Taking a special needs child abroad? Do you live abroad already with a child who has special needs? How have you made it work?
Jackie Spinner takes us on her incredible journey to Morocco with her young adopted sons who are on the Autism Spectrum in her Washington Post Perspective special, “Special needs parenting in Morocco.” It was a pleasure to be interviewed for this well-researched piece:
MOROCCO — The night before my son started kindergarten in Morocco, I woke up in a panic. In the morning, my 5½-year-old, who is autistic, would go to school in a language he did not understand.
My son had only started speaking about a year and a half ago, acquiring language through intensive therapy. It had changed the course of his life. He had thrived in an inclusive preschool classroom at our neighborhood school last year. But although he is now bilingual in English and Arabic, our family doesn’t speak French, the language of instruction at the small private school in Rabat where I had enrolled him and his 3-year-old brother, who is also autistic.
I was essentially making my children nonverbal again, and in the early morning hours before I had to wake them to get dressed, it felt cruel, particularly for my new kindergartner.
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Find out more about Ms. Spinner’s work as a journalist and mother here!