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To be angry, and even a little bewildered on how to tackle this with the school?

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:04:00

DS has SN.. he has Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder and Dyspraxia.... it makes for some very complex needs, a big one of which he CANNOT process emotion or self regulate and will go into a meltdown very suddenly.

One of the outcomes of him getting upset and frustrated and having a meltdown is that he lashes out during them, and can hurt the people near him. The school are aware of this, there are strategies in place to help him try to manage his feelings.

One of these strategies is the provision and freedom to go to a room called the Calm room, which is painted with calming colours and has cushions and bean bags...etc.

There was an incident today. Ds isnt having a good week and there is a piece of work he is flat refusing to do, and they keep trying to make him. Today they tried again and he began to get upset. The Learning Mentor tried to get him to go to her classroom to calm down, but his auditory processing issues meant he didn't understand and he thought she was going to try and make him do this work, and he lashed out.

He has been suspended, which i nominally support, even if i'm not happy, as in my eyes they're punishing him for part of his disability..

However, i asked DS why if he was getting angry, didn't he ask to use the Calm room (its right opposite his classroom) and he told me he wasnt allowed in there because some of the yr6 girls were using it as a PE changing room.

WTF?!?!

Now.. i appreciate at 10/11yo the girls may not wish to change in the classroom with the boys, and an alternative should be provided... but WHY THE FUCK are the school letting them use THE CALM ROOM which is there for children like my son to use as and when they need it?

I am so fucking angry... we spent AGES getting it through to him that he could remove himself from a situation and go to that room if he felt the need to help prevent him going into meltdown, and now, he has to check if its being used as a fucking changing room and isn't allowed in there if the girls belongings are... and has now ended up having a violent meltdown and hit a teacher and got suspended.

I just don't know how to tackle this or even where to start.

AugustaFinkNottle Wed 20-Apr-16 16:12:06

You have every right to be angry. You should however double check the facts, ideally when you've calmed down - it might just be that it was a one-off in an emergency, not that that's great if it's a designated calm room.

I think you need to talk to the head and SENCO about why this happened and what they're going to do to ensure there is no repetition. Does your DS have an EHC Plan, and does it include provision for a room for him to retreat to? If it does, you need to point out that it's a statutory requirement and assigning the room to other pupils just isn't an option. If it isn't in the EHCP, I'd suggest you contact the LA about amending it to include that provision.

AugustaFinkNottle Wed 20-Apr-16 16:13:01

Ideally take someone with you to the meeting, to help you keep on track and take notes. After the meeting, type up what was discussed and agreed and send the school a copy - don't leave it to them to produce any minutes.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:15:06

he doesn't currently have an EHC, we applied and should be hearing back soon (The 20wk deadline is tomorrow)

I did clarify with the HT and he confirmed he preferred them to use the Calm Room rather than the toilets, but as DS was there i didn't feel arguing the toss with him just then was appropriate.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:15:42

oh, but he does have an 'action plan' the school provide, which includes access to the calm room.

MTPurse Wed 20-Apr-16 16:16:53

I understand why you may be upset but is the Calm room for the sole use of your ds?

What if there was another upset child in there calming down so your ds could not go in, would you feel the same?

It is understandable why the girls would want to change separately and schools do not always have room to do this so will at times have to improvise.

It seems daft not using an empty room to allow the girls to get changed in, The teacher couldn't really kick them all out half dressed to let your ds use the room though.

I think you need to calm down before speaking to the school about this.

I hope that doesn't sound like I am being mean, if it does I apologise.

Chlobee87 Wed 20-Apr-16 16:17:33

YANBU
They have a duty of care towards your son. The fact that they have installed the calm room means that they have faith in it as a method and that they are aware of the nature of your DS's disability, how it affects his behaviour and how the calm room helps. So, if they understand the importance, they must also surely understand that it's not acceptable to deny access to that facility for children like your son. I would ask them very earnestly what they expect that he could have done to prevent the incident? Could he have prevented the misunderstanding that occurred due to his auditory issues? Obviously not (but it's worth considering whether the teacher could have). Could he have prevented that from escalating into a meltdown? Again, presumably not since that's the very nature of a meltdown. Apart from asking to use the calm room - which the school have made inaccessible to him - what other options did your DS have available to him? Not many from the sounds of it.

