Tag Archives: letters

#Win 1 Of 4 Copies Of Alphablocks Phonics First Steps on DVD

16 Feb

Here on ‘A boy with Aspergers’ we are firm believers in education from an early age. That’s why we love the Alphablocks.

Gone are the days when children’s programmes lacked in educational value! Now children’s TV is full of exciting yet educational programmes allowing your pre-schoolers a good head start ahead of school.

One of those shows is that of Alphablocks, the successful show first brought to our screens by CBeebies.

But wait! As of the 25th February 2013 Volume 1 – Alphablocks Phonics First Steps will be available to purchase on DVD.

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Has you’re little one(s) not yet had the opportunity to see the Alphablocks? Well, here’s a little more about them…

Alphablocks open the door to a magical world of reading. How? Well
These 26 living letters who fall out of the sky discover that if they hold hands together they can make a word, which then magically comes to life!

The Alphablocks are Based on best-practice phonics, your child will laugh and learn with the little letter people and their adventures, songs and all
kinds of fun and games.

Volume 1: Phonics First Steps, also comes with a FREE Alphablocks, Alphabet poster for your little one to enjoy. The DVD introduces the first letters and sounds that children are taught at school and starts them off making simple words. With repeat viewing, children can build key phonics skills and boost their reading confidence – while having lots and lots of fun.

Features 18 episodes, to find out more visit http://www.alphablocks.tv

I’ve kindly been offered 4 copies to give away to our lovely readers. So… Who wants to win one?

Compulsory Action
Simply tell me in a comment the fun ways in which you make reading fun!

You can also gain additional entries by doing any of the below. Enter as many as you like but do leave an additional comment for each action you take. Note you can only gain additional entries once you have completed the compulsory entry above.

Tweet: “I want to win the Alphablocks Phonics First Steps volume 1 DVD with @Clairelouise82 & @AbbeyKids”

Pin the competition on Pinterest (leave the link to the pin in your comment)

Follow @AbbeyKids on twitter (comment with your twitter handle)

Follow @Clairelouise82 on twitter (comment with your twitter handle)

Subscribe to the blog via feed burner (comment with the email you subscribe with)

Subscribe to the A boy with aspergers (ABWAblog) on youtube

Competition will close at 11:59 on the 10th March 2013.

Also keep an eye out for our review of the DVD coming after the release date of the 25th.

Winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries submitted. Competition open to all those in the UK only. Winners must leave either an email address or twitter handle with their comments so that I can easily contact them in the event that they win. Winners have 72 hours to respond to the winning notification or another winner will be drawn in their place.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

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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!

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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