Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
I'm really quite annoyed about this...(28 Posts)
Is his 1:1 being used to make up adult to child ratios in the playground?
I would have the same suspicion as Star to be honest. That's the sort of thing they do at ds's school.
I would get something down in writing to the school to confirm that you have agreed with them that ds can stay in at playtimes if he wants to. That way, if it doesn't happen you have some redress.
As for the IEP, there are no hard and fast rules. Best practice is for the parents to attend a review with at the very least the SENCO and class teacher and preferably any other professionals involved in their care/support. In reality, these are only guidelines and there's nothing to 'make' schools actually do this.
At our school we usually get to meet with CT and SENCO at least once a term, but this time they have just handed me an IEP as a done deal, because they've fallen out with me and know I won't be happy with what they've done with it. In my case, that won't put me off and I will still challenge them on it, but they're going to at least try and sneak it past me first, because with many parents they would get away with it, either because they haven't had their rights explained to them or because they are intimidated by the SENCO/staff.
The SENCOP has the following to say about IEP reviews in primary schools:
5:53 IEPs should be reviewed at least twice a year. Ideally they should be reviewed termly, or possibly more frequently for some children. At least one review in the year could coincide with a routine Parents Evening, although schools should recognise that some parents will prefer a private meeting. Reviews need not be unduly formal, but parents views on the childs progress should be sought and they should be consulted as part of the review process. Wherever possible, the child should also take part in the review process and be involved in setting the targets. If the child is not involved in the review, their ascertainable views should be considered in any discussion.
I do not think your son would actually have a 1 to 1 covering him lunchtime particularly in the longer term unless there is a Statement in place (and even then not without difficulty). My guess is too that his 1 to 1 arrangement is very much fluid (and thus not fixed) and this person is being used to make up the child:adult ration in the playground. Again, unless you get the 1 to 1 specified in a Statement doc they will keep messing you and your son around like this. A more formal review with the people you state would only be done as part of the Statement annual review.
I would seriously consider applying for a Statement for him now as Secondary School is not that many years away and you are experiencing such difficulties now. This could indicate that his needs are not being fully met on SA plus.
You should not be presented with a pre-written IEP; it should be discussed termly and drawn up with you present.
www.ipsea.org.uk is a good website re the whole statementing process. I am also wondering if anyone has ever mentioned statementing before now?.
Autism Advisory teacher may give useful advice but their words do not always carry much clout in some schools. Their recommendations are certainly not always acted upon.
In your case I would be applying for a statementfor your son and asap.
Right on the normal thing - I would say something about it in the IEP meeting, it is unacceptable and he needs to know that. Also the appropriateness of approaching you in the playground - not only because of ds but quite frankly it's perfectly reasonable that the world and it's mother don't need to know your business.
I used to do the same with the IEP meetings - now I don't sign anything, I listen to what they have to say, I take their proposals home, think about it for a few days and submit my final IEP argue out any changes Ive made (generally on the phone) - ultimately I know what I'm talking about because in regard to my ds, I am the expert. I make that clear from the outset (tbh I don't have to any more because they know I won't stand for nonsense). Is there anyone who can go with you for moral support? If not, then don't sign and take it away and tell them you'll let them know. This isn't unreasonable, he's your child and if they raise eyebrows let them.
No one likes it Polter, ultimately we all just want to go along our way and deal with people pleasantly and have them to the same with us - but I bet he'll be completely ignorant if the fact he's been insulting. Catching a parent in the playground is fine for a scrapped knee etc, but not something like this. Our senco had a habit of doing it until one parent blew and said loudly "how are you and your husband getting on then" when the senco turned red the parent hit with - "well, how do you like duscussing your business in the playground?!"
The statement is a horrible process, you know this, but worthwhile. Once you have it not only will ds have support, but you'll have a legal document clarifying the support that MUST be fufilled.
You've had some great advice and I've nothing really to add. Just thought I'd share two things that have helped me enormously recently.
1. You TEACH people how to treat you.
So if you're not happy with the confidentiality of any setting then say so, loudly and firmly. E.g. I have had to say, "I insist on bluechick's right to medical confidentiality, which you have a duty to uphold, so if you want to discuss that we'll have to go somewhere private."
2. When you have to have a difficult conversation and you're worrying about how to say something, just tell the blunt unvarnished truth.
If I'm not happy with something I say so, matter of factly, not rudely but I don't try and 'couch' it in any way. So for example, "Using the word 'normal' is offensive and patronising. It makes me feel as though you don't actually understand my son's problems and have little interest in dealing with this issue. Please use more appropriate language so we can focus on the actual problem."
