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Goose and Carrot, 6th Sept. End of first week drinkies!

(161 Posts)
Galena Fri 06-Sep-13 18:18:25

Let me open the doors today. All welcome!

We've had a good week. DD has started school and seems happy enough - a far cry from the insecure, screamy child who wouldn't let me leave the room for 5 minutes a year ago at preschool.

Apart from that, not much has happened... Still waiting for confirmation of her op, still waiting for report following complaint from her mri...

NoHaudinMaWheest Tue 10-Sep-13 19:33:27

Claw that's good news so far.
Keep hope things begin to settle for your Ds.
Galena good to have some positive news instead of endless waiting.
Summer that sounds great for your ds.

My ds is doing a trial acting class tonight. He enjoyed the practical bits of his GCSE drama and wanted to carry on acting so he is giving this class a go. It is the same school that Dd has been with for years and them seem to be quite inclusive so fingers crossed.

claw2 Tue 10-Sep-13 19:42:31

Good luck Galena and Nohaudin, hope things go well for you and ds's.

moosemama Tue 10-Sep-13 22:22:53

NoHaudin, sorry I missed your post the yesterday. Glad college was supportive of your ds and he's managed to catch up. Hope he enjoyed his acting class tonight.

Summer that sounds amazing. Well done your ds.

Claw, really pleased to hear things are going ok so far for your ds.

Galena, glad you've finally got the results and a date to focus on.

My news is less cheerful. Things have settled down in the transport department - although we still aren't happy with the general set up or the fact that they seem to be arriving earlier and earlier each morning without any warning. We've had tears because although he's always got up at 6.00, he usually vegges on the sofa for an hour before having to start getting ready and he needs that time to himself. This morning I had to wake him and drag him out of bed at 6.30 and the blooming transport turned up at 7.05 - half an hour earlier than last week, with no prior warning.

Unfortunately, things aren't going as well with school as we'd hoped either. The response to my email on the first day was obviously a red herring, as I had to email them for Monday morning, due to problems and meltdowns over homework and some info re SALT. I still haven't had a response to that one and the homework in question is due in on Thursday and ds doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing. (It's taken over 2 hours + meltdowns so far and he's barely started.) The LSA is writing down his homework for him, but not being specific enough and he's simply not taking in what the teacher's saying, leading to possible/probably interpretations.

None of the staff are understanding how specific you need to be with language and instructions with him or that he will seem as if he's understood every word and knows what he's doing, when in reality he doesn't have a clue and probably didn't take any of it in.

On top of that his blazer went missing after his first ever PE lesson. The teacher helped him search the changing rooms (despite him having hung it on the peg with his pe bag) and said someone must have worn it home in error - but that's not actually possible, as there wasn't another one left in there, meaning someone would have to have gone home with two. They said they'd check all Y7 blazers today, but didn't find it. After he dropped that bombshell I checked his PE bag and discovered half his school tracksuit is missing as well. Both items cost ££s with it being and indie school and we simply don't have the money to replace them. He came home from school after PE with his tie around his neck, but above his shirt collar and despite the teacher having the whole rigmarole around looking for his blazer with him and the SENCO putting him on transport not one person thought they should help him sort it out so he didn't look ridiculous.

He was upset that he missed computer club, despite having been invited, because he wouldn't/couldn't ask anyone for directions to the room. He still doesn't have a locker, despite dh handing in the key deposit when he took him to induction day - and staff are aware of this, as they're currently locking his excess baggage in the ladies staff room. He says he can't ask questions if he's not sure of anything, because they're not allowed to speak in class and when I told him to put his hand up, he said they tell you to put it down again. hmm

He has been given at least 3 pieces of homework a night so far, despite us being told he would only have to do homework for core subjects and as a result he had a 7 subject backlog until I braved the fireworks to make him do two of them this evening.

I had a note home today asking me to please supply him with a ruler - he had no fewer than three in his bag, two of which were immediately visible when you unzipped it and he's been asked to do homework in an exercise book he doesn't have. confused

He insists he's enjoying it there, but his anxiety levels are sky high and I can see him desperately trying to hold it together.

aaand ... ds2 has been up all night sobbing because he has the teacher he is terrified of again this year and she apparently spent all day screaming full voice at the whole class, then put them all in playtime detention tomorrow.

aaand .... dd is already off sick with a horrible virus, which has left her doing a good vocal impression of Mariella Frostrup.

