My worst parent - Autism jibe was lowest of low

29th April 2011 at 01:00

New to the profession, I have had a limited share of unsavoury parents. However, during my second year of teaching I came across a person who truly deserves the title of My Worst Parent.

I was six weeks into a new school year and teaching a reception class. The questions at the beginning and end of the day were sometimes quizzical, usually comic, but rarely scathing.

This parent and child, although they had been part of our nursery, were new to the school and the country and spoke little English. This made our interactions quite complicated, and on occasion elements of our conversations were lost in translation.

One Wednesday afternoon during play, the child in question was scratched on the neck by one of the other children, who has autistic spectrum disorder. It was a nasty scratch, but it merely warranted making the parents aware of it at the end of the day.

The following day after school, Dad came to pick up his child and smiled as they wandered off through the playground to their car. But I soon realised that, meanwhile, Mum was hurling abuse at our office staff, demanding to see the headteacher to complain about the dire environment that her child was being subjected to.

I went to defuse the situation with the headteacher in tow, to be told she didn't feel "these types of children" should be allowed in school with her son. Our head calmly escorted the mother into her office and I tried to smile while biting my tongue.

The child had not once complained, shown any signs of distress or disaffection towards "these children" and was, and is, an affectionate member of our school. But if his mother had her way, he would be transferred to a school where ASD doesn't exist.

The writer is a reception class teacher. Send your worst parent stories to Those published will receive 50 in Mamp;S vouchers.


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