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Just need to vent, hopefully it will keep me sane

(14 Posts)
tigerpug Wed 08-Jul-15 20:10:52

Just need to get this down somewhere as DH is away and i haven't been able to get this out to anyone else.

I posted a while ago, ASD DS aged 4, due to start school in September. He receives lots of funded one on one time at his amazingly caring preschool. We live out in the sticks, DS was given a place at our local infant school. They have experience with ASD but we have been refused an EHC plan (we applied for this ourselves with the support of the preschool), infant school isnt able to offer any support for him until he shows he needs it i.e. he struggles. Plus they have a large class size. Not an awful option but far from ideal.

DH's parents who live abroad decided they wanted to help and offered to fund private school. Looked at ASD schools but both are for more severely affected children. I found a private mainstream school in a neighbouring village which is quite academic, and i had my reservations, but the headmaster wouldn't stop telling me how inclusive they are, how they have some ASD kids, and some with behavioural issues. We took DS for a day and they 'assessed' him - headmaster said they thought he was fantastic, well behaved, good with his numbers etc. They offered him a place straight away. On many occasions (phone calls, meetings etc) I had explained to the headteacher and reception teacher all about DS, almost trying to highlight the hardest things about him, because I wanted them to know exactly what they were dealing with before a decision was made by us to enrol him. I told them he could be loud, over enthusiastic etc etc. They kept telling me how they could offer him a much better education than the infant school.

DS and I have had many sleepless nights and conversations over the last few months, trying to decide what is best for DS. I have obsessed about this, it was such a huge responsibility. Neither option were perfect but ultimately we decided that the private school, with its tiny class sizes and its claim to know lots about ASD children was the front runner.

I took him in on Monday for another taster day. When I picked him up the head teacher was absent from the meeting - done a bunk perhaps. The reception teacher then sat me down, stony faced, and told me that DS was loud, over excitable, kept shouting hello and older children, and said "Poop" a lot. Basically everything i had told them about, and everything that had told me they could deal with. She didn't say a single positive thing about him, and told me that he didn't know any of his numbers. Eh? He can recite up to 60+ and recognise every number up to 30. She told me he would need a full time TA if he was going to join. But I got the impression she would rather jump ship then teach my DS.

I sat there feeling sick, choking back the tears. I have never heard my son spoken about in such a negative way, yes he has his issues, but he is kind, happy and smart. Not unkind, naughty etc. I am always the first to highlight his faults (as awful as that sounds), this was the first time I have ever had to defend him.

What the hell happened?? I am utterly gobsmacked and very hurt. I am incredible sensitive about anything relating to DS, worry about his future, about how I am hoping with him. I have been completely played by the school. For them its nothing, it didn't even warrant a call from the headmaster which the teacher said would happen this morning. They have moved on already, the situation is so insignificant to them. Why on earth did they do this to us?

They have left me feeling completely gutted for DS, feeling that he is so much further from 'normal' then I had ever thought. All the hours of talking, weighing up our options, it was all for nothing. All the meetings, and worries in the night. DS came home telling me how much fun he had, how much he enjoyed it there, he brought home photos of his day and wants to go back there tomorrow. He isnt good enough for them is he? Thats the most heartbreaking thing. Why did they string us along for so many months when they could have just politely declined.

pannetone Wed 08-Jul-15 20:29:09

That's awful tigerpugsad Longterm you will look at it as a 'lucky' escape but right now it must be so hurtful to have had your DS talked about like that. And to have 'stringed you along' for such a long time is appalling.

But your DS is still the clever, kind boy you know and all those awful things they said aren't the true picture. The complete turnaround from your DS's first assessment is because they have decided they don't want him at their definitely-not-inclusive school, but it is all lies -which you know - his maths ability hasn't suddenly disappeared.

Your poor DS excited about going there sad. I really feel for you now having to start again and find a school for September. flowers

tigerpug Wed 08-Jul-15 20:47:40

I cannot fathom why this happened? The amount of phone calls and emails they sent, telling me how they were the perfect school for ds, how great they thought he was. The things I told them about ds, his difficulties etc, did they not listen to me?? He went into a strange place for an entire day, where he knew no one, surely you would expect him not fit in straight away. As today goes on I'm getting more and more angry with them. It's nothing to them but it has left me feeling heartbroken, poor ds. I wish I had the guts to ring them, but I don't think I can listen to another bad word said about him.

It makes no sense. And it's nothing to them, they couldn't even be bothered to explain themselves today. This sadness is going to stay with me for a very long time.

amunt Wed 08-Jul-15 21:20:46

Shockingly stupid and insensitive of them. Presumably they were only interested in the fees and could not be bothered to listen to you or realise how important it was to you. If you could summon the energy, it would great for you to get it all down in a letter to the chair of governors, adding how little they value their word of mouth reputation.

2boysnamedR Wed 08-Jul-15 21:25:23

Hugs. That's poo. Really very poor. It's not your ds, it's them.

You could do a few things. One is write a concise email telling them that you had poited this all out before hand. They reassured you then backtracked which has wasted your time or....

Write a really rude, shouty letter and then rip it up. I did to my la officer. It took my rage away. ( don't do it via email in case you send it- said la officer has cc'd me twice on emails by mistake).

Thing is, this is a learning curve. The process is horrible. But people offer things they can't meet, say they understand when then never can, or just darn right lie.

Yes this path is rocky but no it's absolutely not the best your son can get.

Don't ever feel like you need to defend your child. It's the world that needs to change for him.

