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homework for ds with asd

(15 Posts)
HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Mon 17-Oct-11 22:11:28

my ds has asd and has problems with holding a pencil and writing and with understanding things. he is getting the same homework every week that all the other dc in his class are, which i think some of is unsuitable. he does go into a different class for sen dc's every afternoon but is in a mainstream school, this week he did not understand his homework at all, even after i explained it, i have put a note on his homework explaining this and also saying that i think the homework is unsuitable for him this week. i fear this will not go down well with his new teacher, who quite frankly does not seem to understand him.
The other week he refused to do his homework and when i told her this, she made him sit down and do it there and then, then the following week he tried really hard and all she did was leave a comment on the fact his 9's looked like p's!!!!! ignored the rest and it took him ages to do over a few days as he only does little bits at a time. Does anyone else get this, i fear i will end up having an argument if this carries on. oh and today she was snappy at another parent, then i think she realised what she had said and changed to smiles hmm

moosemama Mon 17-Oct-11 22:55:13

Is there any way you can approach the SENCO rather that the teacher directly about it? Ds1's teacher last year was a nightmare to deal with face to face and in the end we both agreed to work through the SENCO as the point of contact.

If not, if you feel you have already explained the problem to her verbally, I would put it in writing that your ds is struggling with the homework and needs greater differentiation as well as lots of praise and encouragement. Offer in the letter to come in and have a meeting with her - to help her get a clearer picture of his difficulties and suggest ways of helping. If you do write a letter, make sure you copy the SENCO in on the letter.

Finally, is he on the SEN register and if so, when is his next IEP review, because this is something that could be dealt with during the review meeting.

HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Mon 17-Oct-11 23:01:38

yes he is on the sen register, but yet he has no iep, when i have asked why, she said they don't do them straight away, he is in year 1 so this is his second year at school, yes i know hmm the senco arranged a meeting with his new teacher where i could express my concerns, she left after 2 mins and the meeting went down hill after teacher said she should know she had been teaching for x amount of years!!!

moosemama Mon 17-Oct-11 23:29:28

Oh, she sounds just like ds1's teacher from last year. Have you had "I have 30 other children to deal with in my class as well you know!" yet? If I had a pound for every time she said that one to me last year, I'd be rich!

In your case, I would ask to see the SENCO in the first instance and if that doesn't get things moving, get it all down in writing and send it to them, so that you have it all on record.

Download or order a copy of the SENCOP and have a read of that, so you are clear on what they should be doing - its also useful for learning a few buzz words and phrases to drop into school meetings and correspondence.

Another useful thing to have a copy of is the Statutory Inclusion Statement

I find the following quote from the section entitled Potential Barriers has been very useful:

"Pupils with special educational needs

Curriculum planning and assessment for pupils with special educational needs must take account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the pupil. Teachers will encounter a wide range of pupils with special educational needs, some of whom will have disabilities. *In many cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual’s requirements for curriculum access will be met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials, consistent with school-based intervention as set out in the SEN Code of Practice.*"

Are you keeping a diary/log of all these things? If not, it would be a good idea to start one, as it really helps when you need to point out the breadth of the problem. I just bought a page a day a4 diary and made a few notes in it each day - or every time something significant occurred.

I feel your frustration. It can get better, but you are probably going to have to make yourself very unpopular in the process.

HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Mon 17-Oct-11 23:56:11

many thanks for that, i will have a read.
i am already unpopular from last year!!! i feel he is ignored to some extent, i know for a fact she knows nothing about asd as the senco said it would be an idea she went on the early birds course when one came up for me!! but the 3 dc's with asd or as have been put into her class. dd1 said she is very strict and a bit shouty. my ds hates being shouted at, he says it hurts his ears, will shut off as well to take himself out of the situation. the senco has told me several times 'i have children worse than your ds' well they would, they have a special department at the school where children are shipped in from outside the area, my ds is a local child who just happen to go there as its our nearest school. but how is that helping my ds, i feel she is too busy with these children to really bother with the local sn children who just happen to go to the school. i am dreading parents evening, because i am known for speaking m mind and it don't always go down well, i have already told the senco what i thought last year!!

HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Tue 18-Oct-11 09:16:29

well had a word with teacher and all she said was, well he's got to do it, he will get the hang of it. she appeared to not even realise he has problems processing information and looked surprised when i told her. i really am banging my head against a brick wall. i seem to remember reading somewhere you can bring in an outside agency to asses the dc, does anyone know anything about doing this. many thanks again

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 18-Oct-11 09:34:49

You can ask the school to bring in an Ed Pysch to assess him.

Is your son not already on a plan like School Action Plus?.

Do you know when they plan to do his next IEP?. These should btw be drawn up termly and with you present.

You are truly your child's best - and only - advocate here as you have and are seeing. I would start applying for a Statement for him asap from your LEA. IPSEA's website is helpful

I would not let school muck around in ignorance and in the meantime log all incidences.

moosemama Tue 18-Oct-11 09:39:12

It doesn't matter how much 'worse' other children in the school are - your ds still has a right to have his needs met. I know of a few parents at our school who have been fed that line as well. Its just their way of avoiding having to fund another child with additional needs.

Does your ds already have a diagnosis? If so, I would send a copy of the diagnosis report into the school, copied to the Head, SENCO and Teacher with the most important parts highlighted, accompanied by a letter stating why you feel his needs aren't being met and requesting an urgent meeting.

If he doesn't have a diagnosis, you can go to your GP for a referral, preferably to a developmental paediatrician, but if not, in some areas the community paediatrician will handle things in the first instance and refer on if necessary.

By getting an outside agency to assess, do you mean bringing an Educational Psychologist in or going for a Statement of Educational Needs?

You can apply for your Local Education Authority to come in and undertake a Statutuory Assessment of your ds's needs, with a view to providing a Statement of Special Educational Needs, which your school will then have to adhere to. The best place to find details of how the process works in your area is usually on your Local Council's website.

I like this website for giving good clear information about how the SEN system should work.

The usual route to get an Educational Psychologist in to assess your ds's needs is for the SENCO to call them in, although in some areas (though not many) you can contact them yourself. Alternatively, you can pay for a private EP to come in and assess, in which case you can probably get a good recommendation for one by posting on here.

HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Tue 18-Oct-11 09:52:09

yes he does have a dx of asd just below the centre line [that was how it was explained to me] the school have every report i have, i have always kept them informed on everything. he has no iep and whats an lea? he is on school action plus. i was thinking of an Educational Psychologist, but if you have to get the senco to organise it, then there is little point as i doubt she will. when i have asked about an iep she has said they don't do them, but something is down in wrighting, but i have never seen anything, nor been offered to see it or any other information about it. i really do get fobbed off, i did insit on a meeting which was in the heads office and with the head and 3 teachers and i felt very uncomfy, like i was being ganged up on sad

moosemama Tue 18-Oct-11 10:22:04

LEA is the Local Education Authority.

If he is on School Action Plus, he should already be being supported via regular IEPs, drawn up and agreed with you, with achievable targets for him set down. School Action Plus, also requires him to have contact with external professionals, such as an Educational Psychologist or Inclusion/ASD support worker or teacher.

According to the last site I linked to, the school don't actually have to provide IEPs, but they do have to have keep records of the support they are providing in order for his education to be properly 'inclusive' and for him to meet his targets.

"Sometimes the school will not write an IEP but will record how they are meeting your child's needs in a different way, perhaps as part of their lesson plans. But they should always be able to tell you how they are helping your child and what progress they are making."

If you feel ganged up on, you could try contacting your Local Authority's Parent Partnership who will come to meetings with you. They are able to mediate and can be really useful, as they know how the system works and what the school should be providing for your ds. Its worth bearing in mind though, that they are funded by the Local Educational Authority, so are not completely impartial - although they are supposed to be.

I never attend school meetings alone. There's strength in numbers and it helps for one person to be able to take notes, while the other gets stuck and tries to sort out the problems.

If he has a diagnosis already, I would definitely be going down the Statementing route if I were you. The school cannot choose to not support your ds or differentiate for his Special Educational Needs and by obtaining a statement you would be making sure that they are legally bound to support him properly.

