Life … is not a sodding gameshow.

In the category of News What Hacks You Off, we learn of the wonderful case of Alex Barton.

It seems that young Alex — all of five years old — may be suffering from a developmental disorder. A disorder which may be responsible for his acting up in his kindergarten class.

Or it may be the plain and simple fact that he’s a boy, he’s five, and he’s going to act up.


I’m not sure if this news story is symptomatic of the national obsession with stupid shows, or if it’s symptomatic of the Liberal obsession with everyone being equal, but either way it’s really twisting me off.

Apparently Morningside Elementary School is having some sudden, completely unexpected, problems with their web-page, but thank Freyja for Google and their Cache function: Google Cache Morningside Elementary School.

Anyhoo, Ms. Wendy Portillo — the alleged adult and purported leader of this class of kindergarteners — appears to have gotten annoyed with Alex’s acting up.

Seems to me that since Morningside is on a traditional schedule, Ms. Portillo should not only have been used to Alex by now, but aware that she only had to grit her teeth for a couple of more weeks for the school year to be over and Alex gone from her class.

Seems that I would be wrong.

According to news reports, Ms. Portillo apparently decided that the best way to discipline a five-year-old boy who may possibly have a case of Asperger’s Syndrome was to call him to the head of the class and then have each and every one of his five-year-old classmates announce what they didn’t like about him.

Since being called “disgusting” by kindergarteners with the approval of their teacher wasn’t enough — apparently — Ms. Portillo then called upon each student to vote Alex — all of five years old — out of class.

Let us allow that one to sink in, shall we?

14 five-year-olds voted him off the island out of class and two voted for him to stay.

I don’t know which is worse:

That Ms Portillo has apparently decided that her elementary school class is actually an episode of ‘Survivor’; or

That Ms. Portillo has apparently decided that FIVE YEAR OLD CHILDREN are emotionally and mentally mature enough to have an equal say with her on the punitive removal of a FIVE YEAR OLD classmate.

Words fail me. They really do.

I see that the school district has removed Ms. Portillo from “classroom duties”. That’s nice. Really.

Sauce for the goose being sauce for the gander and all that, I propose that Ms. Portillo be called in front of an assembly of all students at Morningside and have them voice their opinions of her, before voting on whether her teaching certificate should be torn up in front of her nose and herself horsewhipped from the school campus.

But that’s just me.


Astra Inclinant, Non Necessitant
Memorial Day

56 thoughts on “Life … is not a sodding gameshow.”

  1. She must have gotten her teaching degree at the college where I dropped out of the Elementary Education program in disgust.

    And people wonder why we want to home-school.

  2. When I was that age my teacher tied me to my chair. My mom asked her not to do it again, but just send me home with a note for whoopin.

    Just sayin.


  3. That woman should have her teaching credentials revoked. To put a child who she KNOWS may have Asperger’s Syndrome (or ANY child, for that matter) through that kind of humiliation is inexcusable. Let’s hope the State Board of Education (I know–a contradiction in terms) makes sure that she’s out of ANY classroom PERMANENTLY!

  4. Not exactly shocking, unfortunately. Too many American women consider psychological warfare their right. Lord only knows how many have given each other eating disorders…

    Also, again unfortunately, the profession of teaching these days seems to be quite the catchall for women with issues. Be it diddling little boys or just forcing them to be drugged if they don’t act like the girls, massive damage is being done to society.

  5. Sounds like SHE needs to be ‘voted off the Island’… I was going to harp on women with issues, but OA beat me to it.

    Sadly, this little boy will have to live with the humiliation for a long time to come, and we all know children can be VERY vindictive and mean spirited, given the chance.

  6. Sadly, what passes for an education in “education” these days is pretty damned pitiful. Prospective K-12 teachers are only given the most rudimentary education in science and math and language arts. The entire focus is on the “learning process”.

    But even given that this woman must have been sleeping in class that day.

    What kind of adult subjects a 5 year old to that kind of crap? Just beat the kid for crying out loud! It would do less emotional damage.

    This spoken by someone that in an later time and place would probably have been diagnosed as ADHD and/or Asperger’s.

  7. The heartless cruelty of some so-called educators is unconscionable. I am, however, heartened that two children in the class dared to go against the grain and refused to vote him out. I hope they also refused to say unkind things about him.

  8. Appalling.

    I’m a high school teacher and cannot IMAGINE ever doing that to any student under any circumstances. WHY would you want to? What did she hope to accomplish? I’d LOVE to hear her ‘side’ of this story.

