Friday, March 9, 2018

Welcome to "quality" special education in Jerusalem

I gave a "tremp" yesterday to a woman I recognized from my daughter Chaya's "alma mater".

Of course, I grabbed the opportunity to inquire about the state of the school since C.'s graduation. It had switched, at that time, from the province of an amuta to that of the Ministry of Education. I was curious about the impact that transfer had had. 

The woman couldn't stop gushing about the change. When I asked for details, she noted "various benefits and gifts to the staff" including a reduction in work days from six to 5 per week for teacher's aides, which she is. 

All in all, she concluded, "things are great". 

Then I asked her what the administrative switch had done for the children. Were they receiving more therapies, for instance? (While Chaya attended, the number of therapies per week was piddling. At best, one half hour session per week of physio, occupational, speech therapy and hydrotherapy.)

But rarely if ever did all those eventuate. Therapists would be out for myriad reasons and staff meetings were always held during therapy hours. 

"No", she replied, unhesitatingly. "They receive fewer therapies. 

"But everybody seems pleased," she added. "I haven't heard any parents complaining". 

I choked... This woman was praising the new administration despite its harm to the children. And those children are entrusted to her care. 

Not very reassuring, to put it mildly.

PS We didn't manage to get to the neurologist this week as we had intended. But for now we aren't feeling the urgency.  Chaya has grown weary of that mysterious vomiting and has even cut back on her central fevers. My husband plans to meet the neurologist next week to discuss strategies for reducing seizures, He'll go without Chaya since she's been thoroughly examined by the pediatrician just last week. Yeah, I know, we never seem to give up the fight.

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