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To be angry at creche for talking to others about my son?

(36 Posts)
Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 11:30:54

My son is 2.5 and attends an early intervention programme for suspected autism. 2 half days a week he also goes to a kindergarten that were kind enough to take him on.

Last week I picked up my son in the playground and as I approached the teacher from behind, she was talking about my sons language delay to another parent, actually making the argument to her that lots of have language delays. They stopped abruptly when they realized I was there. It was very obvious they were talking about my son. I was furious but left saying nothing whilst I thought about it.

I decided to say something to the Director this morning and the teacher in question took me aside at pick up saying that she would never talk about a child to others. She's been doing childcare for 25 years and is a professional etc etc. She said she didn't remember what she was talking about but maybe replied to the parent who 'might' have asked why my son didn't talk. In short, a complete denial and told me I had misunderstood. In short, bollocks.

The Director came in smiling saying all sorted? And I shrugged and stropped out. Immature I know, but I was so angry.

Im also really SICK to death that after an initial fuss that they couldn't handle him, they've now decided in their not very professional opinion that there is nothing wrong with him. They're making me feel like a terrible mother for putting him through the autism programme. He has had at least 10 assessments so far and has a place that is funded to the tune of 80k a year plus our own contributions. If the professionals didn't think he should be there, Im pretty sure he certainly wouldn't be. It makes me have to justify to them by talking about the negative sides of my son which I hate. They are meeting him after months of help from occupational and speech therapists. They have no idea of the struggles we've gone through. And don't care to know about them. Always insisting there's nothing wrong. Im so glad its now going well there but they're making me feel like some crazy mother!!!

Rant over. Breathe!

Im guessing some damage in the relationship might be irreparable at this point, would you just pull out and send him somewhere else. Another mum at the autism centre says her daughters creche (down the road) has been amazing and supportive. I can live with them for the sake of my son who is happy there, but would you just start fresh somewhere else?

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 11:33:51

I should add Im so angry as I want my son to start school in a couple of years without this 'label' if all goes well. He deserves to start school with a fresh slate and without judgement, which this gossiping to parents just doesn't allow him that chance.

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Thu 22-Jan-15 12:22:18

I would pull him out, yes. They aren't supportive of your son's needs and have no business 'diagnosing' or rather, undiagnosing him. Presumably they're aware of the early intervention program? Are they suggesting they're more qualified than the professionals you're working with? Than you, even?

Teacher was out of line in mentioning your son's speech delay to other parents. Instead of listening and apologising to you they swept it under the carpet and outright denied it.

Very unprofessional.

tobysmum77 Thu 22-Jan-15 12:29:26

I think yabu. She was talking to a parent who was worried about her child. That is hardly gossiping. In terms of 'labels' unless he will either be diagnosed with autism or not, surely?

skylark2 Thu 22-Jan-15 12:37:53

So another parent asked her why your son didn't talk, and her response was that lots of kids talk late?

Really not seeing an issue. Would you rather she'd said "oh, that's personal, I can't POSSIBLY discuss it" and left the other parent thinking there was some big deal going on?

"I want my son to start school in a couple of years without this 'label' if all goes well."

I'm struggling to understand how a creche worker telling another parent that lots of kids, including yours, talk late, could be anything except positive in this situation.

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 13:12:46

Sorry, she was explaining autism to her as well. Which means she told the other parent what his issues were, not just that there was a speech delay. They weren't talking about the other parents son, they were talking about my son. My son has a good chance of entering mainstream school without most people knowing that he has attended the autism programme. If you'd seen how people have reacted to his provisional diagnosis, you would understand why Im for annoyed. You'd swear he had Ebola the way some parents back off.

adsy Thu 22-Jan-15 13:13:45

£80 k a year place!!where at, Harrow?
YABU. how does fobbing off another other's question with a general remark that many children are late talkers mean they aren't taking possible issues seriously?
Would you rather she told the other mother details of your son's asessments etc.?

MissDuke Thu 22-Jan-15 13:18:18

Also confused by £80k a year???

Anyway, yanbu for being upset that he was being talked about. However, yabu for being so desperate to keep his autism a secret. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and the 'label' certainly won't hold him back, in my experience it instead brings understanding. It shouldn't be hidden away.

sliceofsoup Thu 22-Jan-15 13:25:32

You'd swear he had Ebola the way some parents back off.

