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Thread: 10 year old with autism bullied by teacher/aide

  1. #16
    Smart Canuck couponclippercaitie's Avatar
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    I have also subbed in resource rooms in schools, as well as working with many autistic individuals at my workplace, and in home privately. I agree that some individuals with autism will throw chairs, hit, bite, slap, scratch, etc. with no rhyme or reason (that we can detect anyways), but it still does not give any teacher a right to not treat children with the respect they deserve. I do not care how "out of control" a child is acting, it is no excuse to be unprofessional.

    People working with the vulnerable population (in my province anyways) are all supposed to have special training to handle these delicate situations. There is no excuse for losing control.

    Also, I don't really feel having a lot of adults around is an excuse to speak inappropriately in front of these kids. There is a lot of adults present in church, but it doesn't give me a reason to talk about my weekend drinking and sex life.

    Quote Originally Posted by marstec View Post
    That was really disturbing to watch. No doubt, the school board thought that firing the teacher would be the end of it. I can see why the father made the video and broadcast it on YouTube. I wonder if the teaching credentials and screening are different in the States, this seems like such a severe case.

    I think there is potential for abuse when individuals are responsible for vulnerable people in our society, this includes children, elderly and persons with special needs. All people should be accountable for their actions, but it seems even more important in this situation. My mother-in-law was shocked at the behaviour of some staff at a nursing home when (during a nursing strike), she helped care for a relative. One hopes that there are proper screening processes in place that would reject those individuals that are not suited for the job.

    I have a bit of a unique perspective because I've subbed in a classroom for autistic children. I will share a few comments: There are different levels of autism, so we can't lump all autistic children into one group. Teachers and educational assistants have a close-working relationship because they are in a constant high-alert situation. There are autistic children who throw chairs across the room, hit their caregivers, run away at the first chance, etc, and it's not from bullying by the teacher.

    It is a different learning environment than a traditional classroom: there are more adults present, which leads to more casual conversation, but the overall expectations of respectful treatment should be the same. It's not a cake walk working in these classrooms, but they can be very rewarding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by couponclippercaitie View Post
    I have also subbed in resource rooms in schools, as well as working with many autistic individuals at my workplace, and in home privately. I agree that some individuals with autism will throw chairs, hit, bite, slap, scratch, etc. with no rhyme or reason (that we can detect anyways), but it still does not give any teacher a right to not treat children with the respect they deserve. I do not care how "out of control" a child is acting, it is no excuse to be unprofessional.

    People working with the vulnerable population (in my province anyways) are all supposed to have special training to handle these delicate situations. There is no excuse for losing control.

    Also, I don't really feel having a lot of adults around is an excuse to speak inappropriately in front of these kids. There is a lot of adults present in church, but it doesn't give me a reason to talk about my weekend drinking and sex life.
    OMG, caitie...I hope you don't interpret my post as me condoning this teacher's behaviour! I was just giving some insight with my own experiences. There were times when a firm hand was needed, but in no way were the children mistreated.

    As to speaking inappropriately, while I said that the adults in my classroom spoke more conversationally, it wasn't in the same vein as what was posted in the clip. When you are working with the vulnerable in our society, I believe you need to be held to a different standard, but people are human and can say stupid things and make stupid decisions...this is clearly one instance. I'm no excusing the reprehensible behaviour in any way.
    Last edited by marstec; Sun, Apr 29th, 2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: just noticed I spelled your name wrong!
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    Smart Canuck glowworm2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marstec View Post
    OMG, caitie...I hope you don't interpret my post as me condoning this teacher's behaviour! I was just giving some insight with my own experiences. There were times when a firm hand was needed, but in no way were the children mistreated.

    As to speaking inappropriately, while I said that the adults in my classroom spoke more conversationally, it wasn't in the same vein as what was posted in the clip. When you are working with the vulnerable in our society, I believe you need to be held to a different standard, but people are human and can say stupid things and make stupid decisions...this is clearly one instance. I'm no excusing the reprehensible behaviour in any way.
    Good point, marstec. Compassion fatigue can occur even amongst the most caring and phenomenally good caregivers, be they professionals or family. Sometimes this burnout affects how people react and cope. The way the system works (i.e., under-funding for special needs services in most areas) perpetuates the situation as there are often few opportunities for the carers to take a "time out" to cool down and compose themselves. I am really sad that this is the way things are, and it's not an excuse, but does offer a possible explanation of why these awful things happen.

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    Canadian Guru cabmonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollyquaiscer View Post
    I too was sickened when I first heard about this. Why oh why would someone choose to work with children if they have absolutely no patience and seemingly could care less about the future of these children. Having worked with children (only in a high school setting) with disabilitiey) my heart breaks when I see this. Jail is the only solution for these people!
    Don't mean to sound flippant, but for the days off. I know some people that got into teaching for the summer vacation sad as that may sound.


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    Smart Canuck couponclippercaitie's Avatar
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    Sorry!! I wasn't really interpreting it as you were condoning it, more like sort of excusing it, but I'm really glad you clarified.
    Seeing all this at work everyday just makes you a little more sensitive to the subject, sometimes I forget to take a deep breath and read carefully before I type lol.

    I understand you point now, and working in any job (especially high stress unique situations such as these) can be hard on anyone, and we all have off days (myself included) where we wish we could go back and change the way we handled a situation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by couponclippercaitie View Post
    Sorry!! I wasn't really interpreting it as you were condoning it, more like sort of excusing it, but I'm really glad you clarified.
    Seeing all this at work everyday just makes you a little more sensitive to the subject, sometimes I forget to take a deep breath and read carefully before I type lol.

    I understand you point now, and working in any job (especially high stress unique situations such as these) can be hard on anyone, and we all have off days (myself included) where we wish we could go back and change the way we handled a situation.

    To clarify even further, caitie, I don't think the teacher in the clip should have been a teacher in the first place! That woman behaviour is so unprofessional that I can't imagine it's just from having an "off" day. Can you imagine if she was a policewoman?

    In our province, there are screening procedures in place that weed out people who aren't suited to this job. It starts from the university level with interview panels to get into the college and then when you apply for the job, you go through a vigorous interview process, including a criminal record/vulnerable persons check. I'm sure there are teachers who are in it for frivolous reasons, but it really doesn't do them or the students any good in the long run.

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    CaLoonie JasmineMcdonald's Avatar
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    I ended up quitting my job in the EA field because I have personally have no patience for teachers or assistants who treat children with differences as if they choose to be a certain way. All the EA's (ed assist / aides), were amazing. They were patient loving woman (no guys at the time), but with the teachers I would often talk to them privately after classes where they would yell at kids with ADHD or Autism for not "listening" or being "quiet". (the worst case was with a child with a inability to remember 10 minutes later. The teacher would be so impatient re-explaining. Whenever possible I would speak up to change the subject - scenario: teacher yelling at child for budding into her. Myself: Oh, (random child's name) would you like your water bottle? Etc; Often my deflections would make teachers angry at me and often I would be cornered in the staff room. Basically I would just say, I don't work for you. I work for _child's name_ and for the school board.
    Eventually though I desided that it was getting to be to much for me. So I changed jobs.
    (of course I did everything in my power to help these children - countless school board meetings etc; )
    * please note. This was not in my current community.
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