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about DCs school

(58 Posts)
moonfaceandmrsslap Sun 25-Sep-11 00:59:53

This has been relayed to me by DH on the phone as I'm away.

This happen on Friday

We have 3 DCs (8, 6 and 4).
In school we have just been given a load of letters and permission slips about Christmas, school tips and a new detail form etc.
DH is severly severly dyslexic (to such an exent that when people ask he just says he can not read and write) the School know this - we have made it clear from when children first started school and make sure individual teacher definatly know.
When he picked middle DC up on friday, teacher came up and said that permission slips for this DC and the others haven't been given in, and that they must be given in etc. Esp as one is a new form about all children (with contact details, any medical needs etc)
I have been away now for a few weeks abroad with work and so missed these forms given out.

DH said to teacher did she understand situation and she said she did but reguardless of that they have to be filled out and the school need them in by tuesday at lastest. DH obvously got very upset about all this.
Now he can 'sign' a form to give permission, but given that he cant read what he is signing or include any of the details - he doesn't like doing it.

Now he is getting a close friend to tell him what the forms are and to write in extra information for him on the permission slips for trips. And we have decided not to give new details form in until i get back (in 2 weeks) - mainly as eldest DC form will be complicated.

Now that is fine, we are use to it and have ways of dealing with it -so that isn't really the point.

AWBU to expect the school to after 4 years of our DCs being in school - to know that DH cannt do the paper work and things like that will always be don by me?

and AWBU to think that when we explain it for 100th time, they should accept it and assist us? (eg get it though their thick heads that if they given eldest a writting homework to be done with help from parents while I am away that it will not be done with a parent or such forms like that will be late)

Alibabaandthe80nappies Sun 25-Sep-11 01:06:37

Well I can see why you are upset, and why your DH is, but I can also see that this must be a nightmare for the school.
You have been away, it is the beginning of the school year and so they need to do the paperwork.

It isn't clear from your post when the forms were given out. Could the school e-mail them to you so that you can add any extra info, e-mail back and then your DH can sign knowing you agree with it all?

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Sun 25-Sep-11 01:09:58

If you are away for several weeks, I think it's reasonable for the school to say that the forms have to be in anyway. Couldn't your 8yo have read the forms for DH?

Having said that, I think they're BU to expect anyone to help with your DC's writing homework, and if DH actually asked for help with filling in the forms and they refused, then that was very unreasonable of them - and discriminatory.

startail Sun 25-Sep-11 01:12:54

Your DH has my sympathy, I'm only mildly dyslexic and I make a mess of forms and much prefer it if DH does complicated ones.
Can't you get the school to email you paperwork, where ever you are. If you are away for several weeks and they need numbers or health forms it is going to cause problems.

startail Sun 25-Sep-11 01:14:23

X post, crap spelling lead to very slow typing.

SuchProspects Sun 25-Sep-11 02:26:04

After 4 years YANBU to expect the school to be aware of the situation, but YABU to expect them to keep track of when you are around, and YABU to not make provision for permission slips and forms while you're away for more than a couple of days. I would think it is very frustrating dealing with people who (from your description) treat your DH as though he is simply avoiding responsibility and not recognising that he is doing so because he has a disability that makes things more difficult for you as a family. But it does sound in this case like he was avoiding dealing by just leaving it till you got back rather than finding out what needed doing and trying to find a solution.

With the form thing, if you've had several weeks, I think YABVU expecting the school to be OK with it. There are several things you could have done to get the forms signed and after 4 years at school you should have been anticipating the need at the beginning of term. You could have primed a friend or family member to be available to give your DH support, your DH could have posted the forms to you (or scanned and emailed them) to fill out. Failing that he could have spoken to the school when the forms first came through and asked that someone go through them with him.

I do think schools ought to provide alternatives for the homework situation. IMO no child should be expected to complete work at home that requires adult assistance of that sort as there will be plenty of situations where it isn't possible or won't happen. Have you asked what they'd do for a child with blind parents? Might help put them in the frame of mind of problem solving for a disability...

sunnydelight Sun 25-Sep-11 02:57:02

If you were around then the school would be unreasonable not to ask you directly, BUT you're not. As I always tell my severely dyslexic 18yo it is HIS responsibility to deal with HIS disability - hopefully with respect and support from the people he comes into contact with, but he needs coping strategies because ultimately as an adult he can't always expect people to make allowances.

