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Concerns over vulnerable DS and the class bully :o( long sorry!(3 Posts)
DS (ASD) is 7 at the weekend and is still in pull ups.
He is in mainstream school with a fab TA in year 2, but on his table in class this year is the class meanie. I know that sounds horrible and he is someone's little boy but I'm sorry he is a horror. I will call him K from now on.
DS has been bullied in the past on a large scale (by which I mean by the majority of the class) and I only found out about it when another boy in class told his mum what was happening. DS doesn't think to tell anyone if someone's been unkind to him and even when asked he can't describe what has happened/ what has been said/ done to him. The bullying last year was tackled very well I thought and I was satisfied.
However K being on his table is not going well. In the past fortnight we have had:
- K being unkind to DS verbally in general which I complained about (this teasing was mainly about DS's pull ups, which was what last year's bullying was about).
- then there was an incident during a 'game' in the playground where DS's hand was hurt and he needed 1st Aid, there was no visible mark by home time but he was sad about it.
- the above were tackled, apparently measures where put in place, K was going to be watched very closely and seating on their table was shuffled around so DS now has his TA next to him and a space on the other side.
- today his TA informed me that DS and K where found together inside a toilet cubicle and ushered out by a teacher. Toilet was clean when they came out. A little while later toilet was found smeared with poo and toilet paper. DS had not gone back in but K had. Obviously smearing can be an issue for children with autism but me and TA agreed it couldn't have been DS and thankfully teacher confirmed toilet was clean when DS and K were ushered out. It may not even have been K but it was mentioned to me for some reason.
I have no idea what or why they were in a cubicle together and DS can't tell me about it.
I nearly cried today in the playground as I am already worried about how vulnerable and trusting DS is. He would innocently go off with anybody. A man stroked him in a supermarket a little while back and DS responded with a very sweet and pleasant "thank you"
while I hit the roof.
I am so worried this boy is now targetting DS, he seems to revel in hurting and upsetting other children (I have seen him do this repeatedly with my own eyes) and DS is so compliant and vulnerable. He would do anything a peer told him to, and wouldn't think to tell anyone if someone was unkind to him. He would happily wander off to an isolated place with a bully because he is trusting. This is a particular worry for me as last week K also cornered a year one boy and punched him in the stomach repeatedly while his little bother and another younger boy watched. The victim was sick from the punching and another child stepped in and split it up and told a teacher.
I know K has already been moved away from another boy on the table too. They've only been back at school a few weeks!
I want to go in and shout and stamp my feet. And wrap DS up in bubble wrap.
The TA needs to explain WHY the 2 kids were allowed to go into a toilet cubicle together. If the TA is your son's named 1:1 (employed to support just your son) as opposed to a general class TA then he or she needs to take full ownership of protecting the child he/she is employed to support. Another table altogether?
I get the impression the TA is being used as a "shared resource" to run interference on this table your son and K sit at. Sorry not good enough. Move K to a separate table OR move your child + TA to another group table and escort to toilet to make sure he's never trapped or cornered by this K again.
If K needs his own TA to prevent incidents like the punching one then by all means tell the school you are happy to write to the lea sen department to help any requests for additional TA resource they might make. However your first priority is to ensure that your own child is adequately supported (protected?) by his own funded TA.
TA is funded partly by DS's statement and partly by the school budget so she is there full time but is not always doing 1:1 support with DS, she is always in his classroom though and she is great I can't fault her.
Also in her duties is that she is playground person over the lunchtime so that she can also keep an eye on DS (I think she did this with her last student too who was also autistic as I know he struggled over lunchtimes). The toilet incident happened just as the children were coming in from lunch play time, and the TA had literally just gone onto her lunch. The toilets are in the cloakroom so it will have been busy and hectic and his TA wasn't there. She has said she is going to take him in with her as she goes in so he isn't vulnerable at this time of the day.
Their class has quite a high ratio of staff to children due to various needs in the classroom and it was another member of staff who had stepped in and found them. I had been told that K was being vigilantly watched even in the cloak room. School seem to be aware of his behaviour and do seem to be monitoring him as best they can but clearly they need to step this up. A lot.
I am going to go in tomorrow morning and make it clear how upset and unhappy I am by all this and ask what they are doing regarding safeguarding DS and monitoring K, as it is not just DS who has bore the brunt of his behaviour, he is obviously in need of close supervision.
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