I would put it back onto them - "since you have removed the availability of the calm room - which was previously successful - what other facilities and procedures have you put/will you be putting in place to assist my son in dealing with his disability?".

GoblinLittleOwl Wed 20-Apr-16 16:23:53

Ask if the girls were there with permission; Y6 girls are very good at taking themselves into places where they have no right to be when it comes to changing.

Having said that,our SEN room was frequently commandeered for music lessons, small group work, Governors' meetings, ; it is very difficult to justify a room, a teaching space, being left empty for long periods.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:23:56

MTPurse, other children do use it, but that space was chosen for my son. Its something that was installed for his benefit, that other children get benefit from.

There is a difference between him going there and finding it in use, and being told he CANT use it to begin with.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:25:12

Goblin, this is barely big enough to be an office, its a tiny space, less than 6ft by 6ft!

getyourfingeroutyournose Wed 20-Apr-16 16:32:58

I don't get why they would spend all that money on a room designed to stop a child having a meltdown and then use it to let kids get changed which basically resulted in a teacher getting hit in the face. You, your child and the teacher who got hit should be annoyed with this. Had the girls had somewhere appropriate to change, and had the calm room been free to use for it's true purpose, the teacher wouldn't have been hit and your son wouldn't be being punished for something he can't fully control. The point is they designated an area to help your son and others like him so they wouldn't be getting into situations your son experienced today. I'm sorry but the school needs to apologise, lift his suspension and make sure nobody has use of that room but the kids with SEN who need it to calm down, it is NOT a changing room.
You should organise a meeting and outline this unless they decide they cannot be trusted with any child who has special needs. In which case why pay all that money for the room in the first place?

MrsDeVere Wed 20-Apr-16 16:39:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Igottwo Wed 20-Apr-16 16:40:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Cagliostro Wed 20-Apr-16 16:41:15

YANBU.

mummytime Wed 20-Apr-16 16:43:02

I would complain in writing. Also if it is that small then what do the rest of the year 6 girls do? At DC's school they had more than one class, so boys got changed in one room and girls in another.

the "calm" room was tiny - no where near 6ft by 6ft, more 4ft by 6ft at the most, it was made out of a space under the stairs. I occasionally had meeting in there, and it only just fitted 2 adults.

MaddyHatter Wed 20-Apr-16 16:44:19

I'm not even going to respond to that pile of fucking drivel Igottwo, i'd get deleted.

honkinghaddock Wed 20-Apr-16 16:44:26

I think you would be better off posting this on the sn boards because you will avoid getting responses from those who don't have a clue.

zzzzz Wed 20-Apr-16 16:46:23

brew

I think at the very least they need to explain what he is supposed to do if the calm room isn't available which might focus their minds angry

notonyurjellybellynelly Wed 20-Apr-16 16:47:06

Message withdrawn as it repeated a deleted post.

notonyurjellybellynelly Wed 20-Apr-16 16:49:00

OP, its almost as if they set him put to fail.

Re the suspension. The plus side to it is that if your son is a school that can't meet his needs you can use the suspension as a means to try and get better provision for him.

And yes, ask for this to be moved to the SEN board.

AugustaFinkNottle Wed 20-Apr-16 16:49:00

It seems daft not using an empty room to allow the girls to get changed in, The teacher couldn't really kick them all out half dressed to let your ds use the room though.

If it is really unavoidable, the school needs to have an alternative strategy in place for when the room is being used. And it definitely needs NOT to punish OP's DS for something that is totally down to the school.

Igottwo, your post is utter drivel. I suggest you go and educate yourself about autism before you start posting even more offensive nonsense.

slicedfinger Wed 20-Apr-16 16:49:14

Maddy do just ignore igottow. flowers

TitaniumSpider Wed 20-Apr-16 16:51:22

Message withdrawn as it quoted a deleted post.

sleeponeday Wed 20-Apr-16 16:53:11

Message withdrawn as it repeated a deleted post.

notonyurjellybellynelly Wed 20-Apr-16 16:53:24

Ive reported the post by Igotwo on the grounds that sometimes its not what you say, its how you say it. And that post was deliberately aimed well and truly below the belt to hurt someone.

Perhaps the post will stay but it was worth a try.

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