to take my DS out of pre school because they say he is needs 'extra support'.

(267 Posts)
Elvisina Fri 05-Jul-13 08:25:37

My 3 yr old DS has always been on the lively side! His idea of heaven is being allowed to just run through a park, woods or along a beach, preferably with some older children. He very rarely shows an interest in any kind of ‘mark making’ (despite our best efforts – we have enough arts and crafts stuff in this house to start up our own nursery). He had been quite a few months behind with his speech but his language has recently taken off in a big way! A recent visit to a speech therapist reassured me he is/will be fine.
Anyway, this April he started at a local pre school for 2 and a half days a week. It’s a new pre school that is attached to a primary school which only opened 2 years ago. They’ve just received a very good Ofsted and the resources are great. I was so delighted to get him in there and he absolutely loves it, running into the playground each morning with a massive smile on his face. However, over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling increasingly uneasy about how they think he’s doing. Whenever I made a friendly enquiry to his teacher I’ve had rather crisp, negative responses such as “He doesn’t like joining in activities, especially if they’re led by an adult. He’s just not really ready” and “I’m like a broken record having to tell him all the time to put his coat on”. Nothing positive (and I know I’m biased but he is damn cute!). Last week I decided to phone up for a chat about how he’s doing, basically expecting some reassurance along the lines of, ‘he’s happy and friendly and we’re working on getting him to use his ‘listening ears’’ etc however it turned into a serious talk about how they have been preparing documentation to get him ‘extra support’ because he wants to play outside all the time and doesn’t want to join in the teacher led activities. Language such as “he needs a different learning path” was used. Apparently he stood out from the other children who were all happy to listen to teacher led activities. I was devastated and I know it’s ridiculous but I cried! It really hurt that they felt he was so different from the others. I mentioned that I had noticed there were loads more girls than boys and she said she hadn’t noticed this as a particular issue but in his class picture on their website there are 9 girls and 3 boys!

My DH thinks we should just accept the extra help and not worry about it but I now feel as though perhaps this isn’t the place for my DS. I don’t even feel as though they like him very much. I took him out of a lovely, friendly nursery where they seemed to really ‘get’ him and like him to go to this new pre school. I’m now considering sending him back there. Thing is, he loves it and I could be doing him a disservice by not letting him have this ‘extra support’. I honestly hadn’t realised that he would be required to take part in so many teacher led activities. I thought he got to play all day! What’s wrong with him wanting to play outside for 2 hours pretending to be a pirate? (I’m a teacher myself – secondary – so should have known better really). I keep looking at my wonderful boy who I honestly, honestly, honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with and feeling upset that they’ve made me feel as though he is somehow ‘failing’/different. I’m going in next week to observe him and discuss his ‘learning path’ but actually I just feel like I want to remove him. Would that be ridiculously unreasonable of me? Am I just being too sensitive?

Tee2072 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:28:22

It's preschool, not nursery. They learn things there.

If he needs extra help, what's the issue with him getting it? Do you not want him to be the best he can be?

writermama Fri 05-Jul-13 08:29:54

Three is still so young. I think it's a GOOD thing he wants to be outside, exercising his imagination! Children should be allowed to be children.

chartreuse Fri 05-Jul-13 08:32:52

I honestly think a 3 year old boy should spend his days running around rather than doing structured work. I didn't send my dc to school until they were 5 for that very reason. If your instinct tells you that his old nursery was better suited to your ds then I would go with that.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 05-Jul-13 08:33:21

Just get the extra help.

mrsscoob Fri 05-Jul-13 08:35:11

Yanbu I did the same thing. Looking back now I am wondering if they were trying to use certain children to get extra funding or something. They also implied my son was "different". Anyway fast forward 5 years he is really happy at school always gets very positive parents evenings and in one year of preschool and 3 years of school not one teacher has ever had to speak to me about his behaviour or say anything negative about him at all. Stick with your gut instinct. If there is a problem well then the new school will pick it up anyway and you can then take it from there if necessary.

Jinsei Fri 05-Jul-13 08:36:51

Well, it's difficult to say as we don't know your son. It's awful if you feel that they don't like him, but they may have a point about him needing support. Can you try to see it as a positive thing, rather than a criticism of your DS? Hope that the observation gives you a bit more insight into what is going on.

How about a child minder? One who does an absolute ton of outdoor stuff. Maybe has a dog the children help walk? There would be a range of ages then and who he plays with would be his choice. A child minder would still be qualified (I think) to be honest about whether there is an issue with him. He just sounds active to me and that's a good thing will keep him happy fit and healthy. Some kids like reading, others like drawing or dressing up and some like your son just want to run around. It's far to early to decide he "can't" sit and concentrate, he's three .

Whocansay Fri 05-Jul-13 08:38:23

This woman is giving you her professional advice. You were happy for him to go to this nursery as it has a good reputation, so why don't you listen to her?

Not all children are the same. And it doesn't mean that there is anything 'wrong' with you son.

ZiaMaria Fri 05-Jul-13 08:41:06

Could you go and speak to the old nursery and ask their opinion. It seems the preschool is definitely more 'school', and maybe they are right that your son is not ready for it.

But then he is only three. It seems a little bit too early for him to be labelled as needing extra support. He sounds like a normal energetic lad - is there somewhere else you can send him that would make better use of all his energy and desire to be outdoors?

Dorange Fri 05-Jul-13 08:42:18

the other nursery just want your money
the current one actually is offering your child extra support
I know 3 is young but you can still take him to run around before and after school and at weekends
hope he settles soon

glitch Fri 05-Jul-13 08:42:38

It is great that they are paying him that much attention and if they think he may need extra support then great, it can only help.
They may be over-reacting but far rather that than ignore him.
The pre-school my DS may need extra support and we discovered he has ASD. With their help we had support for him from day 1 in school. (it seems to be much harder to get help once they are in school).
Don't just dismiss their thoughts, they see a lot of children and if it turns out to be nothing you have lost nothing.

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 08:43:02

I think you need to try to remove your personal feelings here (obviously that's hard as his Mum!) and listen to what they are saying.

When is he going to turn 4? Is he starting reception in September? If so, I think you'd be rather foolish not to listen as by that point he will need the skills to sit and listen for periods of time as well as write his name.

burberryqueen Fri 05-Jul-13 08:44:17

if you have trained as a teacher and are sure that he is fine, go with that.
goodness me,he is 3 years old!
these types can hardly wait to label and classify tiny children and teach them and their parents to conform.
take him out if you want to.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Fri 05-Jul-13 08:45:56

WhoCan just posted what I was about to. Needing extra support is not a failing,its giving them the best chance to flourish at school. What sort of preschool is it? (or do preschools there follow a curriculum?)

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:04

But where will you send him? To another school?

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 08:46:30

Dd is damn cute. But without help and support from her pre school there would be no way at all she would be ok to go to school in september. Their structured and targeted work with her has made an incredible difference to her ability to communicate and interact with other children and adults. In no more than 6 months she has gone from walking away when another child approaches her to leading group play.

Support at this age is so very important. It is heartbreaking to think your child may need it but needing it now doesnt necessarilly mean it is forever (and even if it does its going to do no harm)

Lilicat1013 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:01

Personally I would move him, just on the basis you feel they don't like him and can't say anything positive about him. That is more of a concern to me than their request for additional support. My son is the same age and can be a challenge (he is autistic) but his preschool have always been really positive about him even when they are talking about things he struggles with.

Pascha Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:23

I read your OP nodding along a bit because my DS1 is very similar but slightly younger - some speech delay, wants to play outside all the time, little patience yet for more focused activities. He turns 3 in September and will be starting preschool 2 mornings a week then and I am really really looking forward to it because I know he will be gently guided toward doing things in a teacher-led setting and I think it will take all of the two years he will have at preschool to get him ready for school proper.

You know, the thing about being given extra help, or different learning pathways (or whatever wanky term they use) is just that - appropriate help at an early age to help him achieve everything you and he want in life. Its not bad, or labelling, or marking him out as a problem, its just help.

Too many children have grown up and gone through school struggling because they could have been given better support at an early age, ended up dissolutioned with education, dissolutioned with life.

Sometimes just a little bit of intervention at the right point can make all the difference.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 08:48:29

You could look and see if there is a forest school in your area, they are brilliant for children who like being outdoors.

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 08:49:24

I would go and observe and I would send him to where he is happiest. Where does he prefer? 3 is old enough to have an opinion.

My concern is that they will force him to do more teacher led activities when they get extra support for him. Persuade/ encourage-yes. Force-no.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 05-Jul-13 08:50:07

So you think he needs a different learning path too but would rather provide it yourself or elsewhere than allow the pre-school to do so, is that right?

thecakeisalie Fri 05-Jul-13 08:53:40

I can totally relate to what your saying. My 3.5yr old boy went to the local pre-school and then a nursery for 2 mornings a week when he was about 2.5. I was getting really concerned about the labelling of children going on at such a young age. I know there is nothing wrong with my little lad but he just did not get on with a preschool setting and shut down while he was there. He was also delayed with his speech and I think that didn't help. He would much rather play outside than do activities especially craft. I've found from doing alot of craft, baking and sensory play at home he prefers to do things independently and hates people interfering or telling him he should do things a certain way.

To me there is/was nothing wrong with him but he is a square peg that they were trying to fit into a round hole. I took him out of preschool and ultimately the negative experience of a 'school' setting led us to discuss home education. I personally think the skills they were telling us he was struggling with were the skills they want them to have in preparation for school. Removing the idea of school removed the need for listening ears, sitting still when he wants to run round - he can do these things quite happily but just not on someone else schedule.

I would say remove him from that preschool if your not happy but the fact that he's happy there makes it a more difficult decision. It sounds to me that the skills he needs extra help with are the school preparation skills and he has over a year to learn these before starting school so like you say I certainly wouldn't be concerned about him. I second the post suggesting you follow your instincts. We certainly did and now I have a huge sense of relief knowing my boys will not be going to school now in favour of home ed.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 08:54:30

children who need extra support can be wonderful happy and friendly too.
theyre suggesting his needs are markedly different from his peers and want to be able to encourage him in a way that suits him. this is a good thing and they sound really on the ball.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 05-Jul-13 08:55:09

It does not sound like if is ready for pre school I would hold him another year. As a teacher yourself you know what they mean by another learning path I suspect he is an experiential learner so sending him to the complete read write environment that is traditional schooling does not best meet his educational needs yet. Wait a while and he will be more ready.

proudmum74 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:55:11

Hi Elvisina - have they said what type of "extra support" he needs?

I'm a parent of a DD with SN, not that i'm suggesting that your DS has SN, but my gut reaction is always to grab any support you are offered, as it's normally a battle to get any type of help... what part of the suggestion that your DS might need a little bit if extra support concerns you?

In your position i would first want the pre-school to be far more specific as to what exactly they are concerned about and request that they provide more detail of the type of support they want to offer. Given you already have access to SALT, I'd recommend speaking to them to get a second opinion.

