Tuesday, 26 Sep 2023

Mum furious after learning her autistic son is made to sit separately in class

A mum has been left devastated after finding out her autistic son had been separated from his classmates at primary school.

Ana Martinez, 47, moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, one year ago with six-year-old Markel and his nine-year-old sister Haizea.

Ana had struggled to find a school for him after he was diagnosed with autism. She was initially excited to enrol Markel at Corstorphine Primary School but was later appalled to learn that he had been made to sit on his own behind a screen.

He even had notes pinned to his desk telling him to behave, reports EdinburghLive.

Ana found out about the desk, called a “concentration station” by the council, at a parent teachers evening. She insisted the desk be removed for “ruining her son’s mental health”.

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Edinburgh City Council confirmed that the individual desk was put in place to provide ‘visual support and individual activities’ for Markel.

Speaking to EdinburghLive, Ana said: “Before he started at Corstorphine Primary School, they were very good with me and they informed me that their school was going to be okay for my child to attend.

“However, after attending a parent teachers evening last week, I discovered that he had his own desk and was separated from his classmates. The teachers said he was at that desk because he needs to focus and that’s why he has a shield type thing blocking his view.

“The desk is filled with horrible, negative visuals too. I wish they would add more positive visuals instead, like gentle hands or something.

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“All he wants to do is get involved – he is very intelligent and loves to learn, however, he comes home from school distressed. The school is breaking his mental health. He asks me why nobody likes him, if he is a monster – all because he has to sit separate from the other children – he is autistic, but he isn’t stupid. I am really not happy I have tried to fight. I cry every day, I don’t know what to do anymore – I just want my child to be happy.”

The treatment of her son at Corstorphine Primary has now pushed the mum-of-two to look into admitting her son into a specialist school. She brands the treatment of Markel as “discriminatory and inadequate”.

Ana added: “Sometimes he wakes up, and he doesn’t want to go to school. As his mother, I want him to learn in a happy environment where he is comfortable and the primary are not giving him that.”

Ana is now refusing to put her son back to the school unless the desk has been removed – and was home-schooling on Monday and Tuesday.

She said: “Now Markel is at home with me, we do homework and play time together and he is happy and calm – the school was destroying him. We are doing comprehension, maths, English, writing and reading – of course I want him to attend school but only if he is happy, and he isn’t happy there right now. It’s just so frustrating and heartbreaking – I cry for him every day and nobody understands me.”

A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Council said: “Providing the resources for children with additional support needs is a priority for the council and we have many measures in place across our schools to achieve this aim. The school continues to have meetings with the parent to make decisions regarding her son’s needs and are discussing with our Additional Support for Learning Team ways of providing further support.

“We’re determined that every child will have the support they need to reach their full potential and our teaching staff will do everything they can for children and young people with additional support needs.”

Source: Read Full Article

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