When 2e child Is Placed in the Correct School Setting

When a child is placed in an inappropriate setting at school, it affects the child in more settings than school. My son N is 10 years old. He has been in typical classes since he was in preschool. He was diagnosed as autistic when he was 3. When trying to get hims services we were told that he wasn’t disabled enough (whatever that means) or that he is too smart for services. He gave me permission to write about this to try to help other kids.

After educational testing, we found out that N is Twice Exceptional (2e). Here is a video explaining what that is.

The story of his struggles in school can be found here.

Life At Home

Behavior is communication. He was trying to communicate with my husband and I but we did not understand what he needed. This pressure from school did not just stay at school. At home it was not easy. I would be feeding the baby and N would be starting with every one of his siblings 7 years or older. The baby is only a month old and if he said anything to her, she would not understand.

N would be hitting, biting and throwing things at his siblings or at my husband and I. He would hide A’s phone who needs it to monitor blood sugar (A is a type one diabetic). We took him to a psychiatrist to see if there was an underlying mental health issue that needed to be addressed. We found a wonder psychiatrist who is 100 percent against ABA. She is great with all my kids. He is on a lot of medication but he was placed on these before being placed in the new school.  We just wanted to help him. Never once did we make this about us, it was about N and what he was going through.

None of these behaviors were punished. We had to separate him from his siblings until he calmed down so no one would get hurt. Once things were calm, he was able to play with his siblings again. I knew something was going on with him but was not sure what. His pediatrician sent him to a neurologist. Nothing outside of the fact that he is autistic and I know that him being autistic does not make him aggress like this as he really is a really sweet boy who cares about other people. The neurologist tried to get me to put him in ABA and that was the last time we saw him.

Transition to a New School

After N’s IEP meeting, we told him he would have to change schools. We emphasised that he did nothing wrong but they did not have the right program for him. We gave him a week off so he had time to transition. He started school this past monday. When he came home from school on Monday and Tuesday he was a very calm, very happy N.
Can I say OMG? I told him I noticed a huge difference in his happiness. He told me that he was not feeling the pressure to be like everyone else in school. The teachers respected his uniqueness but being in class with typical children was enough to put an immense amount of pressure on him. At the typical school, they put more accommodations on his 504, the principal had a sensory bin just for him, etc. They really tried but it was not enough.
He was telling me yesterday he was allowed to bring one toy to school and every student in his class was able to tell the class what makes it special. N has a special interest in penguins. He has a lot of plush penguins. The one he brought to school he gave the persona of having an Italian accent. He was able to tell the class about his penguin without the other kids making fun of him. That was huge. He had a huge smile from ear to ear when I picked him up with from school.
He had borrowed a book from the old school library that he loved very much about dolphins. I had asked D to return it but before he did, I took note of the title. I ordered him the same book on Amazon and its coming this Friday. I told him what I did and he was really happy about that.
I originally wanted to put him in the school A and Bug go to. It’s a charter school for autistic children but it was not a right fit for him. He needed something between that and typical school. We took a chance to put him in public school and we were pleasantly surprised.
In the car I asked him if he was happy. For the first time he was able to tell me,”Yes, Mom, I am.”

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