Bit of a left field question, but how is your DS hearing? When was his last hearing test, as glue ear is very common in small children & can effect concentration levels & may help explain his speech delay.

If SALT have no concerns, then I would follow your instincts and place him in a setting that you & your DS are happier with.

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 08:55:17 DD is 5 and has had extra help with her literacy all year in reception. It's been marvelous. She's very bright but reading just didn't sit in with her as quickly as for some others. Teachers have no concern that she has any learning difficulties...she's just very active and would rather paint or play out. There's NO shame in having some help.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:19

Your being a secondary school teacher has absolutely no bearing on this.It is such a totally differnt age group.
The pre-school leader will have dealt with lots and lots of lively boys.Your DS's class won't be the first she has ever had!!!
Please listen to her and your DH and get whatever help is advised.For your DS's sake.

ReallyTired Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:37

It hurts when people critise your children? Parents are often defensive whether the child is four years old or fourteen.

It is horrific when someone says that there is something wrong with your cihld. The pre school would not be offering him extra support unless there were concerns. Lots of children have extra support at pre school and no one knows later on when they start proper school

Your son sounds like a pretty normal little boy to me. Boys and girls are different species at that age.

Have you had his hearing and sight tested? What is your son's speech like? Prehaps you should contact your health visitor and ask her to assess his development. The health visitor can make any necessary referals like audiology or SLT.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 08:56:49

Could I just ask if he is an only/eldest child?

bico Fri 05-Jul-13 08:57:35

If he starts school this Sept then I'd take the extra help. If he has another year at home you could choose to remove him for a while. Personally I'd take the support and then review after three months.

orangepudding Fri 05-Jul-13 08:57:42

My son went to a very structured pre school for a term. It really didn't suit him, he wasn't ready for the structure or discipline. He just wanted to play. I felt that the owner didn't want him there as he didn't fit in. My girls loved it there but it didn't suit my son.
I moved him to the local school nursery and it was much better for him. I really felt like they understood him and he loved it.
If it doesn't feel right move him.

hackmum Fri 05-Jul-13 08:59:06

OP, there seems to be a 50-50 split in the answers between "listen to what they're telling you - they're professionals" and "let him be a child and run free"!

I obviously don't know as I don't know your son. But what do you think? Do you know many other three year olds? Does your son strike you as a normal, lively little boy, or as a child who has difficulty concentrating or focusing on stuff? Do you trust the staff to know the difference between a child who is simply high-spirited and active, and not yet ready for sitting down quietly, and one who has got a genuine problem?

My instinct is that children develop at very different rates and it's unreasonable to expect all three year olds to be ready to sit down quietly for formal activities. But obviously I don't know your son and I'm not any kind of expert. Obviously as he's your child, it's hard to be objective - do you have any friends who can be trusted to give you an honest opinion?

znaika Fri 05-Jul-13 09:00:13

These MN threads always worry me. My DD is 4 1/2 and always wants to be outside to play - I thought this was a good thing! It would never occur to me to worry about her and try and give her extra support, although she can read and write, she wants to be out running and climbing! IMO the UK education system pushes children too young into a formal learning environment and many, many children (of normal ability and intelligence) are simply not ready at such young ages.

badguider Fri 05-Jul-13 09:02:19

There's nothing wrong at all with needing 'a different learning path'... I think the question is whether this pre-school is the right place to get that or whether he'd be better at the nursery he was at before or some kind of forest or outdoors nursery.

The question for me would be what comes next and how soon? If you and he have plenty of time before school starts then I would go with his preference for running around outside.. however, if he needs (due to the stupid English system) to start reception at school soon then unfortunately rather than embracing is natural learning style, you are going to have to ease him into the 'desired behaviour' for school learning sad in which case I would take all the help the pre-school are offering to ease him from his preferred learning style to one that will 'work' in a school setting.

Elvisina Fri 05-Jul-13 09:02:33

Ah cheers guys, lots of really helpful advice here. Yeah, I think I definitely am letting my feelings get in the way and need to get over them in order to make a rational decision. It's already been cathartic writing it all down. I think I'll maybe make a tentative phone call to his old nursery just sounding out whether they have places in their pre school section for next term and then see how I feel about the one he's at now when I go in next week. To be honest, his old nursery is much more convenient for drop offs around work but I was prepared to deal with the complicated logistics because I thought this pre school would be so good. Thanks again - especially for similar stories!

Elvisina Fri 05-Jul-13 09:03:33

Oops, keep forgetting to say he doesn't start school until Sept 2014.

ReallyTired Fri 05-Jul-13 09:03:58

I think the OP should get a second opinon. Even if nursery nurses aren't as qualified as doctors or teachers they have often had years of experience with small children. They are in a good position to spot if something isn't quite right even if they can't diagnose why.

Getting a second opinon will either allay any fears or it will strengthen the case that extra help is needed.

Bloob Fri 05-Jul-13 09:08:26

I didnt want to read and run but didnt have time to read the pps. ignore me if its irrelevant! I doubt very much they're doing lots of structured activities, learning at this age is "play based" but they will be expected to sit down to listen to a story or together at snack time, at dds preschool they sit down together at home time to, to sing a song and say goodbye. If he's leaping about all over the place and interrupting, then maybe it is important to work on those skills? The teachers don't have ay motivation for telling you this other than it being necessary, I would accept the help with open arms. If it turns out that there is an issue, surely it's best that the help is already in place? Also, the teacher is a professional, if she thinks that something is not quite right, she's probably the one to know.

Ultimately, he does need to learn these skills. And the younger he learns them, the easier it will be on him. Could you work with him at home to try to improve things?

trice Fri 05-Jul-13 09:09:58

Dd was a lively outdoor type. She went to a montessori preschool where she learned to write outside in mud with a stick.

Your ds sounds like he needs something similar.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 09:10:11

this is why I don't like pre-school - they seem to be too focussed on getting a child ready for school, rather than embracing the age for what it is right now. My neice has just gone through 18 months of this, the pre-school saying she won't be ready for school (this was when she was 3, not going to school til 4 and 3/4), she needs to see an education psychologist, focussing on what she can't do (not good at joining in or sharing, away in her own wibbly-wobbly world most of them time) rather than what she can do (very imaginative and creative, excellent speech) etc etc - she's just finished and they've now decided she's fine, just different (her sharing has improved loads in the last couple of months - thanks mainly to her childminder rather than the pre-school). FFS.

Isn't Reception year meant to be about getting them ready for school proper? Presumably children who have been at home until school manage to get on fine?

Having seen my sister being put through the mill of this, I would check out a setting that focussed less on box-ticking and more on the child being a child. DD (3.5) spends all day at nursery playing mummies and babies with her best friend. Don't think she does much else. Happy as larry. Why would I want anything else - she's not going to school till next year!

katiecubs Fri 05-Jul-13 09:12:32

My DS (nearly 3) sounds exactly like yours - and to be honest many others in his pre-school! He is totally uninterested in led activities and just want to run about.

Although I think this is pretty normal and just a personality thing I have worried how he will cope when he starts school. If I had the type of feedback and offer or support you had I would be really bloody delighted! I can't see (apart from perhaps some of the negative phrasing) they used how you would think this a bad thing?

plantsitter Fri 05-Jul-13 09:14:01

I would be led by him. As long as he is happy and enjoying nursery, keep him there and accept the help. It will probably assist him in future when he starts school etc. If the extra support seems to be making him unhappy for an extended time, follow your instincts.

GinGuzzler Fri 05-Jul-13 09:14:36

I was in your shoes september last year. My DS was 1 of 4 boys in a class of girls in nursery. He needed extra support to sit and do group activities. At first I was devastated as I thought he was doing really well. So his teacher had a really nice chat with me. She told me academically he was right up there and she couldn't fault him. She explained how children have short attention spans. That its a minute for each year they are so she really only expected him to sit for a minimum of 3 minutes and anyrhing over that was an acheivement. They implemented an egg timer to assist him to sit longer to do group activities which I incorporated at home.

They didn't bring in extra staff to teach him they never excluded him from any of the activities including the nativity at christmas. They just gave him smaller things to do and since then they have gradually increased each task and now nearly a year later he is excelling with this and he has calmed down in the classroom with his class mates and he still has his freedom in outside activities as they encourage his imagination and love of the outdoors.

I am so proud of the little boy who I see today and feel his teachers were right and did what was right for him in the nursery. He has had nothing but glowing reports and they are confident this will continue when he starts reception in september.

I hope your DS continues to enjoy his love of the outdoors but why don't you arrange to have a meeting with the teacher and ask what they were thinking. WhenI was told my son needed extra help I was a bit gutted as it goes I'm glad I trusted his teacher earlier rather than later as it may have been a different story for reception. If after the meeting you still feel the same then take him back to his old nursery, ask their opinion of the new nusery and see what they say. At the end of the day. You know your DS netter than anyone and you know you will do what's right for him. Good luck flowers

GinGuzzler Fri 05-Jul-13 09:16:30

Better not netter blush

TheOnlyPink Fri 05-Jul-13 09:16:55

My son had difficulty concentrating and struggled with alot of tasks such as colouring and mark making. The preschool assured me he was fine and even told me he was doing well.
off he went to school at age 5 and the teacher calls me aside and tells me he isn't coping at all.
Of course I was horrified at first, and now I am trying to get my son the extra support, but that's all on top of making sure he doesn't fall behind with his school work. I just wish that the preschool had the experience or the balls to bloody tell me that everything wasn't fine.
ASD has been ruled out and we are looking at a dyspraxia diagnosis.

My advice is to take any support they are willing to offer you. No help will be detrimental and you can stop it at any time. My concern would be that he would go to school and still need the support. Better to start early IMO.

TheOnlyPink Fri 05-Jul-13 09:21:17

I didn't mean to imply your child has any kind of special needs, i only added my own sons diagnosis prospects to complete my own story! Just on reading back that's not clear!

WhiteBirdBlueSky Fri 05-Jul-13 09:25:49

He problem doesn't seem to be in your child, or his needs, but in the negative attitude of the teachers. I would t want him to spend all day with people who think so badly of him.

TSSDNCOP Fri 05-Jul-13 09:25:50

Every single thing you wrote applied to my DS. It's not just what the teacher said, but what you can see with your own eyes.

Take the help, if it means the school gets extra funding see it as a bonus.

BackforGood Fri 05-Jul-13 09:30:48

I don't understand how a school or Nursery or Pre-school applying to get some extra support to give a child the best start in life can ever been seen as a bad thing confused - only on MN, eh?

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 09:38:33

because the child is just being a child! The extra support seem to be because they think he won't be ready for the school he won't be attending for over a year! I can't understand why anyone would think that a little boy who loves being outside and running free is someone who needs extra help - what a depressing state of affairs.

burberryqueen Fri 05-Jul-13 09:42:19

the best start in life - but is it at the age of 3? really?

