Tag Archives: reintegration meeting

The good, the bad, and the dam right ugly!

1 Oct

This post is brought to you today bearing Mixed news, developments, and gratefulness.

Let me start with the good news!

Many of my readers and loyal followers will be aware of my struggles in obtaining a statutory assessment of Little man’s special educational needs. Well, after a refusal, pending appeal tribunal, school resubmitting the assess one, the prospect of hours of mediation with the LEA on the 13th of this month and a whole lot of stress! The Special educational needs panel have made the decision to make a statutory assessment. With this the LEA also informed me that they well contact our preferred specialist school to ask for an emergency assessment placement.

I’m not under any illusion that it’s all rosie from here on! This is just the first step and given how hard it was to obtain it, nothing can shock me. The decision a lone has taken 7 months from that first request that was refused. It’s extremely frustrating how back on the 1st March when I first requested an assessment Little man had only uncounted One exclusion, and now it’s more like ten! A great deal of stress, tears and constant worry for what? It’s a disgrace that your child needs to be seen as totally failing before anybody looks up and takes notice. What ever happened to early intervention and every child matters? We have all these rights when it comes to our child, but who has regard for them? Do they not realise that by letting it get “This bad” is like allowing our children to become “emotionally unhinged” If this is the process to obtaining an assessment, I’m dreading the decision to statement or the content that statement may contain.

However for now I’m just pleased we are a step closer and things are at least moving in the right direction. Little mans emotional needs are my main concern as without emotional well-being there is little point of anything else. I just hope all his needs are taken into account when decisions are made in relation to emergency placements.

So.. here comes the big fat bad news!

With everything good that happens, something totally lousy often follows. Of course we are a prime example of this. Little man went back to school on the 28th September after a fixed period exclusion of two days. However he had only just about got his foot under his desk when…

If you haven’t guessed it already then Why not? ūüôā Yep Little man was excluded once more for a fixed period of five days. So that’s three exclusions in around 11 days (Oh and that’s counting the weekends) However this exclusion comes with a twist! IT MAY WELL BE HIS LAST! Permanent exclusion is on the cards and to be honest I’m not at all shocked nor surprised. After all Little man + current educational setting = affliction and scandal.

So it would seem that after all these exclusions, school know see what I see! IT’S NOT WORKING! You would think that after something has been done two-three times max, and it’s having no positive effect, it’s a done deal. I’m so furious that it took this level of action to come to the same conclusion I did back in March. I’m not saying he should get away with anything and everything, but their have been so many incidents that have been a direct result of anxiety. Of course there has also been times my son has been naughty (He is 10 years old) but I feel even then some less extreme forms of punishment could be given. Even an exclusion that was unavoidable can’t have a desired affect. How can it when his excluded so often?

If I was asked a year ago if I could see this happening one day in the future, I would have answered “Yes I could” Ok maybe not right now maybe not in a months time but sometime in the future. Now some would ask how? How could I have guessed this would happen, when a year ago Little man’s school stated they had NO CONCERNS? I quote “He is very well behaved at school” I heard this a thousand times, and often I questioned myself.. Was it me? Why was he only showing challenging behaviour indoors? It was quite simple really! Little man spent so much time at home and not at school it was near on impossible for them to say otherwise. Lets face facts. So much time was spent judging me as a lazy ass parent who just didn’t fancy taking her child to school. I don’t think so, life wasn’t a picnic and sleepless night, refusal to get out off bed, get dressed and go to school was an exhausting experience (Nearly as exhausting as this one) As soon as he got the “routine” and he started to see school as something that he needed to do, something that wasn’t an option, he recognises that he had to attend and did. With this the school recognises that yes actually he can be challenging and with this comes a new pattern! Exclusion, reintegration, exclusion, reintegration………..

I should know more then anyone that yes, Little man can be a “handful”. But as his mother I also know that he can be interesting, clever, funny, polite and caring.

