Your wisdom and objectivity were missed tremendously these last few months as I’ve been treading unchartered waters. Thinking about the school environment; learning versus education. Analysing it all in a space where there’s no room for indecisiveness.
I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing our experiences and needs as a parent and child. Navigating this thing called education, and how, where and when this is acquired. Analysing the costs on self and ability, in a school system that deflects and subtly rejects. Together, Kai and I have been debating the pros and cons of his current school environment. The inclusive education that remains elusive. We’ve concluded that “acceptance” does not necessarily imply understanding or a willingness to accommodate, change and support.
Since day one I’ve been going against the ebb and flow of conventional norms. Doing things differently, doing things in a way that made perfect sense to me. Even if it took me a while longer.
After doing much reading on education in terms of our government, and how this right MUST be accessed by all children. I’ve also realised that this right MAY also be accessed by all children in a way that MAKES SENSE to THEM.
These last few years of advocating for inclusion, accommodations and extra support in an environment where my child does not belong has drained me. And you know that for the longest of times we’ve looked at alternative schools and always come up against that financial and logistical barrier.
However, you were so open and supportive of a radical alternative way that you offered to homeschool Kai! I of course turned you down. Back then it would have been a duplication of the very system that’s been crushing this child of mine and well, we could not afford the income loss.
So, we persevered and put additional support measures in place. Kai persevered. Academic success continued even though the inconsistent environment left little room for feelings of security, acceptance and self-expression. It slowly started squeezing the Kai out of the happy-go-lucky-expressive child we knew.
I’ve realised that amazing teachers and wonderful peers can never replace or make up for Kai’s different learning and environmental needs. Also, a school management structure and government barriers where the education department fails to understand or implement their own policies, to better support the child with special needs, like a noose around my neck. Clarity, decisive action is required!
We’ve reached the end of our mainstream school journey.
Today I am writing to tell you that we are going to be fierce and adventurous. We are changing lanes and creating our own unique learning path to an education. We are no longer going to chain ourselves to the system, we are breaking free!
Dad, you can embrace this moment with great pride. The Aspies are breaking free and adventure awaits!