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Author: Subject: A Painful Thing Happenned To My Son Today

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 10:34 PM
My son is a junior in HS. He's a member of the National Honor Society, carries a 3.90 GPA and is a good kid.
He also has Autism.

School has been good for him, though making friends when you are Autistic, even high-functioning like him, can be tough.
He's made friends finally in the Robotics Club.
Today was the state competition and he and his team attended. They work in back to back competition areas.
My son saw a quarter sitting on a shelf behind their area, picked it up and went to put it in his pocket. His instructor, an ex-military hardnose, saw this, accused him of stealing and kicked him off the team and forbade him from attending the finals tomorrow where HIS robot will compete.
My son doesn't have a dishonest bone in his body, had no idea what he did was wrong and it certainly was a malice-free, innocent mistake.
His instructor called me and we agreed to meet when they returned to school.
I asked my son if he took the coin, he said he did and then looked at me quizzically and asked what was wrong and was he in trouble?
The instructor called him a thief, told me that he knew he had "mental problems" and that wasn't an excuse.
I was as shocked as my son.
I explained that it was a wrong thing to do, but he didn't set out to steal anything- he simply found a coin, not realizing that it might belong to someone else. I told the guy the penalty was ridiculous and he said too bad.

My son is devasted. He's worked so hard to make friends, finally succeeds and now he's being weeded out by an overreacting jerk.

Am I just being a crazy Dad here? I feel like he's being railroaded by a guy who views him as lesser person because he has a disability this guy doesn't understand or give a darn about.

I have a meeting with the principal, the instructor, and two advocates who have worked with my son's education plan, and understand Autism and it's attributes. I want to rip this guy from the neck down. I am so hurt for my son it's a good thing that meeting's not tonight.
Not physically rip mind you- I figure if this dude is exposed for what he is, all I have to do is give him enough rope.

Thanks for listening.

 

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Replies:

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 10:39 PM
I have two extremely smart sons who both have ADHD, so I know where you're coming from.

The instructor is flat out wrong, not to mention clueless.

Good for you for sticking up for your son, don't think for a minute that this guy has a bit of a point.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 10:46 PM
This assclown obviously has an agenda.

If the quarter had been on the floor would he have reacted the same???

I mean, really, a kid finds a quarter and pockets it and that's so serious that he's kicked off a team???

Pretty strange reaction.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 10:58 PM
All of what Ron said.
I think it's great you are getting everyone together to discuss this. Really feel for your son. I'm sure he's devastated.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 11:43 PM
Goldtopper, when you have your meeting, see if you can get him to say something that will confirm what you think, and maybe he WILL expose himself for the jerk he is. He must not understand autism, and he also doesn't understand that this isn't the military. It's high school. I can only imagine how you and your son both feel. Hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2011 at 11:47 PM
This is really heart-breaking and definitely a case where the punishment did NOT fit the "crime". ( Can this man seriously believe that a crime was committed? The sad truth is many educators, be they teachers or administrators, do not understand the children in their classrooms and are truly clueless when it comes to students with any kind of developmental disability or issue. Parents have to be relentless as advocates for their children -- and I am not talking about 'why didn't my child get an 'A' on this paper/test' or attempts at avoiding responsibility for his or her actions.

We never were faced with anything quite this mean-spirited -- but we had some very painful experiences, as well. That your son knows that you love and support him and believe in his honesty will go a long way to helping him navigate an unfair world.

Every child deserves the opportunity to demonstrate and develop confidence in their strengths and work to improve their weakness without ridicule or demeaning treatment.
We have a long way to go, alas.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 12:45 AM
I think kicking him off the team was an over reaction. Should of had a talk with him about what he did and why it was wrong

 

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Sublime Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 07:40 AM
It seems unjust, unnecessary and a display of a bad reaction from the instructor... to extreme to be kicked off team and not able to attend finals in this competition that he has a Robot in..

The injustice... some people believe their own power as the true and right and end all.. tsk, tsk

All he needed to do was explain why that was not the right thing to do.. simply... instead.. over the top... I wish you good luck.. Keep us updated , Please..

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 07:53 AM
Hope it gets resolved....

