Tag Archives: head teacher

Don’t Let Your Child Be The Victim Of Discrimination At School

21 Nov

That’s easier said than done you may say, and yes I agree!

However, there are a few things you can do to help protect your child with autism from becoming a victim of disability discrimination in the school place.

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Its hard to believe that its even a possibility, but believe me, sadly it is! Just ask my little man!

1) If you receive a call from your child’s school asking you to pick them up because they feel your child is upset or stressed and this is disturbing the learning of his or her peers, be sure to only do so once you know the official routes have been taken.

You’re child’s teacher or head teacher may claim your child is upset and they are asking you to collect them for their own good. They may say its optional even, or you can bring them back after lunch. Its important that you ask for this to be made official (but in writing)! Ok, no one wants official exclusions documented on their child’s school record but if you later apply for a statement of special educational needs you will need this type of evidence to show the school cannot meet your child’s needs!

To not record officially is wrong! This makes it an illegal exclusion and the schools (especially that of mainstream) get away with this type of behaviour a bit to often!

2) Don’t let your child be left behind! When I say left behind, I am referring to that of school trips. Watch out for exclusions that take place on days of school trips… These are just to much of a coincidence and happened to little man all the time. If this does happen and happens often, be sure to make a record of days and times (plus reasons given for exclusions, which must be given in writing)!

Watch out for letters. I found that little man was often “Accidentally on Purpose” missed when trip letters were handed out. Ask another parent to keep you in the loop whenever there is a planned trip. I discovered that little man wasn’t being given letters. School trips actually went ahead without our knowledge. Little man was either kept isolated in school with the hope I’d never find out, or he was again coincidentally excluded on the day of any planned trips.

3) Watch out for OFSTED visits. You may find that whenever ofsted visit your child’s school, you’re child is either sent home or hide in a cupboard… Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme (although I actually wouldn’t put it past some schools) but they are hide away all the same.

It is very rare that schools end up with surprise ofsted visits these days, but many do get very short notice. Again be vigilant! Lookout for letters, talk to other parents and just keep your ear to the ground. If you then receive an evening phone call from a head teacher,(remember I’m talking from experience) who tells you your child had a bad day and will be in isolation tomorrow (in other words hidden) or excluded (hidden again) your ready and prepared!

You have the right to come into school and ask to speak to the ofsted inspectors. Put it this way… I’ve never seen such panic unfold within a school when I did this! I brought my EXCLUDED child in with me and let him have a meltdown there and then, right in front of the inspectors! I was honest and told him he wasn’t allowed to join his class because the nice lady from ofsted were there! Yes this didn’t go down well, and no I wasn’t popular amongst the teachers! But it is my child I care about, not them!

4) Listen to your child no matter how off the wall they may sound! I would get called into the head teachers office and be told little man had done a string of things. These mainly consisted of hitting teachers or something similar. He would openly protest that it wasn’t so, or he was pushed to the limit (head teacher dragging him by his shirt for instance)! You know your child and need to take what they say very seriously. I’m not saying that children with Aspergers are not capable of exaggerating the truth because regardless of what some may say I believe they are. However, teachers, like members of authority tend to stick together.The fact my child was very upset and would angrily protest was enough. However, the added factor of the head teacher being able to stand and tell a room full of people I’d called him a ‘Wanker’ excuse my language… When in fact I had only thought it and not said it just proved to me how messed up and cunning a system I was dealing with.

5) Do all your talking in writing…. If you wanna say it then go ahead, but I suggest you then go home and put it in writing! Email is the best invention ever! write what you have to say then attach it and send it in an email! Copy in other important officials and then print it and send it as a letter to them all too.

I sent everything by email and then letter. I would always send letters recorded delivery meaning a signature was required on receipt. Most other parents would think I was crazy, given the school was located 50 yards away but then they were not the mother of the child being discriminated against were they?

I could go on and write more as this is a lengthy subject involving many Dos and Nots! But my fingers ache so I think I will follow up on another day, another post.

