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13/05/2013 at 12:40
Through a few meetings with school and a psychologist who liaises with the school, the psych is about 80% sure N has high functioning autism. I've suspected it for years but never been sure because he doesn't display classic autism signs like lack of eye contact, lack of emotion etc. I'm still gutted though :-( He's been on a waiting list for a full assessment so he should he having that soon. At school they have said he needs a 'shadow aid' full time which we have to pay and could potentially cost a cool 3000fr a month. The psych says we can negotiate whether he needs someone full time or just part time depending on what classes he has ie. for something like drama he might not need anyone. And we can look at getting a masters student to do this which might be slightly cheaper. Still it's more than we can afford. It would leave us with nothing at the end of the month and we would have to make cutbacks. Her only other solution was to move back to the UK where it would be free
I just don't even know what to think right now.
13/05/2013 at 12:52
It's no wonder your gutted and don't know what to think. How much is 3000fr in sterling? What are the possibilities of coming back here?
13/05/2013 at 12:58
I think it's about £2000, basically we'd be paying the average UK wage or something stupid like that. We really don't want to come back, our quality of life would reduce because of salaries being lower and taxes so high, but then that would happen with this situation here anyway. And then when A needs to start nursery in 2 years time...well I don't think we could afford that as well. We were hoping to move to a bigger place which we won't able to do now. I knew they were going to suggest a shadow but I didn't think it would cost so much.
13/05/2013 at 13:00
It's about £2200 I think SW - not cheap!
LB I'm really sorry. Not only are you having to deal with the confirmation he has autism but the cost and effect it will have on you all as a family. Is your H Swiss or just working out there? Can his employer help with a medical scheme at all? I take it your insurances won't cover for things like this? What about locals who have this and can't afford assistance?
13/05/2013 at 13:07
Bloody hell, that is alot of money to be expected to pay every month. Can you not get any help with it from the government or insurance? Do you have to pay for him to go to school there?
What an awful situation, like Belle said, not only are you having to deal with the confirmation of autism but the huge impact it is going to have on your family.
13/05/2013 at 13:08
H is English too. His company probably won't help out financially but we'll ask anyway as apparently they have some sort of dealings with autism charities in UK and one of the big bosses has three children with it too so we may have some sympathy. The state will help financially but only if they deem the 'disability' as bad enough, they would come to our place and see that he can function perfectly well so probably wouldn't give us anything! State schools don't have anything in place for children who need extra help, they get sent to an institution where they don't really do much, how sad is that. N's school and two other international schools (the ones with enormous fees, double what we pay) are the only ones who accept shadows so we either have to afford it or we move back I suppose.
13/05/2013 at 13:10
Oh LB what a blow. I hope you're doing ok. I'm so sorry they charge that much for an aid. Definitely look into a graduate and see how much cheaper it would be xxx
13/05/2013 at 13:26
Oh sorry to hear this LB, really don't have anything useful to say but il send you a virtual hug
really hope you get some help x
13/05/2013 at 13:30
What has your H said about it?
13/05/2013 at 13:36
sorry you've had difficult news. it must be a shock to hear the diagnosis even if you had suspicions and then to be faced with the financial implications...
It sounds like you need lots more information before you make big decisions. I wonder if some UK Autistic charities could you some more information about how schools manage children with autism over here, as from my experience parents still have to fight vey hard for 1:1 support and even if it is funded it might not be full time help etc.
He was with me, he just reminded me that it doesn't change who N is, and passed me the tissues when I started blubbing in the meeting! He's worried about the money, I suppose it puts added pressure on him too as the only earner.
13/05/2013 at 13:38
I did think that Carole, it usually takes years just to get the diagnosis so I don't know how it all works, they have special needs schools though wheras they don't really have that here, it's very backward in some respects.
13/05/2013 at 13:47
It's a very backwards country LB and has a very clear rich / poor divide.
I hope once things have settled for you you can think a little bit more about what to do. I mean does he definitely need this support? Can he just not go to regular school?
