One of the more noticeable traits our son has becomes more apparent when he gets excited. When he gets excited he flaps his hands. It’s something he has always done. Flapping is seen as one of the potential early Autism signs. Technically it’s classed as Stimming. Stimming is short for Self-Stimulatory behaviour. In people with autism it often manifest itself as flapping, spinning, rocking or repetition of words. The exact reasons for it occurring is still not completely agreed upon. Could sometimes be about self calming, sometimes could be self regulation, could be something else. In our son’s case his Paediatrician thought it was helping control sensory overload.

Whatever the reason for the flapping the most important thing is our son’s view. He sees it as just part of his personality – who he is. As a result it happens and we accept it. For what’s it’s worth the Paediatrician has said that it’s best to view it as just one of those things and just leave it alone. He did say that if our son specifically wanted to try to stop it then he could try to arrange some specific therapy.

Over the years it’s never been an issue.

Now we come to school.

During a lesson, something happened which was really funny. As a result our son got excited and flapped a bit. The teacher went up to our son and told him sternly to stop that immediately. I wonder if the same teacher would have sternly told someone to stop biting their fingernails. Or twiddling a pencil.


When will people start embracing rather than trying to remove human differences.

I have told our son he didn’t do anything wrong at all. Hopefully he now thinks that it just shows the low level of training teachers receive currently in autism. Conversations have been had with the school. I have been assured that this won’t occur again – I’m not convinced. We move on.

62 thoughts on “Words with school AGAIN

  1. My son used to do that when he was younger. When he hit the teen years he stopped. My son is borderline (it depends on the doctor and son’s mood). In 7th grade, the school tested him and a friend (who is also borderline) to see where they fell on the dark triad. It was the funniest thing to have that meeting. Sitting there and hearing how they tested a twelve year old to see if they were a psychopath just because he showed no emotion or empathy when dealing with others. I just laughed and shook my head. Found out the other parent did the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I have had a few of those moments. He was once told by someone who should know better that there might be a link between the Spectrum and psychopathic behaviour. When the Paediatrician heard about what this educational expert had said his response was “what a load of bollocks..”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “When will people start embracing rather than trying to remove human differences.” ~> This. Right here. Needs to be put on a banner and hung across the world. Everyone seems so focused on trying to fit in, on trying to look and act like what society has deemed “normal” that they overlook the wonders that make each of us unique.

    I’m sorry to hear your son had that experience with his teacher and I do hope the school takes the proper measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Your son deserves to be treated fairly. At any rate, he is definitely to have you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a recently retired teacher I’m astounded by the teacher’s reaction. She needs to be reprimanded and informed of her error immediately. You and your child have rights. That’s a classic response by autistic children. Any teacher who isn’t aware of that hasn’t been properly educated. Sorry, but she needs to apppologise to your son. She can do it privately although it’s a better lesson on tolerance if it were in front of the class. But embarrassing a child because of his physical actions is archaic. Some children twirl their hair, some children cough or giggle, every kid has nervous ticks, but he was just being who he is. You really can’t let this go. If he were my child, I’d bring in a note from my doctor stating that it’s quite natural for him to react like that and he should not be reprimanded for demonstrative gestures. I feel so sorry for your son. Please be his advocate and speak to the teacher and her administrators. This is outrageous on the part of the teacher. The administration needs to be informed and enlightened.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Wonderful! So happy you are being proactive. The teachers need to be trained in varying exceptionalities and can then meet the individual needs of their students better. This will help both your son and his teacher.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done for reassuring your son. And yes, it is better to move on but first make sure provisions are put in place so that it doesn’t happen again. Your son’s traits should be noted in his school plan. I used to work with special needs children & always read their notes so I could prepare myself, it stops reactions like this…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes many deep breaths. But hopefully school will get the picture. Especially when the Paediatrician talks to the head over the next couple of days. To be fair the problem goes much wider. Special Education Budgets have been cut. The Government is talking rubbish unfortunately again – This can’t be done without having negative impacts on provision.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As I always said, you enroll your kids in school so they get exposed to real life, the imperfect world, with all the good, the bad, and everything in between … being and staying involved as a parent is the best we can do, good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are right about the biting of fingernails, their pencils, or finger rolling their hair. So much bad habits around. But because flapping was identified as autism, the teacher must be trying to help, but lacks knowledge. Whenever I see my son flaps his hands, I connect with his happiness. I know he will stop eventually after he releases the overwhelming feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love reading such wonderful support you have right here on your blog. I agree that the teacher needs some training and hope she gets it. You and your son have enough to contend with and need to be assured that your son receives the best attention in the classroom. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

  8. YES. So many teachers ARE unprepared, they really are. The teachers at our church’s school are nice, but they’re in no way trained for students with special needs. Trying to explain this to people about why our sons don’t attend there has been…irritating, to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clearly so little actually training or guidance is given to teachers or special needs. The approach seems to be (schools reluctant to confirm) that no training happens but reliance is placed on specialists. However schools need to pay for these specialists so only bring them in if really bad behaviour occurs. Often other parents moan about the us wanting special attention for our kids.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s