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Teaching in a special school.............

Discussion in 'Personal' started by BelleDuJour, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Nice to see you, Mrs Bauble :).
    I was beginning to think I was missing something, but glad to see the NAS confirmed what I actually thought.
    I fully understand your dismay :s
     
  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I think we all need now to agree to disagree.
    There are more important things in life than squabbling on here. FWIW had some training today for new staff. Bearing in mind the school I am in is one that only takes those most seriously affected by autism and with severe and complex learning needs the phrases 'mild autism' and 'severe autism' were used. These youngsters will be in residential care for the whole of their lives and will never gain independence.
    I also found myself today crying tears for these youngsters. Tears for the frustrations they bear on a daily basis and tears for the people they could have been. Call me an emotional old fool if you like but there it is.
    I will also add that never in my career have I been so physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted at the end of every day.

     
  3. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Belle you still don't get it do you?
    They have severe learning difficulties, and very possibly Kanner's autism. That does not make their autism any more severe or any less severe than a child who is diagnosed with ASD or AS.
    The presence of severe/moderate/mild/no learning difficulties makes a difference to the type of autism they are diagnosed with, and it also makes a difference to their ability to access the national curriculum.
    It does not mean that a very verbal child, with no learning difficulties, an exceptionally high IQ and a diagnosis of HFA, won't be affected as severely by their autism, as the non-verbal child, with severe learning difficulties and a below average IQ.
    You know what Belle, these kids do not need you to cry for them. They especially don't need you to cry tears for the people they could have been. They are the people they are, because of their autism and if they didn't have autism, they wouldn't be the person they are now.
    You cannot cry for the person they could have been, because you don't know anything about what could have been.
    I have never heard anything more patronising in all my life.
    I don't cry tears for what my own children could have been, because they are the people they are both because of and in spite of their autism. Of course we all wish that their life was easier, and maybe in an ideall world they wouldn't have had Asperger Syndrome. But they do have the condition, and if they didn't have it, they wouldn't be the children I love and adore.
     
  4. Fantastic post Doglover! You make a great advocate for people with the condition/s and for all the right reasons.

    Oh, and your children really are lucky to have you for a Mummy!
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I suppose we should be happy that we're now allowed to disagree.

     
  6. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    Have to say I agree with this. Yes crying might be a reaction from some people as in a poor you or out of frustration. People/students/humans are only themselves and not some kind of blank canvas on the way to an ultimate ideal.

    It is our faults, quirts and uniquenesses that make US me.....
    I'd hate to think people are crying about me, because of the parts that make me ultimately me the person I am.

    As I would do for any student under my care, I do the best I can for them but part of that is accepting them for who they are, not what they 'should/could' be.
     
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Sorry but I disagree because these youngsters can no more access the national curriculum than a 2 year old child. Fact.
    RUBBISH! I have a child who was born with a life threatening disability. I cried for her, as I cried for the youngsters I work with. I cried because all my dreams and aspirations could have been swept away at any moment. I have found out that many staff at the school cry for the children. It's becasue we are humans, not emotionless machines. If we were then we wouldn't work there.
    But no doubt you'd still love them if they didn't have Asperger's?
    In the short time I've been at this school I've met and spoken to parents who dearly love their children, but who cannot manage them at home and would give anything to have a magic wand.
    Oh...and please don't call me patronising.
     
  8. God, I must have PMT. Doglover's post has made me tear up...
     
  9. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I am not completely agree what you are disagreeing with me about?
    Why can the children not access the curriculum, Belle? Is it primarily because of their autism or is it primarily because of the severe learning difficulties?
    Belle, of course I would love my children if they didn't have Asperger Syndrome. But they do have it, and because of that, they are the children I know and love. I wouldn't change it, even though it is difficult at times, because if I did change it, they wouldn't be the kids I now know and love.


     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I found myself nodding as I read.
    My 3 year old step grandson was diagnosed with autism earlier this year - to be honest it didn't take an expert as he has many classic identifiers (flapping, obsessions, lack of interaction, repeated behaviours, total lack of fear instincts, particular skill with numbers, inability to cope with change to routine, poor language development to name but a few). I'm as proud as I can possibly be of the way his mother is tackling this head on.
    It remains to be seen how he will cope with school if it's decided that he can attend mainstream but it's clear that he's very much at the autistic end of the spectrum and that is bound to make it difficult.

     
  11. My son was assessed as having moderate to sever autism and the affects of this have a huge impact on his daily life however he is (with support) in sixth form and acheiving A grades.
    I do hope that nobody cries for my son, as they would only be crying for the person who THEY think he should have been...my son is exactley the person he was ment to be and i'm glad of it.

    Doglover is a very eloquent advocate for parents of children who are on the ASD.
     
  12. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    DL I have PMd you. Please now give me a break.
    For the rest of you I'd like to say I am working in what is known to be possibly the most difficult special school in the UK, with some of the most profoundly affected youngsters. Many will never progress beyond a developmental age of 2-3 years old and none will ever lead independent lives.
    This is new to me. I am no expert but willing to learn.
    Whilst many of you have leapt on the old TES bandwagon and circled like vultures (thanks!), none of you who have rounded on me have offered any useful advice, just tried so hard to make me out to be some sort of idiot.
    I will not apologise for shedding a few tears. Most of the staff at the school do so from time to time. It distresses me to see a child self-harming and I myself was injured (minor) today.
    At least the staff and parents appreciate what I am doing without criticism. Those are the opinions that count.
     
  13. Well said, Doglover. BDJ, you make the children sound like some sort of pet. Your tone, when speaking about your 'experiences' with them is, to me unacceptable.



     
  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Come and do a better job then TeddyB
     
  15. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Give you a break, Belle?
    I would appreciate you not making me look like a bully here. I am simply disagreeing with some of the comments you have made. Perhaps if you don't like people disagreeing with you, you should think more carefully about what you post.
    I am by no means the only person to challenge your views.
    Belle, as for your pm, if you need any genuine advice, I will be only too glad to help.
    Of course, I don't have children with any learning difficulties, or with the type of autism you are working with, but I will do my best to try to help.
     
  16. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    I have mixed feelings about the contributions on this thread. I fully admit to having cried for the young mad I worked with some years ago - severely autistic, non-verbal, the only activity he showed any signs of tolerating was swimming. I spent a lot of my time chasing him round the school and we had to keep the classroom - and the windows - locked. He showed every sign of being in a constant panic attack. His mum was in denial and desperate.
     
  17. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Awful typo - sorry.
     
  18. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    Mandala, you weren't crying about what could have been though, were you?
     
  19. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Thank you Doglover. And thank you for recognising the differences between your children and those I am working with.
    It's not that I don't like people disagreeing, but if one does disagree then one should offer a reason why. As far as I can see people on here just disagree, without offering and alternative explaination. Just disagreeing without a 'because' is...well ....pointless.
    Also, I'm not sure I have expressed that many 'views'. I said I think we are all somewhere on the autistic spectrum, and Impis or Inky (I think) explained that quite clearly (I know I should have done). I said the children I teach may not benefit from trying to access the NC, and I think you now understand why. I am not apologising for being emotional. It is not patronising, it was done in private and if you don't like it then tough. I am not an emotional cripple.

     
  20. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    I don't know. I could well have been.
     

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