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Celebrating Mothers Day The Aspergers Way

10 Mar

Yesterday evening the little man asked me a question that was prompted by that of one of my own!

My question to him was… ‘Do you know what day it is tomorrow?’

His answer… ‘Um, yes… Its Sunday’

I then informed him that actually it was Mothering Sunday (aka Mother’s Day) to which he replied…

‘Oh, is it!’

Then came his question that actually really got me thinking for the duration of the evening!

‘Why?’ He asked!

Followed by…

‘What’s the point? Why do mothers need to have a special day? Why don’t we celebrate our son’s by having a. Son Day?’

‘Because mothers do lots for their children and its a day for their children to appreciate this’ I reminded him! To which his response was…

‘But you tell me I must appreciate you always’

Yes… I Give him that, he has a point!

Then he went on to ask…

‘Mum, honestly… Do you not see that its just a way for everyone to make money!’

You see, that’s the joys of having a child on the spectrum! Such logical little thinkers who don’t really dress anything up to make it sound pretty.

I was then informed that unless his dad had brought me a card then maybe I shouldn’t expect to much as I know how much he struggles with drawing and colouring.

He means no offence… honestly.His just saying it how it is! Actually I wouldn’t expect anything less!

Does it upset me that he fails to notice that his sister is busy in the next room preparing a work of art with glue and tissue paper? Does it make me sad that his all zoned out chatting to his online friends about the world of Mindcraft rather than showering his mother in Mother’s Day kisses? No! OK, may it used to a little, but it doesn’t anymore! Why? Because without sounding corny he is a gift in himself, all my children are.

Little man has been off school a couple of days this week with the flu and I normally find that school is the place that gives him those gentle little reminders when such occasions as these arise.

I remember when he was in primary school and every year when they made cards to mark the celebration of Mother’s Day, little man’s cards would always feature trains or buses, normally with a stick man and an arrow with the words ‘Me.. Driving the bus’ spilled out above it. I remember standing talking to a mother as we waited for our children to be released at the end of the school day. Her child came rushing out and almost forced a card into her hand. I can clearly remember the design, one that displayed an almost 3D image of pretty Daffodils. The centres of each flower made with sections of a painted egg cartons, petals made of yellow tissue paper and pipe cleaners proudly displayed as storks. Little man didn’t run out and hand me a card he was to much in a rush to get home to his sanctuary (aka bedroom). By now myself, this mother and our children were now walking side by side out of the school gates when she suddenly asked.. ‘Where is your card’ I was half convinced I didn’t have one but before I could say anything, little man had rooted around in his book bag and had now presented me with one! I smiled… that proud mummy smile as I looked a my card that of course displayed a somewhat different image from that of the other mothers card! Yes… A little stick man, only this time, that little stick man was driving a train as opposed to a bus.

“Does mummy drive trains” the mother asked my little man in her cheeky giggly tone.

Now I can’t quite remember his response, we are talking back when he was around 7 years old and still in the infants section of primary school. What I do remember was that his response was one of the “No Nonsense Type” as he rightfully pointed out that my hair was much longer than that of the hair on his stick man and the important factor that mum wouldn’t know if she liked driving trains as she has never driven one! Mum can’t even drive a car!

The mother smiled before she went on to wrongfully state that “Mothers” prefer flowers for Mother’s Day!

I was quick to correct her mistake when announcing that actually this “Mother” prefers trains!

You see little man wasn’t really one to pick up a pencil and start to draw unless prompted to do so. He struggled with his fine motor skills and even though he was yet to receive an official diagnosis of Aspergers, I’d always known that their was something stopping him from expressing himself on paper. So, the fact that he’d actually made this card for me and drawn it by himself was actually better than that of a hundred Daffodils made from egg cartons and tissue paper.

Every year up in till year 4 of his primary school years, he made me this card (always almost the same). Sadly once in year 4 things really started changing. It was this year major concerns began to arise. It was the year of illegal exclusions, disability discrimination and constant battles with both the school and LEA. My little man just stopped picking up a pencil/pen whatsoever. He wrote less then a sentence in a whole school year and carried on this way in till I removed him in year 5. It was only once he started with a one 2 one tutor instead of attending school (at this point no school were willing to take him) that slowly he began writing and drawing again.