    No matter what her rationale, she needs to be taken out of the classroom permanently. In fact, she should be taken out of education entirely. I’m glad to see the school system has at least taken her out of the classroom.


  9. Sterilization might be another thing to do to this woman.

    If she let a child she only deals with 8 hours a day get to her bad enough to do what she did, I would hate to think of what a child in her care 24 hours a day would face.

  10. Your post was waaay more elegant then mine (I have a wee bit of a potty mouth when pissed off).
    As the mother of a child with autism I am HORRIFED and out raged that some one is that intentionally cruel and teaching intolerence.

  11. OH. MY. GOD.
    That teacher needs to be on the receiving end of the old trip to the woodshed.
    Cripes…Un efing believable….

  12. I will simply quote a guy called Fred:

    “An advantage of getting older, or at least an effect, is that you cease believing that adults know what they are doing. Finally you cease to believe that there are any adults.”

  13. I saw that story on the A.M. news yesterday. I couldn’t believe that teacher still has a job! I think she should get fired and the kids made to apologize to the poor boy. I still can’t get the anger out of my system!

  14. Funny how a Florida school will be more than happy to arrest a student for carrying a knife for lunch but the law can’t seem to find a teacher chargeable for emotional abuse. Not that it should necessarily be a legal matter, but still.

    That teacher should be stripped of her teaching credentials so she can’t inflict this on another innocent kid. That sort of thing can scar a child literally for life.

    Two kids voted for him. That’s heartening, at least.

  15. On hearing this nesw story, Satan resigned his position as Overlord of Hell due to no longer being the most evil being in the cosmos.

  16. You wonder why I hate people.

    And the Asperger’s syndrome angle doesn’t make much difference. It’s like setting a house fire and then throwing gas on it. Throwing gas on it is even dumber, but setting the fire is unacceptable. What she did would be disgusting whether the kid might be autistic or not.

  17. This mad me mad beyond words when I saw the story. This is one more reason our girls will not be in public school.

  18. I graduated high school in 1970 near Toledo, Ohio. I saw this kind of behavior when I attended kindergarten all the way through ninth grade. In grades 10, 11 and 12 the teachers simply beat you if you misbehaved, or fractured one of the many unwritten rules of correct conduct, or even if they just didn’t like you.

    The little boy in my kindergarten class who misbehaved was not the sharpest tool in the shed. In fact he left school without learning to read, and I have no idea what ever happened to him.

    I’d fire the principal and the rest of the administration as well as the instructor. The principal either knew this kind of abuse was happening and condoned it, or failed to know what was going on in the classroom. Either way, the administration failed.

  19. Bravo to the two kids who stood up to the “Lord of the Flies”-esque bullshit this teacher was peddling.

    No matter how frustrating a child can be — special needs or not — it is absolutely inappropriate to engage in emotional abuse.

    I hope this creature never works with children again.

  20. In the link above there’s a picture of this fine creature as well as an email address. We could all send her off a note letting her know the things we don’t like about her and see if she likes it. Juvenile I know; but I have a funny feeling that someone on this level wouldn’t be able to have a rational debate on her actions.

  21. I’ve been saying for years that the easy way to handle this crap is to…

    …double the pay of teachers.

    At the exact same time, actually hold teachers to a much, MUCH higher standard. Oh, and quit making early grade school, kindegarden, and Pre-K the default dumb-dumb zone for teachers. Frankly, that needs to be where the gifted teachers (as opposed to lecturers or instructors) go. Grades K through 3 are the most important grades a child can go through, for learning techniques and attitude toward school.

    Under my plan, we would have less worry about the Wendy Portillos of the world messing up our kids, because she simply wouldn’t be qualified to get the opportunity to do it.

    It’s time we made “Teacher” a glamorous, publicly-appreciated and sought-after job. At present, that is not the case.

  22. That would be the most horrifying bit of news I’ve come across this year. As I am given to understand it was the method used during the cultural revolution, to control people who did not get with the program. The teacher should be shot, now, and it’d be far kinder and less damaging than what she did to that child.

  23. A perfect example, in microcosm, of why democracy is a hideous thing, and why our Founding Fathers wanted nothing to do with it.