On his return to school that day I had already noted in his contact book that he was anxious. What with missing his trip and a serious incident that happen at home, he was like a ticking time bomb. The reintegration meeting had only been a few minutes in when problems began. He refused to sign the new behaviour contract as a new sanction was added. This sanction was to spend time out of class and In the office with the head teacher. I feel he explained his reasons in a reasonable manner, minus two swear words. He stated that he didn’t like being in his office due to past incidents like.. Having to tuck school shirt in or miss play and confusing statements made by the head. Some statements made by the head have caused little man distress as the head hasn’t adjusted his language as advised by specialist teachers who have assessed little man. He still uses metaphors and other complex terms that little man just don’t get. Little man has often taken things he has said literally ¬†and he can ponder what his said for days on end trying to work out what it was he actually meant.

With little mans refusal to sign his behaviour contract and his odd use of a swear word, it was becoming clear that the head teacher considered calling it a day. However before doing so he told little man he was going to in-force the contract regardless of him not signing! Well, little man pretty much lost it then. He was close to tears and ripped up the contract and all the copies that he could find. This was contract number three and back when he first signed that very first contract he was made to believe that by doing so he was in control and was making decisions for himself which gave him some control and responsibility . He now felt betrayed, like the school were somehow breaking a law of some short. From then on things got worse and sadly he swore at the head telling him he was a F***ing Irish idiot (Not great I know) Yes it wasn’t on and he had over stepped the line but by in forcing the miss play time sanction then and there was pretty crazy. It was like pouring petrol on the five. I stood in tears as I watched Little man flying through the corridors hitting himself and the wall. I knew then I should take him home! I knew then he would face yet another exclusion. So as I took yet another one of those phone calls that evening. The ones I’ve come to know all to well recently! I just hung up and cried. I didn’t just cry for little man, I cried for every child like him and every parent like me. (And yes there are many families in the same position)

Over 75 per cent of children who are excluded have special educational needs (SEN) and exclusion rates for children in the middle band of special educational needs are 17 times higher for children without SEN. 27 per cent of children with autism have been excluded from school. Government figures out today show that children with SEN are over 8 times more likely to be excluded than those without SEN. (Sonia Sodha)

Surly these statistics highlight the sheer state of the system. Yet what is being done to change these figures? Not much from where I’m standing.

So now we have a new set of problems. Yes, the LEA will assess and No I have no idea when and where. I will attend a meeting with the Head teacher on Monday, so Lets just wait and see! after all what choice do I have ūüė¶

Lastly a thank you.

Message to all my readers, loyal followers, new friends and old.

I cannot thank you all another for your care & support. I didn’t know the world was made up of so many caring people. I thank you for your comments, messages and your time. I’ve made some fantastic new friends and I discovered so much along the way.

The facebook page has turned into a raving success with almost 3000 members and growing by the day. I am so thankful to have found a wonderful admin team who like me have a passion to raise awareness. They have helped create a great, supportive page and for this and their great advice to me and others, I’m truly grateful. Thank you ladies ūüôā



An emotional rollercoaster

19 Sep

I don’t even know how to begin this blog! There is so much in my head right now, I’m finding it hard to put into words. My emotions are so muddled, I honestly have no idea what lies ahead. I feel I’m on a rollercoaster that I can’t get off. Will it ever stop?

I look at Little man and for a minute I catch him smiling. His looking through the Argos catalogue as it’s almost his birthday. He never asks for things that most children ask for.. We have had a list consisting of batteries, padlocks and electric fly lights in the past. (Fly lights are the things you hang in restaurants.¬†The fly is attracted to the light and ends up pretty much fried on his quest to¬†have a closer look)¬†This year he has his heart set on a trailer that connects to his bike. His plan is to load his sister or baby brother in the back, and then take them for a ride… Sounds sweets I agree, but there is more to it! Of course this trailer will become a bus. He said it will make a perfect bus. “I love it mum look” Yes.. its fair to say I’ve heard this throughout the day. His excited I’ll give him that. Still Its pretty nice to she him this way as these past few days have been challenging. I’m not saying his overly challenging behavioural wise! His been more emotional than anything.