I guess that my point is that each one of my three beautiful children all make me proud to be a mother. For us there is no traditional way to celebrate a Mothering Sunday… In our house we tend to do things the Aspergers way like we do almost any other day!

Happy Mothers Day. Xxx

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Big fat Yawns

3 Feb

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Yes, I’m tired… I look like poo and feel like it too. The past few weeks have been anything but leisurable.

I’m laid here on the bed blogging from my mobile, I can’t even be bothered to turn the Mac on as that would require me to sit up and right now that feels like an impossible mission.

So… An update! Little man went back to school last week having been off for an entire week with a sickness bug and a very sore cold sore (when you have Aspergers and a string of sensory sensitivities a cold sore is highly unpleasant) whats more his sleeping pattern became highly erratic which affected us all as a family.

Now I’m used to little man not sleeping to the early hours but something had to give. Little man wasn’t sleeping throughout the night at all and come the beginning of this week there was no signs of this getting any better. Having spent another entire night awake Little man started to settle down and become sleepy at around 6am. I, however had other ideas and decided I couldn’t take another day nor night of it and instead of crawling to my bed like I so wanted too, I instead used what little energy I had left in me, keeping the little man awake.

He wasn’t impressed and bad tempered was an understatement but in order to get him so tired that he’d have no option but to sleep that night I had him feed and dressed ready for school at 8.30am… Despite an entire sleepless night.

Some may say I’m evil and I guess in a way, yes I am! Yet it worked. Ok , he didn’t have the best day at school and my guess is he didn’t feel none to lively, neither, but he got home, ate dinner with half closed eyes and fell crashing into his bed at a somewhat alarmingly early 6 PM… Something I thought I’d surly never see!

Still, this hasn’t erased all his problems when it comes to sleep, he still struggles greatly…. Nonetheless, what it has done is remind him of the pure yucky feeling that comes with a day at school when you haven’t rested your eyes or mind for over 24hrs… And no one actually wants to feel that poo do they?

With this his been more eager to try to sleep at a reasonable hour. Its not been a 100% success story but when one wants to rest their mind it does become that much easier. With this there has been a slight decrease in the nightly antics! These include… Acting out his favourite WWE superstar entrance scene, talking non stop WWE to ones self and that of his constant note jotting on ideas for Mindcraft builds at crazy O’clock! I think maybe his trying to have a catch up, I just wished my body clock would now jolt so I could join him and do the same.

So… Now I’m yawning big fat yawns. Looking at the mess around me (seriously, there’s a fair amount) I think to myself… “Sod It” and instead I’ll bid you all a good night (or should I say good morning)?

How My Son With Aspergers Has Changed Since Attending A Special School

10 Dec

So, little man has been in his independent special school for children on the autism spectrum for some 18 months now! With this, I’ve decided to write a post concentrating on all the positive changes I have noticed in this time.

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1 – Improved confidence: This is one of the most apparent changes in my child. He is more confident in his own skin. Special interests are celebrated and his not afraid to share his likes and dislikes with peers. His no longer ashamed of his differences and is more able to see them as positives rather than negatives.

2 – Moods: Little mans moods are less impulsive than before which is because he feels much happier than he did when he was in a mainstream school. Ok, he can still become angry and agitated at the flick of a switch but I can defiantly see a reduction in this type of behaviour.

3 – Attitude to learning: Its very apparent that Little man is more willing and excited to learn. I love it when he comes home raving about the stuff his has learnt. His enjoying his lessons and finishes his day with a head full of new knowledge that he just can’t wait to share.

4 – Improved social skills: Yes, we still have a long way to go but his learning new skills daily. The fact that he actually has a whole school period every day dedicated to social skills training means the improvements are really starting to show. He tends to be less impulsive with the things he says to others. Overall he has a better idea when it comes to behaviours that are socially acceptable.

5 – Willingness to attend school: Little man actually looks forward to school now! The only issues we still have is with his sleeping leading to some issues with attendance. However, the fact he likes his school and wants to attend is just amazing!

6 – Better Understanding of Aspergers: He has a knowledgable understanding of Aspergers Syndrome and feels Better able to talk about how the condition applies to him.

