Thursday, November 13, 2008

High Functioning, Low Funding

The Israeli Education Ministry is about to change the method it uses to determine how much money to spend on each student with special needs, Or Kashty of Ha'aretz reports (Hebrew version here). Instead of getting money according to the type of disability, each child's level of daily functioning at home and in class will determine how much money the school will get for his needs. This will be determined by testing the child's verbal, cognitive, social and motor skills as well as his level of independence. High functioning children will receive less money than they do now.

This is another case of punishing success and progress. In Feb. 2006 I wrote about how education officials were trying to cut my high functioning autistic nephew's assistance at school. Now, almost 3 years later, he's doing even better, but there is still a lot more he needs help with. So-called experts may see a child who seems almost like all the other kids, just maybe asking too many questions, so they'd cut his funding, meaning less hours with his "shadow" assistant. That would be very bad for him. He still needs frequent, subtle guidance.

As Laura Tisoncik said: "The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means that your deficits are ignored and low-functioning means your assets are ignored... Either way, you get ignored."

1 comment:

  1. Ooooooooooooh ... I SO much agree with you.