They told me i was a bad parent.

by jo

My gorgeous bright intelligent son has no concept of danger, we live on the top floor of a 5 storey building and he has to be told repeatedly not to climb out his bedroom window onto the roof, the alternative bedroom having no roof to go on to an a sheer drop.

Aeryn has been diagnosed with SPD this year and we are fighting to get an educational statement for him as his head teacher thinks that he is 2 years behind his class because he cannot read or write yet, (he is 6)he has been excluded from school several times due to "assaulting" other students and being badly behaved in class,e.g. running around, fidgeting, hiding under bean bags and hanging upside down on his seat.

His o/t wrote a report to the school telling them that he can not help these things and how to deal with his behaviours when they occur but a school psychologist came and blew the whole thing out of the water by saying that all Aeryn needed was a good dose of discipline and that i am too soft on him. He recommended i went to parenting classes, which i did, and although they worked a treat on my 14month daughter they didn't do a thing for Aeryn, so back to the SPD report.

The school (Elphinstone for any body who lives in Hastings and has a child with SPD) made all these promises to give him a place to go when things get too much and give him the help he needs and buy the equipment to stimulate or calm him in the classroom has done absolutely nothing for him, takes away his outdoor playtime and doesn't even send him to p.e because he is to much to handle. I don't think they have even read the report or the tactics suggested. They sent him to a behavioural school for asbo kids twice his age, took away his individual needs assistant and let another child wind him up for a month who they then defended when Aeryn finally had enough and let rip.

I don't mean to rant and I am looking for another school for him but with the petty mindedness of some people I wonder if the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

I cant say that I completely get what Aeryn is going through and i get very frustrated myself sometimes that i have to keep repeating things to him and replacing the things he`s broken in play. but i love him and i`m willing to try anything for him to have a normal life and education. I am at my wits end as to what to do for him as far as school goes because he is close to being expelled for something that he has very little control over.

He has been this way since he could stand, at a very early 6 months and it doesn't get any easier, and i have been fighting to get a diagnosis since he was 18 months, and have seen so many so called experts and drs that i almost lost hope of ever finding out what was wrong. They all saw him in a quiet room with very little stimulation so he would clam up and i`d be labeled a problem parent.

Now we have things we do at home like exercise balls and space hoppers to sit on and sports bottles and weighted vests which all help. Sorry for going on so long but until i found your site i felt like no one else understood.

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Aug 15, 2009
I know the feeling.
by: Alisa

I'm also struggling with peoples perception that I'm a bad parent. Recent incident is with my family councilor, well her supervisor join in the session last time. The supervisor was trying to turn me away from the idea that my kids have a disorder of some kind, and tried getting me to admit that I some how dont have a stable home base for my kids to feel secure. I dont do drug, smoke, I might drink alcohol 1 or 2 times a year and even then I only drink 1 or 2 drinks.

There has never been any violence for my kids to witness, only some arguments and we always notice that our kids were upset and stop the argument and tried to explain that even parent some time do things that they we probably should not not, we try never to argue in general let alone have full blown argument in front of the kids that would cause the kind of behaviours that my kids have.

I have seen Dr's, Phycologist's, phychiatrist, councilor, speech therapist, and mums groups I really want to see a OT but cant seem to one that deals with kids over 5 years of age. Out all the mention place I've tried or still trying I have always had to deal with the notion that I have some how caused my kids do be the way they are, in some cases I feel I'm still struggling to over come this notion. I believe my kids all have sensory issues but only my youngest has been confirmed and my oldest has Aspergers Syndrome and kids with ASD also have sensory issues.

My 2 girls are just so much more emotional one just crys alot about a lot of things and has been diagnosed with depression but I really think she just over welmed with sensory input, my other daughter well she my angry child my worst one I believe effected with sensory problems its like her brain is set to hyper sensitive. She has always hurt me and screamed at me when ever I tried to feed her, bath her, brush her hair or teeth, dress her, the worst for me has been that she did not let me hug her with out her attacking me till she was 5y and even then it had to be very strong firm hugs (bear hugs). I do believe I have failed her in so many ways but not because I'm a bad parent. More because if I had just pushed for an assessment when she was 1y like I wanted I probably would not be dealing with a angry child still. I never knew about SPD when I she was young I only found out about it while researching asperger syndrome, I found out about it just in time to help my youngest son.

I dont know what to do except keep trying. I refuse to give up.
good luck

Jun 22, 2009
Your certainly not a bad parent
by: Donna

We have and are still have similar issues with our school. Despite my son being diagnosed with SPD in January this year they still continue to go down the behavior management route and seem to have completely ignored the OT's report recommendations. In fact, I have just come from a meeting with them to discuss their failings. They actually admitted to me that they have done no research with regards to SPD and have only read a small leaflet that I gave them back in January. I stood my ground today, I explained clearly what SPD is and what actions I expect them to take for my son and that I will be on their case to make sure he is given every opportunity. I think that they were quite taken back, and hopefully going forward this will have some positive results.

We have a new head teacher and although she didn't say anything during the meeting I felt that she shocked by the lack of support our SENCo had given us. Teachers will always back other teachers and they will always have a answer for everything, but you have to be the voice of your child.

My advise is for you to set up a meeting with the Head/SENCo/Class Teacher and the SEN Governor if you have one. Write yourself an agenda detailing their failings and what you expect from them based on reports/assessments from your OT or Pediatrician. Explain what works for you and your son out of the school environment (The only place my son has issues with is school now). Before you leave the meeting make sure they have an action plan to help you all to move forward. Good luck

Jun 21, 2009
I hear you
by: mo2g

It took 6 years to get my daughter diagnosed and another 6 months to get an OT evaluation (and right now we are waiting to hear back on that)so I feel your frustration.

I have not fought w/ the school system yet b/c the teacher asked and was told that, unless my daughter caused the school a problem, she didn't qualify for services of any kind. (My daughter sits there w/ her head down afraid to tell anyone what's bothering her.)

I have also been told that I didn't discipline my daughter (always be careful w/ people who say that b/c they usually mean "punishment" not discipline). The most recently consulted doc told me I should lock my upset daughter in a room w/ only a mattress when she has a meltdown (proving he knows nothing.)

Sometimes school systems give people the run around hoping that the parent will just give up and homeschool. School systems don't want to spend money on anyone that is not average. I had to call (twice) and let my older daughter's middle school know that she had qualified for gifted services and was being denied those services b/c the mean teacher didn't want to let her leave class.

Basically, you have to give the impression that you have tried to work w/ the school and that you are seeking help from an attorney as to how to proceed. In your situation, it seems like you have come to the point where you may need to consult a lawyer-- just to get things on the right track.

Seeking a different school is a good idea, but I'd hate for you to run into the same situation there. Check around w/ other parents in your area. Different schools in the same school system can have different ideas about individual student needs and different teachers who may be better w/ certain kids.

Good luck to you and here's hoping you get your son into the right school w/ the right teacher/principal who understand him.

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