>happenings - LOU McGILL
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>happenings

>happenings

>at last

I feel able to blog…

disabled (I chose that word carefully) by my guilt and terrible state of mind I was unable to post for the last two days.

How very interesting – blogging as a reflection of the darkness of your soul… maybe I’ll muse more on that in a future blog but it does very well reflect the ‘forelock tugging’ Lou that Tim sometimes gently laughs at.

So there we were…

faced with the big decision – to return to the existing school or try out a new one. our weekend was wrought with angst.. I set a deadline (as I am wont to do)…

we struggled, prevaricated, cogitated and eventually…

wimped out…

can you believe it (I can hear a few gasps)…

but wait…

so we decided that the new school in exactly the same format as the old one wouldn’t work.
we cant go to the Steiner school that we do like until august.
we have to get by till august.

so we decided to go with the flow and try to send him back (bear with me guys cause there is a temporarily happy ending here).

So we broke the news to laurie and he dealt with it well – understanding that we had to make it through this term and then all would be better!!!!

Laurie and I walked down to the school on Monday and went inside the building ( the psychiatrist somehow felt this was really significant). I knew it wasn’t because it wasn’t that hard for him to do. It’s not the building that causes him pain – it’s the CHILDREN.

Tuesday (today) we dutifully followed instructions and turned up to have a chat with his teacher. He was cool about that and took some photos of his flickr art and of hector to show his teacher.

Oh no —– ambush

unprepared and without ammunition we were caught in a room for an hour with the bloody headmistress and his teacher…

for an hour we were treated to a monologue about behaviour, rules and her authority.

Laurie understood about 40% of what she said which I did find an amazing percentage because whilst it was happening I estimated 20%. God she was so tedious… The teacher didn’t get a word in edgeways.

Apparently the kids all call him a girl because of his hair (well blow me down!). Of course they don’t mean to be horrid. They didn’t realise – ah bless!!!!

What about the ‘Laurie the loser’ nickname – oh well some of the children said that when Laurie didn’t ‘get his own way’ in group work and got upset he would call himself a loser —

as I said in my reply to their exclusion report ‘it is hardly surprising that he refers to himself in this way given that he has been persistantly called this for over a year by his peers’ (mummy rant mode coming on)

so I sat and let her harangue him. She made him cry (she made me cry). she made us both very very angry…

we left saying we’d come into school tomorrow at 9.00.

OK so you can kick us when we are down but don’t think we will lie down forever. I feel bad that I let her do that to us today. Where is the lioness that sarah mentions?

They paid no heed to his needs. They did not acknowledge his sensory overload issues.
I mentioned that the children banged on the tables when the teacher had an important announcement. I said that laurie did not understand this and that it hurt his ears.

I told them that I had suggested to laurie that it may be intended to be like a drumroll. His teacher said that it was and he was prepared to change this. The headmistress said that it was a standard method for getting the attention of children and to focus them to hear important announcements.

I let him and all kids with sensory overload down – I didn’t say ‘ this would have the opposite effect on children who had sound sensitivity issues’. She told the teacher she would talk to him later and it was clear she was not prepared to change this practice for one kid – particularly one who blatently defies her and doesn’t recognise her authority.

by the way woman – I did mention the words autistic spectrum disorder. He is being assessed for asd you know…

Well the lioness is prowling now and so is Tim the lion.
We are not sending him back…
they, and the educational psychologist and the child psychiatric team can all take a flying leap.
we know it is not OK to send him back.
The school now know that we are appealing against the exclusion ( and she has all her guns out) – met someone who works in the school who agreed re asd but couldn’t talk about it with me. How neat it would be for them if they ‘bent over backwards to accomodate’ laurie and then had the opportunity to exclude him again before the hearing.
so bend over mrs headmistress… if I was any good at cartoons I would do one…
we are standing together on this one. We don’t quite know how we will do this yet but we know we will.
Here is picture of a lioness to prove it…
pale & interesting
and I finally did the unthinkable and am signed off on sick leave for stress for two weeks.
relief…

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8 Comments
  • Sarah
    Posted at 20:55h, 25 April Reply