Work we were given for him to do a home (His on another two-day exclusion from school) had him in tears. Maths work was fine but when it came to writing the definition of words that he would need to search for in the dictionary, he was in tears. It seems that dictation is something he really struggles with! After a few minutes I decided this wasn’t going to happen. Why press him on something that was clearly too much for him! I’ve decided to try to solve the problem by creating the same work on a word document so he can do it on the computer. He seemed keen for me to give it a try when suggested.

Late yesterday evening Little man wondered downstairs again in tears! When I asked what was¬†the matter he tells me his head hurts. As is sister has been feeling ill recently, we were out of medicine. Lucky his father was round as he went of to the local supermarket that thankfully closes at midnight. Little man was in a ball on the sofa saying “Please god, please god make it go away” I really do think the last few days must be grating on him, that or his gave himself a headache with all his shouting ūüôā I hate to see any of the children unwell or in pain, its horrible feeling so helpless. Thanks to dad Little man had some medicine and though it didn’t go completely, it took the edge off. We headed off to bed and little man jumped in beside me. We had to make sure the room was in complete darkness (He loves sleeping in complete darkness, but he said this will also help with his head) He must have been so worn out as within a few minutes he was out for the count. Surprised! Very much so! Little man very rarely drops off without running through a few bus routes (Writing this I can hear the faint sound of beeping and the words Elephant & castle station)¬†I couldn’t be his teacher along side all them other children. Hats of to the classroom teacher.¬†Maybe playing teacher was my reason¬†for sleeping so¬†well ūüôā

So…. Tuesday Little man will return to school! A reintegration meeting will be held on that morning before he heads back off to class. It’s always difficult for little man to reintegrate back into school, and I have everything crossed it’s better than other times in the past. After the meeting I will then be heading of to the library to hopefully complete my NAS training modules by the given deadline. It seems that lately time isn’t on my side, everything typically happens at once and it just never seems to stop.

As I mention briefly in my last post, the LEA’s Sen panel has informed me the request for the statutory assessment won’t be heard by the panel till the 30th of this month. It just angers me that it’s been delayed! I really can’t see why it wasn’t put in on time for the panel meeting that took place on the 16th (Or there about that date) It’s seems all the reports were sent to the LEA, all but the assess¬†one from the school. I’m puzzled as it was decided the school would submit the assess one back on the 5th of July. This was at least three weeks before the summer holidays.

Mediation date has still not been agreed on by the LEA. I guess they are waiting to see if the Sen panel now decides to go ahead and make a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they do assess, then mediation wont actually be needed. The Sen process is a long slow one,¬†getting any LEA to take notice of your child has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to¬†do. (That and giving birth, though giving birth is a hell of a lot quicker)¬†You hear other parents saying¬†how it isn’t easy and how you should¬†be prepared for one very long process. “YER RIGHT, HOW HARD¬†CAN IT BE?? AFTER ALL MY CHILD IS¬†MAKING ZERO PROGRESS IN HIS CURRENT PLACEMENT.¬†THESE PEOPLE ARE OBLIGATED TO SEE THAT HIS NEEDS ARE MET, RIGHT?” I am now one of them parents who knows that this s**t isn’t easy. So what do we do to get these so-called professionals to listen? Dont look at me for answers, I’m all out!