7 – Independence: Since attending his new school little man has noticeably become much more independent. He still requires lots of visual clues but is more independent when it comes to creating and following a routine that his independently applied to a visual schedule. This is a really big achievement for Little man and is a huge step in the right direction therefore giving me more confidence that he will cope OK, when it comes to his life as an independent adult. His even cooking on a weekly basis. He brings home some amazing dishes that put my own to shame.

8 – Better reactions to sensory stimuli: He is still very sensitive in many ways and to a certain extent probably always will be. We have noticed some slight improvements in this area though, which is mainly down to the work he does with the occupational therapist while at school.

9 – Engagement & concentration: Although his attention span remains pretty short he is slowly showing some improvements in concentration levels. Good relationships with teachers and a high teacher to pupil ratio means he is engaging in tasks and able to complete work projects more so than he was before.

10 – Willingness to try: This is a change on a huge scale. Little man is more willing to give things a go in all areas of life. His added confidence is a big contributing factor. The fact he is less scared of failing means his less scared of trying. Little man was sadly discriminated against while in mainstream school and this lead to problems both at home and in his learning environment. The fact he is finally moving on from this, making friends and enjoy his school life is simply awesome to witness.

His So Not A Morning Person

1 Dec

To say little man isn’t a morning person is somewhat an understatement. In all honesty, little man converts into something of a wild untamed animal whenever the day light appears.

So, you can just imagine the warm fuzzy feeling I get within my tummy whenever I need to wake him… NOT! Its actually a complete nightmare, one I approach with dread and even a little fear for what is waiting to greet me.

Well, I’ve come somewhat accustomed to little mans morning explosions and I normally just get on with the morning battle of getting him out his bed, followed by all the other tasks that come with it… direction into the bathroom, begging he gets dressed and finally the push he requires out the front door when his transport has arrived! Breakfast, I give up on… His just not the type of child who wants to eat anything of a morning.

Last week was particularly difficult when it came to little mans morning routine. On one occasion following a pretty long night involving very little sleep, he then decided he wasn’t going to even try and make an attempt at seeing the world… Understandably he just wanted to remain in his bed!

There was a lot of swearing and shouting from little mans end as I tried to get him up. He wasn’t budging and I wasn’t giving up.

His father came to help but instead the stress of the whole situation just had us shouting at one another rather than being a team it was like working with the enemy… Not great I know! Children, especially those like little man don’t need this. However as the escort stood at the door with his school transport parked outside the situation just got far to stressful.

With little man laid in bed screaming abuse at me as I refused to give in… Regardless of the waiting transport, someone had to break and thankfully it was him! He quite literally throw himself out of bed and right at me.

All this while his poor escort is stood at the door. I almost gave in, told her to go and I’ll get on the train with him! Nonetheless the thought of doing this was enough to keep me going on my pursuit to at least try to have a somewhat normal day.

Finally ready some 20 minutes after he was supposed to leave, I finally had some peace in the house (well, apart from the sound of the toddler playing with his Thomas the tank engine) but thats ok, playing is good, its meltdowns that leave me a crumbling mess for the remainder of the day.

Here’s to a better week next week!

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School Uniform From Trutex (Review)

12 Nov

Take a look at how grown up my daughters looking.

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She’s in primary school but is still required to wear a uniform. The policy is rather strict and we have to abide by it.

Alice wears a grey, white and claret uniform. We usually find it easy to buy her uniform but often find we have problems obtaining the claret red cardigan or jumpers.

We decided to give trutex a try. They offered to send us some uniform for Alice to try which included a really thick claret button up cardie with warm fleece lining. Alice loves it, especially given the mornings are so cold now.

The grey pinafore dress is of really good quality too. Alice does prefer to wear a dress with a polo shirt underneath (which Trutex) also supplied. Wearing a skirt means everything needs tucking in. This way she is much more comfortable.

The dress is actually really cute with its small cherry design which keeps it girly and adds a little fun.

All three items that we were sent were of excellent quality. On washing the garments they have remained bright and in good shape (even the white polo shirt which I find will often go off-white very quickly). The fleece lining inside the cardigan didn’t shard any fluff which is great as I often find this to be a problem with other brands.

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Trutex isn’t the cheapest in school uniform providers but it isn’t the most expensive neither. Sometimes it worth paying that little bit more as you actually save more money long term as the garments last longer.

