How could they be so heartless?

25 Sep

Hello all..

As most will already know (Some more than others!) This week hasn’t been a good one. Yes,It’s been a complete nightmare in fact.

It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything positive. What can I say? Life isn’t always kind (More so the people in it!) I feel I’ve been pretty decent when choosing what to and what not to write in a post. There is a great deal of stuff I hold back, for a number of reasons. Yet those who read the blog often comment to express their outrage in the treatment little man has faced, and the hurdles we as a family have had to climb.

Yes, we have faced some trying times (More this year, then ever) but… this week just took the biscuit.

I’ve stated more than once my upset towards my sons exclusions. No mother wants this for their child! I touched upon my child’s battle to attend educational trips and activities, how his self-esteem is becoming crushed every time his considered to be a “liability” by those that don’t truly understand (Or chose not to.) As stated above! I’ve held back on the finer details on all these issues. I’ve done this for many reasons, one being the reaction and treatment I received from my child’s school in relation to past post. Now I’m pretty feed up with people making me feel crap for expressing myself, after all isn’t it my human right to speak? This blog is my place to let some tension out. I wont be made to feel wrong for doing so..

I love my son! He, like his brother and sister are my world. Their isn’t a thing in the world I wouldn’t do for them.. not one! Little man didn’t ask to be born with AS. He didn’t wake up one morning thinking, “I’m gonna act like a complete brat today” Yes he can be naughty, he is a nine-year old boy. But.. there are times that behaviour are results of his AS, you just need to know when! Little bad wasn’t always “challenging” at school, far from it in fact! Little man was more quite, and when he was there (Sometimes he would just refuse to go, no matter what I tried) he would often cope, letting it all out once home. This seems to be a common problem for many parents of children on the spectrum! Their child displays “odd” or “challenging” behaviour in one setting, but not the other. Sometimes I wished that was still the case. This proves that once little man had a good routine in terms of attending school, he became more challenging in the educational setting due to an array of things. Sensory, environmental, anxiety e.g. These are a few challenges little man and other children on the spectrum encounter daily. Little man has trouble dealing with these pressures. Little things become massive, voice tones become confusing and somewhat sarcastic or aggressive. There are triggers EVERYWHERE!

Little man was given Six fixed period exclusions from March to July last (school) year. This school year he has already bagged himself another two. Shocking seeming we are only just in September, the very first month of the current school year. I mentioned before that I consider some of his exclusions to be unjustified. The trips well yes, I feel he has been excluded from these in a way that can only be described as discriminating. No more is my child told he cannot take part in educational trips and activities, he is now just excluded on the days they take place! I feel totally powerless watching my son be rejected from one trip to another. I am outraged at the way the school have dealt with exclusion and how they have no regard for our privacy. The current situation is a total mess! I am appalled at a number of their recent actions. These actions are completely unacceptable! They highlight a great lack of respect for me, Little man and the family. I feel we are disliked! My child for the way he is and me for the way I advocate for him. I feel we are treated this way from those I should trust. There is no longer a part of me that trust them. This totally saddens me. I’ve tried working with everyone. It goes no where. It’s one big disappointment in every way.

Last week Little man was given a fixed period exclusion. He missed swimming due to this exclusion. He had been having a terrible week, to the point I had to keep him home one afternoon, and contact the education welfare officer. This was so I could express my concerns over a current problem he was having involving his sensory processing, and how others were not able to understand his genuine upset. I was advised to return him, but expressed my fear that in doing so may result in him getting into trouble due to his anxiety. I would rather he stayed home through a decision made by me then have yet another exclusion on our hands (One brought on my anxiety and frustration.) The next day Little man returned! Did I have a sick sense? Maybe! Yes, little man was excluded by the head teacher at 6pm via the telephone.

I hate that we are never notified of exclusions earlier, or better still on collection from school. Getting Little man into an evening/night time routine has been difficult and having them excluded him at these unreasonable hours is just not on. I feel that having to always inform him of his exclusion is unfair. It’s not great being the one to inform your child that they have been excluded, will not attend a trip or another educational activity. It’s never been an easy task, but never as hard as his current exclusion, the one he is currently serving.

