Autistic Son

(48 Posts)
CanYouGetDownPlease Mon 05-Nov-12 13:03:41

So, DS (4) started Reception in September. He was diagnosed with ASD at 2 years, he is a lovely little boy but he struggles socially - he finds it hard to regulate emotion and often hits out when he is frustrated/anxious. He has speech delay, and processing difficulties. He initially settled well at school, but the stress of the transition has caught up with him. He has hit out on a few occasions now, and I am working closely with the SENCO, Teacher and Deputy Head to proactively implement strategies to support him. I am in no way excusing his behaviour, and it is reinforced at home that hitting is a bad choice etc etc.
Anyway.....before his behaviour deteriorated he was a popular little boy. invited to play-dates, picnics over the summer, had a new friend over to play and went to play at their house after school etc.
Now, I and him are avoided like the plague. Dropped like a hot potato by friend and her DS who we previously walked to school with. When DS approaches anybody in the playground, their child is quickly whisked away. I've been told that one parent is campaigning for his expulsion, and is 'gathering evidence'. This morning, he lost his lunch box, and so was very stressed and hit a child. He was immediately devastated, and apologised. The mother proceeded to shout at me, questioning my parenting style and demanding to know what I was going to do about my 'bully' child. She continued until I was crying, and I left. I've reported both of the above to the Head.
I am considering sending a email round to all parents in class, explaining DS has ASD. If they have a grievance please raise with school in a professional manner. What would you do?
Please be gentle, not started a post before. And thanks for getting this far x

What a horrid parent! (the shouty mum not you)

My DS has ASD too but tends to respond with fight rather than flight. Still we rarely get invites, I know judge him. We had issues over him being bullied about still being in pull ups. The head teacher did a disability awareness week the next term, involving lots of different conditions. Head also sent a letter out pointing out children all have different abilities that the kids had been spoken to about accepting people for who they are and that she hoped parents would back the school up on this at home.

Not sure about the email, can understand you wanting to do it but I'd think about it for a while before deciding. If they are ill informed they may change their minds but if they are just nasty/ judgy then an email won't change them.

Are there other children in the year with special needs? Maybe you could seek support from them?

ScarahScreams Mon 05-Nov-12 13:18:53

Oh my God that is really horrible.

A woman I know of in a different school started a similar " campaign" against a boy in similar circs and it is so, so wrong.

tanfastic Mon 05-Nov-12 13:23:00

Oh my goodness that's awful op. As the mother with a reception child who sounds very similar to yours although undiagnosed id be devastated if this happened to me. It pisses me off that perfect and ignorant parents (said with a hint of sarcasm) will automatically blame your parenting skills. We have a zero tolerance to hitting with ds but it doesn't stop him
Lashing out and I do fear that it's only a matter of time before he clouts a teacher or pupil and gets excluded.

I've no advice really as I'll probably be in a similar position myself at some point though I'm pretty thick skinned so if any parent messes with me they may just live to regret itwink

I do think if the other parents know about your sons special needs they may be more sympathetic. Unfortunately if he's hitting other pupils then you can understand why parents are going to be furious although it doesn't help your dilemma. I hope you get it sorted op.

WizzPopWizzBang Mon 05-Nov-12 13:24:05

You poor thing. So sorry you and your son are having to deal with this discrimination.

I went through very similar when ds2 started reception, although he had a statement and 1:1.

We had the whole "pulling kids away when ds2 approached" and ds2 was blamed for attacking kids when in fact it was another (nt) child.

It all came to head when ds2 smacked a child who had innocently shoved him out the way. I waited until the afternoon pick up and approached said child's mum, who happened to be alpha mum, and apologised for ds2 smacking her son then very loudly said he had autism so sometimes did not understand social situations. Things calmed down after that wrt the parents pulling their kids away and ds2 is actually best mates with alpha mums child.

I also approached school to suggest some information being sent out wrt autism and what it is but they thought it would not be in the school and child's interest to be sending stuff out.

schmee Mon 05-Nov-12 13:27:05

I think you should try to find a way to let people know, and also what you are doing about it. This will give people a chance to understand.

My son was on the receiving end in reception, coming home every day with scratches and hits to the head. He had his head slammed in the loo door and was scared to go into the corridor in case he had his head rammed up against the hooks. Needless to say the impact on our family was pretty awful and my lovely son became extremely anxious and withdrawn. We are still dealing with the impact a year on. I discussed it with the school as I was worried about my son.

Ultimately it turned out that the boy had ADHD and possible autism, and had to leave the school as they didn't have the resources to deal with him. In this case however the parents were unable to accept their child had a problem and tried to blame the other children/say that he was just being a normal boy. Completely different to your situation.

That said, knowing that the child had a diagnosis (or was in the process of getting one), and understanding how the parents and school were dealing with it would have helped me and I would have been supportive. I think you should also discuss with the school about what measures they have in place to protect the other children, and to ask what they say to parents who raise concerns.

If you know this woman well, can you ask her what her concerns are, explain the situation and ask if there is any more that you can do?

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:29:55

it's a tricky one, knowing whether to use the 'he's got autism' card or not. it stops people judging but you label your child. i am reading this and thinking how fortunate it is that I relocated to ireland where you can decide yourself when your child starts school, so mine was five and a half starting in junior infants, oldest in the class! but able to cope socially and doing fine. I know he would have had all these problems if we'd stayed in england and had to start at 4 and a half. the problem with information about autism is that every child is different. they have different quirks, different routines, different comforts,,,,,,,,,,,

hermioneweasley Mon 05-Nov-12 13:30:01

Shouldn't the school be doing stuff in class and educating the parents about ASD? If they aren't, to other parents, they will assume your son is badly behaved/a bully if the only information they have is their child has been hit by a child with a known history of this behaviour.

