If you know me then you know I’m happy go lucky. Nothing bothers me too much, the sun will always come up on a new day, no problem is too big for me to deal with and when all else fails….eat chocolate. I really just pick myself up and get on with it. Right now I am having to dig deep and stay positive at a time when I’m overwhelmed and a little depressed by the shortage of places for special needs kids when it comes time to start school. You can almost smell the stress levels from parents at open days because everyone wants a spot for their child. And why shouldn’t they but there just aren’t that many options and the best places just don’t have many spots.
Finding a school for your child is a big decision. Thankfully I’ve learnt from my older children that it doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right in the early years because you can always find a new school. But having a child with special needs is a whole new ball game. I’ve almost become a mini expert in the options nearby but that doesn’t guarantee you a spot.
And I’m still left wondering what is the best option – and what are your options? Just in case you’ve got a really little one with special needs or newly diagnosed. Well we have mainstream (so your local public school or perhaps another school in the area with a commitment to getting some funding for teachers aides) but I just don’t think the support is enough for what we need, a support class in a mainstream public school or some catholic schools offer satellite classes for children with autism, a public special school (generally for children with moderate – severe disabilities), independent special schools (not very many of them and can be hard to get into), mix of special school and mainstream school during the week and homeschooling.
Now add a girl to the mix…turns out my number one question looking at a school is what is the boy to girl ratio and it’s not always what I want to hear.
Anyway, I’m passing this one over to you. What did you do when your child with special needs needed to start school? Did you change to a different school setting later on? Is there anything you’d do differently? How did you get through the stress of finding the right school for them?