Once Upon an Autism, Not Your Regular Fairy Tale

Skool Daze

Posted on: January 18, 2011

No, the title is not a typo. I do know how to spell. I’m actually quite a stickler for proper spelling. I get quite frustrated if I forget how to spell something or if the spell check shows something as misspelled even though it is proper spelling. But there is a purpose as to why I spelled it the way I did. Oh, yes…. Always a purpose.

Most parents and their children go through through the excitement of buying the new clothes, the backpacks, the pencils, pens, crayons, etc. Sure, I feel the slight excitement of buying his clothes But at the same time, I’m begging God that Nicky will have a good year. That he won’t get so bullied, that his regular teachers will modify his work like what the IEP has directed. I look to that part with dread

Nicky had special ed in some classes, but others, it is simply not accepted. So Nicky gets to deal with the wonderful world of bullies who try to conform my sweet child into one one of those monsters. Nicky wants no part in being with the bad crowd, but he doesn’t want to get beat up either. I had it tough going to school, but it’s more difficult for Nicky. If Nicky tries to defend himself, the blame gets pegged on him.

I know there are some good schools out there, but many teachers around here are here for the money. They’ve admitted it.


My Uncle, bless him, is on the school board, so he’s doing what he can for kids with autism. One year, he spent several hours creating pamphlets for teachers to help them get a better grasp on autism. He did a wonderful job explaining things, but 90% of the teachers tossed them in the trash without glancing at them.

School is one of the more difficult challenges our children have to face, especially when they have special needs. Some of the “normal” kids can be downright cruel. It scares me even more now because Nicky is in the 7th grade. In some ways, he is incredibly wise beyond his years, but in other ways, he is excessively innocent… and gullible, and that scares the heck out of me. Already, a few kids made him eat cake off the ground. What scares the heck out of me is, some kid could pee in a bottle, tell him it was lemonade, and Nicky would drink it. What terrifies me is someone putting some kind of drug on candy or something. He’d accept it, thinking that the bully was being nice.

The principal Nicky had last year, was excellent. This year, he’s a slacker, he doesn’t do an awful lot. But his Special Ed teacher, who is also his case worker is all right.

Nicky is main stream because not all classes are special ed. but the work is modified. It upsets me that he’s pulling a D+ in music class. I asked Nicky why he was doing so poorly and he said. “Mom, when I play the guitar separately, I do good, but when I do it with the class, I get thrown off and I can’t do it, I try to explain it to her, but she won’t listen to me.” I’m not sure how to handle her. Years ago, she was my choir teacher, she was a b—h then, I guess she hasn’t changed. I suppose I will have to call her and explain that some autistic children cannot play music with others. It throws him off because of his concentration levels. He does great when he plays solo. I’m just not sure how to explain it to the teacher.

I’m a nightmare to the school. I call them a lot. When something goes wrong, I call. When I check his grades online, I call. I’m not saying my child is perfect, but he’s a good kid and he tries hard.

To all you parents who have to go to IEP meetings, don’t do it alone, bring in family members, a social worker, a physical therapist, etc. You need a support system because many public schools will eat you alive. They are quick to blame your child for everything. I’m a pacifist by nature, but when it comes to my son, I’m tough as nails. You have to be because many schools are ignorant when it comes to the Autism spectrum. Sometimes, it can be similar to ADHD so teachers mishandle the students. Just remember, you are your child’s best advocate. If the school doesn’t co-operate, make phone calls, drag social services in if you have to. Our little butterflies deserve the best education. If you remain silent on the subject, your little one will be the person who suffers for it. Become a big-mouth, it works wonders.

I also want to thank everyoone who commented on my last blog, it meant the world to me.

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11 Responses to "Skool Daze"

Very well said Tracy , brilliant post. You have addressed a subject which is normally kept quiet about school’s involvement with these special angles or Little Butterflies . A lot of school’s do put these children into the pocket of naughty children but they are not.

I hope Nicky gets on well at school and the bullies leave him alone. Unfortunately there are bullies in all walks of life and they come in all shapes and sizes, its not just the kids who are bullies.

I keep on top of the school when it comes to that. They see me as a pain in the butt, but that’s okay, I do what I have to.

Hi Tracy, I really know how you feel – you could have been writing about my son a few years ago – he is now 22! I lived in Canada in those days and it was all integration and he did fine till grade 4 when I pulled him out and homeschooled him for all the reasons you have mentioned. Tried him back in Grade 5 because we had moved towns but same thing and homeschooled him from Grade 6 till we moved to the UK when he was 14 and he went into a special school. Not always brilliant but better than it had been. Why do these children who wouldn’t fight, follow all the rules and cannot lie or be nasty if their lives depended upon it be so punished?
I think you have a lot to be looking forward to as with puberty come some changes, mostly for the better and your lovely gentle son will not lose any of his qualities as he grows up into a wonderful young man!!
Thanks for a great story!

Andrea

Thank you for sharing your story and the feedback!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wendy Hirst, Tracy C. and Tracy C., Tracy C.. Tracy C. said: https://tracydragonfire.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/skool-daze/ #autism Pls read, comment, and retweet? […]

Hi Tracy – Very well written. As you know, my son is only 3, but this is one of my biggest worries. When we first got the diagnosis, his whole life passed before me and that was one of my first questions to myself “is he going to be bullied?” It’s really scary. I hope that education and organizations like Trevor Project will shed light on this problem and get better. Don’t worry about calling the school too much etc. If you don’t fight for Nicky who will? Take care!

Tracy

I’m a fighter when it comes to Nicky, One positive thing about having your child in Speech Therapy is that they practice scenarios on how to deal with bullies, etc. And remember, we may not live right by you, buy you have us Tweeters who are always there to help you out.

Hi Tracy,

You really nailed what it’s like to have an autistic child. I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that their logic is not always OUR logic. There have been so many times where I sit back and scratch my head when I see my boy do something. That’s when I work at looking at the situation through HIS eyes and I can usually figure out why he did it. I might not like what he did but I saw why it made sense to him.

And sometimes, their reasoning outdoes ours!

It drives me nuts that schools are so afraid of choosing sides or offending a parent that a child will get in the same amount of trouble for defending themselves as the child does that initiated the attack.
I understand that it’s hard to know what really happened when it’s just a matter of taking children’s words for it but in some cases, it’s very obvious what happened so it makes no sense.

Anyway, great post… so very true. You need to be on top of them and to find those on the inside that will listen and support you.

I’m also glad I have the support of my online pals.

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