Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Should we be vetting the professionals who work with our kids?

I first heard the word "vetted" during last year's presidential election. It was used describing the background checking (or lack thereof) of Sarah Palin, once her teen daughter's pregnancy hit the news.

Recently, I came across an online discussion between women who have terminated for Down syndrome. They were discussing the thought processes behind their decision and lamenting the fact that they were unable to share their decision with people for fear of judgement. It was a fascinating discussion for me, until I came upon the post from a woman who works in special education. She shared that a colleague of hers really helped her make her decision to terminate by reminding her that, not only was she doing what was best for her family, but she was also doing what was best for society. Yikes!

It's disturbing that someone who works with people like my son would choose termination for her own pregnancy, but that doesn't necessarily disqualify her to me. I realized a long time ago that a 90% termination rate means that I likely interact with women all the time who've aborted their baby with Ds and I'll never know. But, to have the mindset that those with Down syndrome shouldn't even be members of society and then to work in special education absolutely blows my mind. Unfortunately, it got worse. She went on to say, "People don't condemn others for putting a sick dog to sleep. It's considered humane."

I cannot possibly believe that this woman and her colleague will have the best interest of my child at heart when they don't even feel he should live! I can't imagine that they will really work to help him meet his goals and his full potential.

How many people like these women work with children or people with special needs? Today, I read about a child with Ds who had been repeatedly "put in time out" in a bathroom, with the lights off by her special education teacher. The TA finally reported it and the family discovered the atrocity as authorities were trying to sweep it under the rug. I have always said that some people should be hanging wallpaper for a living and I think that applies here.

Throw in the former special ed teacher I met in Panera a few months ago who asked me, "Wouldn't it be great if we all had Down syndrome...and were able to beat the crap out of someone and get away with it?" and I'm starting to get a bleak picture of Eon's school career.

I have decided that I'll be doing a little vetting of those I let work with Eon. I will be asking direct questions to determine underlying belief systems. I want to know that those I allow to help us are truly for him.


  1. Pardon my language...but...HOLY CRAP! To compare terminating a child to putting down a dog. Fortunately except for Lily's new O.T., I've had talks with Lily's therapists about their faith and I know where they all stand as far as my daughter is concerned. You can bet that after this post, I'm going to start questioning the OT too. Just curious...are you planning to homeschool Eon too?? I hope to with Lily.

  2. Wow that's really disgusting. I guess I've naively assumed that the folks in the special ed field would be doing out of a love for our children and a real desire to make their lives better. Then again I think many who've terminated for DS will use any justification to make it right in their own minds.

  3. Wow. I can't even believe half of those comments. Especially from the special education workers. Yes, check them all out. That is so insane!!! Ugh. What has this world come to. On the opposite side there has to be lots that would love to work with your son and love him and give him the best. Best of luck finding the right people to work with him.

  4. I agree with Cathy. HOLY CRAP!?! How do we vet them? I doubt I'll be able to find a book on that. What are they doing in the field? I'm curious about the homeschooling thing, also.