As an educator who works closely with autistic students I am often disappointed by the way so many children are treated by the "adults" in their lives. The story makes me sad but honestly does not surprise me very much. In time I believe we will hear of more incidents like this one.
That disgusts me. Good job by the Dad.
It takes a talented person to teach. It takes a special teacher to teach children with needs.
My 3rd (of 4) sons has Asperger's.
The word that comes to mind for most of the teacher's behavior is "hideous". He's had 2 teachers in 8 years that have actually 'gotten it'.....and I'm convinced it's not because of any specialized training, it's because they were genuine, sincere humans who understood their ability to positively impact lives. Especially lives that aren't given too much value because they can't learn in the same manner as the rest of their students.
Kudos to the dad for not only recording the teacher....but for not walking in and punching this idiot in the face. How he still has a job is good evidence that there is something terribly wrong in our school systems. Tenure over horrific treatment of a student. Right.
Secondly, when it comes to special education, my own experience tells me that schools struggle to meet the criteria of IDEA because it's competing with other services for resources. I don't know how many times I've heard a principal tell me they don't have money for an aide even though it's clearly required under our son's IEP. What I've come to believe is that this is a strategy- if they BS everyone, then only a certain percentage will know enough to call them on it. When I see something like this, the first thing that comes to mind is that this school is probably doing as little as it can to comply with federal law, as opposed to doing what's necessary to actually provide the education for these kids that they are required to.
These are kids. A teacher can either be heartless or human.
My younger brother is (essentially*) autistic and this makes me sick. But while it's not an excuse, it's pretty hard to understand the degree of patience and compassion and, frankly, self-discipline required to work with special needs individuals on a regular basis. Unless you've been there, the amount of frustration it involves is almost impossible to understand.
This doesn't absolve the teacher of her ethical responsibility to treat her students with dignity and respect. But at the same time, let's recognize what an incredibly challenging (if rewarding) job special ed teachers have. It takes a very special person and even the best of us have our bad days.
We coach the teachers and administrators at our son's school constantly about knowing when one's limits are being reached because the person on the spectrum is not going to lose when it comes to a battle of wills. Frankly, the biggest problem is usually ego; it takes a lot of experience to develop the ability to set that aside and not treat negative interactions personally. Adults often can't handle not winning.
I sometimes struggle to master my reactions and my training has been a brutally intense, ten year 24/7 immersion program. So, whenever I hear a camp counselor, teacher, coach or someone else tell me they have experience with Autism in this sort of "I've got this covered" manner, I expect them to fail and blame my kid. Unfortunately, I've been just about 100% correct in that assessment.