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peaches

Transfer to secondary school - few worries

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peaches   

I have a few worries about the transfer of our boy to secondary school. The new school have been helpful so far and he has had a few visits with lots more to come.

 

I am posting here as one of you might have come across a couple of our problems and found a way round them.

 

Sorry this first one is embarrassing :o

 

I have worries about public toilets. It has become apparent to me recently that our boy age 11 routinely drops his trousers in a public toilet even when he goes for a wee. I have told him to always use a cubicle (hope he does). He can't seem to get the idea of getting his "equipment" out and when I try and discuss it I get the angry "STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO". I asked DH for a man to man approach, he isnt capable of this apparently. The way I found out was his trousers appeared wet sometimes after using a public toilet. He unfastens them and lets them drop. I am working on him to keep a hold of them, but having undone the trousers he still pulls his pants down. He prefers elasticated waist trousers and shorts, but for school will wear the zip ones if they have a hook and bar which he has now mastered. My worry is that at secondary school one of the big kids will see him with his bum uncovered and make fun of him. I really hope I am not the only one with his problem, as it would be laughable if I was on the outside looking in.

 

The other problems are less difficult to solve. Showers after PE - wont shower. Tight collars and tie and 2 layers under blazer, doesnt like this confined feeling.

 

 

 

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Sally44   

Have you had any contact with the school SENCO, or the Local Authority Educational Psychologist or the Autism Outreach Teacher/Team from your Local Authority?

 

If not I would recommend getting in touch with them all. Is he having lots of visits to secondary school to get him prepared for the transition?

 

You need these issues to be discussed with those professionals and also with school. See what the school response is, but basically if he has an SEN, and these issues are part of his SEN, then the school MUST meet those needs with or without a Statement.

 

My son has an ASD and also OCD. He used to take it even further. He used to remove all his clothes in the cubicle. And would then want to come out the cubicle to wash his hands BEFORE he got dressed again. Because, logically, if he has germs on his hands after using the toilet, he should wash them BEFORE touching his clothes, otherwise he contaminates his clothes with germs.

 

He is much better now, but what we did was this. When out in public he ONLY uses the disabled toilet. In school, for a time, he was allowed to use a staff toilet instead of the childrens ones.

 

We also got him into the habit of sitting down on the toilet for a wee or to pass a stool. That actually helped him as he often told us he would get the feeling to go to the toilet, but did not know what for.

 

You need to talk to school about him not having a shower. The other kids might notice this and ask him why he doesn't have a shower. So you need to coach your son on what to say, if anything. But it should be okay for him to be excused. And maybe for the teacher to give him a job to do instead so that he is occupied during that time.

 

Regarding the tie etc. Can you adapt the tie so that it is on elastic, but looks like a proper tie from the front? And also practice with him at home NOW wearing a shirt and buttoning it up. You can always get a shirt with a larger collar size.

 

With all these things it might help to have what they call a "social story" that explains what he is going to do and why. And it should be written to be age appropriate for him.

 

Is he doing okay academically at the moment, and that is why he is going to mainstream secondary?

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peaches   

He is bright academically, gifted at maths, I tried to get him into a secondary with an autism unit, but failed. I am waiting for the new school transition co-ordinator to get back to me. I have given her a list of my worries as above. She has visited him at his old school, he has been to the new school 4 or 5 times and will be going at the end of the month for 3 full days, PE included on 2. I try to get him to use a disabled toilet as I use them myself, I have a radar key, but there isnt always one.

 

It is a relief to know someone else has come across this. I think at home he does remove his trousers, and does often change them. He seems to see the need for privacy at home, closes the door and locks it now. The tie is a clip on, but the difficulty will be wearing a proper shirt not a polo shirt. He is going through a phase at the moment where he says his school jumpers are too tight and the bigger ones arent right either.

 

I dont use social stories, I read up on them when he was younger, bought the book and did a few but he didnt seem to respond that well. He responds to things like check lists and being physically shown how to do something. I cant do that with the toilet issue.

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Sally44   

Okay. Could you show him, using a stick drawing, what other people will see when they walk into the toilet and he is stood there with his trousers and pants down. Would he see the difference. Would he see the other persons point of view?

 

We just use normal disabled toilets, not specifically those with radar keys. Most places have a disabled toilet that has immediate access to it.

 

Not sure what to suggest about the clothes. This is a sensory issue.

 

Does your son have a Statement?

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bed32   

Based on what you say I would be worried about sending him to a Mainstream school without good ASD support - I suspect the problems that are worrying you may just be the tip of the iceberg.

 

On the specific issue of the toileting - our son always uses a cubicle whenever he goes to the toilet and we have not tried to discourage that. If you can encourage him to do that it may solve the problem as it is unlikely to be remarked upon,

 

On the clothes front you can try to look for clothes that are as comfortable as possible. Collars don't have to be that tight, get them plenty big enough and he won't find it that confining, and will also find them easier to do up. He may find pure cotton more comfortable than the more common poly-cotton ones.

 

How often will he need to wear the jumpers? Getting a blazer that it plenty big enough again should stop it feeling too confining.

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peaches   

Okay. Could you show him, using a stick drawing, what other people will see when they walk into the toilet and he is stood there with his trousers and pants down. Would he see the difference. Would he see the other persons point of view?

 

We just use normal disabled toilets, not specifically those with radar keys. Most places have a disabled toilet that has immediate access to it.

 

Not sure what to suggest about the clothes. This is a sensory issue.

 

Does your son have a Statement?

Yes he has a statement, yes he has support, and the new school has staff who are specialised in supporting children with autism. I chose it because they seemed to do so much for the children with autism. I have a personal meeting at the new school coming up and I will share my concerns. I only put the query on here because I thought someone else would have had the issue. I am looking into the clothing situation, have bought some already to try and see which ones he prefers.

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