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Can I expect any help for behavioural problems from school ?

(22 Posts)
Babieseverywhere Fri 13-Jun-14 10:56:24

1. My 5.9 yo DS has always been very quirky, with meltdowns and obession with Minecraft and no friends. We love him and enjoy weekends and school holidays.

2. School runs are very distressing. Good days he tells us he hates school but runs in. Bad days I drag him kicking and screaming into the school.

3. I think he is somewhere in the ASD area and currently going through NHS assessment process. Awaiting appointment s no results at the moment.

4a. School Senco told me it is behavioural issue and sent me details of a parenting course for DH and I too attend (which I will do, DH won't)

4b. She told me to ring the behavioural support team (which I did, they are too busy to talk to me atm but are looking into 'my case')

4c. She said there was nothing more the school could do as it is my problem and DS behaves well at school.

5. School reluctantly got the asd outreach team to look at DS. Told me in an email that this assessment was going to fail BEFORE it took place and he was only watched in a small classroom group with teacher, where he masks well using his brains. No watching in the playground, where he really struggles. So it failed as predicted.

Now my issue is that the school say there is nothing they can do to help DS, even though I have loads of suggestions to help DS be happier at school therefore behave better for the school run.

They just repeat that it is my problem causing this and they can't do anything.

Can the school refuse to help in this type of situation ?

Babieseverywhere Fri 13-Jun-14 11:01:12

To be clear I don't care what his label will be behavioural issues or ASD, I just want him to be happy and educated.

BlueChampagne Fri 13-Jun-14 13:25:21

Your school should have a nominated SENCO governor, contact them if you're unhappy with the school's response.

Is it worth starting a discussion with your GP for independent assessment?

roadwalker Fri 13-Jun-14 13:27:10

I would ask GP for a referral to CAMHS for a proper assessment

squizita Fri 13-Jun-14 13:47:04

Is his behaviour good in school? They may be referring to other agencies because these will support you at home IYSWIM.
School is part of a child's care, but do not give support for issues which happen outside (just as you say they reported DS behaves well at school ). Therefore they may be referring you to these other agencies as they are best placed to support where/when the issues are.

If there are behaviour issues within school, go via governers as other posters have suggested.

Babieseverywhere Fri 13-Jun-14 15:15:09

We have gone via GP's already. DS is under a Community Paediatrician (not seen her yet) and awaiting Salt and hearing appointments too. So covered on that side of things but everything takes so long. I doubt will get a yeah or neah until middle of next year. While we struggle in every day, dreading the school runs.

Regarding behaviour at school the school says he is well behaved. But he is given time out lots. Is sent inside at lunch time, reason unknown. Plus when his teacher was filling out a detailed behaviour diary, it was nearly all happy faces with the odd straight smile.

I witnessed DS having a massive meltdown on the playground. The teacher changed a happy face to a straight face and said that was because of the current behaviour. So on the schools behavioural chart anything short of a massive meltdown is happy. So all the anxiety related behaviours I reckon he is showing is simply expected behaviour from a nearly 6 yo boy, apparently.

roadwalker Sat 14-Jun-14 00:39:49

You should be able to get a referral to CAMHS from the pediatrician. You are correct, everything takes ages
He sounds really stressed and school with their bloody smiley faces will only cause more stress
The problem is that without a diagnosis it is hard to inform school about what they should do
He probably needs a chill out space for when it all gets too much

Can you tell if it is the school run that stresses him or the thought of going to school?
Can any of it be changed. My DD found walking into the classroom difficult, she was less stressed if she went to breakfast club because she was already there in the classroom as everyone else started to go in
Her school was good at recognising her stressors which were playtime, she couldnt cope with free play, endings, lining up
They changed the system for her to help her deal with these situations

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 11:56:35

I have been told that the Comm Paed can do a Ados assessment and give dx herself, it is a valid dx pathway in our she might refer us onwards to CAMS. ..I hope Comm Paed can do it, as it would be quicker.

It is very hard to get my DS to tell me anything, he only verbalises about interests which is Minecraft. That said he loves plants and told me about the plants he saw on his recent school trip.

