Christmas is upon us and my son has almost completed a whole term at his new school. This time last year he wanted to be dead. He was barely attending school and was seeing a psychologist every week. I had cut my work back to bare minimum and we were in the midst of an EHC Plan/next school battle! If only we could’ve looked forward in time – the battle was more than worth it!
I can honestly say this term has been a breath of fresh air for us as a family. There has not been one day where my son has come home stressed since he started this school. There has not even been one day where he hasn’t wanted to go in the mornings!
After a few weeks our taxi problems were sorted and he now gets the same taxi every day at the same time every day which is a lot easier to manage.
He has discovered through his food technology lessons that he is actually pretty good at baking and has brought me home lots of Monday treats from delicious cookies and scones to yummy pizzas and couscous dishes. He is visibly proud of his achievements and it is great to celebrate them with him, especially when they taste so nice!
Thursday has become outdoor education day and he is taken off site to do organised activities such as den building, hill walking, archery, high ropes and cooking on camp fires. This is a brilliant way of learning in a different environment, and great for his social and life skills too. It is especially good because it is similar to the forest school he attended when he was younger and he loved it there.
Friday is reward afternoon. If he has achieved all his stars for the week then he gets to choose between various activities. He usually chooses to play on the Xbox but has been on a couple of trips and had a movie afternoon.
He is one of only two children in the whole school who have been so well behaved that they have never lost any stars. This means he gets extra rewards and certificates. It also means that instead of being told constantly that he is badly behaved he is feeling proud of himself and his self esteem is visibly improving!
He is also able to do his work in lessons now as the environment is calm and previous environmental barriers to learning are no longer an issue.
Yes there have been problems, misunderstandings and upsets at school, about various things but the teachers deal with them brilliantly, and in a way which suits him. They genuinely care about him. He’s not penalised for anything out of his control and they are very good at spotting triggers and stopping meltdowns before they happen.
Perhaps the best news though, is that he has made an actual friend! There is a boy in his class who is also Autistic and had a very similar background with being trapped in the wrong schools and fought their way into this one. They share an interest in computers and have started to facetime each other after school and play on their computers whilst forgetting to talk to each other! His friend is joining us for my sons birthday, his first non family birthday guest in years. I hope he turns up!
I am so very happy that after everything my baby has been through, he is in a place that is good for him. A place where they recognise the lovely, good and caring person he is. A place that builds him up and helps him, and hopefully a place that will give him the skills he needs to work towards his own goals for when he is older. Thank You for being interested in our story and for all your support and comments. I hope, for some of my readers, our story may inspire you to keep fighting for your children! If you haven’t been following my posts this week, this is the fifth in a series of posts that describe how we got to where we are today. You can read the first post about the long process of getting my son’s ASD diagnosis here, and the second post about my fight to get my son an EHC Plan here. The third post about the years my son was stuck in his mainstream Primary school can he found here, and the fourth post about my fight to get him out of mainstream education and into his current school is here.
This post is also a follow on from my posts about High School which are:Starting High School, Week two at High School and High School update.
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