Tag Archives: assessment

My daughter will be assessed for Dyslexia

5 Jul

Today I had a meeting at my daughters school, I went in thinking I was going to be thrown a load of excuses as to why I wasn’t informed my daughter was on the special educational needs register, but actually things went a little more differently.

You see, all those who have lied to me are no longer employed at the school. The head master whom I had a terrible relationship with due to the discrimination my son received and the SENCO who has lied about both my children’s needs, have left. The new head teacher has been brought in to repair all the damage that has been done and therefore get the school back on track.

I was almost left open mouthed when I realised I wasn’t being feed anymore bull shit. This new head teacher apologised for the fact I wasn’t told stating it was unacceptable. She has looked through my daughters sen file and through some of her work and feels that she should have been assessed for dyslexia!

She has told me she wants to sort this ASAP as to give my daughter the best chance in year 5. Extra help will be provided to enable her to catch up with her reading and writing. We also discussed the possibility of maybe booking her in with an optician to see If coloured lenses could help her read better (it currently takes her a long time to read a book).

I have appointments booked with her class teacher on Monday and the head teacher is writing a letter explaining my daughters SEN, the reasons she is on the register and the help they have been providing her with.

I have put a lot of trust in this school before and been let down badly. However with the new senior staff in place, a temporary SENCO and no sign of anyone who damaged us in the past, I feel that just maybe communication will be better.

I won’t let my guard down, I can’t afford to. I will continue to over document everything, monitor attendance (maybe asking for a weekly breakdown of her attendance for my records) as well as making sure the AWO stays on top of things.

I really want to believe the new head teacher is one that I can fully trust. I have got to a stage where I feel I can not trust anyone and hope that my confidence in the system can slowly be repaired. Surly not all head teachers are bad… Right?

To have someone agree with me that records have not been kept as they should have and as a result I could have actually gone to prison, is a start!

To have an apology is also a step forward.

I don’t know why both the SENCO and Head teacher left suddenly but I am pleased to see the back of them!

I just want my children to go off to school in the mornings and come home smiling. I want a good healthy school home relationship… Just like the one I have with my sons independent special school… Surly it’s not to much to ask, is it?

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Holy Macaroni Its A Panda

29 May

It’s around 1 P. M Friday 27th, May and I’m applying the last coat of mascara In my desperate attempt to become something of a yummy mummy, though human will properly do just fine (no sleep the night before makes this a challenge). The plan is to make myself somewhat presentable in-order to escape this house and the housework that comes with it and instead hit the shops before my little “cherubs” return home from school! As I grab my handbag and a pair of lifesaving oversized sunnies (recommended for any tired mummy for hiding a multitude of sins ), I set off for the door where I’m greeted by our “ever so friendly postman”.

Bills, bills and more bloody bills… Hang on what’s this??

Err, I hate surprises, in my experience surprises put through my letter box are not usually the welcome type!!

I tore open the envelope and began to read… blah… blah… blah… “Holly Cow!!” I couldn’t quite believe it! I read it again, then again, then yes, you’ve guessed it… AGAIN!

My eyes start to blur, a tear drops onto the paper, closely followed by another, they rapidly increase in-till the words written within the letter are no longer recognisable.

For once these tears were not caused by sadness, but joy, relief and gratitude! Throwing my head back, I looked up above and said aloud, “Thank you god, thank you!”

My Little man had just been given a chance, a way through, a future!

This letter was from a school, not just any school but one that I have been keen for little man to attend for some time. (Keen being a slight understatement!) The school is fully independent and even better it’s an autism specific school.

Holy-Macaroni… Its so long since anything went right with little mans education that I was a little unsure how to react. Is it appropriate to give it some… “Woo-hoo get in there my son!!” (Quite literally) How about engaging in a little victory dance? One things for sure, as ecstatic as I was, something seems to be holding me back from doing either!

It’s Just a school placement right!

It’s so much more then that for us, for Little man! It’s his chance! Shamefully it’s been a hell of a long time since anyone had been willing to offer my son such a thing!

Do you know how it feels to suffer rejection over and over again? Maybe you do! But how many people can honestly say they knew that feeling at the young age of ten? I’ve watched every last inch of Little man’s self-esteem fade away, I’ve seen & wiped the tears from his eyes, I’ve spent days and nights giving him reassurance, trying to repair the damage and help him gain back his confidence… only for someone to come along and undo it all again, all them hours, days and weeks to make progress… vanished in seconds.

The worse thing of all is the questions projected at me! I’ve had to answer questions no mother would ever expect nor want to answer when their ten year old child asks, “Mum, why can’t I just be normal” or “If there is a god, why wont he help me fit in?” These are a selected few… There are sadly many more, some I find I am unable to write, by doing so I become a broken mess with questions of my own! This accompanied with his tendency to self harm by throwing himself into brick walls or his scratching his arms till they bleed is the extent of damage been done at the hands of those that should have provided an education suitable to his needs while ensuring his emotional and metal well-being was protected from harm, but instead taught him that, “it isn’t OK to be who you are!”

My son went through something I wish for no other child or adult! He was discriminated against for being the person he is, because it wasn’t what was considered “Normal”, what society expects from a child! As his mother I felt somehow responsible for this after all it was me that placed him in this mainstream primary school! I finally did remove him from at the beginning of December 2010, which felt amazing for all. Being a parent who has a legal duty to ensure their child is in school has been a nightmare for me! I have a child with social communication difficulties who developed school phobia (Yet no one told me such a thing existed) why ever not? After all this landed me in court.

