Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Parents of Children with disabilities, Insight SBS: Breaking Point

As some of you may know from my previous posts, I work in special education and have done so for the past 4+ years of my teaching career. I absolutely love working in special education and working with many truly amazing and inspiring children and colleagues.  I have taught students with a range of disabilities but particularly have a soft spot for children with high support needs. Children in this category are completely dependant for the basic things in life including eating, personal hygiene, getting dressed, washing/bathing, and many other day to day routines that we easily take for granted. That being said, never underestimate what some of these children can achieve despite their disablity.

I was so happy tonight when I decided to take a look on my Twitter account to see what was happening and discovered that the Insight program on SBS had done a story about parents who are at breaking point with the lack of support for parents of children with disabilities. My heart went out to these parents because while I am not a parent of a child with a disability, I am a teacher and hence an advocate for these kids and I understood their message.   If you can do but one thing for me and click on the link and watch the video of tonight's story and see what life can be like for these parents.

 I work with kids who scratch, bite, kick, punch,spit, swear, push, charge at you and that is on a good day!! But for me and many other teachers, we go home at the end of the day lick our wounds and rest for the day ahead. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the parents, its a round the clock job and I know of many families like the mother who is taking care of her 30 year old son and can't sleep because he can choke on his own saliva and Boyd's family who live and function around him. I also know of many families who struggle with limited respite hours and in some cases, parents didn't even know respite was available to them. Its a system that really needs a large public spotlight shined on it and thanks to Insight SBS, you have just scraped the surface. Respite is a big issue but there are also issues of children who wait for long periods of time sometimes 12 months plus to get therapy equipment like wheelchairs, which are essential to their mobility, but anyway I won't get started on that!!  I do want to take a moment to praise the wonderful teachers in special education. I have worked with some truly inspiring teachers who put a lot of time and effort into helping children with disabilities reach their full potential. Its an amazing experience to see a child achieve a learning goal, that most people on the street wouldn't think would be possible.

Please take the time to watch the Insight SBS you will be glad that you did.


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