So, I had enough by teatime tonight and text dh to call me, then promptly cracked up over the telephone. I expected teething troubles, but it's as if they've just completely ignored his statement and all the support he needs and left him on his own to flounder. He should have a mentor that he sees several times a day, but that isn't happening, he's supposed to type his work - nope and the list goes on ....

I have never in my life before counted down to half-term so soon after they've started back in September.

moosemama Tue 10-Sep-13 22:23:36

Sorry for the huge ranty post - needed to let it out somewhere as dh clearly thinks I'm being precious. angry

NoHaudinMaWheest Tue 10-Sep-13 22:48:54

Moose I definitely don't think you are being precious. That's a long list of things to go wrong in the first week. I hope you manage to see someone and get it sorted out soon. It is so disappointing when it looked as if the school was going to be so helpful.
sad for ds2 too. There is nothing worse than a shouty teacher. I still occasionally have nightmares about one I had in primary even though I only had her for music.
Sorry I realise that isn't very comforting. Is there any hope of him moving class?

claw2 Tue 10-Sep-13 23:08:15

Oh Moose sorry you are having such a tough week.

Ds lost his jumper on the first day of wearing it and didn't even have PE that day, £35 to replace too, so not cheap is it. And despite me asking about PE kit before starting and being told to buy tracksuit etc. A note in planner about ds now needing another 2 PE kits and outdoor trainers!

We too have homework coming out of our ears and a backlog. We have tried 'write down 10 decision you make in a day and what influenced your decision' for 2 days running. Ds just cant think of any decisions and has a meltdown if I suggest any and wont accept my ideas.

He also had a note written in his planner 'SALT appointment 9.30' tomorrow, im not sure if they want me to attend or are just informing me or whether I should ask to be there confused

SummerRain Tue 10-Sep-13 23:26:44

moose and claw sad It's easpecially heartbreaking to read as your boys sound so similar to ds1, I worry so much about how he'll cope as the world continues to expect more and more from him.

Trigglesx Tue 10-Sep-13 23:36:01

Good God Almighty, moosemama - I'd be ranting if I were in your shoes - (actually I'd probably be out creating chaos grin) but I hope things right themselves soon. You are not being precious!!

I'm really shocked that they are being so dismissive of your DS's needs.

For me, if I were feeling a bit less ill, I'd be dancing about the living room singing "school, glorious school" - honestly!! DS1 is back in school, and although DS2 is still on shortened days (which means 3 school runs a day yee haw!! hmm), it is so obvious that DS1 missed the "schedule" of school. He seems slightly more settled, although obviously still adjusting to things. RDA started this week for him (through school) as does Art Club and Sports Club will soon start, and he is starting something in class this year that he has always wanted to do - learn a foreign language (French). He's thrilled. (I'm not, however, as it means I will need to learn it with him - eeeeek! How in god's name will I know what he's up to if he's muttering in FRENCH?!?!?!?!)

Galena Wed 11-Sep-13 07:14:01

moose, that sounds crap to the highest degree. And it doesn't help if DH is being dismissive either. Can you arrange a meeting with somebody (senco, class teacher or head) 'to discuss how he is settling'?

Triggles, glad DS1 is beginning to settle - and I wouldn't worry too much about French yet. He's not going to be fluent enough to mutter more than 'bonjour, je m'appelle DS1' for a few months.

Trigglesx Wed 11-Sep-13 07:31:06

'bonjour, je m'appelle DS1'

Well, that's already more than what I know of French! grin No, I know he won't be fluent for quite some time (if ever), but I am well aware that my learning it as he is learning it is probably a good idea. I could easily see him deciding (when a bit older and knows more French) to speak only in French on any given day - just because he can. It's one of his obsessions - the foreign language thing.

moosemama Wed 11-Sep-13 08:18:55

Thanks guys. I'm glad somebody understands. We're ringing the SENCO today with a huge list of problems to address. Not sure what she'll do, as being secondary, I don't know how likely a meeting is or whether we have to wait and see if she sorts out the current issues and finally starts taking his needs - and his statement - into consideration and arranges some decent support.

Got up early again to get him ready this morning. (The early mornings are killing me.) Twenty minutes later dh tells me that transport is picking ds us later this morning - apparently they told ds to tell us. hmm Ds told dh, but not me and they hadn't told him how much later they were going to be coming. On further investigation it turns out that while we've been crowbarring him out of bed at stupid o'clock and rushing to get him ready in time, they've been arriving at school 35-40 minutes early, when it's still shut! angry Students are allowed in at 8.00 and can wait in the library if they need to, but they don't need to be there until 8.35. Ds's transport has been arriving at 7.50 most days. angry

So we have a teacher that tells him to memorise his homework question and a transport firm that's asking him to relay messages - neither of which he can do. It's a miracle he told dh about the pick-up change and a bloody good job they didn't say they were coming earlier or he wouldn't have been ready.

