As I wrote recently, he has Down syndrome. I would have thought it would be perfectly reasonable to expect him (and the school) to receive some extra help to learn. We have chosen to send him to our local mainstream school. Not only will two of his sisters be attending this school, so will most of the children that live near us. Master six will be living in a mainstream world so it makes sense to us that he be a part of it during his school years. He needs to develop relationships with people in our area, just like we all do.
|Master Six as a toddler|
I know that there is not a bottomless pit of money but I know if they allowed me to choose how our tax was spent, we could cover our sons needs and still have some left. What is with our government and catch cries! ' Every child, every opportunity.' I don't know if this is a federal or state slogan, but this catch cry seems laughable. Should they say 'Every child, every token opportunity!'?
They need to also consider that it is money well spent. Our aim is that he be a contributing member of society, has a job and pays taxes just like everyone else. We may need some help to get to this point but eventually they would recoup their costs. I am scared that they will decide he is too capable to receive the funding because of all the work we have put in so far. Not fair really!
So Master six sat and answered questions, had pieces of paper put in front of him that brought tears to my eyes because it seemed so cruel. "If the symbol is in this row, tick it. If it is not in this row, tick the question mark."
|Master Six as he is now. Typical little boy!|
And the result..... my son now officially has an intellectual disability. Well what do you know?! Does this mean he gets an aide? No! He is now eligible to apply. They look at all his reports and decide whether THEY think he needs one. I felt like I was on a quiz show. "Congratulations, your son has a disability! You are now eligible to go into the draw for A NEW AIDE!"
Master six will be fine. We have a great little school which will offer him the help he needs, even if he doesn't end up with an aide. We are very fortunate and hopefully next year will be fabulous for him. It just upsets me. I am usually proud to be Australian, but processes like this one seem so unnecessary and demeaning. I wish all our political parties showed people respect!
This year we have travelled to a centre that has an early intervention program. We do 400kms per week to access two sessions. The centre is fantastic and the staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We have seen him grow in leaps and bounds with their help. Let's hope the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development consider my son worth spending some time and money on! It would be a great support to my son and to our little local school.
Now sorry, but I must be off to limber up. I need to be in fine form to make sure I'm ready for the next set of hoops I'll need to jump through. Heaven knows what they'll throw at us next!