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Guest guest30038

Bridget has gone to bed after a particularly harrowing night shift and I really need to let this out.............it's a long 'un so bear with me.

This is one of the happiest days of my life! :yes:

 

As you may know, Jake (17) is autistic and attends a private school that takes 25% of it's pupils with disabilities. He's in his final term and I have worried constantly about his future as he's such a gentle, naive, polite soul, whom I feared, would really struggle with his life once he left school. He too has expressed his concern that he's not ready to leave school yet.

 

We had his IEP (Individual education Plan) meeting a couple of weeks ago to cover his last term and we mentioned that we didn't think that he was ready for the "real world" yet and so we asked if there was a possibility that he could resit his final year. This was not for academic reasons but merely to keep him safe and allow another years maturity before he was on his own in the job market and social setting. We were told by the Disability Support Teacher that she would investigate this.

 

This morning, we had an appointment with the Principal to be told the outcome. To our surprise, when we arrived, not only was the principal present, but also the DST and several other members of staff. Apparently, they had discussed Jake's future at length, since the IEP meeting.

 

We were told that throughout the last 2 years, Jake had become a mentor to many of the year 11's and below, as well as some of his peers, helping them familiarise themselves with running the tuck shop, with basic computer skills etc and had been an "all round good egg" where his juniors were concerned. We knew some of this, but not the extent to which he had become involved with helping his peers and juniors. His rigid adherence to rules and protocols had not only been of benefit to him and his peers, but also the school.

 

Then the bombshell! they didn't think it appropriate that Jake remained in yr 12 because academically, he would have little to gain, and socially, he would be interacting with the "less mature". He needed to "move on"

 

We feared the worst:cry:

 

Then..............and I can still hardly believe this ............the principal said, with a mischievous grin on his face, "what do you think about Jake staying on as a teachers assistant?" :shocked:

 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing! :jiggy:

 

They didn't know for sure if they could get funding for a salary, (but they were optimistic), or even if it would last longer than 12 months, but 12 months was the initial timeline and they were quite prepared to take Jake on in that position, with, or without salary, and that we wouldn't have to pay school fees, whatever the outcome of funding and they would welcome him as a colleague and asset to the school.

 

He would have to wear collar and tie, perform to a set programme (training given), his role being to help other students in all aspects ie helping with the transition to life outside school (ironic) :laugh: such as filling in online forms (tax file number applications, Learner driving applications, log book completions etc) using the cash register in the tuck shop, and generally mentoring his juniors in all aspects of school life, with particular attention to social skills.

 

I cannot explain how I felt when I heard this. I was light headed and gobsmacked to say the least. You always think well of your own kids, but to hear so much praise from other people is a feeling that is so hard to explain, particularly when he can get so frustrated and angry at home whe he lets it "all hang out." That he can maintain such control of his natural inclinations (frustration/anger) whilst at school and find time to mentor others makes me feel so proud of him.

 

Bridget and I have already decided that the school fees saved will be donated to the school to buy some specialist equipment.

 

The only problem we could foresee, is Jake feeling that he was not worthy of the position, and/or perhaps too frightened to take on the responsibilty. We discussed at length about how to approach him with the proposal and it was agreed that the DSW should put it to him as she has been his "confiidant" for the last 5 yrs.

 

We await Jake's return from school this arvo and his response.

 

I am so chuffed atm..........thanks for listening..............Australia.............I luv ya even more :yes:

 

 

 

kev

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Guest guest36187

Brilliant story!

 

Well done to the school for their assistance but well done to you two for raising a wonderful , well rounded boy x

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That is fantastic news.You and Bridget must be so proud,a huge well done to Jake.I really hope it goes well and he accepts his new position in the school . xxxx


I no longer skinny dip,I now chunky dunk:laugh:

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Guest pablofet1

There is nothing sweeter than the voice of a proud father. :wink:

Well done to your son for his new deserved position, and well done to you guys who have obviously turned out a good lad.

 

Good luck & best wishes

 

Mel

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OMG Kev, I've got leaky eyes for you all!

 

 

You and Bridget have done a fantastic job helping Jake to become the man he is. I am sure he will do well.

 

I love that you have really listened to him and discussed his future with him. I love that the school have recognised his talents and utilised him within those gifts, and I love that they are prepared to do this next thing with him. I can't think of a more poetic ending really. (Although it's the start really, if you see what I mean)

 

 

I want to come and give you all a big hug!!

:hug:


XXX

Annette, Steve, Ben and Buddy the dog.

<>< :wubclub:

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Kev,That is fantastic news, what understanding staff! Good onya.


