A Ventography!

Just two moms letting off some steam



Psst… have you heard?  Autism is on the rise.

I stumbled across an article about California teachers undergoing additional training before teaching students with autism. Yippee, California gets it!

Increase in students with autism + additional training for teachers = a win win for all!

And then I got to some comments from a special education teacher. Her words initially rubbed me the wrong way. The notable comments included:

  1. “It is very unmanageable; we do two jobs, but they’ve taken away our time, and now they’ve given me another class to teach and required me to go back to college.”
  2. I’m gaining absolutely nothing from this except for keeping my same job.”
  3. I want to teach and I want to enjoy it. I don’t want to just survive it.”
  4. “They knew we were going back to school and our time should’ve been respected.” 

Am I being too emotional and taking the comments out of context? Am I misunderstanding what the teacher is trying to convey?

But as a parent of a child with autism (who has yet to come across a public school teacher who has been properly trained), I am a bit sensitive.

The teacher feels her time should be respected… hmm, what about all the special needs students who have had to endure years with improperly trained teachers and paras. Where is the respect for them and their valuable time to learn?

Ok, I’ll have to be honest here. My old self would have sympathized with her. I can understand her frustration.

Once upon a time, I was a teacher who was asked to take extra “English for Speakers of Other Languages” (ESOL) classes. At that time, I was a mother of two babies, trying to juggle motherhood and a full-time job. My time with my family was valuable and I resented the fact I had to take classes on Saturdays to complete my ESOL requirements. So truthfully… I guess I had similar feelings like the teacher from the article.

Now, being on the other side of the situation, I realize how crucial proper training is. Teachers have an enormous influence on their students. They spend on average, six hours a day together.  Six hours a day, five days a week equals too much time with teachers who do not have the proper tools to work with students with special needs.

It takes a village to raise a child. Parents need and are desperate for the support, guidance and know how of teachers to get their children to the next level. “As is,” is not acceptable in any shape or form.

Final thought – after reading her acknowledgement that change will benefit the school district by increasing the pool of qualified teachers, I realized that maybe she needed a moment to vent her frustrations as well. Perhaps we are on the same page after all?


Author: A Ventography!

A Ventography is about: 1. Encouraging and empathizing with other parents on the autism spectrum. 2. Recycling and simplifying information on the latest autism news and health and diet tips. 3. Asking thought provoking questions designed to make us rethink what we've been told about autism. 4. Helping connect the dots that show, in some cases, autism is more than a brain disorder. 5. Challenging parents to rethink what they've been told, refuse the status quo, and escape the whirlwind of confusion.


  1. After reading the original article, I do think you and Heiser are on the same page. She’s been teaching students with special needs for 7 years, and those students have shown great progress, so it’s not hard to understand why she might feel frustration at being told she wasn’t sufficiently qualified to continue what is already provably good work. Public school teachers are underpaid and given too little respect.

    I hope the ventings help put you back in balance, when your difficulties frustrate you.


    • Thanks Invisible Mikey for your comment.

      I am frustrated. Please excuse my “ventings” about anything school related because I am feeling the aftershocks of poor teaching in my household.

      Yes, there are some wonderful teachers (Mainstream and Special Ed.) who are underpaid and given too little respect. Unfortunately, there are just as many lackluster ones who tarnish the reputation of all teachers. These teachers can do incredible damage that is often difficult to overcome.

      Over the last couple of years, I have come across more teachers who are there for the paycheck, bored, bitter at the system, apathetic, etc. I have done the private and public school gig (for all three of my boys, not just Brody) and have seen the same types of attitude and teaching in both systems. I sometimes wonder if the problems are confined to the area I live in or is rampant across the U.S..

      Teachers have one of the most important jobs on the planet. They play such a huge role in the development of a child. And just like any job, training should be on going to keep up with the latest and greatest (especially with special needs). Status quo is detrimental to all.

      Back to Heiser-

      I applaud Ms. Heiser’s accomplishments, but her comments- “it is what it is” and others I posted still irk me (after re-reading the article and her response).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s