AIBU to think teacher should have consulted about this?(183 Posts)
Don’t know the full story yet, will be speaking to school in the morning.
DS1 age 9 has just started year 5. He has ASD, always been well supported by the school. Last year discussed with the SENCO about some additional ‘social skills’ work for him as he really struggled last year with this aspect. He found the classroom too loud at times and this was managed by him wearing ear defenders at times or being allowed to work in the library.
He has come home today and told me all excitedly that he now sits at a table alone in the corner of the classroom and this is his permanent seat for the rest of the year. He loves it because he can concentrate better and doesn’t have to hear others chatting etc.
But I am concerned that this will only make it harder for him socially. It ‘others’ him and sets him apart from his classmates, who have up til now been mostly accepting of his quirks, just part of him. He will miss out on the class conversations of his friends (I know they aren’t there to chat but you know what I mean). He will also not be able to practice some of the coping skills the school we’re planning on helping him with this year, as he’ll be alone and not exposed to anything outside of his own personal bubble. His tolerance for others and ability to problem solve will not be able to be challenged and built upon. How is this helping him to grow and develop and be prepared for secondary school and beyond?
AIBU to think that such a major policy change for him should have been discussed with me BEFORE being put in place?
If he's happy, and it's going to help him cope, I can't see the issue. He isn't being segregated at break or lunch times, they're allowing him a quiet space for working, my eldest with ASD had similar at one point.
It's not something I would consult a parent on no, but if they wanted to discuss it with me I would be happy to have a meeting with them.
Yes, I think it should have been discussed with you and the SENCo before it was put into practice. One of mine has ASD and I would have expected to be involved in a decision like this, as I know him and his issues better than anyone else does.
He's happy, and in the classroom (rather than library) coping with background noise (rather than wearing ear defenders). Isn't this a step in the right direction?
As for secondary school - loads of children / teens want or need to be sat alone to allow for proper concentration. Often there actually isn't enough space to separate all those who ask!
This is a common set up in classrooms. It's usually called a work station and allows children who may struggle with noise and the busyness of a classroom to focus on their work. It sounds like it's working for your child and it may have decreased any anxiety he had when in the classroom. There will be times when he can socialise. You should ask the school if their any specific interventions being used to support your ds. We have had friendship groups for children in my school. When they play with a small group of handpicked children.
I agree that he’s happy with it and of it helps him and helps him do his best work then that’s definitely a good thing.
But I do have concerns about the social impact on him. I suppose I just want to make sure hat they will still be doing the social group stuff that they said they would do.
Wouldn’t bother me. My asd daughter has a work station outside her class.
Once you have found out what the plan is talk to the senco and teacher about when they expect your son to practice social skills and coping skills. Depending on your relationship with the school you may want to put things in writing after a discussion (not start confrontational though)
Is he working at the work station all the time? My son has one, but he is also free to work at the regular tables - and is encouraged to do so for group work. But if he is a bit overwhelmed or it's individual work he can go to his workstation to do it. Best of both really.
IME (primary teacher) a workstation like you are describing would be used during sessions such as maths and English when independent work is being carried out. In situations where children are working in pairs or groups, the child is not at the workstation alone (either they move or someone goes to them).
I do think the teacher should’ve discussed it with you first but if your ds is happy then I don’t think you need to go in to see the teacher.
Yabu to expect the teacher to have discussed this with you beforehand making the decision. But if you want to ask if they are still planning the things you were expecting and ask how the desk situation is working in a couple of weeks, then do. The teacher will probably be happy to talk to you about it if you ask.
That would be my preference, but it’s his permanent table according to him.
And that’s kind of my point, it may be a well thought out and reasoned plan, but I don’t know, because they haven’t told me. So now I have a whole load of questions and some concerns, all of which may be easily addressed when I go in and ask, but honestly I think it would have been better for them to have just told me properly in the first place, instead of leaving me to find out half the information from my son and making me jump through hoops to find out the answers!
He will still socialise in all the non-desk based activities (many), break, assembly etc.
If he is less stressed by general classroom table sharing he might have more leeway for socialising at other times?
But I appreciate you know him best.
Maybe ask for a review or report on how it is going after a few weeks ?
It might have been better for you if they'd done it that way, but it wouldn't be better for them if they had to jump through hoops to contact every parent that might have questions. There's no reason why it shouldn't be you that's proactive here, it's you that wants to know. They already know your child is ok with it.
Your teachers come up with a sensible solution. Your son has come home and told you he loves it. I don’t get what the problem is. It’s less isolating than working in the library on his own?
He is the only child in the class sat alone. All the other children in his class are in paired or group tables. So there would not have been ‘every other parent’ having questions.
Can he work on social skills outside of school as well? At a club or group perhaps?
Do have a chat with the teacher, but if he is happier, it’s the right call, isn’t it?
He doesn’t do any after school clubs, because I don't finish work til 5 and he has to go to a childminder. Only exception is his drumming lessons, which he’s passionate about. He’s not interested in any sports. There is a ‘local’ NAS run social club on a Thursday evening, but when I say ‘local’ I mean the next town over, and it’s too late for his younger brother (who would also have to be dragged along).
But other children still have their own issues that are also unique to them and equally as important to their parents. You have every right to expect a conversation about this as you're concerned and you have questions, I'm not disputing that. I just think it's right that you should approach them rather than the other way round.
They don't need to consult and I wouldn't expect them to.
He's got a workstation that suits him and he's happy and learning.
During other times he will be interacting with peers.
Also, once children have the ability to interact , sometimes they are quite happy to have their space. You'd be amazed how many children like your son come to secondary and find there's other kids like them, find their niche and make a small group of friends (and whilst they get on in a big classroom they're quite happy with their space)
You're not unreasonable to have a chat with the teacher though, ask for some updates etc.
The teacher’s first responsibility is to make sure the classroom environment allows your son to learn. The teacher has done that.
You may find that now he's less stressed in class all the time, that he finds socialising at breaks and lunchtimes easier and more enjoyable. School can be very relentless with asd.
So now I have a whole load of questions and some concerns, all of which may be easily addressed when I go in and ask, but honestly I think it would have been better for them to have just told me properly in the first place
YABVU on this point. No teacher has time to consult a parent every time they move a child.
Nothing wrong with highlighting your desire for him to learn to socialise, even if that means pushing him out of his comfort zone- I think you've been very thoughtful and perceptive about how to do that. Just don't go in with unrealistic expectations.
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