Schools need more special need support

My oldest son is 11 years of age and has an intellectual disability

My oldest son is 11 years of age and has an intellectual disability. His diagnosis is moderate to profound cognitive impairment with combined type ADHD. He presently attends John Muir elementary in Sooke. I am an employee of School District No. 62. as an educational assistant and I work with students with special needs and disabilities.

I was informed hours for support with his educational assistant (EA) had been cut to little or no support in the afternoon.

Some of his hours and other students’ support hours were needed in order to support a child with more severe disabilities in kindergarten.

This is unacceptable. I do not blame the teachers or the educators, they are doing the best they can with what they have. But what they have is not enough. Not nearly enough. I am tired of accepting the unacceptable. I am angry and I fear especially for my son that he is not getting the education that he deserves.

Stress, frustration and anxiety levels are increasing in this classroom because my son is not receiving the support he is entitled to. Therefore there are more disruptions and meltdowns occur on a daily basis in this classroom. It is not fair to my son, nor to the teacher, nor to the other students in the classroom.

Classrooms are not supposed to contain more than 22 students. The majority of classrooms exceed those numbers.

Not to mention not more than two special needs or disabled students per classroom, in many cases there are more than that with shared EA support because of limited funding for one-on-one support.

The bottom line is there is not enough money in the budget to support the needs of the students. This problem in our educational system needs to be badly rectified. Multiple schools in the Sooke District are pleading to get more support hours and are not getting them because there is no money in the budget.

Our children, teachers and educators have the right and entitlement to receive and give a quality education.

Laura Wristen





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