Yesterday, we began to look at the WHY home education is the only option for PanKwake…and I believe others with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).
And that is NOT the education system’s fault!
I know that may sound strange. But the cold hard truth is one of my fav Star Trek scenes…
The good of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one!
And if you are the parent of that one…it really is futile to fight constantly to get the individualized education that your child NEEDS.
Like I came to quickly see…
I can spend ALL my time fighting the system…or I can save my child. I do not have the energy for both.
The bottom line is to be found in the very definition of system:
a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole.
The education system is about all those parts…ALL the children, the teachers and the staff.
To believe that it is truly possible for a system…any system…to respond to the needs of an individual is idealistic….no matter what well meaning laws and regulations say.
Whether you are talking about a biological system…a social one…or a computer…it is and must be about that WHOLE for things to work.
Because the other thing to consider is that resources are limited within ANY system. There is only so much to go around. And if your child gets more than his share then someone else’s gets less.
We can wish different. We can lobby and fight for our child. For special needs legislation.
But NEVER will every child get the individualized education that she needs.
In any education system ever.
It just is NOT possible.
Heck, even in home ed groups, it is not possible to meet the needs of ALL the children. And there you have one-on-one. But what is too structured for one is just what another needs. What is too noisy for one is perfect for another. And it is still up to the parent-teacher-mentor to help their child self-regulate.
Still don’t believe me? Let’s look dispassionately at other system then.
Do you know what the human body does to a cell that grows differently and consumes more resources than its share? It kills it or that cell will multiply and a cancer will grow that kills the whole organism.
And animals? What happens when a cub is born deformed and needs more care than the pack can provide? It is left to die.
No, I am not saying my beloved PanKwake is a cancer or should have been left to die because her autism makes her different. You should know me better than that by now. I see autism as…
BUT…the system…is about what is best for the WHOLE…and not the individual.
To foster and encourage that gift of the autistic brain requires a level of resources that the system just cannot give.
Not just monetary either. Or even time wise. But no teacher…not even the best in the world…will bring to your child your passion and commitment to giving them the best possible future they can have. That is a gift that only you can give…
One that can make all the difference.
You alone can put the needs of the ONE above all else.
I know that is not easy. I have lived it for over five years now. I have pissed off my adult children in the process. I have alienated acquaintances (REAL friends don’t scare off so easily). I have still been forced into an adversarial role with the education system…though less so. And for most of that time…I forsook the thing I needed most…a partner.
Even now it is a constant fight to balance PanKwake’s needs with Cookie Monster’s, my own and friends/groups. All of which fall to me.
So as much as I believe that home education is the best option for those on the autistic spectrum…I also recognize that…if a parent cannot give that degree of passion and commitment then there remains a role for second best…the education system. Even if it is a poor second best.
And I salute those who man the front lines of the battle to get what these kids need…you are stronger women and men than I will ever be.
For this family, home education was and remains the ONLY option for giving our ONE the best chance at HAPPINESS and a productive future of her choosing.