Letter to the Editor:
I read your article, “Bret Harte Celebrates Autism Acceptance Month” by Ashley Erickson on April 6, 2022. Though the Bret Harte Autism Acceptance Month recognition events have made headlines, I want to provide you with the backstory on what it took to make it happen and what went on behind the scenes.
My son is in the Language Enriched Autism Program (LEAP) at Bret Harte. In late March, I was disappointed and upset when I heard the school was not going to recognize Autism Acceptance Month.
How could a school with a special program for Autism not recognize Autism Acceptance Month?
When discussions with the Principal went nowhere, I turned to the District for help. Fortunately, they came to our rescue, and the decision was made to have a full slate of events for Autism Acceptance Month after all.
My disappointment returned, however, when the events were planned out without my or any other LEAP parents’ involvement. Still wanting to participate, I turned to the school’s PTA Facebook Page and posted a book list about Autism for school-age children. My post was blocked by the PTA’s Facebook Administrators and a few days later, reposted by someone else within the PTA. That same booklist also showed up at the end of the article published in MyBurbank.com.
The slights continued, and I never received an adequate explanation of why my post was blocked or why it was re-posted by someone else. Why parents of Autsitc students were alienated and excluded from an event meant to celebrate their children is something I’ll never understand and will never be justified.