A Glimpse into our autism: Hope

17 November 2017

Dear friend,

Yesterday he asked me: Mum I am going to the school for autism aren't I?

The question made me freeze in my tracks because I don't have an answer.

I want more than anything in the whole world to be able to say Yes! But I can't...

We attended the open evening at 'the school' the second one we have attended this year (we are so desperate to show our commitment). We watched the same promotional video and I tried hard to sink into my stool as I felt the tears prick my eyes.

Everything seemed to be taunting me; small class sizes, specially designed building, trained staff, purposefully developed timetable, split playtimes, homework support... I could go on.

You don't need to sell your school to me. We can see that for our son, this is the perfect learning environment.

But... next comes the hard bit. There are only 55 places.

I look around the hall frantically trying to count how many people are here. 200-250 adults (half that because most are couples) and we have around 100 children. It isn't hard to see that there are not enough spaces, lots of families and children are going to be disappointed.

The questions roll in, thick and fast. You can hear the desperation in some parents' voices. I can't even ask my question because I just can't focus and I stare at hubby in shock (and pride) as he does.

We must fit the criteria for the school, we must sit in the catchment area (thank god we do) beyond that the future for our son is based on being picked out of a hat.

Almost every day he asks me: Mum, I am going to the school for autism aren't I?

What can I say? I'm sorry son, we don't know yet. It depends if your name is drawn or not. No, all I can say is we hope so...

I can not put into words how stressed I feel.

Autistic children need to know what is happening. They need stability, structure, reassurance to make them feel safe. This system we are stuck in does not provide that.

Quite simply this system is failing our kids.

The right kind of school care for your child does not seem like a lot to ask for! Surely all children deserve the best education for them.

I want more than anything in the whole world to be able to say; Yes son you are going to the school for children with autism! But I can't guarantee anything, I can only hope...

A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore the impact autism has on our family on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same but many carers are faced with this dilemma. 

More autism awareness posts...

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