Is it best for your child?

advocacy, autism, caregiver, education, health & wellness, religion, special education, Uncategorized

A mother of a pre-school son reached out to me to find out if she could insist that her Catholic preschool provide a dedicated aide for her child where he was beginning his educational journey. With sensory integration symptoms and a possible autism diagnosis, her little guy would benefit from the redirection and assistance that a side-by-side adult could provide him.

“Having my son enrolled at the Catholic school is very important to us and our faith,” this mother wrote to me.

Morally, the Catholic church or any other religious academic school might have an obligation to fill this need, but legally they are not required to.  It is rare, indeed, to find religious educational systems who provide the full menu of services the public school is required to under the Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) legislation.

Unfortunately, in small towns choices are limited. It is even more rare to find a private school focused on a specific learning or physical disability in a rural or remote area.

what's best for himThen, the mother wanted to know if she could advocate for the public school system to send an aide to the Catholic school as an accommodation. However, the law doesn’t require the taxpayer supported public educational systems to redirect services from their entity to private schools. The law states it may be required to provide only equitable services, such as a speech language pathologist or an occupational therapist. In the public school, these professionals are engaged with students on a recurring weekly or twice weekly basis at the best.

The professional may travel to the private school OR the public school may agree to transport your child to their setting for those specific services. It’s important to know which setting the service will be provided as the burden of experiencing a disruption in the day is harder on a child with a disability who is being shuffled from one location to another than if the service is taken to where they are.

What this means is that young children who need continuous individualized support that a full-fledged public special education program can and is required to provide is best delivered in the public school.  This can be a difficult decision for families who feel a call to educate their child in the spiritual/religious realms as well as the intellectual.

The mother who reached out to me decided to enroll her son in the public school. She shared it may take up to two months for her son to receive a full evaluation for a diagnosis but “at least he will get some help in the public school that he definitely couldn’t get in the private school. What’s best for him is what’s important.”

The Being Place, PLLC is here to help you achieve what’s best for you and your family. Contact us today.


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various topics of a health or educational nature. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


How has a dog improved your place of being?

autism, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy, Social Trends, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

dog thoughts

This May it will be four years since we “rescued” Pepper Moo from the Hobbs (NM) Animal Shelter. Truth be told, she has rescued us. Over the years, Pepper has offered us  countless hours of comfort and support. Ostensibly, I agreed to a dog because I had read the research about the many benefits canines offer to people with autism and other disabilities.
When my mother was alive, Pepper, in fact, did rescue her. She had fallen one day and the rest of us were in another part of the house. Pepper with her keen hearing, heard my mother calling for help and she barked and barked until my husband, Mike, investigated. Even though my mother used a wheelchair, she was fairly independent and so many times in the evening, she retired to her room and the rest of us retired to ours. Had Pepper not been on the lookout, my mother might have suffered far more severe consequences than a broken nose that night.
Pepper is on 24-hour duty. When it’s bedtime, Pepper without prompting goes into my son’s room and lays at the foot or on his bed guarding him from nightmares and other anxiety provoking stimulations, such as midnight thunderstorms or distant emergency sirens.
But, mostly, she has rescued me. When my mother died, I saved my grief for the early mornings or afternoons when I was in solitude, except for Pepper. And today was no different.
As a member of Planet Earth and in my current vocation, I am a survivor and witness of grief and loss, respectively. Sometimes, my heart needs a companion while tears cleanse me so I can trudge a little further with others. Pepper has been my loyal companion and I thank God for sending her.
New Microsoft Publisher Document (2)

Your obsessions can be your salvation

autism, creative non fiction, health & wellness, meditation, mindfulness, thoughts for living, Uncategorized

My youngest son, Daniel, and our dog, Pepper, made our daily field trip to the nearby developed lake. We hunted for turtles, fish, and green algae. I have surrendered the idea of convincing my son about switching obsessions to something else because of my opinion of its tediousness. He loves this daily ritual of speaking to the flora and fauna and listening to their quiet. So, who am I to disrupt this calming activity, which, once I look past its repetitiveness, is calming to me, too?

The symptoms of repetitiveness and obsession are aspects of my son’s diagnosis on the autism spectrum. He is rated “high functioning,” whatever that means. I am rated a high functioning recovering person. My home environment mostly reflects my high functionability withgood-orderly-direction echoes of chaos. I married a high functioning working man who has an obsession of taking opportunities wherever they take us. They have taken us to eight homes in 18 years. That’s a household move every 2 ½ years. So, it ought not be a shock that some boxes are 18 years old, but when I look at them I am surprised that they are still with me. They are loaded into the moving van and relocated. This last relocation, however, feels like a long-term one. While I rationalize it as being in my son’s best interest, I know deep down it’s in my best interest, too, to stay put. More boxes have been unpacked than ever before, including the 30 plus ones bequeathed to me by my mother.

One room displays like a museum. It is perfectly put together and we don’t live in it. It is used only as a passage way into the kitchen. It is an unattainable model for the rest of the house. Every other room is in some kind of organizing process with a few boxes scattered around as reminders to my previously vagabond life. My son, with his obsession to reliable routines, is helping me exchange my feelings of discomfort to feelings of security for order and structure.