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4.5 year is not autistic but school is trying to prove otherwise

(55 Posts)
alpha001 Wed 13-Apr-16 12:38:02

My son has started school this year. We are working parents and spend less time with him. Most of the time he is with nanny who speaks different language. So he is behind in speech and language. His behavior is very different at home and in school. He is a perfectly happy and healthy child ate home. Now school is trying to prove that he is autistic which he is definitely not. He like to play alone and doesn't like orders. It seems that they are trying to get rid of him. He is last July born and youngest in his class. I have seen significant improvement in him since he started school. Can they throw him out of school without our consent. what options do we have.

G1raffe Wed 13-Apr-16 12:45:53

I saw your other thread and initially thought its quite hardwork to get an autism diagnosis and usually schools drag their feel to do this it seems! However it seems its a private school and they dont want your son there?

I'm not sure I could keep my son at a school where they actively dont want him. What have they said? Are you sure they are not seeking a diagnosis in order to fully support him? How do you know he definitely is not?

What does your nanny think? What are his problems at school? Maybe another school would support him better.

ZiggyPantaloons Wed 13-Apr-16 12:50:45

What they can do is ask an educational psychologist to assess him. That can only be beneficial to you and you can gain an insight.
State schools in the UK can't randomly decide a child is autistic. He will be observed, assessed, and then referred for diagnosis if that is appropriate. So don't get alarmed just yet.

I wish my child's school had picked up on his autism in reception - there were some very clear signs which were missed and we had a number of years which were far more difficult than they needed to have been. My son was eventually diagnosed at 9.

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Wed 13-Apr-16 12:56:24

Is the school aware that he is bilingual and this might effect his vocabulary?

Did he attend a school before this one? Was he able to follow instructions there?

Playing alone - out of choice or does he struggle with social skills?

A private school can ask you to leave. State schools can't until you've followed the process of being suspended etc.

alpha001 Wed 13-Apr-16 12:58:51

He is in state school. We and Nanny thinks he is okay. we had hired a private speech therapist to come to our home and observe him and she found nothing abnormal.
At school, teacher complain about his speech, He does not listen to them, He is not very interested in group activity.
I am damn sure that all these problem is not due to disability but he chooses not to do so. He is very confident and strong.
I have seen he can ignore someone for hours if he does not like him.
He has exposed to very sophisticated toys at home and if you ask him to play with basic toys he simply wont play and that is why i think he is bored at school because they are asking him to cut paper or paint a flower.
I have never seen an iota of autism at home.

alpha001 Wed 13-Apr-16 13:03:23

Our first language is not English and we used to talk with him very little. That has impacted his language development.

G1raffe Wed 13-Apr-16 13:04:26

A state school wont be able to "get rid of him!" What have they said to you? I wouldn't refuse an assessment if they are perusing one as it will be in order for them to teach him better and for him to access education.

plimsolls Wed 13-Apr-16 13:05:36

I've been contracted in the past in situations very similar to this. (I'm an independent psychologist). It has sometimes been the case that schools have 'taken against' a child for whatever reason and have tried to prove needs in order to get them moved elsewhere. Mostly pre-prep schools that market themselves on how many of their pupils go on to pass the entrance process for X or Y prestigious prep school, therefore trying to get rid of those that won't meet the grade. TBH, no matter how objectively good a school is, if they don't like your child or persist in seeing needs which aren't there, then your child is much better off elsewhere. Sometimes the particular environment in a school can create needs that wouldn't be there otherwise (e.g high pressure and unfriendly classrooms can create a task-avoidance mindset that can look like attention disorders).

That said, sometimes children with any kind of need (not just autism) manage perfectly well at home and with people who love them and know them so well. A child may display difficulties only in school.

I hope that the school can provide a good, independent (I mean 'objective' rather than 'private') professional to help you all move the situation forward.


MarvellousCake Wed 13-Apr-16 13:08:01

If he has an assessment it won't be because the school want to try to get rid of him. It will be to try to help him. Plenty of autistic children are generally happy and healthy.

plimsolls Wed 13-Apr-16 13:08:23

Oh sorry. Cross post. I thought that you had said he was in a private pre-prep. I don't know why.

As PO said, state schools cannot "get rid" of children unless they have very significant needs.

You can request to meet with the psychologist who would do the assessment to talk to him/her before you consent. They may be able to reassure you about the process and what the aims are. For example, they may conduct an in depth language assessment which would help the teachers teach him and also provide language intervention. Etc etc.

MarvellousCake Wed 13-Apr-16 13:11:21

I'm interested to know what the school have actually said to you.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Apr-16 13:13:01

What makes you think they are trying to kick him out?

I doubt a state school would ask your son to leave if he is autistic. It's discrimination for a start.

Autism isn't the end of the world, and it is not something that can be detected by having s speech pathologist observe him one time.

You have the option to play into their hands, have him assessed properly.

