Tag Archives: special needs

This mum made front page news

10 Jun

Early Tuesday morning I’m awoken by an excited Little man.

Oh, yes he knows what day it is… his been counting the days since Friday.

We walked into our local newsagents a little after 6:30 am. Little man darted over to the newspaper stand knocking over several boxes of unpacked crisp and a shop assistant filling the fridge. He was causing complete chaos at this very early hour!

“Mum, mum look, we are on the front page!”

The little guy was right! There on the front page of the local rag was a picture of myself and the Little man.

In big bold letters the headline read…

“All about a boy… Blogging mum up for award”

 full story on page 31

The man stood behind the counter gave me a smile and a wink as Little man placed his 50p on the counter. He stood tall and proud in the hope he was recognised!

“That’s a handsome young fella in the paper! Hang on a minute, he looks familiar”
 The shopkeeper joked!

Little man shouted so loud it’s likely he damaged the poor guy’s ear drum when replying, “That’s me with mum… can’t you see?”

“Oh yes… So it is”

Little man was displaying a huge grin, obviously enjoying his five minutes of fame!

The shopkeeper, a lovely elderly gentleman that I’ve known for some years, went on to say in a chirpy tone, “Well, as it’s you on the front cover… the papers on me today!”

Little man stood thinking, overcome with confusion. Completely baffled by the man’s comments he asked, “What do you mean? The newspaper isn’t on you… It’s on the counter!” He was shaking his head as to imply the shopkeeper was a tad stupid for making such a ridicules comment!

Now, let’s not forget that this is a little boy with Aspergers, who has a tendency to take things rather literally! So, I explained just what the shopkeeper had meant to which he politely thanked him for his generosity by stating he was ‘Safe’ (he has a mind like a sponge) before making his swift exit.

Little man had more excitement to come. The article in the ‘South London Press‘ was one of two Newspapers we would be featured in that week.

The Second paper, ‘The Newshopper’ was released the following day. Both papers were running the story about a Lewisham mother of three, who had made it to the finals of the ‘Mad blog awards’, a national blogging competition showcasing some of the best British blogs written by parents. Of course that ‘mother’ was me *smiling gracefully* 

No, I won’t deny it! When I was sent the press release to edit and forward as I pleased, I didn’t expect much to come of it!

This blog is simply a documentation of our life alongside my own thoughts and opinions. As crazy as our life may seem to others, it’s a life that many parents of a child with autism will possibly  relate too as the norm

You just don’t expect your blog to end up in the newspapers! Then again, you don’t expect to your blog to be in the running for a national award (especially in two categories)

I will often write a post and once complete I read it back and think to myself, “Seriously who wants to read this stuff?”

Gosh, I love how this blog has changed me. Its helped me to discover a lot about myself! If you had asked me three or so years back, “Do I enjoy writing?” My reply would have likely been… No! Seriously…  My English teacher would have a heart attack if she read this. Ok my grammar isn’t top notch (sorry miss, I try) Yet I’ve discovered that putting down my feelings for the world to read is somewhat therapeutic! I’m expressing myself in a whole new way… And enjoying it!  Ask me now if I love to write and my answer would be a whole lot different. Now that is something I never saw coming… Ever!

I’ve written this blog while in an array of psychological mind sets. There’s been tears (to many), laughter, sadness, anger, joy, exhaustion and excitement!
Since becoming a finalist I’ve been lucky enough to encounter some awesome opportunities… Did I mention that I’m currently writing a piece for this months SEN magazine? *cheeky giggle*

With every congratulations whether it’s from the press, a friend, family member or fellow parent to a child with autism, I feel a great sense of achievement that this mum who is no means a super mum, has managed to get her voice heard when raising an issue that is not only close to her heart, but one that is also enormously important!

This is more then a blog award competition (don’t get me wrong, winning would be oh-so-fabulous & your votes are most welcome) What I’m trying to empathise is that although autism and aspergers has come a long way with the help of the media, there is still so much to say! All over the world children are being failed through not having their educational needs met, where adults are left unemployed… regardless of their skills.

I thank the ‘Mad blog awards’ for bringing about a powerful way to get heard while having a great amount of fun in the process! As for you guys… Thank you for getting me here by nominating the blog… All you need to do now is vote (cheeky)!!

To vote the blog, ‘A boy with Asperger’s’ as your most inspiring/inspirational mad blog 2011, visit the Mad voting page: Here

The article in the, ‘South London Press’ can be found: Here

The, ‘Newshopper’s’ article can be found: Here 


The gift of a beautiful friendship

31 May

A few days back I met up with one of my good friend’s for a spot of shopping and a catch up. 

It was during this catch up that I released how lucky I am to have this friend in my life!  Here’s why…

In adult life friendships can be hard things to maintain. Its thought to be even harder when only one of the two friends is a parent, which is the case for us!

This is often true for many, including me! What with the pressures being a parent brings…  It’s a time consuming task that leaves little room for socialising. Its sad but true that for many this type of friendship don’t last the course. 


This is even possible for some of the strongest friendships, those that have been maintained since childhood! Do you remember the days spent with that best friend who you swore would be your best friend forever? You know the one… You swore you would move to a foreign country with, share a flat with, be bridesmaid at her wedding, godmother to her children, and finally grow old and die with! There is a good chance that you haven’t seen nor spoke to that special someone for a very long time.

 It’s not only the factor of starting a family or getting married that sees such great friendships flounder, but also the changing interest you acquire as you sail through the different stages of your life!

Some of my closest childhood friendships have been lost through the years… and yes, many were lost when one of us started a family! Still, It should be noted that I haven’t only lost friendships with childless friends, but those who like me have at least popped out one child… In my case three!  After all… it’s a busy job being mum!

So, what happens when you throw autism into the mix? One friend not only starts a family but one of her children ends up being on the autism spectrum or has some other form of disability/special need? If the above is true, surely this leaves little hope of friendship survival!  

Sadly many of my own friendships just haven’t made it past the finish line! In all honesty, I properly only have a few that have. 

And guess what?

These are friendships I have with friends who don’t yet have children, bringing me back to the reason I consider myself a very lucky mummy!

As I sat with my friend discussing the Ins & outs of my youngest child’s tantrums, my daughters developing “attitude” and little mans offer of a school placement, I could tell that my friend was totally engaged with what it was I had to say! By now some of my friends would be checking their mobiles & making their excuses! Fortunately this isn’t the case with Donna!