The above was a situation I was placed in twice and of course this was before his behaviour became unsettled & challenging in the school environment.

It was towards the end of year three that things change! Along came a string of both unofficial exclusions (aka Illegal exclusions) and fixed period exclusions with added threats of the permanent type on a regular basis. There was even an unsuccessful push towards a pupil referral unit (PRU). I decided to get myself educated on education law… More particularly that of ‘Special educational needs

When your child is excluded or removed form every school trip/activity, isolated and hidden on the day of inspections, then you know there is something very wrong happening! Just before our tribunal hearing for the case of disability discrimination, I finally agreed to settle. A formal letter of apology was given to myself and Little man, review and adaption of policies was agreed, and most importantly staff training in special educational needs and discrimination would be carried out by July this year! Having removed him from the mainstream setting he has now been out of school since early December last year. Yet before this time he was only in half days taught in isolation (himself and a TA) this or exclusion meant he was educated at home more then in school. Since January he has received home tuition, on a part time basis of five hours per day. During this time and also on this very day I have been battling for amendments to be made to Little man’s final statement of SEN. This had been so badly written and lacked so much provision it wouldn’t be worth having (In other words it was no worse then not having a statement at all) Of course the LEA wouldn’t agree to the high fees of the independent school and firmly stuck to their guns, Well… they did up in-till time started running out. Having searched high and low for a state run special school over an area of around four or five boroughs, with all schools claiming they could not meet Little man’s needs. The LEAs response to the tribunal on the 5th of this month therefore stated that they are no longer in a position to oppose pt 4 of the statement, “My request for the independent school” as they were unable to secure a placement anywhere else!

Wow.. This meant that the LEA had approached all the school’s they felt suitable for little man, yet all refused… Although I wanted my Little guy at the independent school, it was still disheartening knowing no one else were willing to give him that chance

The school had assessed Little man in the library setting on the 16th and just this week he took a tour of his soon to be new school. Although he states his never going to a school again and his now really attached to his tutor, something magical happened as he liked it so much he asked, “So, when do I start?”

A slow transition at little man’s own pace is planed. This will involve his tutor attending alongside him in the beginning gradually reducing the support as his confidence grows.

I won’t lie and say I’m not scared, I’m petrified! Yet something tells me to put my fears aside because this is where it all begins, this is where it gets better! I have the pleasure of seeing my child happy as over-time he rebuilds all that’s been lost and damaged along the way, while achieving his dreams & showing everyone that never offered such chances or failed to see him as more then a child with difficulties… what they missed out on! An Amazing boy With Aspergers

Oh, in cause you’re all wondering… Did I make it to the shops? Yes, I did, though I wished I had looked in the mirror before setting off! All that crying had me mistaken as a Panda bear that or battered woman

Remember if you like the blog and think me and the little guy deserve a nice shinny award then please vote us the most inspirational blog at the ‘Mad blog awards 2011″

A love hate relationship

1 May

So, today I’ve been inspired to write this post by my beautiful daughter.

You see, my little princess is feeling a little left out! I guess I haven’t really treated her like the little princess that she is just lately.

I hold my hands up, life has been far to busy and she hasn’t received quite as much attention as I would have liked to have given her. I’m not stating I’ve neglected here, “As if my little diva would let me,” I’m merely stating that we need some one-on-one time without big brother! There has been less chick flicks & girlie pampering but far to many tears.

I look at my daughter with such pride, she is this truly amazing little girl who never fails to melt my heart. Like most siblings of Children on the autism spectrum, she seems quite mature for her eight years.

Over these past few months, which I must add have been pretty emotional for all, I’ve noticed my little girl has mimicked one or two of little man’s behaviours. It doesn’t take a genius to know why she has done this, after all little man gets quite a bit of attention when displaying such behaviours. Alice-Sara (My daughter) has claimed that she can no longer use certain cutlery when eating her dinner as it makes her feel fuzzy (tactile sensitivity). She has stated that it’s to noisy in school and has gone as far as throwing a tantrum over a miner mishap that wouldn’t normally bother her. This isn’t all! More recently see seems somewhat resentful towards her brother. It’s understandable given a good degree of the time he isn’t very nice to her and is extremely hard to live with, but it’s also to do with how much time I need to spend attending to Little mans needs, both social and educational. Last week I almost died of shock when my daughter, who enjoys school refused to attend. She throw me with her claims that she hated it and certain teachers didn’t understand her, yes, something her brother has stated through sobs of tears! She insisted that in-order for her to attend I would need to write some letters and sort things out in terms of her education! She also informed me that maybe it would be better to home educate her for a a bit while things settled down, Her worlds not mine! “Guys this little girl has a stack of friends and is popular with both the pupils and the teachers. Her reports always come back glowing with nothing but prise written all over them”. I knew what this was really about! With Little man’s pending Sen tribunal due to be heard in June, I have been writing statements, emails and filling out a ton of paperwork, mainly parental information needed to form part of his independent SALT and EP assessments. I have also been doing quite a bit of casework for my role as a TSS volunteer. Alice-Sara confirmed this to be the issue when I insisted we talk about it on the way to school when she so angrily stated why storming towards the front door, “Oh, You would have done it for him.” Yes, ‘him’ meaning Little man!

