Tag Archives: SENCO

A DAY IN COURT

2 Feb

So a few days ago was court day and I just fault It would be a good idea to post an update on how it’s all going!

Well the 27th was just the date I needed to attend to enter my plea, you know the whole guilty not guilty thing! Well is was going to be as easy as that. All I had to do was decide what way to go ( Of course guilty was not an option ) So I knew what was going to happen. Let’s not forget I have taken this road before when Little mans school tried pulling this one on me back in 2008. Basically things were going to be pretty straight forward at this first hearing. It was a case of me putting my plea to the magistrate then being informed that this meant attending crown court and a hearing date would be sent to me in the post. Then I would be free to go and carry on my war with the school from home. As easy as that! Well so I fault!

Yep things never really seem to go as planed in my world, god complicated is my middle name. Nothing seemed to be going well from the moment I got out of bed that morning. After a crazy half hour running around trying to find the court letter so I could check the time it was to take place I then had to do a million and one other things. I know what your thinking. Wow what an unorganized woman. Ok I guess I can be pretty slack but things around here have been a touch hectic. My new baby boy has been quite unwell and needed to be admitted to hospital and of course I stayed with him. After 6 days and what felt like forever we returned home only for me to come down with the Norovirus which has spread around our hospitals like wild fire. So to be honest I wasn’t really 100% that morning and who can blame me.  Well just when I was convinced I was ready to call for a taxi my son decided he wanted  feeding and was screaming down the place like a crazy baby. With this I decided it may be best to leave him with daddy. Yes I was going to take him with me. Court may not be the best place in the world for a baby but as I said it was going to be an in out job and plans were made for me and baby once court was dealt with . But with this I knew it was best to go alone. Feeding him in the taxi would just be a hassle. So already running late I made up a bottle for my husband to give him, changed him called a taxi and was out the door reaching court a little late.

I let myself be seen by the Clark and with that took a seat and waited to be called.

I waited and waited. Hello is this sodding case ever gonna be heard? Come on I was listed for 2 p.m. and I made it a little after 3.30 p.m. Thank goodness I had someone collecting the children from school because I sure as hell wasn’t gonna be. The waiting room was no longer bursting at its seams, I could run laps in it if I really wanted to because me and my friend ( She meet me there for a little support ) were just about the only ones left. I was starting to wonder if the place had closed and forgot we were upstairs in court room 2 STILL WAITING.

eventually the Clark came out from on of the many rooms and asked me why I was there? Great you got to be joking! Um let me see, It wasn’t for my health or because Magistrates Courts were fun places to hang out in. So maybe I had a plea to give. With this she gave me a look and ask if I was late. Well I told her only just but she denied seeing me and told me it had already been dealt. Ok so not only have I sat here like a complete twat but this would mean the judge would have ruled in favor of the school and I would be awaiting my punishment.

The rude Clark ( Sorry I had to add that ) went of to the Court room to see what the outcome for me was. You have to attend on the 10th Feb she told me. And I think you will have to give your plea then. Should I be pleased that it was postponed? Yes but now the judge would think I hadn’t turned up and what a great start that was going to be. Oh well just another wasted day brought about by the school that causes me nothing but grief. Ok I was kinda to blame with my late start but come on who brought me here in the first place. EXACTLY.

STATEMENT OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

28 Jan

Ok so you get that formal diagnosis the one that has taken so long to get. After many assessments and meeting have taken place it’s all complete and filed. Yes my child has been diagnosed as having a life long condition but relief floods over you. At long last we can move on! Carry on with life and just get on with it. The assessment process on little man took forever and I know thats exactly how I felt. I had a lot to learn and after talking with other parents of child on the autistic spectrum, reading and just understanding my son I learned a little more each day. However and not surprising There was something I hadn’t learnt. I didn’t have a clue about SEN. Yes I now understood an awful deal about my sons condition Aspergers but what in the world did the word SEN represent. Well lucky for me that was before and that since then I discovered this stood for special educational needs. This was something I stupidly assumed would apply to my son. Well he has a  social & communication disorder, meaning that surely extra help would be on offer for him when it came to schooling. You know from my last angry and frustrated post that little man and SEN don’t go together. Help, extra services what the hell is that ? As I write this I will try my hardest to contain myself. But It’s hard as thinking about the extra support that little man has so crawly been deprived of makes me a tad crazy. But that was far from the end of my frustration