I drew crayon coloured faces on a page to give him a five point scale of emotion. Sometimes he shouts out numbers or colours and it takes me a moment to realize he is telling me how he feels.

After introducing the emotion scale and asking many simple questions about the school day, I found the following.

He dislikes Dinner time (playing), Break time, going to toilet on his own, lining up, assembly, PE and maths.
He likes golden time, Lunchtime (food), Climbing Frame.

The school had put in place a visual timetable, now and next cards and a computer treat for first 5 minutes, if he walked in properly.

I have emailed and asked would these in things be continuing. I suspect now the school assessment failed, they might have stopped these things. I hope they are carrying on.

Awaiting IEP for his move to Year Two. I am dreading it, new classroom and new teacher. Doubt the school will see a change in him but I bet I will.

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 12:06:08

Our school have no Breakfast Club which is why I suggested the get in early and play on the computer for 5 minutes, before the rest of the class run in.

I think it is being at school not the actual school run. He marked leaving the house and walking to school at Green/4 which is fairly happy. I thought he had failed to understand the chart and talked further to DS. I said how can these things be Green.

I said to DS 'You shout, kick and scream. I am dragging you by your armpits, as you have collapsed to the floor refusing to move. How can that be Green ?

'Because I am with you , mummy' came the simple reply.

Gosh I love him so much. I just want him to be happy.

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 12:12:59

I am going to have another chat with school to try and help DS.

The school are very sure it is poor parenting and now they have given me details of a good parenting course, feel there is nothing further to be done.

I will jump all hoops put up, but really want the school to be on board as well.

Surely if they are right and DS can't cope with school and it is all my fault. Isn't there things they could do in school to help him ?

tenderbuttons Sat 14-Jun-14 12:15:29

His behaviour sounds massively similar to that of my friend's DD, who is somewhere on the spectrum although without a formal diagnosis. And I don't think it's uncommon for many children to hold it together within school, but then for the stress to come out in other ways - and frankly the school should know that kind of thing. And if he is kicking and screaming in the playground, does this not suggest to them that there is something wrong <bangs head on desk.

I think they are communicating really badly too- he's being sent in at lunchtime and there is no explanation?

To be honest, although he might hate the change, I think you may have more hope with another teacher at least. And then see what they do once he has been assessed. But then perhaps start looking for another, more clued up school?

lljkk Sat 14-Jun-14 12:39:53

It sounds like you have loads of support from school. confused
As well as loads of recognition from NHS, CAMHS etc.
Loads and loads more than I've had for much older DS who has much worse behaviour, anyway.

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 12:44:08

That is the kicker not only is the only other school over subscribed (like our school) the other school is terrible with children with additional needs. Plus our school is so good with children with additional needs that they are getting a large amount of funding to expand the school to take in more children with additional needs.

But none of this applies to my DS as he currently suffers from poor parenting (in their eyes) not additional needs.

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 22:39:42

Iijkk, I am horrified you get less help than us, hope things get better in the future.

Goldmandra Sat 14-Jun-14 22:55:55

Your experience is ridiculously common amongst parents of children with ASD, particularly those on the higher functioning end of the spectrum.

I have been where you are with both of my DDs and my parenting was blamed repeatedly in the early days precisely because both girls masked their symptoms brilliantly in school and were model pupils in every way.

This is an excerpt from from "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome", by Professor Tony Attwood, page 132:

"Conversations with parents can examine whether the child suppresses feelings of confusion and frustration at school but releases such feelings at home. I describe some children with Asperger's syndrome as being a "Dr Jejkyll and Mr Hyde" - an angel at school but a devil at home. This has been described in the literature as masquerading (Carrington and Graham, 2001). Unfortunately, a parent may be personally criticized for not being able to manage his or her child with Asperger's syndrome at home. A teacher reports that the child has exemplary behaviour in class so the behaviour must be due to a defect in how the parents manage the child's emotions. It is important that children with Asperger's syndrome can sometimes suppress their feelings at school and wait until they are home to release their anguish on younger siblings and a loving parent. Such children are more confused, frustrated and stressed than their body language communicates, and the constrained emotions are eventually expressed and released at home. The cause of the problem is the child not communicating extreme stress at school, and not a parent who does not know how to control his or her child."