To find a store close to you click Here

Why I’m not looking forward to my toddler starting school

8 Oct

Who said it was meant to be easy.

They stand in little groups chatting to one another about their wonderful children. They sound as though they are almost in competition, yet desperate to impress one another.

Do I wish I was stood there with them. One of the mums who gets invited around the chief mummy’s house for a cuppa and a biscuit… No, not even for one minute!

Its strange, we see these social gatherings happening when we were at school! Yet some 15 years on its almost the same. Even stranger still is the fact that half of these social gatherings consists of the exact same people only older. They are now mothers themselves yet still raise their snobby little noses just as they did when we where teenagers.

I can’t sit here and label all mothers in this way… After all I know I’m not. And I’ve seen others who give a friendly smile and a node as they walk on by. But on the whole they keep themselves to themselves.

I have nothing against the mother who easily befriends every other child’s mother in their child’s class! However I do have something against the ones who make the business of other mothers their own and everybody else’s for that matter. Worse still they never normally seem to get the gossip quite right, resulting in some top notch bull shit or another flying around the community you live in.

I once read in the paper about two mothers kicking off at the school gates with their children present and of course everyone else’s. One mother was so badly attacked she was hospitalised while the other was taken of to the cells for some cooling off time. Another horrendous story I saw splashed all over the national news was that of a father attacking another father during their children’s Christmas production. The guy actually bit of the other guys finger and spat it out like some sick animal. I only hope they got the children out of sight because that’s the stuff of nightmares.

I’m not worried about having my finger bite of or anything (though that wouldn’t be fun) I’m just expressing my point which is “School playgrounds can be hellish places, not just for the pupils but for that of their parents too!”

So… Why am I banging on about all this now?

It’s simple… I’m already fretting about the day that will come and see my youngest child take that giant leap into education. His now almost 3 years old, and the time so far has just flown by. Before I know it I’ll be there… And again i’ll be stood in the playground with a new group of mums.

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As regular readers will already know, When it comes to schools I seem to always have some kind of crappy issue. History is my proof.

I know that my eldest child being on the autism spectrum meant he didn’t fit in with his “Typical” peers and this therefore meant that I as his mother failed to fit in with their “Typical” mothers. Well, lets be honest here… I never overly tried! Friendships just happen and don’t need to be pushed (some need work but these are existing ones). If I don’t instantly click with someone then its 98% chance I never will.

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I remember when we’d be stood waiting in the infant playground for the bell to ring indicating the start of the school day. Up in-till that point, little man would be running around like a rabbit with headlights. He’d bump into everything and everyone. Some may think… “And what? Isn’t this what boys do?” And to a certain extent, yes it is! However, little man had no regard for boundaries. He’d just roar into another’s conversation… Speak his mind and therefore say the most inappropriate things (normally stuff I’d actually be thinking but never likely to say aloud). He’d run and grab footballs from the ground while others tried to play a game and many peers therefore saw him as a really big pain in the butt! Me, I’d be dashing about after him like a crazed headless chicken, failing miserably at any attempt to catch him let alone control him. Mothers would stare, some shaking their heads and tutting, others turning to their friends in disgust. Whenever Little man dared attempt to approach their child they’d quickly be dragged away and warned “Don’t play with that child, you hear me?”

I hate it when parents act like my child is some sort of diseased being. They look at him like his some little demon child who could potentially convert their child into something similar. I used to let the ignorant stares upset me and remember that at one stage what others thought meant a big deal to me. But in all honesty you cannot spend each waking day like this. Yes you can advocate for your child but running after every parent who looks at you slightly funny probably means you’ll be spending most of your life running. Yes, I’d be a lot fitter but I don’t fancy it all the same.

So, there you have it! This is one of my many reasons I’m dreading the toddler starting school. I just wished he stay little forever.

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Back to school with Matalan

7 Sep

I love Matalan, it was where I brought the children’s school uniform last year and having been so pleased with it, it’s where I brought them again this year.

Considering I brought the uniform so late in month, I was actually surprised to be able to get one at all.

With two weeks to go, I headed to Matalan to get Alice her uniform. Admittedly they had every single size of school dress but one… Alice’s of course! Nonetheless they did still have plenty of school skirts in stock and at £6 and £5 each these we a bargain.

