Mom Says Her Child Was Left Behind

May 3, 2013 Read more: WTVC 172

By Jerry Askin A Dayton parent says her daughter is being mistreated at school by her teacher and the students -- all because she has a mild form of autism.

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Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#22 May 3, 2013
NCLB doesn't cover something like this. That's for actual academics (not field trips) and it was created because upon graduating, general ed students didn't even know the basics. That was a poor choice to tell the media. It does appear by that lack of knowledge what NCLB is, this was an attention thing. Sorry, that is the impression people are going to get.
Although this may be covered under ADA, we're talking a Pre K class. Many laws don't pertain to those settings. It could this situation but we also talking about a field trip to a produce store. When my child with severe autism was in Pre K, I didn't allow him on any field trips. One, I didn't trust he'd be fully watched and two, it wouldn't had benefited him in the least. Three, not only would my own child not have a good time, he'd make other kids not have a good time as well and memories of his peers would be his behavior, and trust me, peers don't loose those memories too easily. Four, there would be no life skills retained from such a field trip. Being a good parent is also knowing your own child's limits and thinking about others. Sending a child on a field trip just because ADA says a school has to isn't always the right choice for the child. When my child was ready for field trips in Kindergarten, I went with. A family member the child is comfortable could go with, which would more help the child have a good experience than it is helping the school.
From the article, it seems the child had been on field trips before,'this time' they choose not to allow the child to go. I'd have to ask, is there an IEP? If there is, field trips are easily written into them to include a 1:1 Para which would had been a better choice than airing this via the media. This should had been done before any field trips. If there is not an IEP, one has to ask why there isn't, and if there is not or a 504 plan, ADA may not even apply. Unless you have other educational choices, a school district is who you'll have to cooperate with for many years to come. Situations like this, in Pre K, doesn't deserve this media attention. I have all the sympathy in the world for you and your child, but you're bound to have far bigger battles ahead and plastering your disabled child's photo to the media is just never a great idea. It brings negative attention to that child, and their disability. If anything, and you just had to make this a public thing, you should had put your own photo up. And FYI: For the however many letter in 2 years, that's not Asperger's and not always the fault of the school. Along with autism, it affects many children's learning. Autism is not the teaching fault of his teachers. It can take a child 2 to 5 years to learn what takes a general ed child a year.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#23 May 3, 2013
Some of this is actually not true. This is a Pre K class. Laws about class setting don't actually yet apply. The article also didn't give enough info about the current Pre K setting, if there was an IEP or even any supports for the child or even if the child qualifies. And it's also just not the schools responsibility to find the correct setting. It's also a parents responsibility to get involved and research options and realize if their child isn't in the correct setting. Some parents simply aren't involved and want their children in inclusion no matter what, even if that's not the best setting for the child. Happens all the time.
Also, you blaming the school for those 3 letter in 2 years is unfair. There are some kids with disabilities that will never learn any letters. There isn't enough info given to make that judgement.
In Disgrace wrote:
<quoted text>
Timmy, Have you ever heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child? Well, it takes a village and then some to raise a child with special needs. Its not the parents fault and they did nothing to cause this to their child. Autism disorder does not discriminate. It can happen to ANYONE! 1 in 88 kids have this disorder. Our school system and ppl like you needs to be educated about this. Blaming the mother for sending her child to school to learn 3 letters in Two years is insane! Its obviously not the proper placement for the poor kid. It's the school's responsibility to find a more suitable placement. ITS THE LAW!! THE CHILD HAS RIGHTS and their are laws to protect this child!
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#24 May 3, 2013
I totally AGREE with that!! BUT the statement you made about relying on the State.. If you sent your kid to public school then you also relied on the State to educate your child just as most of Rhea Co does. The Mother is not to blame and was not in the wrong for wanting this to come to the public's attention. Its a cry for HELP for her child that needs HELP. We cant pass harsh judgements on her for that. If the people that are suppose to be educated to educate her child is clueless on how to deal with it.. How do you think she feels.. Give her a break. Good God!!