as too much to my horror It turns out having a formal diagnosis of Aspergers is not enough! Shocking I know. It’s up to the school to decide if your child is entitled to or requires any extra educational help. Well god help me! This is the school that labeled my child as having behavioral problems after telling me and others on a number of different occasions that little man was well – behaved in school and showed no concerns. This is also the school who sat and spoke with myself and little mans doctor about his diagnosis, introduced me to the school Senco only to recently inform me that they don’t have a written record of his diagnosis. How on earth is this going to happen? So just when you think the long process of assessments and meetings have come to an end it turns out they have only just begun. In order for your child to access the education that is right for his particular needs an assessment for a statement of needs has to be completed. This is not a day thing but could be a minimum of 6 long weeks. Yes it’s a long time when you are at breaking point and need a school move asap.

So now I wait to see if an assessment can go ahead. The decision to assess is made by the local education authority and in some cases can be refused. It gets better! After inquiring I have been told to state my concerns leading to the request of an assessment. Well from what the school, other parents and children and my son have noted back to me this is some of what I have come up with and I am putting it to you guys before the authority for some much-needed advice and opinions.

  1. Giovanni has problems building relationships with other children with in his school. This makes attending a problem as fear of bullying and rejection.
  2. Finds some of the chosen work un challenging and some to challenging but will not ask for help so therefore will just refuse to do it.
  3. Has issues with using school toilet facilities though fear of the doors becoming locked and also their cleanliness. This has caused a number of problems as I have often had to collect him and bring him home to go.
  4. His outspokenness  has a tendency  to get him into trouble with this being confused with rudeness to other children and staff meaning at times he has unfairly been punished.
  5. Giovanni not eating despite bringing in a packed lunch. Mainly because he wont eat in front of others or maybe another reason that I am not aware of just yet.
  6. The disturbing fact that staff are sometimes unaware of Giovanni not being present at lunch. I then discover He has not eaten a packed lunch for weeks at a time.
  7. His fear of changing for PE in front of others meaning a reluctance to take part or even attend school on them days.
  8. stereo type behavior on Giovanni’s part.
  9. Frustration with others not understanding his way of thinking causing him to have outburst and lash out. His taken a door of its hinges by kicking it.
  10. His need for routine. When ever there is a temporary teacher teaching class he always has problems throughout the day. Mostly being behavioral. This is due to the sudden change. He is also deeply upset if a teacher that has become close to him leaves the school on a permanent basis.

these are just a few of my main concerns and I feel his current school are not equipped to deal with some if not all of them given recent findings and revelations. The school that I wish to place little man at is a school for children on the autistic spectrum including Aspergers, as well as other learning difficulties and certain disabilities. As my child clearly falls into this category I’m hoping he can be offered a place as soon as one is opened. The school has fantastic reviews and always hits its yearly targets. It would be both wonderful and exciting for me and little man for him to be excepted into this school.

You gotta be kidding me!!

