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ASD and secondary school

(2 Posts)
Pinkballoongirl Wed 21-Sep-16 19:29:30

Hi, any advice would be appreciated. My DS has 'high functioning' ASD. He is in mainstream school and has a statement of 20 hrs a week. About 18 months ago we moved with DHs job, DS started at s lovely primary school, only 12 children in his year. He was really happy, such a change as before we'd moved he'd been at a high achieving school and was bullied mercilessly. School did nothing.

So now he's just moved to secondary school. The school has a good reputation for pastoral care and there's about 500 pupils on the role. DS was scared - generally he's very anxious, not at all violent. He will cower, literally, when he's frightened or anxious. He's very black and white, likes to do everything by the rules. So last week, he was given a detention for not doing homework by his form tutor - DS was nearly sick, massive meltdown in front of his new class mates who then took the mickey out of him all day. DS hadn't done the homework because he wasn't given it!! The teacher phoned me to tell me but still tried to put the blame on DS angry

I phoned the school when DS got home, they couldn't offer any defence, said it was really bad, not DS's fault at all. DS is really down on himself now, calling himself a fool. He's made no friends at all and today, whilst reading a piece of work to the class, as the teacher asked him to, the other kids started laughing at him.

I feel like I'm out of my depth, I know it's different ar secondary school but DS is struggling. I'm worried he'll be bullied again. I'm going to see SENCO on Friday ....... sad don't mean to sound so feeble, but just want him to be happy, have a couple of mates and to be treated fairly, is that too much to ask?

Sorry to hear this pink balloon. It sounds like your ds has not been cared for as a potentially vulnerable child at your school. I have learned that nothing can be left to chance.

I have two HF ASD children in y6 and y8 they attend the same middle school. They both have support from the SEN team for mainly social aspects of their schooling. It does not protect them from all teasing/ problems but they have been allowed to be themselves as much as possible. DS for instance needs to sit apart from his classmates in assemblies etc. as he finds sitting in a noisy, crowded space unbearable. He also spends most of breaks and lunchtime in the Library - being given 'permission' to do that rather than the strain of trying to play with the other children at break has helped him. Do not assume that having a small group of friends is always desirable - ds cannot manage friendships that well - he needs a lot of space and finds children his age tiresome. We are hoping his peers will be more interesting when they are all adults as he considers teachers as his friends more than pupils. Many children with ASD have difficulty distinguishing hierarchies - he can come across as incredibly belligerent to teachers as he does not immediately respect them as teachers and finds it necessary to test their knowledge - in subjects he is proficient (English and History for example) - before he can 'trust' their teaching! That was hard to explain prior to the diagnosis.

Dd is much more sociable she wants friends her own age and considers many people her friend although they do not always rspond to her in a friendly way. She lacks the sophistication of her peers (particularly the girls) wich causes her problems as she has a tendency to cry and is still interested in more imaginative play than most 10-11 yo girls are. So she has benefited from the schools provision of supervised and more structured play in a separate unit on site that all children can access and means she is not wandering aimlessly at breaks. There are risks inherent as she is interacting with children and sometimes undesirable behaviour of course ( see my thread on dd and secrets), but she needs support to have a friendship group and the school gives her a structure for that.

There are lots of things a school can do for children that struggle socially. You need to ask the SENCO about what they intend to do and inform the school about the things your ds find difficult. I do not assume that any distress my children report has been observed (though it is good when it is) as in a class of 30 it is easy to miss. In a small school they may not have many resources but they should know their responsibilities to all the children and ensure your ds gets more help.

Also make sure you follow up any call to or from the school with an email to them. It is incredibly useful to keep a record of your requests/ interactions.

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