AIBU to think teacher doesn't know who my ds is?(130 Posts)
Ds was 5 in August and currently in yr1. He is currently undergoing assessment for ASD as suggested by his teacher in reception year. He is painfully shy, often goes days without speaking to anyone at school, I had to dress up as a fucking sheep to get him to join in with nativity, if ever asked a question in front of the class he will sit under the table under the teacher has moved into another pupil, you get the picture.
He is also really enjoying school, really interested and really wants to do well. This year they are getting weekly homework. We get a big list of things and pick two things of it each week to do. The other weekend we visited a castle and one of the homework tasks was to do a picture and write three facts about an interesting building.
Homework is marked on Friday while they're doing PE. They come in from PE and ds is asked to present his castle work to the class. He hides under the table. Teacher tells him unless he reads his sentences he'll have a dojo (points system that we can access online) taken away. He continues to hide and has dojo taken away. When I collect him he has clearly been crying for a long time, was blotchy and couldn't tell me what the matter was. Teacher tells me he was being uncoorperative and had dojo taken away.
When I get home I write a polite email asking if she is aware ds is being assessed for asd and that he has never spoken in front of class and that he struggles with shyness. Teacher responds saying I'd chosen the homework which was to present 3 facts about a building to the class. Fair enough, I'd misread it and assumed it was just writing 3 facts about it.
Now, to this week. Everyday this week he has had at least one dojo a day taken away from him for being disruptive. I've asked him about it and he's gotten upset and insisted he didn't know he'd had them removed and said he'd been really good. I've never known him to lie but emailed teacher again asking for clarification. Asked maybe he wouldn't join in with something which was being disruptive. She emailed back saying he kept talking when she was talking, kept tickling another child (he has never willingly touched anyone, ever) and kept singing when they are supposed to be being quiet.
Wtf am I supposed to say to that? The child doing that isn't my ds! There is absolutely no way. Is there a polite way of saying you've got him muddled up with someone else?
It sounds as if the teacher isn't understanding of your sons difficulties or is unaware, request a meeting with the class teacher and SENCO together and ask to make a plan of how you can all work together to help him.
I would meet her with your DS so she has him sat right in front of her and point out that he has never willingly done those things (and if he has, how marvellous! )
You can point out how unlikely this is and ask directly if she has the right child.
Well I'd send off a snarky email asking how intended to reward him given that he's selectively mute and has clearly had a major breakthrough...
But that probably wouldn't help. Face to face meeting with her and SENCO. Asap.
Having taught SEN I want to punch her fucking lights out.
For fucks sake, that is NOT how to teach someone. Let alone not knowing which child she is talking about.
Ask for a meeting with her so you can discuss the issues, take your son with you. Just outright ask if she's sure it was him and explain why you don't believe it would have been.
When my brother was at school, he kept getting marks against his name for being disruptive. He was mute until he was 14, even now in his 30s he barely says a word. But the teacher was insistent he was shouting and talking back. Nope. She got his name and the child who actually was being disruptive muddled up. So imo it's very much a possibility!
Email back and say 'Sorry, has there been a mistake here? My DS spent Reception totally silent in class, is being assessed for ASD and is painfully shy. Obviously if he is now singing and talking over you this is unacceptable and I would appreciate a meeting to discuss his behaviour, however as this would represent such a complete change to his usual behaviour I'm sure you can understand me asking to check!'
Sounds like your DS could have selective mutism as well as / instead of the asd, OP.
Children with selective mutism are unable to speak, or speak only a very little, in one setting despite having fluent speech in another setting. It is an anxiety based condition and your DS certainly seems highly anxious. Children are often misinterpreted as controlling, shy or 'choosing' not to speak. However shy children warm up, SM children don't, and SM children have particular problems initiating communication.
If he does have SM (there is a very lively facebook page run by the UK national charity SMIRA) then the sort of pressure the teacher is putting upon him, using punishment to try to force communication, is absolutely counter to what we would advise.
