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how to deal with teacher that doesn't understand autism?

(19 Posts)
bundaberg Tue 22-Oct-13 22:41:03

DS1 has a new teacher, likely to only be with them this year. The pair of them didn't exactly hit it off... ds1 "he's the worst teacher I ever met, I wish he would just die".... teacher "i'm not here to be your friend i'm here to get you to learn"


anyway, we're becoming increasingly aware that this man really has NO understanding of autism at all. Not only that but he is dismissive of our opinions, and those of the behavioural specialist we're paying right now to help us and the head teacher.

I have to say at this point that I have never. EVER. had a problem with any of his previous teachers, he is now in yr 4. he's at a very small montessori mainstream school, which up til now has suited him fairly well although over the last year he has found it stressful and has not made much progress. We're about to start the statementing process though!
He has had teachers in the past who have very much needed to learn what he is like, but all of them have been willing to do this, to find out what makes him tick and to put their very best in.

This teacher just doesn't seem to want to do that.
we had parents evening the other night and it was kind of soul destroying.
all we heard was basically ds1 can't/won't do pretty much anything. and that the teacher can't do anything about it because we (dp and I) won't let him, we just want ds1 to be happy.
this is because we asked him, nicely, to stop putting so much pressure on ds1 with regard to writing because he was getting soooo stressed over it. this was backed up by the head and the BS.

the BS also gave him several strategies to use in class with DS1 and stressed that these needed to be used for at least 6 weeks before we decided whether or not they were working. He gave them 2 days. max.

apparently the BS hasn't told him anything he couldn't look up online hmm

we also told him some things that helped ds1 last year with his maths work and the teacher basically just said no, he won't do that because he ds1 won't like it. UM,,. it worked last year!

um, what else? oh yes apparently DS1 "plays up" in class so he can be centre of attention hmm

it's just SO frustrating. I don't really want to move schools, but I think that too much more of this is potentially going to be quite damaging for DS1. but i keep telling mtselg it's only for htis year and next year could be better.. then again a year is a long time!

so has anyone got any strategies for dealing with someone who is so pig-headed and unwilling to listen to people who might just know better? we've requested a meeting with the head teacher, but ultimately ds1 is going to be stuck in a class with this guy every day and with the best will in the world we aren't going to change how he views him....

bundaberg Tue 22-Oct-13 22:43:14

sorry, that's really long blush

wetaugust Tue 22-Oct-13 22:59:37

Could you speak to the school SENCO about it?

The NAS used to do some booklets on ASD - they may be available as downloads on their website. You may find the teacher has his eyes opened when he has more information about the condition.

Failing that you're going to have to complain to the Head.

bundaberg Tue 22-Oct-13 23:17:05

the head is the senco, and has been really helpful in the past but like i say, i'm not sure she can do anything to change the day to day goings on in the class sad

wetaugust Tue 22-Oct-13 23:20:23

Of course she can.

As a SENCO she has a duty to identify, assess and provide support for your child's SENs. You can always use the threat of applying for a Statement yourself if school cannot or will not provide adequate help.

bundaberg Tue 22-Oct-13 23:24:54

no the school are happy to assist with the statement, head seems very confident with regard to that, which is good

wetaugust Tue 22-Oct-13 23:31:40

It sounds as though you'll just have to complain to the Head (who sounds very weak and lacking in leadership skills).

MariaNoMoreLurking Wed 23-Oct-13 13:25:38

*never. EVER. had a problem with any of his previous teachers
he is now in yr 4*

Easiest solution might be to get the HT to put him up (or down) a year, just to get away from this man for the next 2 terms. Downside: new kids to get used to and curriculum not targetted spot-on. But if his progress stalled a bit last year, repeating y3 might actually be helpful academically

OneInEight Wed 23-Oct-13 13:46:30

Rigid Teacher + Rigid pupil = Fireworks!

Flexible Teacher + Rigid pupil = Happiness + Progression in learning.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 23-Oct-13 14:38:12

This is exactly what I am trying to deal with this year. Dd3 is very sad and hating school because of one teacher.

Sadly I have obviously handled very badly despite having lengthy meetings with school. We have now reached stand off and Dd3 is at home with me sad

Ineedmorepatience Wed 23-Oct-13 14:40:18

My Dd3 could easily be placed in the parallel class but suggesting that seems to have caused the standoff!! hmm

Smartiepants79 Wed 23-Oct-13 14:45:42

Of course the head can force changes in the classroom. That's her job.
Speak to her again, maybe mention you are considering removing him.
She then needs to sit down with the teacher and insist on certain things being put in place and checking that they have been.

Debs75 Wed 23-Oct-13 15:12:05

not time to post kids to get. will post later

bundaberg Wed 23-Oct-13 19:25:35

thanks all... we have a meeting with the head scheduled for the 5th so hoping we can move forward from there!

unfortunately I don't think moving him up/down will be an option. He can't go up because he'd be in the same class as it's mixed year. He could potentially go down but he has MAJOR friendship issues and he has literally just settled down into a friendship with a boy in his class and I think he would very much resist a change. It is definitely something to think about though, I think you're right that it might suit him (and would give me an extra year before secondary???)
the yr 3 teacher is superb...... hmmm

He's pretty bright, mind you, and I think he would maybe see this as us saying he is not clever enough? will discuss with dp though

Smartiepants79 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:52:10

Moving a child up or down a year group is a very rare occurrence and I'm afraid to say I don't think it would be likely your school/LA would agree to it. Even if they agreed to do it within school he would most likely still have to go up to secondary school at the time he should any way.
Unless you can show serious academic issues (ie he is far behind his peer group) they will not move his year group.

MariaNoMoreLurking Wed 23-Oct-13 22:49:18

Smartie, it's montessori. The philosophy isn't like state schools (hopefully)

bundaberg Thu 24-Oct-13 13:45:26

Yes there are several children I know of who have stayed in the same year for an extra year but not sure how easy it would be to move him back after he's already started yr 4

Debs75 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:26:31

Do you see an educational psychologist for DS? They should be able to work with this teacher and help him see how to teach you DS. I think though that could be the problem. This teacher thinks his way of teaching is great and it will teach any child. He may feel undermined by having to change his style of teaching. This is totally his problem and he needs to change his way of thinking but you need the right evidence to put forward to him.
I would go to the NAS for help and try Anna Kennedy, she is on facebook. She ended up starting her own schools as she found it so hard to get her sons a decent education.

You mention getting statemented and that the HT is on board. How about asking her to provide a one-to-one for a while to see if that can diffuse the tension between the teacher and DS

bundaberg Thu 24-Oct-13 21:44:56

no, never seen an ed psych.

he was doing quite a lot of one-to-one with the TA, which his previous teacher said really helped. Unfortunately the TA is only part time, and his class is also quite difficult (several autistic kids, plus other SEN) so I think she's spread quite thin!

definitely something we will discuss with the HT though.

the behavioural specialist we had was very good at trying to help explain to the teacher why certain things don't work with DS and what might work, but teacher seems unwilling to listen to his advice.
This guy came really well recommended, used to be inclusion manager for our county and still works very closely with lots of local schools (usually brought in by schools when they've run out of ideas), he has an excellent background and really knows his stuff. Sadly the teacher doesn't seem to accept this

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