Posted in Developmental Disorders, Education

autism

so we just found out from the pediatrician today that my 4 yr old stepson shows many signs of autism and has suggested further testing. He also said that we may want to look into a special needs school as opposed to mainsteam public school. Has anyone else used a special school vs a public school?

  • Margaret
    Jul 10, 2018

    Hi there! My son just turned 4 and was diagnosed with autism a year and a half ago. What you can work on now is finding out what your school district offers in terms of special education. Some districts have some great programs that aim to help mainstream kids. Other school districts literally have no funding for that. ALL schools have to provide your child with SOMETHING but what that something is depends on what they can actually afford to offer you. You can start looking in your area for ABA providers. ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analytics and is pretty much the go-to for autism therapy. It is not the ONLY therapy available and it also doesn’t have universal guidelines. Sometimes insurance will cover it, sometimes it won’t, sometimes they will only cover *some* ABA providers and not others. Some ABA is center based and some is in-home. It is not a replacement for school though. If your school district has nothing decent in the way of support (such as comprehensive speech therapy, occupational therapy, personal aides, etc) then start looking at private schools. Think about what it is you want your son to achieve in school and find a program that is similar to it. Find a school that is passionate about working with the family and the child to meet realistic and worthwhile goals together. Good luck!

  • Scarlett
    Jul 11, 2018

    Margaret do you have any other kids? He has a 7 yr old sister and I am not sure how to explain to her about this. She makes him cry all the time

  • Margaret
    Jul 11, 2018

    I don’t, just the one son. You might make a separate post about that though, there’s lots of families of autistics on Winnie who might help!

  • Scarlett
    Jul 11, 2018

    Our school system barely has a special needs program at all and in fact is closing 4 schools due to lack of funding. We do have a couple of special needs school around here but they are ridiculously expensive. Have started looking into SSI to help with costs but sheesh it's gonna take forever. Right now he barely talks and pretty much acts more like a 2 yr old than a 4 yr old so being able to communicate is a huge goal then potty training hopefully can follow

  • Margaret
    Jul 11, 2018

    Good luck. It can be really hard to get the help you need. I’m lucky living in California that we have a regional center to help families and individuals with developmental delays and other handicaps. Some states don’t see the value in them :(

  • Scarlett
    Jul 11, 2018

    I am from GA and we have great schools there but I moved to Alabama and this school system is just terrible

  • Meaghan
    Aug 19, 2018

    I have a 7 year old son with non verbal classic autism. We tried out a private autism school for kindergarten and I wasn’t impressed. It’s VERY expensive! And it felt like a overpriced daycare. He has been in public school for the last 2 years and I feel he gets more out of it than he did the private school. Aba therapy has been amazing for him. As long as he’s getting aba outside of school I’m not too worried about what he’s doing in actual school.