Saturday, April 18, 2009

A new battle against the system - autism and school

april 18 2009

The building was huge and old.
The large door opened to the outside.
The hall was such a mix of old and modern additions, that it gave me a feeling the present time was camping in the old.

In the waitingroom I could almost hear the building tell it's history.

Not too long after that I was telling the history of my autistic son.
Knowing it, and explaining it to someone relatively unknown is a different thing.
Living through it creates a kind of rooms of experiences.
But now it became tremendously clear how many mistakes people made, how many wrong decisions we faced and how many people simply didn't care enough.

My son doesn't need these people.
He needs people who care, people who are willing to see his good characteristics, instead of that he's not fitting in the normal system, instead of seeing he's not average.

The choice we are making is a good one.
I know it, I feel it, and the person in front of me told me with tears in her eyes that he will find people who are focused on what someone can, instead on pointing out what he can't.

It's a socalled protected environment, where he's able to work and learn.
A kind of therapeutical environment, where he will be assessed and experiences will be created so he can practice new behaviour in a real life situation.

I was there two whole hours!
Someone listened to me.

It made me realize how much I'm driven to find the best for my son.
How little I pay attention to my own feelings and just push them aside to go on and on and on.

When I finally left she promised to make an appointment for us to have a look at the place we've chosen.

The heavy door closed after me and I faced the blossoming trees in the warm sun.

Because the council representative is still forcing my son to go to school, I took care of another matter in the afternoon.

There's no place in the auti-class he should be, and she finally accepts that he won't get a place there. (Took her a complete year to be convinced of that, whereas we were told by that school they wouldn't take him because there's no place.)

Last week she suddenly wrote us a letter stating that he should go to a school for deaf and hearing impaired children. They have an auti-class there too.

I saw what she was doing.
She's convinced he's able to get his diploma.
That school filters the students. They send those with a chance of a diploma to a special school in another town.
She tried to get him to that school in another town before, but this was rejected by his psychiatrist, because he can't travel that much.

This woman thinks she knows better than psychiatrists and parents. She doesn't. Pity she doesn't realize that.

I called the school a few times this week and finally got hold of the person in charge.
To show my good attitude I made an appointment.

Then I said:
"There's just one question that needs to be answered before the meeting.
Does my son needs to be seen by a special commission to get him admitted to your school?
Does he need to have hearing impairment or a speech/language problem?"

The answer was a full "YES".

But my son doesn't have hearing problems, doesn't have a problem communicating due to lack of words, or a lack of understanding.
He's autistic. Simply autistic. And that's it.

We friendly cancelled the appointment.
She told me to call her when there would be problems.
And I put down the phone with a large grin on my face.


Now we need to convince that lady my son needs to go to the facility we've chosen.

That means that a whole procedure will be started in which we are dependent upon all people supporting us.

There's one person who really needs to be tackled.
The socalled independent doctor if the council.
The person who doesn't have a clue who our son is, or who we are, but who prevented him to go this way a year ago.

She said he was able to attend a school.

Not only there isn't one, but my son is not able to deal with the social structures of a school.
He can't deal with the noise, with the tasks he needs to accomplish, with whatever.
His last time at school was a fiasco because of this.
The problems it caused for him (regression, traumas) and caused for us (full time one to one making him change his mind so he would go to school against all his thoughts, feelings and fears...I don't want to go there again. I don't want my family to go there again.

So the battle is open again.
I have to beat the system once again.

Starting next week.

This month I'm fundraising for autism
and I really, really need your participation too.

Read more about it here.



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