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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

A big boast and (hopefully) inspiration

(42 Posts)
streakybacon Thu 06-Mar-14 09:48:20

Three years ago, Autism Outreach told me that because of my son's problems with emotional literacy he'd never manage more than a D for English Language. So much of the work is analytical, or creative, and he'd wouldn't be able to get it. She explained, "None of the autistic kids ever get more than a D for English" sad.

We were already home educating by then, as ds had been failed by two schools and we'd given up on any support. I had no idea how to tackle his problems with English and emotions, and I'd tried plenty. Then I found an amazing tutor, a wonderful girl who was (still is!) studying English and Linguistics at university. She has worked steadily with ds for the last three years, and taught him so much. His use of language has developed into a mature writing style, and yes he's even learned how to analyse literature texts. He will even write (under duress!) about himself - something he's always found extremely difficult.

In January he sat IGCSE English exams and this morning he got his results. He has actually passed with an A*, something I'd never thought possible. I am enormously proud of what he's achieved and have wept buckets since the email came smile.

So yes, I'm boasting, but I also hope this can inspire some of you to be open minded about your children's abilities and not be fobbed off by those professionals who have no ambition for them, and won't have the resources or intent to support them towards high achievement. Our children are amazing and full of promise, and with the right people behind them they can soar.

<filling up again>
<off to hug my son ... again>

Levi174517 Thu 06-Mar-14 09:59:34

Wow that's amazing grin.

Well done DS his hard work has definitely paid off. Well done you too for not accepting the prediction and not giving up!

What a brilliant and inspirational story to read.

coppertop Thu 06-Mar-14 10:14:25

That is fantastic! A massive well done to your ds. grin

(hurriedly wipes away a small tear)

osospecial Thu 06-Mar-14 10:15:43

Thanks for sharing, that is a very inspirational story and congratulations to you and your DS grin

TOWIE2014 Thu 06-Mar-14 10:19:00

Well done him! Fantastic and inspirational.

PolterGoose Thu 06-Mar-14 10:25:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 06-Mar-14 10:39:04

OMG, That's fantastic. Well done to your ds, well done to the girl you hired and well done to you.

ouryve Thu 06-Mar-14 10:40:28

It goes to show how damaging low aspirations for kids with SN/SEN are. Well done to your DS for proving them wrong!

Most of the DC at the school we want DS1 to go to have similar problems with English. Most leave with a GCSE "pass". It just takes appropriate targeted effort.

streakybacon Thu 06-Mar-14 10:50:44

Thank you all grin.

You're absolutely right ouryve, and it also shows how little effort goes into our children, and how that low attainment is accepted as the norm. If Autism Outreach are advising schools that their pupils with HFA aren't likely to get higher than D grades, the schools aren't likely to push higher, are they? And so the cycle goes - all those poor children, being wilfully failed sad.

This has been such a journey for ds as the subject was so difficult and personal for him. It hasn't been just another subject for him, but a period of personal growth - learning about people, motives, feelings ... all those things that are analysed in literature texts. He has developed so much since working with this magnificent young woman. She leaves us in the summer (she's still teaching him History till the exams) and she'll be such a miss.

Ds says thank you for your comments. He's literally bouncing with excitement today (and has had a nosebleed as a result wink) so I can't see us getting much work done today!

OneInEight Thu 06-Mar-14 11:24:55

Love good news stories. Well done miniStreakyBacon! How did you find your tutor? Been wondering about finding someone for ds2 but not really sure how to find one that will cope with his pda-like tendencies. Bit ironic that I am reading this whilst printing stuff out to fight LA for placing ds1 at low aspiring school.

streakybacon Thu 06-Mar-14 11:38:31

I use a website called University Tutor to find student tutors locally. We're lucky to have a good Russell Group uni nearby and that definitely helps. Actually the first tutor we had was our current one's sister, but she was close to graduating so we only had her for a few months. The current tutor was just finishing her A levels and planning on the same university, so we met and chatted and took it from there.

If you have a university close to you it's a great way of finding young people looking for experience at very reasonable rates. I've found them to be keen to work to my spec and 'outside the box' because they aren't dyed in the wool NC teachers with a single minded approach to education - we talk regularly about ds's needs, what he finds difficult, and together we find workarounds to support him. I am very involved in his learning and we're very much a team.

I now have a third member of the family working with us, teaching Computer Studies and Business Studies. He is only 19 but he's amazing grin.

mumsuz Thu 06-Mar-14 12:06:36

Very inspiring to read - thank you. Well done to all of you. It's so good to remember how amazing and full of promise our children are.

Jellyandjam Thu 06-Mar-14 13:02:21

That's fantastic grin

OneInEight Thu 06-Mar-14 13:04:55

Thank you.

ilikemysleep Thu 06-Mar-14 13:15:43

Well done to you and your DS! And BTW your autism outreach teacher was completely wrong, BTW, I wonder where he / she got got that info from? You should have asked for her research evidence!! In fact English lit is one of the most common obsessions in females on the spectrum, including my sister (degree from Oxford in Eng lit) , there are a number of authors suspected of being autstic...such as, for example, Emily Dickenson. It isn't a common special interest in males but as I am always saying you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism, and that steretype of a maths-and-science geek as an autistic male is just that...a stereotype. THere are lots of very creative men with autism or suspected of having autism...Gary Numan, Steven Speilberg, Robin Williams, Paddy Considine, Tim Burton...

Sunnymeg Thu 06-Mar-14 13:17:05

Well done to you both! wine

HumphreyCobbler Thu 06-Mar-14 13:17:29

That is just brilliant.

2boysnamedR Thu 06-Mar-14 13:22:36

Wow! I have been told a few times that ds may never sit gcse's I will remember this

Well done and massive congratulations to you both

Levantine Thu 06-Mar-14 13:34:22

Wow!!! that is fantastic!! Makes me feel very emotional. Well done to both of you

bialystockandbloom Thu 06-Mar-14 13:40:06

How absolutely brilliant!! grin Massive, massive well done to ds, to you, and to the tutor. She and her siblings sound like a very special family. You're so right, it's sometimes just a case of finding the right teaching method to unlock the potential. Something which schools and other 'services' (ha) on the whole don't can't be arsed to do.

moosemama Thu 06-Mar-14 14:16:03


Huge congratulations to your amazing boy. grin

bochead Thu 06-Mar-14 14:29:20

Do make sure you scan and send a copy of the exam certificate to Autism Outreach.

If it encourages just one professional one that team to challenge their current thinking on the poor potential outcomes for these children, you will have achieved a significant victory across an entire county's worth of children.

This is exactly why black parents set up their own Saturday schools in the 1970's. Parents found the abysmal aspirations for pupil achievement in state schools utterly unacceptable. Now of course it's assumed that any black child entering year 7 has just as good a chance of leaving with a clutch of good grades as anyone else.

I think many here face a similar battle, except that instead of ethnic diversity, neuro-diversity has become the new battleground.

oooh you have cheered me up!

iwanttoscream Thu 06-Mar-14 14:45:23

Well done.

streakybacon Thu 06-Mar-14 14:45:26

I intend to do that, bochead. Unfortunately the AO woman I dealt with retired so she's no longer in the department, but you're right, people in the SEN support team do need to raise their aspirations for our children or they are doomed to failure, through no fault of their own.

Btw, ds has read this thread and says thank you to all for your congratulations. He hasn't stopped grinning all day grin.

bochead Thu 06-Mar-14 14:47:47

tell him I'll be grinning all day on his behalf too!!!!grin

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