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#25 May 3, 2013
You're way out of line. This is a Pre K class. Pre K. A parent can send a child to Pre K any where. Attendance and funding hardly applies. And those laws about attendance has nothing to do with that funding. A child has to be in school so many days or that child will lack the education that is free and appropriate.
In Disgrace wrote:
Timmy, You are in THE DARK.. They are telling the mother that the child is making progress and dont want to lose the $$$ that they are making off of the state to provide the so called "education"!! You really don't have a clue about the matter you are speaking of!! Tell us Timmy, where in Dayton, Tn would be the proper facility? The mother is suppose to send her baby away because the school is not in compliance with the LAW??
You do realize that the schools get money for each child in attendance, that is why they are so strict now about how many days a student can miss. they lose $$ for every day missed. This lady just wants acceptance not difference for her baby!
Its not her fault or the child's fault. She thought she was sending her kid to school to learn not be left behind and left out. What is so hard to understand about that??
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#26 May 3, 2013
Friend, I almost thought you knew what you were talking about UNTIL you thought you could make a diagnosis about this child based on what she has learned in "x" amount of time!
and if a school in particular keeps violating and excluding children then why shouldn't this mother make it public? Other parents need to know these things. And Exclusion is Exclusion. Period!! The mom did go on the field trip with her child!
You are right about one thing. The mom has bigger battles to face like GET HER CHILD THE PROPER SETTING TO LEARN, GROW AND BE ACCEPTED!
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#27 May 3, 2013
Where did you see this was a PRE K class??

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#28 May 3, 2013
I read the article, hello.
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#29 May 3, 2013
friend wrote:
I read the article, hello.
Reported by: Caitlyn Jones
Email: cjones@wdef.com

Edited by: Caitlyn Jones
Set Text Size Small Set Text Size Medium Set Text Size Large Set Text Size X-Large
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Published: 5/02 10:54 pm
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Updated: 5/03 8:35 am
Two days before Keonna's field trip to a produce shop with her class at Dayton City School, her mother Pj Atha got a call from the school asking she pick up Keonna and miss the field trip.
"I asked them why and they said because she's not behaving very well, she's not listening, she's not minding," Atha said.
Atha says it's not because her daughter is a discipline problem, it's because she's diagnosed with aspergers autism disorder.
"She can't help it," said Atha, "I work with her and work with her on it. I discipline her like I'm supposed to. I do everything in my power, but at the end of the day, the autism is her. That's who she is."
Atha is concerned the school simply can't handle her child's disorder, and says her only option would be to move so Keonna could attend another school with specific programs for autistic children.
"She's been there for two years. She knows three letters. They said that she was progressing very well. But that's not progressing very well when you only know three letters when you've been there three years," said Atha.
Since she didn't want Keonna to miss out, Atha brought her on her own field trip to the store.
"We parked our car and walked just like her class did. We went over there, she showed us around the store, let Keanna pick up her own apple just like if she was with the class," Atha said.
She went on to say, "It's not fair to them that they're not getting treated the way everybody else is getting treated and if nobody can give them that, then there's something wrong with society, not them." ..<<<<<< Nowhere in this article does it state that this was PreK. DCS is a K -8th school. >>>>>>>
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#30 May 3, 2013
friend wrote:
I read the article, hello.
It wasn't stated it was Pre K in the article I read but at least the MOM knows what she is up against and needs to move where her child won't be excluded and have a pleasant learning experience because this school needs major improvements in its Special Ed dept. There's TOO many unhappy parents for it NOT to be true.
Friend, By your hidden location, I would not doubt your one of the many Administrators there that needs to be REPLACED!
awesome

Ringgold, GA

#31 May 3, 2013
DCS has preschool

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#32 May 3, 2013
Anyone can look up Asperger's to know it doesn't affect cognitive. Most with Asperger's in a public school setting don't have IEP's, they have 504's, because their diability doesn't affect cognitive. That said, when a child has a learning disability, there may never be the 'right' place setting. That child is always going to have a difficult time learning. Teachers do not perform magic. Parents including myself have to accept their child's abilities, and know when pushing has gone too far for their child.

