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13 July 2010


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yay for sliding!

Kristina Chew

and solo!


Certainly facilities can make a difference -- what I wouldn't give for a smart board! -- but I think the real gift of the BAC is the attitude that behavior happens and that it can be gotten past.

I have found that attitude very rare in public schools, even in schools with a long history of kids with moderate to severe disabilities and/or who display challenging behavior of any type. Sometimes, in fact, I feel like the one lone -- and lonely -- voice in the wilderness.

I think the reason the BAC has been so successful for Charlie is *attitude* -- that they see Charlie as who he is, and that they realize that difficult moments come and go and that he's a lovely boy -- young man, really -- who shouldn't be defined by those moments.

Obviously, the facilities at the BAC were created with the needs of kids in mind, and are definitely helpful, but all the facilities in the world don't create that attitude, and without it, all the facilities in the world wouldn't make a darned bit of difference.


As a student, I have to say that services are a very, very big part of quality education. Without sufficient services, financial aid & student support services, you won't have as many students. Without information services, students won't do as well. Without career services, they won't be as able to find work for internships or after graduation.

Quality instruction is important, too--don't get me wrong--but it's a matter of both, not either/or.


Having a college student with autism has been a challenge in college to say the least. WE not the school provide all his support. It would be nice if someone actually helped out (including the state, since I do pay taxes like everyone else) but since they don't have to they don't.

I disagree to some extent that what Charlie recieves is part of bread and circuses. I see it as part of his education. Just as the paras that my boys had over the years are part of their eudcation. I also see the social activities and the post educational supports at college, as part of education as well. It all goes to making someone the best they can be in all parts of their lives. We are all more than sitting in a classroom and studying history. One of the main things that we need to teach our children is how to balance every aspect of their lives from academics to sitting and watching a hockey game or taking that giant leap on a slide all by yourself. :)


Here in Ont there aren't any "autism school's". Our private school system is not as comprehensive as yours is nor is it ever paid for by the Province. Also, we don't have ESY. They removed "summer school" in the primary grades long ago - and it was only for courses children needed to catch up on for about month, one class, every morning. Besides it's now much more important to have full time daycare.... sorry JrK and SrK... only costs a billion dollars to do... Just think of the services you could get for that kind of money had he simply put it into the education system for children than need support...

We are going to spec ed next year. And although I triggered the IPRC process I also had the ability to refuse in the end. I don't think there is a better placement within a reasonable distance for us. It's not an ASD class he will be the only ASD child in it... it is a slow learner's classroom with an amazing teacher. You don't ever want to be in the ASD classrooms near us, nor the behavioural ones... Most teachers/support aren't interested in actually teaching those children. They use those classrooms as a step into teaching elsewhere in the board when they get enough seniority.

The Catholic board does not have segregated classrooms, they are all intergrated and unless you are Catholic - even though it's publically funded - you cannot go there until highschool.

Kristina Chew

By the time I'd finished this post last night I was seeing just what you note, that the 'bread and circuses' of Charlie's school aren't such as all but, indeed, part of his education.

Wanted to ask---what sorts of services, supports does the college your child attends offer for someone on the spectrum, or do they not offer anything.....

Kristina Chew


Is there a good site you'd recommend about special ed etc. educational programs in Canada? Charlie was never in a special ed classroom as you describe it, but always in an 'autism' one, though I do think the teachers (at least at the schools he was in, here in New Jersey) saw their teaching autistic children as a vocation (i.e., not as a 'stepping stone').

Kristina Chew

My college being quite small and having (like many schools) found itself in some difficult financial times, I (and other professors) end up (gladly, for me) taking on some non-teaching duties (including career advising and such). I guess I also see these as a part of teaching!

Yes, this issue isn't just an either/or.

Kristina Chew


I think you've hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head---I guess I was worried that the 'attitude' at BAC would be more of resignation and just letting students 'be as they are.' I've learned that there is indeed a fine line between that and the kind of attitude I've seen with Charlie's teachers and aides, that sense that there are reasons for 'behaviors' but these don't define him.

The New York Times had some article recently on robots as teachers---I know Charlie would be lost without the human element.


he gets the basic support:
extended time on tests, alterntive location, use of a computer and if he wanted to he could tape his lectures (he doesn't like the idea). The school started an aspergers support prgraam based on Dr. Lynda Geller's model of college coaching for aspergers students. They allowed us to put a classroom coach in the clss with him (our expense) to help him with the social adjustments at college.

There is no notetaker program which is very interesting since the college is known for its openness and support of those with learning disabilities.

There is also two kinds of tutoring services. One is tutoring from a grad/student for math (ARC)and the other that is expensive is the HELP center which is staffed by certified teachers. We did not use the HELP center as the director did not understand his aspergers and quite frankly had to send a letter threatening to sue her if she didn't try to stop interferring with his desire to go to school full time. She decided that having met one student with aspergers who couldnt' handle a full course load that meant noone with aspergers could.She kept introducing him to everyone as a part-time student. She shut up and our son is now a junior.

The college coaching prgogram taught throught the Asperger's Educaton Center in NYC is vey interesting as it teaches you how to tech the student with autism how to coordinate, organize and evalute their living arrangements and school. It is a type of life skills program. I ook the course myself and found it immeasureable how it helped me understand just what my son doesn't understand about day to day college life. He does live at home since we did not fel he could handle both academics and social malsrom of school all at once. Everything in time. One day he will be on his own. BTW he wants to go to law school. (atleast that is the plan today)

So to answer your question the supports for the msot part are the basic supports that all LD students would hav except fro teh introduction of the aspergers support program and putting the aide in the classroom, all of which is an extra cost to me. Oh, if we had signed him up for HELP that would have cost more too.

They ctually jsut hired a new director of disability services so we will see if the supports in place for our son will remain or if there will be a fight. College is the lst bastion it seems of educationl support and understanding for all kinds of disabiltiies, which is quite ironic if you ask me, as the concept of social jutice and inclusive society sprung from the thought processes of educators.

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by Kristina Chew …………………………

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