You read a lot about the child with Aspergers not being able to make or maintain friendships, sadly this is all to often the case for the child’s parents too! Its something you read far less about, who wants to admit that as a grown arse woman you struggle to make or maintain friendships! Well, I’m not ashamed to state that, “Yes I find it extremely bloody hard!” Why?  Many people Just fail to understand Little man and a good nine times out of ten, they just can’t cope with his challenging ways! 

As for the aspect of making friends, this never seems to happen when out and about with the children. Fellow parents tend to look at myself & Little man before turning to gossip with the mothers in their group. Its like a whole room of eyes just on you! Have you ever felt that, the feeling that the whole room is looking at you? I have! Its something I feel daily! Every time I reach the school gate, go to the park or take the children to the soft play area. I feel it because normally the whole room is looking at me! 

Myself & little man can clear an entire park with our presence!  Oh yer… We could properly put you out of business, clearing almost any child friendly event presented to us. Does this make me sad! It breaks my bloody heart every-time I think about it. 

Do you know who makes me feel better at times like these? Donna! That’s the beauty of friendship!

Donna is like my sidekick, my backbone if you like, she keeps me strong and smiling. Donna isn’t just a friend who listens with real interest but supports and encourages me in anything I do… no matter how crazy (and I can be pretty crazy at times). She was by my side through Little man’s diagnosis, has attended & supported me through two court case’s when Little man was a school refuser, she has been there for nearly every meeting with his old mainstream school or the LEA, and she even attended the early bird course as she herself wanted to learn more!

One of my happier moments to our friendship was the day she held my hand as I pushed my youngest child into the world some eighteen months back. (Donna would likely state that held her hand I did not, referring to it as more of a squeeze that was so tight I almost cut of her blood circulation.) 

Donna is a woman who isn’t scared to share a day out with me and my children. (Even when I’ve arrange a sitter she encourages me to bring them along.) Donna has been present during some of little mans most challenging meltdowns, yet she’s never ran away leaving me to it, she’s encountered the stares form the public, chased Little man across a massive heath (yes he was determined to escape on a bus!), she’s talked him across a bridge when he was to frighten to move, she’s even patiently listens to his non-stop bus talk & constant singing of Bruno Mars hits! But best and most importantly of all… she loves and excepts him for the little boy that he is!

How amazing is that!! 

Post dedicated to my friend Donna Jordan to show my appreciation at having her in my life 

“Please Save me from the falling buildings”

13 May

It’s the 29 Th. April 2011 and the day of the Royal Wedding. Its getting late and has started to rain, within what seems like a second I’m wet through.

Stood on Waterloo bridge in bight red heels, “Heels I so, regret wearing!” I’m tired, becoming cranky and just wanna go home!

One problem! Little man wont cross the bridge.

Myself, a friend and my daughter had just started strolling across the bridge when little man shouted, “No, no, no! I’m not walking across that!” He stood very still with an expression of fear spread across his face. He shook his head repeatedly and started to mumble something which normally indicates his nervous.

Did I know he had a fear of this kind? Nope I truly didn’t! I can’t remember us ever having to walk over a bridge before (his fine with driving over them it’s just walking that presents a problem).

It hadn’t rained all day despite the predictions, the Royals married on a gorgeous sunny day. Well, that was in-till now! I was quickly losing the will to live as I tried desperately to persuade Little man to cross the bridge! The prospect of having to get the train one stop to avoid it was one I didn’t fancy having to contemplate. Then there was the fact I wanted to get a picture of the stunning views of the River Thames that I must say looked stunning on this particular night (despite the rain). The London Eye looked incredible, all lit up in blue and red, the colours of the union Jack in honor of the newly weds.

My friend took over and somehow after what seemed like ‘forever’ little man walked across the bridge.

The rain had stopped and despite how heavy it fell, it lasted no more than a mere 30 minutes (nonetheless it was enough time to soak an entire family)

The mission back to Waterloo east station would require us to walk past the London Eye. As we got nearer I suddenly realised another problem was about to unearth itsself! Little Man was now refusing to walk past the wheel. His anxiety levels rose and he become quite panicky.

“Please mum… I don’t want to walk past it, it’s to big, I’m scared!”

“What are you scared of darling?”

“What do you mean what am I scared off, I’m scared of that thing, that’s what I’m scared of!”

Well, didn’t that tell me!

This time there was no reasoning with the little guy and it was apparent by the frustration on my daughters face that she had now had enough and looked forward to a hot chocolate and her lovely warm bed. I looked at little man who now had his hands spread across his face in a desperate attempt to conceal his eyes from his surroundings, while shouting, “COME ON MUM, COME ON! ITS GOING TO FALL ON US IF WE DON’T GO RIGHT NOW, FOR *#*# *#*#”

Yes, bad language was flowing freely from the mouth of my little guy, he normally does when anxiety kicks in!

I knew from that moment we wouldn’t be walking past the beautifully lit London Eye and that this time not even my friend would be able to use her magic ways of persuasion, just as she had done on the bridge.

Now, did I know he feared the London Eye? No! However I had learnt through recent events that little man feared very tall buildings.

It was about three weeks pervious, when I decided to take the little dude on a visit to Canary Wharf during one of our ‘special transport days’ For those who are wondering what this crazy lady is chatting about, a ‘ special transport day’ involves little man super indulging in his special interest of transport by riding on the trains, tube, bus, dock-lands light rail, and not forgetting the clipper that jets across the River Thames into Greenwich or Westminster. Though this mum would like to see her little man splashing about at the swimming baths or playing with the other children in the park she wouldn’t have it any other way as seeing the enjoyment in his eyes makes it more than worth it (even if it does mean she has to be a transport enthusiast)

However once at Canary Wharf I could no longer see that same ‘enjoyment’ in my little mans eyes, Instead I saw fear. Stood amongst the skyscrapers Little man dropped to the pavement to the safety of the ground. I had never seen him react to anything in such a manner. I had clearly brought him to an environment that he could not tolerate.

Canary Wharf Isn’t to far from the London City airport and as a result the skies above see quite a bit of air traffic. As you can imagine this creates quite a noise as the sound of the aircraft bounces of the skyscrapers. This sent the little guy into an even bigger frenzy of panic.

As per-usual there were those that stopped for a look, this time it was different though, purely because my son wasn’t having a meltdown, this was in-fact a lot different, he was reacting like the terrified child he was instead of a child who come across as ‘challenging’ Nonetheless this was challenging for me, I still had to get him off the floor and back onto the tube.

