Fighting the same fight:-it’s like Groundhog Day

I’ve not written anything in an age because I have been exhausted from having to explain again that just because my son is in mainstream school he is not mainstream.

I have had many meetings with school, I have offered to help with basic makaton, I have demonstrated to the teachers how I deal with Olly’s distress before he reaches crisis and I still get phone calls telling me what he’s done now. I see the caller id and my heart sinks.

3 weeks ago I got a call to say he’d had a meltdown and members of staff had been struck. I went into school and arranged four afternoons to come in and show how I work. We put a de-escalation plan in place for all staff members to follow and we’d follow it at home. Three afternoons went ok, I made notes on where it’s falling down and the fourth afternoon he started cycling up. I tried to follow the plan but his play doh and sand were not available and neither was his emotion fan. He uses the play doh and kinetic sand to squeeze and the emotions fan to pinpoint how he’s feeling so we can understand and act accordingly. If he’s angry, move him to somewhere quiet and dark away from his peers, if sad a cuddle and reassurance. You get the picture. So I’m doing this at home, with good results, more speech, more trust, I think he feels more understood. At school we spent an hour putting this in place and when I come to use it it’s not there. Banging head against a bloody brick wall.

So we have a meeting Wednesday where they are going to try to claim that nothing’s working and maybe he’d be better somewhere else. I will counter with it’s not been tried sufficiently or to standard. But I wonder if it’s worth looking elsewhere if they can not follow a five point plan. He has an EHC and an IEP and it’s not being implemented.

We don’t know what to do for the best. They’re happy to take his extra funding money but not do the work. He will be moving into year 3 in September and he won’t cope with the current set up. He’s autistic. Expecting him to just stop being autistic because he’s in mainstream is ridiculous. A few tweaks and he can stay with his friends. I worry that kids like Olly are being failed because mainstream are stuck in mainstream ways and special school places are very limited due to funding cuts. He doesn’t fit the criteria for special school, he isn’t “normal” enough for mainstream. He’s in limbo. Homeschooling him would be more isolating for him.

We will see what happens this week but I don’t see an easy solution to this 🙁

Xx

2 Comments

  1. Oh I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I can imagine Olly is having an easy time either with things being applied so inconsistently (that is, it’s being applied well at home and not very well at all in school).

    I know that it may not be what it is you want to hear now, especially having to have gone through the PIP renewal (I have developed a phobia of brown envelopes arriving, and filling in forms fill me with dread). We have to pick our battles wisely.

    But as you are saying that they are happy to take the funding but not do the work – if you have the will, I would document everything and then file a complaint with your Local Authority. And it’s not up to them to say things don’t work and to maybe move him elsewhere – EHC and IEP is what Olly has been assessed for, and if they are so ‘certain’ it doesn’t work then why do the five steps show up on his EHC then?

    But like you say, he may well be better off somewhere else. Even if it is in a different mainstream school, within your area.

    Like

    • Hi,
      I have documented everything I observed on my visits and his behaviour changes since January. This is what I’m challenging them with on Wednesday. Inclusion officer will be there too so we will see what happens. If no joy then we will go further then.
      The dilemma we face is to move him or not. If we are moving him it needs to be done for September at the latest. Because his language and expression is limited it’s hard to find out what he himself wants. I want to fight the right battle that means trying to find out what he wants. He has friends there. I just don’t know what to do for the best.
      Not had chance to catch up on any other blogs yet, I’m going to have to make time, you lot on here are the closest I have to friends! X

      Like

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