Tag Archives: school trip

School Gate Ignorance

28 Jun

I had to write this.

Strangely following my blog post on school exclusion I was directed to a blog post by a fellow parent blogger regarding school trips and how a planed special trip organised by the head teacher for pupils who had “Not received a pink slip for unacceptable behaviour but instead done well on the schools reward system” had now been cancelled.

The Head teacher who promised the trip has now had to cancel it due to a parent complaining using the equality act.

Understandably parents were disappointed including the writer of the blog post. However most of the comments shocked me, making me release that some parents “May never get it”

I guess many of them commenters don’t have a child with SEN or even autism. Maybe they are not a parent like me who has a child who will always receive the pink slip for unacceptable behaviour no matter what he does! I feel for everyone of them children who lost out on the trip, it’s highly disappointing and very unfair for a child to feel such disappointment (believe my Child knows). However as a parent of the child who will never receive a gold star, I would never comment In the same way most have. It’s like some kind of witch hunt. Parents want the parent who put a stop to the trip named and shamed… Why? SO… there child can be bullied?

Now, I don’t even know if the child who’s parent has complained even has SEN, but in my experience the use of the equality act and that of the sudden change in plans make me assume so! I wonder if the child involved is like mine, a child who never got to go on a trip no matter how bloody hard he tried! I wonder if that child goes home and cries into his pillow because he feels rejected once again. I wonder if that child like my child, whacks his head against brick walls trying to make sense of it all, trying to actually pin point where they actually went wrong. I wonder if that child began scratching his arms till they bleed just because they were not allowed to attend yet another school trip?

Maybe I’m wrong… Maybe it’s none of the above, maybe the child is just dam right disobedient and needs a good taking down a peg or two… Who knows!

You see that’s my point! You don’t know! As a mother of a child who was discriminated against, a mother who’s child was naughty just for farting… That could have been me and if it was, to see those horrible comments… It could have broken me at one time of my life for sure

Quite honestly, the head teacher should have known better, reward systems don’t work for every child. My child would be on a red card daily because the way it worked didn’t work for a child on the spectrum like him. It took sometime but he was removed from the system and followed a different type of behaviour programme. This situation is even worse for the child who is undiagnosed slipping through the system branded a trouble maker.

Ignorance hurts, especially when it’s done when the facts remain unclear. I hate school gates and try to keep away from them! Why? Because its a fest of back biting and bitching and I just don’t have time for such crap. What type of message does this give our children.

I felt as if I was stood at the school gate as I read such comments, I felt like I now stand out like a sore thumb from many of my fellow bloggers just for writing this.

I may lose followers over this… But I don’t care… Honestly!

I blog from my heart and it’s my heart this is pouring from!

Think before you judge another especially If the picture remains unclear. We parents should stick together, the world is hard enough for our children, we shouldn’t make it any harder.

The day I came close to breaking point

9 Sep

I would be telling lies if I said everyday was a good day in our house! Yes, we have had many bad days…Little man can often go weeks at a time without having a major paddy. However with my hand on my heart, Little man has never been as highly challenging as he was Yesterday (Tuesday, 08, September)

Things were pretty much “normal” when I collected him from school. He done a fair bit of moaning, not surprising given the times in which he finally goes  off to sleep of a night. I knew he must have been feeling pretty crappy, so didn’t pay too much attention to his name calling and stroppy ways. I had not prepared my self for what was to come that evening! My gosh it wasn’t pleasant

Tuesday 08 September 2010 would be a date I would remember for time to come, as I’m almost certain that this was the day I very near hit breaking point.

My nine (Very soon to become ten-year old) had gain total control over me! His mother. He seemed totally uncaring, selfish and extremely hateful towards me. Let me explain my meaning for TOTAL CONTROL! I had become so tired and sick of the situation we were now in. My son had me crying in public, I then went on to have a panic attack in the supermarket. Can you imagine the scene.. Mother with two of her children and her nephew stood on the food aisle in Sainsburys crying as her nine-year old throw himself around the store. Yes, his had the classic supermarket meltdowns but this was oh the DADDY of them all. He abused me with hurtful remarks, Throw items, refused to move, bashed his 7-year-old sister across the supermarket with a trolley, cried, jumped up and down screaming “Please, I said I was sorry”  as I contemplated leaving the shop. I considered running way, or better still screaming, nothing precise, Just screaming to let some frustration out! Instead I just ended up with a crying daughter, a migraine, and one hell of a panic attack. God only knows why it’s called a panic attack as I was far from panicking! I was just utterly exhausted, drained mentally, and shocked at the extent of the behaviour and worse the inability to care about mine and anybodies upset.

