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(Canada) York Harbour, ON 7 yr old with autism has no place in school

Oct 25, 2018, CBC: Lack of supports prompt York Harbour parents to keep daughter with autism home from school A seven-year-old girl from York Harbour has yet to enter her Grade 1 classroom this year because of what her parents say is a lack of student support hours available at her school. Last year, Amy Childs, then a kindergartner, had the assistance of an instructional resource teacher for six hours a week at Saint Peter's Academy in Benoit's Cove. When her family decided to move a few dozen kilometres down the road to the town of York Harbour, they said, they were assured those hours would go with her. So far this year, that has not been the case…. "Each week [the school has] been phoning me, saying they're applying for more hours, and each week they phone me, 'Well, we haven't heard back today, maybe next week Amy will be in school,' and here we are a month and a half later and Amy's still not in school." Amy has autism and sensory processing disorder. She also suffers from frequent complex partial seizures, which, if left unattended for more than five minutes, can lead to permanent brain damage. Because of this, Childs said, she needs close to constant supervision at all times at both school and at home. Amy does homework at her kitchen table while her classmates are in school. "I'm afraid that she'll either run away or hurt herself in the classroom because she's prone to stick things in an electrical socket or eat things she's not supposed to eat or just physically hurt herself sometimes if she's in the mood," said Childs…. "If she's not being watched, then who knows what can happen to her?"

Not enough help Childs said despite numerous phone calls to the school board, she has yet to receive a response or a solution for how to get their daughter back in the classroom. … Last year, Amy had to be taken to hospital after her teacher caught her eating the corners of foam floor tiles. After that, the school was allotted additional hours for an instructional resource teacher. Childs said she also later found out that various other people at the school would pitch in to watch her, including a bus driver, in an effort to ensure Amy was never left unattended. … The statement says IRT resources are provided to the district by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for allocation throughout the province. Schools are, however, able to request student assistant resources for students who meet the criteria. They also said the district assigns available resources, including IRTs and student assistants, based on "the overall needs of all students within that school community," adding that it's a misconception that they can "belong" to an individual child. …

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