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TA interfering too much

(16 Posts)
DiamondDoris Mon 13-May-13 19:20:52

My DS (6) is on a trial gluten/dairy free diet for a few weeks as suggested by a gastroenterologist and a NHS dietician. The problem is, the school and more specifically, the TA, have been interfering to the point of making me feel depressed, angry and patronised. Today, I found a scrappy note in my DS's bag from the TA saying she thought DS wasn't getting enough protein due to my DS' diet. I'm annoyed at this as she must know that he cannot only eat what's on offer for a gf/cf child - we had a school meeting about this not long ago. The dietician thinks I'm doing a good job and I know I am. On the days there's nothing suitable for him I send him in with a packed lunch with all the food groups, macronutrients etc... today he had baked beans and he has meat as long as it's not breaded etc. He gets plenty of protein when he's at home - basically, I'm trying my best and doing what's best for him.

What annoys me is that she's patronising and questioning my parenting skills and the advice from the professionals. I'm incredibly cheesed off and thinking of writing a letter of complaint. I should mention DS goes to a mainstream school and that he has learning difficulties with most of the ASD traits. I don't know how to word the complaint without justifying and sounding angry (although I am). What would other parents do in this situation? I can't simply forget about this as there have been other issues (toenails need cutting, hair is too long; never been to his shoulders even).

Is her interference acceptable/the norm?

5318008 Mon 13-May-13 19:24:41

Copy the note.

Attach the copy to a letter to HT, say something like Please can staff be made aware that dietary changes are to be made at the specialist's clinic thank you.

lljkk Mon 13-May-13 19:30:33

that is bizarre; I work lunch times and we don't have time to police contents like that.
Do other parents get notes like that or is it just you? Coz to be honest it sounds like I might enjoy hearing their side of this story.

ihearsounds Mon 13-May-13 19:35:57

Her interference is not acceptable.

Have you actually spoke to this woman about her over stepping her boundaries?

Have you talked to the class teacher to express how the ta is. That she thinks your ds, despite been seen by medically trained professionals is not getting enough protein, and even more so because she sees one meal a day. That she has expressed an unwanted opinion about the childs hair and any other issues.

Expain one last time to the ta and teacher that any more meddling from the ta, that is clearly over stepping her boundaries and you will be writing to the head.

DiamondDoris Mon 13-May-13 19:36:43

DS has been on this diet now for several weeks and the TA knows - first it was nitpicking about calcium and now the protein. With the 3 week rotation school menu I've written what he can eat and indicated the days he has a packed lunch. It's plain for all staff involved with him to see what he is eating. There have been two meetings about this. Their attitude is questioning what he eats and even whether he should be on this diet! The dietician has said that he doesn't need supplements as he is getting a balanced diet. I'm seething. But a copy of her note to the head might be a good idea, coupled with the note I'll be passing on to her - just don't know how to go about it without it sounding pissed off.

ihearsounds Mon 13-May-13 19:45:33

Dear TA,
As explained more than once, my ds is under a dietician and gastroenterologist. Unless you have any medical training in this area please refrain from making any more comments with regards to his diet. He eats more than once a day. The medically trained people, whose job it is to keep a careful check on his diet, are more than happy with his diet.
There is of course a reason why he is on this diet at the moment, and to be honest I don't need unwarranted intereference from you.
I feel I should also point out that I have made the head aware of the latest, in the long line of unwarranted comments from yourself.

DiamondDoris Mon 13-May-13 19:45:42

I mentioned at the last meeting with the TA present that I didn't need them to worry as I had it all under control and knew what I was doing. I also expressed clearly that I wanted less nitpicking. The TA looked embarrassed at the time and I thought she would stop this interference but lo and behold she's started again - she is fond of my DS but I feel that she wants to be his mother (it feels like that to me). Sorry if I keep repeating myself, I suppose I'm trying to justify my anger, but I'm now getting paranoid as though I'm doing something wrong - I'm sure it is just paranoia but this is mental torture to some degree - I've had this aggravation since DS started school because he is different due to his special needs and I don't think they know how to support him as they are a high achieving school and don't encounter children like this much. Thanks for the supportive replies and advice.

5318008 Mon 13-May-13 19:49:34

Do go straight to HT, bypass the TA

cansu Mon 13-May-13 20:10:35

Write a letter attacwould've note and I would probably say thank you for your concern but that you are following medical advice. I would start with the fake polite note and if this doesn't work I would be less tactful next time. Tbh the TA where I work wouldnt dream of writing such a note. She is way over the boundary. Even as a class teacher I would not dream of interfering in this way.

mrz Mon 13-May-13 20:25:44

I agree speak to the head the TA isn't a medical professional. I had a similar experience when my son was put on an exclusion diet by his paediatrician and the dinner nanny thought she knew better.

EllenJanesthickerknickers Mon 13-May-13 20:35:28

I can't believe the cheek of her! I'm a TA, my DS2 has ASD and was on a GFCF diet for nearly a year. The school were never anything but supportive. FGS, we were also under an NHS dietician, not just some unqualified nutritionist.

Is this person a 1:1 TA for your DS? It sounds as though she is getting very unprofessionally over involved. Sure, she can have her own private ignorant opinion but to express it to you or your DS! shock

Go above her head, to the SENCo and HT, make sure it's in writing. Come over to the SN boards, lots of advice and support there. smile

lougle Mon 13-May-13 20:37:10

I also agree. This situation needs to be managed very quickly and assertively. Your DS needs all of his needs to be met, and if she's focusing so much on his diet, nails, etc., she may well not be helping your DS learn to his full potential.

DiamondDoris Mon 13-May-13 20:44:05

Unfortunately he has a lot of one to one with her. I think she means well but I think she's clueless about what her role should be. Your responses have helped me formulate a calm/balanced note which will be written tomorrow and copied to HT and SENCo as well.

LynetteScavo Mon 13-May-13 20:44:36

<<aplaudes *ihearsounds8>> (are you available to hire to write other such letters for parents? - I think you could make a reasonable living from charging for writing such letters. grin)

But I would go strait to the head....this is so not on it's ridiculous.

Panzee Mon 13-May-13 20:46:58

Go to the head. Unfortunately some people decide they know best. There's a TA at my school who would do this, and it's a nightmare trying to rein her in.

simpson Mon 13-May-13 21:23:39

I would be spitting nails tbh..

DD is dairy, soya, oats and barley free and has school dinners and nobody has said anything (how it should be).

However as she has school dinners every day (FSM) the catering company cook her a special lunch if there is nothing suitable. Is this possible for him?

The meals are also checked by a nutritionist too (by law) so that should shut the TA up!!

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