A round up of what I brought

1x Grey pleated skirt size 10-11 £5
1x Grey skirt 10-11 with small flower £6
2x White girls 10-11 polo shirts in sets of 2 set £6 each set (£12)
1x Girls black 5 pack of tights £4

The white polo shirts come in sets of 2. They feature the same flower detail as the shirt which is very discreet yet still gives it that feminine touch.I found that At £6 per set of 2 was a really good value. For just £12 I had 4 really good quality polo shirts.

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The skirts are really pretty, they are both well cut and a good length. Alice-Sara loves the grey skirt with flower pattern where’s I’m more into the pleated look.

Alice-Sara started back at school just yesterday and wore the grey pleated skirt.Once she was home and changed I washed both the white polo shirt and following this her grey skirt. Both washed well. There was no bobbling on either garment and nothing shrunk. Again very good value for money.

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Everything I brought listed above, came to a grand total of £27.

I’ll be returning to Matalan next week in the hope of grabbing a couple of their pinafore dresses. These were really very pretty but sadly very popular too as they didn’t have any stock in Alice-Sara’s size.

Matalan did have plenty of designs and colours to choose from in both the girls and boys department. They stocked a good selection of school shoes, as well as other everyday school essentials such as, Lunch boxes, PE kits, Backpacks, and more.

You can check out the Matalan back to school range online or at your local Matalan store.

An emotional but wonderful sports day

18 Jul

School sports day… We all know them well, or do we?

Little man has never really experienced the real joy of a school sports day. His never truly known how fun these can be! His perception of sports day is one that involves sitting in the sidelines or being told he needs to try harder. Well… That was up in till now.

Little man has experienced many positives since joining his new independent special school, ones I’d never thought he would encounter when things looked so gloomy. These include the joy of school trips and above all involvement!

Yesterday was sports day, an exciting day for all children attending the school. Parents were invited to bring a picnic and join the children for an event which would be a first for many! I feel the parent of your “typical” child may take such a thing as sports day for granted. I don’t mean this in a bad way, why would I? It’s just that many parents of children with SEN long for their children to experience how fun such events and activities can actually be.

Myself and two friends took our picnic and went and joined the school on what seemed to be the first sunny day in ages. God was on our side!

Admittedly I was a little late, not great when your child has Aspergers Syndrome. He was a little anxious and seemed a little upset on my arrival. I had explained to little man that I would be arriving at 11 am as opposed to 10.30 am, I had obviously not made myself as clear as maybe I should have.

Despite the bad start things settled down quickly and we laid down our picnic blanket and watched the games commence. There are only around 16 children in the whole of the school which meant all got the support needed to ensure the day went without a hitch. The staff at my sons school are amazing, each one has a complete understanding of each child’s needs and all worked hard to ensure pupils and parents enjoyed the day.

Luckily I was wearing oversized shades so I couldn’t be seen welling up when little man won the 450m race. It wasn’t the winning it was the participation and the smile on his face that did it! He could have came last and I still would have been as proud. Staff ran with children who struggled to make it to the finishing line, us parents along with staff members supplied plenty of verbal encouragement cheering each child who approached the finish line. The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant.

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On the morning of the sports day little man seemed to be a little anxious about the whole experience, after all it’s always been a negative experience for him when in mainstream school. The picture below shows how much little man enjoyed the day, you can only imagine how it makes me feel as his mother to see him this comfortable.

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I went along convinced that this mum was not participating in any parent centred activities but once there how could I possibly refuse. Saying that I didn’t run in the egg and spoon race… I know what a chicken!

I made a beautiful picnic and it was lovely to sit in the sunshine and eat calmly beside little man (a rare event in our house). I then kicked back and watched little man enjoy the rest of his day.

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Little man gets ready for a tug of war (yes his team win).

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Gearing up for the long jump.

The sports day was organised to last the entire day and at the end a great awards presentation was organised. There made sure that every child received awards just for participating, making each child smile and feel truly appreciated. One little boy even received a cup for trying so hard which I must admit, really made me tearful (the smile on his face was magical).

As for my little man… Well he received 3 awards… Oh and even I got one.