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:02

Theyre only going to be comparing him to his peers. Not 5 year olds. There is no stigma. Its much much easier to discard help that theyve freely given you, later, than to have to fight for it yourself later if he needs it.

He's only just becoming more verbal so surely they need to give him a bit of time to realise what that means. Perhaps the live of outdoor stuff came about more intensely as it required less communication and its gone from there.

schobe Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:16

Take the support.

Why not chat to his key worker or the manager of the previous nursery? Ask them to be really honest with you.

The more common scenario is for children's' difficulties to be ignored and responsibility abdicated to the next teacher to come.

So for support to be sought by the pre-school indicates to me one (or more) of three things:
- he would really benefit from the support
- they are struggling with him
- they are very on the ball and proactive and really want the best for kids who they can see might run into problems

The third of these is rare and fantastic to have stumbled on. The system is as it is, whether we think they are too young to start school at 4/5 or not. So you can choose to work with it, or you can choose to remove your child and pay for a different approach. I speak as one who has gone out of the 'system' for one DC for lots of complex reasons.

If you think the preschool is good, you could go with it and see how it goes. However I would be very assertive about needing meetings to have everything explained, seeing all paperwork etc. I would also want to be sure that it was all handled, as far as your DS was concerned, in a very careful and sensitive way.

Tryharder Fri 05-Jul-13 09:45:45

What would be the point of this extra help? What are the nursery trying to achieve? Are they trying to force a little boy who just wants to run around and climb trees into sitting quietly and doing crafts with the girls? Or do they genuinely believe he has special needs and so would properly benefit from support?

This extra support they talk about, is that for your son's benefit do you think or for the staff's benefit, because they can't be arsed to deal with a child that doesn't like structured activities.

TBH, if I were you and someone said this about my child, I would be seeing my GP ASAP. If someone implies that your child has SN, this needs to be looked into rather than taking the word of someone who may be an educated, well meaning professional but whom equally may be someone who is talking through their arse and did a couple of mornings at college once.

And this nursery doesn't sound great in any case, good Ofsted or not. I would seek out a nursery that does more outdoorsy stuff.

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 09:55:12

Burberry for my dd the extra help she got at 3 means that now at 4 she no longer needs it so YES at 3

Januarymadness Fri 05-Jul-13 09:56:27

Burberry for my dd the extra help she got at 3 means that now at 4 she no longer needs it so YES at 3

lottiegarbanzo Fri 05-Jul-13 09:57:15

I'd just want to find out exactly what they are telling you. Are they going to support him to learn in an active, outdoorsy way that suits him, or, are they supporting to shoehorn him in to the same 'path' as the other children? Different path sounds like the former to me but I'd want them to explain.

Hullygully Fri 05-Jul-13 10:00:54

take him out

let him run free

he's got years of conformity ahead poor little fucker

DeWe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:01:53

My ds was at preschool and didn't like joining in adult led activities and such like. And they didn't make him because that was their policy. However this caused a problem when he arrived at school because he saw the adult led activities as optional, and couldn't understand why he didn't have the option.
I wished the preschool had told him that some stuff was not optional, because I think he'd have been fine if that had been true from the start, but once he realised there was an option is was harder to accept when there wasn't.

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:11:03

what would you do if he started school and say he needed extra support then ? nurseries and preschools are professional places not liking a child isn't an option they have a duty of care to all the children,

of course he doesn't need to be there as it is pre school but IME of working with preschoolers
if they say he needs a little extra support then he needs it,
it is up to the parents to take it on board,

you have put him in preschool to get him ready for school he is 3 he is not a baby yes he likes to run about what 3 yr old doesn't but I honestly think you maybe putting your head int he sand a wee bit, take the help or not but this may be a problem when he starts school,

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:14:16

but isn't that the point of Reception, that's the opportunity for children to learn about the structure of school? And I still don't know why the OP's son needs to worry about this now, so far in advance of actually starting school. Particularly when he's got the whole summer holidays to forget about it.

Children have their whole school lives to spend in structured activities. I find it so sad that a 3 year old has to be preparing for this now. God, in not so many years time he'll reach the age where parents and the rest of the world worry that children spend too much time indoors, engaged in sedentary activities - surely a love for the great outdoors and physical activity is something to beencouraged and nurtured?

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:15:05

be encouraged

SparkyTGD Fri 05-Jul-13 10:19:41

My DS wasn't ready for anything like 'school' at age 3. He was in a very 'play-focused' nursery from age 3-4 then pre-school for age 4-5, pre-school was good at getting him ready for 'real' school at age 5.

Although if your DS will be going to 'real' school next year, sep 2014, the 1 year of preparing for school will probably help him be more ready.

I'd go in for observation & chat.

BackforGood Fri 05-Jul-13 10:21:57

Thing is, none of us commenting know Elvisina's ds. She's told us he's lively and he loves to be outside and he loves to run about (which are all great and lovely). She's told us he's already seen the SaLT (who are as rare as hens' teeth in our area). She's told us that the Pre-school teacher has suggested trying to get him some extra support.
The teacher is trained to work with children this age, she works with them all day every day. Generally, it's not unreasonable to assume she has a good knowledge of what an "average" child can do at the age bands, and, if in any doubt there are plenty of resources available to help her. It is therefore pretty reasonable to assume that if she says he would benefit from some additional support, then he would (well, tbh, which child wouldn't?). If nothing else, maybe they could get someone doing some additional activities with him to develop his language skills. At no point has she said he can't run and play outside. At no point has she said he's doomed to some kind of 'failure', what she's saying is, there may be the possibility we can give him a little boost with a particular area that he finds harder than some other children. Additional support is so hard to get, that it is heavily moderated anyway - no-one is going to be able to say "I think Child A could do with some more support" and be given extra hours funding - it won't be available unless it is considered to be needed.

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:22:56

mrsO if the op feels her son is not ready for anything structured she should no question take him out of the preschool but I do think that 3 yr olds can listen and do as asked of them this place is obviously too structured for the little boy preschool is optional but I honestly think he could do with listening and taking part in what others are doing,

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:30:33

My DS is 3 but starting school in September (August baby). The info we got from the school which had things they would like the children be able to do before they started included 'sit with other children and listen to, e.g. a story for ten minutes'.

So if my DS couldn't do this, I would certainly be wanting him to have extra support in being able to do this before he started school.

As it is, he has been fine with that but needed extra support with personal space and sharing, so they have done some targeted sessions with him on that and he has improved a lot.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:36:50

but the OP's child is not starting school until next September - 14 months away. Whose pre-schooler hasn't changed beyong belief in 14 months? Surely starting looking at this maybe next January might be more appropriate? He might have, of his own accord, started to get more into this kind of thing.

actually, I hate this phrase pre-schooler, as if that's all it's about. Am I a pre-pensioner? Is my mum a pre-corpse?

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:40:12

But my DS started getting his extra help as soon as the issue was identified last September. Why would you want to leave it for a mad rush at the end?

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:42:17

well the OP did say preschool didnt she which means pre school , maybe he is just to young and immature for preschool it isn't a huge deal but having children in preschool they are expected to follow some sort of structure even free play is structured I am sure the Op structures her sons free running even if she thinks she isn't , some people dont like to think of their children conforming to rules and want them to be a free spirit for as long as possible, which is fine they are their children but don't put them into a preschool and expect them to let the kids go free range,

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 10:42:30

is staring in january (so 9 months before school) a mad rush?

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:44:14

well early intervention is much better than a few terms before actually starting school especially if there is speech and language issues,

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 10:46:43

Take him out and if you have to, send him back to the nursery where they 'get him' as you said.
3 is so very young and boys and girls develop and learn differently.
Not that there's any need for him to be taught formally at this age anyway.
Let him be a child, run around and do things his little heart desires.
He'll be slotted into formal education soon too soon enough.

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:48:03

Depends on how fast he gets it! A bit of extra support when he is only there two and a half days a week is hardly going to be breaking his spirit. Presumably the preschool does free play too.

If they start with plenty of time, they can take baby steps.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 10:49:30

Take the support? Stigma? He needs to be like his peers - at 3???
This is scarily like 'One Flew Over Coo-coo's Nest'...
sad and [slightly worried about the way children are taught in this country].

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:49:32

f they start with plenty of time, they can take baby steps.

^ ^ that,

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 10:51:30

Thinking about the teacher-led stuff my DS does at preschool, like listening to stories, singing songs, discussing topics, painting particular animals, making cakes - a child that doesn't participate in teacher-led activities and instead wanting to just play, is actually going to be missing out on a lot of nice things. It would be a shame not to encourage him.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 10:53:33

i think people might be a bit unecessarily frightened by what extra support might mean.

It probably means they will put an extra TA in the class who will play with him and build a relationship with him, and be able to take him outside to do extra things on his own terms when the classroom setting DOES get too much for him.

Both of my sons need extra support. Both are lovely happy fun loving boys. Its not about forcing them to conform AT ALL. Its about helping them access everything theyre entitled to in the same way that everyone else does.

Its a fairly common scenario for nurseries to not notice special needs and pass it off as just boys, and to avoid helping, and its also pretty common for parents to have an emotional response and to be in complete denial.

Its much much less common for schools to outright offer and suggest extra support when its not necessary.

This doesnt mean there is something "wrong" with your child, just that they are aware that not all childrens needs are the same, and there isnt a one size fits all approach to school, and he probably needs a little extra support in certain areas. It certainly wont be all day every day. If he wants to run about and play, then he will need an extra TA to watch him, wont he? You cant expect the class teacher to leave the rest of the class constantly to bring him back, or for him to be unsupervised and running round the corridors, however charming you find it.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 10:55:29

This' institutionalised' raising of children is quite a sad state of affairs.
What happened to carefree childhood?

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 10:56:41

* think people might be a bit unecessarily frightened by what extra support might mean.*

I think so parents will panic at the thought of extra support,

schobe Fri 05-Jul-13 11:00:17

<disclaimer - in no way relevant to OP's child's abilities>

I love the idea of letting them run free, but my DS would still be running free with no language or any other skills other than good tree-climbing ones as an adult, sadly.

I really think you've nothing to lose with GOOD early intervention. It's the 'good' part that's tricky.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 11:13:15

But surely the language skills are something parents teach their children?!

Talking to them, explaining the meaning of the difficult/new/complicated words, reading to them often, playing with them etc? If necessary, doing linguistic exercises with them if there seems to be a problem.
This is how a child learns the language. Nothing difficult or complicated.

OPs child is coming on leaps and bound with his speech, fantastic!
Our children were late to talk yet once they took off, they spoke in full grammatically correct sentences.
Their vocabularies are 'way beyond their years' and 'unusually rich for their age' according to school reports.

Can't expect the school to raise your children and teach them basic skills, that's what parents do.

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 11:20:40

I see this issue as twofold.

1. He prefers to play outside and not join in teacher lead activities. Fine and not a problem at this age. IMO no intervention required.

