I once read that kids with PDD-NOS “…don’t understand why things are wrong, that they are wrong, what affect they may have on others, or how their actions can make others feel.” I copied these words down for myself, but I didn’t note the author, so I can’t give credit where credit is due. My husband will probably tell you that I do that a lot. Not the stealing quotes part, but the not giving credit thing. In my defense, washing the dishes once per week does not a kitchen-helper make. I digress.
My 10 year old son has PDD-NOS. This stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, which can also be called sub-threshold autism, or autism spectrum disorder, or GOOD HEAVENS WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OUR CHILD RIGHT NOW? We’ve called it all of those things at one time or another.
The fact is, no matter what you call it, it’s a disability. My son’s brain does not function like a typical child’s brain. He does not understand social cues, he has a hard time understanding figurative language, he exhibits repetitive behaviors, and he exhibits repetitive behaviors. See what I did there? He can also become easily frustrated. Though, I could say the same about my 14 year old daughter. *crosses arms* *rolls eyes*
For the past seven years we have been trying to mainstream this very non-mainstream child. We felt that our small school, with a focus on Christian values was just the right place for him to get not only an education, but also the love and support of our church family. But, I don’t think we can try to force this square peg into a round hole any longer.
We can not snap our fingers and have him suddenly be free of his issues. We can neither employ the same techniques used with other kids, nor expect the same results. He is a unique individual and he needs a unique plan and the comfort of being in a place where he, and his intentions, are not misunderstood.
It is not an easy decision to remove your child from the school where he’s spent almost half his life. It’s hard to turn away from the families and teachers who have supported us, but I want him to be in a place where he doesn’t stand out or get called out. For once, I want him to be the typical kid.
So, if you need me, I’ll be doing some research and lots of paperwork. I think we have a move to make.