Preparing for confrontation with support teacher

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kraftiekortie
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25 May 2020, 9:09 am

I’m sorry this has got you distraught.

Were you able to achieve at least some of your objectives?



IsabellaLinton
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25 May 2020, 9:26 am

magz wrote:
It ended with me explaining what a nightmare school is to a person with AS when it comes to social and organisational aspects of it.
Now I'm crying.



I'm sure you spoke very well on behalf of your daughter and all other autistic people who have had school trauma.

Hugs and rest are in order. It will all be OK. You're an incredible advocate!



magz
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25 May 2020, 10:24 am

I hope they got the idea.


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25 May 2020, 12:10 pm

magz wrote:
It ended with me explaining what a nightmare school is to a person with AS when it comes to social and organisational aspects of it.
Now I'm crying.

Good on you Magz, such a great mom and role model for your girl.


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magz
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25 May 2020, 12:58 pm

Hell, I'm still shaking, the kids are enjoying an extra free day, I just can't do schoolwork with them now.

I think I managed to tell the teachers some important things... our "friendship tokens" theory (similar to spoons but specifically for social interactions), problems with setting priorities with limited resources for any work, some aspects of complex relationship between AS introvert - ADHD extrovert sisters, the concept of social proxy and how successful adult people I know still use it, absurdality of pressure on eye contact and why it's better to ignore lack of it... there was quite a lot of things I told them, not only as M's mother but also as an adult with AS and WP member who has read experiences of other people on the spectrum.


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kraftiekortie
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25 May 2020, 10:07 pm

I hope that Polish educational authorities are more progressive than American ones.



magz
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26 May 2020, 3:28 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I hope that Polish educational authorities are more progressive than American ones.

When it comes to special education in mainstream schools, I would rather use the word "flexible" over "progressive".
Once you get through all the bureaucratic barriers, there is no "golden standard" they would offer you, you just become entitled to some additional resources. That may be frustrating when you don't know what to do but if you have your own ideas, you can turn this lack of standards to your own advantage.
So, I'm trying to make the best of it. They are experienced teachers but I'm sure they do benefit from some insight from the other side of the problem.


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kraftiekortie
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26 May 2020, 5:08 am

Both flexible and progressive is the ideal.



magz
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20 Oct 2020, 5:58 am

Digging up my parenting topic to continue with my AS daughter.

Tomorrow I'm going to have a chat with a new school psychologist.
He wanted me to just sign a few documents but I said I had to make some remarks and I would like a longer conversation. Then, we scheduled a meeting tomorrow noon.

The issue I take is, my daughter hates the "therapeutic" classes. Recently, she just melts down every time the speech therapist comes to get her from the daycare room and my daughter calms down only after the speech therapist gives up. I tried to contact the speech therapist to ask what exactly happens during her classes but got no reply.

I don't want to be an overprotective parent but neither do I want to make the already stressful school experience worse.

Any thougths?


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SocOfAutism
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20 Oct 2020, 11:56 am

My 6 year old goes to private speech therapy once a week, and has for a couple years. I was surprised to learn that some of what he works on in therapy are social skills. Turn taking, interpreting faces, politeness. Maybe they all do this or it’s just ours, I don’t know. But if a kid is not neurotypical (or is anxious or shy), doing social stuff plus speech sounds at the same time might be overwhelming.

When my kid gets upset in there, his therapist will spend more time with breaks/playing and less time on actual work until he seems ready to be challenged again.



AuroraBorealisGazer
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20 Oct 2020, 12:04 pm

This may not be of any help, but I can think of some reasons why speech therapy could be causing meltdowns:

I often find speaking to be very taxing because of the unpleasant sensory feelings it causes. During these times I avoid speaking as much as possible. Enunciation can feel very unpleasant on my mouth, throat, tongue, lips, and ears. So when someone is trying to get me to speak or repeat something I am prone to outbursts. Even as an adult who doesn't need speech therapy, I don't think I could handle an extended session of having to repeat difficult sounds over and over again.