I have ds2 off today as well as dd. He was up so much in the night sobbing about his teacher that he is a zombie this morning. He came downstairs and started sobbing straight away that he can't face going in only to sit there and be shouted at all day again. The class has playtime detention and he says she will just shout continuously the whole time.

Fortunately, he has been moved up a set in literacy and isn't in her group for numeracy (in fact he has his lovely, lovely teacher from last year for both of those subjects) which means he now won't see her until next Monday, as she is only half-time. Unfortunately the other half of her job share is equally as mean and shouty and a teacher I had to try and tell he was scared of her when he had her in y3- and actually I'm scared of her too - blush. She was really rude and dismissive, said she isn't scary, never shouts at him because she doesn't need to and he needs to 'man up'. hmm The ridiculous thing is, he hasn't actually done anything wrong or got into trouble directly. He just can't cope with the teachers constantly yelling at the whole class and imposing whole class punishments.

He's mostly NT, but has the odd trait and I do think part of what's going on here related to that. Unfortunately, his Wed afternoon to Friday teacher was the one that, as soon as I walked into a meeting to discuss his Hypermobility (which she shouldn't have been at, as it was supposed to be with just his form tutor and she only had him for maths) said "Before you start Moosemama, can I just point out that ds2 isn't ds1 and he clearly doesn't have Autism, so you needn't imply that he does." shock angry I have never suggested he does to them and wouldn't, because unless he's in the class of a mean-spirited, shouty, child-hating teacher he doesn't have any problems and is a happy, well-adjusted, well-achieving little boy. Last year's teacher was so lovely, really picked up on him being sensitive and a bit quirky and took him under her wing. He was so happy and thrived in her class and- this is a million miles away from that. I can just see him shutting down again, like he did in y3 - he's only been back in school 5 days. sad

The Mon-Wed teacher is the teacher ds1 had in Y4. She shouldn't be teaching, she doesn't hide the fact that she doesn't like children, is clearly depressed and can't cope and spent the whole of the year ds1 had her telling us "It has nothing to do with his autism - he's doing it on purpose to get at me." angry

Other parents have complained about her. She made one of ds2's friends wet himself in Y3 by repeatedly refusing his request to go to the toilet, then the same boy lost his jumper, searched the whole school, his Mum came in and helped, everyone looked for it, then at parents' evening when she mentioned it the teacher said it was in the cupboard in her room and he hadn't asked her directly so she hadn't given it back and he should learn to be more careful with his stuff! angry Ds says she throws things across the room when she gets angry and his best friend was hit by a board rubber that she was actually throwing at someone else last time they had her.

Not sure how to approach dealing with this. He became a shadow of himself last time he was in these womens' class, really introvert, crying, refusing school, feigning illness etc, but I know if I go to the Head they will just roll their eyes and say "here goes Moosemama again".

hazeyjane Wed 11-Sep-13 09:27:45

Oh moose, how bloody disheartening, no wonder you want to rant. I know what you mean about the eyerolling, I feel as though ds's preschool are already sticking their fingers in their ears and going 'la la la' because crazy hazeyjane is already making demands and asking for completely irrational stuff like, um, the chair that ds is supposed to have.

Ah well we have a day of respite from it all today, dd2 is off with a 'sore foof-er-acha' (her description to the dr) ie another bad urine infection, and ds is curled up on the sofa next to me covered in snot with a temperature. It was an awful night with dd2 up all night crying with the soreness and dh and I took it in turns to sit up in ds's bed with him struggling to swallow.

ArthurPewty Wed 11-Sep-13 09:33:25

Oh Moose, i had so many hopes for that school for DD1. sad
We were going to go to the open day coming up, cos we need to start thinking about what we're going to do with DD1, mainstream comp or indie...

claw2 Wed 11-Sep-13 09:36:08

What a bloody cheek that teacher has 'before you start he doesn't have autism like your other son' so she is an ASD specialist, as well as a miserable cow now too.

SallyBear Wed 11-Sep-13 09:50:09

Moose, why is DS2 at this school? Christ alive I'd be writing to the LEA and Ofsted.

