I am sick to the back teeth of every parent who considers their child to have special needs/be disabled (whatever you want to call it) having their parenting called into question. How many people have been told, why not try this course to help manage your child’s behaviour – when they just mean you have rubbish parenting? This seems to happen before, during and after a diagnosis process – in my small experience anyway.
My Experience of being Accused of Being a Rubbish Parent to my Teen with Asperger’s Syndrome
Maybe I’m just insecure, always feeling judged, that we have rubbish parenting, a letter once stated that “the mother fusses too much” when my oldest son’s school were justifying why they do absolutely nothing for my son’s needs. His IEPs always said he should achieve this grade or that – which was no problem for him and didn’t need working on. Trying to get him sorted in extracurricular activity, and socialising they just really refused to help with. It was if they completely ignored the fact that he had any needs – it was easier just to blame my parenting because then they did not need to do anything about it.
Rubbish Parenting stopping him being Independent
The school claim that he just needed to be left alone to do things – this would help make him more independent, my interfering by trying to support him was just hindering this process. “What I do not want to do is get him the placement exclusively on my own, it is important that he contributes to the process, as at the end of the day, when he leaves school, I will not be around!” This is the response we got when we could not find any suitable placements for work experience. He never said but basically implied it was down to rubbish parenting that we had not made him independent enough and that he just expected everyone to do everything for him. “We had a brief look the other lunch time and there seemed to a lot”. No there were a lot of companies that offered to fix computers but not to write computer games – not really the same thing.
The assumption is always just made that my son cannot be bothered, and as a parent I have failed to get him to be anything other than self-entitled. I am really upset that it is suggested that my son is lazy (oh yeah you can see that from his grades can’t you) rather than the fact that he has a diagnosed recognised social communication problem (Aspergers). I did repeatedly go into school and question his ridiculous IEPs – you know what happened? They did social stories. They didn’t work. They got a new SENCo – then they tried Social stories. And if I pushed too much they would make me feel like it was my rubbish parenting – and actually my son was just a normal, lazy teen. But it will always come back to Social Stories being the answer (they never work as he can’t generalise them from one situation to the other).
It isn’t Asperger’s Syndrome it is just the Teenage Years
Maybe they are right, I really don’t know what is teenage behaviour and what is his disability, but I DO know that he is far from lazy. If it is clear to him what he has to do then he does it. Will this ignoring the problem make it go away? Does ignoring cure Aspergers? Will he suddenly know how to communicate socially? But then I do hope they are right, that it is just down to rubbish parenting, because one day he will move out of home, and away from me, and my “fussiness” and everything will be alright! I do want you to come and all agree that it is rubbish parenting that I’m fussing: That I am just not letting my boy grow up. This is normal and what most teenage parents go through. Please tell me I’m fussing.
Because if not, what is the alternative? That my son’s needs are continuously ignored? What will his future hold? Funny as he has done so well lately, and when applying for his first job I was told I should have helped him more!!! Luckily he has been given a second chance with that, and you know what even if it means it is rubbish parenting I am going to help him.
36 thoughts on “Rubbish Parenting – Stop Blaming the Disability”
Sorry, but it’s definitely not rubbish parenting-it’s the best kind of parenting there is. One which you will probably do for as long as you are able and your son needs and wants it, regardless of age. I totally sympathise with you about the school, I’ve had a similar experience too. My daughter doesn’t have SEN, but she does have emotional needs and so often this is completely ignored. It’s so frustrating-all that seems to matter are results. You’ll always worry, it’s what we do, but keep going even when it feels like you can’t do it anymore-you’re doing a brilliant job.
Thank you for your kind comment. I hope they start listening to you about your daughter don’t let them fob you off.
No it isn’t bad parenting. How you described things is similar to what I’m going through with my son so much so I think you have written about him!
It’s extremely frustrating when we aren’t listened to by the ‘professionals’ when we know our kids inside and out.
The school have got rid of the SENCO, bought in two new ones and the Headteacher has resigned.
It’s early days, there have been some improvements but there is a niggle at the back of my head and it’s made me wary of anything said to me to do with my son. But I have already told them I’m willing to work with them if they listened more to me and understood better what I have been saying all these years.
Part of having Aspergers is having a bright child academically but the social communication can really let them down. The school was so focused on what he could do, yet they complained when he couldn’t do some stuff. They just couldn’t see a connection why he was having trouble and how he was reacting. Now he has a teacher who understands children with Aspergers and so far so good, the communication between us has been a lot better and she has implemented some things to help my boy.
Wishing every success to your boy and he looks really good in his Sea cadet uniform.
I hope you are able to get the help for your son. Unfortunately my son didn’t last in SeaCadets long because of the communication issues 🙁
I have actually been sent on a parenting class! I have gone to every available avenue, asking anyone wiuld they please help. I just give up!
I have too. Try not to give up because even if no-one else can help, you can.
No it isn’t rubbish parenting but professionals who don’t properly understand. I’ve just returned from an appointment with my son’s psychiatrist and yet again have had to endure another mini lecture about the importance of encouraging my son’s independence. My autistic son is out of school due to severe anxiety and whilst everyone is ready to descend on me, no one is considering what the school is or isn’t doing to support him. I think there is also the problem that because my son is towards the higher functioning side of the autism spectrum they assume he is more capable than he is. The reality is my son struggles to cope with people or things outside the home; even with the psych he doesn’t talk or look at her. Getting him there is a major achievement in itself but they don’t get that; they’re just preoccupied with him becoming an independent adult. I think we’re many years away from that, if at all.