Seriously.. Proud doesn’t seem to cut it!

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Award presentation.

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Little man and his awards.

Massive thank you to everyone at Baston House School for making sports day a magical one.

My Daughter is on the SEN register – School never informed me

4 Jul

My last two post have been about my recent court appearances in relation to my daughters school attendance being 80%. As to gather evidence to defend my case I wrote to the school under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act, requesting access to my daughters school records.

The first folder handed to me was a yellow folder, inside was information relating to her Special Educational Needs… Excuse me… What Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

I had asked both verbally and in writing if my child had sen! When taken to court for school attendance a few years back, they asked the LEA if my daughter had SEN… The answer was NO! School reports have been given and academic review meetings have taken place… Yet, no one mentioned the word SEN, No one ticked the SEN box at the bottom of reports… NO One!

My friend accompanied me to the school to look through her file. You see while fighting for a statement of sen for little man and during a discrimination battle with the school I had requested his record and it was filled with shocking discoveries… I didn’t want to be alone.

I sat with the file shaking in my hand, tears rolling down my cheeks, I couldn’t speak, I was angry and sad! Lies… Lies… Lies!

I was never told my son was on the register, not even during the period of time he was being assessed for Aspergers Syndrome. School told CAMHS they had no concerns… They held up the diagnosis period for almost 2 whole bloody years.

My son was placed on the school’s SEN register in 2005 as soon as he started school… I discovered this in 2009!

(luckily little man now attends an independent special school)

My daughter still attends the school and despite my outrage and arguments with the school for not fulfilling their legal duty of informing me that my son was on the SEN register, they have done it again…. Why?

Alice-Sara placed on SEN register in 2009, I discover she is on the SEN register Monday 2nd July 2012, some 2 years later.

The law states

The Education Act 1996 s. 317 requires Governing bodies of schools to… Inform the child’s parent that special educational provision is being made for him there because it is considered that he has special educational needs.

I looked at the SENCO in the face when I asked her if my daughter had SEN a year ago… She lied. Every time I brought up the fact I wasn’t told about Little man being on the register, her defence was that she wasn’t the schools SENCO then so their is no point complaining to her! All the time she had placed my daughter on the register and was lying out her backside.

They didn’t tell me as they didn’t want me to use it against them in the discrimination case and when I attended court for attendance!

She is on the register as she has issues with literacy… She is said to be great a Maths.

I was left feeling guilty… Like I could have done more to help her.

I cried… I wasn’t assumed of her… I just felt sad… I don’t know why!

I have a meeting with the Head teacher tomorrow! I have questions, the same ones I asked about my son! I want to know why they continue to do this. After all I bet the LEA were aware of my daughter being placed on the register, the school get extra funding for those that are.

It’s now a new head teacher and the SENCO left a few weeks back (I wonder that if she was still there, would she of allowed me to get my hands on that yellow folder?). I guess this will result in a lot of blame pushing. However the governors have failed my children and all must be held responsible for this.

I’m tired of fighting but I won’t let this lie. I’m currently looking for a new school and writing a letter of complaint. Once was enough but twice… That just takes the piss!

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Today I maybe blogging from a prison cell

2 Jul

Yep, I may well be a jail bird blogging from my cell (well, that’s if I’m actually given access to a computer that is)!

It’s 3 am and I haven’t slept a wink, I’m busy preparing my defence case (representing myself). This afternoon I’ll be of to court where I will need to prove that I didn’t intentionally keep my daughter home from school on the days she was sick.

I’ve been prosecuted twice before in relation to my sons school attendance. I was found guilty of section 444(1) failing to secure his attendance at school. I was found guilty because having a child with Aspergers who wasn’t receiving appropriate support causing him to develop school phobia and emotional behavioural problems, didn’t come within the statutory guidelines needed for them to allow me to walk with my head held high.

Statutory guidelines (“excuses”) only cover a handful of reasons for non attendance! These include illness, religion, travelling, and a few others that don’t cover incidents such a mental health, bullying and all those other reasons we find our children refusing to attend school, therefore creating a war zone come 8:50 am in the morning.

Such behaviour meant my daughters attendance struggled. However this was mainly lateness which gave her an unauthorised mark against her name (yes she was in but if the register was called she was given a half day absence against her name) When you have mornings like ours these marks tend to add up quickly!

Regardless of the above, once little man began attending his special school things slowly got back on track. Alice was given a little independence when I allowed her to walk the 2 minute walk down the hill to school.

With this things improved, I thought that with Little man in a new school I would have less to worry about. Sadly I was wrong.

If any of you have read the blog long enough you will already understand the struggles I had to get my son to school, a place that could not meet his SEN needs leaving him somewhat school phobic. My daughter suffered, what with being made late for school when big brother was hitting and spitting at mum. The fact the household received very little sleep because Little man doesn’t frankly believe in the five letter word is just another contributing factor.

When I was in court last, my mobile vibrated as the judge was speaking. When they retired I checked my phone only to discover a message from the Head teacher informing me Little man was yet again excluded, this time for 5 days. The head teacher was meant to be at court but instead had provided them with the information requested claiming he had meetings! I wasn’t found guilty of the more serious charge 444(1A) (which basically means the school were stating I had no intention on sending them into school… Yer right! I could actually do with the break.) However, I did receive a fine for the lesser charge of 444(1). Basically I couldn’t say he was sick on each of those days. He had received so many exclusions that these were now starting to confuse me. I’d spent so long trying to get him into a routine and now it was being wrecked. Ok, they couldn’t find me guilty on these days but they could of those that followed, the ones where he refused to attend, kicking and screaming.

The above made me so angry as I was fighting for a statement and having my child excluded every week didn’t help. I was also in the process of a claim against the school for discrimination which I won (settled out of court).

I eventually got my son out of the mainstream school and into an independent special school. There was however a period of time when he was educated in a library because the LEA would not agree to my school yet no state school would take him.

So, where does Alice fit in? Well, despite her improvement in getting there on time and therefore attending as she should, during the months of October through to January her attendance dropped. This was due to a reoccurring sickness bug which the school kept sending her home for. Then in January she had a very bad water infection that saw her on medication and close to hospitalisation. All days were covered. I had sent notes in, explained via email or visited the school in person.

They deny this! As a result I am being taken to court as my daughters attendance was recorded to have dropped to 80% with no reason given!

It would seem that the school have failed to log my letters or just chosen to ignore them. After all its up to them to authorise.

Lucky for me I requested her education records and obtained copies of some of these letters. Others were missing. Emails and records on verbal conversations have vanished as if they never existed.

I refused to plead guilty. My daughters attendance is near on 90% as it stands. I feel victimised by the school and LEA due to past difficulties.

The school state that a child must remain home if physically sick for a period of 48 hours. Nonetheless, when abiding by these policies, Alice receives an unfair mark against her name.

Now… I can’t just call up and get an emergency appointment with the GP because Alice is being sick. In the eyes of a GP an emergency this isn’t. There is nothing they can give her for sickness, So… it’s a waste of their time. We just keep her hydrated and comfortable.The thing is she may be sick the night before and just fine in the morning, yet when I tell staff she has been sick (purely because it wouldn’t be fair not to) we are sent jogging!

Shockingly, it also seems that despite her bad urine infection which I provided medical evidence in order to cover ourselves for, school still have it down as “N” in their attendance records which basically means “No reason given” what’s worse is that I called them, wrote to them and sent an email! Worse still, on one of these days she was actually sent home!

Under the freedom of information and data protection acts I was able to gain access to my daughters educational records, requesting things I wanted copied. Yes I was pleased to discover some of the items I needed to form my case were sat there right under my nose. Yet, I was also sadden to discover others were not (which worries me).

Within a few minutes of being given my daughters records I made the most horrific discovery! I was left sitting in a pool of tears as I tried to collect my thoughts. Ive decided to write this in another post… Why? Because in just a few hours I’ll be heading to court and I know writing about what’s worrying me will only make me feel worse… Basically it’s something I’ve put to the back of my mind because I need to focus on my court hearing.

I will therefore return when time permits.

So, I best go jump in the tub and get ready for yet another long winded court case where I’m sadly the defendant who abided by a schools policy and got her arss kicked for doing so.

Heres hoping I’m not gonna be made a jail bird… Here’s hoping I’ll be home tomorrow with my kids, blogging where I should be.

20120703-113623.jpgphoto credit google images

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