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Why should my NT child be vicitmised because of his disabled brother?

(16 Posts)
Nat1H Tue 21-Oct-08 20:03:48

Am so angry, and victimised is probably too strong a word, but it's how I feel blush.
My youngest child hs CP and has just started in reception. My oldest child has just started in Year 3. He has been sent home with homework that is far too hard for him (his class is mixed Y3-Y6 and the teacher sets 'research' homework for all of them). Unfortunately, DS2 is absolutely knackered when he gets home from school and it is not safe to leave him on his own whilst I do homework with DS1. I have no time to spend with DS1 in the evenings (you know how it is - teatime, bathtime, bedtime etc etc) and the best we can do is read. DS1's teacher has also referred him to EP as she thinks he may have ADD, but I am not convinced - I think it may be stress caused by his home situation, and now school. His teacher has kept him in for the whole of morning playtime for the last 2 days so that he can do his homework! He has had no snack and only a play at lunchtimes this week. I am disgusted that this has not been mentioned to me before being put into place. DS1 gets 'punished' enough for having a brother with a physical difficulty as it is - less attention that he should have, having to do restricted activites that we can do as a family due to his brother's disability etc etc. I am fuming that he is now being punished at school for something that is beyond his control.
Am I over-reacting? I already feel like a crap mother for not being able to sepnd the time I would like with him - now I feel completely shit.
I am going to speak to the Head tomorrow morning about this. I have already explained to the teacher why we find it difficult to do homework, and explained that if she gave him homework he could complete alone, then we may have more success. This has been completely disregarded. This teacher 'markets' herself as being an 'SEN' specialist, but from what i have seen with both my son and another child in the class she hasn't got a clue!
Rant over blush

amber32002 Tue 21-Oct-08 20:45:11

No, you're not being unreasonable at all. Far from it. Good luck with the head tomorrow - let us know how you get on??

cory Tue 21-Oct-08 20:55:41

You need to get support for him in some way, as a carer.

Simply letting him off the homework isn't really in his best interests: that just means that the other children will learn more than him and he will miss out.

In a few years time he will be doing exams, so you need to think about how you are going to handle it.

Is there any other family member or friend who could help out? Could he do his homework with a friend? Would you be able to find money for a tutor? Or have your ds2 resting beside you while you help ds1 with homework (no need to leave him)?

There are support groups for Young Carers, maybe they would be able to help? I am sure this is a situation they are used to.

In my understanding, keeping a child in at breaktime to complete homework is not so much a punishment as giving them a chance to catch up (happened to my ds under similar circumstances, and I told him it was because the teacher didn't want him to miss out on learning). Still, not a good idea to repeat too often as they do need fresh air.

2shoesdrippingwithblood Tue 21-Oct-08 21:33:42

nat you have my sympathy. I have been there with the homework and it is hard as you can't split yourself in 2.
do you get any help with your youngest.
I have been talking to the sw about respite and a couple of the things she mentioned was outreach and crossroads. they are not right for us. but it does sound like you might benefit from someone comming in and looking after your youngest whilst you spend time with your ds.

Nat1H Tue 21-Oct-08 21:54:36

I have tried this before but have hit great big brick walls. sad
I am even trying to get DS1 referred to CAHMS as I think he is having emotional problems which are only being exaserpated by this attitude at school.
If I am completely honest - if I ever DID manage to get support, I CERTAINLY would NOT spend the time doing pointless homework - I would spend the time having fun with my child - something we never seem to be able to do alone.
Am so pissed off - I feel like we are drifting apart as it is - I DO NOT need a teacher rubbing this in any more.

Nat1H Tue 21-Oct-08 21:57:12

Can't even get a SW 2shoes - we were told DS2 wasn't severe enough to warrant any help! (He has triplegia, epilepsy, etc etc.)

2shoesdrippingwithblood Tue 21-Oct-08 22:06:30

forgive me mn.
have you ever tried special kids in the uk website.
there are a lot of people on there who would be able to advise you.
I wish I could but as ds is 16 now, memory fades. I can't believe you haven't got a sw though. it sounds like you all need a break.


Nat1H Tue 21-Oct-08 22:11:00

Thanks 2shoes. Keep forgetting about special kids! Will give them a go!

2shoesdrippingwithblood Tue 21-Oct-08 22:38:08

I am on there but forget as well.
It is very good.

filz Wed 22-Oct-08 08:19:14

ou need a SW. We get Dps to pay for a carer two evenings a week so that ds1 (nt) can go swimming, do homework, go to the park and do normal child like things

needmorecoffee Wed 22-Oct-08 08:33:58

Crossroads doesn't do children they told me.
So we get respite via social services.
but my 15 yo got detention after he didn't hand in homework having spent the night at the hospital with dd and dh when dd went into status.
I was away but when I got back went steaming into the school. Life is hard enough without the school realising these siblings are young carers.

cory Wed 22-Oct-08 10:14:46

The community nurse showed me some bumph about some Young Carers organisation, so seems they do children. And keep shouting for a social worker- I can't believe they're not even offering that angry

filz Wed 22-Oct-08 10:17:24

young carers has a waiting list. By the time my ds1 will get a place he will most probably be an adulthmm

cory Wed 22-Oct-08 10:21:04

ah, that explains why they never got in touch with us about ds, filz.

Romy7 Wed 22-Oct-08 17:49:59

respite respite respite respite respite.
You need to ring the Children with Disabilities team and ask for an assessment for both you and ds2. They are obliged to do it within a certain timescale (can't remember what off the top of my head) - explain that your family is suffering and your eldest son is being punished at school for your inability to cope with the situation and lay it on really thick. Ask for dps or for someone to come in and look after ds2 whilst you spend some time with ds1 (I would also mention that school have suggested ADD - whether you believe it or not, and also that you are considering a CAMHS referral as you believe his mental health is suffering...)
You will have to prove that there is no other way you can cope, and if you are anywhere near here, there is definitely a hierarchy of need where 'not disabled enough' figures large...
if you ask for dps, at least you can work the timetable out to suit your own family... and however you need it.
I don't know your family situation, but in the short term maybe it would be possible to ask the head )with the senco approval) if ds1 could do his homework over the weekend? maybe you could get someone to sit with ds2 for a couple of hours over that period so you can concentrate? ie you are explaining that evenings are impossible... nb, this will probably only work if ds2 is statemented for ft 1-1, otherwise the school may well ask what the problem is lol... <that was a weak joke, sorry...>
otherwise, hunt out a suitable after-school club/ provision for ds2 for two evenings a week. not easy, but possible in certain circs. does school have an afterschool club? you could ask ss to fund instead of dps, and if he's statemented you could approach the lea to provide 1-1 support in situ...
just ideas, but it does work here...

Seuss Wed 22-Oct-08 19:44:41

By popular demand ds2's school have started an after-school homework club where there is a teacher on hand to help where necessary - I guess it depends if there is demand for it though. If they don't do the homework they have to stay in lunchtime and do it - which to me seems a bit excessive in Primary school but just my opinion...

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