Speaking Up – Tues 23rd June 2015

By | June 23, 2015

I didn’t used to speak up in class at school, a mixture of lack of confidence and the fact I would go as red as a beetroot meant that I’d know the answer but wouldn’t want to put my hand up, just in case I got it wrong.

It used to be mentioned in my school reports quite a bit, but that was me, how I was.  I couldn’t suddenly turn into a “hi, I’m here, look at me!” type of J *jazz-handing* because of the reasons mentioned above.  Over the years I’ve learnt other ways to get my point across.  I can be extremely confident on the phone and adrenalin gets me through meetings concerning the children, primarily because I know that Hubbie and I have to speak up for them, no-one else will.

Anyway, T’s school report has come home, his first in secondary school.  This school year has gone so fast, it’s hard to believe we’re a month away from the summer holidays, but then I see how tired they are getting, how niggly they can seem and those last few weeks can’t come quick enough.

We’re so pleased and relieved at just how well T has settled into secondary school.  There have been so many changes for him to contend with, not least the fact that secondary school is far, far larger than primary, he has to move locations to the lessons and teachers rather than them coming to a static classroom and the journey to and from by school bus.

I was relieved that T received his diagnosis of high-functioning autism half way through year 5, because it meant that this could be mentioned in any applications and also that, should he need it, any additional support may be forthcoming once in secondary school.

So far he hasn’t needed any additional support, he is extremely good at masking any negative emotions until he’s off that school bus and then … “boom!” out it all comes, positive and negative.

This masking aspect might explain comments made by virtually every subject teacher in his report, that he’s quiet, he needs to speak up more in class, that he needs to ask questions if he doesn’t understand.

Everything else is fine.  It is very obvious from comments that there are subjects he enjoys more than others (PE and Design Technology), but even if the ones he isn’t so keen on, he’s doing well.

Part of me feels frustrated that because his high-functioning autistic diagnosis is not immediately seen, they might not be aware that he masks an awful lot during the day.  They should be aware.  Another part of me thinks “well, he’s like me and that won’t change”.  Quietly clever.  

What we do know, though is that  T is extremely forthcoming at home, in topics he is confident in and can become absolutely determined to have the last word – this can mean that we’re sending out verbal indicators and wording to round up a conversation that is becoming a tad repetitive, but – because he can find it hard to read non-verbal expressions – T doesn’t notice and continues to need to achieve the last word.

All in all, he’s doing very well, just being our T and we are majorly majorly glad we didn’t accept a school place refusal (due to numbers) initially and appealed because we knew it was the most appropriate setting for him.  Which it is.

D’s day has gone well, tomorrow’s will have a rocky start as it’s injection time.  I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

  

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8 Comments

Silly Mummy on 24th June 2015 at 9:55 am.

I was always like this and had those comments on school reports too! I was always shy and quiet and avoided speaking in class. But was always surprisingly strong willed and prepared to fight my corner if it came to something I felt strongly enough about!

They should take account of the impact of the autism and what he is dealing with when looking at tendencies to be quiet. But then, as you say, that may just be how he is. I have always found it very annoying that shyness & quietness are regarded as personality flaws, and the fact that they are always put as a negative on school reports reinforces that. Why? How is it a flaw? The world needs the people who quietly get on with it, you can’t have everyone being outgoing and fighting to be the centre of attention. I firmly believe that you need both types of people, and being quiet should not be regarded as a bad thing.

It sounds like T has done brilliantly in secondary school! #SSAmazingAchievements

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Jeannette on 27th November 2015 at 6:07 pm.

Thank you, we are uber proud of him.
Part of me thinks that they had to find something negative-ish so opted for that.
The world needs quieter people who get on with things without a huge show about it 🙂

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Miss Steph on 24th June 2015 at 2:10 pm.

Big changes at school are always nerve wracking. I’m glad to hear it’s turning out so well!

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Jeannette on 27th November 2015 at 6:05 pm.

Thank you x

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An imperfect Mum on 26th June 2015 at 8:37 am.

Wow so glad he has had a successful year that transition is one that really worries me. Hope the injection went well.

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Jeannette on 27th November 2015 at 6:05 pm.

Thanks, it was a real worry about him moving up, unstatemented and to a much bigger school but he’s doing so well 🙂 Hope it does for you when the time comes x

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Jane - Our Little Escapades on 30th June 2015 at 7:54 pm.

I’m so glad he had a good report. I can’t believe he has nearly completed his first year in high school. This year really has flown by. I hope he finds his feet as the years go on. To be honest his school reports sound like mine to x #SSAmazingAchievements

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Jeannette on 27th November 2015 at 6:04 pm.

Me too, as long as they take into account that he’s not a natural conversationalist, I’m sure he’ll be fine x

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