Am I asking too much?

I wanted to make my first post something more light hearted and positive but something has been on my mind today so I decided to put it out there.  This is in no way a post to undermine the work done by his school and the great adults who work with him, but more my thoughts about the current education systems and how well they work (or don’t) for some children.

Let me begin by giving you a brief introduction to my son.  He is a happy, affectionate, funny and clever 7 year old who also happens to have a brain that works in a slightly different way to most children.  The label given to this is Autism, although it isn’t the classic autism most people are aware of.  It’s the kind where a child can often just be labelled spoilt, undisciplined, naughty, lazy and just downright weird.  He is able to create things out of boxes and bits and pieces around the house, has endless ideas for things and his vocabulary and memory would scare some adults.  He loves to learn about most new things and enjoys exploring the world around him.

So why is it so difficult for him to thrive in school?

Imagine…….. the hustle and bustle of a classroom.  Constant chatter, unpredictable noise and movement levels paired with high expectations and demands about work, behaviour, sitting still, putting your hand up etc.  Your head is full of facts and information about your favourite thing, you’re unsure what the adults are thinking or what their expression means. Are the stern words you can hear aimed at you?  In addition, you have to follow the instructions you were given.  You can remember most of them but not quite sure of all.  You aren’t confident and despite adults trying to help you you become frustrated and hit out.

This is an occurrence that happens regularly.  We managed to go for over a term without any hitting or major incidents but it always returns.  And usually driven by some hidden anxiety that we have to guess our way to in order to help solve and work through it.

He has a great 1-1, a good teacher but it just doesn’t seem to work for him.  Why should he have to sit still for long periods?  Why does he have to participate in formal learning constantly.  And, why does he need to be tested at the end of the year? At the age of 7? Who benefits?  It’s not him that’s for sure.

I often wonder:

Am I asking too much of him?

Am I asking too much of school and the already highly pressured adults around him?

Am I asking too much of the government and education ‘gurus’ by wanting an education systems that is not one size fits all?

The sad thing is, we have little choice.  The amazing special school in our locality is not suitable for his needs, the closest schools that would be are a considerable journey away, and home schooling will not help with his social issues and both my husband and I work full time, but seems to be the best option.

I don’t know what we can do.  I don’t know where to go from here.  I don’t know if we can work through it and hit a point where these issues don’t exist.

I do know, my son isn’t the only child in this predicament.  He is one of many children who don’t seem to have a place to fully thrive within the current education system.  One of many who are left behind because they can’t work in the ‘normal’ classroom set up or the way education ministers expect them to.  These children are our future.  They are our inventors, our scientists, our ‘out of the box thinkers’ who will make valuable and creative contributions to society and we don’t seem to be able to give them the education the rightly deserve.

Are we really asking too much for him to be taught in a flexible, interest driven way?

I guess that until I have that lottery win and can open a school of my own we’ll have to keep battling through each day, dealing with it one step at a time.

Linking up with ……

My Random Musings


The Mum Conundrum

 

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31 thoughts on “Am I asking too much?

  1. You’re not asking too much! However our education system is unfortunately not geared up to provide every child with the individual support that they need.

    Hope you find your way forward – stay strong!

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  2. You are not, of course, but unfortunately, school is not geared towards minorities and what governments would consider niche groups, ie not political high-priority interests. That’s why people like yourself and groups representing you have to fight so hard to get what should be there by rights. Great post. #AnythingGoes

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  3. Thank you. I am also a teacher so I see both sides and neither side is treated fairly in this game by the government and by media (I’m not saying all schools are blameless). I’m still waiting for that loottery win and trying to do the best for my son and the children I work with. Budgets are rapidly decreasing and the pressure on schools is immense. Maybe the polititions could donate thier pay increases to thye cause!

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  4. Hello lovely and thank you for joining us for the first time at #thesatsesh. I’m so sorry you’re having a really rough time of it. I am a teacher and am very frustrated at the current state of the UK system and how we are not fit for purpose in lots of ways. I hate the testing and the SATs at the end of Year 2 are RIDICULOUS. Sending you and your 7 year old well wishes and I hope you’ve had a good half term. #thesatsesh xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading. I wrote this post years ago and didn’t blog again but I’ve recently returned. My son is in year 5 now x The UK system us still if not more frustrating and funding us getting less for SEN. I am a parent and SENDco so I see both sides. Nobody is winning

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the problem lies with provision. School do their best most of the time, he is achieving at expected levels for his age but social and emotionsl skills wise he’s several years behind xx I’m dreading secondary

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  5. These extra facilities will probably never arrive because the government will always find somewhere else to invest that badly needed money. It’s absolutely not fair and you are most certainly not asking for too much. #itsok

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not asking too much in an ideal world … but unfortunately, we don’t live there. Schools are a blunt instrument really, catering for the broad mainstream, and therefore we depend on individual teachers to be able to nurture someone like your son, who sounds wonderful. #ItsOK

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. It sounded like you were describing my son. He does not have an official diagnosis of autism, but his brother is and I often wonder if I allowed him to slip through the cracks. I often ask myself how someone so brilliant and focused on the things he loves can do so poorly in school. For a long time I did just what you said and put it down to laziness and willfulness. I failed him, because he is so smart. He’s in the 11th grade now, still struggling along and I wish I could have done something more to help him have an easier go of it. Fortunately, he had no behavior issues, because as a black boy that would not have been tolerated in the school system. Thanks for writing this. And completely off topic, you should watch The Good Doctor, it’s almost therapeutic how they treat autism on the show. It is of course Hollywood and TV, but it is great stress relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are not asking too much. You can never ask too much for when it comes to the betterment and health of your child. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to education, sadly many of us need to utilize a system that treats our kids like a cog. Your post describes my husband and the trials he went through in school. My husband as high functioning autism and see the world a little differently. That was a great post, you wrote from the heart. Thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey there!

    You are by far not asking too much by wanting a bit more fairness in the way kids are taught and treated in school. I for one can talk from experience when I say it’s hard for some kids to just “be” in school. I was labeled a lot of different things in my school and eventually (through my own choice and force) I left public school in order to pursue home schooling. While my parents were busy as well, I still had a lot of freedom with online schooling and it probably spared me a lot of trouble as a person later in life.

    I can say that if you’re considering it, look into local home schooling options. The one I went to was fantastic; teachers were always just an email or instant message away, you had plenty of opportunities to meet up with classmates, it was fun as hell and a GREAT place to learn without distractions. You can do everything roughly on your own time limit, even completing the entire month in just a week if you wanted.

    Rant out of the way, I truly believe we do need more awareness for people with different needs. Children and their mental health should be paramount in this day and age, and I fully support it. You aren’t asking for too much, you’re asking for what’s right.

    Thank you for the experiences shared here, and I’m sending all the love and good wishes over to your family. May your son grow up to be one awesome guy one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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