Saturday, April 9, 2011

CLSP Instructor Parody

Many people who know me also know that I attended the Cuyahoga East Vocational Educational Consortium (CEVEC). After doing a social graduation from Charles F. Brush High School in 2007, I participated in CEVEC's Community Living Skills Program (CLSP). The CLSP is a semester program, and I was enrolled for two semesters (a "school year"). The program is designed to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities skills ranging from basic self-care to independent daily living. Of course, being able to live independently (with supports, a roommate, etc.) is a great goal for everyone - disability or not. 

When I participated in the CLSP program, I learned a lot of independent living skills. In addition, most of the young adult students that attended the CLSP are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The instructors were NOT properly educated on how to teach and train people with ASD's. One of the instructors, Mrs. Gail Henschel, had little knowledge about the "scatter skills" that people with autism exhibit. She assumed an IQ score was a good indicator of an autistic person's intelligence, "functioning level," and abilities. She assumed that lack of functional and contextual language indicated "low-functioning autism." Mrs. Henschel engaged in "behaviorist" tactics to stifle the comforting (self-soothing), stress relieving, and emotional responses ("stimming" and fidgeting) of people with autism. In reality, we know that most persons with ASD are high-functioning intellectually, but have serious medical (bio-medical) diseases, and communication, sensory, and social challenges.

Disclaimer: While this is genuine information, please note that this written with sarcasm and humor.

Dear Mrs. Gail Henschel,
Thank you for teaching me skills (even the unnecessary ones). You forgot to teach me how to clean a bathtub, though. (Luckily, I'm intelligent and can learn that by myself.) You didn't forget to teach me how to sit still (not a skill I needed or  desired to learn, though as a behaviorist, your job was to demand NOT teach).

You constantly talked about "low-functioning" autism and how much better off I am. Well, I agree that I don't have as many challenges. I'm can talk pretty well (sometimes even too much), read, write, and use public transportation independently among other things. Please educate yourself about the REALITY of challenges, impairments, and deficits that persons with high-functioning autism (HFA) experience.

MOUTH QUIET and LISTEN! You've NEVER been in MY body. I wish for ONE DAY that you could be in my body.

1 comment:

  1. "As a behaviourist, your job was to demand".

    I didn't know that spectrumites were in the majority in that programme.

    Not in much of a laughing mood, Katie.

    Also don't know that I'd be willing to lend my body.