Right, its been a while, been a bit busy, but today i am in a serious mood, and decided that you, my audience, can know why.
Background - I have a 13 year old son who suffers from the following conditions......Aspergers, adhd, odd, anger management disorder and possibly dispraxia. This makes him quite a hard child to get on with, no i amend that to an extremely hard child to get on with, i love him to bits as he's my son, but boy can he be a pain in the arse! Life can be very stressful with him and he struggles to be sociable and "normal", prefering his own company to being with others. It has taken me 8 years to finally get the diagnosis of Aspergers as we were always sure there was something else wrong than the rest of his conditions. Things just didn't add up.
Anyway, as such Aaron has always been a target for bullying because he is different and doesn't fit in anywhere. We have been trying for years to get an educational statement in place, not because he has problems with learning, in fact Aspergers children are extremely intelligent, its one of the characturistics of the condition even though its a form of autism. His problems are mainly behavioural and he does things like refusing to work, walking out of class, leaving school grounds, doing what we would consider as odd things, things must be done in a certain way or they are taken literally i.e. i am going out for 45 mins to the library, see you in a bit and 46 mins later i get a phone call asking were i am, that sort of thing. so sometimes school can be a bit much especially if they get confused with the changes in routine. Teachers don't always help as they can make the problems worse by the way they react, and then Aaron reacts back and BAM, off he goes like a volcano. His peadiatrician has even gone as far to say that she wonders if he is coping in mainstream school and maybe a different setting would be better for him.
We went for a meeting up the school to discuss getting the statement finally sorted about 8 weeks ago, still not heard a dickiebird about it, he should also have seen another ed psych but not heard anything, phone calls are not returned etc etc. I have phoned at least 8 times during the last half term about bullying incidents alone, those are the ones i know about, as Aaron doesn't talk to anyone, so i have my mates phone me up to tell me things their children have witnessed at school. In the last half term we had 4 seperate incidents of a group pouring water or juice over him, being punched in the face on the way home from school, several trips, falls or shoves and a variety of punches, slaps, that kind of thing. Aaron then reacts and the kids love it, and the teachers? well they do fuck all and nothing is done yet again. "well we told them off," or "we put them on report" are the two main results we get from them. the half term before that some year 11 kid split his eyebrow 1inch open by shoving him into a wooden chair, it needed gluing but they couldn't because of the site of the injury and the first aid he recieved was apparently adequate(not by my standards it wasn't). Yesterday evening i get a call from Aarons best mate(he only has 3 friends and one moved recently) about him being attcked by a bunch of 3 boys who decided that as he wasn't cool they were going to throw rocks at him, rocks? wtf? to say i am angry is a bit of an understatement, so today he is not at school and i am going to the police station to make a statement for assault against the boys involved. I have already been on the phone this morning and blasted off at the teacher they put me through to and i told her that i had had enough, maybe if they couldn't give Aaron the support and help that he is in desperate need of then perhaps they should refer him to a school that can as i am fed up of sending him to school to be victimised and bullied everyday(amongst other not so nice things). I know hes not an angel, in fact far from it, but some of his behaviours stem from his conditions, and surroundings and they should be treating him better, understanding his needs more. I have left a message with his pediatrician so hopefully she will get back to me, i am not sure whether to send him back yet, will wait and see what the school will come up with today, as they promise to ring me back, today.......we will see, lets just say i am not getting my hopes up, that would be stupid.
It makes me angry that people think that treating people like a bit of shit is acceptable, Aaron is classed as disabled but i guess because he is not in a wheelchair and its not a visible disabilty thats ok. Ok, so he dresses funny, and doesn't care about how he looks, he eats his food in a certain order on his plate, well the foods he will actually eat that is (the list of foods that he eats is quite short, i think its down to textures), he says things in an odd way, doesn't like a lot of pysical touch(cuddles kisses etc),uses weird expressions, gets upset and angry easily and acts like a two year old at times, plus lots of other things but you know what? underneath it all he is a funny, intelligent boy, who given the right support and settings can do really well, and thats what i am fighting for. He deserves better, much better and i am not going to stop until something is done. there rant done........i know it maybe a bit disjointed, it reflects the state of my head today.......not entirely sure what to next either....
an extremely frustrated Lara
After this mornings rant i seem to have made some progress. I had the police in and they took a statement, and its a bit strange when a random police officer knows where the child in question lives!. This afternoon i had a phone call from another policelady and we had a good chat :), and what it comes down to is that theres not much to go on.....and all he would do is deny it, which i already knew anyway, that would leave the restoritive justice route....been there done that. So they are going to go round and speak to the parents, at my request, and have a chat, although how much good it does is another matter with parents like the ones of some of the children. its on record and so it can't be lost, as has happened before. I am phoning the school in the morning also to tell them they must see me as a matter of urgency, and i will go armed with a written list of problems and exactly what i want done about it, as i have to make the school do their job and force them to act apparantly, why it requires the police to tell me this i don't know! the school should act accordingly in the first place, but at least i have a starting point, unfortunatley they try and fob you off with every excuse. The pediatrician also phoned back and i now have a couple of phone numbers that will hopefully be of use, i will ring them tomorrow. The ed psych will be seeing Aaron when his name gets to the top of the waiting list, he was put on the list after a school support meeting, and the SENCO should be ringing me soon. Why didn't i get informed earlier? there would have been less fuss.
Aaron will not be going back to school until the issues have been dealt with to our satisfaction, which will be in the near future if all goes to plan. So i now feel as if i have accomplished something today and am feeling a little less stressed.
a not quite so frustrated Lara :)