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Autistic child in mainstream, bit child possible exclusion

(28 Posts)
jealiebaby Mon 26-Jan-09 10:14:53

I have a 4 year old ASD DS who has just started mainsteam reception 3 weeks ago. In the last week he has bitten 2 children. He has full time 1-1 support but I know that at least one of the occasions took place when she was on her break.
One of the childs parents has complained about the biting and has been up to the school more than once to talk about it. The Head is now talking about possible exclusion if it happens again.
I really don't want to have to move him to another school because he is really enjoying it and even starting to make freinds (sort of!!). He is amazingly intellegent and is reading above key stage 2 and doing Maths from the year above him, so I am really concerned about what will happen to him if he cant stay there.
Does anyone know what my rights are, what the rights of the parent who is complaing is, or what might happen if he is excluded?
Thanks x

MaryBS Mon 26-Jan-09 11:05:10

My sympathies. He is so young... does he understand?

This may help:

Plus you could try calling the helpline to ask them for advice.

I agree, moving school isn't a good idea, especially if he is enjoying it.

Littlefish Mon 26-Jan-09 11:22:33

The school need to speak to Special Services (or whatever they're called) about temporarily amending his statement. Alternatively, the school needs to find a way to ensure that until he has settled in, he is supported throughout the school day. He's only just started at school for goodness sake - they're not even giving him time to settle in.

Speak to Parent Partnership - you can get their number via your LEA. They can support you in meetings with the school and with your own rights.

Also IPSEA can help I think.

I am feeling very angry on your behalf.

sphil Mon 26-Jan-09 11:25:50

My son is 6 and has full time support at m/s school. When his TA has a break, he is looked after by someone else - it's not acceptable that he's just left, especially in a social situation which might be hard and overwhelming for him.

Tiggiwinkle Mon 26-Jan-09 11:28:10

Definitely get some advice from Parent partnership. The school are at fault here, not your DS. How dare they talk about excluding him!

MarmadukeScarlet Mon 26-Jan-09 11:34:33

Sorry but the other parent is being precious and, quite possibly, a nimby ( with regards to your DS' SN. I'm struggling to think of the correct term, maybe 'anti-inclusive' ?

My DS who has SN has been bitten by another child, in the face, at the schools' nursery. I was told by the teacher that it had happened, I replied 'these things happen'. Unless your DS drew blood, which I very much doubt, the trauma suffered by all parties would have been fairly short lived.

I agree with other posters that your DS must be cared for by another member of staff whilst his LSA is on a break, that is what happens with my DS.

wannaBe Mon 26-Jan-09 12:00:39

If his statement says full-time one-one then it should be full time. I appreciate that his one-one is entitled to her break, but when this happens then there needs to be someone else who can be with your ds, especially if these breaks fall in times when your ds is going to be in situations where he could potentially harm another child.

I suspect the head is reacting in response to the other parent, who is probably making demands because her own child has been hurt. But the fact she is already talking about exclusion would lead me to think that perhaps the school is not very experienced in dealing with children who have severe sn.

I would arrange a meeting with the head, your ds' teacher and the senco to discuss the situation and how best to deal with it.

It goes without saying that biting is not a behavior which is acceptable, so I would use that as part of the basis for your discussion - that you realize that your son has exhibited these behaviors and that obviously this not happening again is crucial. Therefore, you feel that it is essential that the opportunity not arise for your child to be able to bite another child again. I would ask whether it is possible for the one-one to take her break during periods when your ds is unlikely to be in a situation where he will be harming other children, i.e. perhaps when he is doing reading, or writing, or something which will involve him being in an interactive situation with another adult, ie the teacher/TA. I would suggest that playtime, for instance is perhaps not the best time for the one-one to be taking her break as presumably excitement and adrenalyn is more likely to create a situation where other children might get hurt, and therefore closer supervision would be better then?

If your child has hurt another child during a period when he was not receiving one-one supervision, then the school are in breach of the terms of his statement, and I would use that as the basis for any appeal should they threaten exclusion again.

madwomanintheattic Mon 26-Jan-09 12:07:28

and whilst you are asking who covers the statutory 1-1 when the LSA is on her break, ask who will cover for the LSA if she is off sick. just as info for the future, natch.

be calm, be nice, and explain if necessary that full time means full time, and there is a reason why children are given full time 1-1.

personally i would go in easy, and just ask to meet up with the head to discuss ds's supervision as there are obviously teething problems (rofl - that wasn't intentional, i promise) with the supervisory details.

