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School car park

(16 Posts)
ChowNowBrownCow Sun 14-Dec-14 17:29:14

My ds was dx august this year with asd. Lots of things made sense once he was formally diagnosed, but now we are just at the learning stage which I'm sure will be on going, of what to do about certain situations. My ds goes to mainstream school but attends a sen unit attached to the school several times a week.last month he broke his arm which resulted in him having an operation and a full cast. During this time, we have been allowed to use the staff car park as he has a cast on. This has been a huge eye opener to me as before we had to drive around trying to find a space like everyone else. This makes him anxious and stressed as we have to take differant routes to get a space, then it goes without saying that getting him out of the car, holding his hand so he doesn't bolt etc, he actually becomes stressed in the jams around the school. The car park is a completely differant entrance down a quiet slip road. We drive through the barrier , into the car park, happily chatting away. No rush, no panic, the sen teacher mains the gate, so he is allowed like a big boy (he's 8) to walk through the gate and wave goodbye. It's been a revelation that life on a school day could be made calmer by this simple allowance. The sen coordinator said or at least hinted that I could write to the school and ask for it to continue when his cast comes off next week. Do you think it's possible. How should I word the letter? I don't think they appreciate the difficulties involved in just getting my reluctant ds to school.

PolterGoose Sun 14-Dec-14 17:41:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tunna Sun 14-Dec-14 19:59:00

You could also ask for this as a 'reasonable adjustment' under the DDA.

ChowNowBrownCow Sun 14-Dec-14 21:53:49

Thank you for your replies. It almost sounds petty to ask as I know many parents have high anxiety on the school run. I'm not sure what the school will say to be honest, but it won't hurry to ask. I am learning fast to speak up and be my sons advocate, as his teacher is old school and I am not convinced she believes autism is real, I think she sees it as a new label for naughty kids! I am really encouraged poltergoose by how your son is doing at having some independence going into school, it makes them feel just a bit more confident. I know what you mean when you say it makes a huge difference - I suppose doing the school run for four years without use of the car park is something you just get on with because it's never been offered. I will do my letter tonight and hand it to the school tomorrow.
If they turn me down, then I will use tunna's dda, and say that it's a reasonable request. So thank you again for your suggestions .

ChowNowBrownCow Sun 14-Dec-14 21:55:19

Sorry not hurry to ask - I mean hurt to askblush

pannetone Mon 15-Dec-14 12:24:23

I agree - ask to be allowed to drive into the staff car park. As Tunna says it would be a reasonable adjustment for disability, but the right is now under the Equality Act (2010) rather than the earlier Disability Discrimination Act. (I have rather more experience of the Equality Act than I'd like - we ended up winning a tribunal for disability discrimination against my DS's school for failure to make reasonable adjustments.)

ChowNowBrownCow Wed 17-Dec-14 16:28:34

Hi, so I wrote my letter to the head teacher. She called me to her office and said no because then it would set a precident for other asd parents to ask for use of the car park to drop their children off. She then said get up earlier so you get a space nearer the school, then show him you trust him to walk into school on his own. She is absolutely clueless about the difficulties involved. I'm quite fed up tbh. I understand her stance, but, it's a one size fits all answer IMHO.

PolterGoose Wed 17-Dec-14 17:08:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChowNowBrownCow Fri 16-Jan-15 12:49:32

Back to school after Xmas break. School run chaotic as ever! Tried head teachers suggestion of not babying him and showing trust. First day, I stood back to watch him walk 40 yard to school gates. Group of chatting mums walking towards him, he steps off the path and into the road to avoid being mowed down! Next day we try again. Ds walks along path this time sees a firework on the verge, bends down to pick it up, I shout leave it, don't touch. He goes into school upset because I've shouted, I go off to work frightened as although I know it was a wet firework (hindsight) it highlighted how he physically needs me by his side. So I wrote a letter again to the head with these details. She still says no as others would want a space, then says she will put it to the governors at school. I said no to this as I feel we would gain nothing . Also, I do not want othe parent governors telling their children about ds needs and run the risk of them telling him when we haven't told him yet! Should I just leave it, or does anyone have any advice please?

shuan Fri 16-Jan-15 14:19:57

Hi, I wish schools would be more understanding about this. My ds finds it very difficult going into school in the morning. The school are helping ds with this now (after a year and a half) only because of my constant complaints. One morning I was so stressed about it I shouted at a teacher (not how I would usually behave and I regret it). It was after that they decided they should help.

I only seem to get adjustments for ds after something bad has happened or I have had an emotional breakdown in front of a teacher. It really shouldn't be this way.

pannetone Fri 16-Jan-15 16:35:42

ChowNow - in your letters to the Head have you said that you want to be able to use the staff car park as a reasonable adjustment for your son's disability under the Equality Act? It may sound a bit 'heavy' but it is the only way to get past such feeble excuses as 'then everyone else will want a space.' The head will have to deal with other space-demanding parents. (And she wouldn't be allowed to disclose you have a space because of your DS's disability - that is confidential information. And governors - parent governors or other - are not allowed to disclose your DS's disability to anyone.)

I would suggest writing to the head again telling her that you consider her giving you a space a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act. So much for the Head 'offering ' to ask the governors for you - it is the governors' duty (they are the 'Responsible Body') to make reasonable adjustments - and if you made a claim of disability discrimination it would be against them. If you get nowhere with the Head I would write to the Chair of Governors.

ChowNowBrownCow Sun 18-Jan-15 20:45:33

Sorry for delayed reply . It does sound 'heavy' but I am beginning to see that it's sometimes needed - this is not what I want to be like. But I will do what is necessary for ds. Thank you for the advice.

senvet Sun 18-Jan-15 22:06:54

When writing next time give examples of the anxiety he shows on a typical day, and what it is like on a really bad day.

Explain that not all ASD kids suffer anxiety at this level or at this time of day, so her test should not be 'does this child have ASD' but 'does this child benefit from being allowed ot use the staff car park?'

In theory, your son when in a plaster cast, could have had a wheelchair (eg that you borrowed or hired), and not been allowed to use the staff car park.

But they were happy to make the adjustment to help him start the day and help you when life was obviously difficult.

I guess that she just doesn't get that exactly the same test can be applied to his particular presentation of ASD - and not necessarily everyone else's.

And the staff who do get their earlier probably need the car park less than the parents with disables kids, but that arguament is probably for another day!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 18-Jan-15 22:16:08

grin @ senvet, me thinks that suggestion would be met with lots of catsbum faces!!

senvet Mon 19-Jan-15 00:07:29

sorry. Sometimes I see a wasps' nest and just have to put a stick in it.

But saying chow should get up earlier, and not allow her to drop off in space allocated to able-bodied staff members seems a bit of an arse-and-elbow mix up.

They are just being rigid, and not thinking of imaginative solutions like having staff parking adjusted to help disabled kids.

ChowNowBrownCow Mon 19-Jan-15 12:36:18

Thank you Senvet, I am going to write and use the argument you have used as it is simple and to the point. I suppose having a cast on was easy and self explanatory for the Head, when a kid 'looks' able bodied and isn't dragged through the school gate, she feels she can't give good reasons for it. As I explained to her before - she doesn't live with him or take him to school - so doesn't have a clue about what leads upto him getting there! I ALso pointed out that on 23 December he was diagnosed ADHD which surely 'officially' explains his impulsiveness !
INEEDMORE- I can see the secretaries face at the mere suggestion of able bodied staff parking to free up space for our kids - cats bum lips indeed grin.

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