My friend has fought her daughter's school for help with behaviour that she was convinced was due to special needs, all the teachers (bar one) and leadership staff refuse to see it! So far one of the three of her children has recently been diagnosed and the other two are sure to follow with a positive diagnosis. '

If your school has concerns bout your dh, you would be daft, in my opinion, to NOT follow that up!

If he is, then they can help him and you can too
If he isn't, nothing lost, but you ask the teacher where to go from here

Branleuse Wed 13-Apr-16 13:13:51

I think its much more likely you are in denial and see autism as some shameful thing.

Fairylea Wed 13-Apr-16 13:15:19

As someone who has gone through the whole autism assessment process for our son who is nearly 4 it is my experience that they won't mis diagnose - it is extremely difficult to get a diagnosis of autism, the threshold is very high. So I would go along with the assessments and see what happens. There is nothing to be scared about - if your son does have asd there is a lot more information and support available to you than without the diagnosis.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 13-Apr-16 13:16:15

With all respect because you are clearly in a difficult situation, unless you are a specialist in autism, how on earth would you know that your child displays 'not one iota' of ASD?

We all missed in my son, but he has it and in spades. Yet he makes eye-contact, chats, is affectionate, plays and plays with others and has speech in the 'normal' range. It is also incredibly common for children to not have issues at home, but to have issues at school. And it's often only when we compare children to their peers that we see there are problems and challenges.

I think if you've been offered an assessment you should take it. School can't diagnose. They also can't compel you to be assessed, by the way. But why wouldn't you?

longdiling Wed 13-Apr-16 13:16:17

I'm intrigued by the 'sophisticated toys' comment. Are these electronic devices by any chance? Have they actually said they want to throw him out or is this your fear? And how are they trying to 'prove' he's autistic?

Cuttheraisins Wed 13-Apr-16 13:16:42

Op I struggle with your original post. I struggle to unrest and where the problem is really. The school has a duty to follow up on children whom they think may (or may not) have social/communications difficulties. They cannot throw your child out if he has a learning or social difficulty. He may be fine at home because he is one-to-one with an adult, but this is a big step away from being in a group of 30 children. Are you in the uk?

The school may recommend a professional evaluation, and although you might think that it's to diagnose autism, you might find out that he falls entirely within the expected range. The school will not evaluate him, an external professional educational psychologist will probably be called to observe his behaviour, evaluate his understanding of language, his social skills, and will report concerns to (if there are any concerns) other professionals such as a peadiatrician and speech therapist. But the initial report might flag noting at all.

You need to realise that the school wants to help your child.

soapboxqueen Wed 13-Apr-16 13:17:46

The school cannot diagnose your child nor label him as autistic. If they just wanted rid of him there are easier ways to do it.

The autistic spectrum is a wide and varied thing. Don't discount their concerns, it really won't hurt to get other professionals to have a look at him at school.

Cuttheraisins Wed 13-Apr-16 13:18:53

And just to reassure you (Ds has been through this) the tests are not stressful for the child, they are based on games etc.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Apr-16 13:19:15

OP, it is worth bearing in mind that Autism doesn't always present the same way in everyone.

There are many indicators of autism, and not every child has every indicator.

alpha001 Wed 13-Apr-16 13:19:52

School said that it okay if he is able to all these activities at home but he is significantly behind other children, this school is not a best place for him and they don't have resources to look after him. They are not interested in listening to us.

Arfarfanarf Wed 13-Apr-16 13:20:03

An assessment will not make someone autistic if they are not.

The school can push for a thousand assessments and it won't make your son autistic if he is not.

Your son won't be given a diagnosis of autism if he is neurotypical. It actually happens a lot the other way round - having asd but being unable to get the dx!

Trust me - they have to be VERY sure. They don't chuck diagnosis around like sweeties. They are actually very hard to get.

There is also no benefit to the school. It costs more, it means they have to put more in place, it means more work, more organising, etc. It gives the child certain additional protections. Schools don't push for a diagnosis for an easy ride.

They do it because they are genuinely convinced and they believe the child needs the help.

When you say you used to talk with him very little, do you mean you didn't talk to him much at all, or do you mean you talked to him loads but not in English?

Cuttheraisins Wed 13-Apr-16 13:25:10

Many children (probably most) can 'do' a lot more at home, when they are on one-to-one situations with an adult, in a quiet place that they are familiar with, compared to a school. What do you mean they can't provide for him? They do t have the resources? Such as what, do you expect that your son will get one-to-one attention from a teacher all day long?

starry0ne Wed 13-Apr-16 13:28:36

What do you mean you spoke to him very little?

Many people fight for a diagnosis when something isn't sitting right...It clearly isn't at school... I think you need to look at why you are so against the diagnosis?

MarvellousCake Wed 13-Apr-16 13:36:49

If the school have worded it that strongly then they clearly have very serious concerns. You say they are not listening to you, but also you are not hearing them. If there is any chance of an assessment or other help from some professionals then I think you should take it, as it will help you to understand and help your child.

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