• Understanding Autism from the Inside

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Teacher’s Response; She has no intention of helping him

At least that is how I see it! A few minutes ago  my 9 year old busted through the front door, threw his book bag at the wall, and burst into tears!  Then proclaimed that “No-one even likes me!”

This outburst was not in direct response to his school day, which included NO RECESS again, but is becoming an increasing familiar sight when he arrives home from a frustrating day of trying to keep it together at school.

Hubby and I have explained to his teacher time and again about his falling apart at the end of the school day—they don’t seem interested. Earlier in the school year, we met with his teachers to explain the difficulties that we know he has (specifically organizing, getting things to and from school, shifting activities, taking words literally, and misunderstanding instructions, etc.). The teacher assured us she would help him, maybe getting him a buddy in class as she put it, to make sure he has all his things at the end of the day before coming home. This would help ensure homework assignments, book, and important notices would not get left behind. Furthermore, she said she would ensure he wrote the correct assignments in his agenda since he has difficulty getting his work written down.

None of these things have been done, and he continues to get punished for forgetting things, or losing things!

Monday when the little man arrived at school he found his homework folder was missing.  I have seen the darn thing, I picked it up and cannot remember where in the heck I put it!  I’m frustrated because I know that I lost the darn thing. 

The little man did all his reading over the weekend, but the form that it was “noted” or “logged” on was in the missing homework folder. Then yesterday because he didn’t have a homework folder, he forgot to take his Math homework sheet home.  He was so upset last night because he knew that no folder, and no math sheet is going to mean no recess again that he was feeling physically sick. I made him lay down in bed with me and go to sleep.

Hubby wrote the teacher a note explaining the problem with this “trickle” effect—AGAIN. He also asked for the school policy about losing recess.  This was the response:

20140114_145835 Yes, I am aware this was sent home…I do not agree with the taking of recess to complete HW or with losing the ice-cream privileges for a week.  But there is more to it—they knew he had difficulties in this area.  They know he is in the processing of getting an IEP put in place FOR THESE REASONS. And it seems to me that they don’t care—am I being too harsh? I started to think so earlier until my 9-year-old came home an emotional wreck. Again.  Even if he didn’t have difficulties—or was not getting an IEP put into place, shouldn’t as teachers they want to help the students? Isn’t it their job to help when they are aware of an area in which a child is struggling? I just don’t think this teacher knows how to deal with certain children. I feel like suggesting they should take some courses for teachers to help them understand my child better. I’ve heard they are really beneficial, but I doubt they will listen. They haven’t listened to us yet!



And this was written in his agenda:

He DID his reading, and logged it into his reading log, but the folder vanished before it made it to school! The little man NEVER forget to do his homework, or his reading (20 pages of Harry Potter per night), and always logs it in and has me sign it.  It just has difficulty making it to the school the next day.


I think what makes me so upset about all this is that THIS HAS HAPPENED TO ME.  I worked hard, did my homework, and still couldn’t manage to get my sh*t together in school—constantly losing the work I spend hours doing. It discourage me so much that I stopped doing any work at all. 

I would like to write a little FYI note of my own:  We did not have this problem in the two other schools that son attended in this district. The district psychologist spoke to my husband today and told him that this is the ONLY school in the district that takes away recess for missed homework assignments. Don’t forget they get to enjoy SILENT LUNCH in this school as well—not when they misbehave either, but everyday—school policy. I’m gathering all my thoughts for IEP accommodations and writing down many suggestions you all have given me a long the way.  This has to come to a conclusion soon or I think I may need to petition the school district to change his school, which I really did not want to do.

Wow—I need to go do something else for a while; I am obsessing.

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Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.