Well…. Someone did give me an idea! It’s not the first time I’ve heard it or even considered it myself , it’s just an idea I consider to be a tad tricky… Video recording! For us it’s not as easy as one would think. This idea scares the hell out of me. Now with Little mans agreement it’s Ok…But of course a child can act somewhat different in front of a camera they know is there. (He don’t really like being filmed unless it’s him doing the filming, Yes he often wonders of with your iPhone,¬†then holds the phone in front of his face as he tries to rap about buses) Ok so I should hide the camera and somehow hope he doesn’t find it. It would provide some pretty spectacular footage of our wonderful morning routine. Even better how about our early evenings, If his not with his friend his laid out on the stairs screaming abuse at me ūüė¶¬† Thankfully this don’t always last the night. Oh yes he sometimes settles till bedtime when he then converts into this double-decker bus (194¬†and 53¬†at present) So whats my issue? Why don’t I fancy this as a good idea? Well.. Two reasons! Reason one… What mother enjoys spying on her own child? What mother wants to break their childs trust and privacy? (That was one answer not two :)) Second…. Would you wanna be in my shoes when (and I mean when) he finds out? My son hates being watched, unless his acting the clown or doing something he want’s attention for. I only recently discovered that for some children on the spectrum, looking at them can almost seem like you’re trying to look inside them. Little man often complains about his sister looking at him (It don’t help when he see her as his enemy) I can just picture the scene if he was to catch me in the act. He can often go on for hours about something and this would be no exception.

I just feel unless your child, family and mental health have been hung out to dry, you just don’t get anywhere. What do they want, need to see before doing the right thing? They say that the most important thing for any child is a good start in education. Do they only mean this if you’re stopping your child from attending school? Little man isn’t the only one! Millions of children face this battle. Some will come through it Ok, having managed to get some sort of education, others become damaged with rock bottom Low self-esteem with no prospects…

… I’M SORRY BUT I DON’T WANT THAT FOR MY CHILD.

  


REINTEGRATION INTERVIEW

25 Mar

It’s Monday 22nd March, Little man is on his last day of exclusion from school. This means that at 2.45 pm today a reintegration interview/meeting ¬†at the school will take place. I can’t Wait!

Yes I am willing the day to go faster, 2.45 pm can’t come quick enough! I have been trying to get a hold of this Head teacher since we left school Thursday afternoon. For those who haven’t read my latest post little man was not only excluded for the second time in two weeks but he had also been restrained and humiliated. No I was not informed that restraint was used on my son, Why I don’t know as I had just stood and spoke to the Head teacher and nothing was said. I spent most of the day with my hand and ear stuck to my mobile. I wasn’t getting anywhere and when I collected my daughter Alice I was again told that yep his busy!

Come Friday despite taking and collecting my daughter from school I still haven’t seen the Head teacher. I knew he was lying¬†when he wrote on the exclusion letter that Little man had been throwing playground equipment ( DANGEROUSLY¬†I MUST ADD ) Why had he not given me this reason when I had collected him from school? Surely you would tell the parent the child was excluded for the most serious reason! Well I would have my answers pretty soon.

