(By a Guest Blogger, Stuart Chaifetz in NJ) How My Son Was Humiliated and Verbally Tormented by His Teacher and Aide
My name is Stuart Chaifetz, and my son, Akian, is a ten-year old boy who has Autism. Akian has always been a sweet and non-violent child. That is why it was so distressing when notes started coming home from his school, Horace Mann Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, stating that he was having violent outbursts, including him hitting his teacher and aide.
I could not understand why this was happening. I had never witnessed Akian hit anyone, nor could I dream of him lashing out as had been described to me. In October, I had a meeting with the IEP team (the teacher, school social worker, occupational therapist and speech teacher) to try to figure out what was going on. From that meeting, a behaviorist was called in who wrote a report. I sat down with the behaviorist on February 8, 2012 to review the findings.
It was pointless. The behaviorist was in the classroom a number of times. Not only had he never witnessed any violent event, but when he tried to create a similar scenario, he failed. [Read more...]