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Advice on school(13 Posts)
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hello I'm new here and would really appreciate people's views on this. I apologise if it's long. My son turned 8 in December. He has struggled with his school work since reception. He can hardly write a sentence without my help. He is under a specialist and they suspect he has Aspergers along with dyslexia. However, he hasn't had a full diagnosis yet so his school cannot give him level appropriate work and he is struggling so much it is breaking my heart . His attendance is 100%, he goes everyday but ever since returning in December, I have noticed a massive diffrence in his general well being. He has no self belief, he seems sad all the time, he wets the bed, hardly eating and he cries every night about having to go to school. He has developed cold sores in the corner of his mouth (related or due to cold weather I'm not sure, but he's never had them before). Im at my wits end as I have to send him as I will have the attendance officer at my house but he isn't learning a thing whilst he's there. I pay for a private tutor once a week who is trained in special education teaching and he loves it there. He comes out beaming unlike his usual school days where he is withdrawn and sometimes enraged. I apologise again for the long message. I have applied to have a CAF in place but so far heard nothing back (although it's only been a week)
Hi Emma. It must be horrid to have to make him do something that makes him unhappy. I'm not an expert but I would go and meet with other schools, explain and see if they seemed committed to offering him somewhere to thrive. If not, is there anyway you can home educate. I really think children do best where there is love and encouragement. It may be that for now he would be best off at home?
Thank you so much for replying. I have thought of keeping him off but wouldn't know if I was liable for been taken to court. He loves his friends there and I don't know if moving him out of his school would uset him more or not. I have thought of keeping him at home as I can't stand to see him so upset. I shall go visit a school close by and see if they can help him further. Thank you again x
It must be so tough. Go to a few schools and be really honest about your concerns, write a list and don't avoid talking about the emotional issues - I have a hunch that if that could be supported the rest of it would feel more manageable too. You'll know if they're going to help, and if they're not, maybe think about putting a plan together to support him at home. You're right, you can't just pull him out, but if you research it and plan it, I'm sure you could make it work? Maybe just for a year or two until he is more robust?
Also, what resource are you getting from your GP? Have you been referred to any kind of therapy? Sorry, I don't know enough about your situation but you sound like a lovely mum x
You can deregister him from school tomorrow of you want to. Agree with looking at other schools and see if they will be better for him. But you can home ed all you like until then. If home ed isn't realistic for you, then have a meeting with the Senco and the teacher. They should be able to make life better for him while you search for a more suitable school.
And the school he is in now should give him appropriate work regsrdless of a dx.
We've moved this to Special Needs: Children for you now; hopefully you'll get some further advice and support there.
You can choose to home educate but then would be taking on financial commitment to meet all his needs. It would be hard to access any specialist services if you home ed. There is a home ed thread and local home ed groups and websites which could give you more advice.
You can also ask the head for permission to flexi school so he only goes part time and you do part time home ed. That way he's still in the system.
You need to go into school and meet the SENCO and explain what's happening re his change of behaviour and ask what more they can do / whether for eg they can get specialist dyslexia teacher to come into school and see him or autism outreach etc. You don't always need a diagnosis for this.
The school could also put in some 1:1 or pull him out of lessons to do small group or 1:1 work.
Have a look at Sen code of practice which sets out what a school should be doing. He should have an IEP and clear targets and deadline when they will be reviewed to see if he has made progress.
You can also self refer to the ed psych and ask them to assess / advise school on strategies. Look on council website should be on their local offer.
If things don't improve and no one is doing anything then apply for statutory assessment (for education, health and care plan). Most children with aspergers and dyslexia will get the application refused on the basis their needs can be met at school level, but you can appeal that decision and sometimes it's only by going the legal route that you focus minds - when they realise they have to explain to a tribunal what they have and have not done.
Keep posting on here you will find lots of support.
Any school that tells you they cant provide the correct level of work for your child is lying! Every child is an individual and teachers are meant to differentiate the work so that every child can access it, with or without a diagnosis!!
Agree with others look at other schools, remove him if you think home ed is a possibility for you or arrange a meeting with the school if you really want to make it work and ask them what they are going to do to support your Ds!
This makes me so cross. Support at school is not dependent on diagnosis but on need. If he is not learning anything then school should be putting in support for him. Have they for instance called in an education psychologist or applied for an EHCP for him. Do they agree with you that he is making no progress. I would ask for a meeting with the SENCO and his class teacher as a first step and ask what steps they are taking to help.
Your comment about the cold sores was interesting as ds2 was plagued with them in his last year or so in mainstream but you have just made me realise that now he is happier in his specialist school he has been pretty much free of them.
You can apply for an assessment of his educational needs for an ECHP - you will find IPSEA's website helpful. WWW.IPSEA.org.uk
The NAS also have an education helpline 0808 800 4102 where you can be allocated a trained education volunteer to help you navigate the system
If you have some money you could also get an independent assessment eg from an Educational Psychologist (EP or Ed Psych for short). Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) can also be helpful as ASD is a language disorder - for a mainstream child it tends to be body language and social skills that are away from the majority. Finally if writing is such a problem then a good Occupational Therapist (OT) should be in the mix - the best ones for ASD tend to have extra qualifications in sensory issues as so many ASD kids have some unusual reactions to sound, light or touch - some are sensory seeking eg for touch - wanting to feel everything - whist being eg sound averse, fingers in ears when several people are talking on a car. Other kids can be sense averse - hating the seams in clothes, and sensory seeking eg running to bright lights etc.
age 8 is a pretty typical age for things to go pear-shaped at mainstream as the mainstream kids' body language starts to come thicker and faster and the gap between a dc with ASD/dyslexia starts to widen and self esteem can drop.
I think making sure that the school are fully aware of dc's increasing distress (keep a diary of everything helps) and see if they will apply for the ECHP, or at least ask them to pull in some extra support from EP OT and SALT.
The writing bothers me - my ds is dyslexic and learned to touch type about age 8. It was boring and took a good deal of incentivising to get him to do the modules, but it is DEFINITELY worth it.
Good Luck and keep in touch
There is a lot of support here - and if you see 'honk and flap' then that is encouragement!
hello flying, my ds age 11 had a really hard time at mainstream school I was so worried about his wellbeing that I took him out of school. I did not get into any trouble with the la and spoke to the educational welfare officer who told me the la do not take parents like me to court just people whose children have very poor attendance and obviously cant be bothered (although la's policies differ). Having time at home enabled both of us to recharge our batteries and put what's really important into perspective. The main benefit for us was that professionals took my concerns much more seriously and there appeared to be a greater sense of urgency. I know it is so upsetting taking your child into an environment where they are desperately unhappy, you don't have to until the correct support and provision is in place. wishing you and your dc the best of luck, keep strong and keep posting, this is a brilliant board with wise mums who have been there, it has helped me loads
Thank you all for the lovely comments and helpful advice. He has a IEP but it's not helping much. I have a meeting with the SENCO and his teacher on Thursday and thankfully they're both lovely. I see his specialist in March and hoping she can help me get him a proper diagnosis. Thank you all again I'm very greatfull xx
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