Your DH is an adult, if forms came home and you were going to be away for a few weeks then he should have got someone to go through them to check deadlines as they were likely to be due before you got back. It sounds like you "take charge" which is obviously what works/is necessary in your family - I think you should have some kind of back up in place for when you can't be the support that your DH needs.

Re. the homework, yes they should have more sensitivity.

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Sun 25-Sep-11 03:03:11

Can the forms be faxed to you by the school. At the end of the day if your dh cannot complete then what exactly is it they want him to do?

dribbleface Sun 25-Sep-11 07:25:44

i can see why your upset by it but agree other systems could have been put in place to cover this sort of thing (makes notes as i have a severely dyslexic DH too ). the homework thing is out of line but in that situation i thing my DH would have got a family member to help. i got very cross with out old doctors who had a new auto sign in system and the snotty receptionist used to get cross as DH couldn't do it. our new surgery just implemented the same but is much more aware that some people will not be able to use it.

ScarlettIsWalking Sun 25-Sep-11 07:47:36

Can your dh not ask a relative or friend to help in these circumstances. Did you inform the school that you were away? Sorry but there are things you can put on place to avoid a situation like this.

hofficoffi Sun 25-Sep-11 09:56:01

YANBU to be upset about the school. But they do have to have the forms in. As others have said can't you get DH or school to email/send you the health form thing? But as for writting stuff - they should be a bit more conscience and work something out.
Did they know that you have been/are away?

cory Sun 25-Sep-11 13:04:50

Tbh it is your dh's responsibility to have a plan for dealing with his disability, in this case any paperwork that may come through when you are not available.

This could include asking a friend or relative, or even using some kind of advice bureau. Or (this would seem the most natural) using the 8yo. Or even go in to the school and ask them to help. And definitely to ring them up and explain if there is any delay in accessing help. And ringing the school up straight away to explain about homework.

I'm bringing up two children with disabilities and this is one of the biggies as far as I am concerned: making sure they know they have to have a plan to access help. Not easy as matters of pride and sensitivity are part of the problem, but essential. I want to know that they don't go through life expecting other people to take the initiative because that, quite frankly, isn't going to happen. It sounds as if your dh has become very dependent on your taking the initiative. I think this needs sorting.

worraliberty Sun 25-Sep-11 13:07:44

Just email or fax the info to the school

Problem solved.

AKMD Sun 25-Sep-11 13:09:08

YABU, you presumably knew that you would be away for the first few weeks of the school year so it was your responsibility as parents to put plans in place for these forms, which you must have known were coming. It was definitely not unreasonable of the teacher to say that these forms need to be back, regardless of whether you are home or not.

spiderpig8 Sun 25-Sep-11 13:12:33

YANBU- I did a TA training course and it's a big, big thing to be aware that parents may have language or literacy problems which means that information needs to be deseminated in different ways.

cory 'it is your dh's responsibility to have a plan for dealing with his disability'

What a disablist comment!No it isn't.It's the schools responsibility to make adjustments.

spiderpig8 Sun 25-Sep-11 13:12:59

can your 8 yr old not read either?

YellowDave Sun 25-Sep-11 13:31:25

I am with cory. spiderpig it is NOT, imho, disablist.

For sure the school need to have different ways to disseminate the information bearing in mind different parents disabilities / literacy and language barriers etc. But it is ALSO the OPs dh's responsibility to get the forms back. This could be by speaking to the school and making an appointment to come in and go through the forms with them, doing the same with a friend / family member / 8 year old dc, asking the school to email the forms to you to fill in, or any other simiilar suggestions. If the school don't accommodate this in a way that is respectful of his disability then THAT would be disablist.

