Michael's school specializes in special needs students with dedicated teaches, aides and medical professionals. These people understand the needs of their very special students. But the Los Angeles school district would like to close this very special school. They prefer to put their money and effort into magnet schools for the gifted. The disabled, they seem to feel, should be shut away and not seen. In fact Michael, at other schools, has had teachers who thought he should be put in a corner and left to fend for himself. Michael does learn but he needs help. While I certainly agree that gifted and normally developing children need a good education, they have greater personal resources than do children like Michael.
Children like Michael need patient, creative teachers willing to find activities to spark their interest. They need patient repetition to learn new tasks. They need patient observers willing to interpret their attempts to communicate their needs. Otherwise they wither away, going into a steady decline.
This is one grandma's rant. One grandma in a larger family that loves and is devoted to their special needs child. One family that thinks their child is just as important as any other. One family that thinks special ed schools are just as important as special music schools, special science schools or any other special school.
There are many familys like ours.