In February, my husband and I decided to pull the boys from school and homeschool them. It was not an easy decision to make. I love the teachers, and the school environment. But I had to think of what was right for the boys.
The Autism classes work well for many students - it worked for mine years before - but I was finding myself more and more frustrated. I became concerned that the non-grading system in place would hinder them in later years. I was worried that, come highschool, the boys would flounder because they had no concept of tests, or any subject other than Math and English. The teachers are absolutely wonderful, but their hands were tied.
Our children can learn! It may not be in that pigeon-holed, 'one size fits all' way, but they CAN learn. More than that, they WANT to learn. They NEED to learn. And that applies to ALL Special Education classes in ALL school boards. The old ways of "Special Education" don't work any more. Evolve or perish!
Yeah, I could have pushed for full integration, I thought of that. But I knew (know) that Aaron would have had a hell of a time with it - it would have failed. Adam would have recieved no EA support. The boys would have struggled, continued to dislike school and, in turn, hate learning.
So what has happened since we started homeschooling? Well, in the four months we've been at it - the boys have completely caught up to their 'grade level' in the curriculum. We've gone on field trips and they've engaged the tour guides. They've asked questions and LISTENED to the answers. They are excited about learning again. They discuss the tour afterwards - at length.
Adam is no longer taking medications, and Aaron actually wants to play with his brother and neighbourhood children. They are relaxed and focussed. Aaron hardly ever needs to 'go thinky' and Adam is less 'clingy'. There are less tears and more laughter.
Do I plan on homeschooling forever? That would be predicting the future - and last time I checked I wasn't a fortune teller. Who knows what will happen in the future. They may well want to go to school. They may well be ready for the hustle and bustle. But I can guarantee that when and if they are ready to attend school again, they will be on par with their peers academically.
The school board has had meetings with the parents and the teachers and have promised to put changes in place to make the classes better. But we'll have to see what happens.
As I said previously, the classes work well for many students. It's a wonderful resource and the teachers are amazing. It just didn't work for mine. Not anymore.