Wwyd? Suspect the school environment is wrong for my child?(9 Posts)
My DD is in year six, due to start secondary school in Sept. She's on the waiting list for an ASD assessment as her father has aspergers and its obvious to us she is also on the spectrum. The school disagree as she masks at school, they have now agreed to back the referral after I spoke with a new teacher. She's had short periods of being a school refuser off and on ever since moving up to year three ( the infant school only caters for years R to 2 then you move on to a full primary school from yr 3 to 6) year 5 was an exception and I had hoped we'd cracked it. But as some of you know, she was I'll for a week and now is refusing to go back again. Monday I tricked her ( I know I was wrong) to get her into school. Had a meeting with her teacher and Head of Year, who both said that after I had left she had been fine and happy. I mentioned that I was concerned that the school was not accepting the possible ASD issues and the head of year agreed from now on to keep an eye out for anything she feels needs attention. I left quite positive.
On a side note my DD2 also attends the school and has struggled with settling in, her usual buoyant character turned into a self doubting and worried one, she began this year being teased by a group of girls, being usual bitchy girls. This is still going on and I am still having to see her teachers regularly.
DD came home from her after school club, extremely distressed, crying and refusing to go to school again, even after discussing with her about what the issues might be, she cannot pin it down much. I asked her to colour a copy of her timetable in red,green and yellow to show the bad,good and middling parts. The red areas were break and lunchtime aswell as PE and assembly. The unstructured times.
This morning I could not even get her to get dressed, ended up taking my other DCs in a cab as we were late. I spoke to the same teacher who organised another meeting, this time with DD.
This meeting was not helpful, DD was visably stressed and began rocking and self soothing, the answers she gave her teachers were literal and the teachers took them metaphorically. One teacher spent a long time asking her to empathise with me and stressing that the situation was causing me stress, so that my DD ended feeling guilty, the safeguard ing lead threatened to come to our house an bring DD to school in her nightclothes. They did ask her what the issues were, but bombarded her with questions I knew she had no real answer for, and gave herb little time to answer. There were no concessions on their part at all, the nobly suggestion was that a box be put on my daughters favorite teachers desk, that my DD can put notes in to say when she's having a hard time. Even though my DD was brave enough to tell them PE was an issue because of body contact and close proximity, again they ignored it and answered that it was part of curriculum and she could under any circumstances sit out, no other solution was offered. We explained about break times and again no solutions offered. Then a speal about the schools attendance targets and the council fining me if she doesn't come in was given and that was it. My DD made all the right noises, but I could see that she was saying anything just to get out not the room. After she went out, I told the teachers that this was what I saw and that my concern was that they were unable to tell when she was upset. I explained that apart from meltdowns she is expressionless. In all other terms she shows no emotion, its only because as a parent you become in tune that I am aware sometimes what she's feeling. So I cannot happily accept when the teacher says she appears happy.
Sorry its long.
I am starting to think, the reason she cannot say what it is, is because its the environment, she's uncomfortable in the way the school is.
I can't move her, she's only got the next half term and summer term and she leaves anyway, even if she could move then she would have problems adjusting anyway and then need to move a again.
I was considering home school until sept, but that means months out of that school structure and may make it all the worse for her to then get bused to secondary school.
I think you are better toughing it out and hoping secondary is more sympathetic /able to deal sensitively. Haven't got the answers I'm afraid, but could she sit in the reception area at breaks? I understand she (or any of the children) cannot be left unsupervised, but there is usually a member of office staff present at break.
It really doesn't seem at all like the right environment for your dd. I mean, maybe home schooling her until she starts secondary would be a good idea, so that she's not put off school for life, and so she gets that time and space to learn in an environment where she can be herself, with an adult who understands her? Even just some time away from that stressful environment, so she can just not be hemmed in by a school environment that's not catering to her needs.
You sound like a lovely mum who really knows her dd well (I know that sounds like a weird compliment but feeling both known and loved by somebody must be one of the most important things). I really hope your dd gets the diagnosis and support she needs and that other people who know more about all this will be along soon to offer advice.
I just had a quick read of your OP again and it just sounds truly awful. Your poor dd. It sounds so hard for her. And it's just so frustrating that they are just not getting her (understanding her), and not listening to you. It sounds toxic to be honest
Take her home for lunch.
Go to GP and explain situation and ask them to write to say no PE.
I'd home ed in a heartbeat from what you've described - if you can.
You can then try Y7 and see if it works for her or not. But if she's already at the point of school refusing you NEED to deescalate it now.
Maybe I should ask you the opposite - why do you think she should go to school?
Hi, there are lots of very knowledgeable people on the sn chat board, who will have been through this kind of thing. Hope secondary is better for your dd
God that sounds awful. For those teachers to be so out of step and unfeeling
I don't know how secondary school works but I wonder if you can set up any meetings to get things prepared?
Would it be better to focus on pushing through now to a diagnosis?
I would try to keep her in school for the rest of the year, in order to manage the transition to secondary, but only if the school are willing to put certain measures in place, e.g. exemption from PE classes (does she do any sport outside of school, formally or informally, you could tell the school about?) and a "safe place" to go to go to during lunch and break.
If they're unwilling to cooperate, I would remove her. As someone else said, you don't want to put her off school for life.
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