Of course I succeeded but this wasn’t without lots of reassuring and encouragement. Back on the tube little guy questioned himself, he said he never thought he would be scared of buildings and couldn’t understand what went wrong! He said he was now feeling a little stupid. I explained that he shouldn’t feel stupid as it was a common occurrence, more than some may think. I wasn’t just trying to make the little guy feel better (even though this was of course my first priority), I was actually stating what I believed to be true, after all I was the same as a child. Once I explained to him that Mum had once felt that way, he really engaged and we discussed it all the way home.

It turns out that like me as a child, little man had felt dizzy and sick, his head went funny and his body wobbled! He even described a butterfly feeling inside his tum which he informs me was a very strange feeling. I think what he meant or at least tried to describe was the  feeling and  an experience of vertigo caused by his vestibular processing.

From the age of two I used to throw myself out of my buggy and lay on the floor every-time my mother or father pushed me past a bill-board poster. It took sometime for them to work out what was going on but they finally did, especially when my father took me on a crane where he worked and was presented with a little girl screaming her head off while shaking so forcefully that the crane wobbled (Well, at least that’s what my dad claimed *giggle*).

It’s funny as now I’m older I realise that I myself had quite a lot of sensory processing problems. I like my little man was and still am to some degree… tactile defensive!

You see, it’s not just the issue of fear here! This was a sensory issue for my little man. Well, it was defiantly a contribution of the two. Little man is also worried of a terrorist attack, something I should have considered before taking him there! Skyscrapers, aeroplanes and the feeling of being out of control on top of the vertigo was a tad too much for Little man while at Canary Wharf and seemed to be that same way now.

After a long day and night I decided that we would not walk past the London Eye, after all he had already faced his fear on the bridge (proud mummy)

I wrote this blog as I wanted to show how such issues can pop up out of nowhere, how it’s important to be aware of the possible triggers of anxiety, the achievements our children can make (the bridge), and also how I see a little bit of me in my little guy! No I’m not an Aspie but I’m his mum and his bound to be a little like me after all 🙂

It’s funny as a child I considered myself a bit of a nut job! what with the need to bite my sleeves even though it drove me mad, the fact i couldn’t deal with polo neck jumpers and school shirts, the way I hated G-strings in my early twenties lol (comfort babe is me) Oh, there are many more and I assume such issues of sensory processing disorder (SPD) were non-existent when I was a kid (now i feel old) Maybe if they were I may well hold the label, but then again I guess many of us would.

Aspirations Or Clever Financial Alterations! You Decide

12 Mar

We waited and waited and on the 9th, March 2011 we finally got to see  what the Coalition had in store for us in way of the ‘Green Paper’ titled ‘Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability’


Talking as a parent i’m pleased to see that the  proposed education, health and social care plans (EHSCP) that are planed to replace statements of special educational needs will still give parents the same legal protection that a statement brings. The proposed plan would be aimed at 0-25 year olds not just school aged children. The plans will also involve support in the areas of health and social care as well as education, something that has been missing for too long! However I do wonder how this will affect those already with statements especially in terms of funding and the talk of allocated key-workers. Surely the statements will be reviewed in the same way as the EHSCP and so forth! The statements will therefore need to be maintained in-till the child reaches 25 and be amended to include the health and social care aspect.

Another proposal I welcome is the prospect of being given more choice on where our children are educated. I know many will accuse the coalition of  creating barriers to inclusive education in mainstream schools, but I am a firm believer that mainstream is not always the right way. People must remember that all children are different regardless of their special educational needs or disability, Just because society thinks that every child with sen/disability should learn beside their peers, In reality this isn’t easy for some (My son included) I believe that mainstream was seriously affecting his mental health which is the case for many children. I’m also very interested to hear more on the proposal of individualised budgets with greater parental control giving us a voice that allows us to express views on what services and provision such funding should provide. This is proposed to come into action by the year 2014. In till such date I will remain completely open mind. My mother used to tell me, “If something seems to good to be true, then it probably is.” For that reason I dare to get my hopes up.

Some maybe shaking there heads branding me a pessimist! Well, they would be correct, I’m just that!  Sadly it’s true but myself like many others have been made to feel this way when it comes to SEN & education. It’s my opinion that things will never be easy and we are used to battling for every thing our children need. I for one would be a little shocked to discover that I actually had some time on my hands to do other things instead of battling the system by way of phone calls, meetings, emailing, letter writing, campaigning and so on…  I really struggle to get my head around the idea that parents will be able to have an active part in the decision process surrounding their child’s provision & funding. We have to drag the local authority by the arse all the way to the tribunal just to get a little TA time or use of a laptop! So if this does plan out I for one will fill a little strange being suddenly heard and valued (Well, valued maybe pushing it a tad to far!).

Though some of the proposals look good on paper, I’ve been asking myself , “Are these just words being sugar-coated to look sweeter then they really are?” I mean, let’s not forget that the government are in the process of making huge cuts which will affect many of the services that have a role to play within this very paper. How will they be able to provide what is expected of them? Another important question to ask is, “How much are the Coalition planing to save through the implementation of the green paper?”

I’ve also been thinking about the legal side of things. Given the position I’m currently in (Advising parents on their appeal rights on LEAs sen decisions) I see a lot of re-training heading my way if the green paper is fully implemented. The law would need to under go a radical overview, with large areas, especially section 26 and 27 of the Ed act 96,  needing to be rewritten from scratch and the publication of a new code of practice.

But one of the biggest concerns for me is the proposal of a “single, multi-agency assessment” on the same day, rather than separate assessments on separate days. As much as I welcome a speeder assessment process then that of the current statutory assessment (10 week assessment, with the overall process from start to finish taking 26 weeks) but to propose just ‘one single assessment’ with the involvement of all professionals (and possibly even voluntary agencies) is quite honestly barbaric!

