Thursday, 13 October 2011

The first review meeting, by the Parent

Well, it could have been worse… it could have been a lot worse, but for several factors:
  • I work as a teacher (albeit in Secondary) in a pastoral support role; so I know what they are talking about!
  • Similarly, I am not intimidated by lots of professionals 
  • I have a lot of faith in the school and trust them and am very happy to work with them 
  • Academically my son seems to be coping (at the moment)
  • My sons behaviour has not been too bad (so far) 

There has, though, been a deterioration in his behaviour and we discussed possible reasons for this and a variety of strategies, I hope this is a phase but we will do what we can.  I am hopeful the firmer boundaries will make a difference. 

I will now get some communication with school via a home/school diary, which hopefully means we can support the school and actually find out he is doing (instead of “I dont remember”).

We saw  his Additional Support Plan (though are not involved in drawing this up).

Overall, it was a friendly, relaxed and informative meeting with a lot of 2-way discussion and support.  However, I cannot help but think that the meetings are not always so open and good natured.  I suspect that  frustrated and defensive parents combined with  a large group of “experts” offering different jigsaw pieces of support does not always make for such a productive meeting.

What would I change?
  • A clear outline to parents before about who exactly will be involved, what their role is and what they will (or could) be bringing to the table, as it were. 
  • An outline of what will be discussed (not too prescriptive though, tangents can be useful) with perhaps some expectations of the parents or a place for them to write their concerns. 
  • Possibly a reality check as well:  your child is one of 25 or 30 in a class; there is only so much support we can offer; we are human!  

Anyway, I continue to count my blessings in this respect and I feel I have perspective about what the school can do, what we can do and what difficulties are part of my sons Autism and thus will never change!  Whether I continue to feel so positive as time goes on I cant honestly say.

I presume I will receive some minutes of the main points but have typed up some of my own notes just in case.

Away from school, my son will start attending the Beavers after the October holiday.  It is run by a teacher so he understands Autism and has had other boys who are autistic previously.  As I was discussing this, a boys father started speaking to me and explained he himself was “HF (high functioning), Aspergers”.  He was most open, relaxed and told me about his wife.  It was very reassuring in so many ways…

 Written by Robert's mum

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