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Confused, worried about way first day went

(37 Posts)
coff33pot Tue 06-Sep-11 21:12:02

Well DS started yr 2 today after being home from school for weeks until they put a plan, timetable and sought advice from a SS teacher. He had 3 weeks total working great to a structured routine part time. Still slight hiccups but no major melts or exclusions. He is 1 to 1 and the majority of his work is done separate to his class with the occaisional inclusion in carpet time, registration, story time.

So methinks. New teach who he never met apart from a distance and favourite TA doing a disapearing act. DS on the way forgets me breaking the news to him re TA all summer (school chickened on this one) so I had to repeat on the way this morning whilst he was worrying walking out in bad weather (fear of wind thinks they are tornados)

We arrive amongst all the newbies to school and all the bussle. DS was unsure and noticed the library and ran in there and calmly said I wait here. I waited....no usual TA arrives. Eventually hall thinned out and it went quiet so I suggested we hunt down new TA to DS and his new class (which he was never shown) He agreed with me in tow. He was bussled in by the TA who said coat off, there is your peg, whats in your bag, thats good for swimming, say goodbye to mum........DS just stood there (he needs single commands) I gently tell him one by one what to do. DS goes in. I told TA that his Homebook she needs to take out for filling in as usual.

I collect after dinner. DS is ok but strained. New teach approaches and said had good day, didnt fill in home diary as didnt know if we were still doing that, see you tomorrow DS.

From DS I worked out he had spent all day in the classroom, did assembly and wrote three words, also spelled the word YUK grin

Why am I concerned? well I am mixed, suspicious and worried. But first I must say he got the biggest hug going as that is the first time ever he has stayed put anywhere. But the consequence I got for it was he exploded after ten minutes of being at home. Clearly he was worn out keeping it together.

School said funding was ending end of last term and they had rushed him back into class with disasterous consequences that took him back in his school day to infant times routine after exclusion also. He is having a SA done and the EP is due to see him again. And they were back to square one.

DS just follows like a lost sheep on anything new........then bang. I could leave things go but have an awful feeling its going to result in major volcano inside class and the last time all his peers had to be removed and he was restrained (wrong thing to do to him) he got excluded even though I told them they were wrong in putting him there.

Or they are trying to prove a point that they can manage with him that way. The TA is the one that fills book in not the teacher and always has been that way so its odd. They put him with other children at a desk which is dangerous unless fully monitored as he has problems with self esteem and failure. Also I am thinking that the last EP and Camhs saw him in a totally differerent senario 1 to 1 and at the time he wasnt even coping with that. The EP is due soon and if she sees this situation she could well decide in her report that he is improving enough to not allow statement. Plus the fact that if he meltsdown every day at home instead they are going to go with the first suspicion that its obviously home that is the problem and mess all the good work we have done so far.

How can you want your son to achieve in one sense and terrified that it is all going to backfire for him in help in another.

Sorry its a ramble I dont even know if this makes sense or I am being a stupid overprotective mum, but its been hell this last twelve months fighting for everything to have it all reversed.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 06-Sep-11 21:34:16

Hi coff33. It sounds like the new teacher and TA don't know much about your DS. I would maybe give it a couple of days then call for a meeting with the SENCo and class teacher and voice your concerns, pretty much as you have done above if things don't settle down. Explain that instructions must be given one part at a time and his understanding must be checked, that the home/school diary is an essential tool to ensure that you and school are being consistent in how you deal with DS. Explain that you have concerns that a major meltdown might be the end result of the current system and that it would be preferable to all to avoid that. Etc etc. As usual, put things in writing and confirm any agreed actions in writing afterwards.

And good luck. smile You never know, he might respond well to the new environment...

moosemama Tue 06-Sep-11 21:58:19

Hi Coff33

Sorry I don't have much useful advice tonight. I'm exhausted from endless meltdowns and tears since ds1 came home from his first day today, drop off was a shambles, his feelings diary hasn't been completed etc etc. So, just wanted to say I know how you are feeling.

Thanks to last year's teacher, I now have a rep for being an awkward parent, so I have to tread carefully with his new teacher. This leaves me not knowing when to approach her, how long to give them to sort their backsides out without letting it tip ds over the edge. They know they he has basically come unravelled at this time every year since entering juniors and its taken most of the rest of the year to pick up the pieces, so you'd think they'd want to do everything they can to avoid that happening again this year. angry

Its like walking a tightrope isn't it, constantly trying to balance maintaining their cooperation and support with your child's needs.

Just thought I'd offer you a brew or wine depending on what you think would hit the spot better.

As usual Ellen has some excellent advice, which I think I'll be following myself if things aren't sorted in the next couple of days.

coff33pot Tue 06-Sep-11 22:19:34

Thanks guys and I would love a wine or three if only but wont get up in the morning!

I was thrilled for him for what he has achieved today. I dont know maybe its the Omega 3 oils I have been pumping into him every morning of the hols that his helping his balance in the mornings....I had only just thought of this but surely if it was then that would last all day....

I am upset because we had one major upheaval where I home taught due to the hell he had to go through every day and their lack of understanding. It took all this to finally get a designed timetable for him, I printed visuals that he could tick off and the school made a now next board. This worked wonders and they were impressed at the difference in him because of my insistence it happened.

Now it feels like they used this for last 3 weeks of term and now chucked it away. I know their funding went as she let it slip. Also they have become an Academy today. We are awaiting this statement hopefully going through which the school were crying out for. But now I am not so sure there was no visuals, he didnt use his list, there was no book which the EP had insisited on herself, there was no sensory time. Panick is it will only take some child to splash water and look out he wont see the funny side iyswim. I dont want DS blamed for his behaviour again when they are putting him the exact same position.

The school said they needed funding, they needed help, they needed training and I didnt recognise my son in the awful things they wrote. But if this goes smoothly its yes good for DS but also bad as camhs, psych, will see the oposite of who he really is normally at school and home.

He coped today, but at home he was awful until I wrapped him up in fleece and power hugged him. I dont think it was coping I think it was "just doing it" because of first day and not knowing surroundings.

I guess I dont want them saying its all right now then cancelling chance of statement and suddenly having to start all over again.

Oh go on......porr another wine and HUGE hugs your way moosemama!

Ineedalife Tue 06-Sep-11 22:21:40

Oh god... am dreading thursday!!

Dd3 hasn't been in yet and has wasted the first term of the last 3 years due to crap transitions and poor communication between teachers.

I really feel for anyone going through this and my advice to you would be don't wait too long, go in and tell them that your children are unhappy.

At the end of the day your child relies on you to make sure that their needs are being met. Don't mean that to sound harsh but have seen my d3 destroyed at this time of year by stupid, imature teachers who know nothing about ASD or how to manage it.

We recently moved Dd3 to a more inclusive school but I am still filled wth dread about sending her back. She sat in the back of my car today with her coat over her head so I know she is getting anxious about going backsad.

moosemama Tue 06-Sep-11 22:48:07

(()) right back atcha Coff33.

Fwiw, any professional worth their salt should know that a lot of children with ASD act out at home if they have managed to hold it together at school all day, they shouldn't use that as an excuse for not carrying out SA.

Right - sorry for hijack - but I need to get this out now, because I've got all worked up about it again now.

The only plus for us so far this year is that ds2 is now in the same playground as ds1, so they got to be together at lunch and playtime today and hopefully ds2 can give me a bit more insight into anything he sees. Its so hard to get a clear picture of exactly what the problem is with ds1. Today he couldn't really tell me why he'd had 'the worst day ever', but I knew anyway from his demeanour and behaviour when he got home. I've had to work backwards, go through his bag and piece things together from snippets of what he and his brother have said to work it out.

Basically, he left at the end of last year, having several people to approach if he couldn't cope. One was his class teacher - who obviously is teaching another class now, one was a designated dinner supervisor - who apparently left the school in July and the other was the other year 3 teacher. He's gone back today, doesn't know his new teacher, has only met her once before, they hadn't organised a new designated lunch supervisor for him and his old teachers are elsewhere teaching different children.

On top of that we've had an email saying his inclusion teacher, who he usually sees every Wednesday morning for a debrief and support session, is going to carry on seeing him on Wednesdays but can't until the end of September - due to meetings etc. hmm (I am particularly cross about this, as he didn't have her support for the last three weeks of term either, she wrote a report saying he handled transition well, but then he fell to pieces after she'd left for the summer and now here we are again with her not being around at his most vulnerable time of year.) We were told we are only guaranteed her 1-1 support until half term, but now she's only going to see him a couple of times before then. angry

Finally, his ICT lesson was a theory lesson (one of the worst things that can happen to my computer mad ds) and he had to do pe - which he hates - and during which he got a terrible stitch and thought he was going to be sick (there was a big fuss about this last year when he was forced to continue a cross country despite being in a terrible state with stitch, retching and almost passing out). He has a big thing about being weak at the moment, not helped by his hypotonia, coordination issues and the fact that he is losing weight rather than gaining or growing.

Oh - and they mixed up his year's classes for the first time ever since he's been at the school (since he was 3) so he's not with the same group of children he's used to. This is good in the fact that his bully has been moved to the other class, but has really upset him, as usually he moves up a classroom and teacher but with the same peer group - this year literally everything is different.

Poor kid doesn't know which way is up and I feel if I go in and start asking questions and trying to get things sorted its going to get things off to a bad footing with his teacher and possibly the Head and/or SENCO as well.

I think I've decided to see how tomorrow goes and if its no better I won't have any choice but to ask to see them if I'm going to stop him falling apart again.

coff33pot Tue 06-Sep-11 22:57:36

Aww bless her! sad I promise I will think of her on Thurs and send loads of good vibes your way!

Been talking to DH but he is of a wait and see approach. I can understand this as he wants his son to be "NT" for want of a better word but when I reminded him that the wait and see approach cost DS getting a statement app sent by the school (we signed permisson in Jan they didnt bother sending it till June)

My instincts tell me something is amiss. I think I am going to wait till see what tomorrow brings as its only one more half day. Then if no home book as I did tell her it is needed and was requested by the firs EP. Then email with straight questions as to what is his new IEP, timetable, and 1 to 1 arrangements, basically ask if all the implementations they arranged are still going ahead or not, if not why not. I also know they will come to me soon about moving it on to full time (they run before they can walk and yes it was a disaster before) I was sadly hoping with permanent 1 to 1 and the planned structure that would happen but there is no way it will happen after his behaviour this aft.

We are still waiting for OT appointment and salt. Psychiatrist first is anytime in sept and if he mentions school I am going to be so confused as to what to come out with ugh!

coff33pot Tue 06-Sep-11 23:04:24

OMG! Moosemama. Your DS has been well and truly left in the lurch somewhat!

No wonder he had the worst day ever bless him nothing was there to support him.

I realise with schools there are loads of new kids going in etc and it is a busy time for them but you would think they would have all motions in place for the ones that are already there and need it! ooooh I am cross now angry

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 23:13:25

You just make sure YOU write in his homebook.

Write that your ds had a huge meltdown at home, which your experience tells you happens after a particularly stressful day at school and since he can't tell you what caused it, could they please.

Also, ask him if he had remembered how to use his visuals and lists after the holidays etc.

Show them that you would expect and do expect that all home meltdowns are caused by something in school, by writing each one in his book.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 06-Sep-11 23:15:41

OMG Moose. Your poor DS.
Do what you feel is right but remember that these people, who you don't want to upset (and I do understand that it is because you want to work with them in the interest of your child, rather than make life-time friends) will probably not remember your ds' name in a few years, yet you and he, will still be living with their mistakes.

coff33pot Tue 06-Sep-11 23:34:54

Thanks Star I have done just that. I have put exactly what I had to do to calm him down. I didnt think due to other things going on at the mo which DH did say could be making me feel doubtful because of lack of sleep. But its hard to explain to a man that us women (or I do anyway lol) catagorise and separate issues and are able to switch on and off to each one.

If they dont do the book then at least I still got a log showing his behaviour has taken a reverse role so to speak.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 07-Sep-11 08:44:18

Sorry, don't as HIM.

As THEM in the homeschool book how well he got on remembering his lists and visuals.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 07-Sep-11 08:44:49

ASK

moosemama Wed 07-Sep-11 09:42:48

Well, nightmare morning - total school refusal, lots of tears, lots of anger.

Eventually managed to get him there, but he was so angry, sad etc, not even his friend could cheer him up.

His teacher wasn't in the playground, but the one he has on Mondays and Fridays approached and said she'd heard he had a good day yesterday - so I told her what was going on, how he's been at home and what he'd said to me and explained that I didn't know what to do because we've had a really traumatic 24 hours and something needs to be done, but I don't want to get labelled as a problem parent by the teacher this early on (she understands this because she has a child on the spectrum herself and we've discussed it before). She went and had a chat with ds in his line then went to see his main class teacher on my behalf. She did say that she's not always heard though and it still might be a good idea to write a not to his other teacher.

I found out this morning that he's been put on a table at the other end of the classroom to all the other boys and he feels singled out, excluded and different, so I made sure I told her about that as a priority.

From what I can work out, the teacher has read all his reports and been very exacting about implementing things like an 'autism workstation', but doesn't seem to have had a decent handover from last year's teacher so that she can take into account his personality and feelings. Yes he needs a low distraction organised workstation, but he also needs to feel that he's included in the class and not set apart from the rest of his class as 'The Special Needs Pupil'.

Last year they had 4 or 5 children in his class who had varying additional needs from dyslexia, to a looked after child who had a bad start in life, to a child who has an unidentified delay and they were sort of clustered together. None of the rest of the class realised these children had any additional needs other than the child who has dyslexia, who has told them himself, so none of them felt marked out at 'different'. This year there has been a class shake up and ds and the child with dyslexia are the only children with additional needs left in his class. The child with dyslexia has been completely integrated into the normal seating, whereas from what I can make out, ds has been sat at on his own at the other end of the room from all the boys.

Just spoke to dh, had a good sob and we've decided to call the SENCO if things aren't any better today. She's new, very good and I'm hoping it might be a better route than haranguing the teacher before and after school every day. Iirc, I think the SENCO is supposed to be the point of contact for any SEN issues anyway, so hopefully they'll be happier with me doing it that way.

coff33pot Wed 07-Sep-11 22:20:04

I am sorry Moosemama or I would have replied earlier to you but been a hell of a day here too sad

I think you are right to call a meeting with the SENCO as I think you have to basically start again to get what was in place before by the looks of it. Obviously lack of communication between teachers has led to nothing being laid out properly for him. Poor boy no wonder he is having such a hard time.

I would take a breath and go through that route at least you can lay all the cards on the table and get everything running smoothly at once instead of like you said speaking to the teacher everytime something arises as it would be too staggard for your DS bless him.

I know about sobbing I have sobbed my heart out today. I have only just sat here after having to rebuild my home. DS trashed my whole house today, kicked the dog, kicked his sisters, through items at his sister, trashed his bedroom because I had to put him in there in the end when I could hold him and sit against the door. I am having a cup of tea, fag which is not good as I have been on the path of giving up but I just cant do it today sad When I have recomposed I will come back as I need some advice desperately x

moosemama Wed 07-Sep-11 22:55:31

Oh Coff33, I'm so sorry you've had such a horrible day. Am sending huge ((hugs)).

We've had one humdinger of a meltdown this evening as well - fortunately he's not destructive, but he floored his little brother emotionally and then went to work on me for good measure.

Lets hope we can all regroup and try and have a better day tomorrow. What with this and EllenJane, I'm thinking this has been what my Mum would call a Monkey Day - just chaos and bad vibes all round. sad

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 07-Sep-11 22:59:36

I'm here. Sorry you two, you've been lovely and supportive to me and you're both having crap days. sad Got no advice today, just some hugs.

moosemama Wed 07-Sep-11 23:17:20

Aw Ellen you take care of yourself, lovely of you to come and support us, but you have enough on your plate at the moment.

