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How to approach the school?

clint03's picture

How to approach the school?

Tue 13 Sep 2016 9:45pm

My son is 5 year old, going to mainstream school in year 1. He was diagnosed with ASD when he was 2.5 years old. He has mild to severe difficulties with sensory, attention, communications and interacting with others, he also doesn't eat or drink well and needs to be supported for both eating and drinking.


He is supposed to be supported all the time in the school including break lunch times. I am worried that he isn't getting the support that he needs at school, many days when my wife picks him up, he is extremely anxious and sometimes he is throwing very bad tantrums, and this happens every day that he hasn't had his lunch or hasn't drunk at all.


He has extreme obsession with maths, and is very demanding for that, changes every conversions or activities to numbers, and only drinks or eat if distracted by maths. If given enough papers and pen, he will happily be busy with them for hours. I am worried about what's happening at school to him, is he left by himself with some papers? my gut feeling tells me that the full-time support that we have fought for isn't fully given to him, I think he is frequently left by himself, he may be not accompanied by an adult at lunch times. Many days school report (we get updated daily) says he has eaten all his lunch, but he actually has been starving, sometimes he has given his favourite snacks that we send every day to other pupils.


He cannot communicate well the days events to us. I don't know how to approach the school for these worries, I don't want to look unappreciative, at the same time I want he gets the support that he desperately needs, please share your ideas and or experiences.


Thank you



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  • CCaccavone's picture

    Hi cllnt03

    I wonder if you keep a diary of the behaviours alongside the daily home-school report? And do you have a routine at home that you follow? This could show patterns linking to how his day has been and resulting behaviour. I know some schools video (using a tablet) pupils taking part in activities and share this with families so perhaps that is something the school would be willing to introduce. If there is a parents evening coming up you could discuss your findings at that time. 

    The school may welcome an opportunity for you to observe him in the environment. Do you have an EHCP detailing the type of support required in school; and do you feel it meets your young persons needs? Have you discussed your concerns with your SEN key contact on the local authority? 

    There is a wealth of information available on as well as twitter if you have an account; I'm sure others have experiences they can share on here too.

    Good luck and keep us posted


    Clare Caccavone, Head of Learner & Family Engagement at Ambitious about Autism
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Clint


    Another possibility is requesting an educational psychologist referral and they will go into the classroom and sit at the back and observe what's going on and then give the staff some pointers as to what can be done to make life easier for both your son and the staff.

    Does your son have one to one time included in his EHCP if he has one?  If he doesn't have an EHCP it sounds like it would be worthwhile applying for one just to get all the support he requires set out in black and white.

    It is early days yet but if you feel that mainstream is not the place for your son you could check out some more specialist facilities in your area just to have all your options available.

    If you need some specialist support with regard to education it would perhaps be a good idea to touch base with IPSEA ( or Education Equality ( who have lots of experience and specialist assistance available which will help you navigate the educational system.

    If you have any further questions please do let us know.



    Josie - Community Champion
  • SherpaMum's picture

    Autism outreach also go into schools to give support.  Have the teachers had training on ASD?  Is it worth asking who looks after him at lunch and speak to them and explain your concerns and how these are tackled at home.  

    My son's SENCO is always grateful for input of strategies that work.  My son always keeps his meltdowns until he is home, or at least I am with him.  Could that be happening?

     I would  keep a diary and then ask to have a chat with the SENCO to see how things are going from the school's point of view and then raise your concerns.

    Let us know how you get on.

  • clint03's picture

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    Hi Ccaccavone, Josie and SherpaMum,


    Thank you all for your replies,

    my son has an EHCP plan in which he has been given full time support including lunch times and breaks.

    I'll book an appointment with ipsea to get advice about the constructive way of speaking to school. The school staff, SENCO and specially the TA lady that supports him are very kind, supportive and reassuring, and I really appreciate their supports, but I desparately need school to help him more with the difficulties he has. I know it's difficult with my son's condition, but we in home have managed to keep some sort of discipline and control the amount of times he spends on numbers, school seems to give up some days.

    Thank you for your advice, I'll go through all your suggestions.


  • clint03's picture

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    Thank you again for the advice that you gave, and wanted to update you.

    Spoke to Ipsea, and was advised to assertively feedback to school the changes we have seen on his behaviours. We started to write more about his feelings and suggesting ways that they can help him more. We have seen gradual improvements and he is eating much better now in the school(not eating was the cause of most of his anxiety at school), partly because he has settled in new class, but certainly our improved communication also has helped. We had a meeting with the school and they have many plans and ideas to support him throughout the year.




  • SherpaMum's picture

    That is fantastic news smiley

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