Autism

What would you do?

What would you do with the boy who seems ‘normal?’

At 3 and a half I have to decide where I think he should be educated in a year’s time. 

For his sister it was simple, mainstream was never an option. 

For the boy whom more than a couple of professionals have called ‘a mystery’ it’s a lot harder!

Pretty much everyone who knows him will see the sometimes serious, often goofy little boy who loves dinosaurs, trains and superheroes. For the majority of the time this is what I see also.   

  
However I cannot ignore the finer details. He’s been going to nursery for 18 months and adores his time there. We chat all the way there and every morning he excitedly runs and hides from the teacher as I ring the doorbell. As soon as the door opens and we step inside he goes mute. He clings to my leg and I have to wrestle his jacket off him. He always goes in easily and by routine he will look back at me. In the 18 months he’s been going he’s managed to say bye to me twice and only with massive teacher prompting. It was so painful for him that I don’t bother trying anymore. On leaving he has similar although lessened difficulty saying goodbye to the teachers.

In nursery he’s happy and socialises well although he likes to stick to communicating in roars and ‘I’m batman’ script (like most boys.) He also spends a lot of time with a little girl who speaks very little, I think this is Logan’s preference. He struggles with transition in nursery and often needs prompting and reassurance. His reactions aren’t dramatic, he doesn’t scream or throw his arms in the air. He tends to go mute. For Logan this is normal in any new, unfamiliar situation…but nursery is definitely familiar by now.   
In a mainstream school how can I guarantee he’ll get the support he needs. In a class of 30 how will the teacher be able to notice the mute child? Tantrums are noticeable, mute is sure to be overlooked. 
On the other hand does he need a specialist setting? Will he stand out? Be held back? 

I wish there was a measure for anxiety, something tangible that I could give to prospective schools. As it stands, like autism I have to trust professionals to spot it and react accordingly.
Am I possibly pushing my anxiety about school ahead of his? I hear so often about high functioning autistic children being failed by mainstream settings and it’s terrifying that a) I could make the wrong choice and b) I would have to trust an instinct as currently feelings are confusing for him and he has shocking memory recall.
I know my decision isn’t set in stone but who wants to plan for best, prepare for the worst in regards to their child’s education?
Replies and share appreciated x

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10 thoughts on “What would you do?

  1. This is like my boy! He appears so normal but you get complacent & boy does he let you know about it. I agonised over the decision this time exactly a year ago. We made the decision for mainstream as he loves to follow other children is extremely bright & loved his mainstream preschool. I’m so pleased to say, he is thriving in his environment. He absolutely loves school & has progressed at a rate we never believed possible. The school work with us continuously & we are lucky to have a strong partnership with them. Being at mainstream for our boy has been absolutely the right choice. I volunteer in school & help a lot, it all really helps. Good luck with your choice x

  2. My boy didn’t talk until he was 3 & then never stopped. I never believed mainstream would even be an option until then. It all changed when he found his voice & he could tell me. He is motivated by other children & gains so much from his environment. It’s hard I know, if only we could see ahead! Go with your instinct x

  3. You will know whether mainstream is the right setting for your son. If you fight for a statement based on social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, he will have the support of a classroom assistant to help him cope with mainstream.

  4. There are developmental test we use to see what level the child is at. It is difficult to look and make a judgement call like that. The parents would be the best at understanding as to what degree the boy is at.

  5. Having a statement will give you a broader understanding of his individual needs. As a teacher myself, a statement doesn’t always guarantee 1:1 support but it’s a step towards ensuring the prospective school can implement the best support for him.

    1. Thanks for the reply! We’re prepping the EHC over the summer to submit in September. I’m really nervous it’ll get refused and then be in an even trickier situation. I basically don’t want to be ‘that mum’ banging on about her child’s needs lol, I want it in writing 😉

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