I am very frustrated and doubt that I am the only one. I have a daughter who is deaf. My wife went to discuss the possibility of enrolling her and her 4 siblings in our parish school. We were basically told that the school does not have the resources to facilitate our daughter. There were no questions about what her specific needs or how they might be met. We were simply told, “we’re sorry, but we cannot teach her.”
The fact of the matter is that the only accomodation she currently has in her public school is a pull out for some assistance with ther reading comprehension skills a few hours a week. That really is not the issue though. The issue is that we as Catholics are told that we have an obligation provide our children with a Catholic education, and yet the Church, or at least the schools do not see fit to make Catholic schools accessible to children with special needs.
I recognize that educating a special needs child requires more time, personel, and money, but then again, so does raising one. The Church should be inclusive of people with special needs. If that means that the school needs to charge a little more in tuition, or the parish has to support the school more from Sunday collections, or even if the Diocese needs to support the schools from the Diocesan Service Fund, or perhaps a combination of the three.
It is not very Christ like for a Catholic school to say, “You have special needs. We can’t help you.”
If anyone has had a better experience than mine, or has suggestions on how to approach the schools, parishes, or diocese, please let me know.