The paper has empathised that those children considered to have the most complex needs, will be the children assessed and issued with an education, health and social care plan, therefore how do they propose to assess a child with such complex needs in one single assessment? Children on the autism spectrum will be just one group of  many children who’s needs may be completely missed due to the child’s particular mood, environment, behaviour, anxiety , etc., on the chosen day of the assessment. I know that my own child would not cope with such an assessment, what with all them eyes on him and questions fired at him! What would it even involve? Are we talking about sending an autistic child (or any child for that matter) into a room with a large number of professionals sat with inquisitive prying eyes, clip boards, and a list of questions as long as their arm? If yes, I guess they can expect a shock at the response they get! It just isn’t going to happen… Surely complex means ‘COMPLEX!’ my definition of  such a word would be, “A complex issue or range of problems that take time to fully resolve” The government is forever banging on about children being placed on the sen register at the drop of a hat, well, I can see a situation being created leading to children dropping of it just as quick!  My son can just about cope with an assessment with one or two professional, any more then this rather than being chucked off the register, he will likely be labelled as a child who is dangerous because he will likely hit out as an attempt to escape the highly stressful situation that he has been placed in. Although I agree it’s not ideal him or any other child with sen having to undergo a range of assessments over a course of time, the one day method wont make things any better but a great deal worse!

Let’s be honest would you or I enjoy being sat in a room with a range of people staring at you like some caged animal reporting your every-more?

26 weeks is way too long but one day! Seriously there is no in-between with this government. I mean do the they really have the child’s best interest at heart?

We have to ask ourselves, has the green paper been created with the  ambition of improving the life chances open to children with sen, and  to offer better support for family members, or is it really their ambition to do away with essential services and provisions with little uproar, while at the same time attempting to reduce the number of  children that are placed on the SEN register?

It’s those children considered to have less complex needs that I’m  seriously worried for!  What defines less complex needs? I’ve spoken to many parents hundreds in-fact that have battled in the past  and present with both schools & local authorities to prove just how complex their child’s needs actually are! I know from past experience that schools won’t except this in-till your child is pushed to the point of self-destruction or has become a complete failure at everything due to the stress they have been placed under. Parents of children with Aspergers or high functioning autism find this to be the case a huge proportion of the time. School’s and LEAs say the same thing over and over again, “Your child isn’t an underachiever, therefore warrants no provision to be made for him/her!” Yet there they are whacking their heads against Walls with the frustration of the work load or noise levels in the classroom, they are always running into social difficulties, becoming isolated from their peers and even excluded on a daily/weekly  basis. It’s ludicrous!

By doing away with school action and school action plus I fear these children will suffer a great deal more than they are currently made too already! What with schools being able to commission the services and put the provision in place that these children are said to need, in this current financial climate is like playing with fire. Much more detail and reassurance is needed and although I know that we are once more welcome to give our views on the paper, I just feel given the length of delay in publishing the paper, including some finer details within in it as to make things a little clearer would have been most welcome!

Ministers have to give the public more information in regard to the finer details that make up the aspirations of the green paper. Including the legal aspects, cost (including how much this new system will put back in to the governments pocket in way of savings) and very importantly the statutory duties of those involve

To some parents this paper means nothing! To others it’s the prospect of a better further for their child in both the early years and that of early adult life. Making provision for children aged 0-25 in all areas of education, health and social care is long awaited. Will this be the start of something promising or just another unfulfilled promise by another Government?…. Only time will tell!

 

The fight to get it right

27 Jan

It’s not easy being a parent, the choices we are faced with can be overly overwhelming. For our choices impact greatly on our children. We are forever making decisions for them, sometimes it’s done with ease… What to dress them in as little ones, what to get them for Christmas & birthdays, what time is bedtime and how much pocket money to allocate. Other times these decisions are far bigger… choosing a doctor, dentist, vaccinate or not vaccinate, school placement, diet, when to start increasing independence… Although many parents find these decision hard, having to make them for a child with AS or ASD is daunting. Choosing the right dentist for example… If you get this wrong and the dentist is somewhat ignorant when it comes to AS/ASD the impact on the child can be huge… a display of public meltdowns everytime they have a checkup isn’t desired. having experience on parenting a child both on and off the spectrum has highlighted the difference my decisions can have on the children.

I now hold this paper in my hand that is full of decisions that would make up my child’s educational further. Yet these were decisions that were not made by me but someone who had never even met my child but was based on the observations made by others and the conclusions they drew. Some of this came from doctors who may not know us personally but on a professional basis for sometime, others were educational professionals who to be honest don’t really know him at all despite his existence at his previous mainstream school for the past five years, the EP who had only meet him the once and an AWO who had always considered it her lifes mission to prosecute me for non school attendance instead of looking at the “whole” picture (how helpful when your little aspie is ripping your hair out from the roots as u try and get him out the street door to go to school!) Then you have the outreach workers who have met him once or twice and despite giving such good advice u still feel a tad concerned as your the parent and it is out your control. The only chance I had to voice my concerns was through the parental advice I would give that I was sure to make both detailed and impactful, not missing a point… Fifteen, A4 pages is a detailed report that I hoped would make some impact.

For all those who have not yet gathered what the hell I’m yabbering on about.The paper I am referring to was the paper so many families fight so hard to hold but are never given that chance. It was little mans proposed statement of special educational needs… and to be 100% honest it was mostly a load of rubbish!!

I’m not no blonde dizzy bimbo who has a head full of air, I’m also no Einstein … but this statement was ignominious in it’s current form. Yes it could be used to access a “special school” but in terms of providing him with support it was useless, the provisions were largely made up from common sense! and though many teachers need to be told this in way of a statement, there was so much more they should have provided! Did I expect anything less? “No!” yet it would have been great to be surprised, but hay we can dream!

So what was the problem? Did it not describe all little mans needs in part 2, was the description not detailed so as not to leave any doubt to what his needs/difficulties were, did the objectives in part 3 not cover all his current needs, did the provision in part 3 not meet the needs of the objectives and provide provision for every difficulty listed in part 2 or was the provision not specific and quantified leaving no room for doubt at who would provide it, monitor it, how long it would be given (hours per week) and how often he would receive it? Maybe it was the use of wolly fluffy words like: “reguler, access to, opportunities, encourged to” that were my problem?

Funny enough it was all the above!!