You simply don't fight school battles as this in the media. You just don't. You only get one side of the story because the school by law cant respond. Any parent would know this and it would and could only be for the purpose of one-sided sympathy. You are exploiting the child and their disability. What you do is get an attorney. And this was a Pre K setting, over a field trip. The 100 dollar question is why not get the media attention prior for that lack of knowing letters within a 2 year period?? Since you're the one making a big deal over those 3 letters. Not going to a field trip has nothing to do with the wrong placement. People who have special ed kids and works with special ed law would view this as attention seeking and explioting the child and the Pre K setting. Other parents don't need to know this happened, for many reasons. One would be their child may not have the same behaviors as this child. Another reason would be most parents are aware Pre K includes field trips as well as elementary, and a parent of a special ed child's first question would be how will they manage that child and if they didn't think of it during the IEP meeting, they certainly would when that permission slip comes home to sign. What get's media attention is when that special ed child get's lost during a field trip, not because they couldn't go on one.
For all any one knows, the school made this choice to better serve the child.
timmy

Chattanooga, TN

#33 May 3, 2013
In Disgrace wrote:
<quoted text>Reported by: Caitlyn Jones
Email: cjones@wdef.com

Edited by: Caitlyn Jones
Set Text Size Small Set Text Size Medium Set Text Size Large Set Text Size X-Large
Print Story
Published: 5/02 10:54 pm
Share
Updated: 5/03 8:35 am
Two days before Keonna's field trip to a produce shop with her class at Dayton City School, her mother Pj Atha got a call from the school asking she pick up Keonna and miss the field trip.
"I asked them why and they said because she's not behaving very well, she's not listening, she's not minding," Atha said.
Atha says it's not because her daughter is a discipline problem, it's because she's diagnosed with aspergers autism disorder.
"She can't help it," said Atha, "I work with her and work with her on it. I discipline her like I'm supposed to. I do everything in my power, but at the end of the day, the autism is her. That's who she is."
Atha is concerned the school simply can't handle her child's disorder, and says her only option would be to move so Keonna could attend another school with specific programs for autistic children.
"She's been there for two years. She knows three letters. They said that she was progressing very well. But that's not progressing very well when you only know three letters when you've been there three years," said Atha.
Since she didn't want Keonna to miss out, Atha brought her on her own field trip to the store.
"We parked our car and walked just like her class did. We went over there, she showed us around the store, let Keanna pick up her own apple just like if she was with the class," Atha said.
She went on to say, "It's not fair to them that they're not getting treated the way everybody else is getting treated and if nobody can give them that, then there's something wrong with society, not them." ..<<<<<< Nowhere in this article does it state that this was PreK. DCS is a K -8th school. >>>>>>>
Wow! There is something wrong with society, not them? If the child is autistic and doesn't respond to discipline the same way other children do, how is that a problem with society? What are they supposed to do? Allow the child to be disruptive throughout the trip, essentially taking away from every other child present?

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#34 May 3, 2013
This is the article of which this posting under.

http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/...
"5-year-old Keonna goes to Pre-K classes at Dayton City Elementary School. And even though she has special needs, her mother PJ Atha says she wants her daughter to receive the same opportunities as her classmates."