13/05/2013 at 13:48
the Autistic children I know are mostly in a special school, but our local authority is very lucky to have fantastic provision and the school is over subscribed. High functioning diagnosis might mean that your little boy doesn't need that level of schooling and main stream with support is the best way forward, but it still takes time to get a statement. I know because I have just got back from an appointment this morning and I am still discussing what support Luke needs for September.
13/05/2013 at 13:58
So sorry you are going through this. Once is has taken time to sink in try to investigate what sort of help he would get over here. My friends boy has a mild form of autism, something to do with a sensory disorder. It took a long time for him to be diagnosed with many specialists. He does get help at school but was told if he had specialist thearpy before the age of 7 he could improve. Unfortunately because his level of autism was not severe the nhs no longer funded that sort of treatment. As a group of friends we wanted to help in some way so one of then h's did a half marathon and we all sponsored him. The money raised has provided a years worth of therapy. The boy has improved so much, at the age of 3 his development was aboutn 18months to 2 years behind, now at 5 he is nearly where he should be.
Sorry for the long story, but what I'm trying to say is investigate what help is available to him here and where you are and how quickly that help would be available. You may find a charity that is willing to help finanically
13/05/2013 at 14:16
Belle he can't go to regular school as his problems would be made ten times worse with the language, where he is now it's bilingual. He needs the support in his current school as he loses focus on activities and will fall behind because of his short attention span. We were told today that they won't be able to keep him on without an aid.
Carole I do think it would be mainstream with support for him. The psych said that he's clearly very bright and over the years they may unlock a whole lot more which is why they think with support he would be much better as he gets older.
PB that's good news about your friend's boy, amazing what a bit of help can do. N hasn't had speech therapy but he makes improvements every week and I think he is nearly where he should be now.
We'll have to look more into the help UK vs Geneva and see what would be best. I can't believe moving back might have to be an option, we don't feel ready.
13/05/2013 at 17:48
Sorry to read this. It is obviously a shock for you both. My nephew was diagnosed as high functioning spectrum autism last year. He will be starting in a main stream school in September so I know how the system has worked for him so far. Each child is assessed on their special needs requirements and this is then quatified as a number of hours support per week and what the support is for. The schools meet the child and decide whether they will be able to accomodate all their needs. He needs more help with things like making sure he eats and drinks (he has issues around needing to have a particular Ikea cup and not wanting to use any other identical cups for example). They are going to make sure he has quiet time within the class in a special booth style desk to help him concentrate and support with handling noise. Within the reception class environment of frequently changing activity this won't be obvious.
His parents were upset with the diagnosis but were not surprised because he was late to speak and needed support to do this. He is very bright, though, and its taken them a little while to realise that, in many respects, he should with support do well at school.
They have had some support for free through a local council run autism support service (but I can't imagine that the same support is provided everywhere) and some support they have paid for. The National Autistic Society has information and support groups.
He will be reassessed regularly to see if he still needs support and what kind he needs as this may change in the future.
This is a bit rambling but hope it helps a little.
13/05/2013 at 18:01
Thanks cedar, that's helpful to have an idea of how it works back there and the fact they have an actual method to work out how much help they need. One of his teachers who is a bit hard faced shall we say, said he needs full time help wheras the psychologist is thinking he may be ok with a little less than full time.
13/05/2013 at 18:28
Another perspective here - I work in a main stream school and currently teach three boys in one class that are on the autistic spectrum. Their particular needs are taken into account and they manage very well. However we do regular have children on the autistic spectrum so the children as a whole are aware and supportive of each other is this respect. At the moment I believe there are ten children (9 boys and one girl) that are in our mainstream school. The girl has issues with her emotions that she is currently working on whereas most of the boys have targets associated with interaction with other students. Not sure of that helps or not but jsut to say children on the spectrum do survive and flourish in mainstream.
ETA none of them have individual support in lessons, it is not seen as essential as they receive what is known as 'wave 1' intervention or assistance direct from the teacher.
13/05/2013 at 19:10
I am sorry you are having to deal with this LB. Please do keep us updated. Just a thought, but if you did decide to move back to England would you have much by way of family support?
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