2. He won't follow basic instructions ie I’m like a broken record having to tell him all the time to put his coat on
This to me is far more worrying and I think it needs addressing. If my child continuously ignored me and had no respect for me at home and/or did the same at nursery, then I would support the nursery wholeheartedly. Even a 3 year old needs boundaries and needs to do what they are told when necessary. If this isn't sorted out when they are young then they will have problems at school and you may have problems at home, even if you haven't now. They do need to learn to respect authority.

Only you can judge the your child Op. Observe him at the nursery. Does he occassionally ignore instuctions from the teachers, or is it a bigger problem where he hardly ever does as he is told? What is he like at home? Be honest. A bit of mischieveousness and cheekiness at 3 is fine, not so as they get older. Does he need help with behavious management there or at home? You'll do him a favour if you nip any potential problems in the bud, now.

StickyFloor Fri 05-Jul-13 11:31:14

I understand parents nervous about accepting extra help as they don't want their child to be labelled. But, I have witnessed children get to Yr2 and Yr3 before parents accepted help as a result of that fear. The irony is that those children have already been labelled as "naughty" and "immature" and that favourite euphemism "very lively" etc by this time because they weren't getting the help they needed to settle into a structured environment.

As a parent of a child with clear SN I have seen the other side where it is a constant battle to get preschool and school to sit up and organise themselves to provide appropriate help, so I would say that if they are offering help they must be pretty sure that he needs some help right now.

It is all very well criticising the school system and saying this is too young for formality and structure etc but the reality is that after 3 more terms of preschool this child will be starting school. And if he can't do as he is told, listen to instructions, sit quietly and listen to the teacher etc etc he is going to really struggle. You have a year to gradually work on these things which is plenty of time, so surely this is a good thing?

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 11:34:23

Isn't this OPs duty to ensure her child learns to follow instructions?!

With age-appropriate explanations as to why it is important to do what's requested by parent or teacher, repeated and repeated at every opportunity - until it clicks.

It will take some time as 3 year olds do forget, but with little effort, this is not a problem, but parental responsibility.

No 'extra support' needed.

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 11:43:26

perhaps the problem with him wanting to play outside the whole time is that if there are e.g 2 members of staff and 26 children, they dont have enough staff to just let them all do what they want. the ratios are usually either 1;13 or 1:8 depending on whether there is a qualified nursery teacher. so they do need to have some kind of structure, free play, snacks, outdoor play, crafts, story time etc. How's it going to work if little Johnny wants to spend all his time outside, little Jimmy wants to paint for the entire session and other children want to do something completely different?

I think it"s a good thing that they are trying to get extra support if they think he needs it, as tbh not all nurseries would be suggesting it, some places would basically just tell you that your child wouldnt do what he was told but wouldnt actually offer much in the way of help.

MrsOakenshield Fri 05-Jul-13 11:44:49

also - telling him to put his coat on - maybe let him go out without his coat and find out for himself if he's cold or wet? Really, is this something that needs support?

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 11:47:23

some people here live in a fantasy world and obviously have no experience of SN kids and what a battle it can be to actually get help when it is needed. Absolute paranoia that they are wanting to label children and dole out extra help just for the hell of it, or that theyve never had to deal with a general spritely 3 year old boy before.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 11:48:07

Also pretty laughable that someone thinks a GP would be mre qualified to recognise extra needs in a small child than a class teacher

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 11:48:44

if they let one child go out without their coat on, then other children won"t want to put theirs on, and then when they get cold and wet, their parents wont be happy. I don't always insist theta my dc wear their coats as I can just bring them with me, but they know that they have to put them on at school if they are told to.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 11:49:32

But OPs child does not have SN!!!!!

Vagndidit Fri 05-Jul-13 11:52:00

I'll admit that I did fall to pieces when DS was issued an IEP from his school nursery teacher last year. He was barely 3.5 when he started and really struggled with a lot of things, especially with self-care skills, listening and being more independent. I took criticisms of his development as a personal knock against my parenting style, which was silly really. They just wanted to help.

DS has since been dx with dyspraxia, btw, which has taken a load of pressure off my shoulders in a bizarre sort of way.

Good luck to you!

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 11:52:25

Tbh he is only 3 a baby nit a school age child, that is what 3 year olds do. He sounds to me like a normal pre schooler. I would remive him and find somewhere else. It does not sound like a good place for him, i would worry that this could affect the way they are towards him

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 05-Jul-13 11:53:31

In your shoes I would move him to another setting and try again. If you get the same feedback there too then I suppose you then need to take it on board and get extra support.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 11:54:33

I seriously would take him out and out him in his orevuous nursery

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 12:00:04

Did the other nursery have more staff? was it a private nursery? my dds went to a nursery unit attached to a school and they only had 2 teachers to 26 children. if there is a qualified nursery teacher then they only have to have a ratio of 1:13. if there is not, e.g at a playgroup then they have to have a ratio of 1:8.

stopgap Fri 05-Jul-13 12:02:01

Another vote for forest school here. My boy is 22 months and loves being outdoors. Equally, though--and I gather this is really unusual for his age--he sits completely still for 60 minutes at story hour, and 90 minutes for musical performances. But he's still a boy, and an active one at that, and he has his whole childhood to sit still for teacher-led activities and performances.

I'm lucky to live in a country where kids start school at 5 (thank god, as my DS is a late August child), so I plan on three short sessions of forest school per week when he's 3, and three full mornings at a play-based preschool when he's four. This might alarm those in the UK, but I really feel children should spend the vast majority of the day playing and exploring at such a young age.

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 12:06:10

Some nurseries are more structured than others.

If this pre-school is quite heavy on the teacher-led stuff and you want him to stay there, then work with them and accept any extra help they want to give.

Otherwise, find a nursery that is more free-play, free-flow in it's philosophy.

Different settings suit different children.

MovingForward0719 Fri 05-Jul-13 12:17:40

Hi some behaviours at this age can be a red flag for SEN, doesn't necessarily mean the child has but may need support and monitoring, this is a good thing. I have two kids. The first one had delayed language and traits and ad support and IEP in nursery. By 4 he was fine and everything was withdrawn. I was so cross that I had been out through a stressful time when he was actually fine. My second child had delayed language and I thought here we go again, I genuinely thought it was the same situation. Forward 3 years and he has a statement, full time support and starts special school next year. OP, this probably is not the case for you, but I would bear with it. If he's fine, they won't give support, people often have to fight for it. It is scary and it makes you feel very vulnerable as the parent but they are probably acting in his interests and it's good to be prepared for school.

pussycatwillum Fri 05-Jul-13 12:19:24

OP what you have written is scarily similar to what happened to me. We took DS out of playgroup where he was happy, and they liked him, to put him in a nursery unit attached to a school. The way they spoke about him made me feel they didn't really like him. They put him on an IEP, but the meetings with the SENCo were always fraught because she just wanted to complain about him.They put a lot of emphasis on getting children ready for school. There was never a positive.He did enjoy nursery, but for us each day was stressful waiting for what they would have to say to us at pick up time.
In the end, we took him back to the playgroup, which he went to happily until he started school
I would say go with your gut instinct. Ofsted can be wrong, you know wink

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 12:48:23

The school is obviously bent on keeping their outstanding score by Ofsted.

That includes labelling any child who doesn't follow school's curriculum ie, sitting still for relatively long time, doing crafts etc when told to do so etc etc, as potentially SN.

Children develop differently, some are ready to sit and listen to a story at early age, some are more interested in chasing butterflies.

Ours were able to sit still since about 2 years old as we read for hours every day. But - they really liked the stories, which, incidentally were meant for 6-7 year olds.

I always explained the new/difficult words in stories, made DC give examples where else these words could be used, made them repeat the words and only then proceeded with the story. We always discussed the plot so they understood exactly what was going on and were able to venture guesses as to how the story could be continued.

When they started pre-school at age 3.5, they were bored with simple stories and called them baby-stories. Consequently, we were told that they are unable to sit still etc. They were bored and not interested.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 12:54:00

He has no SN?

How are you (collective) qualified to say that? How do you know?

(Not saying he does but nobody here can say yes or no)

This preschool has staff who have a lot of experience. They don't just offer additional support for the hell of it.

Early intervention can work wonders. Even if its identified later down the track that he doesn't have SN then the extra support won't actually harm him.

To not let him have support that has been identified that he is in need of would be detrimental in the long term. You shouldn't withhold support for fear of 'labels'. Labels also are not a cad thing, they don't make your child grow another head, they are the same child with an identified need that requires support. That isn't a bad thing.

I didn't know DS1 was any different until a very experienced pre school worker referred us. He has Aspergers and due to appropriate intervention is now managing very well at a mainstream school (apart from Dyscalculia). Who knows if he'd have coped without the extra support early on.

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 13:13:28

they wouldn't suggest extra support if they didn't think he needed it and they would have to demonstrate exactly why he needed to have it. education boards don't just hand out extra TAs to pupils unless its clearly necessary, because they don't have unlimited funding.

crashdoll Fri 05-Jul-13 13:18:33

OP, at your son's age, he does not need to be attending such a structured nursery, he has plenty of time to mature before school starts. Some kids thrive on structure at a young age but some don't and it doesn't necessarily mean that it is a problem. Early years settings should be mostly child-led and yes, he needs to learn to sit down during snack time and circle time but there's nothing wrong with him not yet wanting to constantly partake in adult-led activities. As un-PC as this sounds, (through my work in several nurseries) I have found that some boys mature at a different rate to girls. They all get there in the end but at that age, they are still babies IMO. Let him run around and be a child and then revisit the situation in another 6 months. I did read the thread but I may have missed this, when does he turn 4?

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 13:29:35

well threemusketeers, arent you the wonderful parent!

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 13:44:13

Bit harsh Bran there was a point to the post in the last sentence.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 14:00:29

I dont mind being harsh where it is warranted.

Of course many 3 year olds cant sit still for very long.

When the attention span differs wildly from the norm, then they suggest extra support.

This isnt the same as putting a dunces hat on them and caning them, and it isnt about fitting them into a box. Its about helping your child get the most out of a situation that you want them to be in.
Early intervention has SUCH a lot of benefits, and its always gentle gentle intervention. You really mustnt take it as an insult. I think nearly all children would benefit from this sort of extra help, but it is generally only offered to children for whom it really is properly necessary.

On the other hand if you think its absolutely fine that he wants to run around all day and not listen to anybody ever, then youre probably best to keep him out of school for longer, but if you want him to go into school, then theyre just telling you they need to access a little extra support for him. I really really struggle to see what the problem is here.

xylem8 Fri 05-Jul-13 14:08:37

They just think he is a bit lacking in concentration that is all.I have worked in both pre-school and infant classes, and by 3 even the boys are mostly capable of sitting for a few minutes and obeying instructions, leading up to a maybe 10 minute concentration spell (on something they might not be particularly interested in) in reception.Even though it is a learning through play curriculum, there are times when the children do need to listen and concentrate.
The chances are your little boy (who sounds lovely) is just a little immature in some areas.But if there is something more, then surely you are better finding out sooner rather than later.If he has a bit of extra support she can work with your DS on something he is really interested in and build up his focus bit by bit, as well as keeping him on track with following instructions.I can understand why anyone would be put on the defensive but really I think it is avery good sign that the setting have identified that your Ds is outside or at least on the periphery of normal 3 yr old boy behaviour and furthermore are prepared to do something about it!

