Tonight the boy wasn’t in the best of moods and at bedtime he broke down.
This afternoon was his class teachers afternoon “off” teaching to do his preparation and planning. So The Boy gets taught by two different members of staff, this week it’s computing and RE (next week RE and French, the week after French and Computing on a 3 week cycle).
The computing isn’t so bad for him, but in RE they had to answer questions. He was too upset when talking to me to make much sense but they seemed to be about belief and what people think and what he thinks (he even mentioned what his favourite colour is, which seems odd for RE). Anyway, he was upset even contemplating discussing them. This kind of thing is HARD for him.
So, he didn’t answer the questions. I’m pretty sure he didn’t talk to the teacher about it either. After all, this is the teacher who when standing in for his teacher last year, wouldn’t let him join in a PE lesson because he wouldn’t change into shorts and a t shirt and go outside because he was worried he would be cold (I think this was about Easter time, so it wasn’t even an unreasonable worry). On this occasion the teacher then sent him to do the work outside the classroom in the corridor whilst the class did something else. But the questions handn’t changed so he still didn’t do them. So he got told off and told he would have to do them another time, he was under the impression this was when the rest of the class would be doing something fun (or maybe I misunderstood here).
I sort of get it. He’s bright, he did no work, he looks lazy or naughty, the teacher is cross. And yet it’s so wrong. Because we know that he really struggles with this kind of thing. There was a review meeting at school last week, with us (his parents), his teacher, the SENCO and a specialist interaction and communication expert. We discussed his ASC diagnosis. We discussed how hard he’d found doing the simple questions the SENCO had asked a TA to go through with him to gather his viewpoint for input and how it’d taken 2 sessions and he’d described it as “brain ransacking”. And yet this teacher doesn’t seem to be part of that we that knows these things, she seems not to know, or not to care. Because she only teaches him for a couple of hours in every 3 weeks they either haven’t tried to get the message to her or she hasn’t listened.
To add insult to injury, he was upset because he followed his class teachers rule (that he always has to be at the front of the line, not sure why, this was the first I heard of it) when other members of staff were in charge and got told off for pushing in. This is inconsistent, he cannot cope.
To top it all, he remembered that he’d left his bear at school, which he feels is because he’s made to keep it in his tray now (to stop him messing around with it), but he thinks it was left on the table and he’s worried it will disappear like the books that are left out do once the cleaners have been around.
So, I had a really upset, tired child to deal with.
We had a discussion about school wide rules, that all the teachers enforce, and the variance in ways of doing things that individual teachers have. A long discussion. And them we talked about how hard he finds this. About how he has to practice (because secondary school in a couple of years, eek). About how teachers are binary like babies (tell you off/cry when somethings not wrong, quiet when it’s ok) and how he can use this information and his science brain to work out the differences in rules. It took ages. He kept interrupting me and trying to drag the conversation off track, which was frustrating at times. But I appealed to his sense of humour and by the end he was much calmer.
I think he agreed to try. I definitely agreed to work on the other two issues. And so, this evening I sent an email to the SENCO, a nice, balanced, email politely requesting her assistance in figuring out a way of stopping the whole “I can’t answer questions about my feelings” situation escalating. I managed not to say that this teacher comes across as a cold heartless bitch who hates my child. (OK I don’t actually believe that, but she certainly doesn’t “get him”). I did say that I think that his problems in this area need to be addressed in the lesson plan.
And in the morning, I need to find time to get them all up (including my husband who’s not finding mornings so easy at the moment) and ready and get to school in time to talk to the teacher before registration about how to sort out the bear issue. Oh and walk the new dog, complete with all the endless arguments about what would be a fair turn at holding the lead that that entails. And get myself ready to go to a parenting course (aimed at parents of kids on the spectrum, the one I went to half of last year and was scuppered by my in laws). Which means I need to eat to. And get my bike out. And leave the dog for it’s longest period alone yet. And get them to catch up on practice as it’s their music lessons at school tomorrow.
So, the best prep is sleep. But I’m here, at 1am, trying to sort through my thoughts. Again.
It occurs to me that in some ways the best plan might be for me to walk the dog first thing, then deal with them. But that would be new and unexpected and decidedly UNFAIR as I’ve been using walking the dog with me as an incentive to get them ready earlier.
Oh and my period has just started.
Hey ho, at least I’ll have something to talk about in my training tomorrow.
If I get there.