This topic contains 1,058 replies, has 192 voices, and was last updated by  Stella Li 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #77

    FEAT BC Admin

    In this discussion area, please feel free to share your experience in implementing A.B.A. programs in the school system. We would particularly like to hear from those parents who converted their school teams to A.B.A. We’d like to hear the nightmares as well as the success stories.

    Any insight that can be shared by school-based special education assistants to help parents would also be very meaningful.

Viewing 10 replies - 1,031 through 1,040 (of 1,058 total)
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  • #3984

    David Chan

    Hi everyone,

    Like they say, read 'em and weep. My kid's
    teacher administered a standardized
    vocabulary test to the enitre grade 3 class,
    well the boy scored in the 68th percentile, and
    his vocabulary is at approximately grade 3.5
    yup, to think… we could have swam with
    dolphins(like we ever considered it…not !)
    Everyone keep your chins up and hang in.
    Keep you all posted



    Hi Michelle:

    I am resonding to your 'gripe'. First off, you should call Sabrina Freeman at FEAT 604-534-6956. She can be of great help to you.

    Next let me give you some of my wealth of knowledge that I was taught.

    Now also remember that you have the great court decision backing you up (thanks again to all those who worked so very hard to make this a success for our kids).

    First off, you don't have to have an aide working with your child if you are uncomfortable with her or feel she's not right for your child. You just don't let her in your house. That's your right as not only her mother but I am assuming her case manager.

    As for Kindergarten, again it is YOUR right to make the decision to put your child in Kindergarten or keep her in her Lovaas-style ABA program for another year. Legally children don't have to enter Kindergarten/school until the age of 6 years old. They don't have to go to school at all as long as you register and follow the home school rules. But whatever, it is YOUR decision.

    As to denying her services, well even if she were in Kindergarten, she would only go 2 1/2 hours a day, leaving plenty of time for her to need and require teaching. Typical children learn 16 hours a day seven days a week i.e. every waking moment so giving our children 8 hours a day is totally justified. So don't let them bully you with that excuse.

    What I would suggest is also keeping a paper trail of things said back and forth. This is why, it's good to write letters instead of phone calls. I was taught this early on and it was a most effective and very helpful tool. In the meantime, I would document the phone conversations that you have had up until now as best as you can remember. If you need to pursue further action, it helps to keep records. All this and more tips are kept on this chat board under Government issues.

    Lastly, you do NOT have to answer to every decision you make regarding your child's health and well being. I would get my pediatrician's backing – mainly for documention. But remember we are parents of children with a disability. We are not abusive parents, neglectful parents, bad parents. Don't let anyone treat you that way.
    If fact, the Government's mandate is something like 'the parent knows the child best etc.'

    I hope this helps. Your post so reminded me of some of the things that I went through before I knew better. I hate to see anyone treated this way. Good luck.

    Feel free to email me with any questions.


    Jeremy's Mom


    Deleted User

    Hello again! I now have a gripe to add:

    I spoke with aa government person today… who shall remain nameless…about my daughter. I wanted some details about switching my aide but I ended up getting a LECTURE!

    My daughter is a december 31st baby and she is supposed to enter kindergarten this september. We have decided to hold her back a year because a) she is a small child b) she missed the cutoff of having to start in 2002 instead of 2001 by 2 hours (!) c) she has a language delay, social delays blah blah blah I don't need to tell any of you about that ;-) and d) she is doing very well in her program so why not give her another year to see how much better off she is then?! We plan to do another year of preschool, 5 days a week to help prep for the big K.

    It seems so logical to me.

    Well first of all I was told that all of the preschools are or will be full so I had better make a decision quick! Registration has not actually started…. I've checked. So much for that theory. Then I was told that I have to keep the government people aware of my decisions and keep them informed. Ummm, why?

    I was then "informed" about the parallel process where my daughter could enter kindergarten slowly over a period of months or weeks or something so that the school could adjust to my daughter and set up a program for her. Mmmmm, that sounds like a great idea. School set up program for my daughter… maybe CBI could do it?! ha! NO thank you. I should have said oh my Consultant should do that!

    This same person has told me in the past that if I hold my daughter back she won't get services ie: have her aide paid for by them because she should have gone to kindergarten.

    I am also questioned every time I bother to call (why, why do I call?!) about my Lovaas program. "you do a lovaas program don't you?" I'm asked if I have any questions about funding.

    "Yes I do and her progess is amazing, thanks for asking" :)

    oh a provincial election can't come soon enough! I will cast my vote with a flourish that is for sure.



    Deleted User

    Hello everyone;

    We are considering a relocation to the North Shore but I have some questions about schools.

    1. Does anyone know of a preschool that is receptive to ABA and/or working with your own therapist as an aide? If we move, we will likely be in the Lynn Valley area but I am willing to drive for the right situation.

    Or does anyone know of preschools that are NOT receptive (so that I can avoid them?!)

    2. I'm wondering about the availability of good or green therpists in N. Van. We currently live in Maple Ridge but have difficulty getting people able to do a good job. I have a few on my team now but have a second team that is starting up (for my son) and have had a hard time filling in the gaps.

    My question is when you have searched to fill a position have you had a large selection of people apply? Do you have difficulty filling a position? Do you get a lot of experienced people wanting the job?

    Thanks so much.