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 14:09:12

Firstly, yes, I am a great parent because I try my hardest to teach them what any parent should, and as a result, our children are doing brilliantly. Thank you ever so much for your compliment. hmm

Children need support and guidance true, but not from professionals, but from their parents.
This farming every bloody responsibility off to the state is idiotic and so prevalent, it's scary.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 14:13:55

I try my hardest with my children too AND they need, and get extra help from their schools. My eldest didnt till 7, and my other son was lucky to have early intervention and was statemented at 4, before starting school, and is doing brilliantly too.

You are insulting

TigerSwallowTail Fri 05-Jul-13 14:15:57

I can relate to your op, your son sounds a lot like my own ds. From my own experience, extra support certainly isn't handed out where it isn't needed, and isn't a bad thing either. They're preparing him for later on when he goes to school so he can get the most out of it and won't struggle. It is hard hearing that your child is struggling, especially when you hadn't realised it yourself, but I think turning down this extra support and taking him out of preschool may not be the best answer.

adeucalione Fri 05-Jul-13 14:22:14

ThreeMusketeers, I think you may be assuming that all parents are capable of, and willing to give, support and guidance to their children. IME as a teacher, this is sadly not true at all.

And then of course there are those situations where fantastic parents need to take on a more supporting role and let the professionals take the lead, for all sorts of reasons.

Also - the school may indeed be hell bent on retaining their outstanding Ofsted, which they may have acquired at least in part by being exceptionally astute in picking out those children who need extra help?

Don't you think there is a difference between a child who would rather chase butterflies (most, rightly so) and a child who cannot cope when told that they can't chase butterflies?

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 14:27:41

Yes, I suppose you are right, I am assuming rather a lot.
Yet I'm basing my assumptions on my own experience and the people I know. Which is quite a homogeneous sample of humanity.

OPs child doesn't sound, from her posts, to be completely uncontrollable, just immature and in this situation, I truly believe that parental intervention and guidance, structured and repeated ad nauseum, will do the trick.

Asheth Fri 05-Jul-13 14:32:33

Don't make any decisions before talking it through with the pre-school.

I can understand totally your feelings. My DS was identified as having some SEN by his pre-school(Speech and language, which was affecting how he behaved and socialised.) I had my own concerns about his speech, but nothing else and always thought it would sort itself out. I felt totally shocked that the pre-school found such major concerns. And once agreeing to the SEN process I felt like I was being ambushed practically every day with things to sign, read etc. My DS is cute, funny and generally adorable grin so I felt so upset by this process and absolutly hated his lovely keyworker and thought about removing him from the pre-school. That would have been totally the wrong decision. He has had so much support from them, but always in a fun way and his pre-school experience has been brilliant. And I have nothing but respect and gratitude for all the extra work his key worker put in. My DS starts school this year and will need some support, but thanks to his pre-school that's all in place.

You need to set up a meeting, listen to their concerns, find out what support they want to give him. Also ask them about his strengths. It's possible that they're being over picky and formal too soon. But I doubt it. After seeing how much extra work is involved, I can't imagine them suggesting this lightly. It can be an emotional process, but even if your DS does have any kind of SEN it doesn't change who he is. He's still your cute, adorable, perfect baby!

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 14:34:01

Can anybody think of any negative things that might happen if a 3 year old gets a bit of extra support at school

can anybody now think of any positive things that may happen from this?

Can anybody think of what may happen if a child who needed the support all along, doesnt get it?

Of course good parental input is vital too

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 14:37:55

Equally How do you know te boy has sn? He is only 3 fgs, still very little, so much so in some countries formal school does not start until t ages if around 6/7 for a reason. Op is also a professional and would also know if her ds has sn? My dd has asd anwas quit t opposite of opposite of op ds, very cool an distant towards people and Chidren, liked to play on her own, very emotional, repettivev behaviour, poor communication. All te real problem sounds with ops ds. His concentration and difficulty following instructions which may develop in time as his cognitions develop.

My dd now 6 went to a nursery attached to the lock primary and staff were lovely both positive and also gently broke te news to us that dd had significant difficulties and applied for a statement hich she got. Dd now goes to a specialist autistic school which sh is doing so well at. Op I would go back to his original nursery until the time comes for school

Lollydaydream Fri 05-Jul-13 14:38:06

Threemusketeers your posts are really upsetting and offensive to those of us who have tried our hardest to help our children learn to speak and thrive but have had to get them extra support. Sometimes what you can do is not enough, try to imagine what that feels like before you trot out such trite, smug assertions.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 14:41:59

Totally agree pussycatwillum sounds like the same thing happening with op. I would pull him out not because he might need extra support because of te staff negativity and attitudes towards this little boy. I would not want him in an environment like that

mrsjay Fri 05-Jul-13 14:42:35

threemusketeers are you always so smug oh and paranoid a school and a parent can share they teching of children and a school and a preschool can also do this , the fact that you said any sort of intervention other than parental is scary makes you sound paranoid,

OP have you decided what you are going to do yet ?

Asheth Fri 05-Jul-13 14:44:29

ThreeMusketeers it is not just about the parenting. My older DC breezed through the pre-school and infant years. Doing everything at a higher level than expected, behaving perfectly etc. My youngest has needed extra help from his pre-school and will at primary school. So am I a 'great parent' in what I've achieved with my eldest or a 'failure' because of my youngest? Or perhaps - neither. I'm just doing the best i can with my very different children.

And a child will get the best start if parents and teachers work together. Of course teachers can get things wrong sometimes. But parents can sometimes be too emotionally close to fully see a problem. The OP removing her DS from pre-school and letting him play outdoors all day may be a good thing. Or it could just store up the problems for when he starts school. Only by listening to what the pre-school have to say can the OP make that decision.

Kleinzeit Fri 05-Jul-13 14:44:37

Oh dear, how stressful. I don’t think the preschool have handled this very well to be honest, brilliant OFSTED report or not. If they had concerns about your DS then they should have called you in to discuss them with you, not waited for you to call them.

Where I’m coming from is a rather difficult place, so apologies in advance for this. My DS went to a lovely nursery, from the age of 3 months to 5 years. He was happy and settled and their leaving report on him indicated no problems whatever. He was lively and outgoing and bright though he could be bossy and tantrummy, but if there were any problems, the nursery dealt with them. He was the kid they trusted to take the younger kids to the toilet, he’d be sure they’d wash their hands! They were very happy with him and were sure he’d be fine at school.

Well, he started primary school, and within two weeks he was unrecognisable. At home he was in a permanent state of rage and despair. The teacher told me that when things went the teeniest bit wrong he was utterly wild. Within a year he had a diagnosis of an autism-spectrum disorder, and from his second year he had full-time support in the classroom. And although the first year was hell for everyone (DS included!), once he had the support things gradually improved. To me it seemed as if the primary school went to huge trouble and expense to re-create the atmosphere he’d enjoyed at nursery smile

The reason I’m telling you this story is a remark that the head teacher made – “if he’d come to our pre-school we’d have picked it up and had the help in place before he started school”. I’m not saying this is necessarily your story – your son sounds very different from mine and anyway a friend of mine who did send her son to the pre-school felt her son was being picked on as having problems, quite unfairly! I’m just saying, it can go either way.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 14:53:24

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 14:27:41
"Yes, I suppose you are right, I am assuming rather a lot.
Yet I'm basing my assumptions on my own experience and the people I know. Which is quite a homogeneous sample of humanity."

Well, don't you think that might explain it? If you tried to get to know a heterogenous sample of humanity you might gain some extra insights. hmm

(Or perhaps you need somebody to explain the long, difficult words to you. I think my children might be able to oblige).

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 14:53:29

If the op's ds loves going to this preschool, then why take him out? it would be different if he hated going, but he seems to be happy there. it can take a while for support to be set up, so if they did apply for it now, then it should be in place by the time he starts primary school. Is he likely to be going to the attached primary school?

if he was taken out of the preschool and no extra support was sought, then what would happen when he started primary school, if he needed help and nothing was in place? it could lead to greater problems down the line. there would be no harm in getting the extra support if it was available.

mumofweeboys Fri 05-Jul-13 14:56:47


Is the preschool/nursery u r sending him to in sept attached to the school u wish to send him to? Only ask because I didnt send my ds to the one attached to the school I wanted him to go to and it was a near thing getting him in.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 14:59:31

I don't understand your question , mrsj. hmm

To quote from Telegraph (see the article below):

''... Inspectors [Ofsted] suggested that state schools were being encouraged to over-identify pupils to attract more funding from local councils and to boost their position in league tables that give weighting to schools with high numbers of special needs children...''


ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 15:04:15

cory, how very kind of you, dear, but thank you, I'm sure I can manage. hmm

The fact remains that my acquaintances/friends are from very similar backgrounds and I am happy to keep it that way.

tethersend Fri 05-Jul-13 15:06:45

I would ask the teachers for a meeting and then ask for a detailed explanation of how your son's needs are above and beyond what the EYFS details, i.e. where they are encouraged to choose their own activities.

I think it's important to ascertain how much time is spent on teacher-led activities (at this stage it should be minimal), and how much is spent on free choice activities. The children should have access to outside play for most of the day and in all weathers- is this happening? Choosing outside play all day at 3yo is not on its own indicative of any sort of problem, and should be actively encouraged. Children's skills can be developed by setting up particular activities outside as well as inside.

If you are happy after that conversation that the preschool is following the EYFS curriculum correctly and that your DS' needs are above and beyond those of a typical 3yo, request a referral to the Educational Psychologist or the borough's Early Years Intervention team. The school will need to involve other professionals anyway if they are considering applying for extra support for him.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:09:20

So you don't know anyone whose children have SN, and are happy to keep it that way, and this gives you the knowledge that it is really easy to access support for those who do? hmm

tethersend Fri 05-Jul-13 15:11:32

Attending the attached preschool does not give priority for admission to the school.

tethersend Fri 05-Jul-13 15:11:39

Attending the attached preschool does not give priority for admission to the school.

cestlavielife Fri 05-Jul-13 15:11:49

there is nothing wrong with him playing outside for two hours being a pirate if at home or childminder and you agree that; it is a problem if it's a pre school and they timetabled for the children to be indoors doing art or storytime. and yes in such a setting they need all the children to be attending - without one on one support they cant have one child outside doing their own pirate thing for two isnt set up for that is it?

up to you really - but you would be silly to refuse additional support if it has been idenitifed that your son might benefit from it.

you can keep him out of school til his fifth birthday, you can home school him, you can make your own choices.

but what they offering is a chance to get extra support which might enable him to get the best out of this particular pre school. go and listen to them. then decide what you want to do.

tethersend Fri 05-Jul-13 15:16:28

"and yes in such a setting they need all the children to be attending - without one on one support they cant have one child outside doing their own pirate thing for two isnt set up for that is it? "

It should be if it is following the EYFS curriculum, which it is required to do.

