On Wednesday my autistic son suffered a massive autistic meltdown and had to be restrained by six teachers. Six teachers.
Nobody really knows why the meltdown occurred, but he has been excluded from his school for 30 days. Given his age (almost 16) and the fact that he is violent and strong, it’s almost certain that he shall not be returning. He apparently wants to move on to the college that he shall be attending in September (I believe it’s a college specifically for autistic students). He is tired of school and the restrictions imposed on him there.
I didn’t hear of this until early this evening when my mother called me – and even then she left the news until just before she had to go.
It is Sunday and nobody thought to let me know that my son has been excluded from the school that he’s been attending since he was four years old.
I did my best to remain rational and sensible. This is a very difficult thing to do when you are autistic yourself.
I called R’s foster father and gained details from him. I have to say that I agree with everything he said: R is frustrated, feels held back and is unable to express himself. He becomes angry, frustrated and violent when he can’t make himself understood. Going back to the school would definitely be detrimental to him when he’s visited the college and loves it. He is keen to learn and feels held back at school – or that’s the impression we all get, anyway.
I then emailed his school asking why I had not been told about this. I still maintain parental responsibility, I sign release forms to allow him to go on school holidays etc… and nobody contacted me.
Once I got those two calls out of the way I felt it building inside me.
The Meltdown. The awful moment when you realise that you’re entering autistic emotional overload – and there’s not a thing that you can do about it.
I felt my brain buzzing, my body thrumming. My left hand curled in to a fist and began to beat rhythmically against the mattress. I began to hyperventilate; then I began to cry and scream. The inside of my bottom lip has been chewed to pieces.
I tried to curl up in to a ball, but D cuddled me and let me cry.
I am still not good, but I’m better than I was. It hurts to know that an SN school couldn’t cope with my beloved son when an NT school somehow managed to cope with me.
It hurts even more to know that I was the last to find out. By my own choice he is not in my care, but I maintain a close relationship with him… so surely this can’t be right?
Autism is still not properly understood. This truly needs to be addressed.