Should I Switch Schools Mid-Year? Answers for Parents of Autistic Kids.

Are you wondering if switching schools mid-year will benefit or hurt your ASD student?

Here's a typical scenario:

  • Your child has autism or some form of ASD.
  • He or she currently attends a public school where he or she gets the attention of a teacher and possibly an instructional aide.
  • Or your child is attending a private school where you feel everyone is supportive, but something is still "off".
  • As a parent, you are struggling with the idea of taking him or her away from everything he or she knows - having to start from scratch again by going somewhere new.
  • You're wondering if it's time to switch to a more specialized school.
  • Ultimately, you just want your child to be happy!

Most of the parents of students at our schools have been in the exact situation as you. We have consulted with parents on this topic hundreds of times. And because we want the best for your child, regardless of whether that means they attend our schools or not, we wanted to get some tips and pointers down to help parents ask the right questions when considering a change. 

Some questions to ask yourself:

Clearly, you considering a change is triggered by some kind of event or build up of events. Do you know what triggered your child's behavior? Does your school? Understanding the answers to these questions can help you determine if the problem is the school itself. 

In terms of the school you are considering a switch to - have you toured it? Have you met the staff members who will be spending time with your child. It's important to get to know these people to ensure that you can communicate well with them, and with complete transparency. 

Things to note:

Children adapt, even those with autism/ASD. They will make new friends. If the reason you're not switching schools for your child is the fact that you're afraid that they have to start from scratch, weigh the pros and cons. Staying in an environment your child is used to where they're doing okay, but still get stressed, act out, and have more bad days than good, is most likely worse than starting over in an environment that specializes in understanding your child's needs. 

We have many parents who have made the switch who tell us that mainstream can never offer enough for an autistic child. Public schools typically do not help with sensory issues, anxiety or anything else related to autism. We hear (and see) that the best place is somewhere that actually understands and has some insight.

We hope this helps you get a more clear understanding of the logical next steps. If you need any help or a consultation, you can simply contact us to schedule a consultation with an enrollment specialist.