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 15:21:21

cory, I am simply going by what OP has stated in her posts.

I am not advising anyone who has children with diagnosed learning disability, there are professionals who do that.

From the information OP has posted, it seems that parental guidance would help OPs DC to become more focused - well, as much as one could expect from a 3 year old.
I also agree that the school seems to be quite negative about that little boy - as if his boisterous behaviour could mar their Outstanding score and are too keen to have him labelled SN.

It is impossible for teachers not to find anything positive to say about a 3 year old child unless they choose not to look for it.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:22:37

I read that article and what it seems to be is a mix-up between the schools' definition of SEN and the medical profession's definition of SN.

In schools, SEN is "anything that interferes with a child's ability to access education". So, this could be a medical problem or a disability, but it could equally be trauma from bereavement or from sexual abuse or from witnessing your mother being murdered by your father.

So yes, ministers are right to say that some of these needs “could be met with strong teaching and pastoral care”.

But they fail to mention that there is no budget for this pastoral care other than the SEN budget. If needs are to be met by pastoral care, then somebody has to provide that pastoral care. And that somebody has to be funded.

The teacher cannot simultaneously teach maths to the other 29 and provide pastoral care to the child who is traumatised by the horrific things he has witnessed in his home. And unless somebody is providing care for that child, he may well be a danger both to himself and to others.

Hullygully Fri 05-Jul-13 15:24:09

<claps tethers>

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:27:41

Not of course suggesting that the above scenarios are anything to do with the OP.

But the one thing that Ofsted inspectors often fail to recognise about SEN support is that not offering support becomes more expensive in the long run.

My ds had reading support at primary school. Which means he can keep up at secondary, no special measures are required, he is likely to pass his GCSE's. This is considerably cheaper for the taxpayers than to have him drop out unable to gain the qualifications that are needed to get a job in today's society. All for a couple of extra sessions with a TA. I call that money well spent.

Dd who is physically disabled did not receive the support she needed in primary school. Which led to her having a breakdown in secondary and almost dropping out of school. She has cost the taxpayers large sums of money in CAHMS therapy, extra work by the school, hospital visits etc. It would have been so much cheaper to have given her a helping hand a few years earlier. Taxpayers (of which I am one) have good reason to be disgruntled about this.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:31:48

sorry, cross-posted, Musketeers.


if you read the SN board, you will find that many, many parents who have children with diagnosed SN started on the way to seeking a diagnosis because the school/preschool spotted the early signs of a problem- which then went on growing

children with SN do not necessarily come labelled out of the womb- dd was nearly 10 before her physical disorder was diagnosed, before that she was "a child without properly diagnosed SN"

ds does not have diagnosed learning difficulties, but he was beginning to slip behind and a small amount of focused help at the right time put him back on track- potentially saving the taxpayers large sums of money

DangoDays Fri 05-Jul-13 15:32:43

Nurseries/pre schools vary massively. It may just not be the best fit. Sounds like your ds likes a lot of physical and self led play. Great. Does his previous nursery follow this model?

I know it is often the case that teacher led groups with a focus on numeracy/phonics are often part of a school as the school's long term focus (SATs) often has significant impact on nursery model. So that might be the angle the school are coming from. Thus shaping the nature of the advice given and recommendations given.

I don't really agree with the idea it sets him up for a fall if he can't do these things this early. Not all kids meet this at the same point. My understanding is that nursery schools not attached to schools tend to have a more independent play emphasis. Your boy sounds like great fun. Good luck.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 05-Jul-13 15:32:43

OP - forgive me I have to go out now and will read the whole thread when I get back. I just wanted to tell you this. In primary school they called in the Educational Psychologist because my son ' wouldn't sit on the carpet ' at story time. Yes really. At secondary they said he was behind, distracted, needed an IEP and so on. I didn't believe a word of it and never let him know that he was anything but wonderful. He got through school with 10 GCSEs. College with A and AS levels. He's about to start an MA in International Relations and Security at a respected University from where he just graduated with an honours degree. Not blowing anyone's trumpet here OP - I just want to salute you and your gut instincts and tell you to never let go of those instincts. Good luck !

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:39:26

There is a depressing attitude on this thread that needing support or having any kind of SN would make you "anything but wonderful".

fwiw I teach postgraduate students with some kind of SN every year. I had never considered that it would make them less wonderful. If I failed to provide adequate support, then that would make me "anything but wonderful", not them.

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 15:42:27

That's a lovely story cory and turned out well for you, but it does sound like he was distracting others throughout his school life. Intervention may have made his classmates life a little bit easier though.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 05-Jul-13 15:43:07

And you know what cory - I deliberately delayed going out to see if someone would take what I said about MY son as an insult and slur against everyone with special or different needs. Thank you for proving my point. Do you honestly really having bugger all better to do than hover over everything looking for imagined slights? What a fucking life.

Lollydaydream Fri 05-Jul-13 15:52:25

cory may I applaud your eloquence and patience on this thread. flowers

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 15:56:18

tethersend - the EYFS doesn't require settings to give children constant access to the outside, or to be able to do their own thing all the time. So do to greater or lesser extents, it depends on the setting.

Some nurseries might be very free flow, let the children do whatever they want, have rolling snack times etc. Others might have designated free flow times but also insist on circle time activities and everyone sitting down together for snack. Others might be quite timetabled and have a greater emphasis on teacher-led activities. All can work within the EYFS.

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 15:58:27

It is not an imagined slight on me, Malcolm: I have never been diagnosed with any SN whatsoever.

I am thinking of all my courageous, committed, hard-working students. Many of whom are only diagnosed in the first year of university, sometimes later than that- but if you start asking them questions you find out how hard they have had to struggle to get where they are, and how a little support would have made their lives much easier and left them better prepared.

It is not an unusual occurrence for me to realise during the first week of the academic term that a student is severely dyslexic, just from the very basic tasks we do in the first few lessons- and then be told a little later that they have just sought help and been diagnosed, and I think "why the fuck did nobody notice before?"

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 16:02:26

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 15:42:27
"That's a lovely story cory and turned out well for you, but it does sound like he was distracting others throughout his school life. Intervention may have made his classmates life a little bit easier though."

Are you mixing up several children in my posts? Ds was the one with minor reading difficulties who had a TA to give him extra reading lessons. Not the boy who was traumatised and needed constant watching.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 16:09:37

There is a depressing attitude on this thread that needing support or having any kind of SN would make you "anything but wonderful

Strange isn't it?

I have three children, all were encouraged, two did great, no help needed. one needed help, no reflection on my parenting, he just has SNs. All three are 'wonderful'

OP, engage with the school and see what they say, in your position I would not oppose the extra help offered. it won't do him any harm and it may just help.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 16:11:12

cory, I think shewhowines mixed you up with malcomtucker

ImNotBloody14 Fri 05-Jul-13 16:15:34

It makes me really sad to hear that a 3 year old just wantjng to be outside should have 'extra help'- he's 3- at tht age the world is so bloody exciting who can blame him for wanting to see as much of it as possible- i have an outdoorsy one and hes starting p1 in sept- tbh i think he'll struggle to focus and if he does then i'll pull him out and let him run his legs off for another year- finger painting can wait another 12 months

Elvisina Fri 05-Jul-13 16:17:17

Just sending quick message from my phone as out all day. Thank you so much for your detailed responses. I'm really grateful. I will go in next week with an open mind but also follow my gut instinct. I would trust his old nursery to be honest with me and pick up on issues. If I went back there I would tell them exactly what the new pre school had said. Lots to think about. Thanks.

adeucalione Fri 05-Jul-13 16:17:19

I genuinely don't know why a parent would refuse to accept support.

I have seen many children disadvantaged because their parents refused help.

I have seen many children disadvantaged because their additional needs weren't identified as early as they might have been.

I have never seen a child disadvantaged because they accepted support and ended up not really needing it.

For every story like that from Malcolm TuckersMum, there are a dozen more from people who struggled through school because their needs weren't identified or met. Accepting help that might be unnecessary is the least worst option I think.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 16:18:48

It is depressing, and just shows what a stigma there still is towards SEN, and its mostly from the parents.

maja00 Fri 05-Jul-13 16:25:33

He might need extra help, or it might just be that he is in an environment that doesn't suit him.

The most worrying thing here is that the teacher/nursery only have negative things to say about him.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:34:24

Ecactly im nitbloidy, if they dont fut into a certain mould there must be something wrong. I agree malcom, all op 3 year old ds not 13 wants to do is explore and find out abiut the world, he is not even in firmal education yet and dies not need to be until he is 5! Dd paed said to us a lit if development happens between the ages of 3-5, op ds is only 3.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:38:52

A lot of development doh sorry. My friends ds sounds like op at 3, as well as not good concentration and disregard for authority in preschool, and a right temperoften biting at preschool. He noe is in year 1 and has matured iver the years and id going into year 2.he has realky settled down of his own accord

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:43:16

I am sure that opwill be open fir help if he id struggeling at school but at the moment she wants to see; she is an education prifessional herself

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 16:44:24

Ofsted has claimed that as many as 450,000 “special needs” children are actually no different from other pupils. Many are simply underachieving because of a culture of low expectations, a report found.

From the article I linked above.

Shows that the 'stigma' is flourishing in schools as SN children are expected to perform poorly.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:45:52

In my day 33 yeard ago playschool was just that for playing, now it seems chikdren are under gazr and scrutiny from an extremely early age.

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 16:47:05

That my dear is bullshit. Come back when you have experience of trying to get a child extra help.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:47:20

I am glad dd got help earlier but her scenario was totally different ti op

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:49:06

My dd was totally dufferent to op ds. I am pretty confident dd paedritrician would agree with me.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:57:11

It seems as though at the tender age of 3 they have hid whole academic future planned out by dtsting hes on a dufferent learning path. Wtf just becsusr he prefers to play outside abd wont join in sny adult activities. They said this about dd at 5 but she had a dx if asd with speech and lang dev delay, op isentunder any such yhings

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 16:58:36

Op ds has not been dx with anything and is not seeing any professionals

ouryve Fri 05-Jul-13 16:58:50

Please ignore the posts that say that 3 is early to be needing extra support. If the issue is just maturity, then he will grow out of that need, no harm done. All of the children are only 3, so not all have a problem with maturity and what is required of them, there.

If it turns out that there are underlying problems which make it harder for him to fit in and follow routines, then this is absolutely the right age to start recognising and tackling them. It's wonderful that the nursery are being proactive and identifying a need for support, rather than simply labelling him as naughty or shrugging their shoulders and pretending that everything is AOK.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:05:53

Ourvyre what i find unsetteling id how they can make such sweeping sssumptions of op ds learning path so young! Sorry that is wrong!