13 Jan

As most of you may already know I’m a mother of a 9 year old boy that has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. You may also have read in past post that over the last few years I have had many problems with my sons schooling. Well just when I thought things were finally improving they have become so much worse. I received a letter a few weeks back informing me that I have been summons to court for the time off school little man had last year. Are you kidding me! What a joke.  I was informed that as a parent of a child with a formal diagnosis of Aspergers I myself and my child would receive a great deal more help and more services would be on other to us. This has not been the case and to be honest I’m sick of the way my sons school have treated my son and my family. This stems back for a long time and I’m sure at some point I have mentioned just a few of the many problems I have experienced with little mans school life. Yes his attendance was not the best but this was for reasons beyond my control, reasons I feel could of been avoided if more help and services were on offer. At the beginning and the best part of last year I had problems with little mans sleeping patten. Problem was he didn’t seem to have much of a patten! Most will know that children on the autistic spectrum live their lives dominated mostly by a routine. Without routine things seem to go a little of the rail so to speak. But most will also know that getting a bedtime routine into place for a child with Autism/Asperger’s is also a pretty hard task in itself. Little mans bedtime routine was practically none existent. He had no issue with spending the whole night awake. I don’t mean getting up several times in the night I mean not sleeping till 5-6am in the morning. Yes this is a huge problem when he needs to be in school for 8.55am and so by 7 am it would be a good idea for him to be getting ready. But I could only dream. It would be a long and tiring ordeal to get him ready and into school. There would be screaming and swearing on his part that is and he would nearly always refuse to get up let alone get dressed. Let’s not forget I’m sleep deprived too. What also makes me mad is at least half of these absences are in fact not absences at all! More like lateness. If the children are in school past 9.15 am which is the time they shut the main gate meaning all children must report to the school office, then the child will be marked in as attending just half the day. They will lose their morning mark. But if there is a fire the school are well aware that the child is in fact in and not absent. So all the mornings missed are then added to make full days and then added to their over all attendance. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?? How in gods name can this be the case. This makes the case against me in court look a great deal worse. There was many days in which the children, I say children as I’m including my daughter have got into school way past 9.15 am. When I expressed my concerns to the school about little man’s refusal and reluctance to go to school and this matter making him and indeed my daughter overly late for school I was assured that bringing him rather them not bringing him was most  defiantly the best option. When I did the office staff were nearly always rude and made me feel like a naughty school girl. No matter how hard things become and how much I asked for help I still struggled on alone. I did however get our doctor to prescribe the natural medication Melatonin. This has helped but took time for everything to come together. We still had to get him used to the meds and settled into a routine. It’s only been since around the end of last year that huge improvements have been noted. And since then a large improvement has been made with little mans schooling in terms of lateness and overall attendance. However his behavior at school has taken a turn for the worse with many more letters and phone calls being made to me to report his bad and unmanageable behavior. This has to be due to the fact he is sleeping much better so has a lot more energy to get rid off though out the day. With this turn around I feel as if I have gone from one huge problem to another. At least at long last they see a different side to him. As It was fault that most of his undesirable behavior was happening at home and at school he was a more manageable child. I’m not pleased for his unruly behavior but now you must be able to see my parenting skills are not to blame.

So you may think that the improvements that have occurred towards the end of last year and this year would be enough to stop any future court action from going a head. Well it don’t look that way. I feel that after many meetings that have taken place and just as many promises that have been made I would be receiving some help with little man instead of having to stress about a court date right on top of just having had a baby. Why wont you just help me that way we both get what we want! Better attendance and most of all a better education for little man. Well with this latest kick in the teeth and a string of other problems and broken promises I have taken it upon myself to try my upmost hardest to remove my son from his current school placement and into one witch is better suited to his needs. A school that looks at helping the child achieve their goals and lead a full and happy school life. And this way he would be picked up for school and I can concentrate on getting my daughter to school on time. Yes sounds like a win win situation. You would think so! but firstly I have to get his uncooperative school to statement him. He has Aspergers and this is something that still has not taken place on their part. After a recent phone call with the new deputy head and senco of the school I was told much to my disbelief that she was not aware of him having Aspergers and she had no notes on the matter. She then went on to label him to be a child that suffered merely with behavioral problems and instead of one to one education and extra help he just needed to undergo behavior modification. This is the straw that broke the camels back! How bloody dare she. My son has a recognized fully diagnosed condition in which I am registered as his full time carer and have done everything in my power to work with the school and not against. It was not long ago you proceeded to say the problem behavior I reported was not a problem that you experienced with him in school hours and now he has a behavioral problem!!! Crazy cow.

