Friday, March 18, 2005

Lewis again

Found out today that my ten year old son had an 'incident' at school yesterday.

This is to be expected.

He has Aspergers syndrome, but owing to some confusion over the evidences provided to East Sussex County Council, instead of being statemented in time for the start of this school year, he got a note in lieu, something which does not provide extra funding.

His favourite classroom assistant, Zoe, (at one point the only person in the school who understood him, according to Lewis) was the casualty of that, her hours were reduced from full time to two days a week.

Bless her, she hung on in hope for as long as possible, but had to quit this Tuesday gone.

This, according to Lewis, has changed everything, although he wont verbalise it. He feels his (lovely) teacher doesn't properly understand him without Zoe to translate and things are on a downhill slide, blatantly obvious in less than two days.

So, Thursday, another child starts picking on Lewis during a break time. This is fairly normal, or it used to be without an interpreter hovering in the background to give him essential tips on social interaction, if needed, before it got to 'smack in the teeth' time. His reaction, given that he feels isolated, misunderstood, picked on etc was probably not that outrageous, but he apparently gave as good as he got.

Upshot: both kids get detention, in separate rooms.

Lewis, as you can imagine, thought this was unfair, and on a matter of principle, refused point blank to go to his detention. He demanded that someone go to fetch, in his words "One of the Morrow-Nobles" (thats Zoe, or her sister who is a full time teacher there for another year group). He just wasnt going to budge until told to by someone he could accept the instruction from.

Eventually the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) told him she was just going to stand in the corridor with him until he calmed down and went to start his detention.

His dead-pan answer? "Well you'd better go and get your sandwiches then, you've got a long wait."

I repeat, the kid is ten.

She knew enough to walk away. Without someone to lobby, he gave up and walked to detention after all, but if anyone expected a normal child, this reaction of his would have only piled on the pressure, maybe resulted in a restraint hold and a forcible march to an increased detention. He would have been kicking and screaming about his human rights for the rest of the day, complete with irate language. Heck I wouldn't put it past him to phone Amnesty International.

Thank God, when the SENCo told me about this she was laughing at it all. I was so relieved that he hadn't alienated himself from yet another adult, that I forgot to be angry until half way home; angry that, with the proper support, he wouldn't have been thumped in the first place, nor, with his gigantic social blinkers, pushed into a position where he thought that extreme measures were the only way out. Angry that he then had to go through all that stress and upset for the sake of a five minute detention.

Easter holidays start today. The SENCo will be at work next week, trying to sort out all the paperwork surrounding Lewis, either to re-present the evidences for the current statement application, in April, or for a new application, in May.

Good 'ere, innit.

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