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Help Getting Ds To Walk To School


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#1 Babieseverywhere

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 02:46 PM

My 5.10 yo DS is very resistant to attending school.

I have had months of dressing him, carrying him out of the front door, dropping to the floor refusing to walk or bolting ahead, or hiding behind trees etc. Some days I have to carry him or drag him a short distance or put him in the pram, in order to get him to his school.

He verbally tells me, he hates school. He would rather die than go there. Work is boring/hard. He has no friends and plays with noone.

School tell me they are doing as much as possible and can offer no further help. They say he is happy in school, works well and has loads of friends.

I am refusing to drag him any more. It going against my positive parenting principles and it is too distressing for DS his three sisters and myself.

So now we have calmer school runs in so far that he still verabalises that he hates school. He now sits, stands still, refuses to cross roads , runs in wrong direction, still hides behind trees.

School feel this is an improvement, I don't. DS feels the same and now we are late every morning, sigh,

Any ideas of getting to school happily ?

School have told me his behaviour is due to poor parenting and suggested a parenting course for me which I had already signed up for, as I expected this would be raised at some point.

We have hearing appointments about his fear of loud sounds, SALT appointment next week, school and us have filled in Cambridge Behavioural/AQ questionaires, Comm Paed appointment in September. No dx and to be fair do not expect to get one. He masks very well at school, so despite having every ASD trait at home, I doubt we would ever get an official dx.

But like I told the Senco, (who has made it clear that she think I have a problem regarding my wonderful son), denying him a relevent dx will not make his behaviour improve or reduce his anxiety, he will be the same child whatever. Plus the school have already labelled him naughty and me bad mother, so much for not labelling !

I have two other daughters currently at the school, both well behaved and no issues walking in. Plus the school is well known in our area for being great with children with additional needs, but that doesn't apply to my son, he is just naughty (in schools opinion)
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#2 Kadenza

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:49 PM

Start keeping a diary, and video (if you can) DS's journey to school. Note down everything you feel is relevant. A good paediatrician will be fully aware that some children have coping mechanisms in school which allow them to mask their difficulties. If your son has ASD, then school treating him as a naughty child will damage him. An appropriate dx will act as a signpost to his needs and will allow the correct strategies to be put in place to help him to manage his dx.

If school think that there is no problem, that he is "happy in school, works well and has lots of friends", then how dare they suggest you are a bad parent. He either has difficulties, that they need to engage with, WITH you, or he doesn't.

Start that diary. Include quotes that your son says about school & anything you can get on video ( to show that you're not making it up & to help the Paed to dx) is good.

As for getting to school happily. If he's not happy to go, you're going to struggle. School need to accept this and make school a place where he feels safe and happy.
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#3 Babieseverywhere

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 06:48 PM

I have three months of behavioural diaries, just a one entry highlight of our days. I couldn't write everything, it would be a novel !

So I will write under today's date about either his meltdowns over the wrong juice in his cup, or distress at having a bath and having hair washed so much so that he stopped crying and started ringing (vocal noise he makes when very upset) or his misunderstanding when I joked with DH about being me being evil he cried, or when he shouts all the time and runs away from his baby sister as he doesn't know how to interact with her, upset at playing outside on bikes in order to earn more Minecraft screen time. His continious movement spinning, rocking, running, fidgetting. His repetition of phrases, how he often completely ignore us, practically no eye contact, , phrase of the day "Really" in a high pitch voice (better than the salmon day) wall to wall Minecraft videos, his current obsession. Endless monologue on Minecraft.etc etc...you get the idea

Nice easy day at home with no dressing, leaving the house or school issues...just bliss :)

DS does speak very well, though if questioned, he doesn't get the meaning, just repeats phrases. He rarely mentioned school or anything that happens there. Never tells us how he feels, only got him to give me a number on our emotion scale chart thingy (crayons faces on a piece of paper numbered 1 to 5
N
I
At the last school meeting the Senco told me she didn't know why we were going for a label as even if I put a diagnosis in front of her, she could do no more for my son than they already were doing.

I emailed her with a few points and she denied saying that....sigh. ...so what is the point ?

At least I am no longer worried about the Comm Paed appointment, the results will not help us :(

Just 19 days at school until the summer holidays :)

#4 Tangled

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 08:28 AM

My son's school did not pick up on his difficulties either but the professionals saw them when they assessed him. My son used to withdraw and shut down in class and because he wasn't really causing a problem (e.g. if he had done the opposite and lashed out) they missed what was happening.

He was very unhappy going to school and I dragged him there for years believing them and thought it was separation anxiety he needed to 'get over'.

It was when he started escaping (yr 4) that they acknowledged something wasn't right. I didn't know anything about ASDs but sought help from an Educational Psychologist for his anxiety. He was a great guy and pointed us in the direction of an Asperger's diagnosis, which we then did get.

I really wish I could turn back the clock and not force my son like I did (albeit with the best of intentions). From the things you have written it sounds like you might well get a diagnosis, regardless of what school see. School would have to put strategies in place to help him - or he will end up a complete school refuser (my son is now) as he obviously isn't coping with the school day even if he masks it when he is there.

Go with what you believe, not what school are trying to convince you. Sadly, the bottom line is, it costs them money to increase support and some schools won't do so unless forced :-(

Tangled xx
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#5 imperfect parent

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:53 AM

Many of us here have been told that our children have separation anxiety, that we are poor parents ( despite other children who do well), that the school can meet our children's needs when it's patently obvious that they do't see them let alone know how to address them.

