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school do not understand ASD

(15 Posts)
catkinq Thu 08-Oct-09 18:58:45

dd is at a school which has many children with servere SNs (most GLD). dd has been seen by ed pysc and assessed as having "needs consistent with a dx of ASD (Asp)". We saw the ed psyc again today with the class teacher present. The teacher kept saying that there was no problem with dd. We'd say things like "she cannot do this worksheet (picture of farmer, questions on subtraction, title "Percy the Pig") because she cannot work out what the question is - she thinks that it is about a pig not subtraction" and the teacher said "this is not any kind of SN it is just that your dd always breaks everything down into tiny details and then focuses on one small part and often focuses on the wrong part and can't see beyond it. She just needs to learn not to do this." We'd say that she could not relate to the children in her class and the teacher said "but she relates perfectly well to adults so cannot have a communication disorder" - and so it went on. The ed psyc just asked if we had a referral to a pead yet (we have) adn said that anyone who talked to dd for 5 minutes could see that she was "different" but the school didn't seem to have a clue. Is this normal? The class teacher made it clear that she thought that it was we who had the problem.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 19:02:19

This class teacher sounds like an absolute numbskull. Was she an older lady, or just a thick younger one? I actually got such a bad teacher first time round with my ASD DS that I ended up going back to my LEA caseworker and "recommending her for further ASD training."Can you have a quiet word with the Ed Psych on a similar basis about this fathead?

catkinq Thu 08-Oct-09 19:16:34

She is a good MS teacher and goes on lots of courses adn stuff. I think that the problem is that she thinks that she knows all about ASD (ie has seen Rainman) and so is completley unopen to the idea that anyone who does not present like Dustin Hoffman could be anywhere on the AS. The ed psyc focused on the next school (dd will move next Sept) and appeared to have given up on this one. The odd thing was that the teacher, whilst claiming that dd was just a "normal little girl", was clearly really on the defensive - her legs were so tightly wound around themselves that dh noticed and commented on the fact that she was sitting so oddly. She kept saying "well we do not usually use these sheets, we usually do..." and I kept having to say "look I'm not critisising your lessons at all, I'm just trying to explain to ed psyc what issues dd has with comprehension so that she can comment"

cornsilk Thu 08-Oct-09 19:22:02

I've come across this with ds - also has been described by pead as having difficulties consistent with AS. School would not accept it. Head was good but individual teachers decided either that ds knew exactly what he was doing and was just naughty or that his difficulties were something else entirely. DS also has dyslexia and the school consistently refused to recognise this even though he wqs assessed by the LEA. Infuriating.

Marne Thu 08-Oct-09 19:53:16

I have also come across people like this, i think because the Autistic spectrum is so huge it is hard for anyone to understand ASD children (as they are all completely different). I also think that some people that work with Autistic children may only come into contact with the more severe end of the spectrum and then they get the picture in their head that all Autistic children are like this. This is one of the reasons i don't want dd2 to go to a SN school.

Dd1 has Aspergers and would also think the sheets were about pigs rather than maths but give her a simple list of sums and she will complete them in seconds. She goes to a main stream school and i think because they have no experience of ASD (they have no one to compare her too) they take dd1 as she comes, they have worked how dd1's mind works, they have done some research and they know what makes her tick.

MrsMagnolia Fri 09-Oct-09 10:54:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

catkinq Fri 09-Oct-09 11:02:51

"normal" is a programme on a washing machine (can't remember where I read that but I liked it).

The school seem to think that we have the probelm and are attention seeking via dd. All the usual - we say "she wil struggle on the school trip because she will only eat potatoes" they say "don't be silly, you will find that ...stupid advice re peer pressure". We also keep getting "but lots of children do these things" (but not all of these things all of the time!)
If she gets an official dx then I think that I will try taking some stuff in but my gut feel is that they will read the stuff on Aspies and still say "but we'd all be rude if we didn't think of others - you need to teach her to be considerate" and "we'd all like to be in control and have everythign our own way" etc etc. (and of course the obvious "but you shouldn't let her spend hours each day reading, you must make her go out adn play with other children) I think that many people still will not accept that HFA and Asp exists.

