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So p****d off with school - again!

(31 Posts)
debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 17:31:03

DS (6) has social communication difficulties (possibly AS) and has just entered Y2.

He has two teachers. One pretty straight (taught at the school we moved him from as it was sooo uninspirational and strict). The other seems a bit more understanding but we have not seem much of her yet.

They have been good (or the TA has) at settling him. I had a long chat with Teacher 1 at the start of term. So far so good.

However, I had a battle about his handwriting the other week as he has hypermobility and hyptonia and is finding it a struggle. They were insisting he persevere and he told me teacher 1 shouted at him for being too slow and that he was prevented from joining the class in the next task because it took him so long to finish.

He was hysterical when he got home and it took me an age the next sunday to get him to write.

Teacher 1 called it a matter of 'self belief' and said they would encourage him to join the letters but that was what they expected. She said if he was upset he could come and talk to her himslef. He has social communication difficulties - daaaah! angry. I reminded her he had physical problems with it and this was acknowledged by all the doctors' he had seen.

Teacher 2 then agreed they wouldn't push it.

I supplied pen grips and have offered to supply a Movinsit cushion recommended by the OT. Teacher 1 has been the only one in this week and she has ignored the email I sent on it.

Today DS comes home and says his reading book hasn't been changed all week and his homework hasn't been marked because he has been bad.hmm I know he is supposed to get his books out of his book bag at the start of the day to leave on the desk for the teacher. He says he keeps forgetting what to do with it. He said everyone got a teampoint but him.

The annoying thing was with the new pen grips and encouragement and writing how he liked, he did his homework brilliantly this week and enjoyed it. It was really neat and I was really proud of him. I emailed the teachers to mention this - without response.

Tonight, I've had him punching himself with frustration for not knowing what he did wrong angry

I don't know what happened but this is can't go on. I have asked for a meeting but I feel let down. It's like they say they understand. They've got him in a social skills group and 3 hours TA support a week but they don't tell me anything about that or even whether he is on the SEN register. Then as soon as it's tested e.g. he forgets something, or he has problems writing, he gets punished.

If I wasn't so numb and sick of all this I would cry!!!!sadHis teachers really accepted him for him last year but now it feels like he's just the nuisance kid who doesn't always follow instructions and forgets to say please and thank you again (that's how they saw him in his old school)

carrieorlando Thu 24-Sep-09 17:45:54

Hello debs40,
That school is disgracful ! I am completly gobsmaked ! If that was my kid i would pull him out straight away !
I have 2 asd son's and one has hypermobility, and they attend a language unit at school, in which they would never treat the children like that !
This is not far short of bullying
I would complain to the special needs dept at your council

good luck

carrie x

shock

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 18:18:07

Last year, his teachers were so different but I think one of them this year is just a bit crap and despite telling me 'in 25 years I've seen everything in teaching, she just doesn't get it'.

I could not understand her attitude to cursive writing at all when she knows his physical problems. All she said was 'they all struggle and don't like it'.

They don't all scream and hit themselves on the head though do they?

carrieorlando Thu 24-Sep-09 18:37:28

my 2 asd boys dont but some do, when my eldest one get anxious at school he humm's and goes quiet

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 19:51:13

He also tells me that everyone else brought puppets in today to draw but he was sad because he didn't have one.

He hasn't a clue why they all brought in puppets. He says he can't remember being told sad

grumpyoldeeyore Thu 24-Sep-09 20:22:42

It sounds like the TA support is too little? He clearly needs help with alot more aspects of school than they are providing for. But it sounds like a very high aspirational school? My NT son always had homework pasted in a home school book at Yr2. Now in Yr 3 and they get a worksheet and just starting to be trusted to remember to bring things without a note in the home school book. Also cursive writing just started in Yr 2 and not pushing it that hard at start of year. I think the expectations for all the kids are quite challenging for Yr 2? I would suggest as a start that you have a home school communication book and the teacher or TA puts all instructions in there. Or you could have a daily sheet which teacher / TA has to complete - very popular in US - see www.autism-society.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=14701 for ideas. Clearly though you have to decide for what he should be punished and what type of punishment is appropriate, they have clearly got this wrong. Can you get the previous teacher involved in a meeting so you can discuss what went well previously and how to build on that? Many SN kids would have a TA sat next to them to help with writing not left to get on with it.

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 20:35:48

Thanks grumpyoldeeyore.

It is quite an aspirational school but I had found it quite committed to the emotional well-being of the children thus far. I think the teacher in question is a bit old guard and doesn't see what the problem is.

Because we are pending a dx, I'm never quite sure how far I can go in demanding assistance. I have asked both teachers to meet me to discuss some basic issues about communication and the status of the provision thus far. I have also asked whether SENCO should be included.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Thu 24-Sep-09 20:50:05

DX is irrelevant to school help- ot can help it's true but there is no level or amximum for supporet without one. In fact, the Paed says 40% of children- amny quite severe- in her clinic right now will never get a formal DX.

