Today has been the worst yet!….
Please forgive me if my babble makes no sense but I myself am trying to make sense of the situation and try figure out what i do next.
So today my son went to mainstream school as arranged at the last meeting, three days at mainstream and two days at the pupil referral unit, This morning started off surprisingly quite well considering how hard it can be sometimes and my son got ready and went to school without a fight or an argument, I thought it could possibly be a sign of having one of those elusive good days but how wrong i was!….
At 1pm I received a call from my son’s mainstream school to go pick him up for bad behaviour….the school is in the next town and takes a good 25mins to drive to and when i was half way there they rang again asking if I was on my way yet.
Upon arriving the head teacher called me through and said that my son had trashed the classroom and had been disruptive all morning, and he would be excluded for 5 days but HAD to spend this exclusion time at the pupil referral unit where I must take him straight away, she handed me an exclusion letter and said that he was being physically restrained in the nurses room at that moment and I NEEDED to take him straight from there to the pru wearing no shoes, no jumper,no coat and no lunch box and that he had been refused to be allowed to have his lunch but the one to one TA assigned to my son would meet him and myself at the pru with the rest of his things.
I did not argue or question as it was obvious they wanted me in and out as fast as possible, the only thing I did say was that if my son was distressed I would allow him to calm down before taking him straight to the pru which was met with “I think your priority should be getting him straight up there”…(No regards for the fact that distance and time was not realistic and would affect my ability to collect my oldest child from school! what was I a bleeding yoyo?)
I went into the nurses room where two staff were restraining my son who was visibly distressed and fighting to be set free, I took charge and said it was ok to let go of him and I would handle him from here, He instantly stopped struggling and took my hand and cried that they (assuming teachers) wouldn’t give him his lunch.
I opened the exclusion letter once I was in the car and it stated this word for word….
This is a fixed term exclusion of 5 days commencing Monday afternoon 18th June, This is following several incidents this morning where he, among other things, was trying to prevent children from going to the toilets, throwing water around the toilets, launching board rubbers and other resources through the air in class and trying to pull the desk drawers out on the class teachers legs.
He will be expected to attend the PRU this afternoon and for the rest of the week.
I had questions, I wanted to know what had triggered this behaviour, what had started it and what the “among other things” meant, I wanted to know how he was preventing children from going to the toilet and for what reason was he there un-supervised, I wanted a better explanation of a 5 day exclusion and I knew I was not going to get it, I was frustrated at the lack of communication and the need to keep sending my son to the pru unit which was doing him no favours at all.
I took my son home, allowed him to calm down for a while and tried to ring the head teacher, I wanted to know where we stood as in the last meeting she tried to express in the nicest way possible to the LA that her school could not cater for my son but they would not listen and I got the feeling that she was a little peeved that the LA are making them comply to having my son attend at their school even on a basis of three days a week, I feel that she is now expressing this by sending my son back to the PRU at every given opportunity while she knows how I feel about that, It feels like she has given up trying to work with me and instead wanted rid of us both, I rang the school to speak with her, my intention being to ask if she could be honest with me and just tell me if she was still of the opinion that her school could not cater for my son and that she still thought he would be suited to a school with more specialist previsions, and if so I would be prepared to work with her to find a suitable school if she no longer wanted him on her “precious roll” I had to have her back me up because the PRU have been quite clear on their opinion that my son does not have special needs, he does not need any extra help, all his behaviours are “learnt behaviours” attention seeking and down to “parenting skills” so therefore I was not going to get the support of the PRU in trying to get my son into a more specialist school, I needed her support because she has seen things through my eyes and agreed with me that the underlying causes for the behaviours need to be addressed rather that trying and failing to treat his symptoms without fully knowing exactly what were dealing with, she has been THE only person ever to agree with me to this extent and I could not understand why all of a sudden she seemed so unapproachable, cold and unwilling, I wanted to ask her to lay the cards on the table and help me to help my son.
Typically the receptionist said the head teacher was in a meeting but would pass my message on!……
So I rang the PRU unit and told them that I was not prepared to bring my son in until he had calmed down as he was too distressed, they said that he needed to be there to give me a break from it, that I was giving him what he wanted, that I was allowing him to manipulate me, I told them they were wrong and i knew that my son needed time to calm down, they then asked where I was so they could come pick him up!…(the cheek of it!) How i kept my cool I have no idea,they insisted that he had to be marked down as being there and the authorities would become involved if I did not co-operate. I knew what was best and I was not allowing them to manipulate me, they were trying to do what they were accusing my son of doing and I refused to back down on this, I said I would take him there within the hour once he had calmed down and they would have to accept that, again they asked where abouts I was, if I was at home or not, I said he would be there when he was ready.
I explained to my son that he would be going to the PRU because of his behaviour at mainstream, He did not like it one bit and became distressed again, begging and pleading and crying real tears (which is not often seen in my boy at all, I very rarely see him cry for anything)…He complained of having a bad tummy ache but still I took him, On the drive there his tummy ache became visibly painful and he could not even sit up straight I knew it was real as I have seen it many times, he gets these bad tummy ache’s when he is anxious, Once parked up my son proceeded to throw up outside the car. I hated doing this, surely this was not right, My son was pale, shaking, crying, bent over double in pain and begging me not to take him in because he was scared, I did not want to but felt I had no choice because I had been backed into a corner without being allowed to have an opinion on how my own son was treated, My instinct was to take him straight back home and stick to my guns on the PRU not being suitable but to be honest I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with it, no one was listening to how I saw things, to how the well-being of my son was being overlooked because of grudges being held over his behaviour, if no one has managed to make him “conform” in 9 years then why are they still trying when it’s obviously not working.
Anyway I pressed the buzzer of the PRU while my son was crouched on the floor, I took him by the hand as one of the teachers opened the door and quick as a flash the teacher SNACTHED yes SNACTHED his hand from mine and marched him straight into the isolation room, I told her he had just been sick and she did not even look at me, she maintained her cross angry and hostile expression,shrugged her shoulders and said nothing! another teacher pulled me to one side and tried to tell me that children are often sick after they have had a tantrum and I shouldnt give in to this tactic, he would be fine and I had done the right thing taking him in, she said they would hold him until 5pm!!…WHAT?
Does anyone know if they have a right to treat my son like this?
I could hear my son being shouted at VERY loudly by the teacher who snatched him away from me and then I heard him screaming and crying, the teacher who was trying to convince me that all children who have tantrums can make themselves sick on purpose then pulled me outside into the car park saying that the noise I was hearing from the isolation room coming from my little boy was “him provoking a reaction from me because he knew I was there” that the crying was for my benefit!
Are these people for real or what?
Now I sit here confused and very VERY angry not knowing what to do, have I done the right thing? should I have done something more? what do I do now? IS MY SON OK?….