And the only way to stop this happening to your child and others is by talking to people, explaining autism and the difficulties people with it face.


I also have to say that 2.5 is very very early for a dx and if they are saying there isn't anything wrong with him, then isn't that a good thing? Obviously if they are trying to undermine a doctors plan of support then thats not good, but perhaps they are just trying to reassure you that his difficulties may be more manageable than you first thought.

Given how you have overreacted to a simple statement being made about your sons speech delay, I am inclined to think you have overreacted about them saying he has nothing wrong with him too.

Rosa Thu 22-Jan-15 13:25:35

To be honest I would have been pleased that the teacher was taking the time to explain to other parents what autism was and how it can affect children in different ways . So maybe the parents instead of being ignorant would actually be more understanding, and in turn help to explain to their children why your son or any other doesn't talk or behaves in a certain way.
PLus if they say they cannot see anything 'wrong' with your child does that not lead you to believe that they are in fact seeing you son as behaving in the same way as his other class mates as not being a good thing? Maybe the 80k program is in fact helping and he is improving .
If he is happy there why not ask for a individual meeting to discuss your concerns and about how he is doing and what your aims are before he gets to school and see if they will work with you .

TheFecklessFairy Thu 22-Jan-15 13:35:03

My son has a good chance of entering mainstream school without most people knowing that he has attended the autism programme.

I am sorry, but you are deluding yourself. It will be on his records.

bialystockandbloom Thu 22-Jan-15 13:36:54

Totally agree with ostentatiousbreastfeeder. Yanbu.

It is absolutely none of another parents business what difficulties, diagnosis or anything your ds has, and I would be furious if I heard any of my children's teachers talking about either of them to another parent. (My ds has asd, btw.) It is not their place to question your ds's diagnosis, let alone discuss it with other parents angry. And it's just not their call to decide whether or when you start making any diagnosis public.

For those pp who are questioning a funded placement, this is nothing extraordinary, and shows that a) the op's ds clearly has been assessed as in need by professional developmental paediatric services and b) is probably the result of a long, hard slog by the OP to get the help he needs. More often the case that such intervention programmes are not funded at this young age, but not unheard of.

2.5 is not "very very early for a diagnosis".

bialystockandbloom Thu 22-Jan-15 13:39:57

feckless yes but those records won't be broadcast to other parents will they. My ds started school with a Statement but even now he's in Y3 probably half the class don't know.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Thu 22-Jan-15 13:42:20

YABU bit but I understand. It's a very very sensitive time for you at the moment and little things do sting. Take it easy thanks

bialystockandbloom Thu 22-Jan-15 13:47:32

Btw OP I would look around at other nurseries etc. if he's only 2.5 he's got another year and a half before he starts school, and if his current nursery is unwilling to accept he may need additional support, or put in place for him, the situation is not likely to improve.

At 2yo its all just playing, with not much in the way of demands made on the children, but As the children get older, 3 and 4, he may need more support in interacting and communicating, as well as eg participating in group activities like circle time etc. Nursery, especially the preschool bit, is not just a babysitting service, they need to be supporting him in development and behaviour, so they need to be on board now with providing the right support.

I'd definitely arrange a proper meeting with them, as well as looking at other places. Have you filled in a CAF form, or have anyone assigned from Early Years support services?

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 13:51:42

Thank you bialystockandbloom. You understand completely. I am not deluded. I happily talk to anyone who wants to discuss, I don't keep it a secret if Im comfortable that the person Im talking to won't negatively judge. In fact if the kindergarten asked me to come in and explain to other parents I would do.

But a) to try and explain using my son as a reference without my knowledge is not cool and b) they are not trained to know what ASD is. They only see he's 'fine' as he's not disruptive anymore and is slowly managing to make eye contact and even has a few words now, the (privately charity funded) programme has been amazing. I am DELIGHTED they see nothing wrong, it means the hard work is paying off. But they did not sit up with him all night for 7 nights on holiday at christmas as he screamed with 'the change' of environment. They haven't sat watching him turn the wheels on a car for 2 hours whilst I call his name to no response. They haven't seen him refuse to look at us.

As it is a private programme is won't be on his records if I don't choose to make it be so.

I don't even know if he can go to 'normal' school yet. I just got so angry that by gossiping of his care workers, he wouldn't get that clean slate afforded to other kids.