If he has a statement call for an emergency review to discuss the problems and more supprt; if not apply now, listing exactly what happened today and emphasising the self harm in the letter.

Look at IPSEA websiite, and speak to them or sos sen for advice

debs40 Thu 24-Sep-09 21:59:18

Thanks. He has no statement, IEP and I don't think he's on the SEN register.

I spoke to IPSEA tonight who were really helpful and suggested a meeting with a bullet plan list of things that might help. All of which are actually pretty small e.g. make sure you tell him specifically if he has to bring something in.

I just hate all this toing and froing and going back over the same ground.

Hopefully, with SENCO involved they might start to 'get it'.

mysonben Thu 24-Sep-09 22:06:51

This is disheartening when teachers don't or won't get it. And ingnoring your emails isn't the way forward is it!
I hope you can sort it out quickly.
I find it awkward demanding more support for my DS at nursery when he hasn't got a formal dx.
But as usual getting the help and support plus the understanding our dc need is a battle.

daisysue2 Thu 24-Sep-09 23:12:43

You DS is obviously not coping with the new teacher and the transition. Try to start pushing for extra LSA my daughter has 28 hours a week. We started with just a few hours, constantly told she didn't need any more and then just pushed and pushed for more. She is ASD and in MS. It's a real battle but once they have the hours of support you find that they (both the children and the teachers) are less stressed. Also the LSAs are a great buffer between your child and the teacher who has other children to look after and doesn't really understand the problems. Also different teachers can really be so different and no matter how well intentioned they can just end up being unsympathetic. On the cursive writing my DD was pushed in year 2 but found it too difficult and now writes only in print but it is quite beautiful if a little slow. She also has a computer in school she is year 5 now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Sep-09 07:13:33

Debs

I read similar heartbreaking scenarios time and time again; it is clear that your son's needs are not being met here and as result these sorts of problems can and do arise. They do not know how to work with your son effectively and they have no real knowledge of how to work with children with communication difficulties (its not taught at teacher training college and you also have some old school teachers here to put up with).

This needs sorting asap as these sort of problems can intensify as well the higher up they go through the school system. I see next year he'll be going to Junior School (which is another ballgame altogether).

Well done you for speaking to IPSEA - they can certainly give you good ideas. Did you ask them about the statementing process as well?. The 3 hours support he's currently receiving is likely a temporary measure.

If SENCO does not get it (and I am wondering why this person has not seemingly been involved till now) I would personally apply for the Statement. I realise he does not have a DX but you don't really need one to apply for this; you will have to do all the running here because I tell you now this school won't, well not without a lot of discussion which all takes time.

You need to be clear what you want from such a meeting in terms of support etc.

You are your child's best - AND ONLY - advocate. No one else is better placed than you to help him.

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 08:11:20

Thanks all. Attila I hear you on this! I am going to arrange a meeting with teachers and SENCO and see how far we get. But I will put a time limit on progress to review.

You are right about LSA daisysue. I can see how he needs a buffer. I'm just feeling like a nuisance at the moment.

The TA has been helpful and used to come out to greet us but doesn't know. I think they think it's all fine but they don't see his confusion.

You are right it's my job to make them see. It helps to share this and feel like I'm not going mad though!!

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 08:32:40

Attila, also I did speak briefly to the IPSEA guy who said that statementing etc is hard whilst they're doing ok academically.

I will start looking into this further.

Thanks

DoNotPressTheRedButton Fri 25-Sep-09 08:39:17

Debs- don't lisyten if the SENCO says not to a statement, if he needs it apply anyway. I did that 3 years ago and my ds1 has ahd a TA alloated for 10 hours a weeke ver since (and a raft of toehr measures)
Please do apply, you have to get up the confidence to ignore what other people tell you- because some schools, and your sounds a lot like mine- don't want sattements. Statements show on documents and put off 'aspirational' aprents (well thats what our school thinks). Sod them, your only concern is your son.

Personally I would apply before the meeting, then go in with a fait accomplit and say 'OK this ois where we are at; what can we do to thold him whilst they decide whetehrt o proceed'- and be absolutely specific in your letter about why the school is failing to meet his needs, becayuse that rather than dx or severity, is what the LEA assess on.legally.

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 09:44:15

DoNotPressTheRedButton - that is an interesting point about statements showing up on documents and putting people off.

I feel that, until we have seen SALT and OT and I udnerstand better the nature of the problems, then I would be giving a statement less than my best shot.

We see SALT in Oct and hopefully OT the month after.

In the meantime, I want to get a bullet point list agreed of the type of small accomodations which might really make DS's life easier and see how that goes. I also want to to talk to SENCO about getting Ed Psych involved. He mentioned this but said he would review in Sept.

