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What to do about school next week?

(43 Posts)
maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 08:52:24

DS is 10 with AS. He is finding school a struggle. He is between TAs as school are recruiting for someone new. He has full-time support.

He is ok being in school if he can work outside the class but I think what's the point of that? I have got him back in class gradually myself but obviously I can't TA him. I have just wanted to support transition as he won't cope with another short-term new person so it is not as simple as demanding a replacement for him in the meantime.

But I feel I am probably just papering over the cracks of the fact that school isn't working for him.

What should I do?

Make a decision (don't tell ds). Live with it for a day. See whether it brings you panic/stress or relief.

Also perhaps start to write a list.

What things can make school work?
What if any, are the benefits of the current and future school arrangements? (be honest and include 'childcare' if that is one)

What are the benefits of remaining at home.
How would that work.

What will YOU be doing if he stays at home?
How could you make that work?

Are you thinking that a different school or special school might work better?

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 09:25:19

Special school possibly. The school he is at will do anything to help but I'm not sure he'd go to school without me.

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 09:38:34

I would entertain home school for a bit pending a new TA but will I lose all the statement provision.

OneInEight Wed 10-Apr-13 09:42:49

Am dreading Monday too!

My boys are also 10 and probably HFA

ds2, hates school, and the beginning of term is always problematic. His teacher has taken a massive gamble and given him a large part in the class assembly - he is looking forward to this and has been practising throughout the holiday. It is also his turn for a celebration assembly - also I suspect cunningly planned to get him over that initial reluctance. The EP has also said try and give him something to look forward to within a week or so of term beginning and praise, praise, praise for each successful day. We started bringing ds2 home for lunch last term and that has really helped reduce his anxiety as he found the playground the worst bit of the day. He also has the option to stay in at break-time. I worry about him becoming isolated but at the same time I know that you never feel more alone than when you're in a large group of people you are unable to engage with.

ds1 has to start a new PRU next week as the temporary one has now closed and his hopefully new school are unwilling to take him until after SATS (not sure if this is an excuse so they don't have to take him at all). So much for keeping educational changes to a minimum. He unfortunately has taken a dislike already to this new venue - not helped by the burst of extremely loud music from the hall when we were visiting - he was practically out the door before I caught him - and this is the one who I don't think is particularly noise sensitive.

Like you I have my doubts as to whether we should persevere with school as it undoubtedly contributes to my sons anxiety. I worry about the lack of social contact especially because dh and I are not social people ourselves and would find it difficult to provide opportunities for this. dh is firmly against home-schooling and so far the professionals agree with him. I am more open-minded. Academically I think we would probably muddle through although perhaps not given the major homework battles we have had with them. My stumbling block is how I would give them any social interaction. We are in the process of statutory assessment and I am putting my hopes, perhaps too optimistically, on this.

OP, you could call an emergency annual review and get all parties together to discuss a way forward. It would help your case if the school were supportive, ie said they were struggling to meet his needs even with the statement provision?

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 09:50:32

We only had an annual review last month!

Ah! Oh well! Were your concerns discussed then re appropriateness of the setting?

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 10:07:28

Well it was made clear that DS was struggling to be in class and that he didn't want to be with the other children. But the talk was of transition for next year and possible settings and of course that was very much a case of leave it to parents to work the right setting.

But I suppose, facing another start of term with DS saying I don't want to be in class just fills me with despair.

I'm sorry, Max. If the transition might be to a SS for secondary, would any of them take him in Y6?

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 10:13:50

There are schools that do take children from 7 or 9 and I'm looking into that.

We had just put an offer in on a house after renting for several years (I posted on another thread about it) but now I feel like I don't know where the best place for DS is or whether we will need to move.

I'm so miserable I can't be out of bed this morning - kids are in here watching tv while I'm on the iPad! I just feel like we have come to a real crossroads.

I've been there Max. There's a future past this point but you have my sympathy right now.

I'll keep making suggestions as I think of them but though no doubt it will take its toll, your brain will sort it all out because you're engaging with the information. I hope you have good family support whilst you at this crossroad.

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 11:00:03

Thanks. I think the problem is that if I think, I will home educate, then it provides an immediate relief. It might even do so for a month or so. But after that?

DS is saying he would like to try somewhere where are the other children with AS but I suspect we haven't stored up enough 'evidence' of abject failure for our disgraceful LA as yet. They routinely issues statements for secondary schools with any old secondary named on it and just let you fight.

Even a few hours extra SLT will lead to a Tribunal.

If I am honest, it just destroys us.

HotheadPaisan Wed 10-Apr-13 11:14:16

Much sympathy, we go through this at least once every term, sometimes two or three times a term but there is hope in between so we keep ploughing on.

What is your gut feeling? Get strategic. Start emailing all concerned regularly stating what it takes to get him to school and how you feel it is all at risk of placement breakdown and ask what alternatives they can offer. Put the onus on them, start/continue the paper trail.

Keep the two logs mentioned on here: who you contacted when about what and how your DS is. Have you got any health service support?

HotheadPaisan Wed 10-Apr-13 11:16:38

Ah yes, doomed in that case, or you may as well start the fight now and let him be in and out of school as and when, as long as all covered by emails with your concerns asking for their help.

I really feel for you, it's just rubbish. Education direct payments cannot come in quick enough. I hope you find a way forward.

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:44

My experience is that DPs do not make LAs any better to deal with as they just don't pay up!

I have been left to deal with this entirely on my own, largely as no one else has a clue what to do.

I just think he needs to be somewhere where he can join in with his peers and I am now reaching the conclusion that mainstream may not be the place as it is a lot to expect a TA to address all these difficulties and offer support where none has been available thus far.

HotheadPaisan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:18:02

Yes, the only possible SS locally here doesn't look quite right either though. It all needs flexibility and a creative approach. The providers have to want to make a difference and truly look at the needs of a child and try and meet them.

www.eger-roth.co.uk/

What about this school? It's a fair way from you but still commuter London. I didn't suggest it before because it's in fuckwit county and next to crap county, but you might be able to make it work or even live somewhere else!?

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 14:53:56

Thanks. But that is miles away from us.

Yes. I guessed it was but I suppose I thought if you were planning to move you might be looking pretty much anywhere.

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 16:21:20

Need to move somewhere cheaper. I think, for us, the benefit of moving would be to at least have a better quality family life with a bigger house while we face the inevitable stress which awaits us wherever we go!

beautifulgirls Wed 10-Apr-13 18:57:32

You have nothing to lose by appealing to tribunal over this. You can continue to gather evidence of his anxiety and issues in the mean time and present these. The very situation you are in now should provide clear evidence of his level of need if he doesn't cope well/refuses school.

maxsanta Wed 10-Apr-13 19:04:02

Thanks. We can't appeal to Tribunal as he has had his AR although presumably we could when the LA makes a decision on the AR. But would we need to raise. The breakdown of the placement now?

Should I also speak to the GP?

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