5 year old…formally or illegaly excluded today? I have no idea!

Today is one of those days where you wish you had stayed under the duvet!

I had a phone call from my American friend whose daughter goes to dinky’s old school. We only spoke 3 weeks ago. It seems so much has happened this week, let alone in the last 3! As for my friend she has had a lot on her plate. Her poor 5 year old daughter was being bullied by 7 year olds. It had been going on for a couple of weeks and no-one had picked up on it at school. Anyway, that phone call lasted until just after 1am.

Dinky did her best ‘I’m asleep’ routine this morning. It took a while to get her ready to go and the only way I could get her out of the door was to let her have her headphones on. Which was fine. We got to school ok, but Dinky wouldn’t give me the headphones back. She was messing about during the activity and when I managed to get them off her she was trying to fight me for them. Needless to say that she wont have that again!
She was kicking off so the TA told me to just go.

So I left her there and went home. To find my Dad had locked himself out and needing his spare key. I let him in. Apparently he went out to smoke and shut the door on himself… muppet!  I went straight to my –it has everything I don’t need but may need- draw, where things like spare keys live. My grandad’s keys were in there but my dad’s weren’t. Hmm.

We had a bit of a disagreement as to who had the keys. He was annoyed, I was equally annoyed. If I had them they would be in the draw.

So I look everywhere I may have put them and they are nowhere to be found.

Then I think about Dinky. She has a habit of putting things on the bottom drawer of my bedside cabinet. There they were. I sent him on his way. Caught up on facebook, and got trigger happy on Call of Duty on Xbox.

I then caught the bus to town to go to my keywork session. I was just coming up to the building when my phone rang. It was the school.

Apparently Dinky had a bad morning at school and had hurt someone so was being sent home.

So I had to turn round and leave a message for my keyworker to let her know what had happened. I caught the bus back up to the school and was there for 1.30pm. The head of pastoral care was there. I had now met the full set of the senior leadership team!

He said that dinky had a bad morning, had refused to do as she was asked and kicked a teacher, so they were sending her home.

The senco brought her out to me, she was not in a good mood at ALL.

The HOPC (head of pastoral care) said that dinky was asking if she could have television on when she got home. I said no not until it would be time to come home. He caught me well off guard and I should not have said that! Dinky was starting to get more upset.

HOPC: You are being sent home, tomorrow is a new day, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow for a fresh start.

Dinky: I don’t want to come to school. I hate this school.  I am not coming to school tomorrow!

It went backwards and forwards, but she was adamant. Then:

HOPC: Well, you need to go home with mummy now.

Dinky: I don’t want to go with mummy. GET AWAY FROM ME!!! I hate her! I’m still not coming to school!

I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little hurt.

HOPC: Are you ok carrying her out?

I had to carry her while she was literally kicking and screaming. Which was not good. I had to put her down once we got outside. Then she refused to come home.

It was hot and I am not a fan of the heat at all. It gets me all flustered and short tempered. I quickly got frustrated with dinky as she refused to walk home. She said she wanted to go back to school. When I eventually got her to move she stopped outside the gate to the early years playground as the early years children had come out to play. Which meant again, she wouldn’t move. We were blocking the pathway so I had to get her home. I picked her up, again kicking and screaming and got her to the community centre across the cul de sac. The nursery children were playing, dinky was screaming and shouting and crying.

One of the kids started shouting “cry baby!” at her. Which made her more upset. Then one of the nursery staff laughed. I then called across saying that allowing the children to name call a child who is obviously in distress is completely unprofessional, and to laugh about it is worse!

So I had to pick her up and get her away from the other children.

Then there were teenagers having lunch, or at least trying to while Dinky was still in a state. They were talking loudly about what a little shit she was. So again I had to move her.

Then she bit my hand and kicked and I dropped her.

Oh dear!

Dinky: you are mean mummy you hurt me.

We had this battle, walk a bit, sit a bit all the way home.

Once in dinky went straight up to her room and started trashing the place.

Then she got into the hugging state. SO she came down and we had a hug. She lay on me and I tried to reassure her. Then after a few minutes she went to sleep, again a few minutes later she was woken by me, trying to get the phone.

It was the integrated services lady. She was really nice and asked how dinky was. I told her she had just gone off to sleep before the phone rang. She apologised to which, I told her there was no need. She said the school had phoned to say she had been send home as she had a bad day at school and kicked the teacher. She said that she had arranged a meeting with the head teacher just after my meeting with her on Friday, and that she would like to come and see me after.

