I think any parent of an autistic child who’s exploring the possibility of mainstream school for the first time, can relate to what I’ve been feeling. After a decade of charter school, Elliott has been mainstreamed. This really should have happened long ago but it’s happening now and I wanted to share part of that journey.
His first full day was going well and honestly, did go well.
The new school is a huge change from what he’s used to. The volume of students alone has increased from 60 to what I learned last night was actually over 2,000 students. That’s a big adjustment. I’ll be completely upfront and say that I have been a nervous wreck about these changes. I imagine that some of you out there can relate. It’s tough for any kid to switch schools, let alone switch high schools 2/3 of the way through the school year, and have it be as dramatic as a shift to being mainstreamed.
I’m a grown man and mainstreaming can be fucking scary. I’m not even the one going to school and it’s overwhelming. I can’t even imagine how overwhelming it would be for our kids actually experiencing this first hand.
About noon I started getting texts messages from Elliott. He was stressing out and on the verge of a panic attack. He was in the lunch room, where it was really loud, and there were so many people. He was feeling sick, overwhelmed and overstimulated. I was ready to jump in the car and rescue him, especially after he asked me to come get him.