come to school. I said no, I was taking my daughter out of school. (The following year, ninth grade, she wanted to go to high school, and she still didn't learn anything, but the staff were much more accommodating of her needs, though there were still no elective classes for her. She was in all "adapted" classes after the middle school debacle. And they STILL said Well, we see here that her language skills are normal. I said, So talk to her. They did, and they realized they were very low. After one semester, the cooking teacher said Never again. She wanted to take an outdoor living skills course, but they said she didn't qualify for a para for an elective, and it might be dangerous for her without a para. And there were no other choices.)

This full inclusion thing is nonsense and is only designed to save them money and effort, while achieving nothing at all of benefit for the students. It leaves the autistic miserable, bored, and frustrated, while upsetting everyone else and making the classroom environment unsuitable for anyone's learning anything, as disruptions are so frequent. They used to send my daughter out to pace the halls at those times: when she was little, with a para, when she was older, by herself.

They HAVE to put low-verbal autists in special classrooms, maybe at special schools. And then DO something. I did home schooling for my daughter part-time since she was four (full-time then), and when we finished several months ago, she had learned the answers to THOUSANDS of questions in the Core Knowledge sequence (What Your --Grader Needs to Know). She learned ALL of them. Yes, it was rote memorization, memorizing words and phrases, but it was better than nothing and gave her the structures of our edifice of basic science, geography, history (world and US), art, and music. We did math through eighth grade, but I finally had to give up when we got to the middle of the first Saxon algebra book. She memorized the first paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. She was good at maps and learned to identify dozens of countries, oceans, rivers, mountains, and deserts (a little at a time).

Right now they do not have a curriculum of knowledge they want autistic students to learn, and that's the first step. Obviously there's a wide range of abilities, so what? Design ten different curriculums, or more, then figure out what the individual student is capable of learning. As someone who thinks HIGHLY of rote learning, having learned many foreign languages just by dint of patient memorization, it's OBSCENE to say Well, we just use the standard curriculum, and maybe the autist will learn something from it, probably he won't, but we'll pass him along anyway, lock him in an isolation room if he acts up too much out or rage, a sense of inferiority and inability to understand or cope, and, again, Who really gives a damn?

They need to teach them how to use English from the ground up, starting in kindergarten, as I've said here before. Start with Cambridge Super Safari if they have no other ideas, and the innumerable excellent Cambridge ESL series will take it from there. They cannot answer a smiling therapist saying What are your favorite videos? if they don't understand the concept of questions and interrogative words, reversal of subject and verb in questions, possessive (and other) pronouns, what videos are (though they've probably been exposes to them), and how we tend to compare things constantly, ranking them, so the concept of comparisons. Yes, that's right, that's what autism is, extreme destruction of the inborn language categories in the brain which would normally be activated on hearing the native language used around them.

And once the cognitive and language instruction are under way, put the kids in a thoughtfully-designed CURRICULUM to teach social skills. Jeb Baker has written a lot of them. But if you don't have CURRICULA for all three areas of deficits in autism, you have no way to monitor progress and accomplishment and no way to determine when it's appropriate to move on and move up. And at this time they have NO CURRICULA! The language therapist at Derby Ridge Elementary (where the self-contained autism class was) said Oh, that would be too LIMITING! when I explained how language should be taught to the autistic. Come on. Let's imagine that you are visiting Bangkok and are really interested in participating in the culture around you. A family invites you to dinner. You sit on the floor, feet tucked under you, and smile modestly and respectfully. The family members ask you questions, politely and with great interest. But you have never studied Thai and do not understand a single word. They repeat their friendly questions, but it is just a few seconds of sounds all mashed together for you. They say, We've got just the ticket for you. We're going to put you in a class on Theraveda Buddhism and we're positive you'll do fine in it and learn to speak Thai.

This is nonsense. Cruel. Inhumane. Pointless. A waste of minds and lives. But in the short term, before blaming the teacher who put this boy's desk in a bathroom, what were her options? This is a vast systemic failure, an endless attempt to put off recognizing the obvious, that this is new (since 1990) and it is caused by the vaccine program.

Linda1

The moral to this immoral story is that no child should be subjected and entrusted to the idiots that run and work in public schools.

Bob Moffit

Link to 'read more' don't work.

In any event .. this parent should (MUST) sue the school for subjecting her son to great humiliation .. ridicule .. shame .. child abuse .. that will no doubt affect this child his entire life going forward.

Child Protective Services would remove .. (RIGHTLY SO) .. this child from his home and parents had they been notified the parents were restricting their child to a bathroom for hours each day.

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