Instead, the program is built around development of "social skills." Even the field trips are intended to build social skills. Instead of trips to museums or zoos, our children go to restaurants and malls. The idea, we're told, is that our children need to to be typical students. Otherwise, how will they ever return to a typical classroom?
Many of our children with autism have significant academic strengths None are strong in social skills. For many, a "typical" classroom may never be a realistic option -- though a career in, say, science, math or academics may well be achievable.
Of course, social skills are vitally important. But in my opinion, our children are best served by building on their academic strengths and their passionate interests. While social skills training is great, school is for learning about the wider world, about history and geography, about thinking skills, writing skills, and science. Isn't it?
I hate to think that my tax money to going to teach my son how to order at McDonalds -- while he's losing out on history, biology and narrative writing...
Do you have an opinion on this issue? What SHOULD the schools be teaching our children with autism? Is your child learning what he or she needs to know?