Ans so the transition begins.

A transition from a happy and relaxed boy to one wracked with doubt and anxiety.

School starts to flick the switch again. How many kids are going through this experience. Far Too Many.

Here the school prison gates open on Monday. Son’s words not mine.

So on this glorious winters day he tries to wade through the homework which was dished out before Christmas. He spent an hour trying to sketch a mirror image of a Scream like skull photo. The fear of picking up a negative for not putting enough effort into the drawing driving him on. Sadly I fear it’s also driving any love he might have for art well and truly out of his system as well.

Once the skull torture was finished. He started work for two upcoming spelling tests. Then time spent on Science, Mathematics and French work. Finally he needed to work hard to complete a writing piece neatly. His teachers words. Whats the point, going to get told that it’s not good enough, I haven’t tried enough and it needs to be done again. Son’s words.

This really can’t go on. Son deserve so much more than this. So many kids deserve better than this. Is it so difficult to make education just a little less daunting and just a little bit more inclusive. What’s the word I’m looking for. Welcoming. Another word. Enriching. Another word. Fun.

Who am I kidding. It will be the same school that he was so pleased to escape from before Christmas. But 2020 feels different this time. This time the prospect of a positive change has dimmed significantly. Our Government is now in place until son will have left secondary school. It is committed to extending the current education philosophy which has already created this hell hole. We are now facing a real risk of son being failed for the entirety of his school life. That’s a sobering thought.

2020 will start with yet another push to deliver any positive change at all. Again school and teachers will be told exactly what actions and support son needs to be put in place to make his schooling work better for him. The dialogue will be constant – certainly from my side. But deep down I know what the likely outcome is. So this year the question is probably more about what it will take for us to flick the switch and turn off this failed schooling nightmare. If we were still a two parent family then the switch would have already been flicked. Homeschooling. With Single Parenting it’s more fraught with logistical and financial issues. So many issues to address. BUT son only gets one childhood. One go at his formative years. Flicking the switch is increasingly looking inevitable.

102 thoughts on “Flick the switch

      1. It isn’t but with the current leaders it’s not going to change. Really been kidding myself that it would. One more try but it feels like the best we can hope for is that it doesn’t get any worse. And that is just not good enough.

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  1. I am sorry to hear about this. Schooling systems can be so difficult especially when dealing with accommodations. Now that I am in college, there are a lot of options. I wish you the best of luck as you progress through schooling and finding optimal circumstances! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I get so freakin frustrated when you write about the rules and homework and lack of support for you son. 🤬GRRRRR!!! It is just so ridiculous! He’s obviously very intelligent. Obviously ABLE to learn. Just getting the homework completed with his dyslexia and autism related stuff shows that he’s a genius at adaptation and find ways to make things work, WHILE retaining and imparting the facts.
    I just wanna go down to the school and shake them!!!
    I know you tell your son all the time that they are failing him, he’s not a failure. I hope he hears it from others too.
    GRRRRRRR🤬😠

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I so feel for you and your son with this as all too common, there are no easy answers, nor perfect solutions. Your son is a great kid, that is so obvious from your posts, he deserves more, all children deserve better than they are currently getting in school.

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  4. This is heartbreaking to read. If you ever need any help (I’m a secondary school teacher and Head of Faculty with some experience of kids with autism, dyslexia and ADHD) please message me. If you don’t want it to be public, maybe comment on my blog with your email address and I will read the comment but not approve it so that it will never become public. Whilst no kid (or teacher!) really looks forward to the January rentrée, nobody should feel like this.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Just a thought, but do you know any homeschoolers? There are quite a few near me, and they have a variety of approaches and resources. I have one friend who even received money from the government for school supplies.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. As one of the above posters said, things do ease up at college. I’d been self-employed when I home schooled our daughter, and hubby only worked for an agency then, so we couldn’t afford for her to sit all her exams, which we would have had to pay for. However, she made it up at college and got the equivalent qualifications to enable her to go to uni.

        The difference in our daughter from when she was at school and from when we took her out was amazing. I’m so thankful that we did. She was anorexic and being bullied, though her dad and I didn’t realise at the time just how bad it was until she overdosed. There was no question her remaining at the school, despite the headmaster doing all he could to try and sort things out.

