Gympie Mum calls for more help for students 'between worlds'
ONE size fits all might be a handy solution in life, but Stacey Lowe believes it is not the best for students with special needs like her son Jack.
Ms Lowe has called for more support for children like her eight-year-old son who, with autism and ADD, had landed between worlds at school.
While the school had a separate class for students with special needs, Jack had struggled when he took part in it.
But while he was much more socially engaged in his regular class, other hurdles then presented themselves.
"With his peers he fits in very well in that classroom.
"But because of his autism and ADD, he finds it very difficult to engage,” she said.
It was a situation that left him in a grey zone, and she said he was not the only student to find himself there.
"The special needs education units don't suit all kids,” Ms Lowe said.
"I would love to see extra help in the classroom.
"I think there needs to be extra support for the kids who do fit in socially,” she said.
This was not an issue in which all responsibility should fall at the feet of schools, either.
She said Jack's school had been happy to liaise with her in an effort to make his education experience the best it could be.
Instead any extra help needed to offer support to teachers too, she said, as they were already in the middle of jobs which were "massive”.
In a social media post Mrs Lowe opened up on the challenges, and admitted "there would never be an answer” for Jack's struggle.
"That is the heartbreak and absolute frustration of autism,” she said.
"He picks up on social cues and body language in a second... but he hears too many words and instructions, and he can't unjumble them to do what he needs to do.”
While the post was a way to express how she felt, she soon found her story rang a very familiar bell among others she knew.
She was even messaged by a musician she knew who said his story had been just like Jack's when he grew up.
"He said school was so tough for him,” she said.
Mrs Lowe stressed the importance of parents making themselves more aware of their children's education environment as well.
Unable to put a finger on the total number of hours running the Royal Hotel takes, she said she understood how easy it was for parents to slip out of touch with every detail of their children's lives while they attempted the circus-like magic of juggling family, friends, and work.
"I think you can get so busy with business and life.”
However, there was one crucial point which she said Jack's school principal had perfectly "hit the nail on the head” of.
"'No-one knows your child like you do', he said.”