Since finding out my son is autistic at the end of August, our lives have changed so much. And I feel it has been for the better. Because of the abuse he recieved in preschools, he was so afraid of school and teachers. The first week was pure hell for everyone. I went in the school and met with the teachers, principal, guidance counselor, speech teacher and took my sister. We sat and talked about what classes Adam would be taking and how much he would do in the regular classroom. Because I knew he would be scared and I was overwhelmed with the fear of him being abused once again. I told them they could only put him in one regular class. I picked math, knowing it would be the easiest for him. He is very good in math.
Then we talked about brining Adam to the school to meet everyone before he started. We sat in the car for atleast an hour trying to get him out of the car and walk into the school. He threw the biggest fit I have ever seen. He was so scared and kept saying don't let them hurt me, please no. I held back the tears. His teachers and the principal came out to meet and talk with him. Adam calmed down a little and talked, but still to scared to walk into the school. My husband carried him in and we told him how much he was going to love it and his teachers were the best. (all the while praying I wasn't lieing to the child and knowing I would home school him in a minute, if anything went wrong.)
We got to the autistic classroom and he looked around, jumped on the trampoline, swang in the coolest swing, and sat at his desk. He is speech delayed but talked with his teacher. Then he walked by himself to his regular classroom. He walked around it, sat in his sit and smiled. The teacher was telling him about the room and he looked at the chalkboard and read off the ABCs and talked about the pictures on the walls. The teachers were all impressed with how smart he was. Before we left the principal knelt down, took Adam's hands in hers and looked him right in the eyes and told him how happy she that he was coming to school and that he would love it.
Monday rolled around and getting him ready and into the car was so challenging. When we got to the school, I cannot remember how long it took to get him out of the car, but Matt carried him in and half way down the hall. Matt had to put him down because his arms were hurting. Adam laid down on the floor and threw a fit. This is the first fit that Adam threw that no one looked at him weird or acting like he was strange, adults or the other students. They were so used to autistic children being in the school that it didn't affect them. I sighed with relief and knew it would be ok. The principal and autistic teacher were with us and they walked him down the hall the rest of the way. I didn't cry until he was in the room and the rest of the afternoon I was a mess. I couldn't wait until it was time to pick him up and see his facial expression. That was the easiest way for me to know how his day was, because he couldn't tell me.
The rest of the week went just as crappy getting him into his classroom. We talked about taking him into the door next to the classroom and the principal said yes. Wow, talk about easier!! His speech teacher met us at the door every morning and he talked to the classroom with her. He still wasn't walking right in for another couple weeks, but you could tell he liked school. He was always smiling when I picked him up and talking about different things they did throughout the day.
Now half of the school year is gone and I thank God every day that we made the right choose for him. He loves school and his teachers. He has friends and talks so much more now. He still has his days that he doesn't want to go to school and has bad days there, but there are more good days.
He is in a lot of regular classes now. He enjoys music, the library, reading time, math and coloring. His report cards are awesome and all of the work he brings home is so good. He is starting to read and likes to practice saying his new sight words.
What a difference in him. What a difference in having the best teachers, speech teacher, principal and classmates.
I am sure he will be having days he just doesn't want to do what is asked or cooperate, but I know he will be having a lot of awesome days. And seeing him smile and happy is enough for me.