School Tells Autistic Child and Her Siblings That They Can’t Attend End of Term Disco
As a parent it is heartbreaking to see your child excluded by their peers.
But what happens when your child is excluded by teachers?
One Aussie mum, who would like to remain anonymous, has shared her recent experience in which her children have been singled out to be excluded from the end of school disco.
There is a disco at my kids’ school during school hours on Thursday afternoon for all students who have behaved to a high standard and who have better than 95% attendance. So my kids have been told they will have to miss out because most mornings we are 10-15 minutes late due to my 6 year old ASD/ADHD/ODD girl’s poor behaviour at home. She tantrums, screams, attacks her siblings, refuses to get dressed, undresses herself, pees herself, etc. However she has behaved well enough at school to warrant going to the disco, and yet has to miss out sue to lateness. This to me is ridiculous. How dare they make my kids sit this reward out, because their autistic sister makes them late everyday? And why should she be punished for being 10-15 minutes late yet she behaves well at school all day? I went to the office and explained to them that they are damn lucky some days that I get them to school at all, and that ‘lateness’ and ‘non-attendance’ are two very separate things.
For the parents of neuro-typical children it can be hard to understand the daily challenges families of children with additional needs face. Just getting ready for school can take hours and be fraught with difficulties. But this mum of 6 (under the age of 8) also deals with an added strain.
My husband has acquired brain injury and PTSD as well.
I am gradually saving up to buy my own car. On a carers pension it will take me years. All of this has been made known to the school. They are aware of the fact that I have no access to transport, (so rely on lifts to get my kids to school) and despite the fact that I can’t afford the $40 a week it would cost to put them on the bus they haven’t missed even one day of school.
When you’re already stretched as thin as you can be and trying to dot every i and cross every t, this is just nitpicking you can live without.
My eldest daughter already goes over and beyond doing everything alongside me to get everyone ready. She helps make the lunches, dresses the younger babies, this that and the other. She literally does twice as much as most 8 year olds have to.
How is it fair that she has to miss out?
What do you think? Should the school be more understanding of this family’s struggles? Is it fair that they (or any children for that matter) be excluded from an end of term event?
I’ve been told now that they can attend. Apparently it’s up to the individual teachers to decide who can go and who can’t. This is clearly a flawed system as all three girls arrive at the same time, and yet the youngest was left out. But we have been warned that if we are consistently late again next term, none of them will be included. So I will be keeping them home that day and treating them to a movie, provided they have stayed on the green behaviour chart at school. Their lateness is not entirely within their own responsibility, whereas their behaviour is. So all things considered I feel they deserve to be rewarded if their classroom behaviour is good and if they have been at school every day.