ATTN: Nashville moms!
I saw a few hits coming here from a bulletin board for Nashville moms - where I was mentioned regarding a decision on whether or not to homeschool an autistic 4yo. First off - welcome and thanks for the compliments - I'm glad if you find my blog helpful in any way.
And since I wanted to comment on something there, but in no way need another login/password to keep track of (and don't live anywhere near Nashville), I'm doing it here, and I hope you find this.
I've talked about the decision to homeschool here.
I've never really talked about WHY we pulled him out. Which I'm going to do today, because I see that (of course) socializing was brought up on that bulletin board.
I took him OUT of school because of that issue, actually. More and more, when I'd visit the classroom I'd see behaviors in the other children that I didn't want Thomas copying (and he was). But the clincher was when I was helping in the classroom and Thomas was getting teased - in a major way. Not a friendly way. We've seen friendly teasing, not-so-nice-but-not-really-mean teasing, but in this case the kids were MEAN. And guess what? It was right in front of the teacher, and she did nothing. And it happened again, and she did nothing.
That was his last day of public school.
Kids on the spectrum have statistically higher chances of anxiety and depression. I was worried about Thomas' emotional health. Not to mention that there was no trade-off here. The teacher wasn't very good and Thomas wasn't learning much at school anyway.
Now, don't get me wrong, you can have fabulous situations in public schools for kids with special needs. Like this one. We just didn't. The teacher(s - remember they switched after a month?) didn't really know anything about autism, didn't understand Thomas and didn't set up any kind of behavior plan. Thomas does have some behavior issues, and nothing was being done about them, so the other kids weren't liking him so well. Because he looks normal. So they didn't understand why his behavior was different.
It was just a bad situation. And from what I've read (this book is really informative) many spectrum kids have similar problems in school. That being said, the guidance and speech specialists at this school are fabulous and wonderful to work with, and we are still bringing him in for speech. I just wish his classroom situation could have been better.
Also, school can be brutal for kids with sensory disorders.
No one knows your kid better than you do. Or they shouldn't, anyway. I think a lot of people put too much faith in 'the experts' having more knowledge about how to teach your kids (esp. those with special needs) than the parents do. That's not always true - as long as you do your homework. And if you have a kid with special needs, that is your responsibility (separate soapbox issue: I've met too many parents of children with autism who don't even know the basics of Autism. It's frustrating).
And just to update a little more, Thomas is doing great at home. He's calmer, happier, throwing less tantrums and learning more for sure. We're happy to have him here.
Enough? Let me know if you have any more questions.
Have a great weekend!
p.s. If you have a little time today, check out this post and give her some feedback. The author is taking an issue (not autism - separate concern) to the school and district and could use your input!