Danielle Goodwyn, a mom of a 11-year-old boy on the autism spectrum who attends Whatcom Middle School in Bellingham, Washington told a Q13 reporter that “The teacher informed us that he (my son) would be studying in the bathroom.”

My heart breaks for this family. As someone who has autism I could only imagine the horror I would have felt if this would have happened to me. An interesting point, which I hope we can encourage more in our schools is opening communication between parents and teachers. Danielle mentioned that if she hadn’t gone into her son’s school that day she wouldn’t have known this would be her son’s new learning space.

When I give talks in the school systems as a professional speaker and autism self-advocate I remind educators that there are some schools out there who are truly embracing inclusion and others who are falling behind.

This is a clear example of a school who is falling behind.

While the district is still investigating, and the desk is now out of the bathroom, my immediate thought when I saw that photo was the school needs to be reprimanded for this desk even being put in the bathroom to begin with. Learning spaces should encourage a positive learning environment for all students. At our Facebook Page A Special Community we continue to promote inclusion & acceptance for all with our video series and our advocacy and I hope we can have that same message in our communities…especially in our schools.

You can learn more about this story and the response from the school district here.

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