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Anyone up? Could do with some advise please.(17 Posts)
My daughter is 13 and in year 8. She has possible ASD, has been referred and her appointment is next month. She really struggles with the school environment. The disorder, the noise, the students misbehaving etc. So we spoke to the school and they have been helping. She is scared of school every day and tries very hard to stay brave each morning. She has been allowed to do lessons in the SEN space whenever she has felt overwhelmed and needed a break from class but has still made considerable efforts to go to lessons when she feels able to.
I regularly communicate with the school about her emotional state in a morning and last week did so before she got to school because Tuesday morning was particularly bad. She said she felt exhausted with it all...trying to be strong all the time for all the lessons and that she just wanted it to all be better. She was really upset so I called the school and asked that they kept her in SEN that day to give her a break from the stress. They wouldn't and didn't. She broke down at school which she was mortified about, and one teacher told her if she didn't start going to lessons she would have to repeat the whole year!
She was so distressed that I went to school and took her home. She hasn't been in since and we have a meeting with relevant people at the school tomorrow.
My question is, how the hell do I handle this? I don't think I've put enough info in this post to truly describe how affected my DD is, but didn't want to waffle on. I just really need another perspective on this.
Thanks if you made it this far. Any advice greatly appreciated
I'm sorry I have no advice. But wanted to say I read your post, that sounds so distressing, and you're worrying about it after midnight so it must be keeping you awake.
Hopefully a more useful response will come along soon, or possibly tomorrow.
Would it help to have everything written down?
Perhaps written as bullet points with suggestions of what they could do in each situation to actually help.
I would also be wanting to know, why a teacher, told a child, who was quite clearly already upset, that they would would have to repeat a year.
On an emotional level your daughter just needs to know that you have her back.
That will be the best thing that you can do for her. Her just knowing that you are trying to do everything possible for her will help her immensely
This sounds really difficult, your poor DD and you to be dealing with this.
I think you need to go in and give the school
A chance to explain their perspective on what happened and why. Did the relevant staff not know the background/😉ongoing issues etc? Why were they stopping her from staying in the SEN area? Then share your perspective and the impact in your DS. Think about what you want / your DD wants to be in place if she comes back to school so she can cope/what do they suggest/do you agree?. Perhaps agree a plan which is agreed in writing and communicated to all relevant staff which is put in place until her appointment and medical advice is given by professionals.
Take notes in to remind you what you want to say and if it helps to note down things people are saying it’s pribably a good idea. Can you take anyone with you for support?
And yes a complaint against the teacher who is threatening an already distressed child Would be appropriate and insistence on more training to help with anxiety
Sorry ignore the wink. Tired typing with fat fingers!!
Thank you all so much. Such simple yet level headed responses! Writing things down, yes I've got a note pad ready...I should write my thoughts first to take in. DD wrote a poem when she got home and had calmed down, so I'm taking that in in the hope they realise how much the situation affected her, especially the ill advised comment about repeating a year...that I was, and still am livid about!
DH is coming with me so I do have support. My head is mashed already with all this and the possibility of the ASD diagnosis. I really don't know how to think at the moment.
Thanks again xx
Good luck. Glad you have your DH with you. Just be calm and take your time, don’t be rushed. Sounds like the poem will speak for itself in many ways. The welfare of the children should be their top priority so hopefully they will come to the meeting with some suggestions of what they can put in place so perhaps let them give you their recommendations before you put forward what you/DD would like to see. You sound like a great mum.
My 14 year old DS is ASD, from him starting at comprehensive school he has really struggled with anxiety, noise, social situations, break, dinnertime, toilets, asking questions all caused him to be a gibbering wreck, his attendance dropped through the floor. Like you I was up at school constantly asking for help & understanding from them. All of a sudden, I don't know what has happened, it's like I have a different child, he actually looks forward to going to school, he has made friends, we still have the odd wobble but things are definitely getting better, I honestly think it has taken him 3 years to find his place where he feels safe & happy in school. Just give your DD time & support, she will get there.
My son is anxious at school and I plan to send in some info to the teachers. Probably some background info on anxiety in children and bullet points on how his anxiety is triggered, and how it is displayed. This link may not be the most relevant to you, but it does explain some of the biology of an anxious mind, and the website may have something more appropriate that you could send in.
I hope you get some good ideas on this thread.
Thank you all for the advice. Even just the reassurance that I'm not overreacting is extremely helpful!
Nat6999 that's interesting how things settled down for your lad. I'm so pleased he's getting on great now. Even with a few bumps here and there it must be such a relief for you.
Really glad I posted now, I wasn't sure if I was over worrying. I know it sounds daft but I'm very aware of DDs needs and she masks extremely well when in public and I don't feel the school fully understand now when I thought they were beginning to. Just a little overwrought I think.
Thanks so much for the kind words and reassurances. BlueAnemone I'll have a look at the link, thank you.
I speak from the perspective of a former SENCo who worked frequently with young people with ASD. If you can agree a plan with the school that involves dd going back into school very gradually, to lessons she feels she can cope with, increasing over time where possible, I have found that system to work.
Of course it depends on you and DH to be flexible in taking and collecting her and there should be a safe place in school if she can’t manage at any time. I often had students in my department when it got too much for them and the important thing is that any plan is communicated to all staff, so they allow her to go to her safe place when she’s not managing.
It can be successful and I know that my ASD students were able to finish their education in mainstream because we were flexible. It sounds as though the SEN department is willing to help so make use of them. She does, after all, have additional needs.
Hi Foxy, thanks that's interesting coming from someone in your position. The meeting went well. The SENCO apologised for the comment and confusion and advised of what they plan to do for the next 5 weeks of term.
We discussed what would happen if ASD diagnosis is given. I was a little troubled to hear that although the school would be given extra funding that there is no guarantee it will be used for my DD. Is this normal practice? It seems they put extra funding into the schools needs as a whole and not specifically for the child to whom is has been awarded.
DD was brought into the meeting and managed to express herself very well given the circumstances and also received an apology from the Senco.
We live, and I work very close to the school and as her parents are willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure she is able to continue with a fulfilling education. We want her to get the best from the school environment in whatever way she can and wholeheartedly support any provision and suitable ideas the school and send team can offer. They know this and I maintain daily contact with DDs key worker in an effort to help them understand her needs more easily.
Thank you all for your words of wisdom and advice. It is an ongoing process and quite a daunting one too, it's reassuring to have this site to gain support from others who have been where we are now. Don't quite feel so alone
Glad it went ok
And you are feeling more positive after the meeting.
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