Disability & mainstream – when it CAN work

By | March 4, 2012

There is a boy at T’s old mainstream school who is registered disabled. He’s been there since nursery, he’s one of T’s best friends.

I do “coffee” with his mum from time to time and we text each other, especially now T is no longer at the school. (We moved T in the summer as he’s working about 2 years above his age group and needed more challenging work)

I’m digressing…anyway H has been there since 3 years old, he’s accepted, the other children play with him in the playground and if there are times when he’s upset, there aren’t any withering looks that we, as autism parents, are familiar with. He also has his 1:1 care as a given.

How has this Narnia-like situation in a mainstream school come about, you’re probably asking… Well H has cerebral palsy, he’s in a wheelchair so the children and people in the playground can SEE his disability and how it has effected him.

The children in his class have grown up with him being there and make sure he’s included by wheeling him around at breaktimes and before and after school. I’m not belittling his situation at all, by the way, his mum is his full-time carer, they’ve had to move to a bungalow and she has to do a lot of lifting.

And that’s the “thing” with autism, you can’t see it, feel it, smell it, touch it or hear it – it’s an invisible disability.

I will do a blog about D’s experiences in mainstream as an autistic child but it wasn’t pleasant.

Comments/RTs as ever welcomed.
J 🙂

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lynne on 4th March 2012 at 11:46 am.

thats good to hear ,my son he is 5 and has dyspraxia is in mainstream he is currently being statemented i have seen schools from both sides special schools and mainstream ,my daughter she is autistic and has been in both ,she is now in college she has had more help from her college than she got in her main stream ,kim is 18 now and her schooling was in a spec school and mainstream kim lost her statement was she was 7 and in the remaining time in schooling kim was suppose to have help with her education this was stopped i fought for help but it was constantly refused ,yet as soon as kim started college ,she got all the help she needed without a statement she has a scribe ,they help her understand what the lesson is about also offer her
advice in a way she can understand .kim is doing art and design in college she is also doing IT , english and maths as her grades were vpoor from school .My other son ,he is nearly 16 he is at a special school for autism and he is doing v well


Leigh Forbes (@spectrum_life) on 4th March 2012 at 4:50 pm.

There was a girl at my infant school with spina bifida, and she’s the only person I remember playing with at that time. I would get into terrible trouble for pushing her at high-speed around the playground, yet I still did it. We used to scream with laughter! She loved it, and I loved being able to make someone happy.

But, yes, her disability was obvious; wheelchair-bound and distorted, her needs were attended to as necessary. Mine were not even identified, and it was another thirty six years before anyone recognised and acknowledged my autism.

I don’t know what happened to her – she went on to a special school – but I remember her fondly as one of very few friends from my school years. I wonder now if she could see and sympathise with my difficulties, even if she could not put a name to them.


JenniferTheBook on 5th March 2012 at 5:20 pm.

Hey Jeanette, I love this post it is so true – children are harsh and brutal but only when something is different / ‘scary’, the children obviously accepted the boy in the wheelchair is one of them because it has always been that way, Autism on the other hand is just seen from people who have no clue as awkward and misbehaviour – people just forget because there’s no tell tale sign on the exterior – You’re doing well to spread the word and change people’s opinions – great blog post, Bex x


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