With this I will deal with the court case and then seek advice on removing him with out delay. I think I have a solid case to do so. How is it that with a diagnosis of Aspergers my son receives no SEN at school he has no statement and worse still you have no record he was ever diagnosed despite the fact we have had meetings on the matter and  I have a letter from the school stating you have received his diagnosis in the post.

If anybody has any advise what so ever it would be greatly appreciated. I live in the UK and my son attend a mainstream primary school.

Just an overdue update

12 Jul

Ok I really am sorry for the lack of  post! It’s all been a little crazy at home.

So here is a update on how things have been with Little man and the rest of the family.

Little man is doing pretty well. School has been good and his due to break up soon for the summer holidays (I have no clue as yet on how I plan on entertaining the children for six whole weeks ) There is a meeting planed with the school Senco before he breaks up. The meeting is aimed at discussing which support is planed for little man for when he returns back to school in September. We all know this maybe hard for him as it will bring around a lot of change ( new teachers and timetables ) It seems so unfair as to me little man has only just began to settle.  But hay that’s how it is and we will have to do our best to make it as easy as possible for him.

We are also all preparing for a lot of change as a family, because as most of you already know I am due my 3rd child on the Ist Dec. I’m now almost 20 weeks and finding pregnancy great but hard at times. Thing is I am still almost always tiered as my HB levels (Iron ) are really low 😦 I am taking medication for it now and just waiting on it kicking in. Both the children love that mummy is going to have another baby 🙂 Little man was the first one to fell baby move  with Alice having her turn soon after. ( daddy is still waiting Lol ) It was amazing and little man’s face was a picture. I had just finished telling him that soon he would be able to fell baby move by placing a hand on my tummy. So that’s what he did and to my delight baby happy responded awww. I have my scan tomorrow and hope to find out the baby’s gender 🙂 Fingers crossed. Little man wants a brother and Alice wants a sister lol ( Always the way ) When I first discovered I was going to be  mummy again it did cross my mind maybe the baby may have ASD or Aspergers. I wont lie! yes I was a little worried but life will be what life will be and I will love my baby whatever happens 🙂

Also this month well yesterday in fact, we took little man and his sister to the cinema to watch ice age 3. Things were going OK. Yes I was a touch worried little man would upset everyone but it was all a little different. Yes he left his seat once or twice and said a few things a little on the loud side but on the whole he wasn’t to bad. In fact it was other peoples noise that upset him. God I should of guessed as when we speak when he is watching a film at home he becomes very upset and this is what happened. He was getting stressed as a couple of teenage girls behind us were giggling and at times chatting 😦 DVD is a much better option next time I think.

Well thats about it for now! Hope all you guys are great and will post again soon.

ARE WE MOVING FORWARD?

31 Mar

Are we at last making progress ?

Is someone at last going to do the right thing by my son ?

Another meeting down at the school today. This time with the Senco and Little man’s “support worker” This time I went with a family friend. I was not going alone, not after last time ( I went for a meeting with four other school stuff. As I was alone I felt I was being bullied into agreeing to stuff I did not agree with ) Well today went a lot better. I don’t want to raise my hopes that improvements are on the outlook but things went well. Little man will not read any of the books they send him home with. He will hide them once home, this often takes me weeks to recover them ( his a top hider ) The Senco has agreed that as long as Little man is reading it doesn’t matter what he chooses to read. This means he now has permission to take his own books into school. When I gave him the good news his face lite up, he was more then pleased. Also he may be given the chance to bring his laptop into school on a Monday. This is something that has been designed as a way to make him want to come in on Mondays as right now that’s not happening. The Senco has also agreed to  speaking with his teacher in regards to being made to sing in class. Little man was made to miss playtime a few weeks back as he refused to sing a song, reason being was he felt it was a girls song. This really upset me. This is part of his condition and I don’t fell he should be punished for it. So yes he will be given the right to decided if he wishes to take part in certain songs. 

On the whole the meeting went well, I felt as if things were moving forward. Saying this I dare to get my hopes up as they have been dashed more then once. I’m just keeping my fingers and all my toes crossed that things are going to improve for the sake of my Little man and his much needed education:)

School fail our children over and over again!