I can imagine that in speech therapy, since you're repeating sounds, words, or phrases that are already very difficult for you, even just a few minutes of it would be taxing and frustrating. Not just for potential sensory sensitivities, but just the struggle and failures taking a lot of energy.

Whenever I got help from a parent, teacher, or peer on homework, my stress increased and I quickly became overwhelmed. I had to focus very hard on what they were saying, so hard it made it 10 times more difficult for me to think. Plus I was overwhelmed by internal thoughts such as "what's that thing over there", "should I be looking at them", "do I sound like I'm paying attention", and external sensory distractions. So this may also be adding to her distress. I almost did better in group settings where I didn't feel the pressure of being the only person they were focused on. Being able to work through stuff on my own, at my own pace allowed me to take breaks when I got overwhelmed and not try to fake it through for the sake of the other person. I don't know if this would help her, or if it's possible to do speech practice alone?

One last thought: when I was forced into sensory integration therapy as a kid, the therapist's voice was very unpleasant to me. It wasn't her tone or anything she was saying, just her particular voice. So maybe there are specific sensory unpleasantries at play that are causing her distress? Things like a bad breath, squeeky shoes, could make me anxious to get away from them as well.



magz
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20 Oct 2020, 1:34 pm

AuroraBorealisGazer wrote:
This may not be of any help, but I can think of some reasons why speech therapy could be causing meltdowns:

I often find speaking to be very taxing because of the unpleasant sensory feelings it causes. During these times I avoid speaking as much as possible. Enunciation can feel very unpleasant on my mouth, throat, tongue, lips, and ears. So when someone is trying to get me to speak or repeat something I am prone to outbursts. Even as an adult who doesn't need speech therapy, I don't think I could handle an extended session of having to repeat difficult sounds over and over again.

I can imagine that in speech therapy, since you're repeating sounds, words, or phrases that are already very difficult for you, even just a few minutes of it would be taxing and frustrating. Not just for potential sensory sensitivities, but just the struggle and failures taking a lot of energy.

Whenever I got help from a parent, teacher, or peer on homework, my stress increased and I quickly became overwhelmed. I had to focus very hard on what they were saying, so hard it made it 10 times more difficult for me to think. Plus I was overwhelmed by internal thoughts such as "what's that thing over there", "should I be looking at them", "do I sound like I'm paying attention", and external sensory distractions. So this may also be adding to her distress. I almost did better in group settings where I didn't feel the pressure of being the only person they were focused on. Being able to work through stuff on my own, at my own pace allowed me to take breaks when I got overwhelmed and not try to fake it through for the sake of the other person. I don't know if this would help her, or if it's possible to do speech practice alone?

One last thought: when I was forced into sensory integration therapy as a kid, the therapist's voice was very unpleasant to me. It wasn't her tone or anything she was saying, just her particular voice. So maybe there are specific sensory unpleasantries at play that are causing her distress? Things like a bad breath, squeeky shoes, could make me anxious to get away from them as well.

With all that experience: do you think it would have been better for you if you didn't have these therapies?

I received nothing as a child - not even any recognition of e.g. sensory issues - and I have hard time deciding what decisions to make about my daughter.


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AuroraBorealisGazer
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20 Oct 2020, 1:58 pm

For me, I think the therapies did more harm than good. So much of it may have been due to specific circumstances, such as my age 12/13, the way my parents went about everything from diagnosis to dealings at home, and how in school I was just trying to figure out how to avoid standing out among abled peers. So it's probably possible to have good therapy experiences with the right circumstances.

If my parents seemed more accepting of me like you are with your kids, I would have felt much more comfortable at home and therefore able to de-stress a bit more. I think it also would have helped me tremendously if I had help identifying my triggers. All I knew was that I suddenly felt bad but I couldn't understand why. Now looking back I can understand what triggered my meltdowns, and having that insight has helped in adulthood.