Party's Over

OK, It's been a long day of back to back pity parties. I've been on the phone ALL day with a friend with 2 special needs girls and my Mom and then my Dad. I'm ready to get up, dust off, and start learning again but in a productive manner. I just need to feel confident about my son and my husband and stop trying to categorize everything little thing - was what he just did AS or autistic or NT or whatever.

I love this quote in the article I read from an Autism Vox link:

"If you've seen one child with autism, you've seen one child with autism," Leebold says.
I felt a little uncomfortable when I met with the preschool directors because I felt like they were stereotyping him into the "They" category. They do this and They do that and They don't like this, etc. One of the directors has hands-on experience with working with a student at their school. But that's just it...A in ONE. The rest is textbook knowledge. I know that it is not their intention to make me feel uncomfortable and that they truly have Eric's best interest at heart, but I wonder if they really understand what he needs. I asked them to give him a week or a week and a half (because he did really well at VBS) to see how he does before they change his curriculum. I said this because when I visited the class last year the teachers told me that by the end of the year (when most of the kids in this class will be turning 5 during the summer), they should be able to count to 20, know their alphabet, know their basic shapes and basic colors - um, Eric learned to count to 100 sitting on the potty when training (he actually figured it out himself using the pattern of numbers), he could say the alphabet phonetically before he was 3yo (aa, buh, kuh, duh... thanks to Leap Frog Letter Factory), he pointed to a stop sign one day last fall and said "hexagon," he also knew then the difference between sky blue and blue and violet, and to boot, he can do basic math and use an abacus (at least I think he can - I don't really know how to use an abacus, but he was figuring what 2 plus 6 was using it. (He turned 4 July 8th) Anyhoo their response was, "Oh no, we won't change for him, HE will conform to US." My reaction was a blank look. Smooth, Jen. Because of my lack of confidence at the time, and their knowledge of how "They" are, I wasn't sure if I could respond intelligently. Now I'm thinking what are they going to do when the other kids learn nothing because Eric keeps yelling out the answers (that is what he does to Ryan)? Surely they are going to have to change something in his curriculum. I'm going to hold on to the assumption that they are referring to social conformity, I'll just expect that they do it in a sensory friendly way.

4 Responses to "Party's Over"

Joeymom (visit their site)

Oh, sweetie, yikes. If some preschool admin said that to me, it's the cue to run. And take your kid with you.

Joey's first teacher always said, "if he's doing something unacceptable, it doesn't matter if its the autism or not. It needs to change." Knowing Joey is autistic gives us an idea for methodology- strategies to support him and help him learn.

So when Joey comes to a classroom, often teh classroom must change- new strategies and tool and methods need to be practiced and employed so that he can be taught. Visual cues. Discrete trials. Sensory diet. I could go on.

A teacher who cannot shift and change to meet the needs of the students is not a teacher at all.

kristina (visit their site)

This is why I put the most store in those persons---therapists and teachers usually---who have spent hours and hours with Charlie and become very sensitive to his non-verbal communication (which, due to Charlie's speech disability, is the form much of his communication takes). They know Charlie's unique and particular ways and it's not at all "textbook" knowledge.

One wonders who this "They" is.........

Bonnie Arnwine (visit their site)

Have you ever heard someone refer to a child as a soccer child? As if their life is defined by this one dimension? I hate it when people refer to my son as "autistic" like that is who he is the all encompassing definition.

I'm glad your son did well at VBS, G is 12 now and his youth group has been so great in terms of providing a safe and accepting social environment.

Jennifer (visit their site)

Thanks for the input and perspective. Sometimes I am not sure if I even know what he needs but I know I love him and when something isn't right I know it right away. This is the same school that he went to for 2 years prior to the onset of biting last year which I pulled him out, put him in montessori and then pulled him out again because the biting continued. I've kept him home this past year for evaluations and therapy.

This school is at my church which I guess doesn't really mean anything. I'm going to observe him the first week. And I'll give them a chance to see if they really are going to be unwilling to adjust. Teachers are different than directors and it is the teachers that will be spending their time with them. I am supposed to meet the teachers next week.