Special Schools — 5 Minutes for Special Needs


This week has been one of those weeks where my emotions have gone from elation to fear to peace—and then back again!

It is time for Jack to head to school. In the past, I was determined that the only way he was going to do school was with me by his side (meaning: home school). I am, however, beginning to understand that there needs to be a break between my son and I.

His power (both physical and emotional) is getting stronger…


So, I looked in to schools. The public school near us would be OK, but he would be labeled as “Other Health Impaired” and a list of other things…meaning he would only hang out with the other kids for recess (which he can’t really do much of) and PE (same thing). I looked in to private teaching–I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an extra $25,000 hanging out of my pockets.

And then we stumbled upon “special school.” This school is super tiny. There are only 3-4 kids in each class. And they are all special.

Don’t think I jumped on board right away. Actually, I canceled our appointment to go visit.

I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t force myself to walk in to this school and enroll my son.



A)I don’t want to?

B) I don’t want him away from me?

C) I don’t trust anyone else (heh)? I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m paying for school now since he won’t probably ever go to college?

D) I’m too emotionally charged about it right now to make a good decision?

E) All of the above.



What do you do? What works for you? What doesn’t?


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Heather is a mom of two, wife, and nurse educator doing what she can to save the day! She lives in Orlando where she is routinely spotted driving while singing ABBA--all on a mission to advocate and educate!

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1 Nicole April 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

I know all too well how you feel. My son Jason is now 11yrs old and autistic ; my oldest. When it was time for him to go to school, i felt like i was going to have a full on panic attack. I had to search for the right fit for him, and that made me feel comfortable. When I did, and i feel certain things needed to be adjusted for him, I was on top of them like white on rice. You are his voice – I now have a 5yr old son (typical) and a 3 1/2 daughter that is being tested for autism. Just know it will hurt, but in your heart you will know when something is the right fit. Hang in there 🙂

2 Heather P April 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

Thank you Nicole…it’s a process isn’t it? I’m trying! 🙂

3 Jo April 4, 2012 at 4:36 am

How are you doing with this Heather? It is hard and few understand.
My son’s issues are not as complex as Jack’s but deciding on school what tough. In a mainstream school he would get lost-30 kids, one teacher and one assistant..
Fortunatly we found a lovely private school about 10 minutes away and he is thriving there.
His dietary issues are a big thing which we are still figuring out. Thankfully school have been supportive and I can take him home for lunch. If we didn’t have this option I am sure I would have to homeschool him.
For you I think you have to do what your heart tells you is right. You know him and his needs better than anyone. I can understand all the things you list….
I hope you are able to come to the right decision for Jack and just as importantly you.

4 Heather P April 4, 2012 at 8:58 am

Hello friend…
I’m doing OK. I think I’m riding this weird wave of emotions. I haven’t really made a firm decision. I may have to write about this more because I think it really does need to be spoken about and to, you know?

I’m glad you have a good school…that works with you! That must make all the difference in the world!

5 Jo April 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

Take your time, Follow your heart and your head. Write when you need too. Often the wider world just doesn’t get why these decisisons are so hard. Perhaps those parents who have been in similar will lean their support.
We were lucky that we found the right place. It is private so we have to pay. That means scarifices but he is doing well. I know he or me wouldn’t be able to cope with mainstream for many reasons but right nopw diet is the big one. Few can relate to this one. They think you are just over reactiong, fussy and the rest.

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