Yes, every possible issue was an issue! The appendices was filled with advice from those I mentioned above & funny enough a huge proportion of this advice was actually good. His own senco had however wrote hers in a way that was considered by myself as pure ignorance (she just seemed to make him out like he was a brat) however his behaviour outreach teacher gave a fantastic report and great advice. Reading it back today it’s clear to see that regardless of her only having known little man four or five months, she “got it” she wasn’t a specialist autism teacher but at times I wondered. She was in fact an outreach from the PRU the school tried to place little man in (you know the one that had that who “lock down” style going on) The special schools outreach teacher wrote a reasonably good report which given that they had only observed him the once was pretty good (thing was the school she was based later said they could not meet little mans needs when we tried obtaining an emergency placement) the communications and outreach (ASD “specific” outreach team) are always super and it showed in there report. AWO “yep that’s attendance welfare officer to you and me” wrote half a page that just consisted of his attendance issues and not much else ( no surpises there then) As for the SALT well, I think obtaining a report from 2008 isn’t much use to anyone…. The fact that the school attached his ADOS report (autistic dignostic obsevation schedule) that was carried out by a ASD specialist SALT in 2009 as part of their evidence attached to their advice, the LEA still igonored it and chose to go with the 2008 report. This just shows how sly these foxes are. It’s my understanding the LEA are meant to be following the Cop (code of practice) they should therefore obtain reports and advice given on his most current difficulties, if they want to use a report that was taken from a SALT who visited the school when little man had little issues… was somewhat aloof at the time and just happily faded into the background. Just because it stated he had no SAL problems then I’m inclined to insist they also use reports from 2007 detailing traits that warrant no provision today but did then. These traits are no longer an issue as they have been replaced by others. my point is… Do u think the LEA would have used the report if it indicated high cost provision should be made? The ADOS was clearly backed up by all additional advice including the EP so it was only reasonable it was used instead. If not another SAL assessment should have been ordered. As for the EP report I was surprised… I had heard the horror stories regarding them writing reports that were not very beneficial due to the fact they were employed by those wanting to draw out a budget statement. She gave a pretty good report and picked up on problems such as his sensory sensitivities and literal understanding of language.

Despite the fact most of the reports reflected one another the LEA choose to leave difficulties unlisted, or just including them in part 2 only to not provide for them in part 3. I love how the parental view only gets a small dedicated sections comprising of two or three short sentences… Yet we are the best professionals to ask when it comes to our children, no one knows our child better then it’s parents, no matter how much they think they do!

Well, I’ve spent a little short of two long weeks making sure these “decisions” that were made with little control from me are amended by writing my objections and suggested amendments. I also made my prefernce for a school placement in part 4. Its fair to say that this was the hardest report I’ve ever written… I cried, got frustrated, laughed like a loony, feel asleep, swore out loud and researched a stack of reading of reading material while I typed… It was one emotional process because it is an important one, and having taken this long to get here it had to be right

If statement were for sale, this statement could be brought at our local Tesco store (British supermarket for those more far a shore) you would find the statement on the economy shelf displaying the words Tesco Value range or if sold in sainsbury your looking at the basics section.

Money, it all boils down to money… To them the statement has to be in line with the use of the LEAs efficient resources!
To us that means your screwed because the LEA are tight fisted numb nuts preferring funds to go to the most needy causes like student artist who receive a fat hand out so the LEA can display “pointless ugly art” around the borough.

So here’s my advice to any parent just starting their journey…
… Get ready for the ride of your life. Walking into the world of SEN is like riding the worlds tallest fastest bumpiest never ending rollercoaster… Once your on it’s pretty hard to get off!

Tears, Buses and awards

9 May

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated on the subject of life at home and school. So heres the latest.

HOME

The behaviour chart seems to now be having a sight effect on little man. He didn’t really care about stickers before but since his sister Alice got her bonus reward of £10 on top of her normal pocket-money little man has sat up and took note. But my did he go on and on with his blandishments and pleas for the same reward as his sister! Yep mummy was a BAD MOTHER and he went on to more inappropriate name calling, So much so it’s better I don’t write them down here in the event I may offend others. He spent the whole day till the next day swapping from one technique to the other. None being particularly helpful to his case but nevertheless he consider it to be wroth a try! Well I am exceptionally pleased to report that despite his tantrums escalating into full on meltdowns and me heading to bed early hours with a pack of painkillers in hand due to receiving a verbal head bashing for hours  I stood my ground showing no mercy and indeed not giving in.

Little man has decided to put us through the hell of bedtime once more. As most know already getting little man into a bed time routine is hellish. Yes children with ASD like structure and routine but when it comes to bed then well a lot of that flies out the window. It’s like the Melatonin has stopped working. I know he can over ride the medication but he often goes with the flow resulting in him getting some much-needed sleep. The thing with children like Little man is there tends to be no in between. Your tired or you’re not! Your staving hungry or not hungry at all. There seems to be no build up to anything little man does. When he goes to bed and to sleep he just goes, One moment his wide awake the next his sleeping. And when his awake well it’s the same his WIDE  awake. Being his parent  who is observing his recent changes in behaviours and reluctance to sleep I have come to the conclusion that the worries little man faces surrounding school and his continued obsession with buses are both contributing factors. School is up and down for the little man right now. He recently had a physical fight with his “best friend” Alex that had escalated as a result of a play fight which took place in the classroom. Little man ended up with a pretty nasty mark behind his ear. I will write more regarding school a tad further on in this post right now I want to write a little more about Little mans obsessive behaviours and how these are now beginning to affect everyday life. Little man used to like both Trains and buses but it’s easy to see that now buses are top of his interest list. He lives and breaths buses. I’m not extracting when I say buses are his LIFE. From the moment he wakes till that last moment of conciousness they are fixated firmly  on his in brain, No wonder he has trouble working in school. It’s become very intense and he is very focused on anything resembling buses. His Father got him up and dressed and out the house for school with only minor problems. All this because of a promise made by Dad. Get up and ready for school and I will take you on the bus. Not just any bus but the 194 to west Croydon and back after school. How in god’s name he got through the school day with that extent of excitement mounting throughout the day surprises me. Don’t get me wrong I’m pleased he has an interest and what the hell buses aint that bad a thing to like BUT it’s just very over powering at this present time. Yes we can use the buses as a reward to engage him in displaying good behaviour at home and school but at times I wanna scream “SOD THE BLOODLY BUSES” No I haven’t done this but I’m not denying the moments been close. Having an important conversation with your child only for them to start beeping like bus doors is more than annoying but please go into any conversation with little man with caution because the possibility of him dominating it with his “special interest” is pretty likely. I have been lucky enough to be excepted into a course which I think is run by the ASD outreach in my area called Early bird plus. It’s a new course as it used to just be the early bird which was for parents of very young newly diagnosed children. Now its up to 8 years ( Little man is 9 but thankfully It was over looked ) It is fantastic it’s a small very personal course with about 10 parents but we are all given the opportunity to take two others one being family or close friend the other being a professional from school. I have researched and read a ton of books relating to little man’s Aspergers in order to educate myself but there is always room to learn more. It’s great meeting like-minded parents and the organisers are so nice and more than understanding. I loved that you could see it was more a passion to bring awareness then a job. I got to voice my main concerns at present when It was my turn to speak about my child. Well as you may have guessed School and obsessive behaviours were at the top of my list. These were followed by concerns of bullying towards his sister and use of inappropriate language already after the first class I feel a much more positive person and parent. Looking forward to the coming Tuesdays when I plan to attend with a close friend who relates and is non judgmental towards my little man.