You don't need the school to apply for a statement, you can contact your Council's Local Education Authority yourself and make a parental request for statutory assessment. The process is explained in the DirectGov link I posted in my last post.

The link that Attila, posted is excellent for helping you get through the statementing process Ipsea and SoS SEN is another great place for information and support on SEN issues and statementing.

Ultimately though, if you don't feel the school is providing the proper support for your ds, is there any way you could move him to a different school? It seems crazy, given that they have a unit for SENs, that they are failing to support a child with a clear cut ASD diagnosis, but if they are being so obstructive to properly supporting him (probably because their SEN budget is already over-stretched - but that's absolutely no excuse) moving him to a different school may be the best option.

alison222 Tue 18-Oct-11 10:27:10

One tip I have for you is to try to make sure that everything is sent to the school in writing. My son's school are now dealing very well with him after a very bumpy start. It turned out that their recording systems left a bit to be desired so I started to communicate by e-mail with the senco and the teacher.- If I wasn't getting anywhere or thought it was something that really needed to be addressed I sent it to the head. If you put it in writing they really need to reply in writing too so that you then have a trail to follow and chase.

I would start writing to the head and stating that you think that your son really needs an IEP that the SENCO seems reluctant to put one in place and that you would like an explanation of why they are not doing this. Also state that you have met with the teacher and that she is refusing to differentiate homework - quote the Statutory inclusion statement and ask why this is not being done given your child's Dx. Also ask at the same time for the Ed Psyc to see him and ask if they have any access to outreach and ask for the outreach team to come in and see your DS and make any necessary recommendations

It wasn't until I had done all of this that I began to get somewhere approaching the sort of help that my DS needs.( Although at least I did have the IEP).

The other thing that might help is to go to the GP and get him to refer you to OT for the handwriting. In my DS 's case it was a combination of weak muscles and not holding the pencil correctly. Over a long time we have finally made great strides with the ease of handwriting.

Good luck.

mariamagdalena Tue 18-Oct-11 11:53:05

All of the above advice.

Plus one thing that worked for us... I took the view that s

mariamagdalena Tue 18-Oct-11 12:04:41

Aargh stupid phone!

....the view that since parents are in charge of homework, I could modify it as I saw fit. So we never did spellings or times tables until recently. Reading was in the car on the way to school. Other homework was creatively adapted.

So if it said 'draw and label a picture of...' he could draw a bit then cut and stick appropriate magazine photos, and apply labels which I'd written out. Write about something: I'd make suggestions then scribe his responses. Numeracy: demonstrate with objects or just tell him what to write.

And then filled in a comment about how much time he spent, the difficulties involved, exactly how much adult supervision and input was required and how pleased his dad and I were with the excellent effort. And obviously i didn't mention how much grief it saved me doing things my way grin

Homework is still a difficult issue and he can now read the proper instruction which is a mixed blessing. But deciding 'my home, my rules' helped hugely.

magso Tue 18-Oct-11 12:37:45

Yes I used to do the same - modify ds homework when needed. It meant he learnt his way and the teacher was given some help to understand his capabilities. For instance he was asked to draw specified numbers of apples before he understood the concept of drawing. He was able to collect the numbers of real apples, and put the correct number of circles in the boxes- so we did it that way.! He was not able to learn spellings because he was at a much earlier stage of learning about mark making, so we practiced a letter or two from the spellings!
It does need to be with the teachers blessing and understanding!
Moosemama has made a good point. You could apply for a statutary assessment yourself. You ring up the local education authority and ask for the forms and information pack if available. It is helpful to have ample evidence as to why you think he needs a statement so keep a list of concerns ( such as differentiating homework) and get reports from health specialists if available.
There may be an ASD advisary team locally that could help.

HauntedPramsScreamsGalore Tue 18-Oct-11 16:52:16

many thanks for all your replies, i can always count on you lovely mumsnetters smile
i have asked for copies of targets today, to be put in his bookbag but still waiting, how long does it take to copy some paper hmm
i will modify his homework for him, the funny thing was she sat down with him today and explained homework to him, but as i pointed out, this should have been done before hand and not as an after thought because i had said something.

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