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DS with ASD attending Mainstream School but threatened with exclusion. Advice needed please ???

(16 Posts)
cjones2979 Mon 29-Jun-09 20:09:36

Hi, I am new to this site but was hoping that some of you may be able to help me. My DS is 5 & started at a local mainstream school last September (as advised by his Paediatrician).
Before applying to schools my DH & I contacted a few & had meetings to discuss his needs & behaviours etc to see which school would be right for him. We chose what appeared to be a lovely small school who said they were experienced with children with ASD and would do everything they could to make sure he got the best from his education.
At the time he wasn't statemented, so they advised that they felt it best that he attended school for an hour a day to start with, gradually increasing to a full day, so that he could get used to it. He had already been attending a pre-school for 2.5 hours a day, but we agreed as we thought it was best for him. However, it took the school 6 months before they took him full time, and they only did this once the statement had been agreed & the funding was in place.
It now appears that he has become too much for them. We have even discussed the possibility of trying to get him into a special needs school. His behaviour has become worse, I am constantly hearing from the school about "naughty" things he has done, they even called me to pick him up at lunchtime a couple of weeks ago because they couldn't cope and they are now saying that they may have to look into a formal exclusion because he is smacking his TA's.
He only ever lashes out at home if we have to restrain him (i.e - if he is in danger of hurting himself etc), so I am worried that he may be being restrained at school even though they say he isn't.
It has made me really angry that they are threatening to exclude him when I feel that they are missing something as his behaviour at home is not as bad as it is at school, so he is obviously anxious about something.
He cannot help the way he behaves & exclusion seems like a punishment for being "naughty". Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hathor Mon 29-Jun-09 20:39:20

How much support does his statement give him? Have you discussed what the school is doing, with the class teacher and the SEN-coordinator? Exclusion should be the very last resort I would think.
No direct experience of this, but it sounds like you need to know how to help him get the support he needs.
There is Parent Partnership - independent free advice through the LEA - perhaps they can advise you on what to expect.

cjones2979 Tue 30-Jun-09 08:29:12

His statement gives him 25 hours support and he is currently only attending for 26 hours a week.
We have had numerous meetings and conversations
with his teachers and the SEN worker but feel that they only seem to want to discuss the negatives. Its really getting us down.
Something is clearly wrong as he has even started wetting himself at school the last couple of weeks, sometimes up to 3 times a day, which never happens at home. School seem to think he is doing this deliberately but I feel that there is something at school that he is anxious about and that we need to try to find out what.
Thanks for the advice about parent partnership, I will look into this.

bubblagirl Tue 30-Jun-09 08:42:14

what iep do they have in place do they have quiet corner he can retreat to in sensory moment to calm down

it sounds like his not getting the right care for his needs to be honest

from what im reading it sounds like they are just looking at him as badly behaved and not taking his sn into account sensory issues etc maybe there expecting too much from him and this is causing him frustration they do not sound like they are putting his needs first at all

i have seen you can appeal the statement of discrimination of school them not taking his needs into account and exclusion etc i think there attitude stinks and if this is being put on ds no wonder his not coping

i would have a final meeting and really speak out say ok you have listed all the negatives thats great but what we really need to do now is give him the correct help to prevent these and you should take some responsibility as i feel your not treating him with correct care

are staff autism trained etc have they the correct knowledge to deal with this behaviour

do they do now and next with him to ease frustration give him time out when needed how do they start the day in settling him and preparing him are they following statement or working to own agenda?

bubblagirl Tue 30-Jun-09 08:43:17

time out as in relax not naughty corner

Hathor Tue 30-Jun-09 14:11:44

Also, the school should be getting help and advice from the educational psychologist and/or autism outreach (through the local education authority). Ask the school about this.

Hathor Tue 30-Jun-09 14:13:13

The school should talk through with you exactly how they are dealing with behaviour management in the class for him, and get some advice from you too, as you are the experts!

cjones2979 Wed 01-Jul-09 11:36:40

Thanks for all your advice !

Everything you have both said is being implemented within school, but they still focus very much on any negative points.

My DS has a "Home/School Book" which both us and his teachers/TA's write in. When he first started it was all quite positive telling us things he was achieving etc but now it just seems like its full of negatives - i.e - J was throwing a lot today. J screaming & head-butting. Smacked Mrs P. Lots of swearing - rather than telling us what activities he was encouraged to do etc.

We have had numerous meetings at the school and the SEN is always present, although she is based at the junior school (which is a separate building around the corner from the infants) & I'm not actually sure how much time she spends observing my ds.

The educational psychologist has been into school too along with an outreach worker & between them they have put strategies into place. He has his own table inside the classroom and also another outside the classroom. He has a relaxation box of all his favourite sensory toys etc, and also an area where they take him for quiet time. They started by using a visual timetable but have now just started the now & next thing but these things still don't seem to be helping.

The school only seem to want to involve us when they want to tell us about the things they can't cope with.

He throws a lot which has always been a big problem, although this has calmed down a lot at home and he really only tends to do this when he is outside as he likes to throw things over the fence, but he seems to do it a lot in the classroom which they are worried about in case he hurts someone.

I also have a 10 month old ds, and my eldest ds is fantastic with him, his safety has never been an issue.

cjones2979 Wed 01-Jul-09 22:48:42

Finally it seems like we might be getting somewhere!!

After spending practically all day on the phone today I have managed to get the school to sort out an emergency annual review meeting regarding my ds's statement which means we can finally start the ball rolling for getting him into a special needs school. I have also managed to organise for someone from partnership with parents to attend the meeting too and they have also informed me that the school CANNOT threaten to exclude him for behaviours relating to his condition or needs!

