Starting High School

My son spent the whole of primary school in mainstream education. This wasn’t my choice, it just took me that long to fight for his EHC Plan! When he got it he was in year six and his primary school was named on it. I had to make a difficult decision to not appeal the primary place and instead cut back on work to fight with everything I had in me to get him into the specialist secondary school I thought would be best for him.

Today he started at that school. I have very mixed feelings right now. He was so brave this morning even though he was obviously very nervous. I have to take other children to primary school so he has transport and was picked up in a taxi. He doesnt like taxis and I wasn’t in it with him. It’s only 5 minutes away and they are getting him out at the other end so I’m sure he will be fine but I still feel horribly mean for making him get in the taxi and go by himself when he was feeling so scared.

He is worried because he doesn’t remember all the children’s names in his new class. There are only 6 of them but he has forgotten one.

He is worried that he wouldn’t eat because he can’t ask for things and needs to be offered them. I’m worried about that too. Im sure they will help him, it’s a lovely school.

He didn’t like his uniform because he needs to wear a shirt and it feels funny. We put a T-shirt under it which has helped but the collar is hurting his neck.

He has such horrible memories from primary school. Memories of being grabbed and held down. Memories of being shouted at. Memories of being bullied. Memories of not being allowed to play. He was visibly shaking with fear this morning.

All these things are so hard to deal with for him but I am so proud of my baby!
Im proud because a year ago he wouldn’t have been able to put that shirt on without having a melt down.

Im proud because a year ago I would of had to literally drag him to school if he was worried about knowing someone’s name.

Im proud because a year ago he would have run down the street rather than get in that taxi.

Im proud of him because he managed to go to school today, and the only thing getting him there is the fact I have made a promise that it will be better this year.

Im nervous because I’ve made that promise and I need it to be right. I need this school to be better with him. I can’t face five more years of my son being suicidal because of school and nor can he.

I love that child so much, he is a caring, lovely, kind, sensitive, clever little boy who just happens to be autistic with sensory processing difficulties that make life very difficult for him and he deserves as much chance in life as anyone else. This school was my best chance and I hope I was right. Three o’clock can’t come quick enough!

Published by Autism Kids on Tour - Autism without limits

I have two kids and love to show them the world. We dont let autism limit us in our adventures! I write about our adventures and include tips on how suitable activities were for children with autism. I also write more autism specific posts.

31 thoughts on “Starting High School

  1. Are you allowed to call and check up on him? I would anyway, regardless of the rules but I don’t know how the school would respond to that. Every time I hear stories like yours it makes me that much more grateful to the schools my son has attended in our town. I moved to this town because of the schools and have stayed here because of them. Mine is also in high school. He started his second year and while some things have been a tiny bit difficult (like loud music in Video Production class) but things are being sorted out. He has a great para and a great team of teachers to help him. I hate that so many other schools aren’t on board with keeping with IEP’s, having the proper staff for children who need a one on one,and such. Even here in the states it differs from state to state, despite it being a federal law that children with disabilities must be treated fairly and all schools must abide by the IEP. I honestly don’t know how they get away with half the crap they get away with. I really hope this new school is better for your son and that he has a much better school experience than he has in the past:)

    1. Thankyou! I hope so too. It is law in the UK too but it always comes down to funding so if your child doesnt have a plan in place there is no extra funding to provide the help they need. The school has to prove they are spending the money to help your child in order to get the funding too! So if you get a head teacher like we did who believes autism is made up and the kids are just naughty then it takes years to persuade them to help you get the plan! Im so glad he has finally been allowed to go to the school he started today but I think I might ring them and check hes ok because im a nervous wreck!

      1. Yeah it comes down to a lot of things when it comes to schools and school districts. My boys are in the public school system so it comes down to the department of Education in my town but luckily the town listens to the parents and there is a lot of open communication between parents and teachers and the Superintendent of schools. It’s not a perfect system but it’s one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I hope he has had a great day!

  2. Can’t wait to hear how his day went. Big hugs to both you and him. You are an awesome mom! X

    1. Thankyou so much! He came home from school today and said he had a good day!! That is the first time he has ever said that about school! I am so hopeful that things are looking up for him! X

  3. I do not understand the overall point of bullying someone. People need to understand that we shall not make someone suffer more when he/she is already suffering from some disease. It becomes the responsibility of the school authorities and every student and every teacher to respect each other and treat others with love and compassion. We get back all what we give to the society in one way or other. So we should always try to give out the best. I hope anyone who reads this, to spread the word and make a better place to live in for all. I wish this school is better than the previous one. Be strong!

  4. So how was his day? I really hope he comes home with a huge smile today…and everyday!
    I cant imagine how difficult it must to as mum knowing your child being bullied and nobody seems to do anything about it!

  5. Big hugs for your little boy! I hope everytime he come home everyday he brings a huge smile, I didn’t yet experience as a parents but i feel, what you feel, all he need in his sorrounding is love and support, god bless both of you!

  6. I love your posts, it’s so clear that you are a wonderful mother to your son (and daughter!) I’m glad you got him into the school you want him in. It looks like from the other comments that he enjoyed the first day! Here’s to hoping for many more enjoyable days 🙂

  7. You are the best mom your son, your children will ever have. When my kids were growing up, I was always anxious that they would be bullied or get in a fight at school. Good thing we had none of that. I wish both of you the best this school year!

  8. I remember my first day in high school, I felt sick with nerves but I soon settled in. I hope this school brings him nothing but happiness and fulfilment. It’s clear from your beautiful words just how much you love your son. Wishing him all the best for high school life and beyond xx

  9. Then he is indeed a strong confident boy, despite all these fears he managed to go all by himself in a taxi! I’m sure he would have loved the school after such a sad primary school experience. Schools have so many laws, how can he be grabbed and bullied in primary? You can easily file a complaint against these rubbish behaviours.

  10. It’s amazing that he has overcome all the challenges and gone to school on his own. I really hope he’s had a good first day and settles in quickly. Especially After the awful experiences at primary school he had.

  11. Hopefully it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. School can be scary with so many sometimes. I’m glad he conquered his fears and pushed through.

  12. Oh, I am so proud of your son for being able to do all those things today that in the past scared him. I hope he liked his day at his new school and feels excited to go there everyday. I know it can be so hard for you as a mum to see you baby tensed and scared but you are doing a great job. Kudos and more power to you!

  13. Sometimes past experiences are so bad that they haunt us always. It must be very emotional for you to send your son to school in this condition as he is not very comfortable. Hopefully he likes now and he has coped up with his fears.

  14. Appreciate your courage in sharing your journey. I’m praying for you all, please keep us posted on how things are going.

  15. I salute all moms that really takes good care of their autistic child. You are an amazing mom with an amazing son. He is handsome too. I hope he will have a great day in his everyday school.

  16. I pray this new school will be amazing for yout son and that life and humanity will be kinder to him. There is another blogger here in Cape Town who’s son is on the Autism spectrum and suffers from hearing loss (chevslife). I take my hat off to you moms who brave through life with the beautiful gifts you have in these amazing children.

  17. Oh I really hope this is a fabulous new chapter for him! It sounds like he’s done so well getting there, and I really hope that this works out.

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #blogcrush linky 🙂

  18. Can empathise with this post so much. D and mainstream education did not get on well at all. It was a massive step to move her schooling and it was the best move for her.
    I hope he’s settling in well and enjoying his new school. Thanks for linking up with #SmallStepsAA

  19. I really hope he is enjoying his new school. It’s such a big change but I’m sure you have chosen the right placement for him. I’m so sorry you had to fight the system for so long. I really hope he enjoys his high school years #SmallStepsAA

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