But it sounds as though he has had the forms and just ignored them. He DOES need to fill them in and needs help from one source or another to do so but if you are away for several weeks it isn't reasonable to just ignore them. What are the school supposed to do? Not book the trips until you come home? Not contact you in an emergency because they don't have contact details? I can totally see why this is not an ideal situation for your family to be in but I think you need in the future to think about situations like this if you are going to be away for weeks at a time because the school can't be expected to sit around and wait for you to get back and your dh needs to find ways around this.

Agreed that the homework thing doesn't sound ideal though but again if the current teachers are not aware it would probably help if your dh went in and talked to them about how homework can be done while you are away.

Hope you manage to get this sorted.

worraliberty Sun 25-Sep-11 13:33:46

Of course it's not disablist to expect someone to have the foresight to have these things covered...or to think it out and use Fax or email.

Things like contact details and permission slips simply can't wait and if the OP's DH is really stuck, he could have asked the school to read the letters to him so he knew what he was signing.

Sometimes a little more thought is what's needed.

cory Sun 25-Sep-11 13:47:01

spiderpig8 Sun 25-Sep-11 13:12:33

"cory 'it is your dh's responsibility to have a plan for dealing with his disability'

What a disablist comment!No it isn't.It's the schools responsibility to make adjustments."

Imho it would be more disablist not to expect a disabled person whose disability does not preclude this to take responsibility for accessing support and keeping the school informed. Otherwise we would be making a general assumption that disabled people cannot be trusted to make adult decisions- which imo opens up a can of worms.

Dd's school has the responsibility to make adjustments for her disability. But it is dd's responsibility (since she is of an age where this can be expected) to inform the school of when these adjustments are needed. They are not mind readers.

According to the Disability Discrimination Act, an employer/school/institution can be only be liable if they have been informed of the disabled person's needs. If the school has not been informed that the OP is away, for how long, and how this will affect any paperwork, they can not be held responsible.

Also, the school is only expected to make "reasonable" adjustments. I am not convinced that expecting a dyslexic adult to make his own arrangements for accessing post/ringing up the school if there is a problem falls foul of "reasonable adjustment".

hocuspontas Sun 25-Sep-11 14:01:05

Why did you dh get upset? They need to be in, why doesn't he just ask someone to summarise and then sign? Just because he is dyslexic it doesn't mean the forms don't have to be signed.

If he gets a load at a time, just ask at the office/teacher/friend to run through them, highlighting the urgent ones and leaving the others.

I think you are asking a lot of the school to remember from year to year. Unless it came up in conversation, I don't think an 'old' teacher would remember to tell the 'new'' teacher about a parent's dyslexia.

Maybe use this as a learning curve that you need a designated adult to step in when you are away in future.

HoneyPablo Sun 25-Sep-11 14:08:01

YABU
The forms need filling in. As a parent it is your DH's responsibility to fill them in. As he has dyslexia, he needs to find somebody else to help him.
Does he not like asking for help? Does he rely on you to do this all the time?
Can he not go into school on Monday and ask somebody to read the forms and help him fill them in?

slavetofilofax Sun 25-Sep-11 14:18:57

YABU.

The school needs the form to be filled in, it's as simple as that. If you are not around to do it, then it's your's and your dh's responsibility to find someone that can help you.

The school don't ask you to fill in forms just for fun, they do it to meet their legal obligations and to provide your children with a good education.

Would you expect the school to come and pick up your children and deliver them home if your dh couldn't walk and you decided to go away? Or would you realise that you as parents have a responsibilty to get your children to school somehow?

GalaxyWeaver Sun 25-Sep-11 14:28:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ASByatt Sun 25-Sep-11 14:33:43

I agree that as this is not a new situation (!) then by now there really ought to be a system in place for dealing with this issue. There is huge pressure on schools at the start of the year to have all their pupil data up-to-date and checked; surely either school could offer a trusted person to go through it with your DH or he could have a trusted friend/neighbour/relative to help him?

ASByatt Sun 25-Sep-11 14:35:00

- Or the stuff is emailed/faxed to you, obviously, sorry forgot to add that bit!

Most schools IME are aware of the parents who have issues with literacy, and will offer help where it is required but many parents prefer to access help away from the school.

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