        She’s completely recovered from the anorexia and loves being at uni. I hope that things turn out well for your son. No child should experience this misery at school, which are supposed to be the happiest days of one’s life. Huh!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Homework? On Christmas Break? WTFF? Here I go again but the reality is the school system is so fricken broken over there followed by the medical system. I mean I know things are not terrific here but there are no such things as negatives. There is absolutely no homework on the weekends or during holidays. Kids are encouraged to be expressive and individual. As well as additional educational assistants that are in the schools to assist children who need it. My rage knows no bounds every time I read about this. Makes me wish that my broom wasn’t in the shop because I would be on it in a heartbeat and racing over to take several people to task for their absolutely moronic blindered vision of the world. I may be a colonial (sorry my attempt at making a funny) but it appears the commonwealth far exceeds the mother country in growth and forward thinking in education and children. I will now step down off my soap box. I know that it means little but school is not your son’s reality. Everything you write of him is a delightful young man with strengths that are being ignored and talents that are discouraged. Grades are nothing. Yes ‘society’ wants to see them but I was a dismal student by choice have never finished university but I have a great life doing what I am good at and living the life that I want to live. Give your son and yourself a big hug from me. There is courage in your son that is remarkable to watch unfold. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My sister’s two have autism and she said in order to get the support they needed they had to stop masking and behave as their autism demanded rather than the system. Now, I don’t know if you have done that or would be prepared to do that.

    Anyway, homeschooling sounds so much more pleasant if you can find a way of doing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello Gary. This may be something you have already addressed but do they have any specialty boarding school that could help your son and can he be away from home that long at a time? Just a thought. Best wishes for both of you. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am keeping both of you in my prayers. I have a friend who has 3 sons diagnosed with autism and they had to fight the local school system on a regular basis for their oldest. The two others are at the lower levels and haven’t yet been sucked into the system yet. But, I am sure him and his wife will have to address similar issues once the two get older.

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  10. Oh oh my. I would take a movie if son doing his work to show how hard he works. I would then write a note on his homework telling the teacher how hard he worked. Tell them you have a movie.

    Just a thought. I would not send the movie, but I would offer to show it to the teacher. And tell them …. argh 😖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funnily the NHS tried to run a training session with some of the schools. They used similar videos of some other kids with special needs. The teachers never asked one question. Many either marked papers, did emails or just looked blank. The health professionals all agreed it was a complete waste of time. Sadly the lack of care seems truly ingrained at our schools. Had one great teacher last year but she left.

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      1. The school minister happily brushed off attacked from teachers, doctors , parents and societies representing dyslexia when he started down this route. His attitude is he knows best. Sadly he doesn’t listen. Increasingly the media is promoting the view that kids with educational disabilities are a burden on the majority of kids. The tide has definitely shifted against us. But the battle continues.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I have stated this before keep fighting. Oh, I wish he could be homeschooled. I feel so bad for both of you. This is too much. I hope you can run as much as possible keep that blood pressure down. Hugs my friend always thinking of you. Oh do love the Avenger movies

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I believe every child needs the home base of positive reinforcement in their lives and even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, a parent, friend or even a compassionate teacher can be the only resource he or she may have.. It’s awful to be going through this , for you both..And i do seriously hope you can move into homeschooling. it has done wonders for my grandson(s)!!

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  13. Why the Sam Heck do they hand out so much homework over the Christmas break … do they fail to understand the meaning of the word “break”? Perhaps I should just come over there and start my own school for special kids, to motivate them, rather than try to fit them into a box of the state’s making, to teach them to love learning for learning’s sake. ☕☕

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I really feel for you guys. My son went through a similar thing at his secondary school. They were always pushing SO HARD that he would tie himself into huge knots of anxiety just working on homework. I tried, in vain, to reduce this in the school at parent teacher meetings and other talks with staff but the senior management team cared more about results than they did about children so I got nowhere. In the end release came not from the school but from my son, who threw off his own shackles, about a term into his two year GCSE’s. I panicked that he might stop working altogether but he did what he thought was right for the subjects and for himself. The school moaned and grumbled at some of this but he passed his GCSE’S and is now using that trust he found in himself and his own decisions in his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really good. Son said yesterday that he was giving school another go but for him he needs to see either him being moved up sets in the subjects that he excels in or he gets more support to help him. I strongly suspect he won’t be seeing either of those.

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  15. You are so right Gary, you only have a few important years. Listen to your heart, you will find the way. Is there a carers payment you could claim? Could you downsize, live onsite and rent out your home? Could you publish a book from your wonderful blog…Austria, Autism and All things in between? I can bet some of your readers are artists, publishers, proof-readers and could help you. Let me know if I can help!
    Check out Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gary, I think that you both need to watch this Documentary about Aspies, made by a young college student with Aspie syndrome. It is inspiring in its explanation… Most of them were taken out of the US school system, but watch it for yourselves, and see what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

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