Alice-Sara loves her brother, however things are not always easy for her. All brothers & sisters normally quarrel, I’m not denying that, but come to our house, I promise you its beyond ‘Normal’!

Now, it’s not always the little dude who is the one to kick things off, my daughter has become accustomed to setting him off and she’s learnt how and what buttons to press in-order to get her desired reaction. However his rigid thinking and tendency to be inflexible and controlling has either brought her to breaking point or reduced her to tears. Lately she can’t seem to breathe without it bothering him. Just a few days back little man treated the family to a night on pain-killers. My daughter needed Calpol (children’s medicine) for her headache and although I had just taken a couple of good old paracetamol for my own chronic headache, I could have done with something a tad stronger like a few handfuls of tranquillisers to knock me out for the rest of the week!

Alice-Sara decided that having tried a ‘Fish Finger’ for the first time they were actually quite yummy. When dished up and the kids sat down for dinner, little man’s eyes wondered across the table in the direction of her plate. “OH NO…”

Little man: “Mum, you’ve given Alice the wrong dinner!”

Before I could answer…

“No, she hasn’t. I like fish fingers now.” Announced Alice-Sara.

Well, what happened next wasn’t anything unexpected as it happens on a regular basis! A full-on blow up was had that consisted of him claiming that his sister shouldn’t be allowed to like fish fingers as he likes them! “She’s copying me,” and “You’re horrible mum! They were my fish-fingers!” Those statements and a load more, accompanied together with kicking doors and throwing whatever was in his reach went on for a good proportion of the night. A real head banging event!

Last spring when things were really difficult at school for Little man which resulted in some challenges at home, I began to worry for both my Little man and my daughter. His aggressive behaviour was at a point that was deeply concerning. We went on a day out accompanied by my friend who ended up having quite an eventful time and one I’m sure she wont forget for some time! It was during this day out that I decided we as a family needed to seek professional help & support! Alice-Sara was happily flying a kite on the heath following the ‘Bike & Kite’ festival we had just attended. Out of nowhere came little man who had decided it was time she stopped! He run over giving her a massive shove that saw her fall to the ground. No tears followed, she didn’t even complain, just got up bushed herself off and returned to the joy of flying her kite. In that exact moment I realised that I had just witnessed something that scared the ‘crap out of me!’ Was this the ‘Norm’ for her? Did she consider it an acceptable thing for her big brother to have done? Would this little girl ‘my little girl’ grow up thinking it was Ok to be pushed around? I don’t want my daughter to ever allow herself to be treated like this, not by anybody including that off her big brother! It was lucky that at this time I was in contact with a lady who works for the autism outreach service for our area and how lucky was I when she agreed to visit me at home and have a chat with my little princess. I also gained some good ideas on strategies that I could implement that would hopefully stop little man becoming so physically aggressive towards his sister. It took some effort but results were seen, his hitting faded out and Alice-Sara would no longer turn a blind eye to his behaviour.

Sadly these past few weeks something has changed in the little man and myself and daughter have received some unwelcome attacks as a result. He even attacked his sister on a packed train when returning from the West End because she, ‘Disrespected Transport for London’ when placing her tired little feet on the seat she was sat on.

How can I make it stop? Consistency is our only hope. Strategies that we used last year have been tried but sadly failed, however this mum is on a mission and won’t give up on finding another strategy that works!

I’m guessing a number of parents of children on the autism spectrum will agree… consistency is a ‘must’ for all children but isn’t the easiest thing to apply when dealing with the child with Aspergers and they’re challenging behaviour.

To bring this post to a close I’ve finished with something positive. After all this talk of violence I think I need to! So, besides sharing some contact details for sibling support groups that some off you may find helpful, I’ve also included this beautiful picture that I captured yesterday on the train when on our way out for the evening to see a show in the West End to celebrate the Royal Wedding. Little man has his arm around his sister who happily excepted a hug as opposed to a slap or a punch! No-one requested he gave her a hug, it’s something that you just don’t see him do! I don’t know who was more surprised me or my daughter!

The Charity Barnardo’s run a number support groups for siblings of disabled children around the country. Some groups are mixed for both the Sibling and their brother/sister with a disability, whereas others are dedicated to the sibling alone. (028) 90672366 is the contact details for the London regional office. If anyone requires the number for their area drop me a comment or contact the above number as I’m sure they will help.

Contact a Family is another organisation who cater for siblings of children with disabilities. Further info can be obtained by calling… 0808 808 3555

Mencap are happy to put people in-touch with their local sibling support group. The number for England is: 0207 4540454

Kids are an organisation which runs play, education and social initiatives for disabled children and it is suggested that siblings may also benefit from their clubs, outings and residential weekends, and can be contacted on: 020 7359 7635 email: enquiries@kids.org.uk

The fight to get it right

27 Jan

It’s not easy being a parent, the choices we are faced with can be overly overwhelming. For our choices impact greatly on our children. We are forever making decisions for them, sometimes it’s done with ease… What to dress them in as little ones, what to get them for Christmas & birthdays, what time is bedtime and how much pocket money to allocate. Other times these decisions are far bigger… choosing a doctor, dentist, vaccinate or not vaccinate, school placement, diet, when to start increasing independence… Although many parents find these decision hard, having to make them for a child with AS or ASD is daunting. Choosing the right dentist for example… If you get this wrong and the dentist is somewhat ignorant when it comes to AS/ASD the impact on the child can be huge… a display of public meltdowns everytime they have a checkup isn’t desired. having experience on parenting a child both on and off the spectrum has highlighted the difference my decisions can have on the children.

