Middle years student

“C” enrolled at OAC in January 2018 as a medical psychological enrolment, with siblings in year 1 and year 5. This was a negotiated enrolment from a school where attendance was negligible. “C” has an OCOP due to his Autism. Has been non-verbal all of his life. He only communicates with a few relatives and one family friend.

Starting at OAC “C” was provided with PAT Reading and Maths to ascertain an appropriate level of schooling. Results of Stanine 3 and 2 respectively indicated that a straight Year 8 class would not be appropriate. He was placed in a Personalised Learning Program but his initial attendance was problematic.

His progress and current status is best described by the following parental email (no attempt to edit) to his teacher:

“Hey .... Just wanted to shoot you a quick email to say thank you.

“C has only been at this school for a very short time and his making such improvement. Not only in his education but his overall view and believe he can do anything now. Last year before starting at this school he attended 9 hours all up for the whole year.

“C’s severely autistic with many other health labels attached to him as well. Every day driving him to school had not only C in major melt downs but me in tears , wondering if this melt down would force an accident or if we would even make it home alive. His teachers were scared of him and the normal school policies couldn’t allow for his special needs to be met (even though he was in a special unit).

“I’ve had to fight all C’s life to get him the help, to be noticed for the amazing child he is not just the labels people see. I know when a teacher hears my name, they run in the corner and try to hide from me, as now I’m just known as the yelly mum who won’t back down.

And to be honest I was thinking this school would be no different That was until C started.

“All his teachers are amazing and go above and beyond. But you understand him. Now his not his forced to go, there are no major meltdowns. He wants to be there and he tries. He wants to impress you and succeed. This C is even a new C to us. C has the most dry witted fast responses and humour that could come out really bad but it never attended like that. He needs banter and fast responses back. You work to him.

“I’ve never see anyone who has been able to capture him as fast and have him feeling ok to convers back the way he does with you. I sit in the classes and it’s not just C you understand, you bend and mold yourself to each kid, there needs and personality in such a skilful way the kids don’t even see you doing it.

“That talent you have hasn’t only helped, maybe even saved C but this whole house. His happy now, we don’t have to walk around on egg shells His sister who refused to visit much as she was scared of him is now coming back over. His little brother is back to being safe and happy.

“Since I’m always the first one to yells scream cry at teachers I thought it was only fair I also reverse it around to say thank you. Not only for being an outstanding teacher, but for understanding C is so much more than a label.”

Last updated: 04 August 2020