  24. Orthonym at The High Road says hello, since he apparently can’t do anything with Google.

    The issue here with this child possibly being diagnosed with Asperger’s is that, even at the age of 5, he probably already feels like an outcast of some sort. He may not understand how any of the other children’s minds work, and he’s probably highly confused on the social network that goes on even among children that young. To put ANY child in that situation is evil, but to put a child who may have Asperger’s in that position is particularly so – Asperger’s kids learn hands-on, and his hands-on experience tells him that his peers will only ridicule him, and that his teachers are not to be trusted. He will keep that opinion likely for the rest of his life, even if he is taught to act differently.

    I won’t go into my experiences with teachers growing up, but there are many times where I faced such utter incompetence at them not knowing how to deal with me, and I definitely have some residual fear as a result. I don’t expect every teacher to know how to deal with every student, but I expect them to at least try to work with someone on finding the best possible solution – it can’t be THAT difficult.

  25. One of my children had a teacher of the same ilk once.

    She was a psychologist and was teaching in the reading resource classroom for the kids with learning disabilities.

    She would praise the kids with ..yellow highlighter… and any mistakes they made, she wrote in bold purple or bold red..among other things. That one struck me because she was a psychologist and KNEW better..yet DELIBERATELY made this group of kids feel worthless…third graders no less.

    One of my proudest moments was getting her fired.

    I would stand her up there in front of some peers her own age..and let the kids watch.

  26. Hey, we have teachers who ostrasize the kids in the Gifted and Talented program because they don’t approve of it-and the principals and superintendents do nothing to instruct or discipline that teacher even though the school backs the GT program.
    We have teachers who give a kid an ‘F’ on a paper because “a child in that grade simply can’t have a vocabulary that large”-took the threat of a lawyer to get by that one, and yes, my children did and do have vocabularies that large at a very early age: they didn’t have t.v and computers to distract them from reading and learning.
    We have endless ‘reality’ programs on t.v. which appeal to the pack instinct in us, and the cruel ‘realistic’ side, such as The Donald’s happy “You’re fired!” that kids watch, and they think this is the way to be-their parents don’t bother to tell them it isn’t.
    We have a mindset that doesn’t allow kids to be kids these days. And, at the risk of infuriating all the feminists (like I care) part of this can be blamed on virtually no moms at home. Kids are left on their own in a day and time when a compromising, violent, unkind and uncaring society is the mean-and I do mean MEAN.
    We also don’t allow a good old-fashioned righteous anger when something is just flat WRONG-thank you, Mr. Clinton for eight years of teaching the American public to blame, deny, compromise and not make waves.
    We have teachers who are just interested in collecting the paycheck and the benefits, whining about how put-upon they are, and are focussed on 1)whatever the current psychology book says, no matter if it’s right or wrong, 2) there are no exceptions to the rules, and 3)becoming petty tyrants to get their ego jollies-the world’s smallest dictatorship is a classroom.
    And, we have parents who are interested only in their kid getting by with whatever they’ve done, not whether it’s right or wrong-as per Dog’s bong story; however, if that ancient child was a beloved child today who had become ill and who all the medical efforts couldn’t save; this beloved little creature who had run laughing to you and clutched your knees with chubby hands just days before, has been put in the earth with much grief, and is still being mourned. What if these little monsters had gone out and dug that child up? No doubt their parents would have turned themselves inside out making up excuses. Such is the mentality of these days. Conform, evade, lie.
    We need a good dose of sheer outrage, along with a lot of people who aren’t too chickenshit to be independent thinkers.
    Now, that said, my daughter, who is allergic to many, many things, couldn’t have the milk and cookies that were served as a mid-morning snack in her elementary school room. I sent juice and chips with her at my own expense because that was what she could have. The teacher chose to point this out to the other students in a negative manner, and when I objected, I was told that “the children don’t understand why she has something different to eat.” Well, the answer to that is to EXPLAIN to them, not call negative attention to it; kids aren’t stupid, but they are pack mentality animals and for the alpha person in their lives to call negative attention to something that is ‘different’ means that something should be attacked.
    That was nearly 30 years ago, but not only was nothing done about this, that particular teacher was recommended to go up on another of the rungs of the ‘career ladder.’
    Yep, there is something really bad wrong in our society, and we are beating futile heads against it.
    On the other hand, had Ms. Portillo done something like that to a child of mine, I would have made sure she had no desire to ‘teach’ again-ever.

