September 2, 2010

Guest Blogger Thursday

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 6:28 am by autismmommytherapist

Through my Thursday posts I’d like to provide a more widespread forum for parents, family members, and practitioners of children with disabilities to provide practical tips for parents, as well as a place to share their views on raising a child with a disability. These contributions will be their ideas and stories, and not necessarily reflect the sentiments of those of autismmommytherapist

Today’s guest blogger is my mom, Susan Preston. Welcome!

Life’s Ironies

I have often said that being a grandmother is the best job ever, and indeed it is. I bring to this new “job” as grandmom a perspective that is unusual, since my career was to administer special education programs in public school districts. I had the advantage of working in districts that valued ALL students. With limited resources we would work diligently to find ways to support kids IEP goals and provide the services that were necessary to make that happen. Right now I am so grateful that I retired!

With the current economy and climate towards spending public dollars all too well-known, I can only imagine the additional stresses placed upon administrators, child study team members, case managers, teachers, therapists, etc. The needs of special kids have not changed. In fact, with the rise of children identified with autism, the challenges have only increased. More kids identified and more IEPs, translates into more funds necessary—not less! The challenges for those responsible in public schools now requires even more “thinking out of the box” ideas on how to make this happen. The majority of school district staff has been doing that for years already. Funds can only be stretched just so far to meet the identified needs. The challenges to provide with less must seem insurmountable on a daily basis. Indeed, the challenges have increased and the funds are less!

In speaking with my working colleagues and friends, I continue to be impressed with the caring that they exhibit towards our special kids. It reinforces for me that the individuals who have chosen the field of special education for a career are there for a reason—to improve the lives of special needs kids to the best of their abilities. So whether you are an administrator, teacher, case manager, service provider, etc., know that we as family members appreciate your dedication to our kids. We recognize the additional stresses that have been placed on you now, and know that as a “team” we have to continue to work together for the kids’ sake.

Whatever mixture of joy and pain at having two grandsons with autism has brought, the pride at their accomplishments is many. I thank all of the teachers and therapists through the years who have given us and the kids the skills to become the best that they can be.

Sincerely, Justin and Zachary’s grandmom

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1 Comment »

  1. LZ said,

    Always did think you were a pretty cool mom!


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