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I follow an autistic blogger who made a blog about their experience with autism under the radar. This sparked the urge to dive further into the school my folks sent me to. They asked autistic folks was school hard for them. Grades 1-3 were hard.
My folks sent me to a strict catholic school for grades 1-3. Now that I am older, I thought it was a problem. In this blog post, I explained how hard it was when no one knew I was autistic and mentioned the school. My mom said the school she originally wanted me to go to was full. I am wondering why didn’t they have a waitlist. They could have put me on a waitlist so when a spot opened up or held a spot for me for the next school year. It’s understandable my folks didn’t want me to go to a public school in the city. At the same time, no one understood that my brain operated differently.
I covered some things in this blog post. Here I am mentioning stuff I forgot or else that post will be too long.
My folks sent me to a strict catholic school (no I’m NOT catholic)
So non-religious private schools don’t exist? It felt like being in another country and I couldn’t communicate with the residents. Of course, I was gonna have a bad time being around people who didn’t understand me.
This was a one-way street situation. My mom didn’t want to worry non-stop about me at a public school but no one understand my ADHD/Autistic brain and I was constantly getting into trouble and being punished.
Why, on God’s green earth, would you send your child with a different brain to a strict catholic school? All they did was yell at me which did not do anything but make me afraid of them. I said this later in the blog if a child is being yelled at they will not trust you, feel safe around you, etc.
There were times when I accidentally said something that offended them. At least the way I see it.
I felt they didn’t know I was not one of them. I felt if they did, they would have understood that they have someone at their school that’s not their religion and won’t understand their rules and such. The other students were there since pre-k while the first grade was my first year. We did get new students. They could have come from another religious school ( ex folks moved. )
I was punished with no explanation and understanding regarding what I did wrong. It didn’t help. This is most likely why I kept “acting out.” No one explained why what I did was wrong so I can get an understanding so I won’t do it again. I mean BEFORE being punished/reprimanded. If I asked questions to understand a rule better so I won’t break it, that was seen as talking back. I asked “why” to me I merely wanted to know the teacher’s concerns more but to them, I was talking back,
As autistic people, we need to understand why what we did was wrong so we won’t do it again.
It was a bad call if I was DX with ADHD BEFORE being sent to the strict catholic school. I just mean in the sense of not knowing/understanding that my brain is different than everyone else’s and what you do with the NTs (especially the yelling) will not work on a ND kid.
Even so, if you’re screaming at a child, of course, they will be afraid of you, not feel safe around you, etc
If it was AFTER switching schools in the middle of the term is not easy depending on the case. I was DX at 5 (still in Kindergarten) when I was DX with ADHD and started the strict catholic school at 6 or 5 going on 6. It’s hard to make the cut-off since my birthday is the last day of the year.
They were too strict.
My meltdowns and ADHD traits were punished.
One time I said “oh my God;” and was punished with zero hesitation and no understanding of what was so bad. They acted like I robbed a bank. Now you can say
“you were at a strict religious school what did you expect.” Remember I was at a school outside of my religion. How can I understand YOUR religion when some stuff about my own confuses me?
I was always getting sent to the principal for my “behavior”
Asking questions to understand the rules was always confused with “talking back” Now if the teacher said something like, “don’t go past the yellow line in the parking lot.” I was like “well what if I do it anyway.” I can see that. Asking “can I ask why I want to understand your concern so I can keep this in mind.” is actually caring and wanting to learn more.
I mentioned in the first article when there was a storm that spooked the class, the teacher thought I was making fun of the class and punished me.
The principal tried singling me out of things. (or at least I felt she did at times)
One time, for no reason, during picture day; told me I wasn’t allowed to get my picture taken. Her reasoning was me skipping down the stairs. So I am singled out for stimming, basically. Autistic/ADHD stims can vary. Or at least I felt like she was singling me out.
One time she didn’t allow me to go to music class. I don’t remember the reason but whatever I did it was probably miscommunication. Something that would have been solved by just talking to me.
How strict were these people? Christ! Punishing a child for being happy/stimming? It was a strict catholic school. I never knew those folks were THAT strict. Punishing someone for doing nothing wrong is taking things too far
I feel sometimes I was singled out because I’m not one of them. Just my conspiracy theory.
The school was having some event where we could wear our casual clothes. My mom got the date wrong and everyone thought it was my birthday. They allowed you to wear your casual clothes if it was your birthday. The principal punished ME like I picked out my clothes. All she had to do was call my mom and my mom would have explained the miscommunication.
Punished for a misunderstanding.
This school was not a good place for me and my different brain. Yeah, good call punishing a CHILD for a mistake their folks made! The punishment was I had to wear my uniform on the event day.
My struggling was mistaken for “not trying”
I have always been reprimanded for slipping grades because my mom thought i “wasn’t trying” when I was not being taught how I could learn. My grade was slipping during the religion course.
SO, you send me to a religious school outside of my religion, with a totally different belief system than my own. I had no understanding of their beliefs yet she blamed me for “not trying”
I was learning Christain beliefs (my religion) behind the scenes because my mom and aunt made me read the bible.
My aunt had a version that was more understandable that she gave me. Then going to a catholic school and learning their beliefs. She didn’t think learning about 2 religions at once may have confused me?
Due to that, I couldn’t separate a Christain belief from a non-Christian belief. Instead of thinking I “wasn’t trying,” thinking the possibility that 2 conflicting religions were the problem. I mean teaching me Christain values while simultaneously sending me to a school outside of my religion and barely understanding their beliefs while being graded on it.
My folks were in denial that I had a learning disability and wanted to believe I was just ‘being bad.’ Denial doesn’t make the issue go away. Just imagine if my folks accepted from minute one that I have a learning disability and tried harder to find a school with the right setting. Or at most informed the teachers of my disabilities. The teachers were like a sub-boss and the principal was the final boss and I lost every time. When my mom finally accepted that I have a learning disability and punishing me was not working, I moved and started the 4th grade at a public school. They have people who could help me with my school work. Counselors I could talk to etc.
Again the situation was a 2-way street. My folks didn’t want me going to a public school but at the same time, I was at a place where no one understood how my brain worked.