Part 7 – The psychologist’s report and school

A few months after my son’s diagnosis in 2008, we received a comprehensive report from the child psychologist.  I found this an emotional read, because there it was in black and white, all the difficulties that my son faced.  Nevertheless, the report more positively outlined recommendations for strategies and intervention that my son’s school could implement in order to support him.  These included;

  • access to a structured, consistent and predictable classroom environment;
  • clear explanation of events and direction about expected behaviours;
  • IEPs to reflect strengths and difficulties – individualised support may be required;
  • preparation for any change or stressful situations;
  • use of a strategy when my son can no longer cope, ie safe area;
  • specific teaching on social rules;
  • organising for my son to have support from a trusted adult in school;
  • observation of my son’s behaviour to pick up any change in emotional wellbeing;
  • physical support for his handwriting
  • consider ideas to support my son’s sitting posture;
  • staff to have an awareness of ASD and implications on individual/learning needs;
  • effective and regular liaison between school and home and any other professionals and
  • regular reviews.

So, when a copy of the report went to my son’s school, I felt confident that action would be taken to support him further.  However, I heard nothing, so when I started to chase the school up they just carried on with the same old mantra that my son was well supported at School Action plus and did not require any further intervention.  It was as if the psychologist’s report had just been filed away with not even a glance at it.  I was unhappy with this; my son’s behaviour was extreme, his self-esteem was deteriorating by the day and I really felt that this was being made worse by the insufficient support at school.  We therefore asked about getting a statement but we were then faced with obstructive comments such as “You’ll never get a statement” “They [the Council] will never give you a statement” and “[name] didn’t get a statement; so you won’t.”

I didn’t know what to do back then.  I wanted to raise the issue with the Board of Governors but I thought that one of the senior members of the Board was too friendly with the school’s management team and consequently I was fearful that the Board of Governnors wouldn’t be objective.  On top of this I had no idea of the rights of my child or my rights as a parent.  No one had told me that there were processes that could be followed and organisations that I could seek help from.  And if I wasn’t told, how could I seek them out and get help?

To be continued/..

You may also be interested to read:

Part 6 – Telling my son he is autistic
Part 5 – Adjusting to a diagnosis
Part 4 – Getting a diagnosis
Part 3 – “I’m dumb” – the issue of self-esteem

Part 2 – on the road to a diagnosis
Part 1 – school, special educational needs and my son
2003 – first school year – difficulties emerge

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4 Responses to Part 7 – The psychologist’s report and school

  1. Gidon says:

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  2. Aspie in the family says:

    >@ jontybabe – I will never understand why the school ignored the advice (and diagnosis) from the psychologist!

    @ steph – try not to let my experience worry you too much (some schools and authorities are better than others). It is hard waiting to hear whether you will get a statement or not; all that worry and waiting and not knowing. Stay positive Steph; your little girl is still young enough to benefit from early intervention. Just take each step as it comes.

  3. Steph says:

    >Just about to start going through this with our little one when she starts in September. Waiting to hear whether she will have a statement at the moment – but like you say, even if she gets one, how do you make sure it is implemented? The annoying thing is exactly that – it would actually also be in the school's best interest to help themselves, but so many of them just don't 'get' it! Already had the SALT (ha!) part of it – 10 sessions of 90 mins each over the year, but that is to include adult meetings, report writing, thinking time etc. The whole system is a shambles, but how do we change it? So depressing, but I want to be positive!!

  4. jontybabe says:

    >Why is this a struggle so many of us face. Surely it's even in the schools best interests to provide that support as a happy child in school is an easier child to teach? Less disruptive etc. A child unable to cope surely makes the teachers job harder!? Drives me mad! X

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