It is with a heavy heart I write this post.
The past year has obviously been a very tough and trying time for all. For us it has also brought about a time to consider and evaluate Franklin’s future schooling.
When we made the difficult decision 3 years ago to send Franklin to a mainstream primary, it was always with the hope he would progress to a level where this was the right setting for him. I hoped with all my heart that he would find his voice, yearned for his level of understanding to improve and his learning difficulties to become less of a barrier, and above all else I prayed he would develop friendships and engage with his classmates.
Reception year was a wonderful start and whilst we have seen glimmers of progression since, Franklin is just not on the same path as his peers and the gap is undoubtedly widening between them each and every year.
It therefore felt like the right time to look into alternative provision. We feel Franklin needs very specific tailored education and specific teaching methods suited to his needs and to be surrounded by teachers who are all trained in autism and communication, to enable him to develop to his full potential. Seeing his substantial progression during the first lockdown really highlighted his ability to learn in the right environment.
He is very lucky to have been in a class full of kind, caring and wonderful children. I wish things were different and that this was the right setting for him indefinitely. There is nobody who wishes that more than me. I always wanted mainstream school to be right for him, but I can’t bury my head in the sand, I haven’t done from the beginning of our journey. It wouldn’t be fair to Franklin or to anyone else.
After an emotional 6 months of exploring all options, Franklin has been offered a place at a specialist School for Autism from February half-term.
The announcement on Monday from Boris left me brokenhearted. I had hoped for Franklin to spend his final half term in school with all his friends as normal, but now that can’t happen. For once though, his lack of understanding and obliviousness to any of this might actually be a blessing. It is not how I hoped this chapter would finish but at least I can carry the weight of that for both of us.
As I await the next chapter with uncertainty and trepidation, I want to say thank you in particular to the children and his support teachers, plus any other teachers, kitchen staff, caretaker, parents etc who have taken the time to get to know Franklin and shown him such kindness. I doubt any other school could top the love he has received. You will forever be in his heart, as you will mine, and I hope he will always stay in yours.