Mainstream or Specials Needs schooling

Over the last 18 months we have encountered only a couple of professionals that I trust. Both of them know Violet well and both have told me she will be a “mainstream girl” for school.

Violets special needs schools nursery manager told me Violet is very bright, very determined and held back only by her physical disabilities. Once an effective communication method is in place, there will be no stopping her.

Today I was told it’s likely she will not be put forward to attend the special needs school where we had planned to send her. For these reasons. She would have no one on her peer group that was the same as her. She needs that interaction, friendship and the challenges of a mainstream setting.

Only yesterday Violets paediatrician who doesn’t know her well and sees her fleetingly gave me the option of two special needs schools to consider for Violet. Mainstream schooling didn’t even enter the conversation.

I’m scared. I’m scared for my beautiful little girl. Special needs schooling has been a definite path until now. We know the school and staff well. Violet has friends there already. It’s a wonderful place, it feels like a safety net.

The thought of Violet being plucked from that environment and placed into an alien one is scary. The thought of fighting for the right level of support for Violet at a mainstream school is scary. The thought of other children’s reactions and behaviour towards Violet is scary. Not something that was ever going to be an issue with the special needs school.

We are still a year and a bit away from V starting school but now the prospect of mainstream schooling is a highly likely outcome. I’m riddled with anxiety.

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