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Education for son with Aspergers

PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
edited September 2014 in Education and learning
Hi - this is my first post so please be gentle with me!

I've been struggling (fighting sounds too harsh a word even though its the one I want to use) for nearly 2 years to get an education for my son, aged 13 with an ASD/Aspergers diagnosis. To put this into perspective, I have recently started my own business and also care for three others (apart from that I'm not busy!)

I've had lots of support from professionals - psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, parent partnership staff and many (oh so many!) more but none seem to have much experience of being a parent in my position. And so far the message from most has been 'you'll have to prove that you're beyond reproach at home before we'll help you'.

Don't get me wrong I've made considerable progress (fingers crossed we'll soon have a statement from the LA) but I'm finding the process very wearing, demoralising and isolating.

I've learned a huge amount about the system over the last couple of years - but I can see this is just the start. Are there dads out there who've gone through this already and would be willing to share their wisdom and give moral support?

Replies

  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 120Member
    Hi Pompeii, glad you found this site, it has been a great support to me.
    I am a single parent of a 14 year old girl, recently diagnosed with ASD. She is 'high functioning' but has significant learning difficulties.
    I can really relate to what you have said. In my experience (and I think many others) the finger first gets pointed at the parent(s): Diet?, Sleep?, discipline? etc etc...

    I had to undergo a 'parenting assessment' which involved a social worker observing us for 40 hours over a number of weeks.
    I don't know about wisdom but I will certainly give you moral support, stay in touch.
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Thanks for the thoughtful message Alistair - so nice to know there are others out there!

    I think the school and others are pushing for a parental assessment which I'm dreading; firstly given the time and effort it'll require and secondly because I think some of the professionals have picked up on their extreme anxiety and avoidance and will use this as a stick to beat us...

    How do you (and others) survive? I'm lucky I've got my mother who, whilst she's now an octogenerian is hugely sane and sensible.
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Sorry - mis-typed. Should have read "..picked up on my partner's extreme anxiety.."
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 120Member
    Don't dread the parental assessment too much. None of us are perfect and if you are both doing the best for your kids and putting the needs of them first, you have nothing to worry about. They may ask you to attend parenting courses. My Mum is in her 80's as well but lives quite along way from us. I'm lucky that my daughter goes to a fantastic school. I have engaged with social services and asked for support where I need it. On the whole, this has been positive but it is a constant conversation/battle!
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Thanks Alistair. I'm really hoping things do improve once the assessment comes through - I understand the school will have to comply but think its a big change in attitude and behaviour for them. To-date they've been clear they think its 'a parental problem' & were clear they saw my request for a statement as me avoiding my responsibility. I've been getting regular letters, phone messages and conversations to say how disappointed they are with my son's attendance.

    After 2 years struggling with less and less attendance (and more and more aggression at home) I hear that even with a statement the school can drag their feet on this for a couple of years. My contact at the PP has said that it sometimes takes a suicide attempt to get any action (my son's threatened this already a year ago) so I'm not feeling too optimistic at present.

    Sorry to go on but its not been an easy ride so far and it seems its going to continue so for a while yet. That's why I'm on the forum really - I'm hoping to get advice on how to steer a course through a system that doesn't seem to see much benefit in helping my son.

    Thanks for listening - I hope this isn't beyond the call of duty!
  • josfromglosjosfromglos Posts: 19Member
    Hi Pompeii

    I think it is very difficult to judge your situation but cannot help to say to you.... persist!
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Thanks Josfromglos - you're quite right: its difficult to know how to respond - your reply was really nice! I will definitely keep going - and I note I can see progress ..finally!

    But I'm the lucky one - how do people who don't have the resources or the political abilities to make a strong case survive?
  • josfromglosjosfromglos Posts: 19Member
    You're welcome Pompeii. Good for you to wonder how people with less articulate abilities, but in similar circumstances at the same time, 'survive'.
    Unfortunately, some people just have all the resources/ abilities to make a case of anything.
    I just wonder if you have made any progress so far?
    BTW (and I dare to 'complain' to you guys..), my daughter normally goes to a respite club on saturdays, but because of the problems she has had with her hip, we kept her at home today.
    I can tell you, there is not a lot worse than an unwillingly demanding 15yr old daughter and a dad with serious MS related fatigue issues..... (neighbours are leaving anyway...).
    Hello to Alistair too (hope you're OK) and Pompeii, let us know how things are.
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Thanks Josfromglos - sounds like a pretty frustrating weekend ..and situation. I do hope the respite happens this weekend (or does Easter interrupt?).

    I'm waiting to hear about the statement request - next week I think.. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    Have a good week - it has to be the last week of cold and crappy weather!!
  • PompeiiPompeii Posts: 7Member
    Great news! Got a Statement with pretty much all of the things needed! School accepted it and (interestingly) appointed a new SENCO and key person to work with my son. Still having to deal with CAF chair ('he must achieve 100% attendance before we can help him..') but it feels so much more manageable now I have a yardstick - at last!
    MANY MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT
  • Readyready72Readyready72 Posts: 1Member
    I have just applied for a statement for 9 yr old as he fared badly in english exams due to processing issues and putting thought to paper , though has a reading and comprehension age of a 15 yr old. They spoke to school (a private one) who said no issues probably as they don't want to deal with it but tell us to do things ourselves.
    Do send me some tips.
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