Not knowing if I was coming or going I realised that we were fast becoming a tourist attraction. I’m used to stares, unwelcome comments from snort nosed strangers. I don’t normally rise to such ignorance. However When some couple stopped to have a nose, like we were caged animals at the zoo I had no choice. Was the situation that bloody interesting? Well, this couple seem to think so and unlike other fellow shoppers peeking as they passed on by, These guys were grabbing their popcorn and were in the front row! Needless to say, they got their show! One which concluded with me asking if they had nothing better to do in their lives then stand watching us and somehow find our abominable display entertaining. Yes, they said nothing just scattered of shaking their heads. Our the trip came to an end with me having this panic attack and members of staff asking if I was Ok. I felt so silly! A panic attack over my child.. I kept thinking they would think I couldn’t cope! It’s ironic really, as stood there I felt like I couldn’t, and felt so for a good few minutes. Then I remember, the challenges we have faced together and I allow myself to have that breakdown, after all do they contend with things like this on a daily basis. Just like little man slowly filling up in till he explodes and it comes gushing out, I needed to do that too and at home laid in bed next to my daughter who was so tired and unable to cope with him constantly storming into her room name calling. I found myself crying again. Listening to him going up and down the hallway acting out the same bus routine he does every single day and night I wondered if he really did have feelings as today would suggest he didn’t!

I know my son does have feeling, if anything he can be over emotional. It just seems at times that he considers himself to be the only person in the world. ..I know that it was just a really bad day, ones I bound to see again, It just sometimes we get through them better then others.

.. Well, my children have been back in school for five days but have only attend three of them days. I emailed the AWO (attendance and welfare officer) who works for the LEA explaining why my children were not in school. How could they go to school that morning following the kind of day we had the day before ? My daughter didn’t sleep till the early hours and I managed a few hours only once I heard the announcements of random bus stops being shouted out, I knew it was safe to. This must have been at least 5am. I’m surprised the baby, my nine month old son got some sleep given the extent of the noise throughout the night.

I decided to go to the school to speak to little mans class teacher. Turns out that the teacher was away from class and told the children before leaving to behave or they may not attend the trip he was planning. Little man freaked when his friend started to misbehave and was now convinced there was no trip. Such a small thing can seem so big to Little man. Since I’ve told him that the trip is still on, his settled a lot more. Today was like yesterday never existed, and he was polite and well behaved. So Tuesday wasn’t a great school day. It was a worrying, anxious school day, which resulted in him coming home to take it out on mum. 😦 We have had worse things happen, worse days but never with this degree of challenging behaviour. It just goes to show, that our children on the spectrum can become bubbling volcanos within a second, No warning no sign. The smallest and most simplest thing to us, is the most huge to them. Challenging behaviour can be triggered by al sorts… You’ve been warned!!

Oh one last thing! I started smoking again after a year and a half. Yes, I was disappointed with myself, and it’s a stupid thing to do… But my god it felt so good! Stress & cigarets are a match made in heaven.

The end of a troubled school year.

29 Jul

Well, here I am sat at my Mac at what some would consider to be a crazy hour. Yes, Ok it is 05:45am and I guess once upon a time I would have been laughing my arse off at anyone who was sat blogging at this time. Well, how times have changed. Most bloggers will understand what I mean when I say when you feel that need to blog you get up and blog no matter what the time. Yep I was laid in my bed with at least three weeks worth of blogging material filling my head to the point I could no longer take the built up pressure and just needed to get on here and free my mind in preparation for the next massive instalment of muddled information in relation to our wonderfully crazy life of Aspergers, buses,  school battles, laughter and lashings of love.

So here’s what’s been giving me the banging headache. Beware I’m warning you I’m about to off load an overload of information! So grab a coffee or two and enjoy.

