Today I received a link to a Daily Mail article detailing Autism from a sibling's point of view. I makes for very interesting reading.
The paragraphs that I can relate to most are;
A high-functioning autistic like Rupert is, in some ways, harder to accept than someone more severely disabled, as at times they seem so tantalisingly close to normal. My mother says she always felt that if she tried hard enough, she'd find the key to 'unlock' my brother and everything would be fine.
Unlike Down's syndrome, which is easily recognisable in sufferers, autism has few physical signs.
There have been many times in the past that I have wished that Ana had some outward sign of a disability. After all no one questions why a Down's Syndrome person is not 'normal.'
I fear that throughout her life too much may be expected of Ana simply because she doesn't look any different from anyone else.
Yes I am very upset she was bitten, after all we hope our children are happy and safe in school.
What I am annoyed about was that first of all both children were allowed to get into a situation where another one was bitten. Ana's class has 9 students, 1 class teacher a 3 special needs trained teaching assistants. So it's not like a class of 30 and one teacher having to have eyes in the back of her head.
No one contacted me at the point Ana was bitten, it was simply written in her home school diary. Something Ana doesn't always remember to bring home.
I have contacted the school both through her home diary and via phone. No one has called me personally to even tell me how the biting happened. I did however receive a few lines in the home school diary that stated.
'Sorry you weren't informed earlier about Ana's bite. I am afraid I was off sick yesterday + we were a little short staffed. We have filled in an incident form and will keep a very close eye on Ana and the other child. The bite was through 2 layers of clothing so no bodily fluids were involved.'
Fair enough, but I have requested three times now that Ana's teacher contacts me. It's only common courtesy to do so.
I have since written a letter of complaint detailing the lack of communication and requesting again that some one contact me or an appointment is made so I can speak to the staff personally. I thought I would be polite and request a meeting before I march down there and set up camp. Only fair to give the school the opportunity to try and resolve this.
I have since found out the the incident report regarding Ana's bite was not filled out until the following day.
This is the same school that tried to 'integrate' Ana into a mainstream school environment. Which consisted of two afternoon sessions before they dumped her at the school and washed their hands of her. The ignored my pleads to take her back when the systematic bullying started and then only took her back when the other school couldn't cope.
Would you be?
Today Ana came home from school to tell me that during drink and biscuit time (morning break) she was bitten on the shoulder and the teacher had written in her book.
Sure enough there was a statement in her home - school diary that simply stated
'Unfortunately Ana was bitten today on the right hand shoulder. We applied and ice pack for 10 mintues which took away some of the swelling, Ana was very brave.'
So there's me thinking a simply case of she'd been nipped by another child and had a red mark or even at the worst some teeth marks.
'Show us your bite then.' I said to Ana only to be confronted by the picture above.
I had no idea the bite was that bad and according to Ana at the time she was bitten she was wearing her shirt and sweatshirt. I know Ana attends special needs school and there are children there will problems, but I would have expected a phone call from the school.