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please tell me about aspergers

(11 Posts)
cheeryface Thu 09-Dec-10 13:21:31

ds2 11 is having terrible trouble at high school. been there since september.
it started with him falling out with a boy and namecalling. being spat at and things
since then he has become friendless , unhappy , stopped doing his work altogether and now seems emotionally stressed. hes been saying things like , he hates his life and he wants to die etc.
he was punched in the face last week at school and they havent dealt with it.

after a meeting today with the most aggressive horrible teacher i have ever met, he refused to accept that ds2 had been bullied and said he was having ds2 assessed because it wasnt the other kids it was him.
he said it may be something like aspergers.

now, i am shocked. in my mind i know why ds2 is acting strangely, its the terrible unhappiness thats been caused by school. of course i could be wrong but surely it would have been picked up on by now ?
how would i know if he has aspergers ?

i am looking for another school now, as the way i have been treated this morning was horrendous. i dont want it to be this school that are assesing him as they are not getting a true pic of him now, its gone too far.

i so wished id had had someone else with me at that meeting or been able to record it . the young teacher who was also there knew it was bad , i saw her look, but of course they have to stick together dont they.

please someone advise, im in tears

Al1son Thu 09-Dec-10 13:40:44

What a horrendous experience! That teacher is very unprofessional and totally out of order. It is not a teacher role to diagnose developmental disorders. If he has concerne he should be suggesting a referral to CAMHS.

Children with Asperger's syndrome are more likely to be bullied because they miss subtle social cues that other children pick up on but it is still bullying.

My DD1 has AS and has been bullied in school. She says she always felt as if there were another conversation going on amongst her friends that she couldn't hear so she didn't understand why people were behaving in particular ways. This left her open to ridicule and being ganged up on.

Looking at a particular syndrome is probably jumping the gun a lot at this stage. If you really want to know more about it Tony Attwood is a world expert on AS and if you Google him you'll probably find things he's written and interviews you can listen to which give a good picture of how a child with AS would behave. He's also written a few good books about it so a trip to the library may be a good move. This one has been very helpful to me.

I'd probably ask for a GP referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent mental Health Service) anyway because your son sounds very unhappy and they may be able to help you get to the bottom of why that is and help him. I would also write to the head asking what strategies they are implementing to tackle this bullying.

Al1son Thu 09-Dec-10 13:42:20

Forgot to say my DD1 was diagnosed last year aged 13. We had no idea it was a possibility until she had problems in high school aged 12.

Ineedtinsel Thu 09-Dec-10 13:44:06

How awful for you and your poor Ds, The teacher was very wrong to say that it's not the other kids!! of course it is the other kids. Your son did not hit someone in the face did he ? It was the person who hit him who needs sorting out.

A teacher should never assume that they can diagnose something like aspergers. If he/she has had loads of training then maybe they would know enough to discuss the features of aspergers with you. Most teachers get very little training in special needs.

Is there someone more senior that you can talk to at the school eg. Head of House or Deputy Head or even the Head if he/she can find their way out of their office.

You and your son do not have to feel like this but it may be that a change of school will be the answer in the end. You could keep him off until January while you decide what is the best thing to do. If you are worried about attendance levels go to your Gp and tell him how distressed your son is.

Good luck whatever you decide. smile.

TheArsenicCupCake Thu 09-Dec-10 13:44:56

Firstly your poor son!

I would deffinatly be looking at moving schools if this is the attitude that your coming across.. Your son has a right to and education in a safe environment, that meets his needs. ( whatever those needs are).

A teacher cannot diagnose aspergers.. They are not trained or able to do so.. So I'm cross that this has been mentioned to you by the teacher tbh.

Aspergers can be missed and not picked up on until adulthood or ever in fact.. A good description is on the NAS site.. So have a google.
If you have any query about your son you need to go to your GP and ask for a referal to a developmental pead.

However if you haven't noticed anything quirky, if your son was social and had friends and can communicate well..( before his ordeal at the school) And aspergers
doesn't seem to fit him.. Then it could be down to bullying ..

With regard to how your son is feeling ( wNting to be dead).. I would get an immediate referal to CAMHS
( child adolestant mental health service).
They will be able to get to the bottom of it and offer help.

cheeryface Thu 09-Dec-10 14:27:16

thankyou very much for the replys. i actually have an appointment this afternoon with a neurologist as ds suffers with absence attcks (petit mal , a minor epilepsy) would it be any good asking about aspergers there do you think ?

the teacher was very flippant about the aspergers and also said it was bad behaviour when he isnt working in class, that i was wrong in saying it was just a product of his unhappiness.
i said he had been spat at and i have seen for myself the stairways covered with spit, he harrunphed that that was a gross exaggeration . i told him my son was haunted by seeing someone beat up at school...he said no way had that happened,gross exaggeration.
he said i was aggressive when i said i needed to finish my sentences instead of being cut off evey time.
he said he couldnt comment on the punch in the face because it was another teacher my son had reported it to. i have phoned everyday, twice somedays trying to get that sorted out.

cheeryface Thu 09-Dec-10 14:28:18

Al1son , what were your daughters symptoms if you dont mind me asking ?

Al1son Thu 09-Dec-10 15:01:16

I'm happy to tell you but you need to bear in mind that no two children with AS have exactly the same symptoms so don't make any firm judgements from this.

She was always very quiet and well behaved at school but very unhappy to be there. She had very few friendships which didn't last very long and were never very deep. She didn't much like noisy environments or times when the routine changed like the end of term or sports day. She didn't express any of her feelings in the school environment so they did not believe she was being bullied when it was happening. She ended up in school with a broken arm for several hours because she didn't show them how much pain she was in.

When she started high school she began to refuse to go because she couldn't cope with the noisy, chaotic environment, shouty teachers, bad behaviour in class and the number of unfamiliar faces. She became very anxious and withdrawn and was referred to CAMHS who diagnosed the AS.

The more I hear about this teacher the more angry I feel. He sounds like a bully himself. Please please make careful notes of all of your concerns and conversations and consider making a formal complaint, possibly to the governors. Contact your local Parent Partnership service for advice and support in future meetings too.

Make sure your son knows that you believe hi and that you are on his side. That will make a big difference to how he feels and copes with all of this.

Good luck and feel free to send me a private message if you think it will help.

cheeryface Thu 09-Dec-10 20:21:51

Thankyou very much for that. the teacher was most certainly a bully! tomorrows meeting is with the head and i will be telling him that ds2 will no longer be attending his school. the post office with the transfer form will be thw next stop.

They told me that they were so concerned they had contacted the school nurse and his old primary. i went to the old primary (a fab school) and they had not heard anything from them , so that was a lie. I asked the advice of the head at the old primary and he couldnt believe what had been suggested, he said it sounded more like the teacher had the problem than my son!

intothewest Thu 09-Dec-10 22:22:17

An awful experience-your poor ds-So being punched in the face is HIS fault! Hope you find a better school-The teacher sounds like he is a bully-good luck with the meeting with the head-Is there someone you can take as support and a witness?

SantasMooningArse Thu 09-Dec-10 22:34:40


I too have a ds1 with AS (and one with autism) and agree that the teacher cannot diagnose.

I also happen to ahve a lot of powerpoints about ASD from my university course so if you MN message me your emailo addy I can happily pass them on.

AS is simply autism without a significant speech delay at three. And autism is something that is different in each child- there will be social, language, behavioural issues but these vary. My twoa re opposites in so many ways: ds1 has high language skills until you relaise how literal he is, very black and white, anti social, aggressive at times. DS3 has severe language dealys, is over friendly, no 'side' to him at all, trusting, huge issues with attention and stims......

So it is actually quite hard to tell somene about Asperger's. Except to say all people with teh disorder are unique and have a lot to offer but a few bariers on top of the average.

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