I told her how it took us 30-40 minutes to get home and she said that for dinky to now be calm means at least I’m doing a good job by managing to get her calm quickly. She said that she is going to support me to get dinky the support she needs.

Dinky was then awake so I let her watch some T.V as it was now nearly 3pm. She was much less anxious and said that she was sorry for being naughty at school. I told her it is ok and that I love her. She replied “I know, mummy I know.”

She was laying on me still and out of the blue she said

“They put me in a dark room with no toys, and no teacher to look after me.”

I looked at her in surprise. She carried on…

“There were spiders…. And …. Lots of bugs!”

Well, she was coming back to herself properly now, her sense of humour was back!

We spent the afternoon relaxing and had pizza for dinner. I decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to push it and go swimming tonight. So I left it.

She is still messing about in her room and not going to sleep but she at least seems content enough.

I phoned the ISPEA helpline, as when I looked on facebook I was informed that Dinky was actually informally excluded.
After a lengthy call with them, it turns out that they were spot on.
Dinky was illegally excluded, unless I turn up tomorrow and have written confirmation of a fixed term exclusion, and even then I have grounds to complain about the exclusion as I wasn’t aware of it being a formal exclusion and that it seems no reasonable adjustment was made to take dinky’s SEN or disability into consideration. It also seems drastic for a 5 year old.

As for the school trip, I was spot on they are not allowed to discriminate against her and I have some more information.

Again statutory assessment was brought up.

Just these two incidents prove that this school can not meet dinky’s needs. They should have been able to handle her on site and sent her home (illegally) and the fact that they are again saying they do not know if they can manage her behaviour on the trip, goes to show that they do not have the resources for her.

So I have to decide whether or not going down the statutory assessment route is worth it. It could mean dinky gets a set amount of hours 1:1, which will not only help dinky, but the school too. As if they can keep her calm, and someone is tuned into her anxiety levels then they may have the ability to avert some of the situations the school find themselves in.

This leaves me with some thinking to do.

Do I say something tomorrow? Do I ask if she was formally excluded? If she was do I fight it? DO I use this to show that they need help to cater to her needs?

Do I say yes but wait until I meet with the head on Friday?

I don’t know.

The whole situation has been a nightmare. I don’t want dinky to think that if she behaves like this then she will be able to just come home, and I do not want the school to exclude her formally or illegally!

Getting her hoe was a nightmare and again this shows that the school are not thinking properly. Dinky’s IEP acknowledges her problems with transition yet they still excluded her, which meant something completely out of routine and completely different. They did not take into account how she would react to it, or what effect this would have on her!

They didn’t think. This I will definitely bring up.

 

It feels like I have been tossed into some parallel universe!

Most kids go to school and the most the parent worry about is whether or not little Timmy got paint on their jumper again.

Here I am trying to work out whether or not they just formally or illegally excluded my 5 year old!

You cant get any more different to what I envisioned for dinky for school…

But I am here now and I have to suck it up, place my amour on, put on my war paint and prepare to do battle….

(At least I can not say my life is dull and that I am not learning anything! By the time Dinky is in secondary school I will probably be able to recite the SENCOP and DDA, and equality act!)

Advertisements

What on earth prompted this?

993603_10151634329691760_1263907174_n

 

Dinky seems to go through phases and it has been really difficult to get any sense out the new school, however we get random days like today where it seems to all fall apart. Dinky has just had a big meltdown straight out of the classroom door.

Today also went to show just how much they misunderstand the intentions of a contact book and what content is supposed to go in it! (Although I have managed to get a meeting for Wednesday and intend to bring up the illogical way they do her contact book).

This morning Dinky did not want to go to school. She was hiding in the washing. I had to first make light of it, and then a challenge. We raced to get our shoes on, obviously she won.

On the way to school she was telling me that she didn’t love me anymore and that she wants to live with her grandma. I must admit I was hurt, I had forgotten about the way that she will say things to hurt me as part of her PDA. While I was hurt I didn’t react to it. In fact I didn’t react at all. I should have told her I wouldn’t want her to go and that I love her too much. Unfortunately I was too tired to think straight.

She said she didn’t want me to stay at school and do activities this morning. This is when I twigged the hurt in her voice. I picked her up and told her that I wanted to go in, that I need her to teach me maths this morning. (I am learning! Fridays is maths table!). She told me that she was sorry, she did love me really and she didn’t want to live with her grandma.