Do you have partnership with parents in your area ?- They are in all English LAs. If so, you could request that they accompany you to next review meeting - you can choose for them to advocate for you or simply to take minutes on your behalf so that you can concentrate on the meeting knowing someone else is producing an independent record. I know that some other people on her have has less than positive experiences with pwp but in our case they have been v helpful so worth a try. Also I suspect some schools will be, ahem, more motivated when there is an independent witness there.
I agree playtime is not downtime but work for children with ASD.
I heard Rita Jordan say this is a conference recently actually.
So if they want your child to go out at playtime then they have to accept that when your child comes inside from doing this super hard work which makes them very anxious that they will then need to take their 15 minute break during lesson time
get a paper trail of the issues at school as they can be printed to go towards statement request to show DS is not coping
I would just politely say that you dont appreciate being talked to in the playground so could they please either start a home book or just put a note in ds lunch bag with a proper meeting time. I would email that too!
You could say to the teacher its not NORMAL when a anxious child asks to go inside to refuse as he is raising his own red flag to say he needs support or things could go very wrong.
I would also apply for a statement. Its not too bad to start off as there is a standard letter on IPSEA site and you just supply them with the information they need. Usually they will send in and EP to assess for that if they agree to assess. I would call Autism Team yourself as you are allowed to and self refer for them to call in and meet with you at school. No harm in it.
It is unstructured time and a difficult time for our children. I would put in the email that DS warning signs are very quick to erupt, so request that if he asks to be removed from the playground he is already at zero tolerance of it and they should act. If you have that in writing then if an incident occurs they only have themselves to blame x
Keep a diary of anything and everything that happens in school and home during the statement process.
Any time you need a phrase PolterGoose let me know! I seem to have become rather good at saying exactly what I'd like to say lately!!
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I'm a bit on the fence with this, really. I think that rather than getting upset over the use of the word "normal," I would calmly use it as a time to educate them. I've heard teachers struggling (in MS) to know what terms to use, and it's most likely that they simply don't know how else to say it. It doesn't sound like they were trying to be offensive, so it's probably not a good idea to go off over that. Choose your battles.
Secondly, I would either put it in writing or meet with the teacher/TA and follow it up in writing about discussing things in the playground or at pick up time.
I can actually see the school's point about playtime. They are, in their own way, trying to help your child, even though it seems a bit counterproductive. Aren't they, according to Ofsted, supposed to make sure the children get outside time each day if possible? When DS2 was in MS, some of the playtimes with lots of children were just too much for him. During those times, his TA took him and a couple other children to a separate playground that was smaller so he could still have outside play time without the stress of coping with loads of children. It worked very well. Maybe this is an option for your child? DS2 would love to stay in and hide in the classroom all day, playing with an ipad or laptop, but it's important to us that he gets some time outdoors as well - fresh air, exercise, socialising with a small group of children.
I understand your frustration. This sounds like it is largely to do with lack of understanding about ASD. It can be enormously irritating and upsetting as it is like we speak a different language and I have had to deal with it myself for the last 4 years so I sympathise!
I agree it might be a time to educate unless the school is completely unhelpful. Teachers (like everyone else) can see things through the prism of 'normal' and that see us mums as silly fusspots without understanding that there is something qualitatively . As soon as you speak to someone who understands ASDs, it is like talking a different language.
Has the teacher had any training? Do you have an EP involved who could train? What is your head or your SENco like?
Could you say that you agree that fresh air is important but that, as Christmas says, they might need to do something different to reduce the anxiety?
That should be there is something qualitatively different about our kids.
Is his anxiety causing any problems either in the playground or immediately after them as a result?
If so you may be able to use this as a lever to get help around this area.
We had problems with DS in the playground which then affected his, and other's learning in the lessons immediately afterwards.
The school gradually after lots of discussion with us implemented lots of help at lunchtimes, although morning break was more tricky, such as being allowed to use the computers even if it was not the day for his year to do so. They did group sports with DS and others who needed similar provision, they ran a social group, and he was allowed to take a book to the playground.
This was all when he was on SA+ so I think it very much depends on how you can sell it to the school.
It's difficult. Where do you draw the line though? Yes, it's good for him to have some say in it, but then again, do the NT children have a say in whether or not they go outside during playtime?
I struggle with this a little.. I want DS2 to have appropriate support and activities.. but I also want him to understand that sometimes he has to conform a bit, even if there is some modification to it, such as he MUST go outside when the other children do but I'm happy for it to be with a smaller group in a separate area.
I guess along those viewpoints, I mean that I want him to be able to learn to cope in situations, even if it's gradually. He cannot always stay within his comfort zones, otherwise how will he learn and grow at all?
It can be difficult finding that middle ground.
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