I’m not referring to the above exclusion but the exclusion we were given on Wednesday evening at 6.20 pm. This was not a simple exclusion but an extremely hurtful one for little man. I knew it was coming due to something little man was told not five minutes before the call. (This is a whole other shocking incident, that I will not yet comment on) Shock and disbelieve hit me when I was told he would face yet another two-day exclusion. He had been back two full bloody days! Teachers training day was this Friday meaning day two of the exclusion would be Monday. This was the day Little man was to attend his trip (The big trip) the trip he had looked forward to. Why? Because he would be going on a coach! A few weeks back Little man had a massive meltdown in the supermarket. He didn’t sleep and was displaying challenging behaviour the entire night. There was no possible way both the children could attend school that next day. However I went to speak to Little mans class teacher. It was discovered that the teacher had left the class that afternoon telling the children to display good behaviour while he was away, or No Trip! They had no idea where they were going as of that time, yet little man was incredible excited. I was told by another Teacher (TA) that little man was becoming very upset as a peer was not doing the right thing! Little man thought this meant the whole class would miss the trip! I spoke to little man that evening and he explained that his class peer was not being very good and the whole class would miss the trip. I had to explain this wasn’t the case. Little man was pleased saying.. “No one will ruin this trip for me” He was double as excited on discovering the type of transport we would take (Yes I did say WE, and we means Mum! I would be their to.) He repetitively  asked each day how many more days were left to go. Now this has happened! I was expected to tell him. I was the one who had to hurt him. Maybe he knew deep down this would happen, maybe this is the reason he acted the way he did when his friend misbehaved.

Angry I was fuming..  1) This was even happening. 2) The way the exclusion was decided and when. 3) The fact I had to tell him. 4) Yet another trip missed. 5) This is a double punishment!

Little man cried till his eyes were sore. He spoke between catching his breath. He was broken. There was nothing I could say nor do to make it better! The whys kept coming, followed by “Please mum go and speak to them and ask them, Please) Its Saturday early morning and I am being completely honest when I say his still hurting.

How can they be so mean! I do not agree with this exclusion, it was done for reasons I don’t need to spell out. It was another knock to his self-esteem. This treatment is nothing other than horrid. Exclusions on trip days are a double blow. Not only will he feel he doesn’t fit in he feels he wasn’t wanted on the trip. Can you blame him? It’s not just the out of school activity he missed Thursday, Mondays trip, or last Fridays swimming! It’s all the other activities his been excluded from last year. It’s far to many. Please correct me but exclusion isn’t working so why use it? I wouldn’t mind but some weeks I find out his done something that to me is considered more serious. Then there are times like these! He is excluded for something far less serious resulting in him missing out on trips and activities. How does this system work? Forgive me I’m lost.

Lastly I want to say that yesterday my blog was given a good going over! Sadly for the wrong reasons. Maybe an update on exclusion number eight was sought after, or print outs were needed, who knows. I want to say that this blog is not written about anything other than my life with a boy with Aspergers. Sadly this is our life right now. This blog is aimed at others like me (Parents, carers or families parenting an AS child) It’s also their for those on the spectrum and anyone else wanting to learn more about how life can be with a child with AS. Some days are good and others not so great! But this is it.. Right now our life is a battle. I can’t stop it, no matter how hard  I’ve tried! Therefore whoever wishes to read this blog, then do so for what ever reasons. But those who do should understand that this is what is happening right now in our life. My son is already low in confidence and the above is not helping fix this. No aggressiveness or treats will be expressed within in this post, just pure tiredness and great upset at this horrible mess. The fact Little man now awaits an appointment with a specialist because he makes himself say sorry to god repetitively in his head or aloud, every time he acts a certain way, to avoid bad things happening is a worry and only highlights how bad things are becoming.

I hope the school have a fantastic trip without the disruptive little aspie, known as my son.  It wasn’t just a “Trip” for little man it was his chance for him to feel valued and build his self-esteem!

6 Responses to “How could they be so heartless?”

  1. Lynne Owen September 29, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Hi Claire your blog appeared on my email again so I was reading how difficult it all must be for you and your Little man. It is a terrible shame that his already low self esteem is troubled by these constant exclusions. No one likes to feel left out and different. and I am sure he feels it more than most. There is nothing I can do but express my sympathy for you and hope things go better with his statement etc.

    Hope the lamp will be nice for him when his room is decorated.

    Best wishes to you and your family

    Lynne Freecycle


  2. Katie September 26, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    It really is a great shame. How can school act this way? It’s wrong as schools all over the world treat children like little man and they just keep getting away with it.

