Something I have been wanting to talk about and get a better feel for was how you all deal with this particular issue. Now this may not apply to everyone but I would think at least someone out there is dealing with something similar, so I thought it would be helpful to broach the subject.
As the title suggests, this post is about Autism. Health Issues and Missed School. To be more specific, I want to discuss how to juggle these often conflicting issues and get an idea about how others are coping with this. Does that make sense?
Recently, Emmett began it guess what is considered pre-preschool. Basically, he’s to young for preschool but has aged out of early intervention and so this is the next step. It sounds great and honestly it is. However, like everything else in our life, it’s complicated. School has been in session for almost a month now, however, this is only his forth attendance day. The problem is that not only does Emmett have Autism but he also has other health issues as well. These health issues have directly interfered with his ability to attend school, which is something vital to him continuing to make forward progress.
Emmett was diagnosed with Autism earlier this year but also diagnosed with Marshall’s Syndrome about 6 weeks ago. Basically, along with the complications Autism brings to Emmett’s life, he also is dealing with high grade, chronic fevers. These fevers have no discernible cause but appear every few weeks and last about 10 days. During this time Emmett’s mouth breaks out in cold sores, some almost an inch long. Shortly after that the fever begins and typically sits between 103oF and 104oF.
A little over 2 weeks ago, Emmett had surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. This is supposed to help reduce the frequency and/or duration of these outbreaks. The recovery time was about 2 weeks and so he was out of school that entire time. Three days after arriving home after his surgery, a new fever cycle began, only this time he spiked a fever north of 105.3oF and rushed to the ER at Akron Children’s Hospital. Now even after recovering from this surgery, these fever’s have returned.
As a result of all of these health issues, Emmett has missed close to 3 weeks of school. How will this affect his education going forward?
In theory, Emmett will likely miss at least 10 days of school a month, sometimes more, sometimes less. This clearly isn’t a good thing. He have considered the obvious solutions, such as, home schooling or just not worrying about it. However, homeschooling isn’t a good idea because he needs the social interaction with typical peers and in our area there isn’t a ton of support for home schooling. The other problem with that is that Lizze and I are like candles burnt at both ends. We aren’t exactly in the best place to take on this added responsibility, unless of course we have no other choice.
Let’s be honest, doing nothing isn’t really an option that Lizze and I will allow for. We are very proactive parents and waiting for something that will so obviously be a problem to actually become a problem isn’t our style. Even if Emmett were a typical child, missing this much school would be a problem. The fact is that Emmett isn’t a typical child and one of Emmett’s challenges are adjusting to change or transitioning into new things. Because of the nature of Marshall’s Syndrome and our luck (or rather lack of it), Emmett’s schedule can never really be consistent for any period of time. The way I see it, if we can figure something out as we begin this journey with him, we will have a much better chance of successfully overcoming this challenge.
What do you folks think about this? Is this something you would be concerned about? Is this something you are currently dealing with yourselves?