As little Mr. has just started his school, then this may dominate a few of my posts at the moment. I tend to write about whats on my mind, and that is what is currently going through - on a good positive note by the way.
I also want to say; before I go further; that we are SO! happy that our son is going to this SEN school. The staff are brilliant, the facilities are fantastic and I can really see, even in just a week, the positives. Just the fact that he is going in now 5 days a week (pre-school it took nearly 2 years to get up to 3 days) with no moans or cries the last 3. All positive. Also the feedback on what they are doing. I really look forward to seeing after a month, term and year.
When he was diagnosed, 2.5 years ago; we weren’t really thinking about schools as it was quite a way off. Though, in the back of my head, I was still hoping he could attend a mainstream school. There, I believe, were two reasons back then why. The first, and main reason, was that I wanted him to go to the same school has his big sister. Having a sibling in a school gives you that goto person if you need them.
The second reason was that I knew nothing about special schools. I knew that the senior school I went to was next to a special school and there was always a stigma put on it by the parents and the pupils.
I believe that even today though, there is still a stigma wrongly put them. This is partly, I believe, that people don’t know much about them and in some cases don’t want to get to know about them; though if parents were to talk with the teachers and other staff; go and see the facilities; then they would see what an amazing place they are.
Fast forward to today. I won’t go into all the details of the how and why we sent our son to a SEN school; that's for another post I am writing. We sent little Mr. to a SEN school and I feel it was the perfect fit and choice for him. As I said above, after just 1 week there I see a positive change. It took us so long to get him up to 3 days in pre-school; yet after just 1 week there, he is happy going in.
Granted, he only did half days last week and this coming week; then he moves up to full-time. However, he just seems so happy going in and coming out. That is certainly a positive. I just can’t wait to see what he will be like after a term. See what he has learned. See how he grows. For that along, we are so happy we made the chose of school we did.
However, I still see that stigma arise in people. Even parents whose children would really benefit from changing to a SEN school. Now, this could be down to denial on their part of where their child is or needs to be; or it could be this stigma I am talking about that people feel. People thinking that, if their child goes to a special school, that they won’t succeed or have what everything in life they are hoping and thinking.
What I would say is to go and take a look. See what they can offer. If your child is having issues in the mainstream school, surely you would want them to go somewhere that is safe, secure and can provide what they need at whatever speed they need it?
Forget the stigma. Forget the unknown. Go and get the facts. You may find that this will be the new start that can help your child. At the end of the day, we want the best for them.
I can only say that we made the right choice by sending our son to special school. I would happily talk about and debate the reason we thought it was the right choice with anyone. I will happily talk about our reasons and battle that stigma some people still feel. However, you can never change the minds of some people. People will always be judgemental. We see that all the time when we’re dealing with another meltdown in the supermarket.
If anyone does want to chat about how we came to this choice, maybe you're about to start looking yourself. Then please reach out, leave a comment, etc. I will happily chat to anyone about what we found; maybe it will help you with your choice whatever that may be.