  3. fighting for my children September 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Its only the beginning of the school year. Is there another school he could transfer to that may treat him better? I know it is hard on our kids to transfer them but sometimes it turns out to be the best thing. It sounds like you fought all last year and they keep hurting your sons self esteem and wont work with you.

  4. cindy jones September 25, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    How very sad. My grandson had similar treatment with a complete lack of understanding from teachers. He no longer attends mainstream schooling but goes to a centre for children with difficulties. He is happier and his self esteem is improving. Perhaps you should consider this option in the interests of your son.

  5. Debbie Smith September 25, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    Oh….I can truly empathise with you and your son. I have a nine year old currently being formally diagnosed for AS…..though it seems to be a forgone conclusion according to the powers that be.
    He, like your little man has extremely low esteem. He says his life is pointless…that everyone in school (pupils and staff alike) hate him. He is under the CAMH team…and I am doing everything I can to help him. He thinks I’m the only person in the world who really cares about him. How sad is that????
    School are now beginning to address the situation….after he ran away from lunch time break because he was pushed over, kicked and hit.( He is seen as odd by peers….lack of education and citizenship?) He walked home (luckily he was seen by a lovely member of the infant staff who was driving through the village and she shadowed him to the door to make sure he was safe). It is awful that it takes a major incident for people to really “get” that there is a problem…that the “wierd” or “odd” behaviour is a symptom of a condition…not just an unhappy homelife. Yes, life at home is not easy…..and not least of all because all the frustrations of an unhappy school day are vented as soon as he is in a safe place. Yes we are a “””broken””” home……but loads of children are in that situation…and all need to be treated fairly….but the underlying condition is what needs to be addressed… The work we do at home as parent(s) cannot transfer to school…so staff need to be working WITH us…to provide security, confidence and a feeling of well being…so often it is the exact opposite. Acts of nothing short of bullying are just NOT acceptable in the playground. Children like our little men need extra watching…as do the children around them who seem to see them as fair game.
    Staff need to be aware of the nature of the condition…how a simple facial expression or tone of voice can affect a child like ours hugely!!! How a misunderstanding (by them of what was said to them…or by others of what ours have said!!) can be the catalist for a major meltdown. Just a little thought can have a massive impact on a child with a communication disorder and prevent a situation from happening……isn’t it worth that few moments??? I must add here that this is for all staff…no fingers being pointed…some staff care and try hard…but none of us know it all..and we all need to be prepeared to learn.
    I can talk honestly about this….as until my son’s condition became so severe that I have had to take time out to suppory him ( I am a single mum these days), I worked as a TA supporting pupils with an ASD.(Ironic!!) , but it does mean that I know what I’m talking about….a little extra reading around the subject of ASD by staff, a little extra thought…and seeing them as children with a lifelong condition…not just naughty or rude or difficult children (though at 9, can’t they all be?)…would make all the difference. Help and information is out there if people want to partake of it!!!
    I truly hope that your son gets the support he so deserves. I am hoping that my son’s school is on the right path now. ( He is currently attending part-time and building his hours up gradually, hoping that he can begin to feel safe in school…but it will be a long process…) I don’t ask for everyone to love my son….or to treat him like a china doll…and I accept that he will be naughty like any other 9 year old…all I ask is that the staff learn to discern what triggers the anxiety…t accept that other children can and do play on these anxietyies…and to discern what is naughty and what is a reaction to or misunderstanding of something that has happened…that can cause a child with an ASD to behave inapropriately through no fault of their own. Yes, this is extra work for school staff…but our children are entitled to be happy in school…and to be able to access all areas of study and social education, just like any other…it just takes some restructuring , some rethinking and some good old fashioned love and care!!!!
    Let’s hope they get it.

  6. mumtoj September 25, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Oh I’m sorry I don’t have anything helpful to say so I’m sending you hugs and hope that the school will stop the exclusions and maybe try to help you and your son a little more. Maybe they should try to understand AS a little more.
    I know exactly what you mean when you say some days are good and some days are bad, but you just get on with it because this is it, our life and like your son, my son also didn’t ask to have AS, he just does. I hope when he starts mainstream school in January we have more luck than you have been having. At playgroup he “copes” and then when we get home, (usually on the journey home), he just lets go and quite often everything comes out, usually as aggression. Until he had a few minor moments at playgroup I think they felt I was exaggerating things a little. I feel lucky that we’ve found a school who have a specialist unit for pre prep children with extra needs, including ASD.
    I hope things improve for you all. xx

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