Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chapter 12: School

In our school district all children went to their neighbourhood school with their age appropriate peers. Sounds like a good idea, right? Not always. At the school Kayda was to attend there was only one other child with a noticeable “challenge”. In late August the school nurse and I went over Kayda’s care plan. As her condition was so much more stable now than it had been the previous year it was decided that she could manage with a regular special education assistant (SEA). This was an older lady who had been the SEA for another child who had been in a wheelchair that no longer attended the school. At first things seemed to be ok, except that the teacher wouldn’t let Kayda in to the classroom for about 45 minutes. She felt Kayda’s noise would bother the other children. The aide too seemed very quick to take Kayda out of the room and off for walks by herself. During the month of September we worked on training the aide to do Kayda’s tube feeding and other care and we gradually increased the amount of time she attended. I had to stay in the school though. During that month I learned that 2 of the 3 grade 1 teachers (they team taught in adjoining classrooms), as well as many of the other teachers felt that Kayda shouldn’t be at school and that it was taking time away from the other kids. On the good side was the fact that she had an excellent back up team including a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and vision resource teacher. They were all very inclusion minded and had excellent suggestions on how to adapt the equipment and environment for Kayda. By the end of September things were going fairly well and Kayda seemed to be enjoying school. Her aide was nearly ready to manage on her own with her.

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