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School, Catholic or Public?

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 9:23 AM
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Hi, I am getting ready to enroll my five year old in Kinderarten. I was wondering if anyone out there had experience with havin a child on the spectrum in a private religius school, and how did it go?
My kindergartener, I believe, is not autistic. (My 12 year old is) But, my 5er has a short temper and some quirky behavior that I think he picked up from big bro.
I am just a little hesitant to put him in catholic school because of a bad experience we had with big brother. We were just finding out about asperger's syndrome when brother was in 4th grade, and had some horrible delays with getting dx and services. (I have posted about this before)
We took him out of the Catholic school middle of fifth grade because his first year teacher was doing nothing but sending home long lists of unfinished work, and when he had a really bad behavior day, the principal screamed at me "I want Tyler fixed!"  Well, if I could have just instantly assembled a team of therapists to fix him before the next school day I would have. Instead we put him back in public school with a crowded class and lower expectations,but we knew the teachers were used to having special needs children.

Sorry I got a little off track. But that horrible 5th grade year is all that holds me back from enrolling my younger son in a Catholic school. SO, just in case I find out that my younger one also is on the spectrum, any advice with ASD kids succeeding in a small catholic school? 
by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 9:23 AM
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by Member on Jul. 31, 2007 at 9:37 AM
If your kindergartener is on the spectrum, it would be the rare parochial school that would be able to handle it (they are notorious for not being able to handle behavior problems that don't repond to the normal punishment model)- though there are exceptions (usually it's due to an exceptional teacher in a particular grade).  That said, if the quirky behaviors were just learned & not part of a disability, the parochial school would be an excellent place to have that "fixed". 

We are in the beginning process of getting three of my kids Dx- your post caught my eye because we, too, caught ithe HFA  when they were older.  My 13 yr. old, by the way, was able to  function very well in our parochial school's drama class (we're home schoolers, but integrated the kids in the drama class), despite his many quirky behaviors.
by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 10:44 AM
We will actually be sending Josef to catholic school.  He is 3 1/2 yrs and I am currently homeschooling and intergrating therapies in addition to what he receives privately.

The catholic school he will be attending, is ran by our church.  When Josef was diagnosed, the child pysch even asked us if we were catholic!  She wanted to make sure that Josef would be going to the BEST schooll in the area!  When we told her that we had already planned on sending Josef to St. Joe's she was beyond thrilled!  This is the best school in the 100 mile area!  Many children who are on the spectrum have attended this school pre-k thru 8th without any problems!  I would say 60% of the ASD community actually goes to St. Joes.  The other (severe and moderatly severe end of the spectrum) are either homeschooled or are in the pathetic public school system we have here.  Children who are on the spectrum do so well at St. Joe's because of the structure and small class room sizes. All the children who attend go on to high school and are at the top of their classes-NT or ASD.

It was never a question as to where Josef would go to school.  Even before we knew he was on the spectrum.  We knew wherever we lived, he would NEVER go to public school. 

His OT and child pyschologist agree that there is not one reason he can not attend St. Joe's or that he will succeed.  He is a very bright young man, and when given the right direction he succeeds in everyway possible.

His OT can not belive the progress he has made over the past 4 weeks! 

It is a personal decision for you and your family to make.  For us it was never a question as to where Josef would go to school.  The schools here are awful!  I would not send my dying donkey to a public school here.

We receive private OT, so the issue of him getting OT in school is not there.  If the school can provide what your son needs, than this would be the school I would send him to.

by Member on Jul. 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM
Here is an update:

First, many thanks to you two who replied already. Second, I realized this could turn into a "hot topic" and I don't want to start a debate, just gather honest opinions and experiences. So, if anyone wants to PM me with your story , about public or private schools, that might be better. Thanks again
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