Where do you go when your child has special needs and their school isn't providing enough support? Do you go into major debt to send them to a school to give them every opportunity? And what about your other children.... Does it make sense to pour all of your resources into your special needs child and not give the same opportunity to your other children? Are there any public schools that do a better job than others to provide for special needs children? Which schools are those that do a better job? Is it just a matter of doing everything with your child after school to help them read, spell and write? Do you just have to get a tutor to do that extra with them?
I never ever thought of the importance of grade one. The foundations of reading, writing, and math are so important. And if we don't get those foundations well molded the future will only get harder and harder, the delays, the gaps will just become wider and wider. I feel a sense of urgency to find the right place for our children now. With Zach having autism and Jack having a severe speech delay as well as some pretty challenging emotional needs or is it actually physical needs one will never know...where do we go from here? Will Gabriel have some kind of special needs as well? That sounds really pessimistic but I think that I'm just being realistic. Maddie's speech was a little delayed but not enough to qualify for funding so why would I expect Gabe to be any different.
So here our search begins again. We have found a private school that seems to have a pretty decent special needs class that segregates children but integrates whenever possible. Yes, there are fees to pay for the school but as for private schools the fees don't seem to be as enormous as some. In this way, we could send all of our children there and therefore they would all benefit. They have a family cap which makes it even more enticing to send our special needs children. The down side is that there is no transportation and so here we go again being a taxi driver to take our children to school. We may consider moving closer to the school so the commute isn't as far. We had been thinking of relocating again anyways so this just helps us narrow down a search for where we may move to.
Our sweet Zachary will be very sad to be riding in the van again rather than being on the bus. As for many children with autism, the children have started to notice that there is something different about Zach and so his friendships are not as tight as they once were. It breaks our hearts to see Zachary longing to have play dates with some children that no longer seem to have the same interest in playing with him. You can only do so many things as a parent to try and attempt to form and facilitate the friendships but at a certain point, nature will take its course. Zachary's friendships with other children with autism seem to be growing stronger due to that eternal awkwardness but connection at the same time. We are very grateful for these friendships.
And so here we are looking for the best options for our children. No different than typical children with their parents. Only the special circumstances and challenges that come along with different needs.