Days before school began this year, Leroy started showing signs of anxiousness. He couldn't sleep, he wasn't eating well. After school started, Leroy would come home with his shirts chewed through...large holes in them. Leroy had picked apart his sandals. Leroy cried and had panic attacks during homework. One visit to his Pediatric Specialist doctor and one visit to his Psychologist indicated that we needed to get him out of the Mayberry school...and quick. The doctor explained to me that when Asperger's kids get older and social situations and homework becomes more demanding, they can lose control very quickly, especially in schools like Mayberry where their method of teaching is quite severe and with little empathy. The Mayberry school would not give Leroy any support. They had a school Psychologist on the property for 1/2 day, once a week for five hundred kids K-8th grade. That meant that Leroy was going to get lost in the shuffle.
A lot of my anger is directed towards the Mayberry school (I call it" The Gestapo"). They have ideals centered around conforming. As long as you can have complete silence in the bathrooms and in line, get good grades on the testing scores and do well on daily timed reading and math problems....you will do okay. If you or your child has difficulty with any of these things, then their response is, "So sorry. I guess this school isn't for your child." This infuriates me because I wanted a neighborhood school for my kids. Our house is a block from the Mayberry school.
One day, I approached the Mayberry teacher (who is a very nice woman by the way). I said that Leroy can't do the timed math. " If I say the math out loud ie: 9+5, 8+3, 7+11 etc. and Leroy says the answers aloud, he is very, very fast. We can sail through the timed math with seconds to spare. But if Leroy has to write down the answers, if his fours or eights aren't written perfectly then he erases them and starts over. He knows the answers, Leroy just gets caught up in the details." Mrs. Soinso understood, but she said that she could do nothing about it. Leroy had to buck up. They couldn't make exceptions. I pulled Leroy out the next day with no plan in place for another school. I considered homeschooling, tutors and other schools in Mayberry valley.
On a positive note, finding this new school for Leroy is like a breath of fresh air. They were embracing. They said, "Come to our school and Leroy will be taken care of. We will set him up on an IEP. We will make sure there is an aid with him on the playground to ensure that he socially has the support he needs. Leroy is a smart and beautiful child. We love Leroy's smile."
So do I.