Ticking the box in my autistic daughter’s school (just for the sake of it!!)

By | April 24, 2019

I had hoped, with D being in an SN school, that the box-ticking wouldn’t be so prevalent, that “need” to “tick” just for the sake of it, irrespective of the angst it may cause.

(the image above is me going a bit “Daily Fail”, because we all know what a tick looks like!)

I know I haven’t blogged for ages, it feels like there’s so much going on that I need a map to navigate through all the thoughts in my head, but this that follows, I just had to…

So, every term, we have an IEP meeting at D’s school, under the umbrella of Parents Evening and progress is checked against tasks set, sometimes they are emotion-related, sometimes they are academia-related but they are all very individual to D. Progress is discussed and they are either signed off (tick!) or carried over.

We had a prime example of box-ticking this morning and one that had NOT been discussed or agreed.

Some background:

D is undertaking a Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze award as well as an Art GCSE this school year.

Both are amazing achievements for her and both are causing her stress. The DofE award has involved her participating in Volunteering activities (our weekly Park Run duties), Skills (Band practice) and Physical (PE sessions), the latter two are being undertaken at school to primarily ease D’s anxieties and to help me after the Sepsis episode.

The DofE also involves two expeditions, one practice and then the real thing, camping, map reading, cooking etc.

There have been times that D has said to me “I wish I’d never signed up for this”, meaning the DofE and this is a classic case of D saying what she anticipates the teacher/authority figure will want to hear, ie Yes.

So, we have been plodding along, trying to manage the anxieties and reminding D’s teachers that she has signed up for two major extra tasks this year and that, as she is already stressed, everyone needs to help manage the pressure on her.

When I spoke to D’s head teacher about the plaster incident, she mentioned to me that D was one of the pupils the leadership team recognised was under pressure.

All sounds good so far, so why am I blogging?

Well, every Wednesday, D has PE as the last lesson of the morning, she then has to get changed quickly, eat her lunch in a car and travel with a TA to the SN school a good few miles away where she has an afternoon focussed on GCSE Art.

D’s school have stated before that it is optional if the pupils shower after PE, in view of the fact that D is pressed for time, I had asked that she not be pressurised into this because she would be anxious she’d miss her lift.

That was agreed and a note in the home-school diary said that they’d “never force her to have a shower”. All fine you’d think…

(And in case you’re now thinking “sweaty, stinky child”, I pack wipes and deodorant in her PE bag.)

So, why on earth was D told that her teacher was expecting her to have a shower after the lessons so that she “could tick it off”?’!?

Something that wasn’t agreed with us.

Something isn’t possible within the timeframe.

Something that is stressing our D out and will continue to do so every flipping Wednesday!!

I don’t normally swear but FFS, give the anxious, stressed child a break.

Roll on Parents Evening!!!

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