Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Ranting 103

First I do apologize for my lack of blogs. I was on a roll then had to place it on the back burner during a HELL like move. Don't worry folks I'm back, and trust me I have more questions and concerns than ever. Hmm where shall I start on this gloomy Tuesday,

Well although most are already aware that I don't agree with the current system, and clearly I'm outspoken and don't hold back. I have many concerns with this government. Now with the election over and hopefully not having to do another one for a couple years this was a touchy subject. Normally I swing Liberal. However when it comes to my family and children's futures I do agree with the conservative party. Now if we want to be totally honest and lay everything on the table. I don't think any party should have the power to say whether a person can or can't marry another person. I also don't think they should look at your sexual preference when deciding if you can adopt. I know a lot of same sex parents that honestly are doing a better job than some of the "straight" families. Their divorce rate is lower than hetero marriages, ect ect. However, In other provinces that are Conservative lead they have "School of Choice", "Chartered" and many other options. So with that being said, it was clear that in this PROVINCE Conservative won leaving 1 Liberal and 2 NDP running. Does that mean we might actually see a change? In all fairness and reality most likely not. The biggest problem is education. People who aren't dealing with it on a day to day base have no clue the problems that parents of special need children go through. Although we have a inclusion policy and there are rules and guidelines that are suppose to be met, they aren't. Somehow school officials have found loop holes and the general public is left in the dark.

As many are aware my son was in a rural school and got NOTHING. Even when switching schools the new school was SHOCKED that he has had nothing. NO SPEECH, NO OT, NO EA'S nothing. Even though both the specialist and doctor clearly stated. We had St Amant step in and give the school tips and ideas. Everything was shut down. Now we've been at our new locations for "7 school days" and it's amazing the difference. First day of daycare he has a 1-1 worker with him at all times, there is a general EA in the class, as well as his EA who works with him and another child. He is getting BT and ST daily. Not long period but close to 20 minutes for each therapy. So you ask what's the problem? Honest to god we live 11 minutes by car from his old school. We are one division over, we're separated by a highway. Still in the same province yet totally different. Anyone pick up on the problem yet? in the province of Manitoba there is a "Inclusion Policy", standard policies and bi-laws that ALL schools are meant to follow. No school or division should be any different than another. Yet by driving 11 minutes we went from hell to what appears to be heaven(might still be a lil cloudy from the drive..lol). Here's the other funny part. We're now in a LARGER school, with almost 4times the students as his last, a division that has 3 times as many schools as the last division so how is it that a smaller school, smaller classes weren't able to help but large one can?

Now I'm not holding my breath that things will remain perfect like I said I might still be seeing cloud from the drive, but the change has had a POSITIVE impact on my child. I'm not saying every parent should pack up and move to Pembina Trails as believe me I've had problems with them in the past, but for a province that is suppose to have policies that cover the entire province, why the difference? Parents shouldn't have to move. We have to deal with enough life changes, changing postal codes really shouldn't be one that is thrown on the list.

As you've read before one big problem is staff isn't trained. Why you ask? Good question. From researching between myself and my beautiful friend Lou we've discovered a lot of things as per training. Here's a couple. You need to be trained to become a doctor, and the province will even help pay for your school if you agree to stay here. Certain ethnic backgrounds are also given a break when it comes to schooling. If you go the childcare field the province will assist you in your tuition and schooling as childcare is a major shortage here. Want to do a trade? No problem they will help with that as well. Here's a funny one. If your a hooker,(Oh yes Lou I'm going there) they will pay for you to become a Social Worker and give you a job with a Government Agency once you've completed your training. Well on a side note I have always wanted to be a social worker and help teens and families however the 4+years of schooling at high costs per year have made me place that on a back burner, but if I decide to sell myself on the corner of Ellice I can go for free? Really sign me up. So let's recap a bit to catch everyone up to the point. Doctors=ok, trade=ok, hookers=ok, People who hold our child's future in their hands=nothing. Yes that's right. There is NO incentive for teachers, EA's, Speech, OT, NOTHING. hmmm also are you aware most EAs have NO pension, NO benefits and NO RRSP through work? Yup the dedicate their lives to helping our children and come old age, they are screwed. Not to mention if you care about the children you are helping and you want to take some extra courses so your PROPERLY TRAINED for these kids it comes out of your POCKET. Let's face it, EAs and Teachers aren't raking in the 6 figure salaries like the superintendents yet they are suppose to pay out of pocket to be trained to do the job that they are hired for. When I asked our previous Resource teacher why staff weren't trained she stated "there's too many different disabilities, and it would take too much time and too much money." Seriously? So the province wants us parents to place our children in the public school system, have tax payers pay for it, yet they aren't going to have trained professionals to teach our children? Would you take your dyeing dog to a hairdresser because a trained VET would be too much? How about your aunt suffering from Cancer, why not take her to McDonald's? I know that's a little extreme but that's sadly the Manitoba Way.