 

When our children kick off they are naughty, when they are withdrawn they are fine.

 

Those school staff and professionals that help the child most are those that are willing to listen to parents and discuss options.  Like wise parents who will listen to others and learn help their children too.  But there are professionals about, and believe me I have met some, who have no idea what they are talking about, and they are dangerous to families.

 

Like Tangled I would do things differently if I could turn back the clock.  Trust your instincts, and look at the cause of the behaviour.  From what you have written he is not happy in school; why?


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#6 Babieseverywhere

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 12:00 PM

I made that point that I had other children at the school doing well, the class teacher and Senco spent ages telling me that boys needed different parenting to boys. The Senco said I clearly just fall down at parenting boys (later denied that she said it but I know she said it, as the first thing I did was to ring my mother in tears and told her)

I have no faith the experts will see anything either. We had a meeting with an advance practitioner part of the Comm Paed Team a few weeks ago. DS crawled on the floor and spun around the room, monologuing about Minecraft for an hour.
The practioner said there was nothing to worry about and he gave good eye contact and had a good imagination. I explained he rarely glanced at me and repeating stories from Minecraft videos was not using social imagination.

I left the first month of behavioural diary with her, she wrote and said the diary was helpful and on top of the hearing and salt appointments she gave us the aq questionaires.

The only person who thinks that he shows clear asd traits is a lady who runs a local asd charity who I talked to and I go to her social group, even though everyone says it is behavioural, as I need a place I can go and not be panicking about DS behaviour. He can spin around the room and ignore the other children and hug the adult volunteers ( he is very over affectionate with everyone) and noone bothers. Lovely friendly parents.
Re school. He hates pe, lining up, assemblies, lunch time (playing), breaks, going to bathroom on his own and maths.
He likes Golden time, climbing frame, lunchtime (food)

He is more resistant on three particular day's a week (same days every week) and when I finally got a copy of his class timetable, guess when the two assemblies and pe classes are ? But these things can not be altered, though I did ask teacher to give him more time to get changed for pe, as she admitted that he has trouble dressing and undressing. Often has clothes on backwards or inside out and very clumsy too, bless him.

Edited by Babieseverywhere, 29 June 2014 - 12:03 PM.


#7 imperfect parent

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

I could have written your post myself 10 years ago. 

 

I wish I'd found this site then as it is so helpful to read what others have tried and to see what might suit us as a family.  It's all about finding what works  and why. 

 

My 16 year old still doesn't attend assemblies, and no one tries to get him to now.  Some things just aren't as important as others, but to many main stream schools the aim is to get all students to take part in all activities. Success in school is dependent on having understanding staff who are willing to be flexible.  ASD children can and do thrive in mainstream schools, but many do not.  Trust your instincts.


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#8 Babieseverywhere

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 07:52 PM

On the good side. Our school is renowned for being brilliant with children with special needs. They have got a large amount of funding to build a specialised asd unit for children with severe needs within mainstream.

On the bad side. If a school that is known to be so good at this stuff, can't see anything in my DS, doesn't that mean they are right and I am wrong ?

Ironically DS had a bad day last week and was told off by two teachers and the headmaster within assembly for messing with a certificate to rewarding his good behaviour earlier that week, lol

#9 Kadenza

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:24 AM

No, it doesn't mean that they are necessarily right and you are wrong. Every child is different, and a school that does not recognise that is NOT good at SEN, despite what they and others may say.

It's also not true that at dx would mean no extra help. It sounds as though your son needs some designated 1:1 time with a specific TA - especially during those times that he finds difficult. A dx can help get a Statement, which is a legal document outlining needs and how school MUST provide for those needs. A properly written Statement gives school no wriggle room. Yes, it is more work for them, but it often comes with more money for them to cover the extra work.

Don't accept any "we've done this before" statements from school, because they haven't. Not with your son. Neither should any "we have other children to think about" nonsense come up because, with the best will in the world "other children" are not your concern. School's job is to provide a 'suitable and adequate' education for your son. Causing him so much anxiety and stress that he doesn't want to be there, is not providing this basic right.

When Boo was little (she'll be 11 in a couple of weeks), I had a light-bulb moment when I realised how awful it is for schools/LEAs to say that things are OK because a child is "coping". Isn't that terrible? Children should be carefree and happy, not put into situations where they have to "cope". There's time enough for that when they get older, unfortunately!
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#10 Babieseverywhere

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 01:15 PM

It is so hard when the school point out how wrong I am at every opportunity. Just picked up DS for appointment from the playground
My child was on a grassy slope with one shoe on, maybe a metre from the nearest child a little girl. "See" the teacher announced "DS is playing with <little girl name>"

I asked DS as we left what were you playing with <little girl name>. His response "Who is that ? Where is she ? She IS my BFF though mummy."

Appointment went well. Yes, he has sensitive hearing. No, there isn't anything we can do more than I am already doing

She said we should get some help with Comm Paed appointment in September re school problems.

I agree with PP. Why should I aim for DS getting to school in a coping /unhappy state of mind. Why is that what we aim for ?
Also teacher this morning was ignoeing his feeling again telling him he liked school and was happy. His response was No I hate school and I am unhappy :( Teacher then told him that he just didn't like the getting ready and the walk to school. DS said no, that is fine.

I stepped in at this point and pointed out he dressed well and walk to school fine on the days he isn't go into school. (Appointment days)




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