Show it to the school and make it clear that the problems at home and ont he school run are very much a response to stress in school and that you expect them to make changes to support him before the problems escalate.

Goldmandra Sat 14-Jun-14 23:01:24

It makes perfect sense that the time he is able to express his feelings is green. He's only able to do the kicking and screaming because he feels safe. Once he's in school he feels enormously stressed and the only way to cope is to shut down his emotional responses until he's back in a safer environment, i.e. at home or with you.

My DD2 tells me that the more she smiles, the more stressed she is and that she's only felt better about being in school since they've helped her feel safe enough to stop pretending that everything is wonderful and is able to express some of her emotions more honestly.

Goldmandra Sat 14-Jun-14 23:05:55

It sounds like you have loads of support from school.

It is the wrong type of support.

The root of this behaviour is stress and emotional overload so using a reward system to try to suppress it will only exacerbate the problem.

The school needs to approach this in a completely different way by working out how to reduce this child's anxiety levels and possibly his sensory overload in school so that he doesn't become so distressed about coming in.

LynetteScavo Sat 14-Jun-14 23:22:07

Go to go and ask for a referral for an assessment. If you don't get anywhere keep going back. And back again.

I would be questioning if this was the right school for mr ds.

Babieseverywhere Sat 14-Jun-14 23:43:26

Here are my quotes, one from Atwood (brilliant book) and one from a government document. I wanted to highlight the quotes below and send forcefeed them into our school. DH says I should but I am hopeing someone else will educate our Senco and tell her, it is possible for a child with ASD to behave at school and not at home and not be MY fault !


"My son behaves differently at home and at school. School say they do not have any behavioural difficulties with him, but at home it is a different matter.This is quite a common scenario we hear about on the Helpline, which Tony Attwood refers to as the Jekyll and Hyde character (Attwood, 1998).There may be a number of reasons for this difference in behaviour. Just because the behaviour occurs at home, it does not necessarily mean the trigger (or the cause) lies there. Your son may find school very stressful, but keeps his emotions locked up until he gets home. Most children with autism do not display the body language and facial expressions you would expect to see when a child is feeling a certain way. Whilst your son may appear relatively calm at school, he may be experiencing very different emotions beneath the surface. Asking a child with autism how they feel may not get the correct response as some children can find spoken communication very difficult and struggle to explain their emotions to someone."


"42.An inquiry conducted by Brian Lamb found that parents of children with SEN do not feel involved enough in the process of their child’s education, or handling their challenging behaviour. Parents reported that the professionals did not appear to take their opinions and observations into account.[20]It is particularly important to listen to parent as the difficulties a child is facing may not always be apparent at school - parents often describe the "three o’clock timebomb" where their child comes home from school and explodes with the frustrations of having to cope in a neuro-typical environment of school all day."There needs to be less leaping to conclusions about parenting skills, especially regarding behaviour".[21]"

allisgood1 Sat 14-Jun-14 23:48:02

Contact a behaviour analyst to see your son in both home and school. You can find one local to you here:

It will be independent, so you will have to pay for it BUT you will get answers and an action plan (which you WONT get with a diagnosis other than a label, IME). HTH.

Goldmandra Sat 14-Jun-14 23:53:52

I have done exactly that and I've also sent some in via the educational psychologist so they got a better reception. It did help.

I have a few other documents that may be useful and I'm happy to send them to you if you PM me your email address.

I know this feels like the school are being deliberately awkward but I prefer to think of it as lack of knowledge rather than wilful ignorance at first at least. There are some big preconceptions around regarding AS, especially that it is easy to identify by just looking at the child.

My DD2's new ed psych observed her in class just before her last statement review and couldn't pick her out despite the fact that she is in an ASD specific unit attached to a mainstream school, she has the highest level of support in the unit and, at that time was the only child with ASD in a mainstream classroom. He still backed us to the hilt that she needed more funding for support during that review. It really can be very hard to spot.

Babieseverywhere Sun 15-Jun-14 00:00:50

Yes, I think the Senco and class teacher are lovely ladies but when Senco told me DS would show signs of being on the spectrum at school and as he didn't he couldn't be . I despaired and realised how little she really knew.

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