ThreeMusketeers Fri 05-Jul-13 17:09:26

A 3 year old who likes to play outside and doesn't like to put his coat on ( at 3 my DC weren't very good at putting their coats on, to be quite frank, I think they couldn't do it without help) with mother who is a teacher - and who doesn't think her child has any 'developmental difficulties' (all children develop at differently ).
Yet so many seem to be sure he needs professional help, akin, a shrink?!

ouryve Fri 05-Jul-13 17:15:16

DS1 was on EYFS action and then EYFS action+ right form the start of nursery. For him, it was very right. It meant that he wasn't always outside playing with the sand in the freezing cold (and quiet), while the other children joined in with each other, inside. It meant that a few assistants got the time to get to know him really well and it was soon recognised that he was really rather bright and enjoyed making use of some resources from further up the school. It meant that he could play with the giant building blocks, safely, with other children, despite their presence being difficult for him.

And ultimately, it helped with identifying his needs when he was diagnosed with autism, at 3.5.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:16:13

Exactly three, there does not seen to be any significant problems. With a bit of practice he will learn to put on his coat, mabey when he is Older his concentration will get better. Yes he might need a bit of help with this at school,but the school saying he's on a different learning path without any real evdence or dx is very worrying, frat I would be worried about the school and place him with his previous nursery

ouryve Fri 05-Jul-13 17:16:48

ThreeMusketeers, your language is extremely insulting to those of us who do have children with SN. We took DS1 to see his "shrink" yesterday. Get over it.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:19:02

Mabey just a bit of extra work from the teachers can help him with this but a different learning pathway wtf!!!!!

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 17:22:29

no one said anything about a shrink. Op is a secondary school teacher; the nursery teachers have experience of children of this age . lots of children are lively, but the majority of them usually cooperate with school routines. I knew several children who went to a parent and toddler group with mine, most of them were lively, they would try to get out of the door, get at the fire extinguishers etc. but they went to nursery school and they all seemed to behave pretty well there, once I saw them all going on a walk around the school grounds with the teacher, behaving perfectly well. Most children this age seem to be far more cooperative when a teacher is getting them to put their coats on, sit to listen for a story, come inside etc.

soverylucky Fri 05-Jul-13 17:26:49

Sorry I haven't read the whole thread but I didn't send my kids to pre school as I did not want them learning at age 3 - I wanted them to play.
At the same time it may be that your son does need help and you should accept this.

noblegiraffe Fri 05-Jul-13 17:32:14

I'm a secondary school teacher and know bog all about diagnosing nursery kids with SEN or identifying areas for development.

I know my DS, but preschool staff work with so many kids that they will definitely have a better idea of what is expected of a 3 year old than me. I could say 'oh but refusing to put your coat on is just what 3 year olds do' but with experience of dozens of 3 year olds, they might be able to spot the 3 year old that pisses around more than you would expect.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 17:39:46

Op ds has not been dx with anything and is not seeing any professionals

Neither was my son at 3.

But age 3 is when they got the ball rolling.

This possible intervention for the OPs son doesn't mean he will be diagnosed with any SN, it just means that if there are any issues they will be picked up early which is better for him.

My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 8, so believe me, they will be in no rush to diagnose.

ThreeMusketeers you're coming across as incredibly ignorant, once would be forgivable, but you keep on going.

Do yourself a favour and just stop, read what those of us who know what we are talking about are saying. That is your learning objective for the day.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:44:25

Amber dies not mean that op son has sn. It does not sound like they have much patience with op ds, in fact they sound negative, trying to write him off at an early age would be a dealbreaker sorry it would.

mumandboys123 Fri 05-Jul-13 17:44:25

not read the whole thread but wanted to say...

my brother/sister-in-laws moved their pre-school child from pre-school to pre-school because, I assume, they didn't like the fact that they were being told their child had a problem with his speech. He was a first child and it was glaringly obvious to anyone with any vague knowledge of how children develop that there was something wrong.

He was eventually statemented but had to wait a whole academic year to get into the school that was considered best for his needs - a 'normal' school with a speech and language unit. Had they accepted he needed support earlier, he would have gone to that school from day one. Once his speech was sorted, he continued his education alongside his peers without any trouble whatsover, except to say that he is now 'below average' in everything he does. Whether he is below average as a result of the difficulties in the early years is hard to say, but why wouldn't you get your child the necessary support if the experts are saying he needs it?

I get the 'square peg in a round hole' theory but he's in a school pre-school where at least one member of staff will be a qualified teacher. He/she will have seen a lot of children. He/she has been educated to know when someone is that 'square peg in a round hole' and what to do about it.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 17:45:04

It is horribly familiar on here.
SN deniers. Those who are basically making out that parents of SN children haven't put in enough effort or are creating fake dxes for resources.

Bit disgusting, really.

I do know of at least two children whose parents denied there was anything wrong. One has a strong genetic history of ASD in the family and now has a suicidal teen in mainstream secondary school and not coping.

But no, he's just a BOY dontcha know!

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:46:54

By writing him off I mean stating he is in a different learning pathway to his peers. How the hell do they come up with that!

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 17:47:00

Oh and my last post is not saying in any way that I think I have the capability to dx the OP's child with SN. Of course I don't.

Thing is he could have. But then again he may not.
Early intervention will do no harm at all. Failure to put this into place could cause long term problems.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 17:47:37

What is so wrong with differentiating the curriculum to meet his needs?
That's done for a lot of kids, for a lot of different reasons.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:51:04

Mabey he is gobby and mabey not. Mabey he needs a bit of extra support or mabey a statement but I jst don't like the schools atttude

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 17:51:08

Piglet Im not suggesting that the OPs son does have SNs. I don't know him! but the pre school setting have concerns and it wont hurt to engage with them on this, it may well amount to nothing and all will be well, or...he could need this help and it will be great that he has accessed it so early on.

GobbySadcase re SN deniers, I agree, just shows they know fuck all really.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 17:54:32

TBF we only have the OPs version of a telephone call that she found upsetting to guage the schools 'attitude'

I don't mean that as a sleight on the OP at all, I am well aware myself how hard it can be hearing your child spoken about.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 17:54:39

cos support is handed out left, right and centre dontcha know!
That's why it took FOUR YEARS to get DS2 a statement and into Special Provision.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:57:22

I agree Amber I was in the same position as op when dd was 3, but her needs were significant and quite apparent, seeing just how different to her peers she was hammered home to me the realities and as time got on it came even more so. I am ever grateful to the head of dd mainstream school for recognising the problems and getting her help, even pressuring LEA to get her a place at the much converted School for autism where,though she is in a different learning pathway to her nt peers, she is thriving and making so much progress.

shewhowines Fri 05-Jul-13 17:58:45

Sorry cory yes, I did say your name when I meant Malcolmtucker

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 17:59:39

Really gobby shock dd had te right support from the word go and for that I will be indebted op te head teacher of her mainstream school for fighting for provision for her. Head teacher has a dd with autism too.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 05-Jul-13 18:00:35

It's tricky striking a balance between 'they are trained so listen' and 'parents gut feel / other motivations at work'

Be open to what they are saying but also be open to the way they interact and perceive your son. If you get the feeling they don't like him, then I do think it's worth thinking about that.

My Ds (3) went to a nursery near my work and I moved him at 26 months as I felt they didn't actually like him and were labeling him very wrongly which felt part abd parcel of their dislike. They said he was probably autistic/ on the spectrum as he never spoke/ never joined in with others/ stood by the wall not interacting / and showed no preference with adults, trying to go home with any patent indiscriminately. I was really shocked and very concerned. Was really taking it seriously though was confused as it was so different from how he was at home.

Then they told me 'he s going to grow up to be a follower not a leader, he's not one of life's leaders, he's not quick and never does anything first' and I started to question their professionalism rather alot! They were seeing what they wanted to see as they had decided he was a problem / not very nice. From the off they had problems with him because he didn't have a favourite stuffed toy/ blanket and didn't take a dummy, and was really difficult to get him to nap. They labelled him as difficult and never recovered from there!

I removed him and gosh, no problems since. He still ignores people he doesn't like (v rarely happens, its only people who dont like him that he reacts to) and still stands waiting to go if he's not happy in a situation rather than screaming the place down ... It was being unhappy that was making him behave like that all the time at nursery. Now we can see that in a context of being generally a very happy articulate active little boy.

I'm so glad that I didn't listen to the nursery staff. They were trained, but they had their own prejudices and couldn't rise above them in their perceptions of my son.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 05-Jul-13 18:01:16

We stick children in formal settings SO early in this country. They are expecting a 3 year old to sit still and listen for most of the day instead of going off and playing. Maybe most kids knuckle down and do this, but it doesn't mean it is a good thing. In Scandinavia children start formal learning only at 6 or even 7 years old, and there isn't this crazy problem of immaturity being signalled as a special need. Here we write so many kids off (boys in particular) because they aren't able to sit still and hold a pen and listen at age 3 or 4. It seems completely insane to me.

A little boy I know was receiving terrible reports from school, couldn't sit still and just wasn't learning to read at all, and there were all sorts of mutterings from teachers about SEN. His mum was going crazy with worry. Well he was an August born boy and when he turned 6, bingo the reading clicked. By that point he'd already virtually written himself off as stupid. It made me so cross.

OP I'd absolutely go with your instinct on this. As to the professional opinion of the pre-school teacher, I'd say it is worth diddly-squat if she is complaining that a 3 year old boy is unable to sit and listen - especially if he was doing fine in his previous setting.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 18:02:25

piglet - yes... and this is after he'd put himself and others at danger several times in Mainstream.

We also had a supportive head but West Sussex County Council refused to statutory assess for quite a while. We really had to fight.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 18:03:48

Piglet, my son was 5 years in the system before he got the help/dx that he needed.

Dozer Fri 05-Jul-13 18:04:04

Sorry if it's already been covered, but when is he due to start reception, and what age will he be then?

Assuming OP wishes to start him at school at the usual time (rather than wait til he's 5 or homeschool) then if he's enjoying preschool it's probably easiest and fine to leave him there, especially if he's due to start reception in sep 2014.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 18:05:08

Another option could be what DS1's very wise preschool keyworker did.
She strongly suspected there was an issue, but before proceeding further asked the HV to come and watch him in the setting without DS1 knowing she was there.

HV had seen him at home and was shocked to the core seeing him at preschool. Children who appear fine at home can be completely different in a preschool/school setting.

When both had concerns, that was when we proceeded to further investigation.

Could that be an option for the OP? Even a keyworker from previous nursery watching him as he is now in the new setting (without him knowing).

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 18:05:15

I doubt they are expecting him to sit still and listen for most of the day, it will be mostly playing, its just that there will be a certain amount of structure in that they will have snack time, outdoor play time etc.

