26. #AutismandCostofSpecialEducation

It is my understanding that there is atleast 3400 students with autism in south australia and rising. The government of South Australia has let the Aspect Treetops Autism specific school use the old Ashford Special School site at a peppercorn rental. The local school zoned in our area means that there are government subsidies available to help pay school fee’s. Does this apply the same at Ashford? Can I apply for the School-card? What subsidies are available to me in my situation? How much transport assistance can I get for my child? Is there long distance education?

The facts are that you can’t go to this Treetops Aspect Special School if you don’t have atleast $232/wk spare cash and thats for 1 child. If you have two children then its $500 approximately. This is compared to $40 per week for Services and materials charge at the local mainstream school. It’s prohibitive for a large number of Austistic families because they simply do not have the cash.

The thought of HomeSchooling has always been around but not something I have wanted to get excited about! I don’t know it! Although, when I was a kid I did corrospondence schooling for a while. So how much money can I afford out of my budget to send my children to a school specifically oriented to teaching kids on the Autism Spectrum? I am excited about the Satellite Programs the Aspect treetops Autism School is proposing and the Distance education Proposed Program. The issue is how to pay for it?

It seems that the affordability of education equates to class sizes! Am I wrong? Does a kid with Autism who prefers to be by himself need socialization? I think I as a parent need to make our living arrangements bearable for both parent and child.

What happens to a child if they are bullied at school? Bullying and its effects at school have been well studied. Nobody wants that for their child to go through hard times. What is the criteria for entry point to Department of Education Autism Intervention Programs at Blackwood Autism Intervention Program and the Heights Autism Intervention Program, Modbury, Adelaide? What is the criteria for entry to the Aspect Autism Treetops School at Ashford, Adelaide? Would Montessori be good? Tick it off, for a try. What about Steiner education? Not that fussed about it! It can be overwhelming to consider. Do I want to stick my head in the sand about it? Do I have the energy to get excited about the idea?

The school fees at Treetops are in the order of $10,000 or so PA which may be prohibitive for 90% of ASD cases as it may be more unaffordable for those on lower incomes. $200 per week for 1 child. How much does it cost to educate a child in a Department of Education school?

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

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#AutismSiblings, Dec 2014

By the end of December 2014, Stephen’s speech pathologist (who has witnessed and experienced Jack’s behavior on the occasional routine visit with Stephen) says that I should have Jack assessed for Autism as well. What types of Autism? Do you mean a “Classic Kanner Autism”? or a “Low functioning Autism”, or a “High Functioning Autism” or a “Savant”???  or “PDD NOS”. Oh yeah baby! That’s a classification that is Not otherwize specified. It means a pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwize specified. The categorizations are changing in the DSM 4, to the DSM 5, (Diagnostic Manual). I have many questions and not many answers, or  everyone has a different opinion according to their values and philosophies and modalities.

What! I don’t believe it. Jack is only 3 years old. How can you tell? I speak to his father who basically is incredibly protective of Jack. My husband doesn’t like the Speech Pathologist saying that she is trying to ” push her own agenda”, my husband is very critical of the whole Autism diagnosis idea. “The child is the way he is and if everyone else doesn’t like it, well to heck with them!” “How does she know! He’s just being a kid!”, and “They all develop at their own rate!” Both of my husband and myself still trying to come to terms with Stephen’s diagnosis let alone another one for Jack. I can certainly see a price tag attached to an assessment process.

I had read a few books about Autism. I knew what the debates were, or I thought I did. One was being around the vaccinations and whether they caused Autism, Jack was due fo a vaccination and me wary of  motherly discussions around the issue. I told the Dr of my worries and that if Jack had the Autism Gene then it might make him more susceptible to an Autististic onset.  We vaccinated anyway because I thought “Autism is no big deal for me! I can handle this !” It would protect him from more serious conditions.

I remember taking him back to the Dr’s and he licked the wall! Honey, Don’t do that. You might get sick! How curious was that, Holy Moly. “Jack, my love! Don’t lick  things in the Dr’s rooms.” I can remember wanting the kids to be still, instead of investigating  what Dr’s got in his draws, his patient bed and stethoscope. Holy moly! We need help on how to pay for therapy for both my sons. Dr we need help. Therapy takes a long time to organize. There is allot of paperwork. I need the National Disability Insurance Scheme as well. Therapists charging at an agreed fixed price, Speech therapists and Psychologists at $167.13, Occupational therapists around $125, Social Skills groups and the list of therapies and sensory toys goes on. They all cost a lot of money.

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018

 

 

 

16. 3rd Pregnancy #Miracle Baby Jack 2011

#Atopic Exzema and #Crusty Scalp?

It’s hard work trying to get pregnant and its hard work after they are born. 23.4.2011 Jack is born and I am delighted, I know abit more about babies. Right from the very start of my son’s life he cryed and cryed signalling some sort of distress. My goodness sometimes he was like a little red beetroot. His skin was so itchy, he scratched all the time. He scratched his face ripping his skin, it would get infected with a bacteria and then anti-biotics were needed from the Dr to control this. my husband and I were tired. I was afraid that my baby would scratch himself so severely. I remembered one time in my own childhood, that my mother  and grandmother used to bind my hands when I had chicken Pox so I would not scratch. So in desperation I bandaged Jack’s hands , and lovingly put mittens on his hands, so he could not scratch. It was not until another mother said, that it looked like Eczema that I knew I had to do something about it.

I called the hospital everyday to try to get an appointment to see the specialist. My son had skin prick tests and more tests and I got creams and lotions. I stopped drinking cow’s milk so it would not come through my milk, I started to drink Soy milk. Jack drinks soy milk to this day. The hospital Dr said that by bandaging him for 20 minutes a day in wet cloth so the moisture would absorb in the skin would be a good method, so we lovingly did this. I can remember my baby sitting with my all in cloth, he looked like a little mummy.

Jack was born and did not grow hair for the whole of the first year. What happened instead is that  hard scabs would grow on his head which his father and I peeled off in the bath every day. It was visibly distressing to look at. I had never seen it before and didn’t know that babies had these sort of reactions but with abit of research I understood it was the bodies protective mechanisms trying to cope with this  skin condition. So while we were wary of Cortizone prescribed by the Dr  when as parents, we were at the end of our tether, and we didn’t know what to do, we asked the Dr and applied the prescription. None of the natural remedies seemed to control the discomfort of the itchy eczema skin  fast enough.

Gradually over the years the itchy skin has got less and less.  He was waking up  between 3-5 times a night with angry dry skin. My friend, Michelle Tyson from SEED Skincare suggested that I use Avocado oil and Macadamia oil which has the Omega 3 fatty Acid in it that seems to be what my son’s skin needs because he has been sleeping. It’s fantastic.

I first used straight cold pressed extra virgin Avocado oil bought from the Grocery store which I love, but it does have a tendency to sit on the skin and take a while to absorb so it can get on your clothes and linen, which means it stains. Working it into a lotion may b e preferable for some.

 

Written and Authorised by  Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate  for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018