My 14yo with Asperger's hates school and the more interaction I have with them the harder it is not to see why. His in a unit within mainstream and passionately hates being in a unit or having any support. Several incidents some of which my son hasn't helped and others where the school hasn't dealt with bullying or outright discriminated against him. I've had meetings, discussions the lot and nothings improved. He has a year and a few months before finishing.
I've tried to encourage him to stick it out as it's such an important time in respect of his education but now not so sure.
Trouble is feel there is no solution. If he stays, how well can he learn when his so angry and upset? Main issue is him 'being in the unit' having support follow him around and other students calling him derogatory names. If he goes to another school it will be a big upheaval for him requiring using public transport and not having his current convenience of a 5minute walk. He also won't have support which is 100% what he wants but I'm worried he'd struggle.
School has become such a source of stress for both him and I for a long time now that I'm at the point I want nothing further to do with them.
Any thoughts or words of wisdom would be very much appreciated.
Dear Struggling mum,
I am sorry to hear that you and your son are having a difficult time with his school.
You may want to contact our Education Rights Service who provides information, support and advice on educational provision and entitlements. Please see the following link for further information: http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/education-rights.aspx
Somehow it sounds like the support they offer him is more what they (or others) decided he needs (or perhaps even some kind of one-fits-all solution) rather than what he actually needs. How would you expect a student who has someone following them around for being "not quite normal in his head" not to be bullied? There will always be bullies around and this kind of support can quite easily make kids like your son a feast for them instead of protecting them. And hating it, he will not even really benefit from the help that would be benefitial. Perhaps they can reconsider how to help him in a way that does actually help rather than making him more vulnerable? Something that is based on what he wants (and reviewing it regularly so that he can try how it works without the support he doesn't find supportive at all). Maybe it's too late already to fix this, but it may be worth trying if feeling like he is in control of it somehow improves things a bit?
The school was horrible experience for me. With the right support I would have been way ahead of everyone else.
Thank you all for your valuable comments which are both well received and much appreciated. I think I would of lost my mind by now if I didn't have the support I find on here so thank-you once again.
I'm currently pursuing a discrimination case. In summary son pulled from a trip due to 'lack of lsa support'. No warning, had paid and prepared, just a phone call one day. I challenged this in respect of the equality act then the reason became behavioural concerns. Its hard to explain briefly but challenged that too as they were using behaviour as direct result of him being bullied and prior to acceptance onto the trip. Got local authority involved and had another meeting with head. After a lot of arm twisting he agreed to supply me with the risk assessment used to refuse him the trip. The above points have again been quoted but interestingly 5 statements on there are regarding having a nut allergy, teachers being trained to use epi pens and fear my son will not follow their instruction. My son doesn't even have a nut allergy!!! They are trying so hard to find any reason to not let him go to the point of inventing medical conditions. They are just embarrassing themselves now. I emailed the local authority stating I've had enough, my original complaint stands and what are his options. They haven't got back to me yet but clearly spoke to the head to say um he hasn't actually got a nut allergy. The head is now pulling my son in for 'chats', where my son confirmed he doesn't have a nut allergy and about his support and future without my consent.
I have tried so hard to work with the school. Thankfully this latest incident regarding the trip has been observed by the local authority as I have supplied them with the correspondence I have received. I so wanted my son to have a good education but despite my very very best efforts this is very unlikely. I've requested advice from the council on my sons options regarding education as just want to be sure what these actually are.
I totally agree school is not the be all and end all. Indeed I went back to education in my 20s and succeeded in this area whereas I couldn't during school. But my decision not to achieve what I could at that time was my choice not something forced on me. I'm utterly frustrated by how his been failed by the school and by me for sending him there. Its a no win situation but one thankfully I know won't last forever and one shared by many. I guess unless something amazing is offered by the council we just have to take one day at a time and get through best we can. I can't communicate with the school right now as really have had enough with their ignorance and incompetence. I will liaise with the Council and have told my son I support him 100% in his decisions but to be aware of what they involve.
Thank-you again for your wise words, it really helps me keep going and to help my son. It may be 2018 but the school system still has a long way to go....
Gosh, that one was from you too. No wonder your son is fed up, guess anyone would be... Maybe now their "help" that is like a punishment to him is not that surprising anymore :( Really hope that you get somewhere, that there is that one person sitting somewhere with enough influence and who isn't so lethargic and ignorant to let you down again.