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Home-School Partnership- Or Dictatorship?

Posted on: March 23, 2012

***Guest Blogger***

I am away for the week with my family so have asked for Guest bloggers to write a post relating to Autism in my absence. The wording/presentation of the blog is that of the Guest Blogger and not mine. I really hope you enjoy these blog posts & thank you all for reading in advance.

L x

Todays guest blog is written by A.

Firstly, a little about me and my son. I’ll refer to myself as A, and my Son as C. C is a year 2 pupil and has an autism diagnosis. He is verbal but has all the usual problems you’d expect with a child with ASD (well, saying that, we never really know what to expect one day from the next, do we?!) The reason for the anonymity is because during one particularly heated meeting with C’s school i was accused of bad-mouthing them on facebook (which i hadn’t, and my account is set to private), so i thought it’s best safe that sorry! 😉

From speaking with other parents whose ASD kids attend mainstream school, it seems a common occurance that these schools promise the world then fall short on delivering. Despite recommendations from the OT and Ed.Psych, and promising to make a start on C’s statement, more than a whole year later, it still has not been applied for! It seems mainstream schools bang on about the importance of a home-school partnership and they’re quick to promise putting provisions in place to help the child, yet as soon as the child has a bumpy day or even has a good day, the school feel the intervention is no longer required and withdraws it- leading to more unwanted behaviour and meltdowns. Since starting Year 2, there has been lots of improvement however, though they still really don’t get him & punish him for things he doesn’t understand or cannot help. It feels as though between the hours of 9am-3pm, I have absolutely no say over what happens to my child & he is at the mercy of how understanding and ‘lenient’ his teachers feel like being that day. What they say goes, and as a parent- an intelligent, interested and involved one may i add, i have no input. I’ve even been accused of being “Perhaps a little too quick to make excuses for him”. So, does anyone have any success stories of a tranquil home-school partnership? Is the only way out of the dictatorship to start screaming from the rooftops, or are we, the lowly ASD parents really at the mercy of the bigwigs?

A x

Follow me on twitter: @Metal_Head_Mama

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6 Responses to "Home-School Partnership- Or Dictatorship?"

These themes abound for children with ASD’s in mainstream school. My son started in mainstream where he was sectioned off behind a curtain – I’m not joking – and I don’t know how that fits into the policy of inclusion. The Government wants your children in mainstream otherwise they would have to admit that the closing of so many Special schools was a complete mistake.

We fought tooth and nail to get our son into a Special Needs school where I can happily report that he has flourished within the inclusive and nurturing environment.

Mainstream schools cannot cope.

JM Winspear

We wanted M to go to Special School when he was 4, but we couldn’t get a place, and had to go to our local mainstream school with much trepidation.

Our mainstream school is fantastic and always has been. M started in nursery, was Statemented there, the Nursery staff really pushed for it ready for Reception, where he started with 25 hours 1:1, and continues now in Year 6 with that. The school have supported us 100% all the way, home school communication is excellent, and I can and do text M’s LSA at any time day or night. He starts High School in September and again school have helped us all the way, his LSA has attended all the visits helping us to choose a school, and we are now working on transition actively together including his new teacher at High School. He will be starting in an Able Autism Base at the High School which is the unknown for us but we will do everything we can to make it work.

I know for alot of people their mainstream experience has been a nightmare, we have been exceptionally lucky, but it isn’t all doom and gloom it can work.

Jo

Jo, I’m so glad you have a positive experience, its nice to know that there are some clued up and helpful people in the system! Hope the transition to high school goes really well! A x

Write to MP maybe useful? My brother used to get sent to head master almost every single day (he has Asperger’s). He would correct the teacher’s grammar or stories. He didn’t realise this was rude and the teachers just thought he was showing off. It was ridiculous what they did to him. However, what we forget is that children with ASD they don’t take these telling offs to heart. My brother is 21 at university and thriving. I think if the family backs up good education at home (every night at dinner we discussed the news/ played general knowledge quizzes etc) and allow them to read a lot then their education won’t suffer.

We are in exactly the same boat as you, my son J is in reception the school have no idea how to handle him he had a meltdown last week they thought it was a good idea to take him to his sisters class in year 3 to calm him down, she had to then take him back to his class when he had calmed down the school didn’t tell me my daughter did!! I am trying to get J a statement myself seeking as the school don’t bother

Really great blog and fab to see other’s experiences.
We’re really lucky as our school is totally supporting our statement request, it’s the LEA who are refusing every step of the way!
At risk of getting into trouble, when I worked as a SENCo I was told by my Headteacher not to apply for Statemening for a child who really needed it as the school did not have the money to pay for any support – Statementing doesn’t come with funding mostly now. Without the Heads agreement you cannot go for Statementing. Another time I was shouted at for obtaining a Statement for a child, my boss only calmed down once I told her I managed to get the child a placement in a special school too and we wouldn’t have to pay for it.
Don’t fe me wrong, there a so many amazing Heads and schools around, who do so much good. But as with most things it often comes back to money. A sickening thought for any SEN parent.
I hope things get better for you, don’t give up
Xxx

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