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Issue at secondary school - need advice please

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#1 yummymummycakes

Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:06 PM

DS 15 is in year 9 at secondary school, he attends full time with funding for an aide due to ASD.

The school for the most part has been amazing, teachers are generally amazing along with the aides however I have one issue.

Year 7 during sport his Achilles were aggravated after sport - spoke to them regarding his issues with them (shortened due to toe walking) and the agreed to modify the program in order to avoid inflaming them.

Year 8 he suffered a knee injury during sport (gymnastics) which required physio and then a bursa injury in his shoulders. Once again spoke to the teachers about better instructions, monitoring him etc

Today he came home with a swollen elbow from weight lifting. Dr is sending him for ultrasound.

Since he has started secondary school they have only had 2 sport teachers - they teach him regularly and I have spoken to both of them regarding my concerns. I truly do understand that they have a lot of kids to monitor, instruct & supervise but now i am getting really annoyed that this keeps happening.

I am now thinking about pulling him out of sport altogether and letting him go to lifeskills with an aide and doing homework etc there.

Am I over reacting? Any advice from teachers on how to handle this?

Editing to add: he is not a sporty kid. He is happy to give it a go but also happy to do something else

Edited by yummymummycakes, 21 February 2020 - 09:42 PM.

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:09 PM

If he wants to keep attending I would ask for the side be assigned during sport lessons. If he is happy to stop sport lessons then that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

#3 annodam

Posted 21 February 2020 - 09:49 PM

When DD18½ was in Middle & High School, I would allow her (via note) to opt out of some sports.
Netball & Basketball are 2 off the top of my head that come to mind.  She got shin splints at one point in Yr 9 & I made sure she never played again.
In Yrs 10, 11 & 12, she played Table Tennis for the School, which was nice & good, low impact.

We made that decision because DD was playing Club Baseball/Softball & representing the State outside of School.  So we couldn't risk her getting injured, ditto to some Athletic events.  
During Cross Country she was actually absent throughout all her Middle School & High School years.
She did compete in every Swimming event for the School from Yr 3 right up to Yr 12 though.

What does your son want to do?

#4 lizzzard

Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:10 PM

We had a run of PE injuries when we started at our current school - pretty serious things involving stitches and a broken tooth (two separate incidents) and a few other things. The nature of the incidents definitely made me feel the choices of activities and/or supervision wasn’t adequate. But I did also think back to the various injuries I had as a kid and thought maybe that’s just childhood? Touch wood, we haven’t anything more recently and now I think it might have just been bad luck. Just another perspective to consider?

Edited by lizzzard, 21 February 2020 - 10:12 PM.

#5 yummymummycakes

Posted 21 February 2020 - 10:47 PM

He likes to follow the rules.... rule is you do all the subjects but I have noticed that his anxiety goes into overdrive on days where the have sport. Today he was making up all sort of excuses to stay home - including offering to clean the house!

#6 Agnetha

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:28 AM

It does sound like he is prone to injury more than you would expect for his age . Is he hyper mobile ? ( flexible joints?)
I’m a physio and I would be inclined to take him out of the physical aspect of PE given the history. If he has an NDIS plan you might be able to arrange some gym sessions with an exercise physiologist out of school hours to substitute . Supervised and appropriate activity.

#7 José

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:41 AM

I think I'd give sport a miss.

Other ideas..

You could ask for an aide to be assigned to sport but they wouldn't be a sport expert and may not be confident to intervene if activities planned weren't appropriate.  They may not be great at identifying what is and isn't appropriate.  
If you have a physio involved you could ask them to educate the teachers about what is and isn't appropriate for your DS.

#8 kimasa

Posted 22 February 2020 - 06:58 AM

It sounds like he doesn't want to do sport and the teachers are neglecting their responsibility to modify the activities to his needs and as a result he's getting injured.

Whilst that's simply not good enough on the school's part, life skills sounds like a much more suitable use of his time.

#9 Julie3Girls

Posted 22 February 2020 - 08:19 AM

I would be talking to your physio, get their opinion. A full physical checkup, rather than an apptointment focusing on correcting an injury.
Are there physical issues making him more prone to injuries? are there any particular activities he shouldn’t be doing?

The teachers aren’t mind readers, and unless they know about specific issues and specific things he shouldn’t be doing, it makes the job very difficult for them. It sounds like the injuries are not repeated (same injury from the he same activity). So it could be hard for them to predict what activity is going to cause problems.

My daughter has scoliosis, and had spinal fusion. Obviously requiring a lot of modifications in PE, some temporary, some permanent. I gave them detailed information of what she could and couldn’t do. And it worked, because they had clear guidelines. There were some units of work where she had theory instead, other activities where she would practice the skills, but not participate in the games due to risks, so she’d umpire instead. They worked it out.
Yes, there were still unexpected aches and pains occasionally that required physio treatment, but they would modify the next time.

What’s his physical activity like outside of school?  I know for some kids, school PE and sport are their only physical activity.
Such a hard balancing act ... constant injuries are not what you want.

#10 Mumsyto2

Posted 22 February 2020 - 12:09 PM

I am not a fan of school PE and sport. I am a big fan of physical activity for kids though.

My kids have been a mixture of sporty and non sporty. My experience has been the non sporty sporty kids are better off as they seem to put in pretty minimal effort so less likelihood of being injured. The teachers who supervise PE and sport seem to have little knowledge of proper sporting technique so those who throw themselves into it get injured. I have had kids do full on competitive contact sports and rarely had injury or when they did it was something pretty much expected with that particular sport. The coaches would tell kids in training how to do things to avoid or minimise injury, they would pull them off the field if necessary and tell them to pull back or how to adjust something. Sporty kids at school who go full on do so with teachers who, in our experience, didn’t have a clue. All of our injuries including bad breaks, dislocations, torn ligaments etc happened at school not in competitive sports where they were overseen with people who seemed to know what they were doing.

We also had the experience of one non-sporty kid telling the teacher in sport they didn’t think they could do something and being made to do it. They were carted off in an ambulance. Another sporty kid told the teacher at school they had broken a limb doing PE. Teacher looked at them and said it’s not broken, let them sit out the rest of the lesson and expected them to move on with life. Kid rang me at work as soon as school finished (as no mobile during school time) to say they couldn’t get bus home, they had broken bone, were in a sh*tload of pain and needed help. I organised an Uber to pick them up and told them I’d meet them at the hospital. They had surgery to fix the break that night. I’ve never been one to have a go at schools, I believe most teachers have a hard enough job, but I did for that one. The teachers defence was that they considered it couldn’t be broken as they didn’t cry/scream/carry on! As if I didn’t think it could get worse....

I believe the reality is teachers who supervise PE and sport in high school are not up for the job. They seem to assume medical knowledge they just don’t have and don’t seem to have been trained properly to coach and supervise sports. I also believe it’s universal as our experiences were from different schools and also a mix of public and private, seemed to be exactly the same issue across the board. I think this needs to be addressed before schools, not even force but LET kids do PE and sport on their watch.

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