I have been on Topix for years and my hidden location has nothing to do except due to anti vaxxers, one of which who already made a comment early on often reveals my location however, I do not live in that state. This is posted on the autism forum. But thanks for showing how judgemental you can be and how you dislike a school district.
I have a disabled child with autism, and know many others not only in my own state but other states as well. There is one happy parent of a disabled child with their school. Not one. Each child with a disability is an individual, and there is no handbook for each and everyone of them. Parents are going to make mistakes, and so will teachers and schools. A parent simply has to know what battles to pick and this simply was not a battle to take to the media, and include the child's photo.
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#35 May 3, 2013
awesome wrote:
DCS has preschool
Why hasn't this school suggested to the mom that the child needs to go to Signal Center for Pre K? Does the Mom know that is an option?
Isn't that where MOST special needs children go for PRE K in our area? The school may be a good place to learn but it is NO secret that they have had many incidents where the parents were not satisfied with how their child was treated and excluded there.
The principal of DCS has made the news TWO times in the past for making bruises on kids when he paddled them and they actually showed these kids rear ends on the news black and blue.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#36 May 3, 2013
That isn't the article posted on this forum, but so be it. That's just it. There is a problem when a parent blames the non responding to discipline on the diagnosis. They just gave that child an excuse. Those with autism it is true, discipline is more challenging but all children can learn discipline, and those who can not shouldn't be on field trips. Those who cant learn discipline are going to have a difficult adult life. This is not just for the safety of their peers, but also for the safety of that child, present and long-term.
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#37 May 3, 2013
friend wrote:
This is the article of which this posting under.
http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/...
"5-year-old Keonna goes to Pre-K classes at Dayton City Elementary School. And even though she has special needs, her mother PJ Atha says she wants her daughter to receive the same opportunities as her classmates."
I have been on Topix for years and my hidden location has nothing to do except due to anti vaxxers, one of which who already made a comment early on often reveals my location however, I do not live in that state. This is posted on the autism forum. But thanks for showing how judgemental you can be and how you dislike a school
district.

I have a disabled child with autism, and know many others not only in my own state but other states as well. There is one happy parent of a disabled child with their school. Not one. Each child with a disability is an individual, and there is no handbook for each and everyone of them. Parents are going to make mistakes, and so will teachers and schools. A parent simply has to know what battles to pick and this simply was not a battle to take to the media, and include the child's photo.
Friend, Instead of pointing out EVERYTHING this Mother has done wrong and you seem so informed, why dont you give her some information on how to get help for her child. We live in a very rural area and acceptance does not come easily for different people that live here. Did you realize that while you are commenting? Its really hard to believe that you are a parent with a child that has challenges and if you knew this school's history on this matter, I think you would change your tune a bit.
In Disgrace

Dayton, TN

#38 May 3, 2013
But, we found out, under federal law, the school isn't allowed to exclude a special needs child from any activity.

"Under federal law, it allows for full participation," says Belinda Hotchkiss from the Tennessee Disability Coalition.

We found that Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, both say that a school system cannot deny any child a chance to take part in activities available to all other students.
I copied and pasted from the article that you posted a link for.. MY BEST ADVICE FOR THIS MOTHER IS TO GET A LAWYER BECAUSE THIS SCHOOL IS NOT GOING TO OBEY THE LAW UNLESS THEY HAVE A LAWSUIT AND BE FINED. GO MOM!!

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#39 May 3, 2013
I did offer info. You pick your battles (this is not one to pick) you don't give out your diabled child's name and photo to the public (nothing like letting every perp know your name and where you live) and you get an attorney and you battle privately. The only time you get the media involved is for a lost child or abused, but you maintain that child's privacy. This child is neither.

Challenges?? Guess what, I live in a very rual area as well. Our school district is small and over crowded. 15 years ago the Super was caught stealing money and had been for years, and never paid it back. They had classes in trailers that had mold in them due to their own negligence. My son attended EI but when Kindergarten was coming, no one had to tell me what questions to ask. I could had gotten an attorney. I could had gone to the media. I went to a Charter School but guess what, I have battles there as well just not as bad. Some of the battles took me all the way to the State Ed dept being present. TN has Charter Schools, too. No school ever will be without battles when you have special ed child.
That's however is not the point. An article as such is one sided since the school by law can not comment.