I now hold this paper in my hand that is full of decisions that would make up my child’s educational further. Yet these were decisions that were not made by me but someone who had never even met my child but was based on the observations made by others and the conclusions they drew. Some of this came from doctors who may not know us personally but on a professional basis for sometime, others were educational professionals who to be honest don’t really know him at all despite his existence at his previous mainstream school for the past five years, the EP who had only meet him the once and an AWO who had always considered it her lifes mission to prosecute me for non school attendance instead of looking at the “whole” picture (how helpful when your little aspie is ripping your hair out from the roots as u try and get him out the street door to go to school!) Then you have the outreach workers who have met him once or twice and despite giving such good advice u still feel a tad concerned as your the parent and it is out your control. The only chance I had to voice my concerns was through the parental advice I would give that I was sure to make both detailed and impactful, not missing a point… Fifteen, A4 pages is a detailed report that I hoped would make some impact.

For all those who have not yet gathered what the hell I’m yabbering on about.The paper I am referring to was the paper so many families fight so hard to hold but are never given that chance. It was little mans proposed statement of special educational needs… and to be 100% honest it was mostly a load of rubbish!!

I’m not no blonde dizzy bimbo who has a head full of air, I’m also no Einstein … but this statement was ignominious in it’s current form. Yes it could be used to access a “special school” but in terms of providing him with support it was useless, the provisions were largely made up from common sense! and though many teachers need to be told this in way of a statement, there was so much more they should have provided! Did I expect anything less? “No!” yet it would have been great to be surprised, but hay we can dream!

So what was the problem? Did it not describe all little mans needs in part 2, was the description not detailed so as not to leave any doubt to what his needs/difficulties were, did the objectives in part 3 not cover all his current needs, did the provision in part 3 not meet the needs of the objectives and provide provision for every difficulty listed in part 2 or was the provision not specific and quantified leaving no room for doubt at who would provide it, monitor it, how long it would be given (hours per week) and how often he would receive it? Maybe it was the use of wolly fluffy words like: “reguler, access to, opportunities, encourged to” that were my problem?

Funny enough it was all the above!!

Yes, every possible issue was an issue! The appendices was filled with advice from those I mentioned above & funny enough a huge proportion of this advice was actually good. His own senco had however wrote hers in a way that was considered by myself as pure ignorance (she just seemed to make him out like he was a brat) however his behaviour outreach teacher gave a fantastic report and great advice. Reading it back today it’s clear to see that regardless of her only having known little man four or five months, she “got it” she wasn’t a specialist autism teacher but at times I wondered. She was in fact an outreach from the PRU the school tried to place little man in (you know the one that had that who “lock down” style going on) The special schools outreach teacher wrote a reasonably good report which given that they had only observed him the once was pretty good (thing was the school she was based later said they could not meet little mans needs when we tried obtaining an emergency placement) the communications and outreach (ASD “specific” outreach team) are always super and it showed in there report. AWO “yep that’s attendance welfare officer to you and me” wrote half a page that just consisted of his attendance issues and not much else ( no surpises there then) As for the SALT well, I think obtaining a report from 2008 isn’t much use to anyone…. The fact that the school attached his ADOS report (autistic dignostic obsevation schedule) that was carried out by a ASD specialist SALT in 2009 as part of their evidence attached to their advice, the LEA still igonored it and chose to go with the 2008 report. This just shows how sly these foxes are. It’s my understanding the LEA are meant to be following the Cop (code of practice) they should therefore obtain reports and advice given on his most current difficulties, if they want to use a report that was taken from a SALT who visited the school when little man had little issues… was somewhat aloof at the time and just happily faded into the background. Just because it stated he had no SAL problems then I’m inclined to insist they also use reports from 2007 detailing traits that warrant no provision today but did then. These traits are no longer an issue as they have been replaced by others. my point is… Do u think the LEA would have used the report if it indicated high cost provision should be made? The ADOS was clearly backed up by all additional advice including the EP so it was only reasonable it was used instead. If not another SAL assessment should have been ordered. As for the EP report I was surprised… I had heard the horror stories regarding them writing reports that were not very beneficial due to the fact they were employed by those wanting to draw out a budget statement. She gave a pretty good report and picked up on problems such as his sensory sensitivities and literal understanding of language.

Despite the fact most of the reports reflected one another the LEA choose to leave difficulties unlisted, or just including them in part 2 only to not provide for them in part 3. I love how the parental view only gets a small dedicated sections comprising of two or three short sentences… Yet we are the best professionals to ask when it comes to our children, no one knows our child better then it’s parents, no matter how much they think they do!

Well, I’ve spent a little short of two long weeks making sure these “decisions” that were made with little control from me are amended by writing my objections and suggested amendments. I also made my prefernce for a school placement in part 4. Its fair to say that this was the hardest report I’ve ever written… I cried, got frustrated, laughed like a loony, feel asleep, swore out loud and researched a stack of reading of reading material while I typed… It was one emotional process because it is an important one, and having taken this long to get here it had to be right

If statement were for sale, this statement could be brought at our local Tesco store (British supermarket for those more far a shore) you would find the statement on the economy shelf displaying the words Tesco Value range or if sold in sainsbury your looking at the basics section.