Hugs returned tenfold.

coff33pot Thu 08-Sep-11 01:25:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Thu 08-Sep-11 01:37:06

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

coff33pot Thu 08-Sep-11 09:46:36

Ok I have not slept and DS has gone school but vacant and tired. In less than 3 hrs I have this meeting. Does anyone have any suggestions as I am quietly getting in a flap sad

moosemama Thu 08-Sep-11 09:48:19

Coff33, just read your posts and my first thought is that you might want to get the deleted, as you've mentioned your ds's name in both of them.

Secondly, is there someone who can attend the meeting with you? If not, have you tried Parent Partnership, it really sounds like you need someone in your corner. It'll be too late for today, but might be an idea to get in contact with them so you have someone for future meetings.

Do you have any thing you can quote at them about how coping strategies and melting down at home is typical ASD behaviour and representative of the fact that your ds is under immense pressure and emotional strain? Attwood's book maybe? Sorry I can't get to my copy - or I'd look it up for you myself.

They need to understand that just because he's holding it together during the morning at school, it doesn't mean that he's anywhere near coping - exactly the same problem as we're having at the moment.

moosemama Thu 08-Sep-11 09:51:27

I wish I could think of something more helpful, but I'm in a similar exhausted and flappy sort of state myself this morning and still worrying about how to handle things with ds1's school.

The only thing I can come up with was his IEP from last term. What was on that? It should carry over to this term and they shouldn't have re-written it without your knowledge, so if it covered all the adjustments and differentiation they were doing last term that worked so well - it should still be in place.

Alternatively, do you have anything in writing about what they were doing last term that was working and their agreement to carry it out?

coff33pot Thu 08-Sep-11 10:08:11

Thanks for replying and pointing out DS name is in there I was in a pickle and didnt realise. Got to work out how to delete now oops.

I dont have Tony Attwoods book so I cant read anything from that. I did give them my book of Ten Things for them all to read last term.

I have emails from the Head/Senco when I withdrew him from school. Ones from me on how he reacts to different situations and how I have successfully dealt with each one at home. And another saying they agreed to create a new timetable and disguss interventions and stratagies with me which they did and a copy of the proposed timetable which states one interaction with children ie carpet time/story time/RE and a DS topic of his choice where he can invite someone to join in with that topic if he so wished. Also I had a meeting with them with the Behaviour Therapist that told them to go back to when he was first happy when he exploded and was expelled the last time.

His IEP is mainly connected with his last class in helping him answer and recognise his name when being called, interaction etc nothing to do with putting him in a whole class situation. This was not agreed this was just plainly started by them the first day of term.

moosemama Thu 08-Sep-11 10:35:07

You just need to click on the report message button on the top right of each post and explain to MNHQ why you'd like it deleted.

Just been looking through Tony Attwood's website to see if there was anything there to help you. Lots of potentially helpful reports synopsis, but no indication on how to get hold of the actual report/studies.

Take along all your emails with you - highlight the bits that say they agreed to discuss interventions and strategies with you.

Could you perhaps try taking the approach of wanting to work together to get things right for your ds? Tell them you want to support their support of him, by giving them the benefit of your knowledge about ASD, but more importantly your knowledge of your ds - after all, no-one is going to be more of an expert on your child than you and they should see you as a valuable resource.

I'd tell them that you support their theory that he needs to learn how to function in the classroom, but that he needs to be eased into it gradually rather than just landed in a new situation. Transition is hard enough, without it all being brand new and unexpected - they need to slow the process down and think of it as a slow - integrated approach to getting him into the classroom for a full morning by a set target date, agreed with you. In the meantime, they can be working on the strategies - sensory and otherwise - that he will need in order to cope with that length of time in the classroom.

I usually find I get a better response if I sound like I'm agreeing with them in principle and appreciate them working with ds, but that I have a few suggestions as to how they can adjust their approach to suit his 'very individual' needs and make a it more successful process.

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