Autism

Which School?! Sending Him Into A Lion’s Den!

It’s 5am and I’m awake and this time it isn’t Ethan that has caused it. Well I suppose technically he has as I’m up because of thoughts are him are racing through my mind, but I haven’t been woken up by his cries, not yet anyway!

This time next year Ethan would have started school. Over the next few months we are supposed to make our school choices and send them off keeping everything crossed that we get our first choice. 

Before we moved this felt like a no brainier. We lived right next to a primary school and Ethan already had his name on the waiting list. This was where he was going to go, no questions asked. 

Then we moved and autism reared it’s head, and now I can’t shake this terrible feeling that I’m preparing my little boy to send him into a lions den.  

The word statement gets used a lot, and every piece of information you see on the internet tells you how important early intervention is.  

From what I can make out, if we lived in America, Ethan would now be enrolled in an early intervention programme. He could be packed off for hours at a time for lessons, speech therapy etc. I asked a paediatrician about it when we first started our diagnosis process and they said it’s not how we do it over here, we believe that kids should be kids. 

Fine I thought, and in a way I agree, but does that not mean that we are missing this very important early intervention window that everyone keeps talking about?!  

You have to ask yourself, is it more about a funding issue than wanting children to have a childhood?

Now if money wasn’t an option I know there are programmes here that I could send Ethan to. If I wanted to I could take Ethan to America and we could enrol in an intensive course. Unfortunately money is an option, and like many parents I know, we will have to fight for everything. 

It’s ironic that the advise other parents give you after a diagnosis is always ‘prepare to fight‘. Isn’t that sad?!

We have started to look at schools, both mainstream and special, and I know in my heart where I want Ethan to go. I also know that I really have no control over this, the person making the decision is someone I doubt we will ever meet, but they will have read all of our reports and know everything they think they need to know about us.  

I want Ethan to go to a place where he will thrive, where people know what they are doing and he will seamlessly fit in, where his lack of speech isn’t a problem and people already know how to communicate with him. 

Over the past few months Ethan has proved that he is a very bright boy, we just need to work out how to unlock all of the information in his head, he needs a school that will help not hinder this.

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18 Comments

  • Orli D

    I think, when choosing a school it’s all about where you feel comfortable leaving your child. It’s all about the heart, not the head. When we moved here we checked about 4 or 5 schools before we decided on this one. We met with the head teacher, walked around, and checked how Ron & Yon were feeling there. I think, if your mind will be more at ease in a special school you should go for it. Try in whatever way you can to get in. Yes there is a system, but usually where there is one there are also ways to go round it.
    As for the early intervention, I think it probably is a matter of funding, but kids should be let to be kids in some regard, without hours on hours of study and work,,, And from I see, you do so much with Ethan and help him so much to grow and better utilize his potential, that I am sure he will achieve anything 🙂 More than anything it takes time and worry I guess… x

    • Jane - Our Little Escapades

      Thank you for your lovely comment. It is trying to find somewhere we are both happy. The next few months are going to be hard trying to work out what the best thing is but we will get through them x

  • Steph Curtis

    You’re right – most of our children need an individual approach and having people that understand really is key. Hope you do find the place that is right for him, and if you have to fight for it you will somehow find that strength too. But no point worrying in advance (ha! easy to say, I know), just stay positive xx

  • thesoupdragon44

    Good luck as I think this is one of the toughest choices. I also have found at my cost that the school may be fantastic but if you get a teacher that doesn’t connect with your child, then forget hope for that year! I spend the first 6 weeks of each year sitting on hot coals waiting to see what happens. All I have been told is what will be will be and your child will be ok at the other end. Keep fighting and good luck.

    • Jane - Our Little Escapades

      My nan used to always say what will be, will be, perhaps I should remember that more. You’re right the teacher is a very important part. We have to put our trust in so many people x

  • The Mad House of Cats and Babies

    It’s so hard, isn’t it? It’s a difficult decision to make, where to send your child to school, as it is, and hope you get the place you want and that will be best for them, and then add the needs of your child into the mix, which have to be assessed by a total stranger, who pushes paper and juggles so many applications and you have even more complications. I wish the system was easier, and did cater to individual children, not just lump them all into one pot and hope for the best. Hugs! Popped over from PoCoLo

  • mother.wife.me

    I really feel for you and the process you are going through, it’s tough enough making these decisions when your child doesn’t have any challenges. I hope that things come good for you and Ethan and that you all get the support and help you need to help him succeed. #PoCoLo

  • Suzanne Whitton

    It’s such a big decision isn’t it? Trust me, children grow up and mature so much over 12 months, I am sure he will be just fine 🙂 As Orli says, go and visit them all and trust your instincts every time. Good luck x

  • PinkOddy

    It is hard, I remember all too well. But hopefully things will just work out right. I made sure my son had a preschool statement – started it myself. I saw how hard things were letting him be a kid with my oldest, and it didn’t work. I didn’t get the right statement and my son isnt at the school I wanted – but actually I think it is the right school. And things are not as scary as I thought. DM me if you ever want a chat as I’ve only just gone through all this xx

  • Sarah

    It is such a tough decision. Our little one starts preschool next September and that is causing me headaches at the moment! I would say though go with your heart you’re his mum and you know where Ethan would be most comfortable and happy. Xxx

  • Sarah Ebner

    I really hope you find the right place and that you make it really clear on the application form why this is the one that’s right for you. If you have any supporting letters make sure you send them. You would be surprised how many parents don’t fill in forms properly, or don’t send in extra bits which could make a difference. Do you have a statement because if you do, that means he takes precedence over other children? So hope it works out for you all. Ethan sounds fabulous, I am crossing my fingers.

  • lifeonthejtrain

    It’s true there is a fair amount of “fighting” that takes place but please try not to let the worry keep you up at night. You’ve done your part so now you wait. Even here in the States, the services that are avail vary wildly from town to town. So much so that they are practically unrecognizable. It definitely comes down to money which is sad. Hang in there and do the best you can for your sweet boy and I’m sure he will be fine.

  • Victoria Welton

    Why is it so hard? And why do we – as parents – any of us have to fight particularly when a diagnosis has been made, they know the issues and can start acting. Such an important decision, it’s no wonder you feel like you do lovely. Thank you so much for sharing with PoCoLo x

  • Sara Murray

    Such a tough one – the right school/teachers are so important for every child. Trust your instincts and I hope that you get the support that you and Ethan need xx

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