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Need Input ... Especially from Moms Involved in Public School System ... Field Trip

My son is a special needs child... he has high functioning Aspergers, Tourette's Syndrome, and an enlarged Aortic Root. For the most part he can participate in physical things like gym, just no pull ups, rope climbs, heavy lifting, footbal, lacrosse, wrestling. Ok...there's the background.
I got the flyer home on their field trip this year and it's a ropes course that states it is physically, emotionally and mentally straining and you have to sign off on it. Well...I can't...he can't participate and it's going to crush him.

My question is... Do you think it is wrong that the school/PTA chose a field trip that excludes children based on their abilities or lack there of?

Every other field trip has been to places like the museum, the Science Center, Our sports stadiums...I just feel hurt knowing that many children will be excluded.


Asked by KaylasMiracle at 8:58 AM on Sep. 15, 2009 in

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Answers (12)
  • I have been to several rope courses. The main idea for these courses is to build teamwork. One year, we had a boy go who was in a wheelchair, every obstacle we faced we had to come together and think of how we were going to get him from point a to point b and then get the rest of the class there as well. The boy in the wheelchair participated by sharing his ideas and trying to help as best as possible to complete the obstacle. Talk with his teachers and let them know your concerns. See if it is possible for him to go and participate in the things that he CAN do.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 2:05 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • I would definitely go talk to your son's teacher. It doesn't sound as if she took all of the children into account when planning this trip. If they can't find a way to change their destination, maybe they would allow you to take him on a trip to the museum, zoo, or somewhere you feel he would enjoy and learn, maybe have him write a report on his field trip. Discuss it with the teacher and the principal. Good Luck and God Bless!

    Answer by kustomkrochet at 9:04 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • I understand where you're coming from but I think one field trip isn't the end of the world either. My son has severe allergies and there are certain things he can't participate in because of the health risk. It does bother me as a mom but if 9 times out of 10 it's all inclusive then I wouldn't begrudge them one field trip that everyone else would really enjoy. I'd suggest just keeping him home that day and doing something special together that he'd enjoy as your own field trip.


    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:07 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • They have different field trips each year. Next one will be better. I would not make a big deal out of this because it's not.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:42 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • Keep him home and do something special with him that day. There will surely be other field trips that your son will not be able to participate in, and just help learn how to process that and deal with it.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 10:37 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • "maybe have him write a report on his field trip"

    so he not only doesn't get to go on the field trip with the other kids, but now he has to have extra work. Sounds real fun.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:08 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • ^^ I think she meant that more so he had something to take to school to show the teacher that he went on a field trip too.

    Really it is just one field trip out of many. There are some bad filed trips and some really good ones. This is a bad one. I remember when I was in elementary school, you knew in 2nd grade you were going to city hall, in 3rd to Trout Hall the oldest building in Allentown, 4th grade the police academy, and 5th grade Harrisburg.

    Answer by OneToughMami at 12:26 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • Expecting the entire class to be limited in their activities to suit your son really isn't fair.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:06 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • Because of HIPPA and FERPA, nobody who doesn't absolutely need to know can be told about your child's disabilities, therefor it is likely that the members of the PTA and/or school administration in charge of field trips weren't even aware that there was a child that wouldn't be able to fully participate in the chosen activity. Since they couldn't know, they were not being purposefully hurtful or exclusive by choosing an activity your child could not fully participate in.

    If your child has an IEP or an Act 504 Agreement, then it is the job of the team to figure out how to make the field trip accessible for your son. I would approach the teacher and ask her what accomodations are being developed for this activity to meet your son's needs so that he can participate and then, if she gives you a blank look, remind her of the law.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 11:07 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • i would discuss this problem openly with the teacher and maybe the admin stafff, see if your child can attend the field trip and only do what he is able to do. the bus ride and lunch should still be fun! maybe you can go to? it's hard to have a child excluded from certain things, most of the time when things like this are scheduled special circumstances are forgotten or not even realized, so get it out in the open and see what you guys can do to still be a part of the trip. my daughter has two children in her class in wheelchairs, and those kids all take turns helping those two students out with mobility and lunchtime, they enjoy it and it is a great learning experience for everyone, even the kids that don't get to do the same things.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:24 AM on Sep. 16, 2009