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Am I being unreasonable to want to go and tell this mother some home truths?(22 Posts)
J used to spend most of each day behaving violently. Now that he is 7, I would say he lashes out maybe once or twice a week, usually at me, and always triggered by something. This year at school, he's lashed out at kids three times, twice at the same child, who is one of his small but close group of friends.
Last time he hurt her, I apologised to the mum, who said not to worry about it as the child (let's call her Sarah) hadn't even been bothered and she (the mum) had only known because the school had called. We've been out with the kids together and she knows about J's autism and ADHD and has always bitched about other parents who slag J off for behaving 'differently' (which always made me a bit I'd rather not know, but the solidarity was nice).
Anyway, he hit Sarah again last week. School said it came from nowhere but J said Sarah had been winding him up and shouting in his face. TA was elsewhere (despite him having full time 1:1 but that's another story) so didn't see the whole thing.
The school said that he needed a punishment (which I agreed with)
so he lost out on an after-school activity that he loves. Fine. But they said the mother was very angry and was going to make a formal complaint. Again, fine. I get that she's angry. I would be too, but tbh J does get the odd slap here and there and I have never complained formally because I figure it's part of what kids do (unless he's seriously hurt, obviously) and I also guess that he's done something to deserve it!
J's school went on a residential school trip this weekend and obviously I went too. He came out of school for the trip all sad and "Sarah can't play with me any more. She says her mum says she can't". I explained that it was understandable that Sarah's mum was upset and that he had to just leave it until she was more settled. It was agreed that I'd drive J and we had to go past all the parents on the way to the car. We went past Sarah's mother with a group of parents and she was all pointing at me and J and like "that's him". I was really angry and humiliated - I had been going to apologise on J's behalf if we saw her, and J had also taken in a sorry letter for Sarah and a card from me for Sarah's mum the day before, but I just felt so that she felt the need to tell the world and to make sure we knew it! So I said "so nice to know you're being talked about" and walked off instead of making the intended apology!
Then on the trip, one of the staff told me that the complaint letter was really vicious, so I kind of felt justified but also really sad at the way things were going.
Thing is, I really saw a lot of Sarah and J and their group of friends this weekend as I was with them all the time, and Sarah got pushed and hit by a few of the girls because she really really teases them - you know, gets right in their faces and says things like "ahhh, is the little baby crying?" if they're upset, or pokes and tickles their faces even if they ask her to stop. They kept saying that she always does that and she's really annoying. I had to tell her to leave J alone because she kept tickling his face and saying "ahhh, cutie baby" even when he kept getting agitated and asking her not to (he's sensory defensive and hates being touched like that).
So, while I'm not saying that J was right to hit her, AIBU to want to A) tell the mum that her daughter is inviting a lot of the trouble and to stop slagging J off and demonising him to the whole world B) tell the school that J isn't the only one hitting her, but is maybe the only one seen because he has a TA watching, and that maybe they should look at the cause and help the group to play more positively together and to keep a closer eye because they're not anticipating J's blow ups in response to this girl!?
I really want J to keep his friends. They're generally a nice group together and I don't get what this mum wants to happen. Have him chucked out of school? Move classes? Whatever it is, I am soooo angry that she needs to tell the world. It's not like he's chosen to be this way.
J spoke to the girl about it this weekend when she asked why he wasn't on the coach and he said why and she said "oh, why, it didn't even hurt when you hit me!"
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG!
Blimey. No, some home truths wouldn't go amiss - quite how you can do it without starting some hideous bitchfest/slanging match is another matter. You need to make absolutely sure you continue to be seen as the better, more reasonable person - in the first instance I would talk to the teacher re your point B) and see how you go from there.
It's hard to understand why this last hitting thing tipped Sarah's mother so far away from her original reasonable position - had anything else happened?
YANBU you know that dont you? IMO the mum of sarah is being horrid. I dont know what i would do in your situation but the school need to be aware of what is happening in the playground with sarahs mum. Unfortunately i think that having a TA full time does mean that our children get jumped on and because they cannot explain themselves at the time they get in trouble for things which were not necessarily their fault.
the protective mum in me though would probably walk around the playground explaining to anyone who would listen about ASD and be certain to say its the ignorance of other people that makes our childrens lives so hard! I would probably have a fist fight with sarahs mum which would make me feel better BUT certainly would not help!! LMAO
Dont drop to the mums level, but talk to the school!
Your poor ds, and poor you. Sarah mum sounds like a right hard faced cow! She doesnt deserve your time, but she does deserve a few home truths about her daughter. I cant abide the cliques that some mothers feel the need to form, worse than school children sometimes.
Thanks guys. No, I don't know why she's changed. I wondered (given how much the school want rid of J) if the phone call had gone something along the lines of :"Hi, Sarah's mum, I'm afraid Sarah's been hurt. She got hit by J."
"Nothing seemed to have happened. It just came out of nowhere"
"I'm really unhappy about this. This is the third time in 3 years."
"Well, obviously it is your right to make a formal complaint if you want to..."
or, even worse: "I know, we feel the same, but his mardy mother won't take the hint and take him out of our perfect Stepford school. Perhaps if you make a formal complaint it will help our case. The mum keeps harping on about the fact that nobody has ever complained about him in the 3 years at Infants and term at Juniors."
