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To think this is a Reasonable Adjustment for disability?

(117 Posts)
Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 18:37:02

cross posted in SN too for traffic.

DS has SPD and ASD. Clothes are a huge issue and things took a marked downward turn when he went up to juniors and had to wear a shirt and tie. He absolutely couldn't tolerate the collar, I tried all kinds of shirts and collars and his meltdowns were epic. Full on self harming, screaming fits, and if I did manage to get him in, then he'd refuse the tie and then rip the lot off at home time. He'd also only wear shorts, not trousers.

So our autism support lady pointed out that his best days are the days when he does swimming, as they're allowed to wear PE kit all day and suggested that he wear this every day instead of the usual uniform.

We trialled this for two weeks and he's like a different child! Mornings are infinitely easier, he's more relaxed at pickup and is generally happier all round.

And yet I've been told today that this isn't part of school policy and the head needs to get permission from the governors, and wants to discuss a phased return to uniform.

I'm really disappointed. Can they do this?

dementedpixie Mon 21-Nov-16 18:43:14

Have you tried the aitism friendly range from M&S?

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 21-Nov-16 18:43:26

I hope they can't, it does sound like mindless adherence to rules. I would try to get a letter from an expert in SPD eg an ed psych or paediatrician to back up your case. They need to understand that this would be a barrier to learning for him.

dementedpixie Mon 21-Nov-16 18:43:37


DoItTooJulia Mon 21-Nov-16 18:48:54

It's ridiculous. Of course they can let him wear PE kit if they want to. How can a head have such little autonomy in their own school? Baffling and infuriating. I'd be cross.

Is it an academy?

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 18:49:48

Yes we tried M&S, the eczema society, Velcro ties, clip on ties, soft trousers, seamless socks, the lot. Exhausting! This is just to get him to school.

olderthanyouthink Mon 21-Nov-16 18:50:21

Maybe a dumb question but have you tried a (fairly loose) collarless shirt, somewhere between a crewneck and a proper shirt?

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 18:50:26

No Doitjulia, it's a voluntary aided faith (RC) school.

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 18:52:13

Olderthanyouthink no - like a grandad shirt?

It baffles me that he's actually wearing school uniform, to good effect, but it's not good enough.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 21-Nov-16 18:52:33

Your son has a medical condition, and this simple adjustment is allowing him to be safe, concentrate and behave better. Without it he self harms, has meltdowns, is stressed out, how can they expect him to concentrate like that? I imagine it would be like a NT child wearing a hair shirt, feels horrible, a constant distraction, you just want to rip it off.

I have a friend who wears shoes to work that would normally not be allowed because she's tried dozens of pairs and due to a back injury (pain goes down one whole side of her body) and finally found one that are comfortable right to the end of that day. Work allow her to wear them because otherwise she'd be in pain and probably end up having to take time off because of it. Employers do make such adjustments so a school definitely should!

sterlingcooper Mon 21-Nov-16 18:56:18

I'd think long shorts and a polo shirt in the right colours should be a reasonable adjustment.

olderthanyouthink Mon 21-Nov-16 18:58:34

Yes like a grandad shirt. If he can manage that then the school might compromise, as it's a bit smarter?

Sod the tie, even NT people don't like them but can tolerate them.

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 19:00:02

He can't tolerate the collar. They had polo shirts in KS1 and it was murderous getting him in but we just about managed. He's tons happier in the school PE t shirt, and I think putting him back in effectively infant uniform won't help his self esteem.

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 19:01:34

Yes harderandharder. How pissed off must he be to rip the lot off in the car before we've even got home?sad

Misselthwaite Mon 21-Nov-16 19:01:48

Does the head know what a meltdown looks like or entails? Just that it seems like such a completely insensitive response I wonder if they actually understand what you're going through every day just to get him to school?

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 19:03:57

The head is an experienced and generally sensible man in my limited experience of him. This has come via the SENCO, who is also lovely but neither will have seen my son at full throttle. I'm loathed to film it - how horrible - but if push comes to shove I guess I'll have to.sad

Badhairday1001 Mon 21-Nov-16 19:04:19

Of course he should be able to wear his PE kit! It is awful that the school want to ignore his sensory difficulties and cause unnecessary distress just to follow the rules. Please be watchful about what else they are willing to enforce at the expense of his mental health x

user1471446905 Mon 21-Nov-16 19:04:47

The head is being an arse! No reason at all to even consult the Governors, this is not an issue they should remotely get involved in. It is an entirely reasonable adjustment and the head needs to grow up and take responsibility for his decisions.

5madthings Mon 21-Nov-16 19:05:26

Yanbu at all its a perfectly reasonable adjustment.

My ds2 has asd and has issues with clothes and his academy which is really picky about uniform were prepared to be flexible with it to help with his sensory issues.

The people kit is part of the uniform of course the head doesn't need to check with the governors it just needs to be written in your child's care plan. Does he have an echp or any kind of school plan? My son has an "academy plan" which is something the school does for any child who needs adjustments, it's all written in there so there are several things that are done differently for my son which would be against rules... But it's making a reasonable adjustment.

user1471446905 Mon 21-Nov-16 19:05:26

An experienced head should not be trying to hide behind their governing body

KickAssAngel Mon 21-Nov-16 19:08:11

I think your first step is to write a letter to the head and SENCO making clear that due to his medical needs he is only able to wear: list of what he can wear.

Then ask why this can't be considered as a reasonable adjustment. After all, A child with a walking disability wouldn't be forced to wear a skirt/high heels but would be allowed to wear trousers and trainers if they needed to.

Would you be able to get a letter from a doctor if needed? Suggest to the school that they could request that, if they pay the cost, if they haven't heard of his medical condition before and need further information.

I'm a teacher and actually fuming on your behalf. I bet the head is just afraid that it will start a load of other kids wearing t-shirts etc. rather than actually thinking about your child's needs.

KathArtic Mon 21-Nov-16 19:08:41

Surely anything in the 'right' colours would be fine?

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 19:09:19

Thankyou. That's very heartening. I wonder is the governors thing just a way to keep me in my place and not ask for anything else extra.

We are about to apply for EHCP, his problems are well documented, and I'm knackered with it all. It doesn't feel very supportive somehow, to add to the extra stuff we are having to deal with.

Batterypoweredmumra Mon 21-Nov-16 19:11:09

Kickassangel thankyou. I wrote in when I first sent him in in the PE kit suggesting the two week trial and that I felt it clearly formed a Reasonable Adjustment. It seems like actually it's seen as a massive concession.

Trifleorbust Mon 21-Nov-16 19:12:49

Have you asked why not? On the surface of things I agree with you and it sounds a lot better for your son, but I think it depends on what they think the effect might be on the school as a whole.

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