I am writing this letter with a heavy heart, after reading the letter in your Oct. 5 edition from the Myrtle Beach mother with sons with Autism. The mom reported that she had been embarrassed and humiliated in the school car line, and that, in effect, the schools no longer would educate her children. She wrote: "Teachers no longer teach; they just judge."
I am the regional Parent-School Partner for the S.C. Autism Society. I work to improve awareness, collaboration, communications and outcomes for families with children with Autism in SC schools.
I serve a growing list of more than 75 families in our region. Our program served nearly 2200 families statewide last year. All of the Partners in our program are parents of children with Autism. We work with wonderful non-profits like SOS Health Care, S.C. Early Autism Project, Champion Autism Network, the Medical University, the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, and others to take referrals for parent training and support with school issues and regulations. We work closely with many dedicated teachers and Special Education programs in districts across the state.
I would be most willing to support this family through our program.
In America, every child has a right to a free and appropriate public education. Unfortunately, some children are denied this right, either intentionally or through lack of knowledge of federal law. Whatever the cause and whatever the need, the Autism Society is ready to assist this wonderful family in securing an appropriate education for these children.
Christine Sullivan, Parent Mentor, South Carolina Autism Society