Why Autism And School Ain’t As Good As It Used To Be

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Having autism myself, which was undiagnosed at the time of my school years, puts me in a greater position to understand my 15 year old son Sam who was also diagnosed with Autism two years ago.

This is the shortened version of the torture we went through during this time as a family. 

Only because I have the knowledge of being a school refuser myself, was I able to understand why Sam was refusing to go to school. 

Sam is highly intelligent. He received the one of highest Sats results in the country at the age of 10, and loved the attention that this intelligence brought him. 

Unfortunately with Sams high intelligence also comes high anxiety. 

Anxiety, if not spotted early and dealt with  effectively, leads straight to school refusal in sam’s case and many other children just like him on the spectrum. 

So how have schools changed to include children who are on the spectrum, or meet the needs of a highly anxious child with ASD ?

Some mainstream schools now have what is known as a hub for AEN students. Those with additional educational needs. 

These usually comprise of children with all different varieties of needs.

Sams learning difficulty is not because he finds the work difficult, it is because of the environment in which he is expected to do it in. 

Although these ‘hubs’ now exist in some schools, children are still expected to just ‘fit in’ with mainstream life. 

Having autism for Sam means that he can’t fit in. The energy Sam needs to try and fit into the school ‘box’ exhausts him, and he can only manage it for so long until cracks begin to appear, and school refusal begins again. 

Sam has been refusing school for around a month now. After government cuts forced him into sharing school transport, meant changing his driver with whom he had built a rapport with over the previous year, who he had gained a lot of trust in, and who had shared his triumphs in getting in to school the previous term.

An accident involving the new taxi driver who left the children to fend for themselves after the accident, and failed to inform anybody about it, all left Sam with whiplash, and a huge rise in his anxiety levels, which has in turn spiralled into school refusal once again. 

Schools are still as ill equipped in dealing with Autism today, as they were 40 years ago. 

There have been no changes in the way that people with Autism are still expected to somehow ‘fit In’ with an outdated education system.

People with Autism now have a name for their differences, and are not labelled as ‘maladjusted’ as I was back in the eighties. Much has been learned about Autism over the last few years, but nothing has been changed fundamentally to the mainstream education system It is still as rigid as it always was. Fit in or else.

Sam seems to be paving the way for himself. He tailor made his own curriculum, and up until a few months ago was doing an amazing job of keeping it all together. 

Unfortunately juggling too many balls in a mainstream secondary school setting has been too much for him to cope with. 

The education system in the UK needs a complete overhaul. 

We are creating anxious and depressed young adults who will be our future generation. 

School anxiety has become a huge problem in the uk, with thousands upon thousands of children, too ill to go to school because of it. 

Instead of treating our children with anti- anxiety medication, the government need take a look at the real problem, instead of just treating the side effects. 

The way things are going we are heading into a generation of un-educated, anxious and isolated individuals, who will have problems well into their adult lives because of it. 

If like me you are fighting to get your child an education suitable for their needs, don’t stop. Don’t give up ,we have to pave the way for future generations of children on the spectrum. Autism isn’t going away, its here to stay.

We all deserve a better future going forward.

Love Betty 

How Closing Tabs Can Help You Be More Healthy

We’ve all been there, forgetting to close Tabs on your computer until it starts running slowly, or stops working altogether. 

Overload.

There is too much data for our computer to handle.

Our brains work very similar to computers. But are much more superior.

Our Brains have units in networks (Neurons instead of semiconductors. They take in, and compile data. They analyse it and generate output, and so much more. 

Most people don’t even realise that they can have hundreds of open tabs in their brain at any one time. 

These tabs can be thoughts, feelings emotions, memories, basically any data that your brain has encountered is stored away safely.

We often find that when we worry too much, or become too stressed our brain will keep us awake at night searching for a solution to the problem. 

Unfortunately we won’t find the answer in things that happened 20 years ago, or whether our bum looked fat in that dress we wore last week.

not mine or fat…just a bum…

the brain will flick from one thought to another in a desperate attempt to find a solution from all of the stored data that it has, and it has lots of it.

The brain is trying to tell us that something isn’t right, it is glitching and needs a reboot.

Because we are often unaware of what is happening we go to the GP, we take pills, but nothing ever seems to work. 

Since realising that I have had hundreds of thought tabs open most of the time, I have been working on closing them down. Having all of these tabs open has prevented me from seeing clearly, from thinking clearly, it has basically prevented me from living a happy fulfilling life. 

Since closing my tabs down, via medication and meditation I have become so much happier, much more productive, and rarely anxious. This is because I regularly empty the caches from my brain and close unnecessary tabs, just like I do on my MacBook when the need arises.

We all take care of our PC’s in this way, so why not do it for our own super computer ?

Our brains are super computers, they need regular maintenance and servicing, just like any other machine only in a different way.

Have you had your brain serviced lately? 

What are you waiting for ? 

Don’t leave it until it is too late, anxiety leads to depression, depression can lead to suicide. Take control before you lose control.

Close any open tabs, empty your caches, and show your brain some love today.

love Betty x