Seems innocent to me.....

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 08:03 AM
i truly feel for your son & your family having to put up with crap like that from a moron who should be fired....i know if it was my kids i'd wanna kick that guy's ass....what u are doing is right--don't give up & if this guy told your son he has mental problems,he is not fit to work with kids & i'd ask the school to have him removed.....
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 08:58 AM
quote:
i truly feel for your son & your family having to put up with crap like that from a moron who should be fired....i know if it was my kids i'd wanna kick that guy's ass....what u are doing is right--don't give up & if this guy told your son he has mental problems,he is not fit to work with kids & i'd ask the school to have him removed.....


I agree completely! Also that man needs to get over his military background. It's completely out of line. He has no business calling your son a thief over a silly thing like this. Your son is in high school, not the military. You're not being a crazy parent, you're being a concerned and loving parent.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:34 AM
quote:
quote:
i truly feel for your son & your family having to put up with crap like that from a moron who should be fired....i know if it was my kids i'd wanna kick that guy's ass....what u are doing is right--don't give up & if this guy told your son he has mental problems,he is not fit to work with kids & i'd ask the school to have him removed.....


I agree completely! Also that man needs to get over his military background. It's completely out of line. He has no business calling your son a thief over a silly thing like this. Your son is in high school, not the military. You're not being a crazy parent, you're being a concerned and loving parent.



by saying "mental problems" & that they are no excuse he is possibly guilty of violating ADA laws & the school might be legally better off firing him rather than accounting legally for his behavior.What a piece of shiat this guy is....eff him....


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:40 AM
Im sorry to hear about this, I hope your sons classmates support him. his instructor is a jack-a$s.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:45 AM
Here's a copy of the letter I sent to this guy, as well as the principal, the special ed teachers, his case worker and the district superintendent. Depending on how this meeting goes, I may have to notify the news media and the education reporter for the local paper. I am totally against frivolous lawsuits, but I really want to teach this guy a lesson.

Mr. #####,

Your decision to kick my son ##### #### off of the Robotics Team for taking a 25 cents off a nearby team's shelf clearly shows your lack of understanding and compassion for those with Autism, specifically Asperger's Syndrome. In our phone call when you informed me of this situation and referred to him having a "mental condition", this point was illustrated quite clearly, not to mention being both offensive and ignorant.

To #######, a quarter sitting on a shelf is no different than a quarter on the floor. This was done with no malice or ill intent. How could you not realize your error when you informed him he was kicked off the team and he stared in disbelief? He had no idea he'd done anything wrong! He was shocked and absolutely crushed.

This was an opportunity to teach, NOT destroy a kid's dreams.



###### loves his school and lives to learn. He is joining the National Honor Society, has lettered each year in Academics, he works at ## as part of the STEP program- he is not what you have characterised him to be.

####### has struggled to find friends, as is common with people with Autism. Once he joined the Robotics Team, he finally felt that he fit in and made friends with whom he is comfortable. Autism is lonely Mr. ######, very lonely.

This incident, while certainly being a learning lesson, will leave a scar on him for the rest of his life.



I have sung the praises of what a wonderful place ####### High School is, how great a staff they have and how lucky we are as a family to be able to know that our son is in such good hands. We were so concerned about him being bullied because his is different. We have experienced none of that- until now, by you, a member of the school staff. We chose ####### because it prides itself as being an inclusive school. It has been, until you stepped in and devastated my son. Perhaps in the military, one could easily weed out the human beings deemed unfit or weak; different from society. This isn't the military and you should have no contact with students until you learn about dealing with special needs kids.



THIS is Asperger's Syndrom Mr. #######, taken from: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/med.../asperger.html



Because the symptoms of AS are often hard to differentiate from other behavioral problems, it's best to let a doctor or other health professional evaluate your child's symptoms. It's not uncommon for a child to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) before a diagnosis of AS is made later.