SCHOOL

Well we had the Meeting and lets just say it wasn’t what I expected but then again what did I expect? What I was most disappointed with was the fact it was only the headteacher , the Senco/assisting headteacher and Little mans class teacher who I must add has always been extremely happy to discuss my sons progress and he really seems to care what happens to him. What a shame he has a classroom of 30 something other children. I took a friend and some on from the parent partnership service. Yes I expected a good deal more professionals to attend, We had already postponed and one of the reasons was in order for it to be convenient for others. Regardless of this disappointing turn out the meeting went a head as planed. There was a lot we didn’t agree on and a reluctance to discuss past events given some were only weeks if not days ago. I do wish I had been so much stronger as at the very end I did cry a little. I tried so bloody hard not to but I’m just human at the end of the day and this is my child we are discussing. It’s not easy having him excluded and as his mother being powerless to stop it. The parent in partnership worker felt the meeting was extremely tensed we were in need of someone outside the cycle to help the strained relationship rebuild as yes it was clear to all there is a huge breakdown between myself and the school. She did suggest a mediator which I’m good with however the school seemed a little less keen but you never know maybe. Well the good news is that little man now has good provisions and accommodations in place. He has his own TA for the best part of his structured day ( sadly not much of unstructured time where I consider much of the problem to be ), his own workstation with laptop and visual timetable. He has been taken of the going for gold system as it isn’t working for him. The going for good is a system setup for every class. Each child starts on a gold card and throughout the day can have it turned due to bad behaviour, Once your on RED your out that class and mum and dad are getting a phone call or letter. Well as you can guess little man hit red a lot of the time. I would go as far as to say he sometimes had his card on red before morning play. So he now has his own behaviour chat and with it his own rules which to me seems better for now. We have also started a contact book which seems a good move as I can warn them of his morning moods and report anything I feel will distract his day at school. I also get to read how things are going and see his progress daily. This is something I wish we had started long ago. So yes at present the level of support is good but the Headteacher said the problem is that the current level of support on offer is not for a long period as the resources and staff it uses hence the reason an educational assessment of needs is needed. But the likely hood of this being grunted is low and this was something we were both in agreement on.

In relation to exclusions have they stopped? Well I really thought that progress had been made and yes exclusion were being avoided. On the return from the Easter half term things seemed pretty good but nothing lasts forever and he was excluded on the 5th May for hitting the teacher. It was said he threaten to hit her then swung his arm and his hand hit her face ( This is what the letter stated ) And then there was a number of other reasons basically the same ones as always so lets skip that and go back to the hitting afterall that’s pretty massive stuff. Little man again got upset claiming to be playing with the teacher he said he threaten in a playful way and the teacher was laughing he said he did put his had on her face but didn’t slap her it was soft just playing. It’s my opinion that my son has problems relating with adults in a different way from children. He don’t see a difference and if anything sees adults as peers. He regards a certain TA as his buddy. This lead to another exclusion where it was said he hit them, Again he says it wasn’t meant this way he was playing. The only positive thing is that it’s for the shortest time possible this being just one day. Still will exclusion have a good effect on little mans behaviour? I don’t thing so, It hasn’t so far, why now? We still have to reintegrate him back into school which is always a difficult one as he has to attend part of the reintegration meeting which mostly gives him the hump as he wants to go to class and not sit and discuss past behaviours. Needless to say this has to be done and is an important part of reintegration but that still don’t make the situation any easier.

So school has been a very mixed bag these past weeks but I do wish to end on a positive as often this isn’t the case. Well Little man received an award at school for his mathematics. The ward meant a certificate which stated Math genius. It was presented in school assembly a place little man often struggles resulting in him shouting out and disrupting the whole school, so it was nice knowing something really positive was taking place. I was so proud I almost cried when he showed me. Ok that same day he had a classroom fight and kept leaving the class without permission and was a bit disruptive in class but to say I was proud was an understatement. To see him with that certificate was so much more for me then it maybe would have been to another parent with a child presented with the same award. I’m not saying they wouldn’t be proud of course they would but for little man its massive! I can not tell you the last time he brought a certificate home. His sister yer all the time which made this extra special it was like a rare gemstone. I have displayed it proudly on the fridge and I’m hoping it’s given some company really soon.

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?

Never give up on the fight! The future seems bright.

25 Feb

OMG did anyone read my latest post to little to late? Well things have moved a long a little more! To be honest I’m still in shock, I’m happy, relived and also a little worried and skeptical!

Reasons for all the above is this evening at 5.30 pm I received a call from little mans deputy head. She rang to inform me that little man would be spending time out of class tomorrow. He was on a red card as he had been rude to staff using swear words, then running around the school like a headless chicken. I once again expressed my deep and worrying concerns for little man future. I know that it’s not all down to his condition but most of it is. I’m concerned that taking him out of his classroom again will make him worse as his breaking his routine. Yes he needs to understand consequences for his actions but I still feel that it’s unfair his punished as he is in need of extra help and support and is not receiving it. For these reasons alone I see it unfair! Just then she tells me that from her point of view little man would benefit from a statement as she thinks he is struggling to cope in mainstream school. Hang the hell on let me pick up my jaw from the floor! A STATEMENT!! This is what I have wanted for two long years this is what I spend all my free time fighting for! Why have I been told for so long it’s not an option. I’m told that now she has seen his formal diagnosis she can now offer more support. She said that they are not able to cope with a child with little mans level of needs. He requires one on one but their staff are not trained to deal with his condition. She goes on to say that he would benefit from a special school and secondary school would be a challenge for him. Basically she was saying all the things I had said before over and over again.

