ASD Son starting secondary tomorrow and I'm suddenly very anxious

(25 Posts)
Titsywoo Tue 04-Sep-18 19:55:03

He hates school with a passion anyway so isn't looking forward to going back tomorrow. But he is going with noone he knows and obviously struggles socially so god knows how he will find his new classmates and how they react to him is a big worry. He is certainly very quirky and I know many children find him annoying sad

His uniform is going to be hard for him to get used to as his sensory issues meant he was allowed to wear jogging bottoms and polo shirts at school for primary but secondary won't allow it so its smart trouser, shirt, tie, jumper and blazer all day. He is overweight (trying to deal with this) around his belly so his trousers are big but too big around the legs and bum so look a bit clown like. I tried to get some made and picked them up today but they are just as bad. He can't do his top button up or clip his tie on. I know he will get used to it but it's not a great start.

His memory and organisation are terrible so who knows what he will lose or what homework he will forget. It's a big school and without the sort of relationship with the form teacher we had a primary school I'm so worried how to manage everything. He will have a laptop for longer pieces of work as he struggles with handwriting (hypermobile) but I'm still unsure how this will work re carrying it around all day and haven't heard back from the SENCO yet.

He doesn't have an EHCP - he does well academically and copes day to day so they said he won't get one and I'm not sure he needs it.

His sister is there already but not sure how much that will help if at all.

Basically after a summer of fun and ignoring the inevitable I am now shitting myself sad Luckily DS isn't worried but after seeing a friends DS fall apart after starting secondary school I am not sure what the hell is going to happen.

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vickibee Tue 04-Sep-18 19:58:41

Ditto he is making excuses about not liking the trouser I bought him says he isn’t going tomorrow. All the same issue as you

Titsywoo Tue 04-Sep-18 20:05:11

Sorry to hear you are in the same situation vickibee. Fingers crossed for them both! And us!

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vickibee Tue 04-Sep-18 20:41:27

I just hope they get the support they need straight away so there are no problems. Ds has an ehcp so I hope that it will be implemented. Had extra transition time so hopefully that will help. Also high functioning and can keep up with the work.
Let’s just st get the first day over with and it may be easier after that

My Ds also has a robust middle, I don’t think he can control his appetite, I had trouble finding trousers that fit. Had to get custom made ones online and he doesn’t like them. Says they bulge around his private parts.. i literally tried dozens of shops and none fitted.

MumUnderTheMoon Tue 04-Sep-18 20:46:04

Surely not forcing him to wear the complete uniform is a "reasonable adjustment". There is an article disabled students legal rights here https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/adjustments-disabled-students

vickibee Tue 04-Sep-18 20:49:12

I agree under the moon but they are strict on uniform, you get into bother for your shirt being in tucked or forgetting a pen. If you get 5 lies in a week you get a two hour detention. Ds cannot organise and I have to micromanage him, god knows hw he is going to stay out of bother if these are the rules in. A school that is very academically driven

Titsywoo Tue 04-Sep-18 21:12:52

Well so you would think Mum but with no EHCP and not being registered as disabled (and to be frank I wouldn't consider my son disabled) they won't budge much although they did say he might be able to wear the summer polo shirt all year round if he does find it too much so that is a possibility.

The trouser thing is a real pain isn't it vicki? I understand why we have uniforms for school but blimey they are such a pain!

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MumUnderTheMoon Tue 04-Sep-18 22:12:39

I must have misunderstood, I thought he had sensory processing disorder which you could argue required reasonable adjustments so that he could fulfil his full potential at school. For the purposes of reasonable adjustments the term "disabled" extends to dyslexic and dyspraxic students and so on so I thought it might be useful.

Titsywoo Tue 04-Sep-18 22:48:46

It may do but to be honest it's so confusing and noone seems to give you any information or direction! I think I'll give it a week and see how he is getting on then if he is still uncomfortable will talk to the SENCO.

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Nettleskeins Tue 04-Sep-18 23:08:39

lunch in the SEN room was a big help for my ds2. Ds1 also used to hang out there. Small friendly spaces with resident adult at unstructured hours like lunch made things easier for my sons.
Your son may surprise you with the friends.
However, ds2 found the first year really difficult. He had autism and no EHCP, although the SEN department bent over backwards to help him, and include him in clubs. It was the other people he "hated", he liked the lessons and the teachers. He was very well behaved, and hated the bad behaviour of the other children, which was probably just normal behaviour but to him, chaos.
Now at a different school he is thriving, very good friendship group, just entered Sixth form with very good Gsces. But that is a long story! Just keep an open mind and keep reminding the SEN department and teachers if necessary about the reasonable adjustments. In my son's case, homework was reduced to core subjects and he was allowed to type/scribe homework, and not told off for poor presentation, ever (flashpoint for him, as his writing was so terrible and poorly spelt too)

Ds2 just received a 9 in history GSCE and an 8 in English literature and 7 in English language, with ASD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Scraped baseline in his SATs in Primary Year 6. Just to show you how things can change, and school can be a success, on every level. smile

Nettleskeins Tue 04-Sep-18 23:14:17

I would also be very forceful about the detentions being imposed on your son for what is probably part of his autism, ie the executive function/disorganisation. Ds had one detention for forgetting something and he hardly could cope at all with the shame, it set him back weeks in terms of anxiety and defensiveness. You have to really be proactive reminding the SENCO about his diagnosis and what it means in practical terms for those teaching and supervising him. Ie loud telling off/instructions which are not clear, not breaking down instructions, literal understanding of commands. Ds has one of the highest conduct records of any student, despite his poor executive function, and the teachers will realise quickly that with your ds on their side he will be probably one of the better behaved students, and observe rules brilliantly. So all the more reason not to impose any petty punishments and undermine him.

