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Giving Away Seat in Form - Long Term Sickness ???

(13 Posts)
RockinHippy Sun 21-Jun-15 02:35:47

I would be grateful for professional opinions on this, as I feel it's pretty poor, but I'm also aware that I'm in the midst of dealing with my very ill DD,meshes in a lot of pain & my nerves here are frayed, so I'm open to us being over sensitive.

DD has missed a lot of school, all of last term & all of this one todate too, she was also ill with something else last term, that has triggered the current injury in that she returned to school too soon & she was very weak,,so was very vulnerable to injury. She also has a diagnosed medical condition that can affect her attendance, but she loves school & pushes herself in regardless most of the time. This year however has been grim, she's been in severe pain & in a wheelchair when she can cope, for over 2 months.

School have been good in that we haven't felt pressurised to get her into school, perhaps not so good in providing work for her, I asked a lot in the beginning as perfectionist DD was very anxious about falling behind what's she's capable of, but we didn't really get anything. Later when attendance was becoming a real issue, the HoY rang us, we got a little in a few subjects, but mostly lots of compliments & reassurance that as she does so well in school, she would soon catch up & not to worry & get better.

I was torn, as DD was so anxious it was affecting her health further, but also we've had such a bad run of it with our hospital & is in so much pain, strong pain drugs aren't helping enough, so she panicked she couldn't think straight, but we've got by, concentrating more on keeping her spirits up & distracting her from the pain the best we can, but she is devastated to be missing so much school & just missing out on life in general, she's so tough,but it's been a hellish few months to put it mildly.

This week she found out from classmates who message her, that a boy who DD says is in trouble a lot has now been put in her form class & they've given him her seat. This coincides with class gossip that she is faking being ill to get out of going to school, or that she's left & isn't coming back

This has broken her heart, she sobbed so much, for so long, that she vomited, it's set her back so much at what is already a difficult time for her - we were just getting to the stage where she was a little less embarrassed by being seen out in the wheelchair & she's back to hiding again

I emailed both form teacher & HoY as regards help to stem the gossip on Friday morning, but have had no reply as yet.

The more I think about it, I do wonder if they could have handle the situation with her seat in class better & wondered what others working in secondary schools (yr7) think ??


CinnabarRed Sun 21-Jun-15 03:09:33

I don't work in a secondary school, but equally didn't want to read and run.

I'm really sorry your DD is having such a hard time. It sounds incredibly tough.

Regarding her seat specifically, I'd be surprised if they gave it any thought, at least not in terms of DD. I would imagine their thought process went: Boy X needs to move forms; there is space in form Y; Boy X will move to form Y; here is a desk for Boy X. This is particularly true of the desk in question is physically close to the teacher so s/he can keep the boy in check.

(All the above is predicated on the assumption that DD's form isn't now full to the point she can't return to it when her health improves. Are school expecting her back this academic year?)

SofiaAmes Sun 21-Jun-15 05:20:43

I so feel for you and your dd. We have had a very similar experience. My ds has mitochondrial disease and misses tons of school. It was really difficult when he was in elementary school and we didn't have a diagnosis and everyone (teachers, parents and students) thought he/I was making it up. He was punished and chastised for missing school and I was constantly battling to have even the most basic medical instructions followed. When he got sick and ended up on crutches right before the end of school graduation camping trip that all the kids were going on, the school made no effort to help me figure out how to make it possible for him to go. I ended up having to pay someone to go along to help him. I am not sure whether it was possible to have made his elementary school experience better or different for him. I do think that battling the school to get them to change their behavior was a completely wasted energy. In the end I put ds in a small private school for middle school (6-8) which was much better.
The good news is that it does get better when they are older (and in ds' case have an official medical diagnosis). Ds is now 14 and just finished 9th grade at our local high school (in Los Angeles). He has an IEP (US version of a Statement) and the school and most of his teachers and the administration have been enormously supportive. Ds is very advance academically so needs super advanced courses, but because he misses so much school, he takes only a few of those advanced core courses each semester. He is in school full time so he feels normal, but several of his periods are filler periods which he mostly uses to catch up on the missed schoolwork. He will probably take 5 instead of the normal 4 years to finish high school, or perhaps he will skipp the not so important graduation requirements (like PE and spanish and Health) and take an exit exam and go to University early (not uncommon here in the US).
For my ds it has been really helpful to learn that he can have the same dreams as he's always had, but that he has to learn to live life differently in order to achieve those dreams. Although, it's so much harder for a child to do this than an adult, I think because they have so much else to figure out at this age about themselves....

Decorhate Sun 21-Jun-15 08:30:28

I can't comment on places in individual forms but suspect it was done as previous poster said.
Your dd won't have lost her place at the school I believe. She would have been on roll for census day last Autumn term. Therefore school will be getting funding for her for next year.

