My Son Has Autism, And Thrives At A Parallel School. How Can You Judge Me For It?

Posted: February 21, 2018

My son is on the autism spectrum. I send him to a parallel school which is perfect for him, so it is unfair that I’m judged for it.

My son goes to a parallel school. It has the NIOS board. The school is also a part of the state board regular school. And is run by a reputed trust.

I have always been asked why do you send your kid there. Even my parents and in-laws were confused and apprehensive about our decision. Neighbors and friends all raised eyebrows. Even parents on the same footing as mine suggested that special school is a no-no!




So starting from the beginning, I enrolled my kiddo in a well-known playgroup. They charged a whopping 65k rupees. And within 2 months of admission, he was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and experts suggested early and intensive therapies. That meant no time for school. When I withdrew my son I requested the school to refund the remaining amount but were refused.

After 1 year we enrolled my son in a small playgroup. Run by an angel (a mother who is on a forum I am a member of – she has been a blessing for my son) that school proved a boon. Her school was a happy place for my son, though he still couldn’t speak and needed therapy, he was enjoying the school and bonding with his teachers. The annual day event was a blast for him.

After a while, we decided to put him to this parallel school. It’s almost a year here now. And my son is a happy child here. He gets all the therapies required, gets individual attention and infrastructure’s great. He gets occupational therapy, speech therapy, remedial education, pet therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and he gets to mingle amongst kids! He has learned a lot. My kiddo can now write alphabets and numbers, and tries to speak. Can take off and wear his shoes and socks, loves to exercise and loves his teachers, and teachers love him back. His needs are fulfilled.

Why did we choose the parallel school?

My son needs that special attention in school which can not possibly be given in the regular classroom. Teachers are not trained and shadow teachers inculcate dependency. And I have seen how a shadow teacher can become a horror.

My son can’t speak, so his chances of getting bullied are high, and I wouldn’t even know that he is being bullied in the classroom as he cannot tell me. I will never be able to know his version of stories.

He needs a well-structured environment, which is not intimidating and overwhelming for him. A classroom full of 20 plus kids can be exactly that.

I have heard from his therapist how few schools treat special needs kids.

Why am I telling my story here?

Because my child and I are judged. We are told that my son will learn behavioral issues from other kids. I tell you if he does, it will be a cause for celebration. Because he cannot imitate. His learning that will also indicate that he is also learning an important life skill.

I am told that there are kids in “those” schools who have issues. Which kid doesn’t? And why stereotype? At the end of the day kids anywhere are kids!

There is a boy in my son’s school; he is 14 years old and can’t speak. Gets anxious easily. He is a big boy in size. My son loves him. And he adores my son! I have never felt fear or insecurity when he is there.

There is a kiddo on a wheelchair. The bus staff member who comes to pick him up is trying to teach him to push his chair on his own. I see the joy on that bus staff member’s face and on the face of that kid whenever he successfully maneuvers his chair. You won’t be able to see that everywhere.

I see a young girl of 18 on a wheelchair, volunteering there to teach and her parent waiting for the whole duration of the school hours. You won’t see that kind of purpose everywhere. And I have a 1000 such stories!

When I go to school to drop my son off every morning, I see hope and happiness there. I think I made a great choice in choosing the school for my kiddo. Because it’s not just the teachers, it’s the kids there who teach you about life.

It’s not about the board, the type of school, the syllabus. It’s the heart and the purpose of that school which matters.

Published here earlier.

Image source: pixabay

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Mamta Kashyap Kachroo.

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