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Autism, secondary school, exclusion and actually getting an education (sorry this will be long)

(14 Posts)
MrsPresley Sat 10-Nov-12 19:31:16

Right, will try and get down everything I know to make it easier!

My grandson (12) was diagnosed with autisim about april this year after many years of doctors, assessments etc. One of the reasons it took so long was his primary school refused to admit there were any problems and everything was down to my DD's poor parenting skills hmm

Even when we were officialy told he was autistic at one of the many many meetings that were held in the school with the head teacher, my DD, learning support teacher, educational physcologist, SW, the child pyschatrist doctor fron CAMHS and a couple of other professionals who I cant remember where they were from... the HT afterwards said the she still didnt think DGS was autistic and that the Dr had only said that because she was "under pressure", this is a DR who has years of experience and who said she wasnt under pressure, but she didnt want to give the diognosis at the meeting as she was worried about how DD would take it (it was a relief TBH). She couldnt give the diagnosis earlier as what DGS was showing in tests/assessments and what information DD was giving didnt match what the school was saying!

One more vital bit of info, all the way through primary DGS was bullied by one boy in particular because of his facial tics and this is what leads up to the next bit...

So fast forward to August and DGS started secondary school, they know he's autistic and say he will get all the necessary help etc

A couple of weeks later the boy from primary, once again starts on DGS making fun of his tics, only this time DGS retaliates and they get into a fight and DGS gets excluded (because he threw the first punch and went for him a second time). Anyway DGS gets excluded, nothing happens to other boy AT ALL angry

DGS was out of school for about 3 weeks, then allowed back in 3 days a week for 1 HOUR at a time, DD had to take him and collect him, all different times, not easy as she works and has 4 other children (younger) 2 need to get to school, 1 needs picked up (P1 and older sister gets out later) and 2 toddlers, looked after by various family members, so she can get DGS to school, other side of Edinburgh, wait an hour and collect him!

School applied for and got funding for a support worker (sorry dont know the proper term). DGS really likes him and he sits in the class with him and basically keeps an eye on him and helps him when needed.

Anyway he is now in 3 half days, so getting there. On Thursday there was a child planning meeting and the deputy head said he could back full time, starting Monday.

On Friday SW phones DD and tells her that the Head Teacher (who has never attended any meetings or met my DD or DGS) says no he cant go back full time as there is a risk he will kick off again and he they only have the support worker for 15 hours!

He has only ever had this 1 incident in school!

When DD phoned me at work to tell me, I just broke down in tears, I cant beleive they would build his hopes up like this and let him down again sad He's desparate to get back to school, he wants to learn but at this rate it's not going to happen sad

HT says DGS needs to have his support worker at all times and as they only have funding for 15 hours that's all the education DGS can get, thay wont even agree to let him try without his worker.

If you have read this far, you deserve a medal smile

So, is there anything we can do to get the school have him back in full time? I'm probably being emotional and dramatic here but I feel they are discrimanating against him because of his autism, they dont want him there and are doing everything possible to make things hard for him.

There's probably a million things I've missed so feel free to ask questions, I will answer as best I can.

cornycatona Sat 10-Nov-12 19:34:55

your grandson is entitled to a full-time education that meets his needs

Does he have a statement? Is that why he has the support worker?

MrsPresley Sat 10-Nov-12 19:49:24

I'm not sure what a statement is blush

Would it be called something else in Scotland? I forgot to say that, sorry.

I know he has been diagnosed with Autism and Tic Disorder (the tic disorder was diagnosed first) and my DD claims DLA for him

stillsmarting Sat 10-Nov-12 20:16:53

Sounds dreadful.
Unfortunately I only know about education in Englad so hope someone else will come along soon.
This school are certainly not meeting his needs.

MrsPresley Sat 10-Nov-12 20:31:26

It is deadful stillsmarting

I'm so angry at the way he's being treated, if his mum decided he should only go to school for 15 hours she'd probably get into trouble for it!

On the other hand, if legally all they are required to provide is 15 hours a week then I really dont know what else to suggest to DD.

This is affecting her health and marriage too sad she's so busy fighting for DGS that the others are missing out on their mum.

She's losing weight and I noticed the other week her hair is getting very thin and she had a small bald patch at the side sad

She and her DH are arguing quite a lot too and I just dont know what I can do to help anyone.