BunnyRabbit Fri 09-Oct-09 16:14:40

ah catkinq. I feel for you. How old is DD is she in Year 2? DS1 (ASD) was diagnosed early at 5. He won't get an Aspie diagnosis as yet as he's not old enough, but boy is he AS!! and yet people still can't see it because, according to the SALT he presents the profile of a much older child and has no LDs. So they hear big words and ignore the immature social skills and inability to empathise. I bet if you posted the triad of impairements on the white board her CT still wouldn't admit it.

Just stick to your guns. Smile sweetly at those who are clueless and keep close tabs on those who can help/know what they're doing. I assume the SENCo is involved and in the end this is the person I find can be most useful in getting what you want.


catkinq Fri 09-Oct-09 16:28:05

she is in year 4 - the teacher just can't see it though, I suspect because she doesn't know what she is looking for. The ed psyc said "you only have to talk to [dd] for 5 minutes to realise that she has social and communication problems" and the class teacher (who is also the deputy head) kept saying "she is just normal". The SENCO is involved but only for an hour a week (teaching dd how to make friends).

It is the cause and effect problem - they seem convinced that the strategies what we have put in place in order to enable dd to have a reasonably happy childhood are causing the varous issues and that if we stopped compensating and "lived normally" then she'd be normal. (Ie she only eats a limited diet because that is all we feed her and she does not have lots of friends because we do not invite lots home for tea etc etc)

Pixel Fri 09-Oct-09 16:55:13

Some of this sounds familiar. When I went to see dd's primary school teacher because I had concerns about her not being happy at school, I tried to explain that I saw traits of asd and maybe dyspraxia in her, that she was struggling to do simple things that the other children found quite easy, such as dressing herself, and was getting picked on/ upset because of this. The teacher obviously thought I was paranoid and told me that any problems dd had were 'learned behaviour'(her words) from her autistic brother. Never mind that he wasn't even born until she was well over 4 years old!

BunnyRabbit Fri 09-Oct-09 23:39:13

I'm a bit confused about the SENCo only being involved for an hour a week. The SENCo is supposed to be the person who organises and manages (Co-ordinates) all your DDs special educational needs. If the Ed Psych says she has special needs then she does, and now!!.

Can you explain about the new school? Don't understand why she's moving after year 4. (although it sounds like a good thing!)


catkinq Sat 10-Oct-09 00:23:44

they all move at year 4 round here - we have first (reception to yr 4) then middle then higher.

The ed psyc seemed surprised that sh eonly had an hour a week but she is not statemented so there is no funding attached to her. the schol are effectively saying that in their opinion one hour a week with the SENco (who is also a TA so supports her) is enough to meet her needs.
I'm not sure how we;d go about arguing otehrwise as they seem to hold all teh cards - ie they keep saying taht she is fine. I'm hoping that we will get a dx (we see the consultant in just under a fortnight) adn then it may be easier.
(The same school said that ds was perfectly fine - the gp referred him to a SALT who booked him in for a 6 month once a week intensive program - it was teh same story with him - ie the said that his problems were too minor to be worth help.

Barmymummy Sat 10-Oct-09 07:09:16

Bit off topic OP but its nice to meet someone else who's dc move at year 4, everyone else I talk to looks very hmm when I tell them!

Don't suppose you are in West Sussex are you?!

Goblinchild Sat 10-Oct-09 08:01:41

have you had the LA inclusion team involved? Or Parents For Inclusion?
You are right about the teacher and school being ignorant about ASDs and needing more training. The difficulties she's having seem to be directly linked to spectrum issues.
And the saying " If you've met an Aspie, you've met one Aspie" always holds true.
Push for a formal dx and use it as a key to make the school comply with her needs.

bournemouth Sun 11-Oct-09 20:27:06

I too have been going through this is an area in Hampshire. The school has very good results and is very good with social results and has a small class number. The last two reasons were the reason i chose the school. But recognising Special needs and actually admitting and helping parents it is not good. Even the local Autistic Society say that they are improving but they know there are major probelms. I feel as though i am going mad. Especially as when i went to Sports day earlier this year and Eveyone lined up apart from my son that was literally doing kart wheels throwing hoops in the air, chasing his hand movements round the playing field. They tell me all the time that they do not notice anything different. Even the after school club comments on how active he is. AAARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!!

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