You know how last week I said that I believe the public school system was pretty much just a babysitting coop with a little education thrown in? Well, I still believe that, but I feel like the Special Education classes (at least the one I subbed in last week) are a very valuable resource for parents of children with disabilities.
While public schools fill a babysitting need for working parents who wouldn’t be able to afford full time daycare and for stay at home moms who could use a break from parenting, they are doing a much needed service for parents with special needs children. I imagine daycare costs for special needs would be much higher than children without special needs and I would think that parents with special needs children would need a break from their parenting more so than stay at home moms with children without special needs.
I hope I’m not sounding trite. I mean this with all my heart. After subbing in special ed for just one day, my heart goes out to the parents of these children. I am really blessed to have not had to deal with all the issues these parents have had to face. I had four healthy pregnancies that gave me five healthy babies. I really can’t imagine the sadness, shock and despair that parents must go through when they find out their child has special needs.
I’m grateful that the public school system, at least the district I’m in, has a good program for special needs kids. They include them in their general ed classes as much as possible according to their disabilities. Some of the kids are able to leave the classroom on their own, join their general ed class and return on their own. Others need to be escorted to and from. And others never leave the special ed classroom unless an aide is with them all the time, but these kids are getting care and attention and experiencing sights and sounds that are different from their home life. And I think they are the kids in our society whose parents deserve free babysitting more than anyone else. It must be very difficult taking care of children with severe disabilities around the clock. I’m glad they have this resource available to them.