I so want a conversation to clear the air, but I would probably shout and look like a harridan who's taught her son to be a demon and I have the horrible position of teaching the older siblings of most of the kids at J's school so have to be careful how I behave in the 'community' (well, it's a community if you're s Stepford mum or Stepford child...clearly not if you're me and J!)
I need to decide whether to approach her or wait to be approached. Just don't need this
Approach the teacher, not the Mum. It could go horribly wrong.
sarah's mum i will bet is the sort who comes tolife if there's a drama and sarah knows thats the best ay to get mum on side, I reckon.
otherwise <<hugs>>. You know we're there a lot (3 times a year? 3 times a bloody day!) and it is shit. not a lot more to say sadly
DON'T appraoch Mum!
Remember when that vicious dad went after us?
Oh no, don't risk it!.
I did approach a Mum at the PTA meeting to say oh I understand our kisd are beating the shit out of each other not gettinga long and she was surprised.
A bit surprised she was surprised given the Had dragged her son into the ofice to tell him what exactly would happen if he ever scared ds1 into self harm by threatening to kill him again <<sigh>>.
Just a thought- do the NAS have any thik differnetly type leaflets you could hand out at school, or get a local post office to have about for a while? Education not segregation and all that...
I won't approach the mum, but it's a shame because it's not like she's a stranger and she has been so critical over mums who've been about J in the past.
Peachy, I know that you know where I'm coming from when I say only 3 times this year! Having gone from it being several times a day in Reception, I'm so happy with the improvement...but when I say that to the HT, he's like but he's still hurting people. I KNOW! But what can I do?
Leaflet is a good idea, but I think most parents know J's dx anyway. Sarah's mum certainly does cos she quizzed me quite intensely when we went to a playcentre with the kids. I made sure to tell a few key mums who I knew would spread the word - this was when J was at his worst and I couldn't face telling people individually why he was destroying classrooms etc. But what's upsetting is the massive improvement he's made and then this has to be the time that someone complains for the first time: when the school is already trying to force him out!
I will speak to the school, but am very aware that this has played into their hands a bit so am wary of blowing it up iykwim.
Thanks for the advice, guys. Will let you know how school drop off goes tomorrow!
givemesleep, this really is the schools problem really. Why was J left alone long enough to cause harm to another child? The school KNOW what J is capable of and should be prepared for worst case scenario at all times. You do need to talk to the head and state that you are aware they are not fulfilling Js basic needs. Its ridiculous to pass the blame onto you and J when its the school who have failed to give J his full time one to one and therefore created the health and safety issue. I would be writing quite a strong worded letter questioning the non compliance of Js statement.
TClanger, what a good idea. The Ed psych suggested last year that the school train a circle of friends for J, but it hasn't really been done.
Bonkerz, it's not that they're not giving him full time. There's someone around for him...just not close enough to intervene. But these things don't just happen out of the blue with J any more. There's always a trigger and it sounds like the Sarah incident had a build up before it which should have been dealt with. The build up is even detailed in his Home-School book "J was shouting inside and then in the corridoor and then went out and hit her!" - I just felt like writing back - well, why did you let him go outside if he was in that state! Get in and calm him! But I know too well how quickly his mood can change and he runs off very quickly so I can't totally blame them I suppose.
I have been here with bells on recently. A group of mothers totally demonising my child. He can be dreadful, he can really hurt, but he is also mentally ill, and I am a good parent who does EVERYTHING I can to mitigate the risk of him hurting. The mothers don't want him in their perfect school either, one of them actually screamed that in my face, and that they didn't want me there either!! Problem is, compared with another school he went to, he is relatively happy and stable, no WAY am I damaging him further to keep them happy. I have spoken to the HT, she won't rock the boat with the parents. I have asked for social stories for the other children in the class so they are less scared of his outbursts, but she won't. I have asked for a meeting with the parents where my husband explains the problems, and addresses their concerns, but she won't. I have to avoid them now, I pick him up 15 minutes later from school club, it was the only way. He still has his 4 close friends, but I don't get involved in any other way, it is so sad. If he had a physical disability they wouldn't DARE to treat him and me this way. The mental health provision and system is a nightmare, and I feel like I am in never-ending battle for support for him. Anyway, my advice, keep away from the Mum, it will just make things worse for your and him.
I too tend to stand alone at the school gate and frequently get comments like, "...but will he have to go to a mainstream high school?" which translates as something like "will we have to put up with him all through my childs education?"
We had somebody come into school for autism awareness, they trained the staff and set up regular friendship groups which worked well (so far), but they didn't tackle the parents.
But I refuse to sacrifice my childs education and happiness to ease their delicately balance take on life.
No point being confrontational, this 'adult' needs educating. (School HT too?)
TClanger - what does that mean? Will it happen?
J came home today and said that 'Sarah' has said that she's going to play with him anyway, whatever her mum says.
TC, I hope the teacher does something. It's really hard when they start asking, isn't it. Do you feel he would understand or feel better if you do explain? I thought J would, and still think that his self-esteem has improved now that he knows he's not 'naughty', but last week he said he hates autism and wishes I'd never told him that he has it
No follow up from school for now...
OAJ'smum and TT - it's shit, isn't it?
I do think adults need educating more than kids.
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