School! Well, I’m not sad its over! For six weeks that is. Most parents will already be giving it all the ‘Oh I can’t wait for these kids to go back to school’ after a few days of them running around under their heels. Not Me! I’m happy to have my two monsters home. I’m not suggesting it’s going to be an easy summer however I am suggesting that it can’t possibly be any harder than these past six months. Regular readers will understand where I’m coming form when I say it’s been an exhausting, draining, intensely frustrating  journey. Basically life had become a sack of shit ( Excuse my use of rotten language) But this is the only place along with my facebook page I can truly express such stuff! Unless I go scream and curse in a field with some cows. We don’t want people thinking I use these insulting words around little dude! Let’s be honest here… Yes it hurts when those around you look at your child cursing and wringing then look up at you as to say.. ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS BEHAVIOUR?’ You do nothing, avoid throwing petrol on the fire so to speak only to be judged for it. But come lets face it I would have been judged either way and the reason I know this is because I’ve been there a thousand times before and all though it hurts its like a fall you get over it. I will apologise for certain behaviours! It’s not all Autism you know. Little man is a nine-year old boy and like many he has moments. Nevertheless I will not apologise for my child’s autism.  Yes, I swear I’m human and at the end of the day I have three children one Ok can just about say Dada but I do have a daughter. I can honestly say I have never heard her swear in her almost 8 years of living. Little man! Well, his the curse monster and he swears so much it half seems normal (Not good I know) Sorry I’m merely making a point and by doing so I’m losing track of what I’m supposed to be writing 🙂 which was to state my point that is..I’m so pleased to see the back of my children’s school for the summer.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not being nasty nor is it my intention to knock the school in fact at a guess I would say they would say the exact same thing about me and me little guy. I’m sure they don’t want me down there all guns blazing a good proportion of the week like I don’t enjoy the phone calls, exclusions and bubbling volcano that happens to be my son on a bad day. I think its fair to say it’s a win, win situation.

Things aren’t all that bad as we had a pretty relaxed (well I kept my sanity) last few weeks at home and school. Many would consider this to be a joke but lets not forget his recent behaviour and the problems that we have had with him and school. Not having any exclusions the past few weeks has to be an achievement in itself. I was talking to his class teacher the other day and it seems that since my decision to remove him from school during lunch hour and taking him home to eat with us there has been a sufficient change in lunch time behaviours. It’s quite easy to work out how this has been achieved! He hasn’t been there to have the problems it’s that simple. His teacher agrees that it’s a marked improvement. Little man is unable to cope with the truly over stimulating environment the playground has to offer. This often leads to him darting back and forth up the corridors, halls and classrooms. His anxiety levels score and all though he can’t handle this unstructured time he fears missing his lunchtime and having it replaced with him sat in the office. This only seems to fuel his anxiety and anger as it all becomes very under stimulating. That’s the thing with my son! There is no in between His what some would describe as unpredictable due to his ever fast changing mannerisms. As his parent I know I’ve made the right choice as things are better for little man now his indoors and his eating. It can’t be healthy for a young boy not eating breakfast and then not touching his lunch. He must have been staved by mid afternoon. I find it hard to see where he got the energy for his running and fighting? Lets not forget the little sleep he has. No food nor sleep yet running around like a cheater on pro-plus. At least now he doesn’t come in and eat everything in reach. This for me is a great thing and is one more target ticked off our list:)