Galena Wed 11-Sep-13 10:06:20

Is there any possibility of moving DS2 moose? You can't have another year like that. sad

hazey, hope both feel better soon and that you all get some sleep.

DD seems to be loving school. Has made a friend - in fact, they are such good friends already that the teacher asked if they'd known each other before. No, they didn't, theyve just clicked. Hppefully when they move from half classes to whole class next week the friend won't find a new best friend and desert DD. I have heard rumours that DD's TA is the only YR TA. angry However, I don't need to start off on the wrong foot with the school, because I've mentioned it to the Advisory Teacher who comes in sometimes, and they are going to monitor it for the next couple of weeks and then point out that she is not a class TA, but an extra.

Ho hum. Is it too early for wine ? Perhaps I should just have brew and cake

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 11-Sep-13 10:32:33

Moose - sorry everything is shit all at the same time sad

DS1 had all sorts of issues when he first started. The thing is that his school are not at all dismissive and are always several steps ahead of me (DS1 does not contact me beyond the odd text during the week so I never know what's going on). In m/s when something goes wrong it continues to go wrong and then the child somehow is held responsible for things going wrong in the first place and 'needs to learn' (ie without being explicitly taught). But don't expect everything to go smoothly from the start - a lot of NT DC struggle with the change to secondary at first but this is multiplied for your DS1. Things will go wrong sometimes - response to things going wrong is crucial.

I hope that DS1's new school are equally observant of where issues arise and respond immediately and effectively to them. If they do, you can learn to trust schools/teaching staff again. Trust is relational though and reluctance to place trust before it is earned is perfectly understandable. Also DS1 will need to learn to trust again. In a way things going pear-shaped for my DS1 taught him that he could trust the staff at the school - that they would catch him when (not if) he fell.

DS2's school angry - I wouldn't give a toss about them rolling their eyes and be more Bolshie! If the head is useless go to the BOG, then the LEA and Ofsted.

Trigglesx Wed 11-Sep-13 10:55:23

I'll admit DS2's school (which was so brilliant with DS1 while he was in MS) seemed a bit funny about me mentioning a couple times that DS2 needed a closer eye on him until he had his boundaries established as he wandered a bit (side effects of having a runner for an older brother, I suspect - learning from siblings - always the wrong things they learn, eh? hmm). A bit patronising with the "oh children in reception are like that sometimes - we keep a very close eye on them, especially in the early days when they're still learning the routine of the school."

And then on the first day of school - they lost DS2. Literally lost him as he wandered off and they didn't notice. angry They had to search the school. He was found and okay, but I was livid and spoke directly to the head about it.

No more patronising comments. None. grin I, of course, am too mature to say "I told you so." But I did. Twice. To the Headteacher. grin

moosemama Wed 11-Sep-13 11:37:19

Arthur - despite all of the crap at ds1's new school he's loving it there. He's stressed to the max, transport is a big issue and there are countless problems, but he loves it, is with other kids with AS that all great on great together talking at each other about Minecraft, Lego, Mobile Phones and Starwars, in a class of only 12 pupils. He is already a member of two clubs (computer and Minecraft - of course) and has really bonded with the head of both clubs, who is in y9, happens to sit next to him on transport and also went to ds's primary school. Dh and I have already said if he wasn't enjoying it we'd pull him out in a heartbeat and homeschool, but I don't think he'd thank us for it.

All they need to do is provide the basic provision from his statement and he'd be doing fine, but they seem to have completely forgotten that he has AS and assume he can do what other NT 11 year olds can - BUT - at the same time, it is so very different from a normal secondary school, they have stricter rules than primary, just like most secondaries, but they are not enforced in such an oppressive way and the standard way of handling pupils is with kindness and respect. For example, they have so many non-NT pupils that they wouldn't yell at a pupil in the corridor because his shirt wasn't tucked in or his tie was too loose and there's no pressure on them timewise re getting changed for PE.

