How to use schools for help for autism students. The best ways to use your Autism Spectrum Disorder child’s school system to your advantage to get the help necessary for your child. Never attempt to “hide” your child’s condition to avoid school conflicts, use the schools to your advantage to receive the help you need!
Back to school is a nervous time for everyone. Students, teachers, parents… No one escapes the nervousness. Previously, I spoke in detail about the preparations that my husband and I had made in getting my son into mainstream Kindergarten. Kindergarten was a period of tremendous growth for my son. We were seeing tremendous progress in his abilities as he was better managing many of his ASD symptoms and their side effects.
After Jayson’s triumphant mainstream Kindergarten campaign, we found ourselves nervous and excited like every other family waiting for the first bell of the new school year to ring. I remember when I was a kid. I used to run to the mailbox late every August to get the letter from the schools telling me who my teacher was going to be for the new year. I always “crossed my fingers” and hoped I got the nice one or that I would have my best friends in my class. Sometimes crossing my fingers worked, sometimes it didn’t. Because of all the research and work we had done with Jayson’s Kindergarten teacher, I began thinking about Jayson’s prospects for first grade. Before Kindergarten let out for the summer, I met with the Kindergartner teacher and inquired about the upcoming first grade teachers. She told me that all were great teachers but that one might be best suited for him. She placed a gentle request on my behalf. Additionally, I contacted the principal and described what teaching style would be best for Jayson’s growth. I was assured that, while no “guarantees” could be made, my request and a careful review of his IEP would be considered in his class placement. We felt very fortunate to find out a short while later that we had secured the teacher best suited for Jayson. After a successful 1st grade, we repeated many of the same steps from that previous chapter (above) for the following year.
Had I not inquired and made heart felt requests, I’m not sure we would have gotten the best teacher for Jayson’s needs. It was a success story that started from asking the simple question: what about next year? As a parent of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, you have to follow hunches and ask the questions that other people don’t have to think about. I’m getting better and better at it. Instead of wondering why no one else is thinking of it, I became more and more grateful that help was available when I asked for it (or about it). I guess that’s the moral of this story.
The best part about this approach is that it could pertain to autism students of any age or grade level that would affect an austistic, Asperger’s or any other Autism Spectrum Disorder student. I could even see situations where an Autism Spectrum Disorder student who has a close friend or mentor in class they’ve grown attached to could request to be in that same friend’s class in the following year. It never hurts to go through the proper channels and ask for help for autism students. It sure beats crossing your fingers.