RockinHippy Sun 21-Jun-15 10:04:45

Thanks for the replies.

Thankfully there's no disbelief at how ill she is & no pressure from the school. They have mostly been fantastic with her health needs in general & she/we do love the school.

She does have a chronic condition diagnosis & this is a hip injury on top of that diagnosis, though the diagnosis of the hip injury is up in the air as we are very unhappy with our local hospital, but that is a thread in itself.

Basically after a lot of wasted time & disbelief in A&E, we are not trusting the treatment one doctor has proposed with the condition he says she she has. It has the potential to make things worse & at best isn't a cure, but a mask for symptoms. He has also contradicted the other doctors she has seen as far as her scans go & told us to buy her drugs that horrified our chemist, who couldn't sell them to us for her age - Our doctor has now arranged for transfer to a more specialised hospital/consultant, which even the hospital physiotherapist has now owned up that she's pleased about the transfer & that she isn't happy at how we've been treat or with this doctors take on things.

So unfortunately, because of this situation, at the moment, we have no clear idea if she will make it back to school before the end of term, but should have a better idea next week. That said, it does look very unlikely & we are expecting that DD will probably need surgery, but the school don't know that yet, as we don't know for sure until she sees the specialist next week.

I did think the same as you Cinnibar figured it was just DDs seat was there & empty & was close to the teacher, so in a practical way, it made sense from the teacher to do that & I did explain that to DD, but it upset DD a lot, she sees it as "I'm just forgotten about, like I was never there" . It does seem to be the catalyst that's triggered the gossip in school too.

BUT - DH came home last night telling me the opinion of a friend who works for a local disability charity & went through something similar when their daughter was a little bit younger, so still in primary school . She was very cross about this, thinks it's very poor practice of the school & suggested that we go up to see the charity for help speaking with the the school to have it put right - I was surprised at her reaction, hence why I'm asking here

cricketballs Sun 21-Jun-15 10:09:42

Secondary teacher here - forms change a lot, seating plans change all the time. Your DD has not been forgotten. The person who suggested getting the charityinvolved over seating plans is acting very OTT. The lack of work home is the real/only concern IMO

balletgirlmum Sun 21-Jun-15 10:12:45

I'm not a teacher it both my children (1 primary 1 secondary) tell me that seats change around periodically. No one Hasa seat that really belongs to them.

noblegiraffe Sun 21-Jun-15 10:19:42

This isn't really about seats, the teacher acted perfectly reasonably there. Your DD is feeling like her life is disappearing.

Contact the form tutor and explain that your DD is feeling lonely and forgotten. Perhaps the class could write some get well soon cards or make a video to cheer her up? It would also underline to the kids that she is genuinely ill and expected back.

maddy68 Sun 21-Jun-15 10:26:12

Teacher here. She hasn't lost her seat, a new person joined the form and he sat down where she usually sits.
Seating plans change constantly. Could she go on a part ti,e timetable so she will feel more included within the school. I have some who just do two hours a day
Mention it to the head of year

RockinHippy Sun 21-Jun-15 10:32:16

Thanks cricketballs that's exactly what I needed & did initially think myself, but was thrown a bit by our friends reaction.

I am concerned by the lack of work she has been given & I asked her form teacher so many times in the beginning, but nothing was forthcoming bar promises to pass onto her teachers, until after the HoY rang us. There's still been very little & nothing in most subjects, but she has been keeping a check on the school homework website, but that's about all she can do.

That said, she is in so much pain, plus is taking regular Codiene which though doing very little for the pain, is making her very groggy, so part of me is happy just to go along with this & grateful for the handful of teachers who have reassured her not to worry, as she does so well in class she will soon catch up on missed topics & is generally ahead anyway.

I am very concerned at how badly she has reacted to the news of the gossip & accusations that she's faking illness to get out of school - she has been bullied a lot in the past, a lot centred around her disability which was used to turn her friends against her, so in DDs very anxious mind it's all starting again & she will be ostracised & maybe hurt when she does goes.

I know this is an overreaction on DDs part, but with her history is unfortunately understandable, so I was hoping her form teacher could help there - I copied in the HoY, by way of an update too, because he has contacted us, but also because the FT doesn't always respond to,,or act on emails.

RockinHippy Sun 21-Jun-15 10:36:14

Thank you for the rest of the replies that I cross posted with xx

MythicalKings Sun 21-Jun-15 10:53:51

I'm sure the school will assure your daughter that there will always be a seat for her.

If she isn't using the seat currently it's perfectly reasonable for another child to sit there, your friend who works for the charity is being a bit OTT, I think.

RockinHippy Sun 21-Jun-15 13:12:27

Thank you

I'm really hoping they can do something to stem the gossip that she's faking being ill, that has hurt her so badly & she is panicking every time she thinks about school sad - fingers crossed I get a reply next week

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