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Very quiet autistic son in school with louder autistic children.

(9 Posts)
bumface Thu 03-Mar-16 17:00:00

My son is in year 7 of a special school for high functioning children with autism and/or Speach and language problems. my son has ASD and is particularly sensitive to social contact. He was looking forward to going to this school and I was really pleased to get him in because it has such a good reputation but now he is there he finds it incredible difficult.
It seems that there are a lot of big characters at the school. Some are quite loud and outspoken. My son is very withdrawn and doesn't like being amongst everyone. He does however like all the teachers and a lot of the work.
I have spoken to the school who say he is very quiet and very well behaved and have tried various things to make life easier for him but nothing seems to help much. There is a parents evening coming up so I can talk to them again.
Do you think he might settle in in time? He gets distressed every time he thinks of going to school. He says they are all crazy and he hates them. He says it makes him sad and when the taxi arrives at school he wants to die.

I keep telling myself that lots of children find year 7 hard and that he needs to learn to deal with people but it's really hard seeing him so sad.

Quoteunquote Fri 04-Mar-16 10:40:32

Ask them to help put in place a plan to help your son feel comfortable, this needs to happen now, so ask if they will work with you, arrange a meeting immediately sod parents evening, and don't leave that meeting without arranging a follow up a week later to discuss progress, in which you arrange another meeting to discuss progress, continue until solution is found.

research the different type of noise calling ear plugs/buds, you want the type sound engineers DJ wear to protect their hearing, he will still be able to hear talking but all the other stuff gets blocked out they are expensive, and you do need to find the right fit, and the ones that suit is sound levels, even proper headphones with noise cancelling can help, and having a range will be useful.

lots of choice

Has he said what he would like to change?

AmeliaEarhartinBerlin Fri 04-Mar-16 11:06:39

I am really sorry that this is so difficult - can you do flexi schooling so that he can get all of the assignments and also do a bit of the routine? This could help in the short term until he is able to 'filter' his surroundings....

I don't know how many other parents have experienced this sort of 'noise' problem but one of mine is extremely sensitive to noise... it's like bright light . shocking, glaring, hard on the senses and disorientating. DC hated assemblies, sporting events, the school cafeteria - anywhere loud. Having said that - he's grown out of it ... and copes quite well now (late teens)..

Oddly - he also has perfect pitch and is slightly on the asperger's spectrum. I have always wondered about sound perception and neural wiring ... it can't be uniformly the same for everybody and I wish we knew more about it

If you can get flexi schooling - it might help with the immediate situation and you can then negotiate attendance on a year by year basis (if he is doing well academically, they will surely want to keep him .. !!!)

bumface Mon 07-Mar-16 10:18:13

Thank you both for replying. It's not so much the noise that he has difficulty with it's the people (particularly children). He finds being amongst people really really hard. He just wants to be at home. I removed him from his mainstream primary school and educated him at home for nearly two years but I think he really needs to be in a school of some sort because it is good for him. When we looked at the school he really liked the idea of it but the reality it harder than he expected. Flexischooling would be a really lovely thing if I could persuade the school to let us do it. Even one day off a week would probably help. I am told it is a hard thing to get though.
Mind you, this morning he didn't complain quite as much as usual. Which was really lovely.

mary21 Thu 10-Mar-16 17:01:51

My Ds1 is at a specialist school (not ASD) though a lot are on the spectrum as a secondary issue. There are a lot of big personalities there. Unfortunately I think that many pupils who make it to specialist schools have been badly let down and traumatized by their previous school experiences. Many have been badly bullied. They of course bring these experiences with them. Funding being what it is LEAs often need quite exteme problems to fund specialist education.
That doesn't help but many of the more difficult characters have calmed in the more appropriate environment. Not all though. Can the school find him some peer support from other year groups.
Hope that makes sense.

Meadowblend Fri 18-Mar-16 11:54:55

My DS has the same problem at an independent specialist school. My personal feeling is that lack of communication amongst staff and staff not engaging with parents is a major hurdle. Many of the children are very volatile, suffer anxiety, there are good days and bad. I think much more emphasis should be put on PSHE or SEAL (social and emotional aspects of learning) to better support the children to have empathy with each other and to feel "safe". I have had many issues with unsupervised unstructured free time as causing a major issue. I doubt staff are adequately trained or understand the complexities of the children, which is where working with parents should be of such vital importance. Alas my particular and now cynical view is parents tend to be treated more as interfering busy bodies , "if you're not happy Meadowblend, feel free to leave" attitude, "there are others queueing up to take your place". There is so little alternative and most of the time it's ticking off the days like a prison sentence. The poor child suffers.

mary21 Sun 20-Mar-16 15:34:51

I second problems with unsupervised unstructured free time.
One problem we have found is that although they run social skills groups and anger management sessions these have been in isolation with no help to generalize thee skills learn to other environments outside the small group. Difficult for kids on the spectrum.
All prior to entry lots of talk about their experience with ASD but after entry of course they are not a school for ASD!

Meadowblend Tue 22-Mar-16 10:25:12

Oh Mary! You are echoing me... Is your experience at a boys school in West Sussex by chance?!

jillmorony Wed 30-Mar-16 12:39:43

Hi I run a company which makes rooms which can be situated in the corner of a classroom. They are really great if someone is struggling with the noise and chaos of a busy classroom. It's called Safespaces and might be worth a look if things don't settle down for your son. It may well not be the right thing, but is something to keep in the back of your mind.

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