I have to admit I’m one of the actual lucky ones when it comes to Z’s education.
I debated with the whole mainstream verses Sen school. Unit maybe?
I had him signed up to mainstream. I was ready to fight for a 1:1.
When I heard there were going to be 31 children in that class my heart sank. I couldn’t do that my son. I couldn’t put him in a class of 31 to fall behind. I know at that age he was above average in certain areas, he most probably is still 2 years later. But there were places he was still too young. He was still in nappies, he couldn’t sit still, he didn’t have the ability to follow basic simple commands. What if he ran. The school is secure but not for a child like Z that can get out of anywhere if he really wants to. The emotions were horrible. What happened if he went to mainstream and made one friend. He’d only need to make one, then that one friend over time would realise Z was different, still in nappies, didn’t talk, was the ‘naughty’ one that would have gotten away with these things as he wouldn’t have been able to help it.
Then in a few years time when he was still in nappies and still not talking they’d move him. Possibly to a unit.
I toyed with the idea of a unit connected to a mainstream school. This was a no straight away. More so because what if he never left and ended up in Sen school at aged 11? Again what if he made one friend and then ended up moved to Sen school.
So instead of the what ifs, I signed him up to Sen school.
Day one I knew I had made the right choice.
There’s not one day I’ve even thought I’ve made the wrong choice, not one day I’ve wanted him in mainstream. Of course sometimes I get that feeling of that should be my child, he should be in the school photo you have just put up, he should be enjoying that child’s party, he should be part of that group of boys giggling, talking about dinosaurs and playing football, saying hi to each other. I should be part of that community, those parents, that school.
The progress he’s made in a class of 9, with 5 staff members who all love him like their own, who take care of him, change his nappy without even thinking of it, who persists with him to get done what he needs to do you can see how hard they work day in day out and the child can not even say thanks.
I was worried about not meeting other parents, there was no need. Some of those parents are now my new best friends.
If it ever came to the discussion of let’s take Z out I don’t know what I would do. I wouldn’t want him going into mainstream. He will always be different. That I’ve accepted, I’ve moved on a long time ago, I couldn’t imagine him having to go to a new school starting from the beginning. Children looking at him differently, where he is he’s the same, he’s no different to anyone in his class, they are all extra special and as parents we all get excited for everyone’s child when they hit a new milestone! There’s no jealously with us oh mine can do this mine can do that, we all get excited over the smallest achievement, something so small like even pulling up a pair of bottoms, achievements that most parents have hit at least three years ago.
I love Z’s school, the community were now part of, it may not have been the one I was expecting it to be but one I now love!

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