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DS3 and teacher having issues

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#1 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:14 PM

He’s 5yo, FYOS, non verbal and has an aide for regular classes, but not specialist classes (art, sport, IT, etc...). He has decided that he doesn’t like art, and misbehaves for the art teacher. She calls me every Tuesday to tell me off about his latest misadventure in her class. Today it was hiding in the stationary cupboard and falling asleep.

I’ve offered to bring him home early on Tuesdays, so she doesn’t have to teach him, sit in as a de facto aide, or self fund aide hours; while the school has offered to “grade split” him to another classroom for the lesson. None of this is acceptable to her.

I’m not happy. I know he misbehaves in her class. He has had detention, loss of play, time out, telling off, early bedtime and me just running out of patience and telling him to behave for Pete’s sake.

Any suggestions?

Edited by kadoodle, 23 July 2019 - 08:29 PM.

#2 smilinggirl

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:20 PM

I think you need to get the Assistant Principle involved. You gave offered up many acceptable alternatives and a blanket No from the teacher is not at all helpful to this situation

#3 Paddlepop

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:24 PM

Time to get the head of special ed or the principal involved. You've offered a number of very good alternatives. Teacher needs to STFU and try them. If she's expecting him to suddenly behave and attend her class, she's dreaming.

#4 Paddlepop

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:26 PM

I just re-read your post. The school has suggested grade-splitting and teacher said no? Nope. School tells her that's what's happening and does it. Teacher doesn't get a say. Time for someone to tell her what's happening and stop giving her the power to veto it. I'd go with the grade-splitting. He's at school and learning, and you don't have to do anything extra.

#5 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:32 PM

I don’t understand why the school hasn’t just insisted on the grade split. This particular teacher is a pretty forceful character, but so is the principal.

#6 Ozquoll

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:36 PM

Jeez, nothing you say is going to make her happy is it? It’s quite bizarre that she rings you every single week. I can only echo PP’s suggestions to go a bit further up the chain of command.

#7 Paddlepop

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:40 PM

That's why you need to talk to the principal and get him/her to tell (not ask) the art teacher what will be happening. Perhaps email the principal with the alternatives that you have offered to the teacher and how she's turned them all down so that you can start a paper trail in case it's needed. Outline which alternatives are acceptable to you, and your preferred order of them being tried. Make it clear to them that you expect them to start implementing one of the alternatives by the next art lesson. Follow up the email with a face to face meeting with the principal and get it all signed off and finalised.

I'd also be mentioning that the art teacher can quit with phoning you every week to b**ch at you. Tell her to email it so you can ignore it or read it at your choice.  

Time to let the inner mumma bear out a bit. Quite frankly the art teacher sounds like an inflexible b**ch and I'd probably go hide in a cupboard too if I was a 5 year old. He shouldn't have been missing for so long that he fell asleep. Her supervision of the children obviously sucks.

#8 Moo point

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:44 PM

I'm wondering if it's actually the teacher's attitude and behaviour toward your son that is actually setting him off. Is he autistic (you said he's non-verbal)? There could be any number of things - the environment, textures/lights/sounds in the classroom, the expectation that he get his hands dirty etc. Not to mention the teacher's personality and teaching style.

All behaviour is communication. I'd be livid that the teacher's response to a non-verbal 5 yo is punishment, shame and blaming the parent with absolutely no option to work with you and the leadership team. I'd be making a meeting with the principal and demanding that options be put in place that take into account his specific needs.

Edited by Moo point, 23 July 2019 - 06:45 PM.

#9 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:45 PM

Sounds like a plan, Paddlepop. Thank you.

#10 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:50 PM

He has what’s currently called “type 1 autism” as well as oral dyspraxia, Moo point. He’s quite capable of behaving when he feels like it, and his teachers for IT, sport, gardening, library or music have no problem with his behaviour. He has an aide for regular classes and Indonesian to facilitate communication, but dep’t funding doesn’t stretch to extracurricular classes, and the school has declined my offer to fund an aide, as it hasn’t been necessary in their opinion.

#11 Paddlepop

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:56 PM

Do you mean level 1 autism? Not sure what type 1 autism is.

I agree with Moo Point. There's something about the art classroom or art teacher that is distressing him, or he's just worn out by the rest of the day's lessons by then that he just can't hold it together anymore by then. Does he usually fall asleep that easily? Does the classroom smell too strongly of chemicals? Does he dislike dirty hands? Does he struggle with being artistic? Is it too noisy in the classroom? Is the teacher too noisy? So many things that could be an issue but first and foremost he needs a break from a teacher who doesn't understand him and doesn't want to compromise on anything. Let things settle for a term, and then try reintroducing art class gently.

#12 PrincessPeach

Posted 23 July 2019 - 06:59 PM

I'd be reminding said teacher when they ring, that you have offered several solutions to the problem & unless they are willing to work with them to please stop calling you each week.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 23 July 2019 - 07:00 PM.

#13 kadoodle

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:01 PM

Type 1 autism is what used to be called Asbergers syndrome, then high functioning autism. The euphemism treadmill is frustrating, too.

#14 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:05 PM

I’d change post title to ‘art teach being mean to my kid... and me!’ clearly your kid is not the problem here.

#15 Moo point

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:10 PM

My son is 7, in year 1, and also has ASD and verbal dyspraxia. However he can talk and is more intelligible now, the beginning of school last year not so much. He was also diagnosed with inattentive ADHD just after he turned 6. I feel for your little boy :( I often think "DS, you were fine during XYZ, why was ABC so different?" But oftentimes it is. And even with verbal ability, it is so difficult figuring it out.