Any advice for how to handle this meeting would be appreciated. Thanks everyone.

aprilflowers Fri 03-Jul-09 23:00:32

The general special needs section will have people who can give you advice and have been through this
Good luck

cjones2979 Fri 03-Jul-09 23:15:02

Thanks aprilflowers

oliandjoesmum Mon 06-Jul-09 20:04:01

This is all very familiar to me!! My son, 8, with aspergers, also at a small school with apparent experience with sn, but they have been atrocious! He has a statement for full time 1-1, but it has never been properly introduced, and it is different people every day. It is a long long story (search on my nickname of you want all the gory details!!) but we are now moving him to a ms school with a resourced provision for asd kids. It has been a long struggle, and I am really sad about it, but I think it is for the best. The new school is so geared up for asd, all teachers trained, children educated about asd, parents understand about it. My son has had many exclusions, mostly for doing things related to his disability, and because they didn't put the bloody 1-1 in place that they have the money for. In reality it is very hard to dispute because the school word them carefully, and play the 'health and safety' card. He is also pretty OK at home, and absolutely adorable with his 2 younger (nt) brothers. I am sick of school and their negative attitude that my special little boy is just a naughty little s**t who quite frankly I think they can't wait to get rid of. Good luck, my advice would be get him out of there!!! Please shout if you want to chat, I know exactly what you are experiencing

cjones2979 Mon 06-Jul-09 21:03:56

Thanks oliandjoesmum, it's definitely reassuring to hear from someone else who is going through the same difficulties !!

I actually got a phone call from the headmistress on Thursday to tell me that my DS had smacked his TA (one of 4 I hasten to add, a bit like you, no firm 1:1 which he is supposed to have !!), and he had winded her so she had had to get a drink and calm down, so now they were having to exclude him for the rest of the day and Friday !!!

We have been smacked at home, and I'm not being funny, it can startle you when you're not expecting it, but I find it very hard to believe that he had managed to "wind" her.

I really feel now that because we have mentioned our concerns about how he is being handled at school, and the fact that we are considering going down the route of a special needs placement, they are now doing whatever they can to get rid of him.

I have probably made things worse because he really didn't want to go to school this morning, so I didn't send him, and tbh I am not sending him tomorrow either. He has been an absolute pleasure to have around the last few days as it seems to have done him good to have the break from school. Something at school is causing him anxieties and I don't want to increase his stress levels by sending him when the school don't seem to think they are the problem !!!

I have done *a lot* of research the last few days & I have found out that a school should never send a pupil home to "cool off", it should all be done by the book and recorded as a formal exclusion. My DS's school has sent him home twice where it hasn't been recorded. I am keeping hold of everything I have found in case I ever need to use it. I will post a couple of links at the bottom of this message in case you would like to have a look.

We are having an emergency statement review meeting on Thursday this week, so hopefully we can get to the bottom of this & get something sorted out.

Just out of interest, how long did it take you to get another placement for your DS ? I know it can be a long process & this terrifies me as I want him out of that school now !!

I'm sure I will call upon you again for chat if that's ok !!!

www.24dash.com/news/Education/2009-06-25-TreeHouse-concerned-over-exclusions-of-children-under-seven -with-SEN-in-new-Ofsted-report
esciencenews.com/articles/2009/07/02/children.with.autism.need.be.taught.smaller.groups.pilot.study. confirms
www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1215&a=11085

(Sorry this post is so long !!!)

oliandjoesmum Tue 07-Jul-09 21:34:30

Well, he was on school action plus from beginning of year 1, but I was continually told that he didnt need a statement, and that they didn't believe he had asd. Only when we moved him to another school, and then had to move him back again because he couldnt cope with the size of the new school (where his middle brother still is, v complicated!!) did people start to listen. I applied for statement in January, hoping that would mean he could stay in his current school, but with more support. Was told in April that had statement, but the lea believed his needs were so complex and severe he needed more specialist provision. This was very hard for me, I had never envisaged having to do that, and I was absolutely devastated. Got final statement with requested school last week. In time not that long, but it is so so stressful. And never take no for an answer. I was told I would never get funding for him to be part of a resourced provision, but be taught academic curriculum in mainstream classes with a full time 1-1. He is far to bright to stay in the provision all day, I was determined he would get what he needed, and he did. Get autism outreach (called CASADT in Chester) behind you, there voice helped me to get what my ds needed. Had first visit this morning, I felt really sad, but he seemed happy, and the school is so geared up for him. BTW, he had an exclusion 2 weeks ago because pushed TA whilst she was trying to help him put a swimming cap on (he hates to be touched or fussed), she said he 'winded' her!! V v similar situation.....

cjones2979 Tue 07-Jul-09 21:58:28

Wow, it sounds spookily similar !!

Autism Outreach are involved already & have been very supportive.

We have the meeting at school (mentioned above) on thursday. I am looking forward to it because I have found out so much info in the last few days that I want to throw at them, but at the same time, I'm screwing myself up about it.

I will definitely let you know how I get on (if you want to know that is ??!! lol).

Thats great that your DS seemed happy on the first visit this morning. It will always be hard for us mums, but as long as we get the best for them, thats what matters.x

TurtleAnn Thu 16-Jul-09 22:02:19

Where are the supporting professionals in this case?
DS has a statement and MUST be alloted professional advice from at the very least an Educational Psychologist and I would advise a Speech & Language Therapist too, plus many other professionals visiting the school.
You can pull the school up for either not giving the time allocated in the statement from the visiting professionals, not taking visiting professionals advice (you should have copies of what the Speech Therapist is advising, goals etc and the progress being made), or not making adequate referrals to professionals there to support the school in handling this case.

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