SCHOOL TRIP

Here’s another constant problem I’m worried about. Will Little man be able to attend the school trip like all his peers? He had a recent trip to finish of the school year. I feared the worse what with the Allotment business but it was agreed if I attended he could defiantly go. ( I was told he would still attend without me as his TA was going but it was feared he would not last much of the day) Lucky for him I managed it and got a sitter for my youngest. The trip was to attend a local park, have a picnic, chill out and play some sport or spend time in the swing park with its funky water squirters that the kids went crazy for. I have to say I really enjoyed the day. Spending some time with little man was nice and it was also useful to see him practising social skill no matter how hard it was for me to watch. I finally met the other child in his class diagnosed as having ASD. This is the child that some have said little man bullies. I can understand in a way why he maybe perceived as doing so, but given more time was spent with both the children a greater understanding would be achieved. It’s extremely clear to me that little man has a huge amount of resentment towards this other child. He only has to talk and little man pulls this face and moans ‘GO AWAY, PLEASE GO AWAY AND SHUT UP’ This little chap seems to have had a journey all of his own and his wise beyond his nine years in many respects. I love the way he told me I do certain things because I’m autistic! This boy said them words with pride and to me (I maybe wrong) He seemed happy with himself. He was Autistic and proud. Little man however has told me before about this child in his class who often quotes his autistic proudness out loud. He said its stupid and he shouldn’t want them knowing. He is so assumed lately and he tries so hard to suppress his true self around others meaning gigantic overload release once behind closed doors. I think he wishes to be as confident as his peer with autism. He sees the child he was before in terms of aloofness. I mean this little lad was great but he didn’t really care if he was left out. He often came and chatted to me about his trading cards and it was upsetting to see the friend he had made was in fact not a friend at all more a child who saw an opportunity to take a child on the spectrums kindness and trusting way for grunted. This was the child who I considered to be a bully. No, there was no name calling, hitting or public humiliating maybe that’s why it wasn’t seen. It was a one-sided friendship the bully just stole and blackmailed the little boy into handing over the things he wanted. Don’t get me wrong his just a child doing what many children do. He could be bullied himself or maybe he don’t see this as bullying. He hears the child say he has autism but does he truly understand it’s meaning? I very much doubt it which just shows that the bully is just another victim of an ignorant society. He just sees a way to get what he wants and that’s that. Then there’s my boy the one with Aspergers. Blunt, upfront and loud. It’s true! But these are clearly a result of his Aspergers. What child is so blunt when shouting out things at another child. Most bullies would not do this in view of the teacher and no matter what was done in terms of punishment the child isn’t very likely to continue this behaviour in his teacher presence. It’s easy to see that little man is upset by this child. I got them talking and when alone Little man was able to hold a conversation with him well that was in till the boy told him everyone’s different and he should kick or punch a wall when angry. I guess its kind of like your elder always thinking they know best. They are so alike and little man hates this (and the fact the boys “special interest” is pigeons does not help this already complex situation) Little man coped quite well with the trip and although he struggled to follow teachers instructions he did give it a good go. I think me being there is somewhat confessing for him as he can’t connect the two. School and home are two different things to him no matter how hard I’ve tried it’s just to hard to change his rigid way of thinking. So of course the way he saw it was why do we have to wait for the class before heading off somewhere? Why can’t we go home when his had enough? The worse being there was a red roundabout and he often plays buses on it when we are at the park as a family. He doesn’t want anyone knowing about his love of buses but was finding it a torment as he was desperate to play his bus game. What he did was rather clever as he got the children to sit on the seats casually shouted £2 each please in a joking manner. (£2 is the price of a bus ride.) Then he just spun them around and around I could see the concentration on his face and I knew what he was doing! What he was saying in his head. Of course things can’t always be this simple and he ran into a few problems along the way. Children sitting on the bar instead of the seat or children trying to push the roundabout along side him. He was hitting out, chasing kids and at one point burst into tears. I found this so hard to watch and felt like screaming ‘Be your bloody self, play what ever you want it’s better than being sad.’  Other things also contributed in making the day more difficult. He didn’t really have a great schedule so a good section of the day was spent asking when, where and what time is it which was tough for me:( But we did it. We managed inclusion for a good five hours and though little man wasn’t in control we did it and came out the other side knackered but smiling:) As for the other little guy with Autism I would love to meet his mother who has done a great job in helping her son manage his aggressive behaviours and learn to love accept and understand his autism. I hope someday my little man stands that proud.

ITS PARTY TIME!