  27. As the father of an 11 ear old son with Aspergers, this story horrifies me. My son is many things, aggravating, infuriating, and other many other words. He is also loving, intelligent, gentle, and my child. For anyone teacher or otherwise to treat ANY child in this fashion, should be tarred and feathered for the infliction of emotional abuse. I know I know we don’t need to allow that especially with our current nanny-state. But this teacher needs to be taken behind the wood shed and have a attitude adjustment.

  28. She should have her “certificate” wrapped around a baseball bat and forcefully inserted as a Rectal Brain Scanner. but that’s just me he he he

  29. She votes those with Asperger’s Syndrome “off the island”? Wow, she’d fit right in in Nazi Germany. Eugenics is alive an well, apparently…

    BTW, this kind of behavior makes me sick. She should lose her job, at the very least, not only for effect on the poor child in question, but for the effect on those she forced to participate in her sick little game. Oh, and the two sympathetic children should get A’s for the year. I guess when they say,”Everything I Need To Know I learned In Kindergarten”, those two were the only one’s that knew right from wrong ahead of time. Good for them!

  30. One thing – DEFINITELY give credit to the two wee ones who voted FOR the boy. But don’t come down too hard on the rest of the class for doing what the teacher clearly wanted them to do.

    They’re FIVE. Even older students have a hard time going against the teacher, five year-olds are going to find it nearly impossible to do so. All the more reason this woman should never be involved in teaching again. Not just for the damage she did to the boy, but for the lesson she also taught the rest of the class about how those in power abuse those who are not.


  31. I can hear Ms. Portillo’s lawyer now: us racist pigs are only reacting in this way because she’s black…..

  32. As far as I am concerned, there is no place in a classroom for a brain dead vegetable of any classification.

    The goal is to EDUCATE. Not to have the teacher play wet nurse to a sub-human problem which takes away from education.

    Schools in many locations have an overall failure rate of 75% or higher. Cleveland, OH and Jacksonville, FL for examples.

    Now, if you assume that the Communists have infiltrated our schools for the past 20 years they’ve generated a 75% success rate, driving kids out of education.

    We need EDUCATED kids to SURVIVE. Anything that stops the education process is wrong and must be eliminated.

    Who doesn’t believe some brain-dead vegetable will magically get smart by being around normal children.

  33. From the campus? You’re entirely too nice, dawg…

    I’m thinking you mean to give her a chance to run, which she clearly doesn’t deserve.

    abusive teachers deserve pain, period. One my earliest memories is of my kindergarden teacher shaking me for some damned reason.

    So this kid’ll definitely remember this crap. I hope the rest of her life is lived in misery.

  34. As someone diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult I can tell you how outraged this story has made me. Actually, no. I don’t have the words (at least for polite company) to even begin to express my outrage! I personally had to put up with this type of behavior first hand from those in authority in every school I was forced to attend. While they didn’t have the Survivor model to follow, there were plenty of other forms of abuse that were heaped on anyone who may have been suspected of being “different” in any way. In the ‘60s and ‘70s when I was in school nobody had ever heard of Dr. Asperger or his research. Today the supposedly professional educators our schools employ have no excuse for NOT knowing.

    As for “sub-human brain-dead vegetables”, Geoff, while Asperger’s Syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, people with AS by definition have normal to high IQ. A normal (average) IQ is 100. Genius is defined as having an IQ of 140. Geoff, would you call Thomas Jefferson a “sub-human brain-dead vegetable”? How about Albert Einstein? Both are suspected of having been Aspie’s. As for me, I have a tested IQ of 134. And I’m an Aspie. Deal with it.

    For anyone who may be interested in more information on Asperger’s Syndrome this website contains a wealth of information:

    Geoff, you may not want to follow that link. Your mind seems to be made up. I would hate to confuse you with facts.

    LawDog, I apologize for going off on a rant in the comments of your fine blog. But having put up with that kind of rampant bigotry for coming up fast on half a century now, I’m frankly sick to death of it.

  35. In full agreement with Doc_Jude and herrbgone, as an Asperger myself.

    Oh, and Geoff the anonymous gutless coward? I have a tested IQ of 156–put up or shut up, old boy… “braindead vegetable” THIS! *flipoff* Not to mention that my weapons instructors actually believe me better-suited to carry a weapon than most of the “neurologically typical” because of how it’s manifested itself.

