Thank you for your response, to be honest I was a little annoyed that I was not able to speak to the governors and thought it strange that the governors responded without hearing from both sides as I thought Governors were impartial, names have been removed... so I replied again..... I refer to a really useful website that I highly recommend!
Thank you for your email, I would like to get this resolved as soon as possible and for all involved with my son to understand how best to speak with him so that he is thoroughly understood and to give him the opportunity to explain his side of the story in full, as described in the Guidelines for Implementing the Staged Response section in the Positive Behaviour Policy and also for all to understand the difficulties he has in has with language and communication, as reported in his latest Speech and Language report. I would also like to refer to (http://www.autism.or...g-children.aspx
and also http://www.autism.or...viourguidelines
) The National Autistic Society website, in particular the following sections -
Always be aware of what you are saying and how the child might misunderstand it. Their understanding is likely to be literal: for example, if you say 'it's raining cats and dogs', they may look for cats and dogs falling from the sky. An expression such as 'crying your eyes out' can be taken at face value and cause distress or even terror.
Support effective communication
Some autistic people can have difficulty making themselves understood, understanding what's being said to them and asked of them, and understanding facial expressions and body language. Even those who speak quite fluently may struggle to tell you something when they are anxious or upset.
In the presence of 2 of his teachers I asked him how did you know that you swore at the other pupil he replied 'the pupil (name removed) told me once I done it'. So with the above in mind, when he was asked after the incident by a teacher 'Did you swear at the other pupil', he replied 'Yes' which is the literal response to the question asked. As I have explained on many occasions he needs to be asked the reason why did he do it and/or for what reason. Had this have been asked he would have explained that he was showing the pupil his finger as it was cold and smooth, it was only then that pupil then told him he had sworn at him and he was telling the teacher. If he had been asked if he meant to swear or if he knew he was swearing he would have replied 'No'. I feel that he should have been educated as to what others may see his action to mean, as I do at home, when pointing sometimes he uses the middle finger and I tell him that some may think he is being rude and not polite. A teacher commented that this was not normally the normal finger to use to point but often he does not follow what is the 'norm' and needs to be understood and as an individual.
I understand that he was not in reflection for a long time but it is not relevant as time has no meaning to him and for him he understands it to be the worst punishment possible and was upsetting to him as he had no intention to upset the other pupil. I would also like to comment that on arriving at school after half term we walked through the line of waiting children and parents a child commented that 'that was the boy who swore at the other pupil (name removed) and was told off by the teacher'. He struggles already with interaction and friendships in school and for him to receive this label was unjustified and very upsetting.
I have apologised to the TA for raising my voice before half term when she told me that he was only saying that he did not mean to do it to please me and that he had confessed. The only hand gesture I gave was a flat hand whilst walking away as the TA who was calling me back to let her explain. I did not feel that what I was saying was not being understood which was upsetting and thought it best that it be dealt with through yourself, head teacher, to avoid possible confrontation and did not want to speak anymore about this incident at that time. The TA has helped him a great deal making good progress with the help of the Council and his teacher which I appreciate greatly, he has a strong bond with the TA and I know he enjoys working with her and I know he will continue to do so in the future.
As we discussed and were not able to resolve, I still remain with the opinion that the reflection room punishment was not appropriate or justified as he did not have the knowledge/understanding of what holding up the middle finger meant and therefore did not have the intention to swear at the other pupil. My son is not perfect all the time which I understand, but on the occasions where incidents occur that are out of character, if he is given the opportunity to explain there is usually a good explanation - as I have previously mentioned it may not be the conventional reason but for him it is. I appreciate that I am with my son 24/7 when he is not at school and very rarely cared for by others and therefore it is easy for me to understand him and deal with matters often before they arise and I am more than happy to help in enabling others to do so also.
I would like this to be resolved as soon as possible so that we can move on and help him to be understood more effectively in the future. I understand the School Governors have commitments elsewhere, however I would very much appreciate their input in this matter.
I sent this on the 28th Feb not had a reply as yet... I shall update as soon as I do....