I know that the school have done nothing but supple  me with stress. I have had no support and have battled with them over anything and everything. Yes They have really messed up by saying they never received his formal diagnosis when the evidence  that they did is so strong it makes  them look silly. Looking at all these factors I see that maybe they are worried that the Court will see my side and realise  that yes they have failed a child with ASD. Maybe that’s why we have this sudden big turn around but at the same time does it matter what motive is behind it. If  the end result would mean  little man gets the long-awaited support he so needs ?  A statement = A new school which means his needs will be meet by professionals qualified  in dealing with children with social communication disorders. Yes the treatment we have received is worse than poor but I’m starting to get used to this treatment. I found that once Someone listens and takes note they suddenly leave and I’m back to Where I started. The Deputy said that she will tell the school SENCO that she supports my choice in getting an assessments for a statement of needs and from this day on they must offer better support to little man. All of this I will request in writing as who knows what will happen if she decides to leave and I’m not prepared to go though it again.

It was only a few short days ago I took a copy of his formal diagnosis into the school office to be copied. If I hadn’t of done so the deputy assures me that yes he would have been excluded today. It makes me so angry that his diagnosis has only just began to offer a positive effect on decisions made about his welfare within the school. His had the condition confirmed well over a year It should never of gotten this far. What a bloody mess it all become.

We spoke for what seemed like ages. She tells me that the promise of extra help and the long-awaited backing for a statement will not be broken. She is a newish deputy head and this has to be the first time I have really dealt with her and I’m really hoping she is one in a million and keeps to her word and doesn’t let the system fail my little man again. I’m assured by her that the parent will get the biggest imput when applying for a statement. I’m told all the basic information and know its a long road and a hard one but once I have reached the end it will be a great and satisfying achievement. I’m advised to get support from our local GP and DR at kaledoscope where  he was diagnosed all this plus the support of the school will better his chances in gaining a statement. For the first time in ages I feel that things are looking brighter and little mans further in education could be a much happier one 🙂 It’s a feeling I don’t recognized as the situation has never reached this point and at times it did seem pointless. I told the deputy that I felt the school made me out to be a bad parent and all I ever wanted was what she was offering me now SUPPORT. Wow it cost nothing it’s free nothing flashy or over the top who would think that something that seemed so little and silly would mean so so much to me. Support was all I wanted and I wouldn’t ask for anything else in the world right now. We speak about Alice and how it’s all affecting her. The deputy says she finds Alice a very pleasant child who has perfect manners and has grade A behaviour with this she knows that my parenting skills are not an issue when it comes to Giovanni. Wow she must not have read the statements from the educational welfare officer. She made it seem that it was all down to my parenting skills, she made it seem as if I was lazy and didn’t care about his education I was chosing not to take him to school. Then It went on and on about his great behaviour when at school and the fact he displayed no signs of ASD when he was there. Ok she looks pretty silly now with everything that has been going on lately. Well this child with no problems has been excluded a number of times and his deputy head thinks mainstream school is not the right place for him. Yes shes phoned me and told me that she has only just become aware that his experiencing problems and that the school are not coping. I’m guessing she will be doing her best to think up excuses for her statement looking a little less than perfect. Oh well she has a few weeks to come up with something.

Well I just had to share this break through with you all. I’m praying that the end of this chapter is nearing and life for little man is on the up. God knows it’s about time.

Unlucky for some.

19 Feb

I have been stressed, moody and on edge so much these last few days but who can blame me.

My life is a soap opera right now. Why is it that god decides to land so much on one person at one time. You can guarantee if one thing goes wrong  more problems will follow. Yes there is the huge issues at little mans school, The added pressure of an upcoming court trail and now to make things worse my home is undergoing massive plastering works involving knocking all the hallway and landing walls back to brick. Can you imagine the amount of dust and dirt? Of course we could not remain living in the house. Harley is just a baby and Little man and his sensory problems well it would have made him crazy.!! But being away from home has also caused its own set of problems. Yes my mother who we are staying with only lives streets away but it could be miles away for all it matters to little man. His routine has gone out the window and his finding it hard to deal with ( So am I ) As always his sister is paying the price for his emotional discomforts. Yep his on the war path and poor Alice is the target. I have been keeping a close eye on him as his been lashing out at her and it’s making everyone really unhappy. I have tried sitting him down and explaining why we need to be here and why it’s important we pull together and fight it out but to him it’s just a massive inconvenience and I have caused his life to tip upside down. Whats worse is dad is not here to help with his melt down as his watching the house why the workmen are there.

I  myself  had a major melt down. The workmen were messing around and not doing the agreed works. These are works that have been rebooked so many times due to problems with poor communication within the housing. It got so bad I was in the middle of a complaints investigation and that was the reason they had agreed to fix all of the problems within the house over a three-day period. Well he was saying nope that’s not what ive been told to do with every single thing I pointed to. I was getting so angry and had to get a manager to come back around. In the end I throw everyone out and phoned the complaints officer in tears. I told him apart from once again not carrying out agreed works I was being spoken to in such a rude manner ( The manager ) He sorted it after I threatened to phone the local paper.  Three children one being a new-born and one on the autistic spectrum living in dangerous conditions would make a great headline. He knew I had a ton of pictures to back me up and having already appeared in the paper after our ceiling collapsed in April 2009 I wasn’t joking. So now all the agreed works would be carried out plus anything else I needed doing. This was a wonderful outcome but meant works would continue for a longer period of time. This could be at least two weeks. A horrid thing for my little man. What an adjustment he would have to undertake. I also didn’t want this to affect him getting off to school of a morning as they return after the half term break on Monday. I would also have to go home and clean like crazy as the dust would be to overpowering for any of the children. When I popped home yesterday I was in tears the house was wrecked. If little man could only see his room he would freak. Worse of all the workmen had let us down again! The lazy gits had not covered anything with dust sheets I really don’t know if all our belongings can be saved 😦

Being at my mums has had an upside. Mum has watched the kids a few times giving me the chance to concentrate on finding a solicitor ( something I was having a huge problem doing ) It seemed all the firms I rang didn’t deal with that type of case I was faced with going it alone. But just when I fault things could not get much worse A solicitor rang and said he would help me. I have an appointment Monday. I really hope that he thinks we can win. I feel sick thinking that school are going to get me prosecuted when they are to blame.

Well lets hope the weekend brings smiling faces 🙂 🙂

YOU CAN’T PUNISH ME FOR BEING ME.

14 Feb

Stress, stress and more stress. My  three major words of the week. To say things have been a little crazy is an understatement, Its been a rollercoaster!

Been meaning to write this post since mid-week, but things don’t always go as you would like them to. All parents can tell you that autism or no autism! Well lets see, Where I begin this rant is beyond me. How about I start by filling you in on whats been happening with school ? Ok here it goes. I warn you all it’s not pleasant been a sodding nightmare to be honest.

