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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, my name is Melissa, & Im struggling to

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Hello, my name is Melissa, & I'm struggling to understand why my son's school teachers, mentors, or the Head, haven't listened to my cry for help regarding my son Alexander's learning needs. We're awaiting on referral from my Doctor to finally prove that something isn't right. I feel he may have a mild from of Autism. I have voiced this to the teachers after they all say they don't know what to do with him. At the parents meeting it was constantly mentioned by different teachers that he will write a few words & that will be it. ?? Alex will get upset if he thinks that someone is being unfair it does get to him but he is not violent. Anyhow, my son was recently pulled up & I had to go in for a meeting as a girl started calling him names & picking on him.(same girl that hit another pupil in the face, causing a black eye ,& blood everywhere, she is still in the school!) He shouted at her & got excluded for a few days. I find he is finding the whole school term very hard as he doesn't have the tools to learn like other children. In eight weeks he is sitting his exams. He cries a lot & worries as there is so much pressure to digest all this information but it doesn't go in correctly. A few days ago his girlfriend pulled on his backpack, over & over again, so he playfully pushed her, & he was exclude again for that, & the fact that he was trying to explain himself, maybe not so well! I got a phone call this morning saying they don't want him to come back to school & will give him study leave. He is not going to pass any exams left to his own devices & I would like to know is it legal for them to do this?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old is your son?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, my son is 16 years old.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What assistance have they offered for the next few weeks?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They have offered none at all.

 

This is a letter that I have emailed Emily XXXXXXX this morning. I thought it may help.

 

I'm at my wits end & don't know where to turn. I would like some help & advice as I feel totally unsupported by my son's school. My son Alex is 16, & is currently awaiting a referral from the doctor to have tests done, as I feel he may be mildly Autistic. I'm a single parent & have tried to open up to the school about my concerns as they are all not willing to understand that he doesn't take in information the same way as the majority of the students. He unfortunately has on a few occasions mentioned that he would like to end his life. He isn't violent & has never hit anyone but he us struggling with the enormous pressure I feel is put on any child around exam times. He is in his final year & should sit his exams in June. I have been called into the school lately as a not so nice girl in his school decided to keep on teasing him about an incident when a local gang member (Caledonian gang.) decided to pick on him & smack him on the nose in front of all the gang. My son now has a nose, which is bent & suffers anxiety walking around Islington. So, of course this still hurts his pride, & is still very much on his mind a year later. The person who is teasing him is related to the gang member. Everywhere my son goes, two girls are teasing him. Finally, my son reacted with shouting at her, & he was excluded for doing so. My son later was elbowed in the back by this same person & went to tell the teacher. But nothing was done about it. This group of girls smashed my son's girlfriend in the face, & she was supporting a black eye & there was blood everywhere. Funny, the same girl is in the school & although pulled up for her actions, in my opinion not enough. My son however was not in a great place the other day when his girlfriend was pulling at his back pack repeatedly & didn't stop when he asked her to. He gave her a playful push & he was told to leave the school immediately. Alex was extremely upset about the injustice of it all so he sat in the playground crying. He often has to have time out when faced with stressful situations. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the skill sets to enable him to express himself well & the teacher made him leave. When this teacher telephoned me he said Alex wouldn't leave the playground/school premises & they can't have that.

Every teacher in the school has had something to say about Alex, from not writing enough words in an essay, to not been able to complete a task, bad attention span & not been able to follow lengthy instructions . The list goes on & on. When I attended the parents meeting as I switched from chair to chair to speak to the individual teachers it was so apparent that all is not well. Why haven't they put there heads together & realised that he is struggling & something is not right. I suggest all school teachers should have some form of training to spot the signs. With regards XXXXX XXXXX condition I feel my son has been treated unfairly & the school have done all they can to look like they have ticked all the boxes, but haven't. They decided to call in a counsellor but Alex has only had one session with him. So, therefore they know all is not right but they still continue to say that they haven't noticed any traits that could be signs of Autism. In my opinion they would say that, as they don't want to admit that all this time Alex has gone through the whole school system without them noticing all is not well. Yesterday, I got a telephone call telling me that my son will no longer be able to come into school unless it's his exam day. So, they are now failing my child who desperately needs help to study in the next eight weeks. I also would like to say that through this nightmare we had a glimmer of hope that Alex would be taken on at a local collage to do a course on Sports Science, as Alex is a fabulous sports man. The only downside to that is Alex's grades have dropped dramatically causing him to have F grades. Another question mark, they should have picked up on this as a sign, as he is intelligent.

He needs a D or above in English to be able to get on particular course. Hopefully with the correct plan of action in place, he can go on to do something with his life. I have spoken to the college who say they will support his learning needs. My question is how can he achieve D or above if he can't attend school? I'm not saying Alex is an angel, whose child is? Alex say's he doesn't mess around in class & lately he has been trying so hard. His English teacher actually commented on the new improved Alex. Alex feels the head of his year is way too young & doesn't understand the fundamentals of the job. On numerous occasions Alex has tried to reach out to him & he say's he cares constantly but doesn't follow it through. In my opinion he is too immature for the role as he was stuttering & didn't want to address the real important issues at hand often running back & forth asking what he should do.

I feel that the school has failed my child terribly; even in primary school looking back there must have been signs. I do know that some types of Autism the symptoms can get worse when hitting teenage years. The only things that keep Alex going at the moment are his sports activities, especially his football matches, as he plays on the school team. He is now really upset, as he isn’t allowed to participate in any games even though he scored in the last game, & his football side beat an unbeaten team that hasn’t lost in five years. Also he was looking forward to going to the School Prom.

 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am far from certain what it is that you want the school to do.
It appears that you accept that your son cannot cope n the school environment - so what is it that you wish to achieve?
Clare

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