This post is now available in the ‘Life with an Autistic Son’ ebook available to download from Amazon.
As always another great entry to your blog. Keep smiling and Thank goodness for the good schools that are out there. My son attends a mainstream school with an ASD resource base unit. The staff there are excellent and cope well under the circumstances as he does act up and go into meltdown a lot. He previous school was a nightmare and didn’t understand him or his behaviour. They often forget to inform us of any changes and any signs of a meltdown he was always sent home. It was the worse time ever. It was so frustrating at times but now we are on the up and hoping we can stay there for a while. Thank you again for your brilliant blog.
Glad to hear things are on the up. Thanks for your comment.
the fact they did it without consulting you would cause me to consider killing someone….with words of course!!!
….also your letter reminds me of the beautiful George Bailey circa…Its a Wonderful Life film when ZUZU walked home with he flower and did not button her coat and George let that teacher have it on the phone….perfect!!!!
Very interesting post and brings back an awful period in my daughters (and our) life. Now Louise was and still is very sensitive to noise. The shower door, babies crying, a girl in college who laughs, the wood pigeons who-who-ing and on and on and on – but ten years ago it was so acute that she couldn’t cope in school, ended up being expelled from our local special school because they refused to help/cope (but insisted on sitting her under the bell and wouldn’t let her wear ear plugs or put her fingers in her ears at break time bell). She ended up at Purbeck View School, a boarding school 210 miles away from us for the next 5 years. We couldn’t take her on holiday abroad for several years or take her out for meals, walks, zoo’s, parks etc because no matter how good the noise cancelling headphones, she could still ‘hear that stupid babies /children / laughing/ wood pigeons’ and we tried many very expensive types. Eventually she went on Rispiradone as a short term help and is still on it – the one size fits all policy is like saying that all burgers are 100% horsemeat or all blondes are dumb. Lou copes with her iPod on the bus and she reads her book too but she still sits there with a frozen face (she doesn’t shout at the baby or hit her head on the window anymore) if she hears crying and has been known to get off the bus and wait for the next one! Can’t wait for the next post – xx
Our kids cope with so much. Thanks for sharing this x
Often-reader, first-time reply-er – so may I firstly say I love your blog?
My son is 4, asperger’s, and we are very much enjoying our last few months before he starts formal education (I will endeavour to enjoy it that little bit more now after your post!).
He has a set of adult-sized ear-protectors at home (he stole them from the garage one day!), which he avails of when his sister is being particularly whiney, or when I have something to blend or hoover. I would be simply livid if somebody in school or elsewhere gave him some to use.
While I would *love* to live in a world that would adapt to my son’s needs (what a very lovely place that would be, actually), the stark reality is that he needs to learn to adapt to and cope with the world around him: WITHOUT standing out more than he needs to, as you so rightly say. We all know kids are, by nature, not overly kind! How much of an excuse do they need to single out another child, for god’s sake?
You and your wife sound like the best advocates a boy could wish for, but oh how nice it would have been to send your letter instead of hers just this once 😉
Thanks for your supportive words. We still wonder if we were over-reacting, so it’s good to know others see things the same way. Do you mind me asking when your son got his asd diagnosis?
I have been reading your blog for several months now….found a link on another blog I follow. My daughter is now 43 and I really would have thought and hoped that the ‘one size fits all’ theory would have been put to rest by now! Loved your version of the Dear Miss X letter!!! Good luck and thanks for your blog!
I’m never sure whether you intend your posts to drive me to tears – of laughter – so sorry to admit that if not 🙂 As mum at home I am the one here, like your good wife, who agonises over what ‘sensible’ words to put in the letters, but I’d definitely like to send your version. I too would have been livid about the headphones – what a ridiculous idea! I’m surprised that it is one that Autism Outreach have been advocating in other cases too… maybe they don’t always get it right, huh?! How crazy too, to now have to take something away from him (and possibly upset him?) that he didn’t really need in the first place.
Our daughter is also an ‘awkward fit in mainstream’ but that doesn’t mean they have the right to cock it up completely…..
Laughter is good!
Firstly, I very much enjoy reading the blog each week. I’ve worked as a care support worker with autistic adults, and am training as a music therapist, and your well written account is a hugely useful window on one parents perspective and experience of having an autistic child.
I must disagree with one minor point, however. I think that all teacher training should include a section on Autism; at the very least it should be a mandatory CPD course. With around 1 in 100 people being identified as on the autistic spectrum, all teachers will come in to contact with autistic people. A friend of mine had three young children with autism in one class, and felt thoroughly unsupported and ill-equipped.
Educational integration needs support, and that begins with training.
Keep up the good work (in all senses), and all strength to you!
Thanks Will. You’re probably right about the training. As a teacher of fifteen years myself, I have to say the amount of formal training on asd I’ve had is shockingly small. Hopefully this situation will improve.
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