Ds has been reporting to me almost daily about the same 3 kids hurting him and calling him names etc.
Ds previously reported to me a girl in his class keeps pinching him, slyly on the backs of his arms as they line up for class.
Also younger boys were chanting 'ds is an Indian' and 'ds is a loser' in the playground, which ds tells me was witnessed by another boy
I reported to school, school just said 'girl x can be tactile' and nothing about other incident.
Monday ds reports same girl x, pinching the back of his arms on 2 separate occasions and also that she grabbed his arm, twisted and bent it behind his back in the playground. He says her 'hurting' him is a daily thing. Same again today, pinching him as they line up.
Ds also says same younger boys are intimidating him, he says every time they see him, they stare at him until he looks away or puts his head down, insult him 'baby' and 'loser' until he runs away in the playground, then they leave him alone. If they see him in assembly they poke out their tongues. Ds is scared of them and tries to avoid them.
I reported to school again and have just received a reply to my email 'surprised if girl x indulged in this sort of behaviour, as she is a kind hearted person and its out of character for the boys' Then a few lines about what a good, jolly day ds has had, with only a slight incident at the end of day, with ds getting a headache'
I know that ds has sensory difficulties, I know that ds can misinterpret the actions, intentions of others etc, etc.
I need to approach this differently as just reporting what ds reports to me, isn't working. Ds obviously needs more support than he is currently getting with unstructured times.
Ds has just literally just come downstairs with blood smeared all over his face, where he scratched and cut himself and smeared it on purpose on his face. Told me he is 'sad because of PE and people being mean to him'
I really think that you need a two pronged approach, request the bullying policy and keep reporting the incidents to school, at a point of your choosing you may need to escalate it to governing body or whatever the equivalent is, I do think you need to teach ds a response, like my ds's laughing at the bully, and acting oblivious. I did a lot of work with ds, including role play, on how bullies need a reaction, if you give no reaction or a confusing reaction they will stop in time. My ds doesn't understand the nuance of it all so it's a case of treating it like an anthropological study, using language he will get and translating it into real life. School could stop the pattern of behaviour by allowing him to enter the class without lining up, staying in at playtimes etc. you could in fact ask them to do stuff to break the pattern.
Polter ds has learnt a response to ignore them. However he is just so timid and passive, his body language and demeanour tells a different story.
His self esteem is rock bottom, he is always crying in front of the other children, he is so overly nice. Kids just pick up on the signs and he is a prime target for other kids, regardless of what he says or does at the moment.
When my DS was at school he used to come home and complain on a daily basis that he had been bullied.
When I asked him who was bullying him he wouls say Boy X, Boy Y, Girl A etc.
It seemed to me that the whole class was bullying him and, as it did not fit with my perception of a bully being one child who picked on another, I found it difficult to believe him.
School also said he wasn't being bullied - he just perceived he was being bullied.
And this situation prevailed until a bunch of thugs (his school mates) broke his nose.
School then had to stop lying and admitted that he was being bullied by virtually the whole class, who had all decided he was "different" and could be picked on.
What I am trying to say is that I agree ASD children can overstate things and be over sensitive BUT.... there's also a good chance that he is being bullied to the extent that he's describing - just like my son was.
I think it's come to the stage where you need to ask for more support. I hate to say this but now the self-harming has started again it needs to be nipped in the bud - by additional support, if even just untyil he's over this hurdle.
No Polter. I signed him up for 2 lunch clubs to get him out of the playground, but he doesn't go, he forgets, doesn't know what time to go, where to go etc and no one is reminding him or helping him to get there. I will be ordering him a digital watch with an organiser, so an alarm will tell him what time to go.
PE is another example, he ends up crying at the start of the lesson and barely joining in. Ds is very clear about he cries as he is the last one to get changed (again no one helps him to change), when he gets to PE the lesson has started and he is just expected to go and join in. He says he doesn't know what to do, he wants to hear the instructions that everyone else hears at the start of the lesson.
Simple let him get changed 5 minutes before everyone else, so he doesn't miss the instructions, is what was agreed. His TA actually argued against it! Saying getting changed wasn't the problem, he was often distracted and 'hung up' on other things that had happened during the day and slow. HT insisted on it.
His TA is crap, is the impression I am getting. His TA says he will remind him of lunch club, but doesn't. His TA says he will give him a list of books to remember etc at the end of the day, he doesn't. His TA says he will come up with a plan for ds to access after school club, he doesn't.
The disorganisation and distraction you described is classic ASD behaviour.
The TA is not doing their job at all.