Long term I think you're all right, adequate support will require formal statementing.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Sep-09 11:18:47

Donotpresstheredbutton is right and do pay heed to her writings - this is all designed to put people off from applying for Statements.

Although statements can be hard to obtain generally speaking they can also be used for social/communication side of things as well, its not just about the academic side. Statements should be issued on basis of need; it is clear that your son's educational needs are not being met. I don't think your son's school know what to do with him hence their apparant lack of action to date. They're doing a wait and see approach which is doing your son no favours at all. My guess is your son is just about coping with the school day.

Certainly get the Ed Pysch to come in and see your son; their opinion will certainly count with regards to a Statement cos these people work for the LEA. I would insist to the SENCO that your son is seen by the EP asap. Oh and if senco says something along the lines of "no your son does not need a Statement or an EP visit" take no heed. I've personally seen too many parents told that particular message and it has not done their kids any favours whatsoever particularly as they have progressed through the academic school system.

You need to grow a thick skin and kick ass because no one else is better placed than you to help your son!!.

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 11:23:50

Attila - Thanks so much - I appreciate your support and advice. I will definitely do as you suggest. You have been a real help in clarifying things for me! It's great not to feel so isolated for once!

claw3 Fri 25-Sep-09 11:48:00

Debs40 - not much advice to offer really, but i can totally sympathise with you.

Having similar problems with my ds's school, he is being bullied something terrible and if i hear 'you should tell a f*ing teacher one more time, im going to scream'!

Also 'stay away from the boy who is 3 years older than you, who strangles you, pushes you off of walls and throws you on the floor, swears at you, and calls you 'weirdo' and 'shitty pants'!

Im ARRRGGGHHHHHing with you

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 11:57:10

Oh poor boy! We had that at his old school.

'He needs to tell someone and not retaliate' - yes he does, but he can't so do you want to help him??

Teachers really need training with this sort of thing

claw3 Fri 25-Sep-09 12:29:51

Debs40 - I really lost my temper yesterday, when ds came out of school with strangulation marks, like love bites on his neck.

I marched back into school, the school had been telling me 'oh we havent witnessed any of the incidents' as if to say my ds was making it up, because he cant rememember the names of who does it etc. Their advice 'you should have told a teacher' and 'stay away from the boy'

Apparently a member of staff did witness this incident, but they 'forgot' to mention it to me, as if i wouldnt notice the marks on his bloody neck.

I have a meeting with the school on the 30th and they have made a referral to TAMHS for next week, but in the meantime i really dont want to send him. He is so unhappy.

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 12:38:48

How upsetting? You just feel like keeping them wrapped up at home sometimes don't you?

There is no excuse for not reporting injuries back to you. Can he not stay in during break until things settle a bit?

I hope it gets sorted.

claw3 Fri 25-Sep-09 12:51:55

We went to a hospital appointment today, we had finished by 10.15 and i was driving him back to school, he was pleading with me not to take him. He has actually asked to stay in at playtime and the answer is no 'you run along and play'!

When i dropped him off at school, i have to leave him at reception and the receptionist takes him into school. She commented 'oh you timed that well, just in time for playtime'. I did ask whether he could miss playtime and stay in. But no, apparently that would mean being supervised and they dont have the staff hmm

I feel like strangling the teachers everyday and see how long it takes before they dont want to face me everyday angry

Sorry im ranting and hijacking your thread!

debs40 Fri 25-Sep-09 12:59:25

No claw not at all. I really feel for you. I have been there. I had that argument last year - they don't have the staff to watch him and 'it's not fair on the other children who might all start wanting to stay in' hmm

Also, in ds's last school he frequently had bruises and scratches after he started attracting the attention of a boy who thought it was good fun to get him to fight. His useless form teacher did nothing except tell him he should tell a teacher (whilst being held in an arm lock shock) and it was only when a new head took over in Yr 1 that it was acknowledged that DS was not the aggressor but was being picked on. By then we were out of the door which I kind of think made it easier for them to be honest.

I think inadequate professionals have this big fear of 'bullying' labels because of Ofsted reports and would really rather turn a blind eye than do something about it.

I feel your pain sad

claw3 Fri 25-Sep-09 13:25:52

Thanks Debs40, i feel so helpless.

Its taken ds 6 months to 'fight back', he is usually a run and hide boy, he spent the first 6 months of school hiding behind the toilet building. I was called into school last week because ds strangled another boy (i wonder where he got that idea from) when i asked why he strangled the other boy 'they are not sure, they couldnt get to the bottom of it'

Even now he will run and hide given the chance, its only when he has no other choice that he will fight back.

How are the school supposed to deal with bullying?

Is your ds's new school handling it differently or is it just not happening?

I would give serious thought to changing school, if i thought it would help. Just seems like ds is always going to be 'different' and is going to have to learn how to cope with social situations with help of course.

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