Parents struggling with school district over son's education - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Parents struggling with school district over son's education


It's safe to say that every parent wants to see their child succeed.

For some, that means taking some pretty extraordinary measures.

A Michiana family says a traditional classroom just isn't a good fit for their son who has autism a in fact they say could lead to a dangerous situation.

Recent reports suggest that the suspected shooter in Newtown Connecticut, Adam Lanza, had Asperger's, a form of autism.

While there's no evidence that there's a link between autism and violence the family we talked to says their autistic son has had some outbursts in the past and they wanted to share their story.

Rick and Adel say they're struggling.

They say they started noticing signs when their son was six, he was later diagnosed with a mood disorder with bipolar tendencies, which fits under the autism spectrum.

He sees a psychiatrist and is on medication to help with his mood, but Rick and Adel say his school setting needed to change.

"I want him to graduate and get an education, be able to succeed in life, and we gave Elkhart Community Schools eight years and it's just not working, it's getting progressively worse the higher grade he gets," says Adel.

So Rick and Adel placed their son in The Crossing, an alternative school in Elkhart.

They say they have to pay for his tuition and that his home school won't release funding for him, unless gets arrested, something Rick and Adel just can't comprehend.

"My son is in no way capable of what happened in Connecticut, but how many kids out there are suffering from Aspergers or other conditions that are told, 'Well, if you snap at school, then we'll pay attention to you.'?" asks Rick.

Adel adds, "I don't want it to get to that point. I'm trying to prevent things from getting to that point."

Rick and Adel say they would stop at nothing to help their son.

They'll continue to pay the $500 a month for their son's education if they have to, but they're worried others can't do the same.

"How many kids are there out in our community who are worse off than our child or who have parents who don't pay enough attention or who have guns in their house? That's what I'm most concerned about," says Rick.

FOX 28 put in a call to Elkhart Community Schools to get more information about the policy.

We'll update you just as soon as we hear back.

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