Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Autistic student runs away from school before being found; his mother sounds the alarm

Open in full screen mode

Zak Rasheid's mother says she lost confidence in ability from the school to protect his son.

  • Myriam Eddahia (View profile)Myriam Eddahia

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Neelam Rasheid's son Zak is only 7 years old and has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She claims he was found alone outside his Durham school board school grounds on January 9, in the middle of a winter storm.

The non-verbal student would have wandered for a period of at least 35 minutes before being found by Ajax residents, according to the mother, visibly shaken by the events .

I have lost all confidence in their ability to keep my son safe.< /p>A quote from Neelam Rasheid, mother of Zak

The young boy was then at the intersection of a busy road.

The school was not transparent with us regarding the details of his running away. [The principal] was not honest when he said he was missing for two to three minutes, Rasheid said.

LoadingGrammy Awards: Montrealers Allison Russell and Yannick Nézet-Séguin rewarded

ELSELSE ON INFO: Grammy Prize: Montrealers Allison Russell and Yannick Nézet-Séguin rewarded

This event prompts the Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC) to sound the alarm. This denounces the lack of sufficient funding in schools to ensure adequate support in class.

Two women allegedly came to the aid of the young student, who wandered in a wooded area, according to Ms. Rasheid.

However, she believed that her son had a teaching assistant assigned to him.

I'm still in shock today. I can't even imagine the discomfort and fear he felt that day.

A quote from Neelam Rasheid, Zak's mother

The police should have been called, and we should have received a call, not an email. The school did not know where he was and did not follow the safety protocol for my son, she continues, disturbed by the events.

Tony Stravato, vice-president of the OAC, said he has long known that individual educational assistants within the Durham District School Board are not available.

Will a child have to die before we take the situation seriously?

A quote from Tony Stravato, Vice-President of the Ontario Autism Coalition

The labor shortage and the Chronic underfunding of support in schools are to blame, he says. He believes the ratio of staff to student per class is so problematic that children are in danger.

The Durham District School Board confirms, via email, that the student left his class during an event without a staff member noticing.

Student has direct support staff, but has temporarily distanced himself from their support, writes board communications director Cory Wilkins .

By email, the spokesperson clarifies that support is linked to the class rather than the individual student.

In his statement sent to Radio-Canada, the school board thanks the community for helping to find the student.

We are grateful that he is safe. We regret the situation and are committed to reviewing and strengthening our safety protocol to prevent such situations, says the Durham District School Board.

The problem is particularly serious in special education classes because there are not enough staff for the number of students in each class, according to Mr. Stravato.

Often, schools cannot guarantee the resources to offer the necessary support to these children, adds the one who himself has children with ASD.

We are in a situation where government cuts are not only jeopardizing the learning of children with special needs, but also their safety, believes the NDP MP and opposition critic on the matter. of Education, Chandra Pasma.

Parents send their children to school with the hope that their children will be safe all day.

A quote from Chandra Pasma, Ontario NDP

She says the Durham District School Board is already providing $3 million more than the province provides for special education.

It's really shocking to know that in Ontario, a child with special needs was found in the middle of a four-lane street, says the MP.

This event should not happen again, according to her. If it happens again, it could end in tragedy, she said.

Open in full screen mode

The mother of the 7-year-old boy was accompanied by the Ontario Autism Coalition and the Canadian Union of public service representing teaching assistants during a press briefing.

In a written statement, the education minister says he has asked the board to provide a full accounting of the incident and develop a plan to ensure this never happens again for any student .

What happened to Zak Rasheid is unacceptable and should never happen, says Minister Stephen Lecce.

Funding for the Special Education Grant is expected to increase to $3.4 billion for the 2023-24 school year, the Ford government says.

This represents an increase of approximately $124.5 million, depending on the province.

Progressive Conservatives at Queen's Park say they have hired 3,500 teaching assistants since 2017-2018.

  • Myriam Eddahia (View profile)Myriam EddahiaFollow

By admin

Related Post