>It’s been a long hard road to get my 9 year old son the education he needs, but it appears that long road still has a ruddy long way to go yet.
At our last annual review with the council, teachers, headteacher, SENCO, TA, Ed Psychologist present, it was made clear J was managing well within the classroom with 35 hours funding. They were however getting 25 hours paid and were subsidising the extra 10 hours, something they said they could no longer afford to do. My concern however was for his social interaction and I asked for more to be done at playtimes to help J make some friends. Overall it was a positive annual review, his class teacher stated that J had settled into the school year well. Council agreed to consider the 10 extra hours funding.
I should know better than to get complacent, but I thought all of the schooling problems were finally sorted.
Fast forward a month and J has a review with the paediatrician, there he writes a brief summary about how J is getting on. He has not been on day time medication for over a year, however the write up simply states ‘J is currently not on medication and Mum states he is copying fine without.’
Fast forward to last week and J’s teacher comes out to find me before the end of school. She says how they cannot cope with J in school, how he is danger to the other children and is disturbing their education. She then tells me its because he has come off his medication. So I listen to her explaining how she thinks he needs daytime medication to calm him down to make him easier to teach and deal with in the classroom. While listening with a smug feeling inside myself, I actually inform her that J hasn’t been on his daytime medication for over a year in fact, so I could guarantee the issues in the classroom are not related to medication or lack of it! She asked me to put him back on the medication and even offered to write a letter to the paediatrician to explain about the problems within school. I explained how the medication isn’t good and my reasons for him not having it, all she could say was that it would make her life easier inside the classroom….I left feeling a little bit confused and if I am honest, a little bit angry. I said to her that we would try it and for her to let me know how he gets on. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but put on the spot I had no idea what else to say!
But why should I medicate my child with ritalin just because the teacher can’t cope with him. He is not violent, he would never kick or hit anyone. He simply gets frustrated at the world, a common symptom of autism, not being able to cope with everyday situations. If my son is to be medicated then he will sit there in a daze, he will not be learning anything. Although the teachers words in reply to this were ‘Makes my life easier’, what about J’s life?? I have no idea what the medication does to his brain or even how it makes him feel. Yet I do know that there is a high suicide rate in children who take the medication…..
So yesterday I was away for the day and hubby had the pleasure of the school runs. When I got home he explained how the teacher had come outside and explained to him how much better behaved J was now he was on his medication again, and how you can instantly notice the difference when he has had it. They had no problems with him and said how he settled down quickly with no issues and had a brilliant day…..yet what they don’t know that he actually hasn’t had any medication at all. I wanted to see if my suspicions were right…are they just making it up to get the extra hours funding which are still being processed?
I feel frustrated and angry, I am desperate to get my son the education he needs. I always took for granted that a decent education is something standard for every child, as this is quite clearly not the case! I am sat here contemplating my next move. Yes I know I need to involve legal advice again, but the mummy inside me is telling me to remove my son from this school.