These signs and symptoms might be present in a child with AS:

inappropriate or minimal social interactions
conversations almost always revolving around self rather than others
"scripted," "robotic," or repetitive speech
lack of "common sense"
problems with reading, math, or writing skills
obsession with complex topics such as patterns or music
average to below-average nonverbal cognitive abilities, though verbal cognitive abilities are usually average to above-average
awkward movements
odd behaviors or mannerism


Furthermore, perhaps you've heard of the American's With Disabilities Act? http://www.ada.gov/

I can't imagine you haven't violated this law, enacted in 1990, to allow equal access and to promote understanding of those people who weren't born perfect in a physical and mental sense.

The United States is now very keen on helping those less fortunate and #### leads the way not only in services, but also in awareness. Awareness is spread through many outlets, including national and state programs, as well as excellent local media coverage. Being that the ### Institute is located in ###, awareness is quite good around here. The ### Institute is a national Autism Center specializing in treatment, cures and therapy as well as promoting through these media outlets the highlights and lowlights within the Autism Spectrum Disorder with regard to individuals, their treatment and perception.



I hope you are satisfied. You got a kid off your team who maybe didn't do the things like the other kids, he just wanted to belong.



I will be at ####### at 2:00 pm on Monday April 4th. I look forward to discussing this matter with you, as well Ms. X, Ms. X and Mr. X, providing that they are available.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:48 AM
Hey Goldtopper, I also think you are taking the right approach. My wife is a special ed middle school teacher and you probably know that I am in the military. I think the problem lies with the fact that it is inappropriate for him to coach a school team where they allow special needs children to participate and you should bring this FACT to the school's attention. He obviously does not have the experience or the basic understanding of how to coach a team with this unique diversity. Instead of focusing on the team's strengths he was trying to find a fault. Despite his mistake I believe I understand his motivation and where this comes from. In any military service we are held to our core values. In the Coast Guard it is Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. His education and understanding are rooted in these large idealisms that are designed to acheive basic obedience and humility, and ultimately- sameness or oneness. Through no fault of your son's this just does not work for a child with autism. And this needs to be made clear to him, if not by you, by his administrators.
 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:50 AM
One more thing- Don't forget to ask him where his humility was when he singled out your son. That should jar him back to reality.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:51 AM
you wrote a perfect letter
 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 09:58 AM
Good letter. Solid.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 10:28 AM
Bullied by an instructor. Pathetic.
Your son and you are owed a sincere apology.

 

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If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless. -Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 10:30 AM
heartbreaking situation, great letter, talk about turning lemons into lemonade.

Folks that have not walked in your shoes, cant truly appreciate how this may have been just a fraction of the ignorance you most likely have had to deal with.

How wonderful that despite disability, your family, your son has been able to rise above , you are true heroes .

Probably one of the most heartbreaking and hurtful situations Kevin and I had to face raising a child in a wheelchair for 25 and then losing her, our darling, our baby, is the jerk that manages to find someone in a wheelchair at ABB shows we attend, offers them a hand, then marches them back in forth in front of us, laughing in our faces with each pass.


Unfortunatley, there are many cruel , low self-esteem people in this mean world, a life lesson learned hard.

I pray your letter is effective and that this can get rectified, before the rest of the students become followers of the bad example that has been set for them. My prayers and love Ca

 

Sublime Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 10:47 AM
A great , great letter, Goldtopper....

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 10:58 AM
I don't see that the incident has anything to do with the child having any special needs.

The instructor was flat ass wrong for accusing a person of stealing for putting a quarter in his pocket from a shelf.

Anybody in that situation would probably do the same. If you find a coin, you usually don't go out of your way to find who might have placed it there. If you find dollars, you associate that with value, and you would tend to think someone lost it, and would attempt to find that person.

basic human nature.

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 11:11 AM
This is even sadder considering April is Autism awareness month.

 

____________________
Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 11:18 AM
Well, April should be "smack down for idiots" month.

and that guy would be the prime candidate.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 4/2/2011 at 11:22 AM
Great letter - especially the part telling him that this was an opportunity to teach. I work at a printing company owned by a family that has an autistic child. We print an Autism newsletter on a quarterly basis. For this coach to be unaware of Autism and it's effects on a student is just plain ridiculous.

 

____________________
Front feet doin' the shuffle, back feet too, love them good ol' Georgia blues


 
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