Share Your School Story!
We’re almost a third of the way into the school year, and it’s the season for IEP meetings, first report cards, and parent-teacher interviews.
It’s a great time to encourage one another. What’s going right? How is your child’s school and teacher working to make sure that your child feels that they belong, are safe, and are valued in their learning community? How are they supported to be successful learners?
Help us share the vision of what inclusion can look like!
Share your comments and stories in the comment section below, and we’ll post them here.
My son’s school team goes above and beyond to make him feel safe, and valued, and an equal member of his class. My son was a late diagnosis (after the start of grade 1), and the school psychologist, OT and resource teacher performed comprehensive observations and interventions to help him be successful. They modified his school day extensively to start with, and then adjusted it as needed to work better for him. When my son required special equipment in the classroom, the school made sure there was at least one other student using those items, so it became a positive and “regular” thing for the other students to see (and use!). When my son needs a break they send him for a drink of water, or to the library on an “errand”, or to do his very special job of emptying the office’s recycling (he gets to choose a buddy for this). They know his triggers, and they know that when he is disregulated there is a reason. They work with the behaviour as a symptom of the issue, not the issue itself. Because of the number of students with autism attending the school (last count was 9 students, including my son, out of 146), the school set up an OT room, with mats, a ball pit, and equipment to help the kids with regulation. My son gets time in there with his EA and/or OT as he needs it. They also do Floortime work with him in that room weekly. The school team and I communicate regularly, and when either they or I tweak his daily routine we let each other know, so that we can stay consistent and informed. The only occasions he has been sent home are when he is completely out of control or unsafe to himself or other students. He is always treated as the master of his own choices, and he is expected to make good ones both at school and at home. And as time has gone on this has become easier for him to do. All of this teamwork has added up to a boy who feels equal and valued, despite his “differences”. It has transformed school from an experience that was initially chaotic and stressful for him into a place where he feels a real sense of community, and where he feels settled enough to learn. His school team has made all of the difference for both my son and I.