Do a bit of research, join our facebook group and have a look at the files maybe, and see what you think. Then armed with printouts go and see the SENCO at school!
I would have to ask. In person, with your son.
You definitley need to point it out to her. I would request a meeting with her asap and have your son there so she doesnt get confused.
I would just assume she's simply mixed him up with another boy. It's early enough in the year for a mistake to happen - IMO it's how she deals with it that would be key with whether it needed taking further or not.
Having taught SEN I want to punch her fucking lights out.
How long until you get the results? I would suggest (whether or not you get the results soon) to ask for a meeting with his teacher and SEN lead or maybe Deputy or Head to sit down and establish what is going on in class and strategies to help your son. The great thing is that he enjoys school and learning and that is such a precious thing to keep momentum with.
Try and be as objective as possible, but it does sound like his teacher is being unhelpful. My DS has poor focus, his Y1 teacher would sit him in particular places for learning and use lots of positive reinforcement when he wasn't fidgeting (not ASD).
I hope you find some allies at the school to support you son.
It just seems so odd that I had a talk with her last week, with ds right next to me and she used his name. Then this week she has decided he's someone else completely. Honestly, I would love it if he did any of the talking, tickling, singing, but he just sits there like a little porcelain doll with no expression at all .
I'm just slightly concerned I'm going to be labelled as 'that parent' and it will make things more difficult with the school regarding asd diagnosis (if that ever bloody happens).
Please don't worry about being 'that parent', you need to be pushy to get your son the help he needs. I'm generally very shy but I have had to be quite forceful to get my son the help he needs. The parents who shout loudest (it's perfectly possible to do this whist being polite) tend to get the most help for their children.
Your son is losing dojo points for things he's (probably) not doing. You need to tackle this.
Thank you. I've emailed teacher asking if I can meet her with ds before school on Monday as ds is very confused as to why he's having dojo's taken away. He said the only other child to have a dojo taken away toda was a boy who spat at the teacher. Ffs.
for you OP. You're in a very tough place and this teacher is not making your life any easier. Your poor ds :-(
Don't be afraid to be one of those parents though, OP. Your ds can't speak for himself. You have to be his advocate. Be strong.
Don't worry about being That Parent. Your child is only in reception at the moment. You will definitely have to be That Parent to get the support and adjustment he needs throughout his time in education.
Arrange a meeting with the sendco as soon as possible.
OP - you have to be teflon-coated when you have a child with SN. Start forming your teflon now because you're likely to have years of it (sorry).
Pengggwn - that made me cheer. A SENCO that wants to fight my kid's corner, rather than try and do the least possible? Hurrah. Am assuming you don't have child with AEN.
Have you observed your child in class? I ask as I am a teacher and it is very common for a child to be very different at school than at home.
I would ask them to record the behaviour so you could see it for yourself.
What a tricky situation OP. I can totally understand why you don't want to come across as being 'difficult', but your posts here seem very rational and reasonable, so I'm sure you won't. If you have already met the teacher, with your son, it does seem unlikely that she has got him confused with another child (though anything's possible!). As a PP has suggested I would email her again and copy in the school SENCo, say you're sorry to hear that DS has been disruptive but that you are concerned that what she is reporting is extremely out of character and as such something you need to know more about, ask for another meeting, preferably with the SENCo there too (and maybe his Reception teacher if at all possible - they obviously know him well and sound supportive?).
I am a HCP specialising in Paediatrics and would echo what other posters have said about how unhelpful it is to admonish a child who is reluctant/unable to talk in class (for whatever reason). It seems a terrible shame and very counter-productive, especially as your son enjoys school and is keen to learn. It seems like getting to the bottom of how on earth the teacher is perceiving your child to be disruptive is the first priority though and in a way that is separate to the ASD diagnostic process or a discussion around strategies to support Selective Mutism.
an HCP (and sorry, crossed post I see you've already emailed, I hope it goes well)
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