June 16, 2021 Case Studies - Families Jackie Foy

When it came to school, Patrick was lucky enough to get a place at an ASN nursery in Cumbernauld, so the process of schooling was much smoother.

We had a choice of two schools – one was a Unit attached to a mainstream school and the other was an ASN school.

At ages 5-10, I’m not going to lie, Patrick was wild!

No fear, no danger awareness, no concept of other children, constantly active and up during the night at least 4 or 5 times, for hours! We actually fell into the trap of taking turns of getting up and putting on the TV with tea and toast, so in fact we were “rewarding” him for not sleeping. This was until his social worker pointed this out – when you’re exhausted, you can’t see the woods for the trees! – so you need certain things pointed out to you.

Anyway, he definitely was “challenging”, so I was relieved that he had a place at a specialised provision secured.

He lasted at this school until Primary 3. Our experience was filled with phone calls to my work, notes in his diary and constant letters saying “Patrick’s behaviour is out of control, he is naughty, he is uncontrollable, I don’t know how you manage at home”…etc.

The final straw was when he came off of the school bus one day with a “Hannibal Lector” contraption, which I later found out was also being used to “secure” him to his seat in class!

That was the final straw… I just wish the school would have told me, or I should have asked more, but when you’re holding down a full-time job, that’s easier said than done.

There were three years of this, and within one week at his new school, Patrick was a changed boy. They ‘got him’ immediately, he had freedom and was given tasks daily… He is still at this school today. Getting the right placing is so, so important, so my best advice is: if it doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.

Good luck and keep on the fight, I promise it gets easier ❤️


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