have they worked out what is triggering the biting response? are other children entering his personal space and he can't cope? have they got an area set apart as a chill-out zone to use as and when required?

madwomanintheattic Mon 26-Jan-09 12:08:51

probably most useful to treat the two issues together - if they can work out what is causing the reaction, then they can mitigate against it - important to be seen to be working with school, though...

wannaBe Mon 26-Jan-09 12:11:30

MS, it's possible though that the other parent is unaware that the op's ds has sn, all these children are new in the school after all and it's possible the parents don't know each other, and the information about his sn is confidential and should not be being shared by the staff, even if the other parent's child has been hurt.

and if he's bitten children on more than one occasion in the space of only three weeks, then the parent may feel that taking the hard-line approach from the outset is the only way she might get something done, iyswim?

I don't think it's fair to blame the other parent. Her child has been bitten by another child, a child who has also bitten other children. The fact the child who did the biting has sn does not make the other parent's upset any less valid.

It is the school who need to be dealing with this. Op's child has a right to an education, with the one-one support he has been promised, and the other children have the right to an education, without the fear of being bitten by any other child.

neolara Mon 26-Jan-09 12:21:10

Maybe you could try a social story about biting with your son. Your sons SALT will know how to do these. At the very least, the school should try to identify the triggers to the biting incidents so they can try to stop them happening again.

jealiebaby Mon 26-Jan-09 13:23:48

Thanks for all of your help. I am going to look into some of those needs. I made a social story for him about biting after the first instance which I think is working. He went to bite me yesterday and stopped himself and kissed my arm instead. I was so moved I had to fight back the tears.
I have spoken to the headteacher today and they are having a meeting to look at the possible triggers and about rearrranging the support that he is given to try and cover these times. I think the school are just adjusting to him as much as he is to them.
It has only become such a big issue because the other parent has pursued it so much.
She has been made aware that he is SN and I think that is why she has taken it further. I understand how she feels about her son being bitten and yes he has bitten another child, but that is none of her business. He bit her son in an individual instance and as a parent of both SN and non-SN children, as upset as I would be I would not do any more than talk to the teacher in the first instance. I dont beleive that the children are in fear of being bitten as he is a popular child and most of the class are very sympathetic to his needs which have been explained to them all. She has even taken it to the level of giving me dirty looks in the playground and will not even say hello. I am doing everything I can to work with the school to prevent it happening again. The last thing I want is for my son to be responsible for hurting other kids.

MaryBS Mon 26-Jan-09 13:33:04

That parent is awful, if that is the reason why she is pursuing it. It makes me angry that so much is said about people with ASD not empathising, and yet this WOMAN is not empathising with your son.

WELL DONE to your son for stopping himself and then kissing your arm instead. It brought a tear to my eye! Its absolutely fantastic that he did this because he took the story and applied it, showed that even at such a young age he is learning to deal with how he feels, and (perhaps) showing empathy.

You seem to be handling this really well too, sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing.

My DS has Asperger's and I do too, BTW.

jealiebaby Mon 26-Jan-09 13:55:40

I dont really want any bad feeling with the other parent but I have to defend my DS in the same way she is defending hers.

My DS is doing so well and really trying not to bite people. The last few weeks must have been so stressful for him. new staff, new kids, longer hours. I am so happy that there have only been 2 instances because as far as I am concerned that is him doing really well. Obviously it would be better if there were none but I am sure if he is given the chance he will get there.

WedgiesMum Mon 26-Jan-09 14:03:51

Have the school said 'permanent exclusion' or just a temporary one? As there is a world of difference. MY DS who has AS has just been permanently excluded (whole other story!) but this is after several temporary ones. Two isolated incidents of biting in a 4 y o are in no way enough to warrant a px - especially as he has a statement it is REALLY hard to px children with statements as school have to be VERY careful about disability discrimination (would they exclude an NT child at 4 for this??). In this case I would think that as one occasion was when he was unsupported they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Defninitely get on to Parent Partnership to go to meetings with you - they are fab IME and as well as IPSE try SOS:SEN as well.Do not take this lying down and do not let them try to bully you into doing something you don't want to do. They have to try to help him for a lot longer than this!

WedgiesMum Mon 26-Jan-09 14:05:55

Oh and you can't px until the school has proved it has exhausted all support available to them through the Local Authority - involving their behaviour support team, autism outreach, positive play opportunities etc. He's not been there long enough. Stand your ground!

jealiebaby Mon 26-Jan-09 14:11:03

No they just talking about Temporary at the moment. Poor you having to face a permanant one though. puts things in perspective a bit!!

