I just get so fed up and annoyed at people’s attitudes that I felt I wanted to share my story. My son as Asperger’s, he was diagnosed at an early age, when he was six. He is now sixteen. At this point in his life major changes are happening. He as the option to leave school and pursue collage or employment. The problem being is that throughout his school life he has always had to have support and even with this support he has struggled, never really excelled at any particular subject ( bar one). Parents evening were something we came to dread really. Knowing we would be faced with the inevitable “well... you know what he is like”. Yes we know what he is like and don’t really appreciate coming here and being told this over and over again. We really want the school to educate our son and not constantly remain us of his short falls.
So the school have made it clear that he is no longer welcome back. He is problem that they simply want to move alone. Rather than encourage him to remain at school and help him develop, they are now trying to railroad him out of school and off load him elsewhere. He is not ready to leave school, his doctors have said over and over again his is not mature enough to make the decisions he is being asked to make and needs more time in a secure environment, and he needs the extra two years that basically is his right. It is an option for pupils to leave school after four years not the schools right to exclude those they have difficulties with. Did the school support and help him? No.
Our son as a very narrow focal point and most things outside of this is simply background noise, Maths, English, geography and what we call shut downs. The one area where he excels is history, he really does get it, he enjoys it and absorbs it, in the words of his history teacher he is a genius at it. My wife and I went round the other day to discuss this further with the teachers and formulate a program for him for the next few years. We faced with a wall a bureaucratic faces (five of them) who insisted our son was present and would not entertain any notion of one of his doctors being present. Rather than address the issues of supporting him and formulating a program for him, my son was subject to a barrage of intimidating questions which could only be classed as bullying. It became clear very quickly that the rug was being pulled out from underneath him and of course history was not going to be made available to him if he “chooses” to stay on at school. The only time table he could “possibly” be offered where in his shut down subjects. Throwing things in such a frightening way, ,like this at a child who already has enough problems and learning issues was more than I could stomach and I called an halt to the so called meeting.
There is one shining light here, his occupational therapist that has been a god send and supported him for the last ten years, whom we spoke to on the phone afterwards. She carries weight and gets things done. Her reply was “oh really? We’ll see about this”.
Another meeting has been scheduled with the school. This time we will have his support team with us and this time we will be prepared and this time they will not be bullying and intimating a young child who as learning difficulties. I don’t care what they think of me and I don’t care how aggressive I become. They are paid to teach children, not single out the ones they have problems with. And I don’t care if they have to set up a one off class for my son. They will teach him, they will do what they are paid to do. This time they will get the full fury of parents who have simply had enough of being told “oh well… you know what he is like”.
Sorry about the long winded rant but I just get fed up with the so called education system in the UK that cares more about budgets and statistic than they do about a child’s educational needs.
Last edited by blokecalledkev; 04-20-2012 at 03:57 AM.
Kevin you are not alone believe me, and things are no better in the United States either.
My son is 14 and will be starting high school in the fall, just at this point we do not know where. Our son has Asperger's, and much to the school districts dismay, they cannot do anything about his diagnosis because we obtained the final diagnosis from a neurologist. We battled them for several years as they wanted to give him an IEP saying he had ADHD and pushed us to put him on a heavy dose of medication.
My son was kicked out of districts school when he was in 3rd grade because their special education teachers refused to even consider what our doctors were telling them. My son was lucky enough to be place in a special school for kids with Asperger's, but the program only runs through the 8th grade.
It was our hope that our son could be put back into the mainstream school for high school, but they wrote him off after observing him once for about thirty minutes a few months ago. My wife and I had a meeting with all involved back in February and our experience was very similar to yours. They essentually told us he is our problem, and they not only would not except them into the mainstream (despite flaunting an awarding winning Asperger program on the schools website), but they also refused him placement in their alternative high school for the kids with special needs.
His current program does have a partnering high school, but it has been made obvious to my wife and I that our son is really not welcome there either. Our son is a very good student, but he has problems in dealing with others who do not follow the rules, and will openly speak up which no one likes.
At the moment my wife and I are looking into home schooling, by having him attend an online high school (Keystone) if there is no other choice, yet in doing so we would be robbing him of what he really needs most and that is social interaction.
The problem as I see it is that the schools do not care about the students, especially those with special needs, what they really want is a bunch of medical zombies who do not question and just accept what they are offering as "education" today.
Truth be told I am 40 years old and I myself have a touch of Asperger's. I had numerous issues growing up, but I was able to mask it enough, that I have been able to go forward and succeed in life (with my wife's help). What really pisses me off more than even the way they have treated my son is the way they just write all of our children off. Despite their social challenges (and to those who have read other posts on this board, my son too talks to himself), these kids are really bright and have the ablility to master far beyond their peers any subject that they take an interest in.
Thank you for your comments Robert I hear what you are saying and I fully sympathise with you.
I have to say now that this situation as actually been resolved. Another meeting with the school took place yesterday. This time my wife, myself and my son’s occupational therapist was present. There was no fury I might add. My son was not present at this meeting and the intimidating atmosphere that was there at the last meeting had disappeared. We simply laid it down as to what we expected, what we wished to happen and we made it perfectly clear that it was unacceptable to even consider excluding a child who as learning difficulties from mainstream education because the school may have problems for filling his needs. The occupational therapist, which I have already said as been a god send throughout his entire education, was very calm and makes her points very clear and left nobody in any doubt how serious she viewed the undertones of the previous meeting.
The upshot was that we received a very humbling call from the school late into the evening yesterday and having “reviewed” the options available were happy to let us know our son was more than welcome back to continue with his education. He as a place on a higher History and an English course, which is precisely what we wanted. During in the course of the telephone conversation it was stressed over and over again there was never an agenda to exclude our son (It was sort of over stressed). Clearly things had gone on behind the scenes prior to this meeting and after this meeting, whatever those things were they had had the desired effect and forced a complete reversal of attitudes.
We will have another meeting with the school to finalise the details of his requirements and additional needs within the coming weeks. My son may not be the model pupil that schools want and yes an extra effort will have to be made on their part to fore fill his educational requirements but as far as we are concerned it is worth it.
It has to be said that this was nipped in the bud swiftly and although we got the outcome we wanted, I am still annoyed at the previous meeting and it did annoy me to involve doctors to get what is in effect a right, the right to an education. But ultimately my son’s education is the priority and if we have to stamp on a few toes to get it, so be it.
I hope you have as happy an outcome with your situation as we have had.
Last edited by blokecalledkev; 04-21-2012 at 05:06 AM.