DS has aide time during school as well, but not for all subjects. They switched the aide time from environments he can cope to those he can't. I feel very lucky that his teachers have wanted to work with us, and the learning support team, to try and figure out when he is more anxious, or struggles to cope, or what he really enjoys or is good at to encourage him. Our learning support coordinator is always our first port of call (she's also the deputy principal of K-2). Do you have a relationship with them? They're usually the ones that arrange the aide time, help outline IEPs or behavioural plans, and ours is very hands on and usually checks on DS most days.

I really get where you're coming from, but you and his teachers need to let go of the idea that just because he can cope or even do well in particular areas or subjects or at certain times of the day, that it can generalise across the day or week or across environments. And if he has a teacher that is unsupportive and downright dismissive of his needs then that is not going to help. The higher ups at the school need to intervene, your son is coping with two disabilities in a mainstream classroom, is only 5 and cannot verbally express himself. His behaviour is trying to tell you something, and I'm so angry on your behalf that this how the teacher and school are handling it.

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 23 July 2019 - 07:31 PM

Why is she making life more difficult for herself?!?!

I do find it weird that the aide is not funded for specialist lessons. That’s the exact time we do find for kids with additional needs because that’s when the student needs support.

Hope Paddlepop’s advice gets results. Sounds like it should.

#17 robhat

Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:14 PM

OK. I know a kid with that level of ASD.

Your child isn't being a brat. He has special needs and he's 5. The teachers are supposed to be supporting him and finding ways to help him participate. That is their job.

I'd say that your son doesn't much like this teacher. The kid I know doesn't like teachers with certain personalities (they don't much like him either) and it basically spells disaster if he's put with such teachers (generally the authoritarian sort). Given that the teacher is ringing you to complain (totally unacceptable and needs to stop) and seems unwilling to even try any possible solutions to the problem, not to mention that class discipline is HER responsibility anyway, I'm gonna say that the teacher IS the problem here and you need to get the principal to step in and make other arrangements.

#18 magic_marker

Posted 23 July 2019 - 08:24 PM

My suggestion is you should change the thread title to - THE ART TEACHER IS BEING A b**ch.

#19 kadoodle

Posted 24 July 2019 - 06:58 AM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 23 July 2019 - 07:31 PM, said:

Why is she making life more difficult for herself?!?!

I do find it weird that the aide is not funded for specialist lessons. That’s the exact time we do find for kids with additional needs because that’s when the student needs support.

Hope Paddlepop’s advice gets results. Sounds like it should.

Specialist lessons all have a classroom assistant for FYOS, so aide time was deemed unnecessary. I’ve asked him what the issue with art was, a few times. Each time I get “cow” signed back at me.

#20 Bam1

Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:06 AM

It seems your DS is a good judge of character.  It seems the teacher is in a power struggle with your DS and is determined to win, that is so wrong, if no one else is willing to step in from the school, i would be picking him up .

#21 Ozquoll

Posted 24 July 2019 - 07:55 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 24 July 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

. I’ve asked him what the issue with art was, a few times. Each time I get “cow” signed back at me.

#22 Treasure Island

Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:34 AM


Specialist lessons all have a classroom assistant for FYOS, so aide time was deemed unnecessary. I’ve asked him what the issue with art was, a few times. Each time I get “cow” signed back at me.

Is he saying the teacher is a cow? lol.

Even before reading that I was going to say 99% sure this is an issue with the teacher. Can the head of learning support sit in on a lesson and see if they can work out what the issues are and how to help? Honestly though it is art and I would be considering just pulling him out for the rest of the year. Either going to another class or home since it is at the end of the day and try again next year when he is a bit older. It's not really up to the teacher, if she isn't giving any suggestions besides whinging she is no help.

#23 MsLaurie

Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:35 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 24 July 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

Specialist lessons all have a classroom assistant for FYOS, so aide time was deemed unnecessary. I’ve asked him what the issue with art was, a few times. Each time I get “cow” signed back at me.

He may not speak but it seems your son communicates very well indeed 😂

#24 Expelliarmus

Posted 24 July 2019 - 09:12 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 24 July 2019 - 06:58 AM, said:

Specialist lessons all have a classroom assistant for FYOS, so aide time was deemed unnecessary. I’ve asked him what the issue with art was, a few times. Each time I get “cow” signed back at me.
So what is the assistant doing then?!?!

There is so much wrong here it’s unfathomable. The school offered for him to go into another class during art but she said no, continues to teach him and complain about him?

Seriously, WTF?

Where are leadership in this? If they say this is what will happen she doesn’t *get* to say no!

Not that I agree with that solution, or the one to collect him early and take him home. Neither of those are acceptable solutions until all efforts to make adjustments for him are exhausted and he’s still being violent.

Oh wait. He’s not being violent ...

There is no call to remove him at this point and I would not stand for that solution. Ideally the teacher would start teaching him and managing his behaviour. Honestly falling asleep in a cupboard isn’t worth a call home especially in FYOS.

#25 kadoodle

Posted 24 July 2019 - 09:50 AM

Good news: I turned up and complained this morning, and DS3 will now go to an extra library session with another FYOS class instead of art. He likes library; he gets read to and then gets let loose on the dinosaur books.

The school leadership “hadn’t realised” the extent of the issue. I’m not convinced on that, but I’m not going to argue the point.

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