Nettleskeins Tue 04-Sep-18 23:18:09

Also to reassure you about the weight, that age they can be podgy and then shoot up, if you keep the exercise going, things will even out, ds is very tall and handsome now, having been on the overweight side in Year 7, just as you describe.
Don't forget the Vitamin D supplements too, made a big difference as winter set in to both my sons. 10mcg a day supplement (500iu) is recommended by govt.

Titsywoo Tue 04-Sep-18 23:24:30

Thanks nettleskeins that's all really helpful smile

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vickibee Thu 06-Sep-18 09:40:39

so his first day went OK according to SENCO. In fact he had found it all to much and came home in a distressed state. He was agitated and really hard to manage
Having to move around school, having different teachers, the noise etc
he is good at masking his feelings in such situations then all hell breaks loose at home. Fortunately he was exhausted and fell asleep at 830pm

LightTripper Thu 06-Sep-18 09:47:10

Did he go in OK this morning vickibee?

Titsywoo Thu 06-Sep-18 10:51:30

Sorry to hear it was a struggle for him vicki. I hope today goes better. Ds had a pretty good day and said he preferred it to primary school where he was frustrated and bored. However he only had two lessons which were computing and art so will see how he copes with a full day today which includes English and pe. Last night I had to make adjustments to some of his uniform so he'd cope with getting changed. He can't do up his top shirt button so I replaced that with Velcro and added elastic to his tie as even though it's a clip on its quite fiddly to attach. He should be in that lesson now so fingers crossed it goes ok. I am worried about his organisation. He got lost yesterday and the head of house had to search the school to find him!

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vickibee Thu 06-Sep-18 11:02:31

Lets hope today is better

He went Ok but with heightened anxiety. We had to check his bag lots in case he had forgotten anything. He also couldn't find his tie which he used last night for slapping me round the face.

Titsywoo - ds is also struggling with the uniform, cant fasten the shirt buttons so how is he going to manage PE? he can clip on the tie but he feels very uncomfortable in it.
He has Design Tech and IT today which will prob be his favourite subjects so fingers crossed, he is a doer nit a thinker. He has a two week rotating timetable which even I find confusing so goodness knows how kids will know which week they are on!

Titsywoo Thu 06-Sep-18 13:20:03

The uniform is such a pain isn't it? I'm not sure DS will cope today as it is pretty warm here and they have to wear a fairly thick jumper over their shirts plus their blazer on top at all times which I think is barbaric. I've got a feeling he'll be getting in trouble a lot over the uniform policy!

DS also has the two week timetable. He has a copy in his planner and I've typed another one up and put it on the fridge so he can see each morning which books he needs. I've also got a magazine file for each subject so everything can be kept together and is easy to find. DD has a set of drawers from hobbycraft so she has a drawer for each subject. I found there were often loose bits of paper so keeping everything separated was less confusing!

After DDs meltdown yesterday I'm dreading the end of school - if they both come back in a state I might have a meltdown myself!

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vickibee Fri 07-Sep-18 06:47:57

His second day , he seemed to cope better. He was calmer when he got home. Thank goodness for that
I am going to schedule a meeting with senco and his taf to see the support he is actually getting because it is clearly set out in his ehcp and I don’t just want it to get filed in a cupboard,
What about. You titsywoo

Titsywoo Fri 07-Sep-18 08:05:21

Glad your ds is coping better smile He said last night that he doesn't want to go in tomorrow because it is boring. Same thing I've heard everyday for years so not really a big shock. He seems alright this morning though. I'm still waiting for the SENCO to reply to my email. Not sure how long I should wait before chasing as I'm sure she's very busy.

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vickibee Fri 07-Sep-18 10:53:09

He has science and music today so he is looking forward to that. He is so excited about using a Bunsen burner, he was looking it up on google and knows everything there is to know about this.
He also talked excitedly about Luke and Jake who he said were his friends
Ds only refuses school when something has gone wrong so if everything is kept calm he should go smile

Titsywoo Fri 07-Sep-18 10:58:35

Same here re science and music! Although he had science yesterday which was biology so hopefully it will be chemistry or physics today as he was quite disappointed! He also has reading today (they do this in year 7 and 9 - just an hour every two weeks) so he has taken Harry Potter. Glad your DS is starting to make friends smile No luck for DS on that front but it took him 3 years at primary so I'm not expecting anything this early.

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vickibee Sat 08-Sep-18 10:10:58

Ds came home buzzing on Friday because in music they were learning about digital recording, right up his strret. He loved it and was last lesson so he came home with a positive. He is shattered though, he is still asleep at 10 am and will be getting him up soon.

PandorasMum Sun 16-Sep-18 00:49:41

I've literally just joined mumsnet on the advice of 2 proffessionals lol my son has just done exactly what u were saying. Just finished his second wk of secondary whole uniform scenario which he is not used to one bit nor his shoe laces i try so hard with him everyday and i know he trys his best but each time i drop him at those gates im going out of my mind with worry. He is in no way prepared (neither am i) hes already had to incidents although small with other pupils. He doesnt have friends there nor does he find it easy to make friends. I know i need to let go to a point but blimey! This is hard work

Titsywoo Sun 16-Sep-18 13:57:51

Hi Pandora. Does your son have to wear laces? Ds is still wearing Velcro school shoes and lots of boys seem to. For pe I got him some Clarke's trainers which are stretchy laces with one Velcro strap at the top so look like standard trainers but are easy to get on. I'm just making adjustments to make his life easier.

He got on pretty well this week. He seems to be getting involved in class discussions and has got quite a few merits which he loves. He is using the special needs room in the lunchtimes it is open. Also is chatting a fair bit with one particular boy in his class. All in all he is much happier than I expected.

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