Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A School for Nicholas

It has been a long journey,

over several months.

I have risked great personal injury (or at least flying truck tires)

and sacrificed many a sunny summer day

in an effort to find a safe and appropriate school for Nicholas.

Finally, I believe, I have found one.

Children diagnosed with PWS vary greatly in their educational profiles. Some are able to fit into the public school environment with little to no support. Others, require a residential setting.

Nick is what I call a middle man.

Cognitively, he is unable to attend in a public school lecture-based program. He requires small group instruction in a setting that is sensory-subdued and food-safety-secured.

This type of program is difficult to find, even in a collaborative or private school location.

One thing that did become immediately clear to me during my many school visits was that special ed programs often take place in the most dreadful environments.

Small, windowless classrooms, tucked away in the bowels of buildings that are often unclean, cramped and cluttered with outdated furnishings and ugly appliances. Ugh.

As if to say, these children are not worthy of our attention, our dollars or our compassionate care.

But that is a post for another day.

There were several things I was looking for in a school for Nick:
  • Clean, spacious, small to mid-sized school community
  • Peers at his level of cognitive, behavioral and social ability
  • Compassionate and eager-to-learn staff
  • Food-safety controllable classroom
  • PT, ST, BCBA and OT services
  • Sensory rooms and services
  • Community-based programs for vocational training
I believe I have finally found it.

I am still waiting for the intake meeting to be scheduled,

but if all goes well he will be starting on October 3.

I am hopeful that I have found a place where Nick can be happy and safe

and thrive once again.

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers dear readers.

I am ready for a new adventure to begin.