When my DS finally got back into education (after his breakdown) he had 1:1 support throughout the day. In fact he had 1:1 support from the moment he woke up in the morning until late into the evening. That support was only gradually withdrawn over a period of 3 years.
That's the level of support that's required when the anxiety is very severe. When that support is not there there anxiety increases and you're into this spiral of self-harm and ever-escalating anxiety.
Wet, your poor ds. This is ds's 3rd school. 1st school although ds might have got confused over the kids names, he was 5 at the time, he was 100% accurate when he described being hit with a stick, being bitten, being strangled etc, etc and had the marks to prove it.
In his 2nd school, the bullying was not so severe, but he was able to describe it clearly and I saw in the playground, the way other kids looked at him when he approached, walked away when he tried to talk to them etc, etc teacher reports of having 'no particular friends' etc. His reports of no one wanting to be his partner, no one wanting to sit next to him, name calling etc I believe were accurate.
I believe what he is telling me. Everything else he has been reporting in this school, that he was crying in PE, struggling to do x,y,z has been confirmed too. Yet ds is getting a rep for being 'unreliable' with his version of events. He might get confused with knowing how people are feeling and some other things, but he does know that someone pinching his arm, is being mean.
As with other schools its impossible to prove. The kids are not about to own up to doing it, some kids are sly and know not to do it when adults are about etc.
I tried sticking to my guns and insisting that ds wouldn't 'lie' in other schools and it got me no where. CAMHS haven't helped with their diplomatic approach, ds has told them he is bullied and what other kids do. This transpires to be 'ds's perceptions' and 'ds feeling persecuted by others' as I suppose they cannot prove it either.
So I have to run with that, until such time as I do have proof.
I emailed the school last night basically saying that ds struggling with more unstructured times, play and scratching as a result, is not uncommon and a long standing issue. CAMHS identified he often feels persecuted by others (rightly or wrongly) due to his difficulties and he uses scratching to alleviate his confusion and tension.
I have asked if we could take some steps to break the pattern, regardless of whether it is happening or not, especially as it is resulting in an increase in self harming.
Given some suggestions and asked they deal with it by providing additional support. I will see what they come back with.
At least this school is good at communicating and seem to want to work with me, as oppose to the previous 2 brick walls of schools.
Ds's statement is really, really crap and it seems that everyone thought, including this school, that just attending there, with smaller classes would be a magical cure for ds.
Ds starts his 6 week SALT assessment next term and at recent meeting, there was lots of what can be put in place for next term.
Talk of anxiety scales, which ds cannot or will not use. We have tried various ones over the years and none work. Ds is terrified of getting into trouble, so will just continuously put a smiley face or not rate below 5 or colour the whole week green.
Are these NT kids bullying him claw? because they will have the skills to do it and get away with it. Keep informing the school, keep working on building ds's confidence (he needs to find his inner tiger or whatever animal analogy might work!), keep pushing for his TA to do his job properly.
It does sound like he wants to go to this school, and he's made friends, which is amazing so quickly, I'm really impressed.
Yes Polter they are 'nt' as far as I know. Ds does regard 2 boys as his friends, the boy who helps ds to tie his apron etc and stuck up for him (having met him, I think he may have SN's or learning difficulties, but I don't know for sure). Ds has really taken a shine to him, he asked could he buy him a birthday card yesterday and wrote in it that he is one of the best friends ever! (although it was a pink, quite girly card that ds chose and the boy wanted to paint it blue!) and another boy who does have ASD, who at first ds found quite 'in his face' and unbearable, but he has kinda forced his way into ds affections and he is growing on ds!
Ds is also really enjoying the company of the much older boys so far, in his school taxi and has spoken very positively about them and his experience.
Ds is much happier about going to this school and isn't refusing and his self harm isn't as bad as it could be. So lots of positives.
I just feel its a constant battle to help school to try and understand ds and why he does the things he does. I know its early days, however left totally to their own devices, im finding that understanding isn't growing, quite the opposite.
Simple things like ds not being able to manage to do work because of his rigid thinking and inability to move past that. Its a common problem in ASD, they must have encountered before, they must have a framework for dealing with it, USE IT, instead of telling 'just got on with it' when he is clearly unable to.
Or comments like 'what do you want me to do about it' when he reports that girl x has pinched him, rather than investigating or helping him to make sense of it.
PE - ds is very, very clear about why he is getting distressed and crying and most of it is so easy to deal with, with really, really simple strategies. In fact ds is very, very clear about most things that distress him, listen to him, make a few simple changes, instead of keep brushing him off and thinking of it as 'minor' and 'things he will have to learn to cope with' YES but he needs some help from you to learn!