When we got in she happily went straight over to her teacher and told her that she was going to teach me maths today!

So we went into the class and we were weighing. We went on the table in the corner and had our own scales. We measured everything and she did quite well. She wouldn’t write the numbers and when she eventually showed me how clever she was by writing her numbers, they were barely legible and she got annoyed because they didn’t look like the numbers she wanted to write. I had to snatch the work off her to stop her from ripping it.

Dinky happily went to her classroom area and read a book. I told the teacher I was going and left.

At home I have been researching the Human brain. I have learnt a lot, it is a very interesting subject. However I do not want to say too much as I am reading a paper which is not published yet and I promised I would not share it with anyone, however it is very interesting and her description of PDA and explanation of its manifestations are the best I have read so far. She really does have a deep insight into the minds of these children. I think she is a very clever woman and I hope she manages to get her work published.

I must admit my own brain was aching as it was a lot more challenging than the previous research I had done with regard to autism and Asperger’s.

I left to go get Dinky from school. When I went into the classroom the end of the week teacher said to wait, that she needed a word.

Here we go again…

While we waited for more parents to come collect their offspring, I noticed Dinky had cut a hole in her jumper. Nice! Have they not heard of supervision, especially with scissors? Fantastic! not!
First of all she wanted me to sign the referral to the speech and language team. I was shocked that the senco had actually done something constructive! Meanwhile dinky had looked in her book bag to give me a letter and found that the same book was inside. She was not impressed at having the same book (she refused to read it last night) so she threw it on the floor and when the teacher looked at her, I said it was because she didn’t read it the day before. She then went off under the table and was generally on edge. While I was trying to do the form she was trying to get into the teachers cupboard and was taking things out. She was generally making a nuisance of herself. It seemed as if she did not know what she wanted or needed to do nor where to put herself.

When the class had almost emptied the teacher spoke to me about her behaviour today. She said that she was constantly pushing the boundaries. She was spitting, had cut her own jumper and blamed it on other children (when it was definitely her), going into places she wasn’t supposed to, ect.
In the contact book she has written

dinky has been a bit up and down today and needed thinking time in order to make the right choice.

She has been trying to get a negative response through her behaviour.

Dinky did enjoy music today though and used the claves.

Nothing about using scissors on her jumper, spitting or anything else she mentioned to me. Also it seems they have misunderstood Dinky, as she does not do what she does for a negative response. It doesn’t matter what response you give, until she has gotten whatever it is out of her system she will not stop. It is this type of misunderstanding that leads to incorrect handling which leads to more inappropriate behaviour.

Anyway, Dinky did not like the idea of the teacher writing about her in the book so spat on it. Spat at me and was kicking and hitting before going back under the table. Under the table she got a pair of scissors and tried cutting my shoe laces. I got the scissors off her, then she scribbled on the teachers clipboard in permanent marker. She went back in the teachers cupboard and broke a child’s model dinosaur.

 We finished our conversation and Dinky ran out of the classroom. I went out to get her but she wouldn’t come. So I said I was going she could come or she could stay. She screamed and got really upset and kicked me from behind, head butt my hip and was punching me in front of the deputy and the head teacher. Great!
She refused to come again so I said the same thing again and again she ran after me and hit me, this time she also spat at me.

I ignored it, and said, ‘ come on then sweetheart, lets get you home’. punched, kicked and spat at again this time about 3 feet away from her new head teacher.

It took more persuading to get her out of the gate. more violence.

We got to the shops and she wanted something to eat. I was not taking her into the shop in the mood she was in. The security guard in there makes her 10 times worse as he watches her meltdown despite her screaming she doesn’t like people looking at her. This led to her saying she wasn’t going anywhere. She pulled and pulled to get away, tried to take her wrist reins off, bit my hand and drew blood, kicked, punched, screamed, sat on the floor and spat at me. We had an audience which annoyed me. One kid, must have been about 10, stopped and asked if we could move! I asked him to just go round us. Then he stood next to her and watched! I asked him if he had nothing better to do than watch a little kid have a meltdown!

One of the TA’s came by after that to do her shopping with her son. She stood there and watched! I would have thought she would show some more consideration considering Dinky is one of the pupils in early years. Nope, stood there gossiping with the rest. To be fair on some people, they recognised dinky and walked straight past and tried to give me a small smile.

There was absolutely nothing I could do. She didn’t want me touching her and every time she said she was cuddling she bit my legs. I had to ignore her and hope it wasn’t too long before she managed to calm herself down.