    ‘Dawg, how you stand turdsucking trolls like the aforementioned AGC is way beyond me…

  36. Geoff – People with Asperger’s Syndrome are NOT brain-dead vegetables. Most (if not all) have normal intelligences or higher. The problem lies in oversensitivities to sensory stimuli, problems in motor coordination, tactile defensiveness, and most noticeably–social immaturity and awkwardness. In other news, what neurotypicals pick up naturally as children in regards to social skills, folks with AS don’t see and have to be taught with some level of repetitiveness in order to enforce the lessons.

  37. Great minds think alike, Deputy. “Horsewhipped” is precisely what I too thought should be done to the woman.

  38. Having taught special ed (mostly dyslexics, who often have mild Asperger’s to deal with as well as the dyslexia) for some years, I believe I can safely say that they definitely are not “brain-dead vegetables” and that in the main, they are far more intelligent than ‘normal’ people like Geoff are.
    They are not equipped to cope with the enviroment, primarily social, and the fact that they do bespeaks an awesome intelligence.
    No doubt Geoff is one of those who thinks everyone with any type of defect ought to be euthanized.
    Wait until someone finds a defect in him. Like maybe he has freckles? That’s a defect in the production of melanin. Or moles? That’s a defect in the body’s ability to throw off a type of virus. Or he has hammer toes, allergies, blue eyes—those are all ‘defects.’
    Oh, wait. I know. Since people of genius, aren’t ‘normal’ we should destroy them. Then we wouldn’t be burdened with photography, radio, any form of transportation, antibiotics, x-rays, television, art, space travel, computers, and the Geoffs could take over the cave world we would all live in, with a life expectancy of about 30 years.
    Wow. Utopia.

  39. Well, now it appears all the mentally defectives are super geniuses and gods on earth, who create miracles. Crap.

    Fact remains this class of kids is going to be stuck with a classroom problem for the next 12 years and each year they will learn less and less while teachers deal with the problems.

    If it’s a SUPER GOD ON EARTH genius, get it out of that class and make something better of it. Highly unlikely.

    Let the kids LEARN. A 75% failure rate is unacceptable, except in modern Commie Liberal schools, where they even ban BY LAW in California, learning to read by Phonics. The only system that works well.

    Instead of teaching kids how to compete in a tough world, we get kids treated like babies, or mental defectives, until the get dumped unprepared in the “real world” and then they collapse.

    The anonymous coward at

  40. “As for “sub-human brain-dead vegetables”, Geoff, while Asperger’s Syndrome is an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, people with AS by definition have normal to high IQ. A normal (average) IQ is 100. Genius is defined as having an IQ of 140. Geoff, would you call Thomas Jefferson a “sub-human brain-dead vegetable”? How about Albert Einstein? Both are suspected of having been Aspie’s. As for me, I have a tested IQ of 134. And I’m an Aspie. Deal with it.”
    OK, how many lives have you saved, how many inventions to make life easier?

    The trick is “suspected.” Now little wacko, feel good about yourself because Al Einstein and Tom Jefferson were like you, only YOU are so much better and so much more important, so FEEL SO GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF!

    I don’t believe in building egos with nothing. Fact remains there is a 75% failure / dropout / death rate in our major cities, and thirty plus years of Fed Gov “help” has only made things much, much worse. “Mainstreaming” is just a symptom.

    Who put his ass on line for this country and it looks like it’s being destroyed by it’s own teachers.

  41. That’s good lady, put words in my mouth and then condemn me for it. Well, I guess that proves you are a modern teacher.

    “They are not equipped to cope with the enviroment, primarily social, and the fact that they do bespeaks an awesome intelligence.
    No doubt Geoff is one of those who thinks everyone with any type of defect ought to be euthanized.
    Wait until someone finds a defect in him. Like maybe he has freckles? That’s a defect in the production of melanin. Or moles? That’s a defect in the body’s ability to throw off a type of virus. Or he has hammer toes, allergies, blue eyes—those are all ‘defects.’
    Oh, wait. I know. Since people of genius, aren’t ‘normal’ we should destroy them. “

    People who are disruptive should be in special education, if we bother to educate them at all. I am not convinced the expenditure of funds is worth the result. Got an ROI on your work?

    Who doesn’t believe modern public education is cost effective, with a 75% failure rate.

  42. “OK, how many lives have you saved, how many inventions to make life easier?”

    In reverse order (you can handle that, can’t you?):

    Three (3) current and two (2) soon to be filed patent applications in the field of Life Sciences.

