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to be getting really frustrated with DS's school?

(24 Posts)
chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 20:13:56

The term before DS started school I had a meeting with the Head of Inclusion and the Parent School Liaison. DS has quite a few issues I thought they should know about.
He has a significant developemental delay
He is adopted
Birth mother is related to us so there are security issues
Contact with b.mum could reoccour at anytime and would cause upset etc.
DS suffered early neglect and trauma and this has affected him in lots of ways.
His first three years were extremly distrupted and chaotic.
His beloved sister died not long before he started school.
He has severe exzema which needs lots of treatment and consideration i.e. cant sit next to window, radiators, on carpets.

I told them all this not because I like talking about myself and not because I am precious about DS. I thought they would appricate the heads up. I wanted to make transition as smooth as possible for a little boy who finds change very hard.

DS starts school
Teacher and LSA know nothing about said issues. Skin care not been organised.
DS goes up a year
Teacher and LSA know nothing about issues, not even his learning difficulties. Skin care not organised. Turns out the wrong teacher has been given information! First topic of term 'me and my family' I wasnt informed even though I had asked specifically to be told aout this sort of thing so I could prepare DS.
Teacher leaves and new teacher starts
Know nothing about DS's issues NOTHING.

I have always been open with school. Told them what they needed to know, even though I dont really want to talk about a lot of it. I have found myself explaining things to bemused teachers (not their fault)in front of parents and children. Getting really fed up now. Head of Inclusion just not doing what he said he would.

DS has quite a few issues related to his past. Makes him v.insecure. Talks about his sister a lot and has a little dialouge he uses to reassure himself that she is ok. May sound like nonsense to an adult who is not clued up but v.important to him. And he has learning difficulties.

How on earth are the teachers supposed to teach him and care for him effectively if they are not told his background? The teachers and LSAs he has had have really tried hard once they know what is going on. DS cant tell them, he doesnt have the language.

Feel really upset with HOI.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 05-Jun-09 20:28:48

This sounds awful, Chegirl. I would write a letter to the school setting out what you have said here and send it to the head and the HOI now so they have a chance to get their act together in time for next year and not repeat the mistakes of the past two years. But also, I think I would request a face to face meeting with next year's teacher before the end of term so you can apprise them about DS yourself, because if the HOI doesn't fully appreciate what your DS needs (which he couldn't possibly do or he wouldn't have been so incompetent about passing on the information) then I doubt if you can trust him to put the information across to the new teacher correctly.

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 20:44:52

Thanks ladyG.

I know I have to put something in writing. I should have done it before but TBH I was still a bit weary after dealing with DD's illness and losing her + all the stress of DS's adoption and contact issues. I think I buried my head a bit and willed it to be ok.

Feeling a bit stronger now BUT I find the HOI really difficult. There is something about his manner that makes me sort of apologise and back peddle. I know I have to stand up to him because I suspect this is how he gets away with what he does.

So worried about DS sometimes. He has had to deal with such a lot in his life.

I think you are absolutly right about meeting with new teacher. I have to be proactive about this. I dont think HOI will pass info on properly. Maybe he doesnt think its all relevant but surely the learning difficulties stuff is even to him?

Thanks for your reply.

cory Fri 05-Jun-09 20:48:23

My experience of schools is:

never expect anyone to pass anything on

never expect anyone to remember anything they haven't got in writing

only way is to write down everything they need to know and circulate it to everybody concerned

Jaundiced maybe, but throughout junior school, dd's teachers were never informed about her disability unless I did it myself; this despite the fact that the school had all the paperwork.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Fri 05-Jun-09 20:53:27

I can't imagine how difficult the past few years have been for you. It makes it even harder when the people like this guy whose job it is to help you are withholding that help. No wonder you are worn down by it.
I don't think you should worry about going through the proper channels. Bypass this guy if you can, by asking the head directly if you can set up a meeting with DS's new teacher. And make sure you ask his current teacher to do a proper handover as well. She may well be assuming the HOI will do it, but clearly he won't.

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 20:54:33

Cory dont you just hate the having to tell and re-tell? I feel like I am trying to prove something or making out my DS is 'special'.

I had to explain on the hop about DS's reaction to new school term. He got v.distressed at being left (he still checks that I am going to pick him up at the end of the day}. Teacher 'he was very upset, much more than I would expect', Me 'do you know he is adopted?' Teacher (with blank look) 'Well isnt it nice he has a lovely home with you now?' <sound of point whizzing over head>

She turned out to be a great teacher once she understood issues. But why did it have to happen in such a disjointed, awkward way!

smudgethepuppydog Fri 05-Jun-09 21:41:51

Could you set him up a Communication Passport? We use them a lot with our children in the school I work in mainly to help new/supply staff, basically they are a little booklet (we use A5 size paper) the booklet carries all the important info in a simple form. The first page is usually along the lines of 'All about me...my name is xxxxxx, I like to be called xxxxxxx. I live with xxxxxxx, yyyyyyy and zzzzzzz. I have 1/2/3/11,000,000 pets.' We the go on to give important info on medical/educationla/dietary needs, situations that may cause stress, things that may help to calm etc etc.

If you Google 'communication passports' quite a lot of info should come up.

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 21:53:10

Thanks smudge. Ironically I have just been developing something along those lines for work.

I am off to do a bit of googling smile

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 21:55:46

Sorry LadyG I didnt see your last post.

I think I will go straight to head. I wont even bother mentioning HOI. I will leave it to head to work out it was his responsibility. I am going to do a letter this weekend.

smudgethepuppydog Fri 05-Jun-09 21:58:39

There's a good template on the Scope site.

chegirl Fri 05-Jun-09 21:59:34

Thanks for that smile

chegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 20:54:58

Well I wrote a letter and handed it in on Monday.

