On Friday, Alex's class was having a little field trip to Tim Horton's via OC Transpo, two things Alex finds very reinforcing.
Unfortunately, he was having a very difficult day. If they told him to sit, he would stand. If they told him to stay, he would run. And when corrected, he would complain and whine and throw tantrums.
Eventually, they had to ask me to come and get him since they didn't have enough staff to leave one behind with him at school.
This triggered some big flashback emotions for me. When Alex was still in regular school, this was one of the signs of the end. They would lose control and then ask me to come and get him. As I drove up, I wondered if this was the start of the same. And if the specialized autism class can't manage his behaviour, who on earth could?
It's made me think that perhaps I should start doing actual research on the long term options. All I know now is that the good group homes have a decade plus wait-list and even the bad homes have years before you'll be considered.
The school staff is still confident in their ability to handle him and our behaviour therapist is still confident that they will be effective with him, but both were quick to agree that this is the time for education. Our behaviour therapist said most families make the mistake of waiting until they're in crisis to initiate a transition to a group home or other programs, which is the worst possible time. If it's done while everyone still has the energy and resources to maintain a proper transition and support time, then it's easiest on everyone, particularly the then-adult with autism.