Last bit of advice. There is no great school for those with autism. Switch all you want, but the battles get waaaaaay bigger than a field trip as a child get's older. The core of autism is social, so the mother did the right thing by taking her on her own later where the child would more enjoy the outing.
You go to the media, you then have to take the good with the bad. Obviously this mother was looking only for sympathy comments, based on their own comments.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#40 May 4, 2013
You might want to read up on ADA before you get all excited. One, you don't know if that child had an IEP or 504 to know if the school had federal funding for that child. Two, it was a Pre K setting, which is an optional setting for any parent, not required. Three, if that child had a history of "not behaving very well, she's not listening, she's not minding," the mom had no leg to stand on, legally. The schools argument will be for the safety of the child and the other students.... bla bla. The school will say they recognized the potential for danger and the child could not handle such field trips with the whole class in the past.

It's simply difficult to believe this is over a Pre field trip to a produce store. My advice is save the attorney fee for later.
The Mother

Charlotte, NC

#41 May 4, 2013
friend wrote:
NCLB doesn't cover something like this. That's for actual academics (not field trips) and it was created because upon graduating, general ed students didn't even know the basics. That was a poor choice to tell the media. It does appear by that lack of knowledge what NCLB is, this was an attention thing. Sorry, that is the impression people are going to get.
Although this may be covered under ADA, we're talking a Pre K class. Many laws don't pertain to those settings. It could this situation but we also talking about a field trip to a produce store. When my child with severe autism was in Pre K, I didn't allow him on any field trips. One, I didn't trust he'd be fully watched and two, it wouldn't had benefited him in the least. Three, not only would my own child not have a good time, he'd make other kids not have a good time as well and memories of his peers would be his behavior, and trust me, peers don't loose those memories too easily. Four, there would be no life skills retained from such a field trip. Being a good parent is also knowing your own child's limits and thinking about others. Sending a child on a field trip just because ADA says a school has to isn't always the right choice for the child. When my child was ready for field trips in Kindergarten, I went with. A family member the child is comfortable could go with, which would more help the child have a good experience than it is helping the school.
From the article, it seems the child had been on field trips before,'this time' they choose not to allow the child to go. I'd have to ask, is there an IEP? If there is, field trips are easily written into them to include a 1:1 Para which would had been a better choice than airing this via the media. This should had been done before any field trips. If there is not an IEP, one has to ask why there isn't, and if there is not or a 504 plan, ADA may not even apply. Unless you have other educational choices, a school district is who you'll have to cooperate with for many years to come. Situations like this, in Pre K, doesn't deserve this media attention. I have all the sympathy in the world for you and your child, but you're bound to have far bigger battles ahead and plastering your disabled child's photo to the media is just never a great idea. It brings negative attention to that child, and their disability. If anything, and you just had to make this a public thing, you should had put your own photo up. And FYI: For the however many letter in 2 years, that's not Asperger's and not always the fault of the school. Along with autism, it affects many children's learning. Autism is not the teaching fault of his teachers. It can take a child 2 to 5 years to learn what takes a general ed child a year.
*You are missing the point.. She is perfectly capable of attending a field trip.. I did not plaster her pic on the news.. the news lady got that picture from my personal Facebook without asking. I knew nothing about them even having it until the news aired. Yes, I brought her with me so they could see she was capable of going on her trip. She has high functioning autism. They had many people help chaperon this trip and didn't even ask me to help.. I would've gladly went with them so she didn't miss out. It's really sad everyone thinks this is a cry for attention bc it's really not. I actually can understand where some people may think this, butbin this particular case, that's just not true. The whole point in even agreeing to do the story is to expose that school of what they're doing wrong and hopefully shining some light on the problem. People are so judgemental.... it really sadens me. Everybody has a right to their own opinion, but I believe it's God who's going to judge us when our day comes. This is going to be my last comment because this is rediculous.. we have plenty of people backing us up all over the world but of course Topix is going to be the place to bring all the negativity possible.

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