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ASD son being bullied in mainstream school :(

(7 Posts)
L1Z Tue 27-Feb-07 14:04:05

Apologies in advance for long post
DS1 has ASD & dyspraxia, and is in year 9 (age 13) of local Grammar School. He is very bright (bit of a maths genius!) and academically I know this is the best school for him BUT......
the special needs provision is non-existent. Since he started in year 7 they have been beyond crap in understanding his conditions. Getting him statemented is proving impossible as he's doing great academically, but socially and mentally he is a mess. He's been bullied since september by a handful lads in his class. It's nothing physical but mostly name-calling, slagging ds off behind his back, trying to turn the other lads in his class against him etc. It's breaking my heart because he was doing so well, and now he's regressed so much it's like he's 7 again (muttering to himself all the time, ticking etc). lots of behaviours I've not seen for a long time.
His paediatrician wants to put him on ADs, and CAMHS have recommended we keep him off school till they pull their finger out and provide some support.
DS has been off since before half term. Spoke to dep head today after he spoke to the class yesterday to see what action was to be taken. He said that a number of boys in the class confirmed DS was being bullied, and named the bullies, but school weren't going to do anything about it as it "wasn't bad enough" as it was only verbal stuff.
My poor son is damn near suicidal and he's telling me it's not bad enough!
I can't get through to him that it's hard enough for DS to make friends, without being ostracised by the other boys.
On top of that there are loads of other issues - they won't provide DS with a toilet pass even though he has a bowel condition. They say he "needs to learn to open his mouth and tell the teacher if he needs to go to the toilet". I said that's like telling a parapalegic kid they "need to learn to run faster".
They always mark him down for poor presentation and tell him he need to make more effort with his handwriting, even though they know he's dyspraxic. When I've brought it up to various teachers at parent's evening they said they hadn't even been told he had Asperger's!!
I just don't know what to do next. I'm sure they are breaking the law. They are letting him down big time, and I feel like I am too.
I can't keep him off school forever, and the longer it goes on the worse it'll become for him. Do I let him take the ADs? I just don't know...
A meeting has been arranged at school between us, the school, his paediatrician, ed psyc, CAMHS support worker but it's not until 27th March. I don't know what to do in the meantime. Has anyone else been in this position? Thanks

2shoes Tue 27-Feb-07 15:31:11

sorry no advice But you have my sympathy
ds(nt) has been bullied in the past and it was heartbreaking. so do hope you are able to get him help.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 27-Feb-07 16:12:14

I presume this grammar school is in the private sector and therefore does not come within the remit of the LEA.

The underlying problems re the school's lack of concern re the bullying and lack of special needs provision needs to be urgently addressed.

Giving him ADs (as your paed) has advised won't solve either of these problems.

Bullying is bullying period and this school are taking no action to bring the prepatraitors to book as its not "bad enough" (this is being said to you no doubt by them to protect the schools reputation). This is outrageous and the school is on shaky ground here. is a good website to look at and has lots of info for both parents and children.

I would also speak to IPSEA ( re this situation you find yourselves in and seek their advice. Would not think that this school would ever go out of their way to provide any extra support anyway so think that the advice of CAMHS is unhelpful.

It sounds to me like he is in the wrong school for his needs and I would remove him permanently. It may have a good academic record certainly but that counts for nothing if their special needs provision is non existant.

caroline3 Tue 27-Feb-07 16:13:20

Had you thought of home ed? I can see why so many parents go down this route - and many of them have SN kids.

It sounds to me like the DH is just treating ds like any other kid rather than taking into account his SN. Obviously they are rubbish at dealing with bullying anyway. I don't know if you have got a copy of the Code of Practice for SEN - The Department of Education will send you one for free. I think it would be worth combing thru that and making note of what areas the school are falling short on. It often seems to shake people up when you refer to official publications/legal authority. Also might be worth trying to contact IPSEA or SOS SEN who could give you some more info on the legal position. I am really sorry you are going thru this, my ds is 7 with AS and this is a worring view of the future for me (although it does not surprise me at all).

coppertop Tue 27-Feb-07 16:19:57

No practical advice but I couldn't leave your thread without posting. The school sounds awful. My feeling is that ADs would only treat the symptoms and not the actual cause. I hope some of the sites mentioned in other posts will be able to tell you where you stand legally. Good luck.xx

L1Z Tue 27-Feb-07 18:58:51

Thanks everyone for your replies and support - it means a lot.

Attila - no it's not private, it's a state-run grammar. We're one of the few areas left in the country that still have the 11+ rollseyes. I am seriously considering moving him, but to be honest there are no other half decent schools in the area. There are a couple out of area that specialise in AS kids, but he'd never get a place in a million years without a statement, and even then there's no guarantee he'd get in. I will definitely take a look at the websites you mentioned though.

Caroline, I have also thought about teaching him at home. I was a teacher so I'm sure I could cope with the curriculum, but DS doesn't work well at all at home. Like lots of AS kids, he compartmentalises (is that a word??) and sees school as a place for working, and home as a place for, well, not working! Homework is one of our ongoing battles!! Try not to worry about the future though - each case is different. My nephew is also autistic (he's only 9) and he is in a marvellous school. I've also got a friend whose dd has had tonnes of support (though admittedly both have mild learning difficulties). That's what makes me mad - they see AS kids who are smart and think they have no problems. It's so misunderstood!!
But I will definitely definelty get in touch with IPSEA.

I've also written a letter of complaint to the board of governors making it clear in no uncertain terms that they're discriminating against him on the grounds of his disablity. Will let you know how I get on! Thanks again so much

jenk1 Tue 27-Feb-07 19:50:20

Liz, this is exactly what happened to my son.
He is 10 and has AS, like your son he is academically very able, he was bullied for a long time but wasnt able to communicate it to us as his parents or his teacher.
His school were applling and refused to address the issue as "he doesnt tell us".
He was signed off from school in January 2006 and we havent sent him back in.

We are now awaiting to go to the SENDIST tribunal as we would like him to go to an independent school for children on the spectrum, but the LEA is refusing.

I couldnt let my son stay in that school one more minute when i learned what had been happening and especially when i saw the attitude of the teachers.
unfortunately it didnt just stop at bullying with DS,he became very depressed and started self-harming.
He has spent the best part of last year recovering by being at home with me.
This is just my experience and i cant tell you what to do but i hope it helps.

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