Money, it all boils down to money… To them the statement has to be in line with the use of the LEAs efficient resources!
To us that means your screwed because the LEA are tight fisted numb nuts preferring funds to go to the most needy causes like student artist who receive a fat hand out so the LEA can display “pointless ugly art” around the borough.

So here’s my advice to any parent just starting their journey…
… Get ready for the ride of your life. Walking into the world of SEN is like riding the worlds tallest fastest bumpiest never ending rollercoaster… Once your on it’s pretty hard to get off!

Request for Statutory assessment

2 Mar

As my last post explained I have decided to apply for a statutory assessment of little mans special education needs. Wanted to get the request written up and sent of before little mans school decide to change their minds in their decision to support me on my quest to get little man statemented and Into a school better suited to his needs.

I have posted a copy  of my written request for a formal  assessment. Please share any tips and advice you can offer me if you feel the request needs to be written any differently.

  • 1st March 2010
  • Re Giovanni Sarcone
  • 01/10/2000
  • Request for statutory assessment.
  • Dear Sir or madam
  • I am writing as the parent of the above child to request an assessment of his special educational needs under the 1996 education act.
  • I believe that Giovanni Sarcone whom attends xxxxxxx primary school
  • has the following special educational needs.
  • Bad behavioral problems in class and playground. His refusal to follow simple instructions and rules given by his teachers and TAs. I feel this is a result of his diagnosis of Aspergers which is a social communication disorder placed on the spectrum of autism.
  • below average learning age despite having age appropriate  IQ ( underwent IQ test at kaleidoscope in 07 )
  • Giovanni’s  in abilities  in coping with certain situations brought on by his difficulties with sensory processing.
  • Rude and inappropriate  manner and language towards staff and peers
  • reluctance to learn unless the subject falls into something of interest to him. lack of communication in asking for help if he has difficulties in understanding work. This brings on outburst of anger in which causes disruption  for the rest of his class.
  • Giovanni has a number of difficulties that affect his school day. His diagnosis of Aspergers means he has many difficulties  with social communication, Reading social clues , expressing emotions in an appropriate manner, sensory sensitivity and problems with routine ( A change of class teacher often results in Giovanni being taken out of class and even being sent home )
  • My reasons for believing that his school xxxxxxx primary cannot on their
  • own make the provisions required to meet my child’s needs are as
  • follows
  • Giovanni’s behavior becoming increasingly more difficult for the staff to contend with.
  • He often will be removed from the classroom due to him being extremely disruptive.
  • He will often miss out on classroom activities and playtime due to behavioral factors and a reluctance to follow instructions.
  • An increases in letters and phone calls regarding his behavior and refusal to work.
  • Their has been at times a need for me to collect Giovanni from school just for lunchtime as playground and dinner hall staff are unable to cope with him. He has also been sent home early or half day due to not following teachers instructions  and behavior problems.
  • He is on the verge of exclusion  from school which I worry will do more harm then it can possibly do good.
  • I understand that you are required by law to reply to this request within
  • a six-week period, And that if you refuse I will be able to appeal to the
  • special educational tribunal.

  • Yours Sincerely
  • Miss Claire Parkinson

Please note this page was updated on the 20th-04-10. The Name of the school has been removed. It was posted as a genuine mistake. Sorry if this caused any concerns or problems. Clairelouise82 blog author.

Never give up on the fight! The future seems bright.

25 Feb

OMG did anyone read my latest post to little to late? Well things have moved a long a little more! To be honest I’m still in shock, I’m happy, relived and also a little worried and skeptical!

Reasons for all the above is this evening at 5.30 pm I received a call from little mans deputy head. She rang to inform me that little man would be spending time out of class tomorrow. He was on a red card as he had been rude to staff using swear words, then running around the school like a headless chicken. I once again expressed my deep and worrying concerns for little man future. I know that it’s not all down to his condition but most of it is. I’m concerned that taking him out of his classroom again will make him worse as his breaking his routine. Yes he needs to understand consequences for his actions but I still feel that it’s unfair his punished as he is in need of extra help and support and is not receiving it. For these reasons alone I see it unfair! Just then she tells me that from her point of view little man would benefit from a statement as she thinks he is struggling to cope in mainstream school. Hang the hell on let me pick up my jaw from the floor! A STATEMENT!! This is what I have wanted for two long years this is what I spend all my free time fighting for! Why have I been told for so long it’s not an option. I’m told that now she has seen his formal diagnosis she can now offer more support. She said that they are not able to cope with a child with little mans level of needs. He requires one on one but their staff are not trained to deal with his condition. She goes on to say that he would benefit from a special school and secondary school would be a challenge for him. Basically she was saying all the things I had said before over and over again.

I know that the school have done nothing but supple  me with stress. I have had no support and have battled with them over anything and everything. Yes They have really messed up by saying they never received his formal diagnosis when the evidence  that they did is so strong it makes  them look silly. Looking at all these factors I see that maybe they are worried that the Court will see my side and realise  that yes they have failed a child with ASD. Maybe that’s why we have this sudden big turn around but at the same time does it matter what motive is behind it. If  the end result would mean  little man gets the long-awaited support he so needs ?  A statement = A new school which means his needs will be meet by professionals qualified  in dealing with children with social communication disorders. Yes the treatment we have received is worse than poor but I’m starting to get used to this treatment. I found that once Someone listens and takes note they suddenly leave and I’m back to Where I started. The Deputy said that she will tell the school SENCO that she supports my choice in getting an assessments for a statement of needs and from this day on they must offer better support to little man. All of this I will request in writing as who knows what will happen if she decides to leave and I’m not prepared to go though it again.

