I'm going to be spouting off beginning now. If you want to hit exit, I will understand.
I don't like it when people don't do their jobs. I really don't. I find it quite irksome. Especially when it comes to children or vulnerable adults.
Before any of you sweet people might jump to conclusions, Becky has had 2 great days at school. She and my son are fine. Technically anyway.
Unfortunately, it's more often than not that I have to assert myself as an advocate for my children. If you had known me before children, you would have known me as pretty shy and unassertive. I'm still that girl except when it comes to kids. Any kids but especially those most vulnerable.
That's why I quit my job as a Special Educational Assistant. I could not understand why people spent time and money on a college education to earn a license to "teach" special education when they don't even LIKE special ed. children. It IS a high burn out career but they should know when to bow out gracefully instead of abusing the kids either physically or emotionally.
That's not the issue I am facing now. But it has to do with wanting the best for my child. You see, she's involved in on the job training (OJT) which is supposed to prepare her to transition to adulthood...earning a paycheck, learning how to use a checkbook, pay bills, pay taxes, etc. My son went through the same program and had several paid jobs with merchants in the community. It was great..for him and for me. As a single mom it sure helped the budget that he had his own money and made me so proud to see him so proud earning his own spending money.
Fast forward to now. They have my daughter doing 3 "non paid internships." I call it volunteering. I have asked the school why she can't have a paid position and am told "It's due to the economy" or I am ignored.
Today, Becky wept when she found out she won't be getting paid. It devalued her work...in HER eyes. She did have a paying job last year but had to go on a medical leave due to a blood clot. All is well now though.
After doing some investigating on behalf of the Seniors that are in the same boat I have learned that there seems to be only 1 paid position. I can name several merchants that used to pay these kids for an hour or two of work, every day for an entire school year.
I try to be fair in my assessments so I considered that maybe the merchants had backed out of the program.
So today, I went to one of those merchants and asked if they would still hire special needs kids and was told enthusiastically yes. I thought perhaps they had a bad experience with the program and was assured this was not the case. Upon further discussions I learned they would willingly pay a student to work in their establishment and that the school has not even approached them to see if they are interested!
Here's my gut feeling, mother instinct, whatever you want to call it. I believe someone ( probably more than one) are not doing their job. I also think they are not doing their job because they are not aggressive enough, or more likely, and this hurts, they do not believe in the value of these special people.
I speak of my daughter first hand but can assure you, I know MANY other special students that can do the following and do it with pride:
Dust, vacuum, sweep, clean tables, greet customers, stock shelves, take out garbage, learn to prepare some food items, clean mirrors and windows, work in clerical positions just to name a few! And let me tell you, most of them are very hard workers and take PRIDE in the work they do...no matter what it is.
In other words...
My child and many others like her ARE VALUABLE and can be CONTRIBUTING CITIZENS if we work together to make it happen.
Thanks for listening. You help more than you could know.