She goes to work (part time), goes to meetings, doctors appointments and every week she goes to a support group for parents of autistic children, she's running herself ragged.

Her DH tries to help and is good around the house but he doesnt drive so a lot of stuff is left to DD to do, hopefully he will pass his test soon though and that will be a big help!

pinkorkid Sat 10-Nov-12 20:33:21

I think the equivalent in scotland is a coordinated support plan or a record of needs. It's a legal document which local authorities are compelled to follow. It defines a child's needs and what support is needed in school to meet them. It may be that school are providing support worker from their own budget and if so them saying they cannot meet his needs would imply they would support an application for a csp or if one is already in place that they would call a review to ask that the la fund further full-time support.

In either case it is crucial that your dd gets school to put their refusal to let her son attend full-time in writing so that she has evidence of this situation. If he is being informally excluded without the school giving written reasons, then they are likely to be breaking the law and may be flouting the disability discrimination act by not making adequate adjustments to meet his needs and by treating him differently to the other boy involved in the fight and ignoring the teasing on the other boy's part which led to the outburst in the first place.

If you google "the equality act 2010 schools" you will find the relevant legislation.

Also some sen support sites: IPSEA and SOSSEN! have useful info and case studies similar to your grandson's.

MrsPresley Sat 10-Nov-12 20:58:44

Thank you pinkorkid That's very helpful.

As far as I know there's nothing in writing (will speak to DD tomorrow about that).

Once again thank you, at last I think we may have a starting point!

provisionseeker Sat 10-Nov-12 21:09:15

Not in Scotland but have had a very similar experience. Ds did not get a dx until recently after years of no support and being labelled the ‘naughty boy’ sad.He has also had a lot of bullying issues. At his new school he was placed on part-time hours for almost a year (same as his statement hours) so that ‘they could better understand his needs’ hmm. When extra funding was agreed he was ‘allowed’ to return – but they still don’t understand his needs! It’s been really awful.
Ensure your dd gets everything in writing from the school. She should also check how the absences are being recorded. Ds’s school were wrongly recording around 150 sessions of missed education as ‘educated elsewhere’ but when I pointed this out was told that it was ‘a genuine mistake ‘.

Kleinzeit Sun 11-Nov-12 15:27:52

The school sound really unhelpful!

Could you contact Enquire for advice http://enquire.org.uk/? Enquire is Scottish government service “The Scottish Advice Service for Additional Support for Learning”. They had a phone helpline 0845 123 2303 and I’ve found them very helpful and supportive in the past. They can tell you what the school’s obligations are, what your grandson’s rights are and should be able to give some advice on how to get help for him. I think the phoneline is still running though these services come and go sad.

They have some very useful info on their web site too - especially the Parents' Guide to Additional Support to Learning (under Publications) which is pretty complete.

(nb I don't think the Record of Needs exists any more, it was replaced by the Co-ordinated Support Plan but that's very different and not many kids get CSPs so there isn't really an equivalent of the English "statement" any more. But I may be out of date, apologies if so.)

Kleinzeit Sun 11-Nov-12 15:46:29

If you’re in Edinburgh another organisation who might be able to help is Kindred. As well as advice on ASL they can provide advocacy too, someone to come along to meetings with the school to support your DD and grandson (which Enquire can’t) http://www.kindred-scotland.org/

Kleinzeit Sun 11-Nov-12 15:49:44

Oops - get the links right!

Enquire
Kindred

MrsPresley Sun 11-Nov-12 16:43:17

Thanks for that kleinzeit, again very helpful.

DD is comng here tonight (to draft a letter to the school) so we will have look at the links.

Yes the school are being unhelpful, they apparently have a couple of other autistic children but I dont think they realise autisim isn't a one size fits all, every child is different.

Pinkorkid

I had a wee look at the equality act 2010 schools and it was a great help, thanks again, I've taken some notes!

pinkorkid Sun 11-Nov-12 17:31:19

smile glad it was some help - let us know how you get on with the school.

auntevil Sun 11-Nov-12 17:32:38

I don't know anything about the Scottish system, so can't help there.
What I want to say is thank you. Supporting your DD and your DGS is a major role. There are many of us that don't have the support (only got to look at a thread on this page about family that 'don't get it').
Doing research, being supportive and someone she can turn to outside of her house is so important.

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