Autism or not, that is the question?

I still don’t feel recovered from the long interview at BUP, where you have to wreck your brain and remember every single little miniscule detail about your child. “When he asks for something, does he look at you and then point at the item”, “Does he shake his head when he does not want something, nods his head when he wants it?”, “What does he do when you don’t understand what he is saying?”, “Does he use any gestures when speaking?”, “Does he have any facial expressions?”, it just went on an on and on for two whole hours. They still do not have a true clue of what can have caused his “severe language impairment”. F., the psychologist said that he does things that Autistic children don’t do at all, normal things, but that the language is behind and social skills are not complete. So, the outcome of the long interview is, that further testing is needed. Next F. will do an IQ test on him in February. So now they want to declare him a retard! He asked me if “Gubby” can sit and take a test for two hours and I said that I haven’t a clue. It all depends on if I can make him fall asleep early the night before. But if he takes a nap, in the car or in the afternoon, it is difficult to get him to fall asleep early in the evening, and then he will be tired in the morning, or after a while. So, we have two appointments, two days in a row, at 9:00 in the morning, and he will hopefully get the test done in those two days! Two days later, a doctor will examine him! I am getting sick and tired of all this.

Since he is considered so late with everything, I have contacted the headmaster at the Montessori school and asked him, if “Gubby” can stay at the pre-school for an extra year. I had to write down reasons of course but for once, the personnel also backed me up at the pre-school. They have a lot of work left to do with him. Like me, they do not feel that he is mature enough for zero-class with his peers. And no way I want him to go in to a group of mean kids, that understand quickly, that this child can be tricked in to doing whatever. They could lure him out in to the forest by the school and then just abandon him. And he would die out there. Would not be the first time it happens in Sweden. Children grow more and more cruel.

The headmaster gave his assent but then he told me that I also have to apply to the local council so that he will have a delayed school start. If they refuse, in a year, then we sit with the dilemma that he does not get to do the zero-class, that is a smooth transition in to school, and is forced to start first grade right away. The child really miss out then. So, I have had to contact the council on this account and they treat me like I am mad of course, since he is 1 1/2 year away from school start! But the headmaster wants this to be done NOW even though I have not even decided that he will go to a Montessori school and that one! If he gets the diagnosis Autism, after all, there is a newly started school in the next village for Autistic children, where all the teachers are especially educated to teach children with this handicap. I am not going to have a handicapped child go to a regular school where he would get teased, treated poorly, be abused and taken advantage of. I will protect my sweetie from that, as far as I can, which is why the Catholic school, that my other children attend, will never be an option for him.

It is too big. The children are too mean. They swear like the worse dock workers. As a matter of fact, sometimes I wonder why I have the children there at all, since we are not Catholic, but I just figure that children are as terrible in all the other schools as well. And the Catholic school has the advantage of having small classes, which of course council schools do not. Small classes mean more attention on the students and learning. Less noise. But there are disadvantages as well. Many foreign teachers that hardly speak Swedish, that in all probability have received their jobs because they are Catholic and who might not even have the necessary degrees they ought to have.

When the awful interview was over, we sat and waited for the psychologist that is testing “Boo” to show up. She arrived and she has made the decision to move on with the testing. But she has a long waiting queue of over two months. Lots and lots of children to test. Now, what does that say about Swedish society, schools and the all the cutbacks? If BUP is so terribly busy with testing abnormal children? Maybe they are the normal ones that show how sick our society has become? I more and more adhere to that idea. So, she can not do anything more for him, for over two months, and the school is on its own, trying to sort out his behaviour. I asked her about my suspicions and his teacher’s, that he might be dyslexic. She felt that school psychologist’s testing indicated that he might have it but it is not the psychology department that tests for it, but “voice- and speech department” at the hospital. She wanted me to go back to the school psychologist and ask her to send a referral to them, saying that he is already in BUP’s system, being tested and then he will pass the queue at the hospital. That when they try to assess what might be his problem, his diagnosis, this test for dyslexia, is important for the assessment. So I did as I was told, and the school psychologist refuses! She says that it takes 2-3 years of reading before it shows. That since he is already going to a speech therapist, it is unnecessary and that BUP should not have had me act messenger! I got angry with her and wrote this Polish lady back, who hardly understand a word I SAY and I hardly understand HER, that first of all, I would not call it that he goes to a speech therapist anymore, since he just sees her once a year for a test. The school psychologist said he has “severe language impairment” and I told her, that this is being said about his LITTLE BROTHER, not “Boo” who is said to just have “significantly delayed language”. It’s a big difference since what his brother has, is usually caused by Autism, but what he has can be caused by something entirely different.

Secondly, I wrote her, that as difficult time as he is having with writing letters and learning to read, our life is an uphill struggle. That I want to out rule dyslexia because we are having such a tough time and he is not getting anywhere. He just can’t learn to read at this point! And the teacher is having a nightmare of a time as well. She had bought in these exciting learning to read books and we had to abandon that one for “Boo” and go to a super easy very old learning to read book so he will not feel like such a failure! So the school psychologist wants us to have this hell till he starts 4th grade and then test him and find out what we should have done for three years already? Sick! And by that time he will not have his wonderful teacher who has long experience working with ADHD children, handicapped children, children that have been kicked out of all other schools. She is only at the school till June. In August, the other teacher that hated “Boo” from day one in zero-class, comes back from maternity leave and takes over. Which means that “Boo’s” life will come crashing down around his feet, I will have to find another school because you can’t have a teacher that hates you for two more years, when you have perhaps a brain damage and learning disability. The headmaster is trying to persuade “Boo’s” teacher to stay on. My personal opinion is that he might have realised that he made a mistake when he employed her friend!!! I get a stomach ache when I think about it all. We all hope that she will not come back from maternity leave or go on work elsewhere. She is truly awful and should not be allowed to teach young children. She has an expression like a sour lemon all the time and how can a child want to go to school, then let alone, feel like learning is fun?



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6 responses to “Autism or not, that is the question?

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  3. My English is not good enough for either!

  4. I really don’t know anything about computers. It’s all trial and errors with me. When I started this, I just chose a background and started typing. That is why my blog is not one bit fancy!!! Others have posts sorted under topics etc. Have not learned that yet and noone around that can teach me either. My only suggestion is, just dive in there and start writing. Technical things must not stop anyone from venting or documenting their life! Which is what I do.

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