I gotta tell ya... Here I was told by the Children's Coalition that for the majority of the kids on the autism spectrum, the school system is "working well." This does not seem to be the case for many of the parents on the Autism Winnipeg Facebook Group. If the "woman" I spoke to at the Children's Coalition is paying attention to this group, her blood has got to be boiling.
I had originally sought out the Autism Winnipeg Facebook Group for support from other parents, to share what's working with some of our kiddos and what's not. Lately though, I've been getting a lot more out of this group. I asked the group to come out and meet, and I did get to meet three new ladies. Not a huge turnout, but non the less, a turn out it was. Better meeting three parents than none. I got to meet their beautiful children, and finally met Wendy face to face, the autism mom who's been blogging on this blog with her "Raving Series."
What a rush of ideas coming from this facebook group! One of the moms had asked the following question just 13 hours ago: "So if you went to a discussion/questions/comments meeting with all the Societies of Manitoba - including Asperger's/ASM/Mfeat/MATC/etc. what would your questions or concerns be?" In 13 short hours she got 43 responses to the question. What a terrific question!!! I didn't know where to start with my questions!
Another mother had posted: "Letter-Writing Campaign..............EAs are a good start, so therefore it would be the Honourable Minister Nancy Allen. That who the focus needs to be on and why the need." In one short hour, she got 13 responses!
Our own dear Wendy had posted an online survey regarding what parents thought of our education. Here are her results so far: 83.3% have children in the school system, 60% have a special needs child in the school system, 16.7% think inclusion is working and perfect, while a surprising 66.7% think it needs some tweeking. 60% of ppl who answered do have level 3 funding, 50% did think have special needs children in class benefited everyone, very shocking, 100% of people who have taken the survey stated teachers and aids should be fully trained to work with special need training. Thank you everyone who has already taken it, looking forward to future takers.
The online survey was a brilliant idea, and I wish more parents would answer the survey. The survey is completely 100% private, and Wendy has no idea who answered or what their answer was. We're thinking of doing another survey and post it on this blog. I hope for those of you reading Autism Diva Help that you take the time to answer the very short survey as it is confidential, and it would take less than a minute to answer. The intention (once we post it) is to take all this information to the government and the media.
I love the Autism Winnipeg Facebook. During the last couple of weeks, it's been found to be highly interactive, with questions posted getting almost immediate replies. No one is belittled for their beliefs and everyone in the group cares about each other's struggles. We may not all have met face to face, but the care is most evident. Get some autism support!
Thank You Marni Wachs Zuke for creating the Autism Winnipeg Group. Thank you to all the parents contributing to the conversations and posting your opinions and questions. You are all truly amazing parents!
If you're not a member of this group, it's open to the public. Check out Autism Winnipeg and join in the conversations, ask questions, get advice! This group is not only for parents. It's open to grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, and friends.
Consider yourselves hugged,