We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

07 April 2008

Headmaster troubles...

I was really angry this morning when I found out that last week my son was 'shouted at' in front of the entire year 6 class by the headmaster ( my son is in year 3). I learned of this through my friend's daughter who is in year 6 (ds doesn't tell us anything about school really). Apparently ds was being 'rude' during a science lesson and was put out of the class and taken to the headmaster who was in the year 6 class. My first thought was that kids tend to exaggerate a bit, so perhaps it wasn't as bad as it sounded. But my gut reaction activated mama bear! I feel that given my son's issues and his current process of being statemented, it was wrong to humiliate him in front of the oldest kids in the school. He should have been reprimanded in private, or if necessary then in is own class.

I'm planning to speak to his teacher after school today about it, as I should get an official version before storming in. My husband feels the exact opposite of me though. He thinks its probably necessary to 'snap him out of it' sometimes, when he is getting extremely obstinate--and he can be VERY obstinate and argumentative at times. Husband says the headmaster has to assert his authority and if he happened to be teaching year 6, then that's why my son was brought in there. I know nothing of the British teaching system, apparently.

That just leaves me not knowing what to think really. I just don't feel that since my son is already socially isolated, humiliating him in front of another class won't help that at all. I've also read that punitive discipline doesn't have the desired effect on kids with autistic issues. I don't even know what the 'rudeness' was so I have to find that out, and I don't want to let him get away with things either.

His teacher told me last week that the pyschiatrist definitely thinks he needs a statement, but she also told me rather disparingly that statements are 'extremely hard to get'. In the meantime she is asking for another behaviour support assistant. The thing is, I'm not sure how much (if very much at all..) the head and other teachers at the school know about autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger's. I certainly don't know much, and am finding my son more complex every day. Its not what I expected when he was born, that I would know him better than anyone else, and that I would just KNOW. I do have a strong intuition about certain things which I try to follow through on, but this whole process feels very daunting.

Should we homeschool him? would that be better? Can I cope with that? Again, when he was 2 and 3 we thought for sure home education was what we wanted to do. As he got older, and with my daughter's birth, it just seemed way too much. Yet, I want what's best for him, and if the social aspects of school get in the way, then maybe he needs to come home. I had mixed reactions to the homeschooling idea. Obviously it would help with one-to-one attention and eliminate bullying etc., but then he desperately wants to fit in, and if he stays in school will he eventually 'get it'? Perhaps with outside therapy of some sort to help with social skills, he might 'fit in' better, but sometimes (in fact, alot of the time) I can't help but ask if what he's 'fitting into' is very good at all...

2 comments:

Gypsy said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your boys' experience with the headmaster. I can't see how that kind of old-school, boot-camp 'bollocking' is meant to improve a child's behaviour - I think you have EVERY right to challenge what went on. Sounds like you have some really tough decisions to make ... your son is so lucky to have such a caring and passionate mum.

Mary said...

Thank you so much Gypsy for your kind comments! It turns out it wasn't as bad as thought, kids do exaggerate a bit! But I did get my point across that I'd prefer my son not be told off in front of a different class of kids!