Update on school & lack of agreed supports
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|Fri, 11-12-2010 - 4:04am|
I don't know if you remember a few weeks back I was very cross because Euan's ASN co-ordinator had gone off sick, her boss was on secondment to another school, and *no-one* had therefore co-ordinated his agreed supports across his 12 high school teachers. I was called in for a staged intervention meeting (our equivalent of the IEP, roughly) and expressed my outrage at this, particularly as it was very clear that a couple of teachers had absolutely no idea that Euan even had Asperger's Syndrome, or what that might mean in terms of how to accommodate him.
We got a 'notice of non-completion of homework' for maths. Actually, I have been through his homework diary and neither of us can find any homework he hasn't done, so I've fired off another snooty letter to the school about this. One of his agreed supports is that his homework diary needs to be checked and signed. So until they start doing that they can piss off with their snooty letters to me, frankly.
He does now have a new ASN teacher, a very nice Australian lady, who took the trouble to find out my mobile number and call me at work to arrange a new meeting. (Despite me telling her three times, the old woman misspelled my email address and so never got through. I am always slightly worried when teachers cannot take accurate dictation...!) So anyway, things may get back on track, unless this woman decides to go off sick/training/on secondment and everyone drops the ball again.
A question about homework. What is the point? I have asked this several times, because Euan finds it really really hard. For a lot of reasons, mostly to do with the Asperger's. He doesn't necessarily understand the task properly and the teacher isn't there to explain it. He write it down wrongly, or not at all, in his homework diary. He forgets a vital book, or piece of equipment. He has so many different subjects and bits to do for different deadlines that he can't keep track of it. He's exhausted after a day of school and 'being social' that he just can't concentrate anymore. Some bits - independent work designed to stretch him - he will spend hours on, do an absolutely perfect job and get top marks for. But he wants that standard for all his work, so he will spend three hours on a task that I can tell is supposed to take about twenty minutes.
I have tried to explain this to the school and ask for some accommodations around this (eg fewer tasks, fewer subjects, shorter tasks, longer deadlines) and get nowhere. The only thing they could offer was to pull him out of one class a week and work with him on his homework. This seems to me to be missing the point - why should he miss learning in class to do homework? He is TWELVE. Why on earth should he be spending 2-3hours a night doing homework? I can understand when he is preparing for his highers at 16 he might need to be working that hard and revising. But no 12 year old boy should be spending 2 hours a night in tears of frustration trying to produce a perfect, PhD level report on glaciers. Or spend 2 hours in tears with me whilst I try to explain that it doesn't have to be a perfect, PhD level report about everything to do with glaciers, ever, it just needs to be 1 page with some basic seventh-grade facts on it, and maybe a diagram.
Will let you know how the meeting with the school goes!
Kirsty, mum to Euan (12, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)