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Is this acceptable?

(26 Posts)
Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:27:25

Ds (ASD) has developed a vocal tic of clearing his throat every few seconds.

He told me this morning that the TA told him "stop making that weird noise" and was angry with him, everytime he did it.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:37:54

Sorry should have added how are school supposed to deal with vocal tics?

Im trying to pick my battles, is this one worth mentioning?

davidsotherhalf Thu 08-Sep-11 09:39:25

i would go and speak to the ta and explain this to her, this is not acceptable from the ta, when you talk to her remember to stay calm, i know i would be angry if someone had done this to my dc,

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 09:39:41

It's not acceptable for the TA to get angry with him.

I think you should have a word with her and the teacher.

But I don't know what they should be doing....... I would guess ignoring it?

jandymaccomesback Thu 08-Sep-11 09:42:56

No absolutely not.
My DS has vocal tics and suffered a lot at the hands of a Primary teacher who kept shouting at him to stop his "silly noises". Obviously that just made him worse, and it went from throat clearing to full blown loud squeaks.
I suspect that this TA just hasn't had training in how to handle vocal tics.
When DS got to Secondary School they included a piece in his IEP about not drawing attention to his tics and that he should be allowed to leave the room quietly to discharge them if necessary.
Our Paed said tics come and go, which turned out to be correct, but telling him off is really not going to work. He does it for a reason, probably to do with going back toschool after the holidays.
I'd have a quiet word with the TA if I were you.

coff33pot Thu 08-Sep-11 09:44:15

It is not acceptable for the TA to be angry with your son.

I had this with DS during his eye tic phase, he now eye tics and throat clears.

They werent angry but were saying "what are you doing with your eyes?" etc which just increased it more.

Just explain that it is something your DS has no control over and that it can get worse under pressure, tired or anxious so could they please refrain from bringing it up and asking him to stop because it has the exact oposite result.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:48:58

The problem is ds said she said it 'in an angry voice', seen as he has autism, his judgement of 'angry' is probably not as it should be and they are aware of this and use this an excuse.

I do feel angry at the moment, but know they will find a way out of this. Im expecting "he was asked to try and stop doing it, as it was disruptive to his learning or the learning of others" type of thing.

Advice given to me by OT by other experts, for similar behaviour, is to ignore it as drawing attention to it, will make it worse. OT also recommended movement breaks, sensory diet etc, etc on a daily basis in school. Tribunal ruled this not necessary.

I need to document this, i will write a letter as ds also doesnt have a home/school book.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:51:43

Can you help me to knock up a quick letter to school for ds to take with him, he is not in school until lunch time today, as he has CAMHS appointment?

I want to sound totally reasonable, which is difficult at the moment as im feeling angry!

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:54:16

Its the 'weird' that is really getting to me.

BakeliteBelle Thu 08-Sep-11 09:54:33

It's not acceptable. The TA is obviously not very informed. Speak to the TA and if no joy, go to the teacher.

I had a physical tic when I was 11-ish and I got regularly shouted at by my parents and by my Headteacher - right in front of the class. As a result, I would rather die that do public speaking, as I can't bear any attention on me (unless I am part of a group). The only time I made a 'speech' I had to take 10mgs of Valium and I was still shaking. It's a shame as I have a lot to say!

It will affect your DS's confidence and as others have said, it's pointless so stop her

jandymaccomesback Thu 08-Sep-11 09:59:10

Put what you put here: that you know he doesn't always interpret other people's intentions correctly, but that you are concerned etc.
I still think face to face is better, because people can misinterpret what you put in a letter.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 10:03:53

Jandy, the school claimed at Tribunal that ds had no difficulties in school, hence no recommendations of 'experts' were put into place. This is a classic example of why ds needs the therapy recommended by OT, which school claimed he didnt need.

I agree face to face is better and more 'friendly', but i need to document this in the nicest possible way iyswim as i intend to apply again for a statement.

suburbandream Thu 08-Sep-11 10:09:22

I think it would be best to speak to the TA in person if possible, it sounds like he/she doesn't understand that this is very common with ASD children. It's not acceptable for the TA to say it's "weird" whatever the reason.

