Volusia schools must find a workable plan for autism-related meltdowns | LETTERS
News-Journal - 8/21/2019
Quiet rooms help
I recently read the articles in The News-Journal concerning autistic students being removed from school and/or Baker Acted for disruptive behavior. This is a serious problem and I am proposing a solution.
[OUR VIEW: Volusia students with autism need help, not trauma]
The first step is the creation and training of a school-based intervention team at each school. This team would consist of the guidance counselors, school psychologists, assistant principals, ESE teachers, resource officer, and any other personnel such as academic coaches, resource teachers and others who don't have scheduled contact with students. A space must be provided to remove the student that is peaceful and calming with dim lighting. It's important that this space be used for this purpose only. The use of this team could be included in the students' Individual Educational Plan.
The classroom teacher would be required to call for team members when severe disruptive behavior occurs. This intervention is for violent disruptive behavior only. Several (at least two and more if needed) team members would immediately remove the student and take him directly to the quiet room. During this process it is critical that other students and school personnel continue their work and don't pay attention to the disruptive student.
Upon arrival at the quiet room, conversation should not be attempted until the student is once again in control of himself. Do not ask why he became angry because he probably doesn't know. Instead have a general discussion and determine if/when he is ready to return to class. Other interventions should be attempted at another time.
The classroom teacher or whoever is in charge of the student at the time of the event should take a brief moment to jot down the activity that was going on when the incident occurred as well as the time of day. This can often provide the solution to the problem. For example, it's right after lunch or just before math on many days. Common situations include; reaction to an over-stimulating environment, transitions from one activity to another, frustration with academic assignments or a need for attention.
Each student with severe behavioral difficulties should have scheduled weekly sessions with the guidance counsellor and/or school psychologist to plan interventions to avoid these behaviors in the future. This behavior plan can be incorporated into the students' IEP and given to any adult charged with direct supervision of the student.
Kathleen Clark, Palm Coast
Clark is a retired teacher and speech pathologist who has worked in several counties, including Flagler and Volusia counties, at public schools, acharter school and a special education center. She has worked as a speech therapist, resource room teacher, and self contained ESE classroom teacher.
The proposed change of the fireworks law on the books is needed and must be enforced. (The one now is not, as I have experienced).
Yes, it's nice to celebrate those holidays -- but the holidays only, not the week before and week after.
Lawmakers must keep in mind that a lot of pets are terrorized by the noise. The eve of the holiday, we can comfort our pets or relax them as needed -- that day only -- for shooting them off.
Then when dispatch gets the call, send someone out to confiscate and destroy the fireworks, and arrest the party involved.
Bill Cavallaro, Deltona
Look up for answers
I believe that we're focusing on the wrong issue in these shootings. We should be focusing of the evil that wrought these shootings. We need to bring God back into our schools and support all faith based programs that promote love and respect.
Our First Amendment was not written for this separation of church and state that so many purport. It was not written to keep religion out of government, but to keep government out of religion. America's troubles along these lines began in 1963, when public prayer was restricted in our schools. Then in 1973 abortion was legalized in Roe vs. Wade. Parents have stopped raising their children and have tried to turn that task over to the schools where discipline, love, respect, and responsibility for one's actions should have begun at home. The list goes on, and I believe that God is not happy with what is happening in America today.
Therefore, we need to stop this evil in our society by first teaching our children what God expects from us, in a few words: to obey Him "love Him with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves."
Terry D. Mone, Ormond Beach
There can be limits
We've had another horrific massacre and, as usual, certain voices have arisen proclaiming we can do nothing because of the 2nd Amendment: "A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." However, according to former Chief Justice Warren Burger, the words "well regulated" mean we can control gun availability.
But who will do the regulating? Let's see. According to Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress can "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions" and it can "provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such part ... as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States ... the Appointment of the Officers and the authority of training the Militia, according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." In addition, Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution states "The President shall be Commander in Chief of ... the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States."
Might there be some gun regulating here? Of course, things would be simpler if the 2nd Amendment included the essential word "all": the right of the people to keep and bear all arms shall not be infringed." It doesn't, thus implying there can be limits to gun ownership. You can own a gun, just not every gun on the planet. Just a thought.
Richard Goldstein, Port Orange
Don't offend anyone
The "Another View" Washington Post editorial in Monday's paper, "Time to retire native American mascots," got me thinking about the other teams and which ones had names that could upset certain groups. This is what I came up with, for just the pro sports:
For native Americans, we need to get rid of Redskins, Chiefs, Braves, Indians, Black Hawks, Cowboys, Bills and Trail Blazers.
For anti-violence, how about Buccaneers, Pirates, Raiders, Vikings, Celtics, Warriors, Predators, Chargers, Rockets and Spurs?
Continuing with victims and loved ones of animal attacks let's try Jaguars, Bengals, Panthers, Lions, Bears, Grizzlies, Tigers, Diamondbacks, Bulls, Hornets, Bobcats, Rays, Timber Wolves, Raptors, Eagles and Hawks.
To atheists we can cut Saints, Padres, Angels and Devils.
Environmentalists would love to see the Oilers, Steelers, Pistons, Packers, 49ers, Brewers and Heat all go.
Short people could do without the Giants and Titans.
Finally, no politics! Patriots, Yankees, Nationals, Capitols, Royals, Cavaliers, 76ers, Kings, Rangers and Mavericks.
At least we are left with all the cute little birdy teams!
R. Scott Fair, DeLand
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