At Ben’s last IEP meeting it was decided that a transfer to a non-public school would be best for him. He’s not learning anything right now because he keeps running away from the classroom and even with a one on one aide, it’s difficult to keep him safe.
Today we went to see the new school. They only take referrals from other school districts in the county and the tuition is paid by our district. So it’s kind of like public school but it’s autism specific. The school takes students from kindergarten all the way through job skills training. Students up to age twenty-two. There are only two elementary/primary classrooms. The room Ben will be in has five students. He will be the sixth. They offer all the regular support services, OT, speech, etc. They have a gym with a big trampoline, a treadmill, a ball pit, adapted tricycles, lots of stuff that Ben had to check out. They also have a piano and drums that the students can use. To leave the campus a student must have a staff member enter a code at the gate so there’s no worry about Ben running away and getting lost in the neighborhood.
They also have a psychiatrist at the school. Her fee is included in the tuition. I can’t even tell you how awesome that is. The med doctor he’s seeing now has twice suggested that we place Ben in residential care. NOT cool! We need a new doctor to oversee his meds but finding a pediatric psychiatrist that accepts his insurance has been a struggle. Now, the problem is solved.
He starts at the new school on April 30. That gives us some time to work on the transition. His (two week😧) spring break is ending and he goes back to his regular school on Monday. I’ll be asking his teacher and aides to write up a list of things they’ve found to be helpful, or not helpful, to pass on to his new teacher.
Another great thing about this new school is they only take one week at spring, two at winter and only three weeks in the summer. The day is shorter but the year is longer. That’s so, so much better for Ben. It’s also better for me. It’s difficult keeping him entertained for weeks at a time.
Overall I’m feeling good about this new school. I hope the transition won’t be too rough for Ben. Maybe he’ll finally have some stability and be able to learn his way. He’s a shining autistic star (forget square peg) and he doesn’t belong in a round hole.