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What a pleasant surprise I got today!

(13 Posts)
siblingrivalry Fri 05-Sep-08 22:08:34

DH and I had a meeting with dd1's school to discuss the events of the summer (referral to CAMHS/dd1 undergoing ASD dx).

Anyway, the school were AMAZING! As well as dd1's new teacher, the head turned up and a TA who will be working in the class.The TA has a son who is undiagnosed ASD and she is so knowledeable and experienced. In fact, all three of them seemed to have a good understanding of ASD and were totally unfased by everything we told them.

From the start, they all actually listened and were full of really useful advice. The head told us to keep trusting our instincts and warned us of all the pitfalls we might come across. He was totally encouraging and supportive.

The upshot is that they are willing to do whatever is required to help dd1 in school - there are too many examples to post, but her teacher has already printed out timetables for dd1 and has chosen her seat with great care (away from the more 'in your face' kids).

The head also has a support worker who is well versed in helping ASD kids in school and will be bringing her in for advice.
He said that even if we don't get a formal dx for dd1, he is convinced that she needs the same level of support because of the huge spectrum of ASD.

Anyway, I am very aware of how lucky we are, given some of the posts I have read on this topic about crap less helpful schools.
I was hesitating before posting (terrified in case anyone thought I was boasting!) but really I just wanted to let others know that there are decent schools out there, so don't give up hope.
Last week I felt totally disillusioned with the whole dx process and the associated professionals (a whole other story). I feel as though a bit of that has been restored.

However, that's before the next round with CAMHS on Wednesday hmm

siblingrivalry Fri 05-Sep-08 22:33:20

Just to clarify - I am not suggesting anyone would send their dc to a crap school-was referring to the level of support.blush

edam Fri 05-Sep-08 22:37:16

That's a lovely post, sibling. So glad the school is being supportive.

Have had an unutterably crap day, nice to come on MN and see a little ray of sunshine!

luckylady74 Fri 05-Sep-08 22:42:08

Hurrah - so nice to hear good news! My ds1's school has been pretty great for 2 yrs now too, ok the senco scares me, but his teachers have been fab. So good to have the head involved too.
We had a conversaTion about sibling conflict - school has the added advantage of easing that off I find!

siblingrivalry Fri 05-Sep-08 22:49:40

That's what I'm hoping, lucky! They have been fighting non-stop all summer.

Hope tomorrow is a better day,edam smile

lindseyfox Sat 06-Sep-08 20:31:40

thats great to have a supportive school, my brother is 16yrs and just finished secondary school last term he has apsergers sydrome they couldnt have been less supportive, he has had a few tragedys on our family over the past 4yrs and they didnt support him when his behaviour became worse they just excluded him. He is so angry with them he managed to sit 2 exams but says they let him down. so glad you have some support

Widemouthfrog Sat 06-Sep-08 21:43:29

This is how it should be. Thats great news. We also have a very supportive school who pulled out all the stops for us last year when my DS started in reception. Within 3 weeks we had support services in and he is now fully diagnosed and statemented - and school have been vital in helping us to achieve this. Its been a bumpy ride, but they are so accepting - his TA also has a son with AS which is very helpful.

The health professionals on the other hand have been crap - we have got a diagnosis but any further support has been non-existant. I think if school is right that is the biggest battle though. Have you got a statement yet? You can do this pre-diagnosis - it actually speeded up our diagnosis as we already had the reports from the statutory assessment to present to the padiatrician.

Good luck with CAMHS.

amber32002 Sun 07-Sep-08 10:52:22

Yay for schools that know what they're doing!! smile

coppertop Sun 07-Sep-08 13:23:00

It's great to hear that your dd's school is being so helpful.

Ours is lovely too. Ds1 (ASD) is now in Yr4 and has made amazing progress because of the support he's had since he started there in Reception. When the teachers tell me of his latest breakthroughs and achievements I get the feeling that they're every bit as thrilled about it as I am.

Ds2's teachers have been great too. I loved the way his Reception teacher couldn't wait to tell me how ds2 had been able to wait for a whole 30 seconds for something.

siblingrivalry Sun 07-Sep-08 15:32:08

Thanks, everyone. It's great to hear about the schools who are getting it right!

Lindseyfox sad that your db was so badly let down. What is he doing now?

Frog, TBH I haven't got a clue about statements. School don't think she will need 1:1, but does it help with other requirements dd may have? TIA smile

Widemouthfrog Sun 07-Sep-08 18:15:03

Hi siblingrivalry - didn't see your post until now. You may not feel you need a statement, but it does give you more legal rights. Do you feel that all your DDs needs are met - presumably she is on school action, or school action plus. It may be worth requesting a statutory assessment anyway, you can do this yourself or via the school. Your DDs needs will then be fully assessed and evaluated - these needs do not necessarily mean she will need 1:1 support, but there may be specific provision that school should be providing, and without a statement, then the school will not be legally obliged to do so. e.g. my DS has to have specific social skills teaching in regular 'time to talk' sessions, and it outlines a framework for a place of safe retreat, and trained lunchtime supervision to 'help' him to play appropriately with his peers. Having a 1:1 TA - she spends alot of time preparing visual aids, social stories, and specifically working on his fine motor difficulties. It also gives him a dedicated member of staff who he trusts when he does go into meltdown.

This may not be applicable for your DD, but perhaps it is something for you to think about.

siblingrivalry Sun 07-Sep-08 20:21:43

Thanks for that info, WMF. I think I will have a word with the head this week. The 'place of safe retreat' sounds really applicable to dd -one of her main concerns is being crowded by her friends and not being able to 'run' when it all gets too much. What would I have done without MNers over the past few months? smile. I wouldn't be armed with half as much information without all of you.

It's a good job her school is so supportive. We have just had a bed-time meltdown; she is stressed about tomorrow, mainly because of the reasons I mentioned above. It started with her toothpaste being 'too minty' and just escalated. Then I got a text from her friends mum, telling me how excited her dd was about tomorrow and asking if dd felt the same. I feel bad, cos I got irritated by it. Do you ever feel as though your RL friends just don't listen?
Sorry for moaning -it's been a long day. My chocolate awaits!

Widemouthfrog Sun 07-Sep-08 20:50:55

I feel like this with friends all the time. They just don't get it, but I'm not sure I would if I was in their shoes so I try to be tolerant.
We had a bedtime meltdown too over toothpaste, and my DS tried to lock me out of the bathroom.

My DS has gone back to school pretty well, but the school spent last term preparing him for his new class and teacher, as well as providing photos for me to talk through with him over the holidays. These are the sort of preparations you might want to use in the future. It has definitely helped reduce the anxiety, and his school arrival routine is carried out with military precision with his TA.

Don't apologise for moaning. Enjoy the chocolate and good luck for tomorrow.

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