2.45 pm Me and little man are at the school. The Head teacher calls us into the office where I turn to see the Senco sat with her pen and paper to hand. Didn’t expect her to be there but was pleased it meant both could hear what I had to say! This was an important meeting for me, I considered this to be my opportunity to express my concerns and I wanted an explanation in regards to the restraining of my child. The Head was acting anxious but also a tad rude. This wasn’t unusual but something just felt funny. He repetitively said now we must be quick. He kept looking at his watch and was displaying a certain awkwardness. We had only just¬†got through the office door yet he was rushing. I knew what was happening here! It was becoming more apparent that he was worried that little man had told me about being restrained. Either this or the man was just acting like a dysfunctional human being! He said that the meeting was to make sure we all understood that little man was to return to school in the morning and what would be happening in regards to little man rejoining his peers, And if little man understood why he was excluded. Bull!!! It was my understanding that the purpose to the reintegration interview was to discuss maters concerning the reasons surrounding exclusion, Whats been put in place in the way of provisions to help prevent misbehaviour and exclusion. Reach agreement on how the child’s education should continue, how best they can reintegrate and lastly explore wider issues and circumstances that maybe affecting childs behaviour! So as for the whole rush, rush thing I really couldn’t see it happening. I was to collect my daughter ¬†from the infants at 3.25 pm and I was planing on being here till then. The Head told little man he would need to be here for the first part and then wait in the reception area why I spoke to him. Little man rolled his eyes crossed his arms and told him in kind of aggressive manner “WHAT EVER LIAR” The Senco turned to me in away to say are you going to address this rudeness. Reason I knew this was because of a pervious incident where little man had used bad language and swore as he walked through the doors when I had collected him early from senco’s office ( He was ongoing internal exclusion at this time ) Other parents stood waiting for their children to come out. I just wanted to get my daughter and get out of there before the upper bell went. I Removed little man away from everyone and as we walked around the side of the school to collect Alice I told him that his inappropriate use of language hadn’t gone unheard and words would be had once home. Well as I walked towards the gates Senco called after me in order to address my parenting skills! Hell yer I had steam shooting out of my ears and now little man was shouting abusive language at her as he ordered her not to bully his mum. I was appalled¬†¬†That she had acted in this way. After all his behaviour at home was not longer an issue! Maybe teaching skills needed to be analyzed. Oh well I could now address the matter! I should not have to explain what strategies I have in place to manage little mans behaviour but I wanted to. I explained that in removing little man away from the situation and then addressing his unwanted behaviour was my approach that I had inforced over the last few months and it was now working nicely. I explained that by doing this little man would not have a meltdown in front off the other children and parents! And as the Head had put him on internal exclusion for misbehaviour at the end of the school day which was witnessed by parents and children then I felt it best to avoid a repeat of this unwanted behaviour! After all I was here collecting him early as the Head teacher wanted Little man off the school premises before his peers.

Once I had got that of my chest we carried on with the matter in hand. Little man had written something ( What he called complaints! ) He asked to read out what he had written! The Head teacher didn’t seem very impressed but what choice did he have. This was a 9-year-old child who wished to state his case. ¬†However I myself was a little worried reason being was I hadn’t yet seen his five pages of complaints and as most may already know little man liked to tell it how it is. To use the word blunt would be an understatement. I also wondered GOD HOW MANY SWEAR WORDS HAS HE WROTE IN THAT! Well I was to be surprised! Not one, Not a single swear word. His wording was formal and in no way rude! It made me almost cry but also made me want to get up and kill um!! How dare they treat my child like this! He was my son and they were treating him as if he was worthless. As he read out loud the Head and the Senco looked shocked! And not at any given time did the Head teacher defend nor correct little man on what he read! Instead they sat silently with mouths wide open and expressions of worry spread across their faces.

The first issue little man rose¬†was why didn’t you tell mum you grabbed me? Why didn’t you tell mum that you carried me? Why did you lie and tell mum I throw playground equipment? With this I butted in asking little man if he did throw anything. As you can guess he said no explaining that their wasn’t any playground equipment to throw! Turning to the head I ask the same question. Once he manages to get his words out he tells me that yes there is these little green and red things that he can’t remember the name off. With this the Senco butts in and tries¬†to help him with his fiction! Sadly they both ended up looking like a pair of big nose fibers. Little man was shouting Liar, Liar¬†and shaking his head. I could think of a better name to call them but remained from doing so as hard as it was. Then I asked if himself and TA had grabbed and carried little man to the office. Again after a struggle with ¬†his speech he tells me yes but followed the restraints guidelines with in schools¬†restraints policy. I asked if little man was throwing the so-called playground equipment at the time. He told me no he was running and swearing! Little man told how the TA grabbed him and the Head teacher laughed and said good job I will get his legs. He went on to explain that as he was carried through the playground he felt humiliated and worried about getting hurt! He also asked why he never had lunchtime like his class peers, Why he was given one 2 one at lunch only for it to be removed as punishment. He told how he felt angry because they made his mum cry and lastly he expressed that exclusion made him feel hated. You can only imagine how angry I was! I looked at them both and waited for one of them to explain or give answers, after all these were questions he wanted answering. Many of his sentences finished and started with the word WHY? Still their failure to offer explanation said it all. Little man picked up his rucksack and walked to the door in order to sit in reception and wait for me to finish. On leaving he told the Head teacher to keep the sheets of paper that he had left on the table! He would need to read them so he could see what needed doing to make the school better because it’s really S**t right now! Ops there it is! I knew a swear word would have to be expressed sometime soon.