It was only a few short days ago I took a copy of his formal diagnosis into the school office to be copied. If I hadn’t of done so the deputy assures me that yes he would have been excluded today. It makes me so angry that his diagnosis has only just began to offer a positive effect on decisions made about his welfare within the school. His had the condition confirmed well over a year It should never of gotten this far. What a bloody mess it all become.

We spoke for what seemed like ages. She tells me that the promise of extra help and the long-awaited backing for a statement will not be broken. She is a newish deputy head and this has to be the first time I have really dealt with her and I’m really hoping she is one in a million and keeps to her word and doesn’t let the system fail my little man again. I’m assured by her that the parent will get the biggest imput when applying for a statement. I’m told all the basic information and know its a long road and a hard one but once I have reached the end it will be a great and satisfying achievement. I’m advised to get support from our local GP and DR at kaledoscope where  he was diagnosed all this plus the support of the school will better his chances in gaining a statement. For the first time in ages I feel that things are looking brighter and little mans further in education could be a much happier one 🙂 It’s a feeling I don’t recognized as the situation has never reached this point and at times it did seem pointless. I told the deputy that I felt the school made me out to be a bad parent and all I ever wanted was what she was offering me now SUPPORT. Wow it cost nothing it’s free nothing flashy or over the top who would think that something that seemed so little and silly would mean so so much to me. Support was all I wanted and I wouldn’t ask for anything else in the world right now. We speak about Alice and how it’s all affecting her. The deputy says she finds Alice a very pleasant child who has perfect manners and has grade A behaviour with this she knows that my parenting skills are not an issue when it comes to Giovanni. Wow she must not have read the statements from the educational welfare officer. She made it seem that it was all down to my parenting skills, she made it seem as if I was lazy and didn’t care about his education I was chosing not to take him to school. Then It went on and on about his great behaviour when at school and the fact he displayed no signs of ASD when he was there. Ok she looks pretty silly now with everything that has been going on lately. Well this child with no problems has been excluded a number of times and his deputy head thinks mainstream school is not the right place for him. Yes shes phoned me and told me that she has only just become aware that his experiencing problems and that the school are not coping. I’m guessing she will be doing her best to think up excuses for her statement looking a little less than perfect. Oh well she has a few weeks to come up with something.

Well I just had to share this break through with you all. I’m praying that the end of this chapter is nearing and life for little man is on the up. God knows it’s about time.

Too little to late!

24 Feb

That school is driving me loopy. How can they say they had not received little mans written formal diagnosis when My copy says it was sent to six different departments within the school! Not only this but we had a meeting with the Sengo and little mans doctor. I’m a little angry and who can blame me as he was diagnosed well over a year ago and I have only just this past few months discovered little man wasnt receiving the support and services right for his condition. Anger, sadness and disbelief are just a few of the words that describe a few of my emotions these past weeks. I was shocked when I discovered that Lewisham education were taking me to court. How can they even consider doing so when they have done so little for my child. None school attendance for a five month period. Yer right. The school think its acceptable to mark the children in as absent if they are late. Cheeky ****** . Little mans attendance has improved a great deal but only due to me not through any help on the schools part. His well-behaved at school blah, blah, blah. It was this that almost stopped him being diagnosed. It made the process a whole lot longer. two stinking years longer. Thing is his been threatened with exclusion and they want him to be collected every lunch time. Wow is it just me or am I right in thinking that well-behaved is something that don’t seem to be occurring here. I told them that enough was enough I’m gonna apply for a statement. I had to laugh when they told me he would not get one without a diagnosis. So with this I marched down there with my copy of his diagnosis in hand to show the head and get it copied. His face was a picture. Now deny you have it. Since then little man came home with a letter it was an information sheet with help lines and information on ASD. There were events and workshops listed. I have already booked myself into these workshops as I saw them advertised on the net so please stop pretending to care as In my eyes it’s all to little to late!

Saw the solicitor yesterday Was pleased to hear that he was convinced we had a great case. This is fantastic as we still havent even gone through everything and for him to feel that’s our case is strong already at this point makes me feel a lot more at ease. He thinks that the school have not done right by little man and once it’s over we should make our own case for court. I’m In big time agreement with this idea. Let them see how it feels. Then again I can’t see them every being put through what I have. I was days from giving birth when they surprised me with a court summons stating that the case would be heard In just a few short weeks. I had to canceled how could I be expected to attend! I’m just glad that things are looking a little better and I’m hoping that once the 30th March has passed I can then begin the fight to remove him from his school and into somewhere much more suitable for his needs.

You can send as many letters and information sheets home as you please. As I have already said It’s all to little to late. All I ever wanted was the help and support in getting my son assessed, diagnosed, educated, statemented and most of all excepted for who he is. You let me down on all and it’s time to stand up and take note because if you think im gonna turn around and hide your so wrong. I’m gonna try my hardest to get my son and every other child like him his right to assessments, statements, support and services within the education system.

BRING IT ON! I HAVE A VOICE AND IM GONNA USE IT!!!