Gosh, I probably shouldn't have started this post here, justifying his whole diagnosis to strangers is a little traumatic.

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 13:55:25

They were supportive in the beginning. When they realized for his safety they needed extra help, they immediately took on a work experience worker for extra hands. They had a whole rant, so his psychologist came in and went through everything with them and how to get him to participate. But as he makes progress, they're like he's fine now. But ASD doesn't just go away as you know. I only bring him on 'good' days, they don't see everything else and Im sick of the questioning. It took a long battle to realize he needed help so they make me think Im going crazy!

LeftyLoony Thu 22-Jan-15 14:00:00

You do know that autism is lifelong? You're not going to 'cure' it, it's not going to go away?

I applaud the early intervention as it has been proven to significantly improve outcomes and you're right in these times of cuts you wouldn't have been funded if he didn't need them.

But he's never going to be without the 'label'. He will be an autistic person. In terms of outcomes who knows, the sky could be the limit. The spectrum is so huge and intervention can make such a difference.

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 14:09:17

Yes I do know that? I just said so! Of course I cant cure it but with good intervention he has a good chance of being mainstreamed if thats whats best for him down the road. Im totally cool with his ASD, it is what it is.

I think my original anger of my son being gossiped about by his care workers to people who have no business knowing about my son has got lost in this thread somehow.

bialystockandbloom Thu 22-Jan-15 14:09:39

No, you did the right thing posting! Have you looked on the SN boards? Tons of support and advice from others who get it smile

As fanjo said, this is a tough, raw time, and I went through it too, but I'm sure your kick-ass don't-mess persona will be finely honed in no time grin

I totally understand about it being your choice when/to whom/how to share the information about him. The feeling that other local parents who you don't even know may be gossiping about your child without even knowing him is really horrible. I had this actually even with my family around the time ds was going through assessment/dx. It sucks - but you will definitely come through it. Concentrate on the only thing that matters - your ds. Forget other parents. He's the important one, not them.

It sounds like you're doing a fantastic job in helping him now, you couldn't be doing more, and it is clearly paying dividends already. Good on you!

debbriana Thu 22-Jan-15 14:17:12

Something to maybe cheer you up. Einstein didn't talk until he was four years old. No child is ever the same.

Figamol Thu 22-Jan-15 14:18:01

Thank you x

paperlace Thu 22-Jan-15 14:21:26

Totally understand how you feel and don't actually think you are being unreasonable. Sorry you are upset and that this is a tough time. You will get through it because you love your son and will do what's best for him thanks

cestlavielife Thu 22-Jan-15 14:27:39

it is much better he goes on with a label so that people understand him from the beginning and provide any support as needed or not.
a child with ASd who goes to school unlabeled may end up labelled as naughty and disruptive instead - which would be unfair to the child. surely ASD label is better?

am not clear on how saying your child has language delay is same as not recognizing your son's problems? or is that separate to the comment made by teacher?

if there is another suitable nursery sure look and change him if you want to.
but if there are other reasons this nursery suits you then try and work with the teachers there

it is a noble goal to have your son lose the ASD label when he gets to reception age - but be realistic too, he is likely to still have some vestiges and subtleties of ASD thruout his life and either he finds ways to address these or those around him do . or both.

of course they might not be an issue at all as he grows. you just don't know at this stage. but it is no shame to have it on his records for school. if other s see he doesnt need the label as his ASD is not impacting on his life then no one will use it. if it does impact, far better to know the reason and put in place suitable strategies. better they know the child with poor eyesight needs to wear glasses than tell him off for not being able to read because he has not put them on...bette rthey know your child needs to know his routine than shout at him when he has a meltdown because they suddenly changed the assembly to the afternoon slot.

this early intervention will help him to cope with life and school. ask the programme to help you at home too - there are things you can do to help with change like the xmas time you mentioned.

the first few years with SN child are very hard. it will get easier. as time goes by one gets less cross with the world...

LeftyLoony Thu 22-Jan-15 14:31:03

Yep, I've got 2 kids in Special placements (one planning to transition to an ASD unit in mainstream secondary) and one in full mainstream (all 3 have autism).

Mainstream is great IF it's right for your child.

It just didn't come across that way in the OP, looked like you were trying to 'hide' it.

Apologies for the confusion.

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