My son is sqaure peg in a round hole. I will never accept smoothing his edges off to fit in. He needs the hole filled off wine

tigerpug Wed 08-Jul-15 21:49:31

I could certainly write a letter of complaint, but in a way I feel as though I don't want to give them any more of my time (even though I've thought about it all day!), plus they probably wouldn't bother reading it!

You're right, it was all about the fees. But surely after I had repeatedly told him all about ds, shouldn't he then have questioned whether he wanted us? When ds visited he may have been loud, and he may have said poop a few times, but he also would have been chatty, fun and happily involved in all the activities?? Why was nothing positive said about him? What did he do that was so wrong? I kept asking if there was something he did that was so awful they couldn't tell me, but no, it was simply him behaving in the way I had told them he would behave. Which wasn't even bad!! He's a good kid!!

I am about ready to flip now (angry stage is here!). I sat there so quietly and trying not to cry, feebly waiting for any positive words about ds. I should have given them hell.

PolterGoose Thu 09-Jul-15 07:35:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigerpug Thu 09-Jul-15 21:00:12

Still venting be feel a little better after writing this. Shall I send it?

Dear Mr **,

I understood my husband called you today. Perhaps I misunderstood
when I was told by both of your reception teachers several times that
you would be calling me yesterday.

My 4 year old autistic son spent a day at your school, away from
anyone he knows and in an unfamiliar environment. I got the
impression that he struggled and therefore exhibited behaviour that I
had explained to you at length, and over several discussions. I am a
little confused at the shocked reaction of your reception teacher,
after I had explained my son in great detail, and following your email
explaining you were very confident that you could offer DS support.

I am extremely hurt that the teacher wasnt able to say anything
positive about DS after the time he spent in the "caring, nurturing
environment" of St School. What she saw was a little boy struggling,
as he often does. DS can lack focus, be very over excitable and
needs help to learn he cant approach older children - all of which you
have been made aware of by ourselves. He is also clever, kind, funny,
and is working twice as hard as any "normal" child to make sense of
everything. After hearing her remarks I was put in an unusual
position, it is the first time I have ever had to defend my sons
behaviour and abilities.

Your teachers claim that he doesn't know any numbers is incorrect, as
you had told me yourself that he was able to count and recognise
numbers when he last attended St School. He can easily count up to 60
and is learning to add and subtract. I am a little concerned that she
was unable to encourage DS to recite a few numbers, which he can do
quickly and easily at home and at preschool.

I am very sorry that my 4 year old son said "poop", and I understand
her comment that this is "not acceptable" at St School. I will do
everything in my power to make sure DS never hears this word from
another child again, as autistic children do tend to repeat words
sometimes, particularly in situations where they feel uneasy or under
pressure. I will do my utmost to ensure the word "poop" disappears
from his vocabulary.

Thank you for your time over the last few months. It has been a
learning curve for us, and i think that perhaps we now realise that St
Schools "inclusive" and "tailored programme of education" isnt quite
right for our son.

Kind Regards,

2boysnamedR Fri 10-Jul-15 00:11:36

I'd keep it for a while before sending. I normally wrote my emails at night and re right in the morning, but.....

If your sure he's never going there why not? Might make you feel better.

I loved emailing my LA rep last night at 1am and asking if she wants me to scan in ds statement appendix and I presume her working doc has not in fact been touched as my son still hasn't changed his name by deed poll to Ryan.

Childish? Yes but I'm still smiling and fun is thin on the ground when your on your third appeal and it's taken three years.

ouryve Fri 10-Jul-15 00:16:33

infant school isnt able to offer any support for him until he shows he needs it i.e. he struggles.

They sound shit and private school sound like expensive gold plated shit, unfortunately sad

In most places, the best you can do for a bright child with marked AN is find an inclusive mainstream school, which is not necessarily private. IME it's down to luck. I've been lucky, I know of many parents here who haven't.

ouryve Fri 10-Jul-15 00:20:33

Sorry, expensive gold plated poop. Fecking numpties. (no patience with people who don't listen because they're too busy marketing).

2boys, glad my LA isn't the only one prone to C&P FUBARS. If it helps, DS1's fabulous mentor at school struggles similarly with such late 20th century technology.

Banananutella Fri 10-Jul-15 06:42:49

Bums on seats sadly
Maybe in the gap between giving you the spiel and this happened they got other applications and realised they had enough numbers
We had something similar at a private school
Three years on there's still a scar but he is thriving in the local state
It was a lucky lucky lucky escape

You gotta look forward at his future at the state school. Thank goodness these people aren't going to be his teachers

tigerpug Sat 11-Jul-15 00:21:26

I sent it this morning, and surprisingly I don't regret it. He replied and said he was confused that I didn't bring ds in the next day for his second taster day. I have a feeling that if I had turned up the reception teacher would have run for the hills!

Thanks everyone for your supportive and helpful responses. I have had a breakthrough at the state primary, they have said they may allow us to fund some help for ds in sept (using the pil offer of financial support), and ds had a positive induction day there yesterday. A less than perfect situation but hopefully I will think the same as you banananutella, in a year or so.

Banananutella Sat 11-Jul-15 16:13:28

Large class size hasn't been a problem because with a 1-1 it doesn't matter how many other kids there are. It's always 1:1 even if there are ten others or thirty! If anything it has been better because there are more kids so more of a chance to find like minded souls

Great they may let you fund some help (not all schools do this) & then you can reapply for EHCP in time

It is honestly the best thing that could possibly have happened from my experience. The sadness has stayed but fades. Now I just can't believe that an actual school can behave in this way.

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