All across the United States, public schools are trying to figure out what the best ways are to include students who have special needs into mainstream classrooms. A mother in Canada says her child’s school pressured her to double his dosage of Ritalin in order to remain enrolled in school. Would you increase your child’s medication if his school demanded it?
Amanda Edgett is a mother who lives in Canada. The rules and laws regarding special education in Canada might, or might not, match the ones in the United States. I’m not sure that a public school in America would get away with what a public school in Canada demanded.
Amanda has a ten year old son who is attending Princess Elizabeth School. He has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and attention deficit disorder. The school allowed him to be included into a mainstream classroom, but, only with a few stipulations.
Amanda Edgett says that the school pressured her to double her son’s dosage of Ritalin in order for him to remain in a mainstream classroom. The school also started requiring her son to walk home for lunch every day, and to walk back to school after lunch every day. It takes forty minutes, round trip.
According to the mother, the school wants her son to be drugged and worn out from exercise so that he will be too tired to disturb the other students. She also felt that if she did not comply with the school’s requests that her son would be kicked out of school.
The superintendent of the school district where Amanda’s son attends school is named Michael Butler. He said that schools do not make decisions about increasing or changing medication. It has also been noted that the schools use various strategies in order to achieve inclusion of special needs students into mainstream classrooms.
The school had a meeting with Amanda Edgett. The meeting included a pediatrician. The pediatrician was the one who discussed doubling her son’s medication as an option. It seems that the idea of having her son walk home for lunch every day, and then walk back to school after lunch, might also have been raised as an option. It could be that it was considered beneficial for her son to have a break from school.
The situation raises some interesting questions. Would a school in the United States be able to make a parent feel pressured to double their child’s medication dosage, in order for the child to remain in a mainstream classroom? Would you comply with this request if involved your child?
Image by William Ross on Flickr