"640K ought to be enough for anybody." Bill Gates 1981

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Ah Kev,

 

You must be so proud!!

 

Well done to Jake.... I predict he will go far in life !!

 

Cheers

 

Karen


Back in Canada over a year and half, miss some aspects of Australia but glad to back home. !!!!

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Guest guest33730

Kev,

 

That is fantastic news - stuff like that only happens in 'feel good movies' or 'extreme makeover home edition' which I always watch alone cos of the tears etc!!

 

I have had a little training in working with people with autism but my wife has a lot more understanding and is currently reading a book on it written by someone who is autistic themselves ('Look me in the eye' by John Elder Robison). I am amazed by how fantastic people with autism can be if given the chance and how easy it is for the rest of society to write them off.

 

Anyway - I've wiped away the tears from reading your post and am totally delighted for you (really, honestly).

 

Daniel

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Thanks for sharing that Kev, I don't usually contribute to the forums as I'm always wary of getting knocked back(pussy I know) but that was a very inspirational piece and I've read heaps of your posts and feel like I almost know you and your family.

Well done to your family and the school staff who've recognized your son's potential.

All the best

Barb

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Guest readingsteve

What an amazing school! Really pleased at this outcome and hoping that Jake will see it as a challenge that he is capable of meeting. Fantastic that the school have really got the measure of him and have come up with a custom solution! Wow!

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That really is lovely news. Well done to you and Bridget and a big HUGE well done to Jake! :hug: Please let him know that we are cheering for him in our little corner of Tas. :)


“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff.”

― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

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How fantastic!! Congratulations to you Kev and Bridget for nurturing a wonderful young man......xxxx


Sue (44) Steve (51) Scott (17) Bradley (9) Sophie (5)

Jake - Little Ozzie Angel:angel_happy_face_ha

Spouse visa (PR) granted 17.4.09. In Secret Harbour 29.4.09..loving it!!!!!

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That is a lovely story, thank you for sharing it. Just to read about the people involved lifted my spirits. I hope when the time comes I can find a school that cares so much for each pupil as Jake's has done for him. Then I hope to be able to be able as a parent to listen as you have done.

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Guest sunnyday

We are absolutely thrilled for you all!! Amazing school and amazing Jake :hug:

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That is seriously amazing and I am so excited for you, that is just the best news to have isnt it. What an achievement that is truly truly wonderful. :notworthy::notworthy::notworthy:

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That's lovely news for you, you must be very proud of Jake, but give yourselves a pat on the back as well. It's not easy being a parent ever, but if your child has (sorry to use this word) a disability of any sort it's harder. Our daughter is epileptic, but has lived her life to the full, even though it hasn't been easy at times, and we are so proud of her, so I know how you feel.

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Aw, that's fantastic! I hope Jake sees it as a real, life opportunity and one which acknowledges his really great skills in some areas. Even if it only lasts a year then that is one year which will look good when he is working towards even greater independent living! Kudos to the school for their part in acknowledging the strengths of their students! Hats off to you, dad and mum - he wouldnt have been the kid he is, without you!

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Guest famousfive

Fantastic news and a great school for pulling out all the stops,it is so good when you deal with people who really care.Your pride in your son could be seen in every line you wrote in this post and your sons future will be a good one with such love and support behind him.Well done to you all as a family for achieving such a great result.

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Aww, that's great! You must be very proud. Lots of luck to him for this new job - I bet he'll be fine!!!

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Guest siamsusie
Thanks for sharing that Kev, I don't usually contribute to the forums as I'm always wary of getting knocked back(pussy I know) but that was a very inspirational piece and I've read heaps of your posts and feel like I almost know you and your family.

Well done to your family and the school staff who've recognized your son's potential.

All the best

Barb

 

Barb, no need to be wary, you always get the odd person but your contribution is as important as anyone elses!:hug: Susie x

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Guest siamsusie

Dear Jake,

 

A huge congratulations on your wonderful achievement mate at school. I have had a few tears in my eyes reading your Dad's post! You are a credit to your parents, school and peers and not forgetting yourself .... I congratulate you young man!:hug::notworthy: You will go places for sure.

 

Love The Siamese Family xx

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Guest guest30085

Wonderful :hug:

 

Well done to Jake and well done to the both of you for being such supportive and caring parents. And what a fantastic school!

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wow kev i feel really pleased for you and the lad there!!! Best of luck to him in his new career!

 

 

Wow! That's brilliant. You've just cheered me up for my day at work ( after a few little tears of course!)


Tassie Rules OK

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