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asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

my 6year old daughter has being diagnoised with autism, it was something we expected,as she had all the traits,ie spoke with an accent,cleaned everything and one,tantrums and social skills were not there. she attendeds mainstream school and has an SNA and "resource hour". I was just wondering anyone out there has any advice for me as im totally in limbo as what to do regards of schooling (am i doing right by leaving her in mainstream or should i find an autistic school). she is not doing too bad at the moment, but it's long term i'm thinking of,when she is at 11 or 12 she might struggle.Anyone with any advice or experience in this matter i would be truly grateful.Thanks

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Old 03-18-2009, 02:55 AM   #2
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

My son is in a autistic unit attached to a mainstream school, and for him it is perfect. They teach him things that wouldn't be taught in a mainstream classroom like turntaking,life skills, social skills ( well not at his level or in a way he would understand anyway)with continual reinforcement that couldn't really happen in a mainstream for him, as well as the usual curriculum - reading, writing etc. They UNDERSTAND the needs of an autistic child and he isn't told off for doing 'naughty' things like weeing in the playground but taught not to do it etc . From my experience in a mainstream school you have a lot of people who don't fully understand autism, for eg in the school I teach in a little autistic boy got a real telling off from the chief dinner lady for spitting she said " autistic or not he knows it's wrong", it really upset me.

However, for some autistic children mainstream is the right place for them . There are autistic children in the mainstream of my sons school, but because it has the unit attached the school specialises in autism and communication disorders so there is extra understanding there with better trained Teaching Assistants to support them, as well as being the local school for all the mainstream local children.

If the school feel that my boy could cope with some mainstream activity(eg PE) then he is supported for a lesson in that class. You get the best of all worlds!

Now we are in the system we will be able to continue onto the secondary school that also has the autistic unit attached.

It is called an ER school - enhanced resource. Hope this helps.

Last edited by DannysMum; 03-18-2009 at 02:57 AM.

Old 03-18-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

Does she gets any therapies in school? My son is 7 here in NYC he is in a mainstream class but gets picked for therapies. He gets p/t o/t, socialization skills therapy, and couseling. In his class there is a regular teacher and a special ed teacher.

This is just my personal opinion and it also depends on the severity of the autism but I feel it's better to have them try to adapt to the world as unfortunately it is a loud and rude place that isn't going to change just for them and they need to learn how to manage in it as best they can. Now I'm not saying to toss your child in to a schoolyard full of thugs and bullies. My son has already had a bullying experience but I also believe that he couldn't read the social ques and was also under the impression that that was just the way it was after I explained to him that no one should treat him like that at school he's now speaking up for himself and also telling me if someone is mistreating him in any way.My son has sensory issues which is where the majority of his challenges throughout the day revolve around.

As your daughters mother you know your daughter the best if you feel she can tolerate an inclusion class and is getting all the things she needs during the day I say do it you can always place her elsewhere if the need arises.

Good luck it's a tough call to make.

Old 03-18-2009, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

Look, you just have to really be 'on the ball'...know everything that's going on in that school. Only you will really know what's right for your child. If things don't go right for my 4 year old (with Autism) when he starts, then I'll be exploring different options. Homeschool with as much social 'extras' as I can muster...or...a Special Needs school. I don't care what anyone else thinks and won't let it get to me, he is my child and it is my job to protect him. You will do the same. I know, that my sons 'half brother' with Autism has spent his entire school life thus far being considered by his peers...'The Weird Kid'....I don't want that. And if you read the books written by Autistic adults, school life was the 'worst' time of their lives. Good Lord it's hard, all the best to you. Be strong. You will fight your way through it as only a mother can. xox M.

Old 03-18-2009, 06:15 PM   #5
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

I agree with everyone. It is on a kid to kid basis I think really.

My son is 17 with AS and has been mainstreamed since Kindergarten.

There have been alot of good points and alot of bad points. You do have to educate yourself. Learn your rights with an IEP.

My son also got pulled out in Elementary school for OT, PT, Speech. He didnt need them after 5th grade. He has always had an aide. She has him and another boy. Although he probably doesnt need her anymore she has been with him since 5th grade.

I think things are ALOT better. Teacher are more educated on Autism and AS then before. My district has an inservice every year to go over it again with teachers.

You have to go in there and fight for what your child needs and deserves. Only you know your child best and will know if she is doing OK or not in the type of setting you have her in.

Good luck in what ever choice you make.

Old 03-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

I have a 15 yr old son who is high functioning, and has been in the school system since the age of 4 .
Be aware of what is ALL out there for your child . Do not settle for less then what your child deserves. Don't place her in a lower level program. Look at all the alternatives and go from there.

Old 03-20-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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Re: asd child in mainstream good or bad idea

hi thank you all so much for your advice, it really means alot.As this is all very new to me, and this is the first time i gotten answers from proper mothers who've been through this.Here in Ireland there is not much of a choice where you go because our government wont recognise the importantance of education for Asd or Asp,therefore not alot of places in the schools that have the autistic-units.Thank you all for your replies and feel free to post more.God Bless.

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