CanYouGetDownPlease Mon 05-Nov-12 13:31:35

I'm not sure r.e any other children with SEN, none that I am aware of, although that is not to say there aren't any. I'm only considering the email option as I'm not brave enough to say anything face to face, especially when it is 29:1. It would be polite, explaining I'm working with the school etc etc. I am in no way excusing his behaviour, but I know when he has been hit/pushed in the past, I always send a message of tolerance to my children. It seems I am the only one?

tanfastic Mon 05-Nov-12 13:32:39

I agree, I would speak to the school and explain about the campaign (fucking hell I can't believe parents like that exist) angry. See what they suggest. At the minute it does seem that the parents just think your child is a shit. They have no idea about the SN he has. Speak to the school and demand to know what they intend to do about this gathering of evidence crap angry

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:33:33

That parent sounds like a bored ignorant vindictive busybody and give her enough rope and she'll hang herself. Schools won't be ordered to expel a boy because 'another mum' tells them they ought to. Try not to worry too much although I really feel for you, the stress of that situation would have me tossing and turning too. brew

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:36:41

Do they have social skills class? maybe you could suggest ever so sweetly and graciously to the teachers that a few minutes of your son's resource hours are spared giving social skills to the son of the campaigner. As the note will go home advising that child will be pulled out of class for social skills class, that should be a nice little two fingers. not that i'm petty or owt. swear to god.

CanYouGetDownPlease Mon 05-Nov-12 13:37:11

I have reported the 'campaign' to the Head, that was before half term, I have not had any feedback on what actions they have taken. I am reluctant to label him as Autistic, or be seen to be using the diagnosis as an excuse. People often have many misconceptions of Autism thanks rainman and because DS does not display all the stereotypical traits, people assume he is naughty or unruly. Maybe I will draft email, show SENCO, and see if she thinks it will be helpful in educating the Parents.

TheLightPassenger Mon 05-Nov-12 13:38:03

Do you feel happy with the level of supervision the school is providing and/or if school recognise his stress factors and can reduce them in any way?

CanYouGetDownPlease Mon 05-Nov-12 13:38:52

Thank all by the way, I didn't go to work his morning as was sobbing. It's nice to read some friendly words thanks

tanfastic Mon 05-Nov-12 13:39:30

I understand you don't like confrontation, I don't think anybody does but I couldn't let this mum get away with it. I'd have to speak to her face to face.

Op, how did you find out about this campaign?

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:39:45

yes, and I support your reluctance because my son has got better at dealing with things he couldn't cope with years ago. AS he gets older he reacts less extremely to things that would have caused a tantrum years ago. Now, I think, although he is not pro-actively sociable, people wouldn't know unless i told them, and I am reining in the label. There is nothing to be ashamed of I know. It's just you know he's my son and I dont want him to have to deal with the label too...

Woman sounds a beeeotch of the highest order. you can bet the teachers are not impressed.

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:41:12

Wait til beeeeotch's daughter gets nits or worms, lol.

kige Mon 05-Nov-12 13:41:40

It isn't their business whether he's autistic. I would deal only with the school. If other parents start on you again, refer them straight to the school and don't engage. My ds has asd and my advice is to work with the school. Also people cannot pull their children away from your ds at playtime - it'll be the child's choice.

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 13:41:53

beeeotch-campaigner's son i mean.

tanfastic Mon 05-Nov-12 13:43:10

I think what's difficult about this situation is knowing other mums think your child is vile when quite frankly, I don't know about you op but I quite like my child. It's so upsetting sad feel for you. Do keep us updated.

Are you new to Mumsnet? If you are the special needs section is really supportive and welcoming. smile

As for the mum with the 'campaign' hmm schools don't usually tend to like these bossy judgy alpha mum types, I wouldn't let it worry you too much.

Does your local area have an NAS group? My town has one and it's fab for getting together with parents that get it, going on days trips with people that don't bat an eyelid, watching a panto where stimming and funny noises are allowed, etc.

CanYouGetDownPlease Mon 05-Nov-12 14:48:37

Another Mum approached me and filled me in on the campaign a few weeks back, she wanted to let me know she hadn't submitted any evidence as such. Not sure about social skills class? Not heard of anything like that. I'm reasonable happy with the school itself, its still really early days, and he is still so young. The Teacher has said what is going on in the classroom is really low level stuff, and so it feels like to me a storm is being whipped up in the playground.
He is a nice boy, and I don't want him to be branded, and socially isolated for the next however many years sad. I think it is relevant that I am young, although not that young. I think in the lovely suburban, largely middle class area, in which we live, DP and I stick out like a sore thumb. I can't help feeling like the presumptions have been made, so why bother trying to fight a loosing battle.

colditz Mon 05-Nov-12 14:52:42

Go into customise, and opt into special needs topic. There are some very well experienced people in there.

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 14:54:01

re social skills class, i'm ireland so things slightly different but i know some of his resource hours are given over to social skills, and I'VE DEFINITELY seen children wiht nO dx coming and going from this class.

This is one of the books they work from excellent book, and most nt children could do with brushing up on a chapter here or there

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