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ASD and secondary school(8 Posts)
Hi my DS has high functioning ASD. He's 11 now and has just started secondary school. It's a small school, about 600 children and it has a good SN department, apparently. DS has a statement and gets 20 hrs support a week. He's a gentle soul, very sensitive, wouldn't hurt a fly. He struggles to make friends, he has severe anxiety, cries easily and will literally cower in fear.
We moved to be in catchment for this school as DS simply wouldn't cope with a large secondary school. He's been badly bullied in the past because of his ASD so we moved to a different part of the country,
So he's started. In week two, he was given a detention for not doing homework by his form tutor. He was never given the homework and he broke down in tears. Took two members of staff to sort him out. The other boys then started taking the piss out of him and the teacher didn't give a shit. So I found out and made them move him to a new tutor group. Apparently the class was 'spoken to' about unkind behaviour.
Last week, DS missed lunch. I emailed school when he got home and told me as he won't tell them anything. His keyworker replied basically telling me to sod off, that she didn't want to hear from me, that DS must sort it out for himself. So I've taken her at her word and backed right off.
Now she's putting pressure on DS to walk to school by himself (we live close by but I had been giving him a lift as I drive passed the school on the school run with DD) plus he's got no road sense. He's been in tears over the weekend as he feels 'it's just too much chance' - his words. 'Too much pressure, not ready to let go, doesn't feel right' he told his keyworker how he felt but she continued to pressure him.
Now DS feels some of the other kids are laughing about him, sniggering at him, whispering about him. He says he feels he's a laughing stock and this is the way his life will be. He says he feels a fool.
Given the attitude of his keyworker, what do I do? I want him to be confident and to sort it for himself but I know he's 11, has severe anxiety and is sad.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
It all sounds a bit hit and miss - I think I would be looking to get a meeting arranged with the SENCo to get things nipped in the bud. Are you happy with how his supported hours are being used?
Why is the keyworker fixating on how he gets to school? It sounds like a deflection tactic and I would not be amused. If you're happy to drop him off for now, I would. And I would email his keyworker and tell her DS needs to arrive at school as calm as possible and you can revisit the idea of him walking alone when his general school anxiety has reduced.
This sounds totally unacceptable behaviour on the part of the support worker. Does this person have any experience in autism? It sounds not - I'd be asking for a different staff member who is suitably qualified. How he gets to school is not the keyworker's business. If it is stressful you are completely right to take him! It's one of the many social difficulties he has to negotiate in a day so there's no point adding to his load unnecessarily. It's like saying that someone in a wheelchair should join in with the cross country run. This requires emergency action and a meeting with the SENCO and if no joy, the Head, and if that's unsuccessful a formal complaint to the school. That should work to avoid going higher than that. Good luck - it all sounds horrendously stressful for you all
DS has a statement and gets 20 hrs support a week
So school is getting well paid for this Keyworker to waste time on foolishness about 'walking to school'. Which is none of their business. Your job is to ensure he gets there on time, by whatever means you see fit. Their job is to educate him on arrival.
And yet she's not able to deal with bullying, or help him with anything else. I think they've taken the £ and given your Ds the untrained/numpty.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your advice.
I've emailed the SENCo about it. I'm sick of it. Thanks again
Perhaps point out to the TA that your son is doing incredibly well to cope with a mainstream secondary. Neither of mine managed this, Infact walking about 5 metres ahead of me is as independent as nearly fourteen year old ds2 gets! ds1 is slightly more independent but that is because he is well supported at his specialist school - take away that scaffold of support and he struggles enormously still. Sure our ultimate goal is independence but pushing them before they are ready ends up in disaster for my ds's anyway.
If they quibble about the issue of getting to school I'd say it's your "reasonable adjustment" for his ASD. They should be taking care of "reasonable adjustments" in school - which they don't seem to be....