    I have used more fire extinguishers (on other people’s fires) than I can remember – in one instance going INTO a burning building in an effort to contain the fire to the kitchen while awaiting the arrival of the local Fire Department. [I do NOT recommend following my lead in this!]

    I am certified in basic first aid, CPR and the use of an AED. Fortunately I have not needed to put that training to use. I hope I never do. I almost never talk about this kind of thing because I’m just doing what needs to be done at the time and getting the training to be able to do more if needed.

    And you?

    “I don’t believe in building egos with nothing.”

    But you do seem to enjoy tearing them down…

    “… Who put his ass on line for this country and it looks like it’s being destroyed by it’s own teachers.”

    If by that you mean that you have served in Our Nations military, let me be the first to say Thank You.

    And I’ll heartily agree with you about the destruction from within being caused in part by our educational system, among other things too numerous to list. I will point out, however, that mainstreaming is not the cause nor is it a symptom. Even if it is sometimes portrayed as such in the MSM.

    Side point: “it’s” is a contraction of ‘it is.’ Based on context I think you mean “its” as in singular possessive.

    “People who are disruptive should be in special education, if we bother to educate them at all. I am not convinced the expenditure of funds is worth the result. Got an ROI on your work?”

    You want an ROI? I have had a very nice career for the past two and a half decades plus, thank you very much. Among other things, including the patent applications mentioned above, I have even had the privilege of creating all of the drawings for not one, not two, but four (4) standards published by ANSI and in use today. That’s the American National Standards Institute incase you were wondering.

    You want us to go sit in the corner awhile you show us how it’s done?

    OK, you’re on. We’re all waiting…

    Oh, while you’re busy impressing us with your averageness, you will please refrain from referring to people as “it.” Thank you.

  43. Hey, Slick, I wouldn’t get close enough to your mouth with a Cloroxed pitchfork to put words in it.

  44. So, all of you somehow think that Liberal Americans are not baffled and insulted by this teacher’s behavior?

    Also, equating the poor leadership of teacher over her five year old wards in encouraging them to publicly strip another student’s right to participate in class to the failings of democracy as a system of government is a travesty. It is using an isolated case of retardation in an entirely unrelated environment for one’s own political stumping.

    I’m not going to touch the issue of the boy’s disability. Suffice it to say that school is for learning and as long as the disability could be ignored without detriment then it should have been. If it can not be, then she should have spoken to the parents about her observations, then passed on her recomendation than the child be place in special classes.

    I would go so far as to call her handling of the situation “cruel and unusual”. She should and shall be punished for it if my understanding of the situation is correct.

    Outrage against blatent idiocy is not a uniquely conservative trait.

    -Benny of Lubbock

  45. Anonymous HerrBGone said…

    “OK, how many lives have you saved, how many inventions to make life easier?”

    In reverse order (you can handle that, can’t you?):

    Three (3) current and two (2) soon to be filed patent applications in the field of Life Sciences. “

    Wonderful. BUT did you disrupt your classes to the point where most of the class thought you would be better gone?

    Did you cause the majority of the students to be so bored that many turn to drugs? Check out the pot smoking areas around your local high school before school starts. It disgusts me.

    I don’t give a damn about one whack job, I care about the other 24 students who don’t get educated. Teachers should not have to deal with these problems.

    Who is sick of the excuses.

  46. I think with the exception of a few trolls who don’t get that you don’t humiliate 5 year olds in this way whether you are their teacher, mother, father, preacher, etc., most of us understand how badly Wendy Portillo needs to be unemployed. Godspeed to Melissa Barton in her quest for justice for Alex.

  47. Thanks Lawmom..done.

    And having several children that have learning disabilities and other…differences. And, having volunteered in that arena for a period of time, I feel well qualified to say that these children are not only not brain dead but some of the smartest, most creative, loving children you would ever meet.

    I love spec. ed kids. To me, the very best part of them is their differences..when they try to bring you into their’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have learned beyond words from the special kids I’ve worked with…older and younger…

    Anybody that thinks they are braindead…well, is obviously blind, and someone I wouldn’t allow within 100 feet of my children. Not worthy to breathe the same air, imho.

  48. What. The. Bloody. Hell.

    Speaking as a 20 year old woman with Asperger’s who still clearly remembers the hell that was grades 3 through 7, I say that this…thing (I don’t even want to acknowledge her as being the same species, never mind the same gender) should not only be charged with emotional abuse, but should have her teaching certificate revoked and the board should blackball her as being “unable to deal with small children in an appropriate manner.”