Monday I receive a call from the school receptionist. Talk about speak to me like something you find on the bottom of your shoe . Well I’m used to her rudeness but  I wasn’t ready for what she had to say. WHAT!! You want me to collect little man but it’s only 2 pm. His doing WHAT ? Great bloody great! I’m told by miss rude that his swearing, being rude to adults, running out of school, playing football in the corridors, not following instructions and well I better stop there. I’m guessing you are getting the picture. I’m told this has been going on since lunch break ( He always has problems at break times ) His now sitting in the head teachers office and still not cooperating . I rush down there leaving my 9 week old son with a friend to find him running a muck. Oh my how has it come to this? I know something has to have set him off, something has caused his behavior to erupt in sure an extreme way, even I was a little shocked at his tone and lack of concern for my presence. We have tried everything says the head. I ask if his teacher is in or has another teacher been filling in ? Turns out his teacher is off sick. I knew their was a underlining reason for this don’t they see there always is! His frustrated, over stimulated and lashing out in the only way he knows. We talk a little outside the office Little man wont stay put and keeps opening the door and shouting silly nonsense to be honest I just wanna get him out of there now. It’s decided that tomorrow he would return as I make myself heard when I state yes his behavior seems to be bad and getting worse every break time! Yes he kicks of when his teacher is not in! and I know his rudeness is totally unacceptable. But very big but I must add, You have said a statement is not really an option so In my opinion neither is exclusion. With this we leave and myself and  Little man have a long firm chat on the way back home.

Tuesday little man returns to school his told he will need to face a punishment for his behaviour yesterday. Thing is he really don’t care! I have told them that keeping him in through the whole of break is not acceptable. Reason is it’s all the time I discovered he rarely ventures out to the playground. Not through choice but because as a punishment for something or another his to stay inside. Angry yes I am. Can’t you see open them eyes people , My son suffers from a social communication disorder he has ASPERGER’S for the hundredth time. Is attending school with asd a punishable offence? You can’t punish my son for being who he is its unacceptable and damn right disgusting to be doing this every day. If your playground and dinner hall assistants are not experienced in autism that’s not our faut it’s yours. I had a meeting with his class teacher and the latest in a long line of Senco’s. I’m sure I have spoken about this meeting in a pervious post, and this post is long enough as it is. Basically Senco tells me they have no written document of little mans formal diagnosis in their eyes there never was one ( a diagnosis that is) Shocking!!  his been diagnosed well over a year what a sham. So his been having no extra help at all. Then shock number two. A statement aint going to happen. Well assess him and we will see. No his to clever. He may not write his work on paper but will answer sums beyond his years by shouting out in class. But if his not putting pen to paper how is this relevent. I already know my son is a clever clogs but clever clogs sometimes need help to. A statement would mean an assistant could keep a watch full eye over him at break times. Or some one can work on a one to one basis with him and help encourage him to write his answers  down instead of just being verbal. It’s easy to see things could only improve. With this his behavior is band to improve ! No his to clever and even through they express to me his behavior is so unacceptable that excluding him could be an action they may consider taking in the near future his behaviour would need to be worse in order to statement! I KNOW JAW DROPPING REACTION FROM MANY.  Well it’s Tuesday 11. 30 am and I am just running out the door to attend an appointment for the baby. The phone rings. Have you Guessed ? Wasn’t hard was it! It’s the school . This time it’s not that receptionist but the head himself. His acting in the same way as he did yesterday and I don’t think it would be wise if I let him loose a lunch. Ok you want to keep him in no way! I have no time to discuss this now im busy with that I put the phone down  and in total disbelief I carry on with my day. 12.40 pm Lunch time he rings back. You will have to collect him take him home for lunch and then escort him back for 1.10 pm How the hell was I going to put baby in pram scoot down to school get him home feed him and return him all in 30 minuets. The school is just a few roads down but this is totally inconvenient so I say sorry but I’m to far away you will have to deal with him. I’m being taken to court for five months of poor attendance from june 2009. Now u keep trying to get rid of him. He excerpts im to far from home ( something I call a white lie ) but goes on to say excluding little man for lunch time everyday may be the way forward. Shocked I hang up and as I try to collect my thoughts my mind races, blood boils and I reach for my Mac to get some advice no way they can do that. I can’t  be expected to do that everyday. How could I plan my day around that. NO NO THIS WAS MY TIME,  THIS WAS MUMMY TIME, NO ONE WAS GONNA TAKE THAT AWAY.  NOT GOING TO ASSESS HIS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS,  HE DONT NEED A STATEMENT THEN DEAL WITH IT.

Wednesday 10th February 2010

Court date.. Stood in front of three magistrates and pleaded not guilty in respect of poor  school attendance of Little man and Alice.

Will need to get a case together and  a solicitor to represent me. I am told this offence can carry the prison sentence.

I read though witness statements from the Attendance & welfare officer and was horrified in discovering they have gone as far as  to twist the truth and even state I said and did things that had never happen. Like I told the support worker they assigned me from sage educational trust that little man has hallucinations after giving him his medication and would write math all over his walls! And In the 3 years she has worked with us she had never seen this behavior. OMG Number 1 yes I said he writes math all over his bedroom walls ( she has never seen his bedroom ) I however did not ever state that he has ever experienced hallucinations a rare side effect of melatonin ( I have also just discovered that it’s a side effect of his medication from the statement ).  Secondly she has visited me at the most 4 times. Where in Gods name has she got three bloody years from?

Trail date set for 30th March 2010 at 1.30 pm

Wish me luck

Petition for more services and support, SEN assessments and statements for children with autism and Aspergers in UK primary school’s.

Being feed up with all the above and a massive list of issues not listed I have created this petition for the prime minster Mr Gordon Brown. The petition has had a lot of interest from other parents and careers of children on the autistic spectrum. It is being featured on many social networks, Groups and autism forums. If your one of the many wonderful supporters that has signed your name or passed this link on to family and friends I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If we are not the voice of justice for our beautiful children who else will be. Lets do something now before it’s to late, they have grown up and as a result of poor education are suffering in the adult world.

SADLY ONLY BRITISH CITIZENS OR EXPATIATES ARE ABLE RO SIGN. HOWEVER PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP.

Deadline to sign is 11th April 2010

Aspergersboy petition 2010

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