    >Lou baby, you ARE THE LIONESS! And remember the thing about big cats – it’s not all about leaping and roaring (well not for the female who does all the work 😉 ), sometimes it’s about biding your time, sniffing the wind, prowling and having the patience of a stone. Two excellent things stuck me about this story: 1. We ALL feel better about a situation when we know there is light at the end of the tunnel, so using that tactic to get Laurie in (to accomplish your end goals) was skillful; 2. Laurie learned something about being strategic even in the face of morons. It seems to me you guys ALL couldn’t make a final, true decision until you’d REALLY exhausted the possibilities, that’s often the way. And now you’ve gone down on record as showing willing. (Being ambushed like that is shit BTW, and is abusive and boundary-violating and hence a good bully tactic- I could tell you a real good story about that from my life). And. Um. Oh yes, I think it’s the head teacher who has the big problem- it seems there are other teachers around who want to be more supportive but don’t feel they can because of her. Interesting how one person with power can cause so much pain and chaos. Anyway, big love to all of you, and don’t be so damn hard on yourself, you did an EXCELLENT job- there is never going to be a perfect solution and noone can come up with all the right words under pressure. xxxxxxxxxS.

  • Mommy
    Posted at 00:17h, 26 April Reply

    >I’ve stated before, I can’t imagine what you are going through. I think my husband may have gone through similar(based on reading some of his IEP reports), only his parents were far less supportive than you and couldn’t get past their own differences to help him. Laurie is blessed to have family that works so hard to get him what he needs.

    It seems your current headmistress is about 10-20 years behind. I’m sure part of it is because he’s so bright and talented. People do not want to accept that bright, talented children can be anything but neurotypical.

    here’s to hoping the new school in August is just right for Laurie

  • Joker The Lurcher
    Posted at 07:29h, 26 April Reply

    >very quick as supposed to be working – well done deciding what to do! it is always better to make a decision even if you have to revise it later. won’t even go into what tossers the school are as would take all day. have you been to the lawyer yet? the steiner school may find they can take him earlier – someone may move or whatever – but in any event the LEA would be mad to prosecute you. you could have a field day in the papers with it.

    now you have tappen into some anger you will find your strength!

  • Joker The Lurcher
    Posted at 07:30h, 26 April Reply

    >ps – should have said tapped – more haste less speed!

  • Kym
    Posted at 11:47h, 26 April Reply

    >Way to go Lou and Tim and Laurie. That headmistress is some work isn’t she. Ambush you like that is unbelievable and cowardly. I guess she figured it would be the only way she would win. If that’s the way she obtains her authority then she is !@#$%^&*. The teacher will change the rules in his class and that witch over-rides him? Yeah, she’s really something. I’m so happy you are back and so proud of you for making a decision.
    Indeed the lioness does prowl. Way to go Lou you did an excellent job under all the pressure you have been under.

  • Jason
    Posted at 19:01h, 29 April Reply

    >I’m very happy to see you stick to your guns… my own family was not, and as a consequence the public school system did its very best to try and eat me alive.

  • Lou McGill
    Posted at 23:33h, 29 April Reply

    >thanks to all you guys for your great comments

    Jason- sorry to hear that – I agree that the public/mainstream school system can be very brutal – in defence of the parents – there is a major pressure to conform.

    haven’t updated lately – will aim to do it tomorrow.

    we are sure of our decision but all the ‘experts’ keep talinking about ‘best in mainstream’ and maintain socialisation.

    meanwhile us three are the happiest we’ve been for ages. worth alot I think.

  • PhotoPath
    Posted at 17:16h, 01 May Reply

    >Hey c’mon! I missed how old Laurie is but – it’s May – what’s he going to miss between now and August?? Don’t torture yourself, find his strengths (I’m sure that won’t be hard) and build on them (skoolz overrated anyhoo)
    I’m always in two minds about how much bending schools should do – it’s too easy to side with your own kids regardless and ignore the rest of the class. Both our kids have had hassles of one kind or another – I don’t think the schools are able to do anything about behavior nowadays with a few days suspension being the ultimate sanction and no way to exclude a pupil any more (W Lothian have been trying “re-homing” some of the more disruptive kids in schools away from their mates which seems to be having some success. This doesn’t sound like L’s problem though – it sounds as though his teachers are giving tacit approval to the behavior of his classmates rather than confronting them with it. Unfortunately it’s probably even more difficult to remove the bad teachers than the bad pupils!
    Keep fighting his corner – it’s worth it!

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