I’m sorry if you’re yawning people I just have so much I want to say so gonna make this as quick as possible. My Little man has had a rather eventful few weeks in terms of fun. He was invited to his first birthday party. When I say first I mean someone other than family. Like lots of children on the spectrum Little man rarely gets an invite from school and although it hasn’t seemed to bother him he was elated to finally receive one. As far as I was concerned the child who had invited him was a friend from school but it turns out that he doesn’t attend the school anymore as he has been placed in a specialist school better suited to his needs so the invite was passed on by his brother. Little man went to the party and I sat worrying myself senseless about how he was coping and how he was behaving. I have to be honest I couldn’t wait for it to be over. At five I headed off to collect him with my fingers firmly crossed that I wasn’t about to walk into a war zone with a bunch of unhappy parents and a dozen screaming kids. With bated breath I knocked on the door and thank goodness I was greeted by a smiling parent who told me he was fantastic. He did start pacing the house as I was five minutes late collecting him but apart from this all went well. All that time I spent worrying could have been used doing something constructive but at least now I could relax. On the way back home little man told me all about his friend and how when he had left school he didn’t know what to do and wanted him to come back. I spoke to his teacher about this and it seems that his friend left before little man’s behaviour problems in school had spiralled  out of control. Wished I had known this as my little guy was hurting. At the time he didn’t have many friends and I can’t imagine how this felt for him no wonder it affected him in such a un positive way if he wasn’t able to express such upset. I remember being told nothing had changed at school and it was always assumed that it must be the massive change at home affecting his behaviour at school (I had a baby and this is what was considered the trigger) I couldn’t understand how as his relationship with his baby brother was better than I had ever hoped for it to be. He was the dotting big brother who said ‘MUM HE IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON IN THIS WORLD.’ Yes, he said this when he first met his new baby brother on the day he was born. He was sat holding him in the hospitals delivery room at the time. Of course I was one proud momma and that was one of them moments you cherish. Nevertheless it was a huge change so I have never wrote this off. Now I think it was because too many changes were happening for my little man these changes were both good and bad but all at the same time. A massive brain shake for any child.

Staying on the subject of parties this wasn’t the only party little man attend! As it was the end of the school year like every year his school puts on a disco for all the pupils and parents are asked to attend. Myself, Little man and his sister had a great time. It was held in the schools playground in the early evening. The weather was beautiful and I really got comfort from seeing them both so happy. Little man bowled around with his little partner in crime and my daughter happily danced with her friends. It really was a blissful evening and went exceptionally well. I will be honest in saying I dreaded the whole thing all week! Hundreds of kids, Mothers I rarely spoke to and a great amount of tension between myself and certain members of stuff because the way things had been left after our recent meeting. However I needn’t of got so upset as it was fine and I felt more relaxed the longer I stayed. Little man coped with the whole disco thing really well. I thing having the disco in the playground was a marvellous idea. As the disco was in the evening the temperature was cooler than the midday sun ( Hot weather often drives little man bonkers) And the music was loud but didn’t have much to bounce off where in the hall it would have and it could have ended up being too much for him and I’m guessing he may not have been able to stand it. We stayed till the end and it felt good to be leaving at the same time as others instead of having to cart little man of home because something had happened or he wasn’t coping. At the gates I meet his friend’s father who invited little man to their home a few days later and it was arranged he would collect him along side his friend at home time. Little man was super excited and spent the next few days switching between Alex (His friend) and buses (His “special interest”) It was great knowing he was feeling so good and at least he was experiencing the things childhood and friendships should bring. He went and he had a brilliant time. He was reported to have behaved and has since been back and even stayed the night (yes me sat at home worried sick that he would get up and just wonder home in the middle of the night was a nightmare) again he proved me wrong and though yes he didn’t sleep as I expected! He managed to stayed put and instead kept his friend awake the majority of the night *giggle*

Lastly I just wanted to share my exciting news. I passed my telephone interview and I start my training to become an autism education advocate with the National Autistic Society hopefully by the end of the week I’m just waiting on the paperwork to be sent in order to get stated. Training will be home based but with two practical training sessions that require me to spend two weekends away in November (Destination unknown at present) I’m so looking forward to it and really hope it opens doors for me. My son having Aspergers has made me passionate about autism. I would love to be able to make a difference to those on the spectrum and those affected by it. The telephone interview was a conference call so this meant I had questions from more than one interviewer. I was nervous but felt more at ease the longer we spoke. I did finish thinking that’s it I’ve bloody gone and blown it. I’ve never been over confidant when it comes to interviews and test and though it didn’t go to badly I did feel I could have done that bit better. When I was told that someone would email me to inform me if my application had been successful I was shocked to discover a mere fifteen minutes later that the email was there sat in my inbox and yes it was successful. Well, It goes without saying how pleased I was and I showed this by giving family a view of my victory dance. I want this so much and will give the training my everything. By doing so I hope to help and advise other parents and careers who like me didn’t have a Dickie when it came to their child’s rights within the educational system and sen framework.

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