DS2 went through a phase of clearing his throat, but that seems to have passed now. He tends to hum quietly and the teachers can cope with that smile. I had a quick look on the NAS website to see if there was anything you could print out to explain. I'm not sure how to link to this properly, but if you scroll down the page on this link there is a microsoft pdf that lists communcation difficulties and vocal tics. There are also lots of leaflets on the NAS website, many of them are free. Maybe get some of those and take them in to school. I've got a good book called "Can I tell you about Asperger Syndrome?" by Jude Welton that has a section for teachers at the back. It's very simply explained and I found it really useful. Am planning to take it in for DS2's new teacher this term.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 10:15:01

Suburb, thanks i will have a look at the link when i get back, have to leave in a minute for ds's CAHMS appointment. I will be sitting in the waiting room for an hour, so will have time to calm down smile

The school have lots of recommendations from OT to deal with similar behaviours, which they are choosing not to follow because a Tribunal ruled they didnt have to, i think this is what is really pissing me off.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 13:09:31

On the way to CAMHS appointment, i bought a home/school contact book and wrote a note in that. Ds didnt get to school until later so i wouldnt have been able to 'have a word'.

I wrote "As you have noticed ds has a vocal tic of clearing his throat every few minutes. He tells me that Mrs X told him yesterday to "stop making that weird noise".

If ds's vocal tic is causing problems in the classroom, please speak to SENCO who has lots of recommendations to deal with this behaviour. At home i have been advised to ignore it, as drawing attention to the behaviour could result in making it worse, which is why i thought i would mention it"

I also wrote that i had provided a home/school book as ds didnt have one, hope you dont mind.

or words to that effect, hopefully this will not cause anyone offence.

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 13:10:05

Very well worded. I think it's great.

tryingtokeepintune Thu 08-Sep-11 13:12:49

Some time ago ds's senco and teacher wanted to put in the phrase 'ds to stop shouting in class' in his behaviour plan. She said it was distracting to others etc. I thought that was part of his sensory issues and also ds did that when he was distressed so I asked for it to be removed and for them to help him deal with the cause of it. She disagreed and in a roomful of people including Autism Outreach, EP, etc said she would object very strongly if that came out of the plan. No one would back me.

I went home and called EHRC who told me that it was disability discrimination, wrote an email stating what EHRC said and the phrase was taken out of the plan.

Do you think that might work in your case Claw?

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 13:49:51

Thanks Indigo, i am trying to be very mindful of causing offence, due to teachers taking offence and making mine and ds's life impossible to the point of me having to take him out of his previous school. No doubt my 'reputation' of being 'difficult' would have followed me!

Trying Im trying to bide my time, until i can apply again for a statement. Spoke to CAMHS today, as ds cleared his throat constantly during his therapy, they feel its caused by anxiety and his therapist is trying to arrange an appointment to go into school. She is going to suggest a Mentor for ds and some other things.

As i told CAMHS i want a mentor who has had specific training, not a named TA who he can speak to if he wants to.

I should imagine my name is mud at the school at the moment, as SENCO lied at Tribunal, she stated that ds had met all his targets, i have asked for copies of all the programs, which they cannot provide, as ds hasnt reached any of his targets. So there is kind of an explosion waiting to happen atmosphere at school and i have to tread very careful at the moment.

Agnesdipesto Thu 08-Sep-11 15:16:47

DS has many odd behaviours and some are vocal stims and and they change from time to time. We have been through teeth grinding, squirting saliva through his teeth, floor flopping, hissing etc etc We praise him for not doing them and we would correct him if he were doing them at inappropriate times eg when he should be working. But not in his free time. But we wouldn't say weird. We would say 'thats too noisy' and when he's not doing it we would praise him for being quiet or still. Its not sensory for him though.
I can understand why they maybe wouldn't want him to do it, but agree their strategy for achieving that would be certain to fail! Rewarding him for not doing it would be better. She's also missing the point that what us sensitive NT people think is socially weird is not weird to those with ASC he might find it interesting, comforting or a good way of getting out of work or even of annoying her!