Dh called the SENCO today and ran through the list of problems. For the most part it was a case of 'well he's still settling in' 'we always have hiccoughs in the first couple of weeks, then it will settle down' etc, but she did take on board the need for them to be more specific with language and he was able to reiterate to her that no-matter how it appears to them, ds's stress and anxiety levels are maxed out and while he's holding it together at school, things at home are a whole other matter. We've had to strongly reinforce that he simply will not ask for help until he feels safe and has a 'safe adult' to confide it and also point out that he won't ask for help or clarification in class, because they've been told not to speak during lessons (again literal interpretation of rules). hmm

KeepOn You speak a lot of sense. That's kind of what I was trying to say to ArthurPewty. The way they respond to the pupils when things go wrong is completely different to ms secondary. There's no blame culture, they do just try and help sort it out. I expected teething problems, but have been disappointed that his support wasn't in place from the start, in particular his mentor - as it is reinforced again and again throughout his statement that if he has that in place, everything else will come together. I was also really cross that they didn't respond to the email I sent them on Sunday night, as they'd reassured me that emailing them would be ok. Now the SENCO says it's better to call, but I feel like I'd just be on the phone day in day out and they'll get sick of me and stop taking my calls. I thought by emailing them they could sort the problem, then get back to me when they had time, rather than me bugging them when they're busy. Dh and I have now agreed that we will email them first to flag a problem and say "we will call you later to discuss" that way we have a paper trail, but will hopefully get a faster response.

Sally, ds2 has always loved the school and been really happy and settled there, the only year he was ever unhappy was when he had these two particular teachers for Maths and Literacy in Y3 - we thought that was it, then in their wisdom they decided to inflict those teachers on ds's class a second time. angry

Ds1's bf's mum is a governor and she was telling me that they simply can't get rid of these teachers. They had a teacher that was literally off sick for 2/3rds of every academic year and didn't bother actually teaching her pupils for the other 3rd but they were powerless to dismiss her.

He slept until 10.00 am this morning and has come downstairs a bit happier. He doesn't have the worst teacher again until Monday now, so dh and I need to formulate a plan and I'm going to speak to a few other parents who also have a problem with this particular teacher as well.

Trigglesx Wed 11-Sep-13 12:28:03

Dh and I have now agreed that we will email them first to flag a problem and say "we will call you later to discuss" that way we have a paper trail, but will hopefully get a faster response.

This worked really well for us when DS1 was in MS school - it meant we weren't playing phone tag, which tends to make me crazed. Plus you have a record of the communication, which never hurts.

ouryve Wed 11-Sep-13 12:30:24

Glad something's finally happening for you. More crossed fingers, here, Galena, that everything goes smoothly (though do you mind if I uncross them when I go back to stripping paint?)

moosemama Wed 11-Sep-13 14:09:09

That's what we thought Triggles. A bit sad that we're already having to think like that, but once bitten ...

ouryve Wed 11-Sep-13 14:16:09

Don't want to read and run, moose (been busy and I still need to clean up and have a shower before I get the boys). Just to say I Understand.

DS1 had one of those teachers in year 2. She'd taught year 2 forever. She made him hate school. I couldn't even get him into school on the days when she was on duty when he was in year 3 because she'd always find a reason to comment negatively on what he was doing, eg being indoors at lunchtime, when his 1:1 had brought him in out of the hubub of the yard for some peace and quiet and to do some jobs with her (something he likes doing!) Thankfully, she retired at the end of that year, before DS2 reached year 2. I wouldn't have wanted her to be allowed within a mile of him. She's the exception, though. All other staff have been lovely with the boys. DS2 has the teacher DS1 had last year, who has a great relationship with both of them.

moosemama Wed 11-Sep-13 15:05:55

Don't worry about it ouryve. I'm surprised anyone had the time or energy to read my rantings. blush flowers

It's horrible how one teacher can ruin school for a child. I would say I will never understand why people who clearly hate kids become teachers, but in the case of these two you can see how much they enjoy the power it gives them. Ds2 told me that after she'd screamed at their class solidly for a whole lesson yesterday, he then saw overheard her in the corridor telling another teacher what she'd done and laughing about it. angry

ouryve Wed 11-Sep-13 16:00:27

You've got plenty worth ranting about, moose. There's a lot to be said for letting off a bit of steam before you chew the ears off the people around you.

DS1 was lucky he had his 1:1 to stick up for him. The woman was convinced she could fix him with a bit of discipline hmm Nope, he simply very quickly learnt how to push her buttons and then refused to even set foot in the classroom.

I'm frustrated with DS1 because he's "lost" all the work he did for his homework. There was me thinking that the free choice portion of homework was perfect for him, but no, as hand in day has approached, he's become increasingly avoidant and the notes he had ready to type out have disappeared. In theory, I should allow him to pursue his pet topic on the computer until he's at least produced soemthing, but in practice, I know that would only achieve an evening of screaming and ranting and he'd probably take it all out on poor DS2. And there would still be no homework done.

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