YOU CAN’T PUNISH ME FOR BEING ME.

14 Feb

Stress, stress and more stress. My  three major words of the week. To say things have been a little crazy is an understatement, Its been a rollercoaster!

Been meaning to write this post since mid-week, but things don’t always go as you would like them to. All parents can tell you that autism or no autism! Well lets see, Where I begin this rant is beyond me. How about I start by filling you in on whats been happening with school ? Ok here it goes. I warn you all it’s not pleasant been a sodding nightmare to be honest.

Monday I receive a call from the school receptionist. Talk about speak to me like something you find on the bottom of your shoe . Well I’m used to her rudeness but  I wasn’t ready for what she had to say. WHAT!! You want me to collect little man but it’s only 2 pm. His doing WHAT ? Great bloody great! I’m told by miss rude that his swearing, being rude to adults, running out of school, playing football in the corridors, not following instructions and well I better stop there. I’m guessing you are getting the picture. I’m told this has been going on since lunch break ( He always has problems at break times ) His now sitting in the head teachers office and still not cooperating . I rush down there leaving my 9 week old son with a friend to find him running a muck. Oh my how has it come to this? I know something has to have set him off, something has caused his behavior to erupt in sure an extreme way, even I was a little shocked at his tone and lack of concern for my presence. We have tried everything says the head. I ask if his teacher is in or has another teacher been filling in ? Turns out his teacher is off sick. I knew their was a underlining reason for this don’t they see there always is! His frustrated, over stimulated and lashing out in the only way he knows. We talk a little outside the office Little man wont stay put and keeps opening the door and shouting silly nonsense to be honest I just wanna get him out of there now. It’s decided that tomorrow he would return as I make myself heard when I state yes his behavior seems to be bad and getting worse every break time! Yes he kicks of when his teacher is not in! and I know his rudeness is totally unacceptable. But very big but I must add, You have said a statement is not really an option so In my opinion neither is exclusion. With this we leave and myself and  Little man have a long firm chat on the way back home.

Tuesday little man returns to school his told he will need to face a punishment for his behaviour yesterday. Thing is he really don’t care! I have told them that keeping him in through the whole of break is not acceptable. Reason is it’s all the time I discovered he rarely ventures out to the playground. Not through choice but because as a punishment for something or another his to stay inside. Angry yes I am. Can’t you see open them eyes people , My son suffers from a social communication disorder he has ASPERGER’S for the hundredth time. Is attending school with asd a punishable offence? You can’t punish my son for being who he is its unacceptable and damn right disgusting to be doing this every day. If your playground and dinner hall assistants are not experienced in autism that’s not our faut it’s yours. I had a meeting with his class teacher and the latest in a long line of Senco’s. I’m sure I have spoken about this meeting in a pervious post, and this post is long enough as it is. Basically Senco tells me they have no written document of little mans formal diagnosis in their eyes there never was one ( a diagnosis that is) Shocking!!  his been diagnosed well over a year what a sham. So his been having no extra help at all. Then shock number two. A statement aint going to happen. Well assess him and we will see. No his to clever. He may not write his work on paper but will answer sums beyond his years by shouting out in class. But if his not putting pen to paper how is this relevent. I already know my son is a clever clogs but clever clogs sometimes need help to. A statement would mean an assistant could keep a watch full eye over him at break times. Or some one can work on a one to one basis with him and help encourage him to write his answers  down instead of just being verbal. It’s easy to see things could only improve. With this his behavior is band to improve ! No his to clever and even through they express to me his behavior is so unacceptable that excluding him could be an action they may consider taking in the near future his behaviour would need to be worse in order to statement! I KNOW JAW DROPPING REACTION FROM MANY.  Well it’s Tuesday 11. 30 am and I am just running out the door to attend an appointment for the baby. The phone rings. Have you Guessed ? Wasn’t hard was it! It’s the school . This time it’s not that receptionist but the head himself. His acting in the same way as he did yesterday and I don’t think it would be wise if I let him loose a lunch. Ok you want to keep him in no way! I have no time to discuss this now im busy with that I put the phone down  and in total disbelief I carry on with my day. 12.40 pm Lunch time he rings back. You will have to collect him take him home for lunch and then escort him back for 1.10 pm How the hell was I going to put baby in pram scoot down to school get him home feed him and return him all in 30 minuets. The school is just a few roads down but this is totally inconvenient so I say sorry but I’m to far away you will have to deal with him. I’m being taken to court for five months of poor attendance from june 2009. Now u keep trying to get rid of him. He excerpts im to far from home ( something I call a white lie ) but goes on to say excluding little man for lunch time everyday may be the way forward. Shocked I hang up and as I try to collect my thoughts my mind races, blood boils and I reach for my Mac to get some advice no way they can do that. I can’t  be expected to do that everyday. How could I plan my day around that. NO NO THIS WAS MY TIME,  THIS WAS MUMMY TIME, NO ONE WAS GONNA TAKE THAT AWAY.  NOT GOING TO ASSESS HIS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS,  HE DONT NEED A STATEMENT THEN DEAL WITH IT.

Wednesday 10th February 2010

Court date.. Stood in front of three magistrates and pleaded not guilty in respect of poor  school attendance of Little man and Alice.

Will need to get a case together and  a solicitor to represent me. I am told this offence can carry the prison sentence.