When Little man had left I stated my concerns not only for my son’s education but wellbeing. I let it be known that restraining my child or any of my children was not allowed! I asked why he had not informed me of the restraint incident after all I had collected little man from school as he was excluded. Himself and the TA in question were in the office with little man when I had arrived. He told me he was sorry he must have forgotten. Is this man who is paid to look after my child for six hours a day under the illusion that his explanation is in any way good enough? My expression must have said it all as he went on to tell me that he will be sure to in future! Is this man trying to get me on assault charges? I was very close to introducing him to my left foot. I repeated that there wouldn’t be a next time. ¬†Other concerns I raised were his use of exclusions. He had a lot to say on this matter! He had well and truly found his tongue.¬†He almost sounded aggressive as he defended his actions. I asked if there were more constructive forms of punishment? After all my child was on the autism spectrum he needed structure and routine. It had taken so long to get this far and now it was as if it didn’t matter. There were no accommodations made for little man the provision that was¬†in place had only been there a few months some days even. When I spoke in addition to his unofficial exclusions The head kept asking whats My point? He wouldn’t let me finish in order for me to reach the point! Instead he continued gruelling me. He asked me to give him the definition of¬† unofficial exclusion. Was this a test to see if I had done my homework on the laws surrounding exclusion and education? Did he also want me to point out the inadmissible evidence I had to prove his incompetence in being a respectable Head teacher? Further¬†more did he want me to do it in front of the Senco? By using the term UNOFFICIAL I meant that on two occasions you have asked me to collect little man from school and chosen to not document this as an exclusion! Therefore this is considered to be unlawful. Wow he was shaking his head like the Churchill dog. He told me I had misunderstood! He wanted me to come in and help little man work but as I had the baby ( Yes my son 2 months old at the time ) I said it would not be possible! With this I asked to take him home. Not that I doubted my son in any way what so ever but the head teacher had just given me a fantastic insight into how capable this man was of telling lies. He was not only capable but also seemed to do it with ease. The Senco I must add never sat quite this whole time it was just that I found what she had to say to be compleat rubbish it was clear she was licking his butt and by doing so I perceived her to be as much a liar as he was. I stated that no matter what! He was the Head teacher and he let little man go home therefore¬†it was his decision to do so making it illegal. We discussed internal exclusions which he also lied about when I brought to his attention that giving little man an internal exclusion that takes place in a special needs unit, room or other was also wrong as it had to be seen as a punishment. He had to stop using provisions as punishments and treats. It’s disgusting! He wasn’t getting one 2 one in class but was while on internal exclusion.

Much more was discussed but as you can see if this post gets any longer I could find myself in trouble with the blog police. So to round things up! Meeting went well, I learned that no matter what authority will always stick together. I asked to see incident sheet on the restraint and control that took place on the 18th March. I have also asked for access to his educational records within 15 school days, I want to see school polices on restraint and behaviour! My god he quotes them a lot. The big meeting will take place at school on the 29th. I will ask to record the meeting and someone will attend with me. I’m hoping that all professionals I have requested to attend will do so but I don’t hold my breath. Lastly Little man was meant to return to school the day after this meeting Tuesday 23rd March. This didn’t happen due to little man being up all night finally settling at 4am. I consider him to now be anxious about school then again who can blame him?

%d bloggers like this: