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Oh dear, just went to new reception parents evening....

(32 Posts)
Agnesdipesto Wed 15-Jun-11 21:11:19

Was presented with a form for DS (ASD functioning level of a 2 year old) to complete telling them what he likes and dislikes and what he thinks he is good at...shown a learning journal we can share for all his highlights and proud moments hmm. Headteacher (with whom we have had long indepth discussion and shared DS medical reports) asking whether DS was excited about starting school, to which I replied I haven't told him as he (a) would not understand and (b) wouldn't be able to reply sad...class teacher with list of names alongside DS's is written in brackets (autism) for any nosy parent to see (we weren't going to hide it but hey) shock, and overheard posh Mum saying to class teacher, "I'm sorry I just do not understand why my daughter has been put in this class" (ie and not in the other class with her friends) - luckily I resisted the urge to thump her and say 'is that all you have to worry about' envy. AArghhh, after the bubble of ABA I am going to have to toughen up for the real world aren't I?

Thank goodness he has his own ABA entourage going with him, they really are not ready for whats heading in their direction.

The only upside is that 7-8 children are moving from his nursery so will know him already and I know 4 other parents from siblings.

I need a beer smiley, cracking open a cold one now.

brandy77 Wed 15-Jun-11 21:18:35

Stupid teacher/head teacher, and as for the snooty woman! you did well holding back smile It is sooooooo hard when they start school and you have to hand over the care to people who really havent got a clue. Glad hes got his little nursery friends going with him smile

BialystockandBloom Wed 15-Jun-11 23:22:30

Oh fgs. I would have found it very, very hard not to tell the lot of them to go f**k themselves - especially my-daughter-is-too-good-for-this mum.

But I am in that kind of mood today grin

Don't worry, by Easter term, the teachers of both classes will be begging your ABA tutors to tell them the secret of how to manage the over-indulged little brats darlings.

These moments are the worst though aren't they - those slap-you-in-the-face reminders of the fact that, despite the amazing progress they have made and the fantastic effort they themselves make, our children are always going to be that different sad

As I think I've told you, my ds is also starting reception this September. We don't even know where he's going yet, and have yet to settle on adequate statement. I am incredibly stressed about it, but the thing I'm most truly thankful for (like you) is that all of the possible schools will accept ABA tutors to shadow him (whether LA-funded or not). That, at this stage, is the most important thing - as you know. Chin up and enjoy that beer smile

StarChartEsq Wed 15-Jun-11 23:30:52

My ds starting reception too, after a year of no progress and into a school who have made it extremely clear that they do not want him nor his funding implications.

Overjoyed is me!

StarChartEsq Wed 15-Jun-11 23:33:00

Of course, funding implications would be immediately solved if they either supported my fight for LA-funded ABA or the very least allowed an ABA 1:1 at our expense.

Their response: Well all parents would want to do that then and we wouldn't fit all the adults into the classroom. Fuckwits!

Triggles Thu 16-Jun-11 06:52:20

DS2 is towards the end of his reception year now, but I can remember how stressed I was when he started. We told the teachers (job sharing) that he was a "runner" and had lots of issues that we couldn't pin down (just could not get the GPs to listen at the time). I was told by the teachers "oh he'll be fine, don't worry." hmm

Within 3 days of him starting school, he managed to get out of the playground and into the carpark. That plus him constantly running out of the classroom and a few other things (meltdowns, etc) made them do a complete about-face and put a 1:1 (fulltime) in the classroom with him at their own expense, which they've continued until we get his final statement (which we should be getting any day now as the prelim one has been agreed on).

The school has been wonderfully supportive after a few initial little hiccups. I think until they have the child in the classroom and actually SEE the situation, they tend to look at it as "overprotective parent" or "paranoid parent". Those annoying parents that witter on about "oh I don't understand why my child was put in this class" only make things more difficult for those with actual problems, IMO.

Well done you for not smacking the whingeing mum, the temptation to say something is overwhelming sometimes, isn't it? grin

signandsmile Thu 16-Jun-11 07:28:07

am sending you my empathy, (had very similar situation when ds started pre-school.) he is off to 'big school' in Sept. (a different one to the pre-school hmm!)

They have been brill and really get him... (and his statement has good 1-1 provision) but at the reception meeting all the things they were saying parents needed to work on to get the kids ready to be able to do independantly. Dressing, toiletting, eating lunch, all without help, made me feel sad about what help he will need.

I know it was a 'general' meeting, but it still rubbed it in...

BabeRuthless Thu 16-Jun-11 08:08:08

Signandsmile - I've got ds' going up to reception meeting next thursday & a few things are going to hit home there too. Pretty much all the things you said like dressing, toileting etc. We've got a bit if work to do this summer but I think the differences are really going to show from september onwards. Academically I think he's going to shine but I really worry about how he'll cope with a full day.

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 08:28:12

I feel for you Agnes. I think school is were it gets really rocky! Most heads are completely focused on SATs and follow LA policies about everything to the last dot. So you have done really well to get so much flagged up before he starts.

I frequently feel completed isolated from other mums even though many are what I would class as friends. They just do not live the same life, have the same battles etc so when you hear the whinging about what reading book little Johnny is on or whether he is on the 'right table', you have to sit on many an urge to slap faces.

There is also alot of misunderstanding about autism and parents can see it as a disruption to the precious little one's schooling - 'on no little poppy has an autistic boy in the class, that's why the teacher has no time for reading with the children'. This was actually said to me about DS2's class by someone who didn't know about DS1

BUT you get used to it. And in the right environemnet it's a wonderful opportunity to educate and watch children include your own child irrespective of difference.

I tell you it's adults not children that have the problem

utah Thu 16-Jun-11 09:46:54

In fairness I was a mum who had a NT child for 8 years before my SN son was born and another 2 years before he regressed in autism so I have lived on both sides. I was never a school gate mum but I did have concerns about his friendship, his abilities, his teachers etc. I now have different worries which are more severe and I suppose make some of my previous concerns seem insignificant but in the same breath my worries about DS2 would seem insignificant to some parents of SN children who have serious health issues. I understand ignorance from parents but not from teachers.

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 09:59:37

Well put utah

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 16-Jun-11 13:34:16

When my DS2 started primary school it was something of a relief not to get drawn in to all the petty worries I had with DS1. The Reception teacher was one of those who came out of school each day with some minor problem or other a child had had, eg not sitting still on the carpet, playing with the taps in the toilets etc. I loved it with DS2! blush If she came my way and told me about his behaviour that day, I could just say, 'Yes he does do that, doesn't he? Good luck with it!' (and laugh quietly)

He had appropriate 1:1 support, (very important for him) so what could I do about it? Obviously I did lots at home but it was still a great relief to realise I couldn't care less if he couldn't sit still on the carpet, etc. Lots of NT boys (and girls) couldn't either, and their parents worried loads. That was a classroom management problem, not a parenting problem. He wasn't being teased, he was happy, he was learning, he was obviously different to the others but the children were really good with him.

I think the fact he was my second helped me tremendously. I'd done a lot of pfb crap with my pfb (like the mother above and the 'wrong' class issue) and realised that there's no point worrying about the little things. The problems are sometimes with the other parents who still do worry about the little things, but that's another story. (Like being in my DS's set for Maths etc.)

Not to say that some of the 'little things' aren't important. Being accepted and included is important, so getting party invites (occassionally) is important, going to after school clubs was nice, even if it didn't happen for a few years. And there have been problems along the way, of course. I try to fight one at a time and not look too far into the future.

DS2 is about to go up the secondary now, which brings a whole new set of worries, but nothing is so scary as letting them go to Reception.

Good luck to all your lovely DC starting in Sept. Don't let the bastards grind you down!

StarChartEsq Thu 16-Jun-11 13:39:53

My poor dd. Has been in preschool for a year (Started a week after her 2nd birthday) and I have missed all the parents evenings and never seen her learning journal and have just no idea what she does there or even who her key worker is sad

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 13:57:40

DS2 who is 5 takes himself off into class in the morning, across the playground and into class on how own as I try and 'settle' his 8 year old brother.

All the rest of the parents are busy accompanying their 5 year olds in to class and fussing and cooing. My little DS2 gets on with it with a smile on his face and runs out of school with a smile and hug each day

In DS1's class, parents drop off outside school or some kids walk to school themselves and I stand there handing DS1 his school stuff and taking him through his routine.

Polar opposites - at least I know it's not me!

Sorry, EJ, your post just got me thinking about the differences between the children.

DS1 was kicking and screaming on the floor outside school the other day at home time. DS2 gathered up his stuff, came and sat by us, absent-mindedly patting DS1 as DS2 continued to chat about his day. People were staring but to DS2 it was the most normal thing in the world. Now that's inclusion!

EllenJaneisnotmyname Thu 16-Jun-11 14:07:58

You know, I was thinking specifically about you with the 'appropriate 1:1' bit.

Yesterday, bad mother that I am, I forgot about Mufti day. (So many appointments, transition visits etc going on.) Got to the playground, only my DS2 and DS3 in school uniform. DS2 (11) breaks down crying, screaming to go home and change. DS3 (8) shrugs and gets on with it. Nice Y6 teacher looks in PE cupboard and finds a donated 'Next' rugby shirt for DS2, who just about calms down and has a pretty unsettled, miserable day.

Agnesdipesto Thu 16-Jun-11 14:30:34

Thanks for the replies everyone. Its such a relief that other people 'get it'. I have spent the afternoon in tears because 1. it did rub it all in and that still hurts like hell. 2. sitting in a room full of other parents i felt totally isolated 3. even though we had tried to get the school on board i realise they have actually not taken any of it in, i almost foolishly thought they would support me through the milestone (I hate loathe and detest milestones for DS3 they thoroughly depress me) now I realise that once again I have to roll up my sleeves and either support, nag or battle with the professionals to get them through the process. I know I will find the energy, but sometimes wonder why it always has to be this way.

Of course the reality of DS will hit home as you say within minutes. Right about when the teacher says hello to him and he say 'bye bye, bye bye' and pushes her out of the room and closes the door in her face grin

StarChartEsq Thu 16-Jun-11 14:35:19

Just dont read the main board Reception support threads. It isn't their fault but I want to shake a good few of them.

Just found out the school ds is supposed to be starting in September is STILL trying to convince the LA that he shouldn't go there.

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 14:40:32

Oh Agnes, I'm sorry it has been so upsetting. School staff so often just don't understand but it is often because of lack of awareness and there is no way of prejudging their response until you start. These things can be so variable. If you get one good teacher or even TA, it can make a massive difference. Would be worth investigating their awareness levels or seeing if some training can be done on a whole school level before DS starts. Or even identifying a key person for you to liaise with - teacher/TA just to offer a regular, well-known, reliable contact point. It makes all the difference.

The isolation stuff does get better. You will find there are other children with difficulties of one sort or another and everyone worries about something. I think you just end up never, ever expecting to have the same experience as anyone else.

I will go and pick DS up in a minute and I don't know what he's going to be like. The best I can hope for is tired and grumpy. But he is NEVER smiley, he's often screaming at somepoint or lying on the floor and he is always desperate to let out his stress. And then we will have meltdowns about anting crisps or not wanting tea, or brother getting on his nerves and not wanting to do something or obsessing about lego. Drop off, pick up every day. You just get used to the stress and that's without meetings and statements and appeals and ignorance but it is not the way most others live

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 14:41:22

Star, that is dreadful. What is their problem? Where is your Inclusion Officer? Get them to knock school into shape.

StarChartEsq Thu 16-Jun-11 14:47:15

Agnes, I think too that it is hard without experience to know how stressful it can be to WIN a tribunal. The state of stress you must have to live in constantly looking over your shoulder, with certainty that the school have been 'told about you' and despite the win the disbelief that you did it honestly or at the very least sanely, and the confusion as to why your ds has this 'strange' provision when they've never had to do it with any other children and after all they are proud of their SN childcare education.

appropriatelytrained Thu 16-Jun-11 14:49:32

Very good point Star.

auntevil Thu 16-Jun-11 14:56:26

Please Agnes, keep an open mind about some of the new parents. DS3 is due to start in Sept - and although he has medical needs, he doesn't have any SEN needs. His eldest brother does, so we've been through the reception panic, and i know how worrying it is. There are tons of pfb parents out there - and some don't lighten up .... ever. But then there are some non first timers, or those who have had more challenging experiences with the education system grin grin that will accept DS3 as DS3 and Agnes as Agnes.
As far as the teaching staff go, well, that's another battle matter wink

Agnesdipesto Thu 16-Jun-11 14:58:53

A.T. we came to the same conclusion today - training must be done before DS arrives - there is going to be a new class teacher and new senco and neither will be in post until Sept, but someone needs to be aware of the situation and provide some consistency and transfer information. Its just we have gone out of our way to set up opportunities / asked them visit him at nursery etc etc and they haven't found time to do any of it and now unless we take charge its going to descend into a completely unnecessary disaster with him no doubt being scolded by dinner ladies etc who don't realise.

They have had high needs children before but they looked obviously disabled with DS its going to be more of an issue.

I did have a good chat with the TAs (they do a job share) they both remember DS3 coming in to class when DS 2 was in reception so have a bit more of a clue. I dropped lots of hints like 'well we've just about got him out of nappies' at 4.5.

Star that is really terrible.

StarChartEsq Thu 16-Jun-11 15:08:59

Yeah, I see your reception parents evening and think 'lucky cow you got a reception parents evening'. DS' new school have made absolutely no contact with us and have refused to respond to his current Nursery's Head Teachers invitations, let alone act upon them.

Sorry, don't want to hijack your thread with my own issues. The good news for ds is that he will quite possibly get away with minimum transition and the new school has quite a lot going on at weekends so the grounds are open giving us the opportunity to familiarise him with it.

I don't think I'll need to worry about ds being happy there. He's already desperate to attend. He won't learn anything mind but he'll like it all the same. Your situation is different. Your ds needs a proper transition, staff prepped and you have already got the potential available to enable him to learn, - but only if they know how to use it.

That must be very stressful when they seem to be on another planet, not helped by their not understanding the difference between 'can you learn about my ds' needs?' and 'can you pamper to my ds' every need?'

Agnesdipesto Thu 16-Jun-11 15:55:38

Hijack away.
its actually good to remember things could be worse!
I know DS will integrate fine, he likes routine and the ABA people will have it all in hand. I am sure he will love phonics, smartboards etc etc
I just want school to KNOW what they have agreed to so it doesn't fall apart later eg I don't want to terrify them but really we need to have a chat about DS behaviour plan and the fact ABA might be using techniques they might find a bit unusual; or to explain who will be responsible for which part of DS learning ie the class teacher is only going to be involved in 1/7th of his learning time (and then she will have 29 other children to teach). I just wanted it all to be organised and agreed and straightforward and am now kicking myself for thinking school would have either the time or inclination to be proactive not reactive.

I can't believe your school are being like this, what are they thinking? That you will slink quietly away. Surely they know your reputation????

Dare you to start a SN parents coffee group in your first week and become a governor as soon as you can grin

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