What I will finish by saying is… By doing these things I managed to win a discrimination case. It also helped prepare a case for the LEAs refusal to assess for a statement of SEN… I then got that assessment and a statement. We also got little man into an independent special school for children with autism and Aspergers.

Not all endings are as happy as ours!

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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?

Our worse ever meltdown & coping with little sleep

5 Feb

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I was going through documents I have stored on my Mac and came across this. I’m unsure of the reasons I wrote it, though I think it was meant as a guest post concerning “Meltdowns and a lack of sleep” I don’t even think I sent it to whoever was meant to feature it, so I’ve decided, instead of cluttering up my Mac, I’ll share it here with my readers.

The post comes in two sections, “Worse ever Meltdown” & “How I deal with the lack of sleep”

Our Worst Ever Tantrum

I have three children, a daughter of 9 and two boys! my toddler is 2 and his brother, my eldest is 11 years of age and has a diagnosis of Aspergers (a form of autism that results in impaired communication and interaction skills) and sensory processing difficulties.

My eldest, AKA Little man, has had more meltdowns than I ever thought possible! His increased anxiety levels and inability to filter out certain sensory stimuli has made meltdowns exhausting for all.

We’ve seen it all! Hitting, swearing, kicking everything and anything, throwing objects, slamming doors, running off and non stop crying! But nothing was to prepare us for that Wednesday evening on the 22nd September 2010. My son had received a high number of exclusions from his then mainstream school. He was taught in isolation, (Kept away from other children like a monster). My child was never allowed to attend school trips or participate in activities, this was lowering his already low self-esteem and I was becoming extremely worried. That evening I received a call from the head-teacher who informed me my child was excluded for the third time that month. I was promptly reminded that the Friday was in-set day (translated that means staff training day!) So, he would be excluded for the trip. He has missed trips for as long as I can remember anyone would think we were used to it! But this one was important he was looking forward to it so, so much because they would be going by coach (transport crazy) It was left for me to break the news and his heart. He didn’t hit me, nor swear, he sat deadly quite for a minute or two, slowly absorbing my words! Then shockingly he stood up and started throwing his entire body into the wall almost knocking himself out in the process. He scratched his own arms till they bleed, he slapped himself in the face over and over again and punched himself in the head while chanting, “I just want to be normal” Some five hours later, and a smashed up bedroom, I found him laid in the middle of the room amongst his destroyed beloved model buses. His eyes were so sore and red, his breathing still heavy that he continued to catch his breath. Yes, I’ve been hit, abused or embarrassed in public. His kept me up the entire night screaming and crying, yet it was defiantly this meltdown that outweighed the rest, It is one that has stuck firmly in my mind… Because for me it was scary to see a little boy, my little boy, react in such a way he could have seriously hurt himself.

Lucky his now in a more understanding school better suited to his overall needs.

Coping with little sleep!

I remember my health visitors promise some 11 or so years ago! She looked me in the eye and said, “I promise you he will soon get into a routine… babies always do”! Yet she lied to me, because that isn’t true is it! Not all babies do! My little man is no longer a baby but a lively 11-year-old boy He has Aspergers (a form of autism) and as soon as he hit three months old, he stopped sleeping! I waited and waited for that routine to come, the one she had promised, after all she was a professional right? Well, here I am, still waiting for that so-called routine!

We all need to sleep in-order to refuel our brains and boost our energy levels. I’ve often stayed awake for nights on end (which wasn’t done by choice)! When my little man does finally sleep, I struggle! Maybe because it’s only a few hours till I should wake for it’s a school day and I fear the attendance officer getting on my back, or maybe because I’m scared I wont wake to care for the children at all. I find I’m touchy and over emotional some days, where others I’m fine, I just get on with things the best way I can! Sleep really does make everything seem better, I just wish my son would believe it and give it a go sometime! I’m no super mummy and more often than not, after a few days awake I just suddenly drop! My eye lids become so heavy as if they have weights hanging from them! Seriously I find my self sleeping as I stand, clean, bath or even board a bus… which really isn’t a great way to be!

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

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