Things have taken an interesting twist at Patrick's school. Well, in his class to be more precise.
A new student! A new special needs student! A new special needs student who will need to share Patrick's EA!!
Ok, after the initial shock I realized that this will probably be fine. At first I didn't know the diagnosis. I was a bit worried. Moreso about next year when they were planning to remove a lot of his support anyway. With my consent, Patrick is doing very well at this school. Now he may be in a Grade 1 class with this child and an EA. Not too sure how I'm feeling about that yet.
This girl starts tomorrow. Today I got some information. I guess after the mom came in and talked to the teacher she asked if she could call me.
Turns out, they're thinking an Autism diagnosis is where they're going. But, their doctor has only requested speech therapy (and has not even mentioned sending her for an evaluation for autism). The mom wants to talk to me to find out how we navigated the system, not only to get the diagnosis but for support and stuff. (This girl is 6, and they've been thinking they could 'do it' on their own but are now realizing they cannot. Looks like now the younger sibling might also be on the spectrum and they're quite lost).
Then, after having a few hours to think about all this, I realize that I KNOW this girl. She attempted to join preschool the year Patrick was there but her parents pulled her after two weeks. I will say that I 'labelled' her autistic the moment I met her. I'm not a doctor of course and I could be way wrong, but since we were going through the diagnosis stage I really recognized her issues as most likely having to do with autism.
So, I'm willing to talk to this mom. I really hope I can help. I also hope I can take away some of the desperation they must be feeling right now. And the first thing I'm going to tell her, after how to get the evaluation, is how to apply for respite.
Oh, and I'm praying for the teachers. This girl only says one word. It's going to be really hard to integrate her into this classroom. I think they will, and I hope they're successful, but it's going to be a long, hard road. The good news is that I know these teachers well and I know they're willing to meet the challenge.