Hello. I have a son on the spectrum. He is highly cognitive (tests as beyond his years intellectually) and very social, but he struggles with executive function and emotional regulation. He "presents" as neurotypical much of the time, even though he is not. He also has comorbid Tourette's, which is pronounced when he is very anxious. My son is not yet integrated at school and he is almost 9. Each school, regular with "assistance" or special needs used the same "method": meet expectations for behavior, even when having a sensory meltdown", or be punished. Rather than working with an IEP, the students must conform to a pan-strategy of rewards and consequences (heavy on consequences), including humiliating public behavioral charts, public time outs, forced confinement, and denial of time with peers. Reactive measures are the norm. Proactive, non existent. I have some teaching experience and have been forced to homeschool. My son receives zero services mandated by the Canadian public healthcare system. Demand outstrips supply. It took 3 years to get him assessed by a private neuropsychologist simply to justify obtaining school resources. Without them, he could not even attend school. But even with the diagnoses if ASD, Tourette's, and anxiety, the schools continue to work with him as they would a neurotypical child (his diagnoses are dismissed). The problem is that in a state of low anxiety, he's like most kids. But if triggered (another child having a meltdown, a scare, overwhelm from trying to control his tics), he goes from 0 to 10 and whoof. As his mother, I have taught him strategies to manage his anxiety (non of which are used by the school) and understand him. But the schools are frustrated because he does not match their stereotype of someone with autism. Aspergers is not in their vocab. He's been described as "atypical". Is there a typical? So their methods are designed for cognitively lower functioning autism and on micromanaging/control. For my son, intellectual stimulation and methods that promote autonomy work. My son is traumatized by his school experiences (esp forced confinement and public humiliation), but desperately still wants to go. However he is under extreme pressure to "fix" himself. He's been medicated for attention issues (suspected adhd, but once tested was 0/9 inattention 6/9 hyperactivity, being he is hyperfocussed on personal interests). The meds made him worse, esp the tics. He takes Straterra now, but only for the anxiety. But the message is the same. If his autism, Tourette's and and anxiety aren't "fixed" by him and him alone, at 8 years old, he's a problem. We have to pull him from school yet again. New school, not been allowed in reg classroom. His Tourette's tics are a problem and he's been there a month without an iep, an intervention plan, etc. The school has refused a discussion about his diagnoses. They gave him a glorified babysitter and he's with her 1 on 1 most of the time. No strategies in place. He's in a basement room 2 hours a day, jail from day 1. If he is "good" he is allowed to go to a dismal room where they shuck all the difficult children. His academic needs are ignored. We are told he is bright, not to worry. Omg! I'm exhausted. I have spent years trying to get him help. I have managed to put a yourh intervention in place to force the healthcare and school systems to do something. They hate me for it. I found an agent from the office for the protection of handicapped persons to help us. His rights are being violated. He's 1 or 18k children not in school for similar reasons in this province. If my child had epilepsy, would he be treated this way? Would they ignore that diagnosis, dismiss the need for reasonable accomodations, punish him for a seizure? Of course not. But when your kid has a neurodevelopmental disorder, they can? I'm tired, financially broken (cannot work because of this), have no support or respite(single mom) and battling the inevitable depression this causes. Watching my otherwise happy, healthy, remarkable, outgoing son struggle from the ignorance and cruelty of others I entrust with his care is just so hard. I take refuge in watching him flourish outside of school. We started church and Sunday school (I'm not very religious), and he says he feels loved not hated there. Outside of school, people do not believe me when I say he is autistic. Until they get to know him, then they understand.⁹

Posted by tbolduc73 at 2022-10-02 12:43:17 UTC