10 Mar

Did I ever mention that as well as my son being on the Autistic spectrum with the condition Asperger’s, I also have a nephew with autism?

Alfie is nearly 8 years old. His mother who is my partners sister has known about Alfie’s autism since the age of 2. Alfie only lives around the corner from our home so he visits often, Alfie also attends the same school as my son does. I think many of you already know my felling towards the school are not great! There have been many times I was going to remove little man from the school, but he is not happy with this as there is a teacher he is very close to. Since this teacher has been helping little man he seems much happier with the whole school thing plus there is a new head and deputy head this year so I’m seeing how things go.

Alfie has also had problems at school. The thing is when his mother wanted him to receive more help within school from the SENCO team the main SENCO worker was not happy as in her twisted opinion Alfie had nothing wrong with him! This is what the problem with this school seems to boil down to. They stick there heads in the sand until things are too late. Alfie’s mum had to fight for his right for access to the right type of education for his level of special needs just as I have had to with little man. A few months later the school had contacted his mother saying they could no longer handle Alfie and his ways ( he was throwing himself on the floor, banging his head against walls, hitting and swearing at staff ) They wanted him statemented. OMG what a turn around. First there is nothing wrong with him the next thing you know they are asking for a statement and advice from his mother on ways to cope with his somewhat difficult behaviour. Last year they asked his mother if she minded if Alfie attended a special needs school for at least two out the five school days. This is what happened but then Alfie hated going so returned back to this school for the whole five-day school week. When Alfie is at school he is known to fall asleep with staff letting this happen as it means they no longer need to deal with his challenging behaviour. A number of times I have collected Alfie I have found him in a different classroom lying on the floor looking at the ceiling I have even visited the school about little man and his sister and found Alfie walking the corridor alone, then a few seconds later you see a teacher running up and down like a headless chicken screaming “ALFIE, ALFIE” Crazy I agree!

Well yesterday Alfie was excluded from school for five whole long days ( a whole school week ) What a cop-out!

What is even worse in my view is that Alfie is not allowed to enter the school or step foot near it for these five days. Basically he has been bared from all areas of the school. My god this child is 6 years old. His sister my niece Demi also attends the school and is in the last year before her big move to secondary school. Like myself Alfie and Demi only live  up the road from the school. When Alfie is not in its OK for Demi to walk home alone! But yesterday there were reports of two men hanging around the school’s in a black car. The same men have also been reported trying to pick up young girls (sickos) Many schools have given out letters to parents and are aware of the situation. Given this Nicky (Alfie and Demi’s ) mother needs to collect Demi from school! But how can she when Alfie is not allowed to step a foot near the place? You would think given the situation the school would have to allow Nicky to pick her up with Alfie in tow. No Nicky will have to wait with Alfie on the corner. This to me is so OTT.

Why is Alfie excluded? He run off from a teacher (Whats new there ) he was swearing, and he spat at the teacher. Yes not nice I agree but come on people this is a 6-year-old autistic child we happen to be talking about here. To me this seems yet another way of not having to deal with the child in question! Is Alfie going to learn anything from this? I don’t think so. Why? This is the second time they have excluded him from school, and Alfie is Autistic to him it’s simple-the school are bad as he is not allowed to go to school.

What is happening with our schools and teachers today. We need a greater understanding of autism, training needs to be given to these teachers. Why has this not happened yet ? As numbers rise in the amount of children being diagnosed as being on the spectrum of autism why is it that the number of educators being educated on autism and its related conditions are even lower than ever before. To me it makes pretty good sense if the number of autistic children is growing then the need for extra education for teachers and school staff should be given. By not doing this the education system is failing our children and why on earth should we as parents, grandparents,care givers be OK with this?

This is a wide spread problem all over the world just today I came across a post titled School security overact to behavior of autistic child. http://autismparentplan.wordpress.com All I’m saying is we are along way off seeing change in our schools when it comes the way they deal with autism.

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