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Advice?? child wont go to school

(16 Posts)
dmcd11 Thu 30-Dec-04 18:30:14

I know of a 6 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome who will not go to school - his mum feels terrible having to force him to go. He cannot sleep at night/hates school/feels physically sick at the thought/gets aggressive. Can anyone share their experiences of any similar problem and how (if) you were able to overcome it. Thanks

happymerryberries Thu 30-Dec-04 18:41:59

There are lots of people with a lot of experience of this on MN and I am sure they will be around soon. Just out of interest, what sort of support is he getting in the school? Has he a statement and is the school meeting it? What are the school saying?

coppertop Thu 30-Dec-04 18:42:09

Does she know what it is about school that he doesn't like? Has he always been this way or did something trigger it off?

Has she considered the possibility of taking him out of school altogether and going for the Home Education option? I know it's not ideal for everyone but there are support groups online which deal with home educating children with SN. There is also the Education Otherwise site which offers a lot of help and support. It's an option I had considered in the past (my 4yr-old is autistic) but we are lucky that ds1 loves school so far.

Are the school offering any help with the problem?

Apologies for all the questions.

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 18:55:25

Coppertop - Hope you don't mind me asking and being nosy but has your ds been dx with HFA or Aspergers. I just haven't ever been sure

coppertop Thu 30-Dec-04 19:24:38

Good question. When ds1 saw the Paed for his first appointment (where she decided to refer him for a full assessment) she told us that she was as sure as she could be that he had AS. In her written report she states that he has HFA but during appointments she tends to use HFA and AS interchangeably.

From what I've read, language needs to have developed within the normal age range in order to get a dx of AS. Ds1 really only started to use language at about 3yrs. OTOH he has the high IQ (though still untested) that is usually associated with AS. I generally tend to use HFA as that is what is in writing in his reports.

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 19:28:54

As you know the only dx we have for dd is language disorder although the school have said she is on the spectrum. Will never get a dx as she seems to have bits of everything but not enough of anything to get an actual diagnosis. She is a real mixture.
I am actually reading the Tony Attwood book on Aspergers and cannot see dd in it at all. The same thing as you have ct in that dd was severely delayed with speech. Although has really caught up but stil has serious problems understanding some simple things and then understands things you wouldn't expect her to. Very complex little thing she is

coppertop Thu 30-Dec-04 19:36:41

The "not understanding what they're supposed to but understanding what they're not supposed to" sounds just like ds1. The SALT at his CDC assessment noted that when she asked ds1 to point to the horse's tail he didn't have a clue. When she asked him which of 2 animals was the heaviest he got it right every time!

JaysMumWantsaSilentNight Thu 30-Dec-04 19:55:15

Right from day one school was not the place for J. He is STILL awaiting a dx of ASD(Aspergers) although we have dx of a whole host of other conditions on the spectrum.
J suffered every day he was in school. He was taunted, bullied, assaulted - by other pupils and Staff.
We fought so hard to get J his statement and finally won the battle.
Even with his 1:1 support J hated every minute he was in school.He could not bear the noise, the social communication, the smell, the pressure of school work. No matter how many times I went into school to ask for help in dealing with J's difficulties, nothing was ever done to accomodate J's needs.
It became a real case of J fitting the school and not the school meeting J's emotional and educational needs.
I sat and watched my son disappear. He locked himself away further into his own world. Communication with him was breaking down faster than a bolt of lightening. He didnt trust us...we were hurting him every day because we sent him to the hell whole we called school.
Finally J enlisted the help of his one and only friend and he wrote a letter to us explaining how he felt. He wrote this letter in his jotter book and then left it in a place where we would find it.......
Dear Mummy & Daddy,
Help. I scared. I fritenen. I hurt. School hurt me. School make me sic. The bell hurt me. The childrn hurt me. They laff at me. They hurt me. I run away. I run fast. Faster home. Home safe. Home cosy. Home to Mum. Home to Dad.School make me ded. I want ded. I love you. Help me. I scared.