WedgiesMum Mon 26-Jan-09 16:32:42

Temporary exclusions don't have any effect on an ASD child IMO. It is much more for the parents of the 'injured' child so that they feel the school is taking the incident seriously. Exclusion is not how they learn about appropriate social behaviour, and the learning time for useful methods is much longer than for other children. School need to put something into his IEP about it and his 1 to 1 support needs to work on it. Plus they need to have strategies in place to stop it happening.

Do not blame yourself - what happens at school is not your fault, you can only reinforce appropriate behaviour at school you can't make sure they exhibit it in all possible situations!

PlainOldPeachy Mon 26-Jan-09 16:46:26

'I don't think it's fair to blame the other parent. Her child has been bitten by another child, a child who has also bitten other children. The fact the child who did the biting has sn does not make the other parent's upset any less valid.

Wannabee is right (Hi jealie, welcom, I have 2 asd kids one of whom is potentially one of MN's more aggressive children sadly).

There's a thread back along when something similar happened to ds but I won't find it as it upsets me; it's in the name of Peachy or something like that I think.
Someone else may link and there are letters on there that I sent to the other mother.

You have to step back. Its my job to care for my son and ensure that he gets the inclusive education that I am assured he needs but equally I have to remember that any other Mum feels the same about her child and therefore will be angered by her child being hurt.

The trick is to work with them, but if you find a Mumreasonable enough you are doing well IME!

If the lad is left and able to bit then his education is being mismanaged, that simple. The behaviour needs analysing, support given, other solutions addressed. However, there is no point in blaming or punishing the child for his ASD which an exclusion will do.

I hand out letters apologising and asking the parent to comlain to the school so that we can all work together to address the situation: by protecting their child appropriately then they are also helping DS1 by default.

I also e-mail the L:EA with details of each event as without them on side you are powerless I think.

Absolutely a FT 1-1 should be just that and failure to provide it is letting your child and the others down.

And that's just it- people seem to polarise these things into them and us situations and try to get the SN kid thrown out, or tell the NT kid its just hard luck: the best results are achieved when all parties co-operate.

PlainOldPeachy Mon 26-Jan-09 16:47:15

Oh and on a more technical level- never ever accept the 'invitation' to remove your child from a school without having full written explanation.

finefatmama Sun 01-Mar-09 20:21:44

"Please understand ( I say this also for other readers) that a school can only exclude pursuant to the School Standards and Framework Act on disciplinary grounds, any other grounds are unlawful and can be challenged in court. You certainly cannot exclude for reasons relating to inability to meet a child's special educational needs. Any policy that recognises that, would be contravening in my view the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, that amends the 1995 Act. This important piece of legislation makes it such that a local authority have to act to assist those that may be under a disability even when that might mean treating them MORE favourably.

Why don't you ask for the school records, which you are entitled to under the Education Act ( If my memory serves me right its section 563 of the 1996 Act) Mention that you are enquiring to see the documentary evidence that proves what actions the school have undertaken to comply with section 317 of the Act ( the duty to use its best endeavours to support the needs of those with learning difficulties). Ask whether the school have sought information from the educational psychology service before excluding him, and what advice did the school receive.. ask for copies of all records that demonstrate the steps taken by the school to investigate his needs. Ask if they consulted any other professionals etc"

- found it on another website. hope it helps try199230

mrsturnip Sun 01-Mar-09 20:31:22

Are the school ABCing incidents? If they're not they need to be. The key is working out the trigger really.

Also agree with others. Full time 1:1 means break times too. My son is now in special school, but when he was in mainstream he had full time 1:1 and that included meal times and breaks.

I would keep your distance from the other parent. She sounds utterly vile and she doesn't sound the sort who will come round.

mrz Thu 02-Apr-09 20:00:44

Under the DDA the school would need more evidence and would be required to show action they have taken to support your son before exclusion would be possible.

Lara2 Fri 03-Apr-09 17:57:10

Sorry if someone has said this before, but the school CANNOT exclude a child if their behaviour was as a result of any Special Needs that child may have. It is considered an illegal exclusion if they do this. The school needs to be very careful what they do.
We had this battle with DS2 who has AS, his very first exclusion was 5 days!! If they do exclude for any reason, there is are very strict guidelines and procedures they have to follow.

ukjess Sat 09-Mar-13 23:06:49

The school most certainly CAN and SHOULD expel if other students are at risk of being bitten, beaten or harmed in any way.

The school can put in measures to try and prevent escalation and reduce risk but if there are re-occurances they have a have a duty of care to the other students and of course the staff as well.

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