So until next time, trust me there will be a next time take care, and thank you Lou for allowing me to vent my feelings



  1. I'll have to strongly differ wit you on this one. History shows us that the right wing think tanks in MB have opposed inclusive philosophies in education, not because they want us as special needs parents to have more "choice", and not because they are worried about OUR kids being properly accommodated. They view our kids as "retards" (though I'm sure they have learned their political correctness well enough to never actually use that term) who will "drag down" the SMART kids (because of all the labels our kids have, they don't believe they qualify for that particular one).

    Make no mistake here, a conservative government in MB is a death sentence to the few accommodations and limited awareness we as advocates have managed to achieve so far. And the Conservative federal gov't has made it clear they will be cutting services in order to give the tax breaks they've promised to their rich party donors. It will be services OUR kids rely on.

    The fundamental tenet of the conservative parties, nationally and provincially, is one of "every man for himself". Our kids deserve - and NEED - better than that.

  2. The only experience I have with Manitoba's government is with the government currently in power here. The current system is not working at all. If it was, there would not be a need for parents to pull their children with special needs out of the public school and home school them or enroll them in private school.

    From my experience with the Conservatives while living in Alberta, the education system was far better than what we have here. I know Alberta has oil money, but the ones in power are the Conservatives, and education is regulated provincially, not federally. BC's Liberal party has done nothing for education either. Maybe I'll vote for the Green Party next election... LOL.

    With that said, it is still pretty obvious that our education system is failing our children. Sure they are passed from one grade to the next, but what are they really being taught. I just want Dayton and other children like him to be given the same opportunity as the typical children. He's a Canadian citizen and is entitled to all that everyone else is entitled to. All I want is that my child be respected for his differences and not be discriminated against. That's all. It's really a simple request, but one that is currently being ignored by our government.

  3. I understand that Lou - of all people, you know I understand that. But the gov't is 'of the people for the people'. Until The People make this a priority, it aint gonna happen. There are 2 key avenues - media advocacy through united coalitions, and grass roots awareness among parents of typical children (so they are willing to have their taxes increased to allow our kids their rightful education).

  4. Got it babe, and I'm already on it. I called CJOB, they're interested in doing an interview. I'd love to have you come with me for the interview. Not sure when yet, as they're a little busy with the flood watch.

    As for the grass roots awareness, I'm all over it. Wanna join me? I'm not kidding!!! The Children's Coalition has proven to be a waste of time so far.

    Love ya babe, and respect you more than you can imagine. Of all the people I know with a child with autism, you're the only one I know other than Wendy that has advocated for their child.

    Hugging you big time! Please say yes to both points. We may not agree on all aspects, but we do agree on the most important points. Our kids are our future!

  5. PM me with the details. I will have to give it careful consideration because a) CJOB is a right wing mouthpiece and b) I am hoping to effect change through my work on the AMI board. AMI and other autism agencies participated in an indepth assessment of the inclusion system over the past 2 years, and the comprehensive report is due out this year. Based on what it says, I will either put on my patience is a virtue hat (if I think the gov't really intends meaningful change in the immediate term) or my Tiger Mom hat (if I think they are stringing us along).

    But I am proud of you for taking this on, point blank. Go get 'em!