Eventually, and I mean e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y she calmed down enough to move away from the crowd. She was screaming something about sun light and she didn’t want the sun in her face. She was hiding behind her book bag. She seemed really distressed by it. By the time we got out from under the roundabout she was getting more upset by the sun. So I took my coat off and put it over her so that the sun wasn’t on her and she walked home.
I didn’t say a word, and then she told me that she was upset today because her teacher didn’t believe her over something. She said that other children spat on their work and scribbled on their work and they were not supposed to and they said it was her, but her teacher didn’t believe her. To be fair it sounds like dinky, maybe she couldn’t remember doing it.or was sorry and didn’t want to get into trouble? I don’t know. I will bring it up on Wednesday as end of the week teacher isn’t in again until then.

When we got in dinky and I had a big hug. Dinky asked me where the blood on my hand had come from. I told her that when she was upset she bit me. She seemed genuinely upset about making me bleed. She snuggled into me for a whole minute. Since then she has been watching Netflix. Although just before dinner she realised that she left her seed at school. Luckily I had some grow your own cress kits from her trip to mcDonald’s with her special needs group a long while ago. So we set it up so she could watch it grow. Although she made it quite clear she wasn’t doing the writing or drawing it. So I said we would take pictures everyday of its growth and if she wants to write on it she can, if not she wont.

She is still watching Netflix. I am dreading the getting ready for bed!

I have no idea what has changed as the rest of the week she has been ok in school, just some minor issues about sitting on the carpet. Well, that is as far as I am aware.

We are not doing anything special tomorrow, but sunday we have been put down for a special needs activity day at the leisure centre.

I just hope Dinky feels better tomorrow…

Worst meltdown in a long time… my dad spells help.. h.i.n.d.e.r

My dad came over Friday evening, then came back yesterday and stayed last night to give me a much needed lay in.

Although I am unsure whether I would have opted for an early morning considering what happened not long after I got up.

So this morning I got up at about 9.30am, dad and dinky were laying on the sofa engrossed in Pingu on Netflix. Dinky then came to sit on my lap and wanted me to read her a story, once I had done that she was back over to my dad to jump all over him. He was getting annoyed because dinky was still jumping while he was trying to roll himself a cigarette. He growled at her to get off. She wasn’t impressed.

Dinky was doing lots of little annoying things, like interrupting conversation, and jumping on both of us. She settled for a little while doing stamp pictures at her table. I cant actually remember what started it, but my dad got angry with her while I was reading something on the ipad. She got really upset by it, I gave him the don’t take it too far look. He has a habit of lecturing her on behaviour, which I tell him is probably inappropriate for most 5 year olds, but more so for Dinky as it just makes her worse. I have told him so many times to leave discipline to me, but he just jumps in, engages mouth before brain.

Dinky then went to run for something and almost ran straight into the door. I tend to laugh in awkward situations which doesn’t help matters. Dinky shouted “DON’T LAUGH AT ME!!!” and she started throwing things at me. My dad jumped in and shouted at her again, this made her worse and she started to rip all the pictures off the visual timetable. I left her to it to let her get it out of her system. She then threw the washing basket over, pulled all the books off the bookcase, threw a wooden chair at me, and was attacking me in between trashing the living room. Again I had to shoot my dad a look as his interfering was just escalating the situation. She took one look at my ipad and lunged for it, so I grabbed hold of her. It is one thing to have to tidy up but if she smashes £500 worth of kit, it becomes a whole different matter. She was screaming to let go of her and hitting me. She was in full meltdown now. My dad kept telling her to stop and telling her she couldn’t have this or that. I shouted at him to shut up or get out! He was making her ten times worse. I had to fully restrain her as every time I let her go she was attacking or trashing.

I sat down on the floor with her facing away from me. I crossed my legs over hers immobilizing them, I crossed my arms across her chest to stop her lashing out. I gave her a little bit of upper body space as she says I was hurting her. I know I wasn’t truly hurting her, but there is a possibility it could be a sensory thing. She was spitting all over me and wiping her rather snotty nose all over my arm (which was rather disgusting). She was screaming and then once she realised I wasn’t letting her go she started biting. She bit my right arm twice in quick succession while my dad was out having a cigarette. When he came back in she was sucking my knuckle and then sunk her teeth in pretty hard. A few more bites, more spitting and more head butting later she seemed to be calming down. I decided to let her go, bad idea!