They just look at the age don’t they. I am glad your son has you though – because not all parents understand and are given such bad advice in my opinion.
That is my son and my feelings you have written about! Just returned from a meeting at his second secondary school who are so much more supportive. The first school was a grammar school which I thought would suit him being more academic than social but it was awful. I should have guessed when the Senco there said “we don’t have special needs cases here”! I am so glad I’m not the only one who feels ‘fussy’ when trying to sort out things for their son. Thank you.
I am glad the new school is more supportive. I am glad that my son is happy where he is, even if they aren’t doing much to help him move on with social and communication. He is getting there slowly.
We were told 6 months ago that we were going to be sent on a parenting class, by Social Workers we’d never met. After they’d come to our house for 30 minutes and met us and all the kids it was never mentioned again. I think their default position is to assume that the responsible adults are ‘responsible’ for just about anything that ever goes wrong, and they cling to that because it’s a box they can tick when they farm you off to some course that’ll make it all better magically. They really don’t ever give a moments thought to how we feel when we see them as judging our ability to do something we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we’re pretty damned good at it actually!
I am glad it wasn’t mentioned after they had seen you. I pulled my boys out of a school that the older of the 2 had been at since reception in year 5. When the youngest started attacking his slightly older brother they had me investigated to see if I was looking after them properly (a health visitor had to come round). He (the HV) said it was a joke because he knew, and knew that they knew, that I was. They had been happy before I had (another) special needs child so why not now. It was just because they did not know what to do.
Hope you are supported now.
We’re very fortunate now in that we can contact them should we ever need them, but there are no open cases. One of the young people we have with ASD is off to College next year though, so it’ll all go around again no doubt 😀
The thing is that schools are under immense pressure and scrutiny to get academic results that feature on league tables and national targets, and absolutely none whatsoever to support children’s developmental needs.
Two decades of political pressure on the education system has brought us to this point: exam results alone matter. Nothing else matters.
Some parents are lucky enough to find schools that take the developmental needs of children seriously enough to support them – but those schools are in the minority, they aren’t rewarded for their efforts, and it draws resources away from the pursuit of academic success, so they are always under pressure to reduce it.
I guess when I look back things have improved a great deal and I should be glad of that.
You’d think that the teaching specialists like SENCos would be more aware of the wider issues. Worrying that they aren’t because what chance do the non-specialised staff stand of doing the right thing by the special needs children if they haven’t got the leadership there.
I think it boils down to all the staff needing training really – but where is the time/money/resources for that – and how do you prioritise which disabilities and in what order?
I just think people don’t understand individual family situations, you can’t put families into a box and hope one size fits all. It doesn’t! I think that main stream schools often don’t know how to deal with children that aren’t what they call ‘mainstream’ – it requires too much effort! I’ve heard stories like yours so many times 🙁 I am certain that your boy will do exactly what he needs to do when the time is right. In the meantime, you follow your instincts and continue as you were….x
I know your parenting and its certainly not rubbish at all. If fussing means knowing your son needed some extra help then i hope to god that i am a fussy parent too!
Doesn’t sound rubbish at all. It sounds like very hard work. Incidentally if he wants to write computer games it might be worth contacting any local univrsities with computer science programmes (rather than the less useful games programming courses) to ask who they use for year in industry placements. They will probably have lists of local companies.
Oh thank you for the tip – most places he had to be 18 but think there’s 6th form work experience and he may be old enough then.
The fact that you have written this post in the first place goes to show how NOT rubbish your parenting is, let alone everything else you’ve said. I do wish the authorities would listen rather than judge. Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x
Keep it up! Your job is to fight for what you believe your son needs until he is old/capable enough to do so himself. Don’t let the b&st£rds get you down! Sounds like you’re doing exactly the right thing. Hope the venting helped and good luck regrouping. Stay strong. Sounds like you’re just what your son needs.
Thank you very much.
It is not rubbish parenting, because rubbish parenting is taking on board what the system says, it is ignoring your son needs because it is easier to just attribute it to laziness, it is not helping your son when he needs it.
You are a great parent, and yes society has a difficulty to deal with everything that doesn’t fit exactly into the squares it defines. It is much easier for everyone to say it’s rubbish parenting because that way they don’t have to do anything, or (God forbid) help.
Stay strong, and keep believing in yourself. It is not rubbish parenting.
AS a former social worker the line tha parenting course s are the answer was one we continually balked against but it was easier to offer this than indiv time (in terms of resources ) Parents are usually the experts on their child and need to be respected as such and listened too. You are your sons voice in many respects thats not fussiness that is advocacy and love
Thank you this feedback helps a lot. I think if parents were aware of the fact that there isn’t time/money for individual attention and that this is the best way to try and give it, as opposed to they are not doing something right it would help a lot.
Not rubbish parenting at all. I really do admire you. I think its similar for parents with disabilities, I myself had have my health visitor since boo was born, but only because I have MS??!!
I think people need to see beyond it and see just how amazing people can be. Dont let them get you down xxxx
I agree with all the comments above. It’s not rubbish parenting and I think it is awful that parents are made to feel like that. You are a very pro-active parent that wants the best for your son.
Keep strong you are doing a great job x
We had this with my teenage stepson. It was only when we had a family support worker who came out to the house and observed us that they finally admitted it wasn’t!
She was so unconcerned about our parenting she stopped doing house visits and would just telephone once a week to check in.
As you say though the feeling that it might be you is there. Even more so now that Little Miss OMG is going through the assessment procedure.
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