    Sabrina Freeman

    Re: Unions in the School System

    I completely understand Dave Chan's remarks regarding the union and have seen what he is alluding to many times. However, I would like to respond to Cory's post regarding unions and the educational system in a more general manner. This is a complex issue but there are some things that both parents and union members should know.

    On a regular basis, a threat to invoke the union is used by some principals and teachers to keep parents running Lovaas programs “in line”. Generally, a principal will tell the parent that a teacher is threatening a union grievance for some reason that is typically baseless. It is a means by which the principal or teacher can avoid accommodation of the special needs that characterize children in a Lovaas treatment program. This scenario has been described to me by dozen's of parents. I have also been at the sharp end of this stick on more than one occasion.

    That said, I am sure the union is quite unaware they are used to psychologically bludgeon and intimidate parents who are simply attempting to make sure their disabled child has equal access to education. In fact, I believe the union could be a very strong ally in the struggle to ensure our children receive the education they require and to which they are entitled. This is where those of you who are members of the teacher's union or CPU could help tremendously. The unions need to know they are being used by some of their members and by unscrupulous school administrators to victimize children with autism and other special needs. Unions do not exist to be misused as a weapon by anti special needs obstructionists. Unions are not intended to intimidate and hinder parents in their difficult battle against autism. I do not think the union leadership would be very happy about what is being done under their flag.

    Regarding class size, I am profoundly aware of how difficult it is to teach a class of children, particularly when there are many children in the class who have a variety of learning disabilities. Unfortunately, the government, in typically incompetent fashion, calculated that if they decrease class size, they would be able to ration special education assistants (and cut the special ed. budget). The faulty reasoning is that with one less child the teacher can handle things without as many SEA hours. In the long run, the teachers lost out, the S.E.A.s lost out, and the children lost out, even though class size decreased marginally. The government is “happy-happy”, saving money on the backs of the school staff and the special needs children they are supposed to teach. Whether there are 30 typically developing children in the classroom or 28 typically developing children and 1 autistic child in the classroom, the teachers still cannot be expected to teach the autistic child properly without some trained one-to-one support.

    I think it is very important not to allow the provincial government to create an adversarial relationship between parents of special needs children and the schools. They have done a very good job of it up to this point.

    If anyone in the union would like to know how to improve the system from within and make the unions a strong ally, please contact me directly.

    Sabrina Freeman (Miki's mom)


    We work in the school system, we are
    'caring,conscientious educators' and we did not
    hear or know of the details of the Bill Good Show.
    We as schoolteachers are being crushed under the
    yoke of incredibly large class loads – can you add
    up 33 students times 4 this semester? – and
    increased workload and expectations from the top
    all the way to the bottom. We're not aware of the
    settlement or contract proposal to which Mr. Chan
    refers to but we can only guess that it involves
    decreasing class sizes at the expense of other
    services. The school boards traditonally warn that
    this will surely be the case if they are not
    allowed to max out classes to the limits or
    beyond; which, we might add,they are already
    It is obscene in the worst to think that boards
    would cut back services to those who need it the
    most but don't bet against it as it happens with
    or without contract controversies.
    Class size is a real problem and it needs to be
    addressed and not at the expense of anyone's
    programs, be they special needs or whatever.
    How long can the system keep 'caring and
    conscientious' educators if they are burning us
    And, we might add, we have our own vested interest
    in keeping and/or adding critically needed special
    needs programs as our son is autistic and will
    surely need all the help he can possibly get as he
    enters kindergarten next September.
    The point of this reply is to inform you and
    others that not all those educators that argue
    that class size is a serious issue are not
    necessarily whining, money grubbing, lazy
    unionists or whatever.
    Class size limits and universal access to programs
    for all special needs children do not have to
    conflict or be divisible. There surely is both the
    room and the money – perhaps some of the juicy
    profits of both B.C. Hydro and I.C.B.C of late? –
    to accomodate both.
    We remain caring and conscientious and concerned
    for our son, others like him and for the hundreds
    and thousands of kids we also teach in our very
    crowded and increasingly stressful classrooms.
    Gary and Cory McLaughlin
    Schoolteachers and


    David Chan

    Did any one listen to the bill good's show this
    afternoon? Like it was some kinda
    REVALATION that the CUPE agreement
    comes before special needs kids or any kid
    for that matter. Puleeease, dosen't everyone
    realize that the schools only exsist to provide
    consistent unstressful positive work
    enviornments. Look, we live with those
    SPECIAL kids 24/7 Where's our collective
    agreement. Kids? Oh, those guys? Yes,
    they happen to be in the building too. If only
    we could reduce THEIR numbers in the
    collective agreement ! Oh yes, class sizes got
    to get them smaller, fewer bodies to deal with.

    P.S. Ranting is one thing, but all the caring
    and conscientious educators and
    para-educators, don't you guys get tired of
    being tarred with the same brush, give us the
    inside scoop, cause we sure would like to be


    Susan Burns

    enormous news james grampa has agreed to help fund his lovaas- style aba program..i am not that computer friendly…pls would someone lead me to the income tax writeoff info for him…thx susan 467-8313


    David Chan


    MR. P'S DAD


    Urgent Message:
    Does anyone know or have experience with a school (any district) that cooperates with an ABA program and allows therapists to attend class (Grade 1-6) with the child? If so, please email us at, or call us at 604-581-8363 asap.
    Your help is very much appreciated!
    Anna and Peter
    Henry's parents

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