    How, in the Goddess’s name, did she ever think that this was an okay thing to do to any child? Never mind one who may have Asperger’s Syndrome.

    As I said, I remember grade school. And I remember being very clearly aware of the fact that there were very few people in my class who genuinely liked me. And I remember being horribly depressed by it – and wishing I could be anywhere but in that school.
    I can’t blame Alex for screaming every time he thinks his mother’s going to take him back there. Had one of my teachers been stupid enough to pull this (none of them were, though many of them were…”interesting”), I would’ve screamed every time I thought someone was trying to take me back there, too.

  49. Squeaky Wheel: Asperger’s kids learn hands-on, and his hands-on experience tells him that his peers will only ridicule him, and that his teachers are not to be trusted. He will keep that opinion likely for the rest of his life, even if he is taught to act differently.

    This is exactly why I have difficulty trusting any kind of authority, now. The school administration was Authority, and so were my parents; the school had the power to do something to stop the bullying that, to this day, I am absolutely certain they knew was happening. They did not. My parents, to my mind, should have been able to make the school do something; they could not.

    What I learned was that those in power would not help me, and those who wanted to help me would never be able to.

    With that kind of experience, it’s hard to remember why I’m supposed to trust those in power.

    Hopefully, Alex will be able to learn that this amoeba passing itself as a female human teacher is the exception, rather than the rule. Or at least, that she should be.

  50. Geoff,

    It’s not that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are some kind of super-human (your return allegation).

    The simple fact is that Asperger simply DOESN’T GENERALLY MANIFEST in anyone who is less than average intelliugence, and generally HIGHER than average intelligence. This is a differenciation between Aspergers Syndrome and some other autistic spectrum situations.

    Quite simply, the archetype of the stereotypical socially awkward unber-geek scientist is pretty much an Asperger’s history. Additionally, it (and other autistic maninifestations) can be found in concentrated groupings much higher than the general population anywhere you have a multigenerational collection of “hard science eggheads” — with the children of people with a limited predisposition to these conditions interbreeding, it reinforces the traits, like any stock breeding consultant would tell you. Los Alamos is one prominent example. . .

    To reiterate, Aspergers is a syndrome found in SMART PEOPLE, by and large. It is NOT a “disability” to be “cured”, but a difference. Nor is it any more disruptive to a class than a kid who is highly energetic. Some of the smartest, most productive thinkers I have met exhibited most or all of the symptomology of Aspergers Syndrome — including at least 1/4 of the “gifted” kids I attended school with and well over half of the physicists, mathemeticians, and (literally) rocket scientists I have worked with. (Aspies tend to do much better in math and physical sciences than they do in fuzzier subjects, so are overrepresented in such — because mathematical answers don’t require social interpretation to be correct. Irrational numbers don’t care if you intrude on their “personal space”, busness majors DO.)

    They do NOT normally belong in “Special education” programs, as what they DO need in terms of “treatment” is an emphasis on social interaction with people with more standard cognitive methods. Isolating them is, in effect, writing them off as useless. (I do NOT approve of the overemphasis on mainstreaming SE students the way some school systems do, but AS is a specific case where mainstreaming — if you consider AS to be a “disability” — is the ONLY proper course. They simply won’t learn to deal with society in an environment where they are isolated from their “normal” peers.)

    Now, as to being disruptive to the class, there ARE ways to handle that — including THE TEACHER choosing to time the kid out for brief periods as part of his repetitive training. The teachers I had growing up (about half of them Dominican nuns) had no problems figuring this stuff out, even before the widespread knowledge of the various clinical conditions they slap on kids these days. When I (as an ADD kid, far beyond “normal male child activity”) became disruptive, I was more often than not told to stand with my nose in a circle on teh chalkboard, or forced to stand outside, for a limited period. To a hyper little freak like myself, the mind gnawing boredom of standing there like that for 5-10 minutes was FAR more effective than beating was (at least beatings are stimuli.)

    However, having a bunch of 5 year olds be told by their adult teacher that they need to vote on whether or not to keep the kid in class, and even having them vote overwhelmingly to toss him out, is NOT an indication of how disruptive the child is — it’s an indication of how easily kids can be influenced by an adult. 5 year old children, led by a “trusted adult” are far more suceptible to “mobthink” than “individuality” — it’s a survival trait in the very young to follow the tribal leader.

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