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 15:54:33

Just picked ds up from school reply to my note, from Mrs X:-

"I supervised ds all afternoon yesterday and his vocal tic of clearning his throat was very obvious, however, under no circumstances would he have been told to stop. I have spoken to SENCO and she says may be down to nerves as he has just started in a new class, new year and would be a good idea for you to mention it to CAMHS"

Ds tells me when Mrs X read my comments, she laughed and said to him "i didnt say that to you". Ds told me "she did, im not deaf or stupid"

Ds has constant tics, although they do seem to get worse when stressed, they are always present, so nothing to do with new class, new year almost.

CAMHS say its anxiety.

OT says its sensory.

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 15:59:16


Same old story. Deny, deny, deny


Still, at least hopefully they won't do it again.

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 16:23:41

Indigo, i hate they use his ASD as an excuse to say things didnt happen.

Previously ds was having a trial of school dinners and i told them food to avoid would be mash, this is the food ds is most afraid of. What did they give him to try first day, mash. He then says he was crying and was told that if he didnt try it he would get detention. This didnt happen, apparently ds was more than happy to try mash and choose it himself hmm

Ds has vision problems and photophobia, so he cant read from the white board because of the glare. Ds was complaining he couldnt see and that his eyes were hurting. Teacher told him, "you better tell your mum to get your eyes tested" she was being sarky of course, but when i asked her about it i was told it was done in a nice way. Visual impairment team have given school recommendations. All they have to do is follow the recommendations and keep their silly comments to themselves, it really is that simple.

Ive been given them the benefit of the doubt, as i know that ds can get confused, but usually about following instructions. Then SENCO switched sides at the last minute before Tribunal, as part of some sort of strategery to ensure i lost at Tribunal ie i didnt bother chasing her up for copies of IEP's etc, as she told me they were backing my request, so i didnt have the appropriate evidence. She then lied through her teeth.

Im fast losing all faith in everyone and begining to sound like a mad woman!

silverfrog Thu 08-Sep-11 18:07:06

oh Claw, what a nightmare!

home/school book a very good idea. make sure you write down the stuff that is happening, just like you did today. don't mitigate it with "hope you don't mind" or "just thought I'd mention it" - be poilte, but firm. Very Firm.

I hate it when people are hmm when you mention what oyu have been told by your (communicaiton impaired) child. I ahve caught out a few people before now with "dd1 said..." type remarks - their faces were apicture when they realised that she was actually telling em what went on at school...

I would stand firm on this. especially the "weird" - that would make me angry

Claw3 Thu 08-Sep-11 21:39:55

Hi Silver, ds is adamant that she said it, why would he make it up! He refers to the tic, as a cough. When i was getting him ready this morning he was 'coughing' really badly, every few seconds and i asked him whether he had been 'coughing' a lot in school too the day before.

He said "im not allowed to cough in school" and i asked him what he meant and he said that Mrs X talks in an angry voice and tells him "stop making that weird noise". I can imagine if she had been working with him all afternoon it would have drove her mad.

Admittedly, ds does have difficulties with his understanding of words and other peoples intention, but if she is saying she didnt say it, then it wouldnt be due to his lack of understanding of words!

She is basically saying that ds has lied. Ds was even defending the TA, when i told him sometimes teachers say silly things ie weird, he said "she is not silly, she is nice" and "perhaps she didnt know it was a cough"

Ive just been looking through all observations of ds in school since he started 3 years ago and they all observe repetitive behaviours of scratching, picking, rubbing, hand flapping, eye twitches and vocal tics. The school even reported in October 2010 to SALT that ds was doing the throat clearing, so nothing to do with new class etc.

Im just trying to stay calm, once i receive the evidence that SENCO lied at Tribunal (i know she did, i just need the copies) then i will go for it.

tallwivglasses Fri 09-Sep-11 00:56:59

This is awful Claw3.

Sometimes I think I have the easier task - having a son with no speech and 'severe' ASD (in a special school that takes a pride in working out what sensory experiences he needs to enable him to learn) rather than one in a mainstream school who is labelled 'naughty', 'anti-social', 'aggressive', etc. because they simply don't get it. I hear these tales depressingly often.

I hope you're getting some rl support. If not, please seek it out x

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