When I went to pick DS up his TA told me that HOI had been down to talk to teacher.

I was a bit hmm that no one had called me but didnt make a fuss. I thought I would give them to the end of the week to contact me.

Deputy head called tonight (how very dare the Head himself not call me wink)
I am going to meet with him tommorow morning. In his words 'to make sure this doesnt happen again'

Good on them for responding so quickly. But surely there are loads of procedures and policies to ensure this shouldnt have happened in the first place?

What should I say at the meeting? I am pretty good at writing letters. I can get my feelings and points across well.

But I have a bit of a problem in situations like school. I hated school as a child and didnt cope well. Its really quite easy to intimidate me into muttering and nodding. I SO dont want to let my boy down.

I am not going for a row. I genuinely want to sort something out for DS. I want to use the opportunity to question why its taking so long to get formal support in place. I know statementing takes a long time but he is approaching the end of year 1 and nothing is settled yet. He started school with a recognised delay and I have always been open with the them about his difficulties.

Any advice/tips for me.

I know I am going to feel like I am a naughty school girl (and not in a good way).

mum23monkeys Tue 09-Jun-09 21:07:31

just wanted to give you some support chegirl. I don't have any advice really, except maybe to think tonight about the sorts of things you want to get across, and the things they might want to discuss with you. Then write them down and take the paper with you. If you get in a fluster at the meeting you might be able to say that you had thought about this in advance and have written some things down because you find talking off the cuff quite difficult. If they ask you any questions or raise issues that you're not sure how to respond to, similarly you could ask them to write down the main points and could you come back to them with your response at a later meeting.

You are absolutely right that there should have been procedures in place to ensure that everybody was informed who needed to be about the details of your ds's situation. I hope they take you seriously now.

The only relevant experience I have is that I also have a ds with severe eczema and we had to inform school about this and I think they often thought I was over-reacting to some minor skin itching. It can be difficult to get your point across sometimes. I don't know if your ds would like it, but I used to send a pillow case into school for ds so he could sit on the carpet with the rest of his class (he sat on his pillow case) so he didn't feel left out, but also wouldn't come home with raw legs at the end of the day.

Good luck

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 09-Jun-09 21:12:25

Ds was hit across the head and shouted at by a member of staff at a nursery he attended when he was three, no matter how many times I tell various head's about this and how anxious ds gets when he's shouted at because he think's he's going to get hurt, it really does make no difference! It's crap really!!

foxinsocks Tue 09-Jun-09 21:17:29

hi Chegirl, one of ds's friends is adopted (and had certain emotional/developmental issues) and they got extra help far quicker because of the adoption factor. I have no idea how this worked but I think social services assisted.

cat64 Tue 09-Jun-09 21:25:19

Message withdrawn

chegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 21:26:40

Thank you for your quick responses.

mum23 thank you. You make some brilliant points and I will jot some stuff down. It will help to make me look like I mean business. You just made me think of something else - my DS has a towel to sit on (or so I thought). When I was in the class last week, after a trip, I noticed he was actually sitting on a thoughtfully bound, cut down, woollen blanket! Someone must have thought it would be a good idea, maybe they thought it would be harder wearing/smarter than the towel he used to have. Thank you for reminding me. I will take in a pillow case and ask to bring it home every week to wash

Fluffy poor DS sad. I can quite imagine the school not taking you seriously. How frustrating for you.

fox. I was putting off involving social services. DS is from a different borough so we are still with their after adoption service. I have been trying to get transfered to this borough with very little luck so far. I have been spurred into action though and will give them a call tommorow. At least they could recommend some info to pass on to school.

Saucepanman Tue 09-Jun-09 21:31:02

chegirl I have nothing practical to add, but your line "I SO dont want to let my boy down." has made me get all choked up. You are doing the absolute opposite of this by doing everything you can for him. You're doing an amazing job, hope it all works out in the meeting and will be checking the thread for an update smile

chegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 21:55:43

cat sorry about x posts.!

Thank you for your helpful post.

I have written down your ideas.

See - I knew that there were Sencos out there who know what they are doing! A good Senco is worth their weight in bloody gold. I am a portage worker so know the difference they make, particularly at transition.

I want to bring up about Ed Psych. DS was dure to be seen a few months back. EP came in but had to go off sick. I assumed that DS would be seen next time she came in as he had missed his appt. Not so! She has been in several times since and he has not been seen. He keeps getting bumped because kids with more severe need are being put on the list.

Statement cannot proceed without EP report. arrgggghhhhh.

cat64 Tue 09-Jun-09 22:12:03

Message withdrawn

chegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 22:25:31

saucepanman thank you. What a nice thing to say. DS is such a vunerable little boy. He has had such a lot to cope with and is amazing really.

cat please try to keep calm grin. I am not really worried about seeing DH. As long as I dont have to see HOI I am fine. I am really hoping HOI is not included. Dont think I could face that at 8.40 am <shudder>

Saucepanman Fri 12-Jun-09 11:39:09

You're welcome chegirl, I really do mean it. How was the meeting? grin at hoping head of inclusion is not included!

chegirl Fri 12-Jun-09 23:16:35

Hi Saucepan Meeting was ok. No HOI thank goodness grin

Deputy Head apologised prettily and couldnt really explain why this had happend. Promise it wouldnt again.

I managed to get in about Ed Pysch appointments going awry so hoping they will get the hint wink.

I will know if all this has made a difference next month. DH promised me that transition into year 2 will be handled much better and DS prepared for change. That means they will have to tell me in good time who his new teacher will be etc.

So we shall see.

Thanks for asking.

Saucepanman Sat 13-Jun-09 11:47:13

Oh that's good news, am so glad they were contrite and will improve things for him and you smile

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