I know claw although my ds's expressions of anxiety are different to your ds's their needs at school are quite similar I think. It's just small stuff, always the small things that make a huge impact. At the moment my ds is staying in at play times and just watching the fish tank and doing some sort of 'monitoring' but just that one thing, which requires no extra resources, is making his days far far better. It has always infuriated me that my ds's needs really aren't that complicated and not even particularly unique, but when ignored the consequences are so very damaging.
I do really feel for your ds, he is trying so hard.
Part of the proviso I put on finalising the statement was that it be reviewed in 6 months. Which is why its so important to me that school understand ds.
My hands were tied, ds was getting too distressed during assessments and assessments had to be stopped, other assessments were out of date. So LA EP could only write about how distressed ds was and that she couldn't do assessments. LA then wrote to LA SALT who had discharged ds 2 years earlier.
So statement basically says that ds has no needs and sets out what he doesn't need! Its probably the most bizarre pile of crap of a statement ever issued.
I have just spoken to CAMHS and she is going to phone school, as she feels they 'need to focus on the bigger picture' but couldn't make any suggestions. She has just spoken for half an hour on the phone to me and said absolutely nothing! I suspect she will do similar to school.
There are so many little things the school could do that might help considerably. Like being at either the front or back of any lineing up with a teacher at ta to help him and watch to ensure no bullying. A ta in the lunch hall to sit with/near your Ds and keep an eye on things and alternatives to playtime. My Ds had one lunchtime in the computer suite one with a small group of other childrenplaying team games one with a ta and others playing board games one day with a ta in the playground for him. At morning break the teachers on duty were instructed to keep a special eye out for Ds. It all built up over time and much nagging on my part but it shows if the school are willing it can be done.
I have received a reply to my email 'I have investigated the girl x matter and it turns out that girl x did indeed pinch him. This was rather shocking' it then goes on to say that she has been spoken to and they have been told to stay away from each other for the time being!
I suggested that ds be allowed to go first or last in line. Apparently he can go 2nd, as another SN boys already goes 1st and he cant go at the back as this is girl pinch's place as she is last on the register. So they line up alphabetically and ds is always in front of her.
I also asked when the 5 minutes extra to change for PE that was agreed at the meeting would be given. No answer to this.
Playtimes - I asked if ds could be given some help to access lunch clubs, twice a week, as he forgets, doesn't know where to go etc. No answer to this.
Also seen as most of his anxiety revolves about playtime, particularly lunchtime break. I asked on the days when there are no lunch clubs, if he is feeling overwhelmed/confused by situations at playtimes, is there an alternative at these times. He replied he can go sit on the chairs in the reception! thanks a bunch!
This is all good stuff Claw - although it may not seem so.
You have an admission of bullying.
You have evidence that they haven't got a clue what to do with him at 'unstructured times' when there is no lunch club - that's good for future purposes as we all know that sending him to sit in reception is not a suitable solution - for a variety of reasons.
What I would do is acknowledge their response and reiterate the questions they did not answer.
It seems that putting it in writing via email is the way to go. You then have something substantial to beat them with (and to show to future Tribunals if necessary)
claw what Wet said, an admission of bullying is a damn good start and is what you need, it is proof. My ds had a year of sitting at a little table in the reception area by the receptionists at play and lunchtimes before he got his LSA, he loved it, it was peaceful and he could read or draw and was allowed to choose a friend to take, he always had several volunteers. It sounds wrong but it might work.
Most definitely a good thing on different levels too. Other schools would cover it. It has given me an ounce of sanity back, as strange as that might sound, it is a relief to have it confirmed that it isn't just ds 'perception' constantly. It has given ds some creditability.
Ds has jumped at the chance to sit quietly in reception and has asked can he read. He does similar in social situations at home, goes to his room and lines things up, calms down, joins in for a bit, then off he goes again its his coping mechanism.
Why do you have to wait until June for a statement review Claw when you said earlier that you'd agreed a statement review after 6 months? June is 10 months from the start of the 2013 school year. By June everyone will be getting ready for the summer holidays so people that you may need won't be around.
It might be useful to print part of the email and give it to your DS so he has 'proof' that he's allowed to sit in Reception. That should make him feel less anxious in case he is challanged for being there.
I'd still write that email asking them to answer the questions they've swerved. Build up your written evidence.
When DS was at his worst I used to have to micro-manage absolutely everything down to the nth detail. Used to drive me nuts. Still does at times