She pulled the washing over, threw everything off her table and was launching books at me. My dad again made her worse by shouting and telling her how awful she was. I told him I was dealing with the situation, his response was ‘I don’t have to like it, I shouldn’t have to sit here…’ I cut him off by saying ‘enough’… I had to restrain her again. More screaming, spitting and biting. I was trying to calm her down, I was trying to reassure her.

45 minutes later she is finally calm.

She went upstairs to play on her mobigo. I had a quiet but forceful argument with my dad over his handling of the situation. If I have told him once I have told him 100 times

Let me deal with dinky!!!!

He doesn’t understand he is making it worse. He was saying that now she knows her own strength she is using it. I asked him what part of, panic attack meltdown, does that fit into? He said I wasn’t allowing him an opinion. Well, I was, but I was trying to correct him as he was wrong.

Every time I think I have him onside he does something stupid in handling her challenging behaviour. Fair enough this was the first time he had ever seen her that bad. It was actually the worst it has been for a while. He just doesn’t get it.

The rest of the afternoon I allowed her to do as she pleased. She was quite happy with her sticker book from the lad we met up with and went to the circus with on Thursday.

Dinky also made me a card. It was a flower on the front with

‘To mummy

I lurv yow

from

xxxxxxx’ inside.

It was nice. We spent some time with her curled up on me.

She had a bath, but was very awkward with the hair wash. She went to bed at 7pm.

I’m just wiped out. I may have had a few hours extra sleep, but today was just one of those days that you just want to erase from your life.

When she went to bed my dad still believes he knows best. In the end I just gave up. He doesn’t get it. Like Saturday night. I was trying to explain my predicament with the school. I wanted to bounce ideas off him as to what I should do regarding the senco. He had no idea what he was talking about and when I tried to say it wouldn’t work, or something doesn’t work the way he thinks, he had a go at me for asking him in the first place. Yet he says he wants to offer me more support.

I am on my own. I have to find a way of getting him to realise I deal with her day in and day out. He doesn’t see her get like that. I do, I deal with it. He has to let me deal with it. I was a little harsh and have elaborated in the past, about the fact that he wasn’t a great parent so he has no place lecturing me or jumping in to parent my child when I am there. He walked out and he has no idea what it takes to raise a child day in day out. So he has absolutely no idea how to raise a child with special needs like Dinky.

I know it sounds harsh. It probably was, but he has to realise when he is in the wrong. I am forever beating myself up, analysing my parenting, and working out what I can change if the same problem arise to make it better. My dad on the other hand is very ridged. He wont change his ways, he is applying his useless parenting techniques he used with us on dinky.

These days I hate. I hate seeing her like that. I hate it. To look at her you would not believe she was capable of what happened today.

I think a big difference is my dad was livid, like she did it on purpose. I see it as something she cant help. I don’t think it was any better for her than it was being on the end of it.

I am dreading tomorrow morning. Back to school. I don’t know if things are going to go the same way as they did at her old school when she goes back.

Time will tell.

Half term begins

My dad was over today and had dinky for me while I went to town to get his present as it was on offer for bank holiday weekend and we are busy tomorrow and Monday.

Apparently she had been quite well behaved in my absence. When I got home she was acting up a little and being rather rude.

She soon settled though and we had a nice afternoon. That was until I had a very bad idea, obviously I had no idea at the time just what a bad idea it was.

Dinky went to the toilet and I decided it would be funny to say boo as she came out.

However, not only did she not find it funny, she went into meltdown mode. I tried to give her a hug and got many thumps and a right hook to the jaw! (she is rather powerful for a 5 year old, it bloody hurt). She was screaming, and hid under the table. she stayed there fro a while and then proceeded to tell me off. We had a cuddle and she was digging her chin into me at random points. I guess it took a lot to forgive.
Needless to say, I won’t be doing that again!

Dinky is off to see her grandma, granddad and aunt tomorrow. I haven’t told her yet so that is going to be a surprise for her. I am sure she will be very happy at the prospect of spending a few hours with them.

I am getting slightly worried about how much I have packed into next week. We have now been invited to the circus on Thursday by a wonderful person and her lovely child who has PDA.

There are only a few things that she cant stop when ever she wants. I wont be there for the activity afternoon on Tuesday or the Special needs group on the Friday. However normally she is fine with the special needs group and it is only 3 hours on the Tuesday. The other days I can stop what ever it is we are doing if she cant handle it or has a meltdown.

We shall see what the week brings…