Finding that letter reduced me to tears. I thought I had done everything I could do to help my son. I had fought for his needs to be met in his school. I had fought for him to be kept in a mainstream school but I had battled to keep J in an environment where he would never be understood. Made me feel like a real cr@p parent.
J asked his Dad to tell him how to hang himself....not nice things to hear from your child.
Hubby and I made the decission that night to remove our son from mainstream schooling. We got our GP to write a letter to the LEA stating that the placement in a mainstream school was causing our son psychological damage and that J should remain absent from school until a placement in the local special school could be offered.
LEA rolled over and played ball.....we have got a placement for J in Sept the meantime J is at home with us being educated by ourselves.
He has come on in leaps and bounds and has begun to laugh again. He is sooooo much happier now....and so is the whole house.
Sometimes school just is not the right place for some children.....we just have to listen to them.
The sad thing is it took me 5 years before I really listened to my son....and thank goodness I did...I dread to think what may have happened if I hadn't.

dmcd11 Thu 30-Dec-04 20:58:47

Thank you for all of your replies. The little boy I started the thread about is waiting for a statement but I think that it is unlikely that he can go back to his own school.
I thought you might like to know what happened to my son (who is now 13). He couldn't bear mainstream school and also has AS. He had problems in school as soon as he started - he became aggressive/wasn't able to learn (despite being bright)/developed "odd behaviour" etc. I fought for support/statement etc for him but when he was 7 I managed to get him a place in an ASD unit attatched to a mainstream school. It has been the making of him. He now LOVES school and is a different boy - he gets the support he needs and his self esteem is so much better now. It is sheer luck that I lived in the right place at the right time, as I know many area's do not have ASD units - unfortunatley, places are hard to find but something you may like to know exist as an option (if you are not aware of them).

Blossomhill Thu 30-Dec-04 21:01:37

That's really positive dmcd11 to hear how well your ds has done
My dd (5) who has a dx of language disorder is in a language unit and is also doing well. I know how lucky we are too!

Jimjams Thu 30-Dec-04 21:18:26

There's a good book published by jessica Kingsley about home educating children with autism. it's a collection of contributions from parents (most of the children have AS or HFA). If home education was an option it would be well worth a read.

coppertop Thu 30-Dec-04 22:32:10

How incredibly sad, Jaysmum. I'm so glad he's getting a decent placement.

There are no autism units in this area at all. Since inclusion was brought in we've also lost one of the few special schools in the area too. It just seems to depend so much on where you are. We're really lucky that ds1 loves m/s school so much because the chances of him getting a place in a special school are very small indeed. It's one of the reasons I originally looked into Home Ed.

JaysMumWantsaSilentNight Fri 31-Dec-04 00:59:47

You wouldnt happen to know what the book is called would you?
I think I would find it beneficial given that I am now attempting to Home Teach my little man.

Dreading next week.....Hubby has had the past 6 months off work due to a serious accident. He is going back to work next week. I just know J is going to find it really hard. Both Hubby and I have been sharing the home ed. Now Ive got to play teacher on my own!!!!!
Hubby covered science....not my strong point....have visions of blowing things up with J's new science testing kit!!!!

happymerryberries Fri 31-Dec-04 08:20:12

I can give you some science web sites if yuo like. I mostly have secondary ones but there are so many excelent resources out there.

Jimjams Fri 31-Dec-04 11:12:37

The book's name is Home Educating our Autistic Spectrum Children - Paths are made by Walking edited by Terri Dowty and Kitt Colshaw. Ordering direct from jessica Kingsley is easy and quick- always found her to be reliable- and can be done online here

pixiefish Fri 31-Dec-04 11:18:18

Jaysmum- you're fantastic. Don't beat yourself up if you feel you're not covering part of the curriculum- remember what you are doing with him- that's the important bit

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