Missed breaks


i am new to the community and I am wondering if anybody else's has struggled with school and how they punish our children.

my son had an incident on wednesday where he broke a magnifying glass, he says on accident but other children said on purpose. The teacher who dealt with the incident told my son that the consequence would be that he missed his playtime the next day.

the reason for the post is that it is my understanding that the consequence has to be there and then and dealt with straight away not carried on to the next day. Am I correct?

my son is a very anxious boy and this resulted in my son self harming and not sleeping and me keeping him off the next day.

school are saying that they are in the right and I am being disagreeable!!!

thanks in advance. 

  • Hi there,

    You don't say whether your son is diagnosed as autistic - but I'm assuming so from the fact that you're posting here.

    If that is the case, then NO - the school is not right, and you are not being disagreeable.  In spite of what the other children are saying, the school should be taking a balanced view of the incident, and not simply disbelieving your son.  That they are suggests that he might be having other problems, which aren't necessarily his fault - but which is being viewed as such, perhaps because this is long-standing.  I'm assuming, too, that this is a mainstream school.  If he is diagnosed, doesn't he have a SENCO looking out for things on his behalf?  Have you asked about this?  Traditional, aversive punishments will not work for your son if he is autistic.  They will only make matters worse.  It's no surprise, therefore, that he's self-harmed.  I hope it isn't too bad.  It's a common thing, though - even with high-functioning autism.  I work with autistic adults.  When their anxiety is high, they will do all manner of things.  Bite themselves, slap themselves, hit their heads against something hard... sometimes worse.  A whole different approach to managing these issues is needed, and 'mainstream' society often doesn't have appropriate solutions.

    I was only diagnosed in my fifties, but all the pointers were there at school.  It's just that high-functioning autism wasn't so known about then.  The other kids didn't seem to like me, so I was often the scapegoat for things that went wrong.  I was bullied by them - and by teachers, too.  I was singled out in class.  I lived in fear of school, pretty much, from about year 3 until I left at 16.  It was a horrible place and a horrible experience.  So I can understand where you're coming from.

    Take it back to the school... and try to get some professional help on your side.  Maybe your GP.  Your son needs the help that the school is clearly not providing right now.

    Have a look at these links, too, to see if there's anything else that can help you...


    Family Life

    All the best,


  • I don’t think any child should be denied their playtime. Why do they have a playtime if it’s not important and how does missing play time the next day, link in with breaking something whether it was intentional or not. If it was intentional, then surely they should be finding out why he broke the thing. Maybe he was stressed or anxious or whatever. Whether the child is autistic or not, stopping play the following day doesn’t help anybody, none the least, the child. Have they made sure your son fully understands why they are doing it etc and have they made sure that such action, is not going to cause undue stress and discomfort for the boy? 

    I’m afraid, if you are going to stand up for your son, you are going to, in general, be viewed as disagreeable. That’s unfortunate, for those who think that, because clearly they don’t know what a disagreeable person looks like, but if they continue to shirk their responsibilities, they will see what disagreeable looks like. Get as much support as you can, learn as much as you can about autism, and don’t let the school bully you into accepting sub standard service. Even if they win this ‘battle’, get some support. Learn which battles to win. And if you haven’t already, get some support from other parents in your area. Good luck. Your little boy is a lucky little boy. Best of luck.