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When I Struggled to Find the Right School Placement as a Child With Autism

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School was always a struggle in my life. I hated every minute of it due to the constant tormenting and bullying I endured over the years. I believe part of this was my school placement and/or zoned school. In public school, zoning is where you are required to go to school based on the neighborhood you live in and the part of the city where you live.

By the time I reached middle school I went to a school I absolutely loathed and the bullying got worse. So my mom, who worked as a teacher at a high school in the local district, got me transferred to another school. Everything seemed better at first, but the bullying started up again and some kids decided they hated me the first day I got there.

I was forced to finish middle school at that school, until I got put on homebound at the end of seventh or eighth grade. Homebound would continue at the end of each year, until 11th grade. When I got to high school I struggled not only with bullying but anxiety due to all the classwork I needed to complete. It was like middle school magnified. So we began to look at other options.

Finally, after a severe bullying incident, my mom found out from a neighbor down the street about special school placements. We toured different ones until we found one we thought was the right fit. It was about a 45 minute drive on the bus from my house. However, the school district fought it tooth and nail. After many months of not attending class and doing my schoolwork in another classroom, I got in and started attending there.

I ended up attending another school in 12th grade. Although I never did find the perfect placement, things did get a little better and I made friends. Sometimes the fight to attend another school is worth the struggle.

Getty image by Ocus Pocus.

Originally published: July 10, 2018
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