Historically speaking, it was common practice to keep children with disabilities like autism out of schools. We now know that is a form of discrimination, and there are civil rights laws that give students with autism the right to attend school. Sadly, just because we have those laws, does not mean people follow them. Often children with autism face discrimination in school.
If you have a child with autism, you want them to get the best education possible, and that can be challenging enough without dealing with prejudiced school districts and staff.
If you believe your child is being discriminated against in school, that is a serious problem.
Download our free checklist to see what signs of discrimination are happening at your school.
How Do I Know if My Child is Being Discriminated Against?
Discrimination is not always obvious, especially these days. However, there are things to look out for.
- Are school staff refusing to make a 504 plan or IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) for your child?
- If your child has a 504 or IEP, is it being implemented or ignored?
- Is staff not doing anything to prevent bullying for your child?
- Are they refusing to make simple accommodations?
- Do they hold only your child to unreasonably high behavioral standards?
- Do your child’s grades not reflect their performance?
- Does staff continually suggest your child should switch schools?
- Are they singling your child out?
- Is your child being excluded or singled out from the rest of the class?
- How do administrators respond to your concerns? With compassion or indifference?
- What kind of environment is the school creating for your child to learn in? Is it hostile?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your school might be discriminating against your child with autism.
What does the law say?
There is no federal law that dictates what a school has to do if someone is being bullied.
However, schools receive government funding. Any organization that is funded by the government must comply with federal civil rights laws.
If the bullying is based on your child’s autism, and the school does nothing, this is considered a discriminatory practice.
For more information please click here.
What should I do?
If you think your child with autism is facing discrimination in school, download our free checklist and begin documenting any incidents of discrimination.
Keep a log of all times your student was bullied and what the school staff did in response. Also, keep track of any concerning incidents your child talks about at school. Save all communication with the school, including notes home, emails, and graded assignments if applicable.
Your lawyer will want this information to determine what legal options you have. You can also call Cueto Law at 618-277-1554 to discuss the specifics of your case, for free!