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Severely delayed and disabled daughter receiving homework

(11 Posts)
MummaMooMoo Sun 10-Mar-19 23:58:25

Ok, so let me preface this with the fact I've been having A LOT of issues with the school since it changed head teacher last September. The aim seems to be that the specialist school become more autism-centric and this causes issues for how children like my daughter can be catered for with the new curriculums, activities and procedures. I can't say I know whether she can be, but she certainly isn't being.

So, my daughter has severe dystonia (think dysfunctional muscle tone where all your muscles go completely stiff or completely floppy at an involuntary flick of some awful switch in her brain, & a near-constant state of full body muscle cramp) with very, very, very little functional muscle control at all. That is to say, she can't even hold her head up but will deliberately turn towards people when laying or in fully supportive seating. She has no communication other than laughing, crying, noise making and "body language", doesn't make clear choices and cannot hold or grasp anything either with clear intent, nor for longer than 30 seconds or so.

Now, the school have recently introduced a "home learning strategy" with a promise that all activities will be accessible, appropriate and relevant, as well as beneficial to the child's individual targets.

Last week, my daughters home school book asked that she take or draw 3 pictures of things that she likes, that are red. I was not expecting much, but I was flabbergasted. This week, she is to colour a picture of a sail boat. The sails red and the rest blue.

To reiterate and be very clear, she cannot hold a pencil.

Anybody have any reasonable advice on what I should do here? I don't see doing the homework as a viable option but long-term, do I really need to have yet another conversation with them about faux-inclusion being lost on me?

Thanks and apologies for the rant!

PickAChew Mon 11-Mar-19 00:03:47

Homeeork is extremely not autism centric, I M Vast E.

Even if homework wasn't something your dd was neurologically programmed Gainst, though, she needs to be physically capable of it.

You need to contact the school and ask why they think it is appropriate.

MummaMooMoo Mon 11-Mar-19 08:13:08

I completely agree, you're right that homework specifically isn't autism centric (was just giving a brief overview of the changes within the school covering curriculum, hiring, accreditation attempts, behaviour "logging" and training) and that for so many of the other children with different issues at the school, it would be beneficial. But my daughter has a physical disability that prevents her from engaging in these tasks and a neurological inability to have any input whatsoever. It just feels like they completely overlook her abilities.

Thanks so much for your advice, another trip to the school it is!

JuniperGinYay Fri 15-Mar-19 13:32:34

I’d return it each week with a request for relevant homework at best.

Probably I’d put in a complaint to the governors if it continued

Neolara Thu 25-Apr-19 15:49:45

I would just point out to the teacher that your dd can't hold a pen and so could not do the homework. Ask them to give her stuff she can do.

MummaMooMoo Thu 25-Apr-19 19:02:23

Thank you. Truth be told, she can't "do" anything that will be measurable as homework and the prospect of that conversation - arguing that side - feels very backwards. They keep sending it now (last week was count the windows in your house and write the number) and I keep sending it back. Given everything else now going on (they're being very underhand in their care of her), it hasn't been mentioned they wouldn't dare.

Ellie56 Fri 26-Apr-19 18:25:47

Are you sure this is the right school for your DD? I think I would start investigating other schools. This one sounds spectacularly useless.

MummaMooMoo Fri 26-Apr-19 20:44:27

Unfortunately, there are no other options. It is supposedly a school for profound, severe and multiple disabilities & she is too severe to be taken on by the other "local" (but 40 minutes each way further from home) alternative. It's this school, or removal from school and the fight seems just as hard for either. I can't offer her what they can so I'm opting to fight them for adequate provision/consideration rather than fight against them because of a lack of it. Thankfully, their inadequacies have recently become apparent to our healthcare team, so at least I'm no longer just one person.

Thank you for the suggestion; spectacularly useless they are! sad

drspouse Tue 30-Apr-19 15:16:28

Would relevant homework be something like an experience - e.g. an experience to do with food, or water, or sound?

So if the other children are drawing pictures of a boat, she could be taken to see a boat (canal, lake etc.) and you could recount that?

While we do not get this type of homework for my DD in Reception we get a lot of requests to add pictures to Tapestry of whatever we have been doing that weekend (whether that's just going to see something, or her drawing a picture) and again while your DD is not going to be talking about her weekend activities, and my DD is, sometimes my DD cannot remember the right words for what she has done (she does have some mild SLCN) but still clearly recalls the activity when shown the picture.

If that would be appropriate for your DD, I'd be taking a picture of whatever you do with her at the weekend (trying new food, going out to a river, sitting with the cat in the garden, whatever) and send that in.

MummaMooMoo Tue 30-Apr-19 20:05:05

Thanks for your input; I agree wholeheartedly with your ideas and hadn't considered it before!

She can't cognitively "carry out" homework, but could feasibly smell/touch/listen to stimulus of either our choice or theirs, responses could be recorded and then we'd be building a mutual body of relevant information to support both her sensory development (the basis for her curriculum activities) and hopefully her eventual ability to show preference, which is a major target of her EHCP plan. Its difficult to accept that this hasn't been considered in the first place by a school for severe/multiple learning difficulties, and if I do get to a stage where the current unrelated issues abate & I do bring this up, yours will be my suggestion. I really appreciate it, thanks so much

drspouse Tue 30-Apr-19 20:44:10

Sounds like you could also have some lovely music listening, feeling different fabrics etc. that might be quite pleasant at home and easily documented.

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