I’m learning a lot about my boys by being their full-time teacher, and not just their parent. I’m learning how many of my older son’s behaviors were really academically related even though the public school seemed to think that just because his grades were OK, he was fine. It’s really astounding how little they understand autism. I also wonder if his grades may have been better had we written his accommodations differently. I was just doing the best I could as his parent and never having been in the classroom with him.
A good example of this was last week, my son had to answer an essay question for English. The day it came up on his daily schedule in the online school, we had a complete and total meltdown. It was too hard. It didn’t matter how I was breaking it down for him. I finally just said, “Forget it. We’ll work on this tomorrow.”
Tomorrow came. I spent the early morning hours looking up ways to help my son answer essay questions. I was trying to figure out ways to break down the question into even smaller parts. My son woke up a little later that morning, ate his breakfast, sat down at his school computer, and just banged it out in Word, no issues.
The whole experience left me to wonder, how many times had this same scenario played out in school, only where his frustrations got the better of him and that’s where I was getting calls from the principal? Was this because they never did an OT evaluation claiming they didn’t have one at the time? Even to get a qualified OT through our insurance is like sporn hunting.
I’m thankful to have these insights into my son’s learning now. If there comes a day where we venture back into the public school system, I will be better equipped to write his accommodations.