I read though witness statements from the Attendance & welfare officer and was horrified in discovering they have gone as far as  to twist the truth and even state I said and did things that had never happen. Like I told the support worker they assigned me from sage educational trust that little man has hallucinations after giving him his medication and would write math all over his walls! And In the 3 years she has worked with us she had never seen this behavior. OMG Number 1 yes I said he writes math all over his bedroom walls ( she has never seen his bedroom ) I however did not ever state that he has ever experienced hallucinations a rare side effect of melatonin ( I have also just discovered that it’s a side effect of his medication from the statement ).  Secondly she has visited me at the most 4 times. Where in Gods name has she got three bloody years from?

Trail date set for 30th March 2010 at 1.30 pm

Wish me luck

Petition for more services and support, SEN assessments and statements for children with autism and Aspergers in UK primary school’s.

Being feed up with all the above and a massive list of issues not listed I have created this petition for the prime minster Mr Gordon Brown. The petition has had a lot of interest from other parents and careers of children on the autistic spectrum. It is being featured on many social networks, Groups and autism forums. If your one of the many wonderful supporters that has signed your name or passed this link on to family and friends I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If we are not the voice of justice for our beautiful children who else will be. Lets do something now before it’s to late, they have grown up and as a result of poor education are suffering in the adult world.

SADLY ONLY BRITISH CITIZENS OR EXPATIATES ARE ABLE RO SIGN. HOWEVER PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP.

Deadline to sign is 11th April 2010

Aspergersboy petition 2010

HOW MUCH LONGER MUM?

24 Feb

Wow does anybody remember that toy PIN ART? 

It’s the gadget like toy that is formed of lots of little blunt pins. You can press your hand or even your face into the pins and it will leave an imprint of your chosen body part. Well I came across one today for what seems like the first time in donkeys years. I was at Kaledoscope with little man ( They wanted to do another assessment on him ) This was a play assessment where G and a doctor are in this room while myself and this other doctor watch him on a kind of CCTV monitor ( They use this recording and later send you there results ) Back to the point in hand! One of the toys G was shown was the pin art gadget. OH NO! he fell in love with it’ So much so he was unable to put it down and had problems moving on to the next part of the assessment. No it had nothing to do with trains, buses, batteries, padlocks nor staplers but he loved it all the same. I watched him sit with it pressing his hand on the pins and watching in amazement at the results in which it showed. When he left the room to return back to me he still had it griped tightly between his fingers. I was pretty sure he had no intentions on leaving his new found interest behind. I braced myself as i asked him to return the toy to the doctor so that we could leave. Well I’m pleased to say this was not half as bad as i ever expected:) He whispered mum just let me take it! Bless him! I explained this would not be a option. He pulled a face then asked where he could purchase one for himself. The doctor smiled and replied she was unsure but if he Googled the word Pin art she was sure he would find one. Thank god for his new laptop as  he slowly released his grip and said come on mum we have some shopping to do. With that we left. So yes at home he Googled the word pin art and yes much to his great delight he has his very own pin art on the way. I just prey it’s here asap because it’s only been around five hours since we put in the order and if i hear them words HOW MUCH LONGER TO IT GETS HERE MUM! one more time’ I may have to scream and i really don’t fancy doing that!

LOOK AT US NOW!

9 Feb

When i first heard that G was going to be assessed for ASD. I was both shocked and relived. If this is something you have just heard you maybe too. Once i had sorted everything out in my head the next step for me was to get educated on the subject and that’s what i did. I would advise anybody who has a newly diagnosed child of ASD or  those that think there  child could be on the spectrum should do this.

I found a great deal of information on the net. I also reed many books and spoke to other parents going though the same as me, my son and whole family. Once i started to research ASD i saw that things within the spectrum could be seen as gifts. There are many forms of autism some more high functioning then others. Aspergers is a condition on the higher end of the spectrum and Aspergers is the label given to G.

Once you know where your child is within the spectrum and you look at the reasons behind certain types of hard or unwanted behaviour you can then begin to avoid the upsets making your child’s life that little bit more easier. Ok not everything can be avoided certain sensory issues are hard to avoid but knowing what they are is a starting point. Lets not forget anybody within the spectrumof Autism sees the world some what differently from us.

There have been many times i have sat and cried but there are far more that i have smiled. When I’m on the net and i read forum post by parents of children with ASD and there so stressed angry and tired i think to myself that was me. Ok i’m not saying i never have them days anymore! I’m just saying it’s very rare i do. There is no cure for ASD i really don’t care what anybody has to say about that it’s just a fact’ But why would we want one anyway?

My point is before hearing your child had the condition they were the same child’ you loved them the same way you do now. The way i see it is your born with the condition the condition is what makes that child and your child is what makes the condition. If i asked for G not to have Aspergers that’s like me asking for a different child altogether. If you looked at us before and looked at us now! You would see how a understanding in Aspergers has helped in bringing me and my child so much closer. Don’t get me wrong we have always been close I’m close to both my children but G being close to me is different as it’s on his terms. Today it’s still on Giovanni’s terms but look and you will see he has opened up a little more as i understand him so much better.

My child is wonderful and yes my child has difficult times and yes he has at times got bad behaviour’ some non related to ASD as he is still human. But my child is who he is and i tell him never to be ashamed of that person.

Life doesn’t always have to be this hard there are many ways that we can make it easier for ourselves and children.

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