I'd say go for the extra support. If something is caught early, they can DO something and make sure that by the time he gets to school, it will be better, or help is in place from the start IF there's something to support.

FreyaSnow Fri 05-Jul-13 18:09:39

There are obviously serious problems with the way SEN is diagnosed in this country as 12.5% of August born and only 7.1% of September born child have a diagnosis of a mild SEN.

If we are throwing anecdotes about, my Summer born boy supposedly had SEN according to his teachers at 4. Our response was to move him to a different schools where his 'needs' vanished. He is doing really well 10 years later.

Asheth Fri 05-Jul-13 18:15:51

three i am an infant teacher but i couldn't see the sen in my own child.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 18:18:23

I agree double op should have an open mind, it may be the setting that's the issue not op ds, I totally agree impecu spot on! Tbh have they given you any positives about your ds? If they haven't and it's mostly negative I would do what double did and move setting.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 18:19:27

If we are throwing anecdotes about, my Summer born boy supposedly had SEN according to his teachers at 4. Our response was to move him to a different schools where his 'needs' vanished. He is doing really well 10 years later

That's kind of the point.

No teacher is qualified to diagnose, so I assume your sons teachers were suggesting it as a possibility? not diagnosing.

If he'd been assessed then it would have shown he was fine- no harm done.

Here's another of my sons schools said they thought he was fine, didn't need any help at all [despite very obvious problems] His 'needs' were invisible at that school too.

I feel very sorry for teachers who suspect a child needs help, sometimes parents react so badly to the mere suggestion of an issue.

I remember tentatively suggesting there may be a problem to my sons then teacher at his current [good] school, they practically bit my hand off to get me in and go through the referal form.

I got the impression they were working up to broaching it with me when I approached them.

I was just glad my son was being helped.

pigletmania Fri 05-Jul-13 18:19:40

Gosh amber we were one of te lucky ones, mabey our LEA was not too bad

cory Fri 05-Jul-13 18:23:36

My dn went to school in a different country. 3 boys in his class with very obvious ASD, all highly disruptive, no diagnosis, no statement, no support. And not much learning going on in that classroom either, as the teacher's energies were wholly taken up with trying to keep these three boys more or less under control. I

Elvisina - do you know that there are outdoor nurseries in some areas? The children spend all day outdoors (they have really good wet weather gear, and use tarpaulins to make temporary shelters). They are properly OFSTED inspected, so they must do the learning activities, but from what I have read, these are done in a very outdoorsy way.

I've seen children and staff from the outdoor nursery based in Pollock Park in Glasgow, and the children looked really happy and engaged - and grubby, of course, but that's not a bad thing IMO.

If you have a similar nursery local to you, it might be right up your son's street. If we'd had one local to us when my dses were in nursery, I would have put them in it in a heartbeat - they'd have loved it.

PicaK Fri 05-Jul-13 18:33:24

Elvisina. I know how you feel at the moment. It's a shock being told something might be wrong.

Your son is damn cute. That's a given and doesn't alter.

But please go listen open mindedly.

Preschool follows Early Years which is all about playing. But play doesn't just mean kids single mindedly doing their own thing. Play IS learning and it's about social interaction and stuff like that. Adult led activities probably mean playing a simple game or listening to a story.

The derisive snorts from people who think this preschool are trying to tie your kid to a desk are not helpful.

Have you seen the EY schematic of what kids can generally do in a given age range? Get it off the internet and work through it highlighting what you see him do (the age ranges overlap). You might find it useful next week. And think more in terms of my son can do x at home what help does he need to do x in other situations.

Trust your preschool teacher. Nurseries do have form for not focusing on SEN. I'd much rather have the preschool teacher who cared enough to plough through the paperwork and set IEPs than a nursery teacher who told my kid was cute.

A lot of people seem to think different learning path means being shipped off to some special school. It's very encompassing - my DS has a different path cos he doesn't respond to phonics and learns whole words. The help available is so subtle and targeted

FreyaSnow Fri 05-Jul-13 18:33:43

Amberleaf, no he had an action plan and was on the school's list of SEN. The fact that you have had a certain experience doesn't make me a liar.

Clearly some children are being wrongly diagnosed (either as having an SEN or not having one) or there wouldn't be such a large difference between the number of Summer and Autumn born children with a diagnosis.

Some of the 'evidence' on here is like a witch hunt. The fact that a child has behavioural issues at school and not home might be evidence of an SEN, or it might be evidence that the school is a poor environment, or it might be both.

There is nothing wrong with a child having, for example, an ASD. But for the treatment of a child to be so poor that an NT child starts to exhibit the symptoms of an SEN does put that child at risk of a diagnosis of something they don't have. Experts are not magicians. They can make mistakes.

WilsonFrickett Fri 05-Jul-13 18:36:49

OP, there's lots to take in on this thread. Can I say though that my son had been in nursery since he was 6 months old and it took a new keyworker starting to raise concerns about his development (age 3). Sometimes when people know your child really, really well they don't 'see' things clearly, no matter how well-trained and professional they are.

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 18:42:01

children are not just diagnosed with ASD on a whim, it would only be after going through several assessments and after a group of professionals had discussed everything thoroughly. being on a school SEN list is not the same as having a medical diagnosis of SN.

FreyaSnow Fri 05-Jul-13 18:46:14

Halycondays, so? The fact that somebody else's child has a more serious issue doesn't make all the kids in school who are considered to have a SEN by the school suddenly a total irrelevance.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 05-Jul-13 18:50:08

No they aren't trying to tie kids to a desk, but nevertheless we do things very differently in this country to much of Germany and scandinavia, and it involves much more formal learning much earlier. My son is happy at preschool, but do I think they should be learning about the flags of the world and 'how your lungs work?' as a formal topic at age 2 or 3? Like hell they should, and the EYFS framework is frankly bonkers in so many ways that I can barely begin to describe them.

The differential between diagnosed SEN in august-born v. september-born kids is indicative of the problems we are dealing with here - how can you explain that away?! SEN are not diagnosed in a vacuum, and the UK has a particular problem with pushing kids into formal settings before they are ready for them, to the serious detriment of many.

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 05-Jul-13 18:50:44

I would go and talk to them.

It is good they are being careful and wanting to support him.

It will have been a shock when they came out with this but don't assume they are saying he has SN.

It is quite hard to tell at that young age but a red flag CAN be acting quite differently to peers.

So it is good they pick up on this.

If you are.confident he is fine though and will just mature in time then you are probably right. No harm in getting some extra input for him.

Must also point out to some on the thread that my DD needs constant 1 to 1 and is still just as great as any other child and my parenting is probably damn good as well, because it has to be.

Needing support isn't an indicator or being naughty or having useless parents.
It is just how the brain is developing.


FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 05-Jul-13 18:53:20

For preschool my DD wouldn't join in and needed support. .most people on this thread would have said she was just immature and give her time etc..even 1 nursery teacher said this.

She wasn't and I am damn glad she got the support.

(Once again in no way am I saying OP's DS has SN DD)

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 05-Jul-13 18:53:25

By the by, I'm constantly amazed by the awed reverence with which 'experts' are regarded on MN. None of this stuff is black and white, and you get so-called 'experts' talking bollocks or being plain incompetent just as much as lay-people. Take a little look at the history of psychology if you want to see where so-called expertise has taken us in the past. I'm far from anti-intellectual - I'm an academic myself - but don't leave your instincts and experience at the door just because you are dealing with a 'professional'.

JustinBsMum Fri 05-Jul-13 19:08:31

Sorry - haven't read the whole thread.

Jeesh, he's only 3, no wonder he wants to run about outside! But the real question is is he happy there? If he's happy then ignore everything else, take the extra support, tell him how lucky he is with someone helping him, it is such early days, don't worry, he'll be fine.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 19:33:46

Amberleaf, no he had an action plan and was on the school's list of SEN. The fact that you have had a certain experience doesn't make me a liar

I haven't said you are a liar.

Some of the 'evidence' on here is like a witch hunt. The fact that a child has behavioural issues at school and not home might be evidence of an SEN, or it might be evidence that the school is a poor environment, or it might be both

Witch hunt? interesting choice of language. very negative.

There is nothing wrong with a child having, for example, an ASD. But for the treatment of a child to be so poor that an NT child starts to exhibit the symptoms of an SEN does put that child at risk of a diagnosis of something they don't have. Experts are not magicians. They can make mistakes

It is not that easy to get a diagnosis of ASD or anything tbh.

What happens in school is a small part of it [and SEN would cover that- no need for a diagnosis there]

To be diagnosed with something eg ASD, you need to see a multi disciplinary team, not much room for error when it relies on more than one professional.

Sorry, but 'at risk of a diagnosis of something they don't have' is laughable.

ouryve Fri 05-Jul-13 19:38:24

impecunious - you need to peek at the SN boards. Not a lot of unfounded reverence towards professionals and experts going on there. Rather, an awful lot of healthy questioning.

DrCoconut Fri 05-Jul-13 19:43:15

I was in a similar position but we were not offered help really, just told that DS didn't join in, ran round a lot etc. he was delayed with language development too. He is now 14 and we are finally after years of wrangling getting a statutory assessment. He has been diagnosed with ASD and ADD. Not saying your DC has got a problem but if there is any issue it may be best to get in the system early. You'll soon be dumped back out if all is well!

blondefriend Fri 05-Jul-13 19:49:09

My ds will be 3 in September so luckily he wont start reception until Sept 2015. I am also a secondary teacher and will admit straight away I know absolutely F-all about preschool children. My ds has severe speech delay and has had developmental delay. He suffered some brain damage at birth (although from some posters apparently his speech delay is my fault hmm). Although i should have been expecting some problems I was still shocked to actually be told by my consultant. I even insisted on a second opinion at GOSH, I was so convinced they were wrong. I didn't want to do the speech therapy, the portage service etc. They must be wrong. My baby boy had been through so much already.

He is currently with a childminder because he didn't fit into a noisy nursery environment. He loves it there. She lets him run, jump, get muddy, get wet, spend hours kicking a ball. She encourages him to paint but only once in a blue moon does it happen. She presented me with hand prints yesterday as proud as if she was his mum.
However he also sees portage and SALT. After speaking to many people with SEN children they have all said get support early. It is so difficult to get the support you need and it makes all the difference. I am due to look round a preschool next week - it is the one attached to the school. I am positive about it. He probably wont start until January 2014 and only for however many hours I think he needs, building it up over time. I want to talk to them about support right from the start.
I'm still not convinced that there is anything wrong with him long term. His development (except for speech) is catching up fast. His speech is unusual - he has said a number of words once but never again, he only has 3 words he uses regularly. However I am now trying to get him a statement of SEN. I would rather he had the support now then struggle to get it in 2 or 3 years time. I will be the happiest woman alive if he doesn't need it in the end and will always expect the best from him.

Basically OP if your son is happy at preschool then I would leave him there and talk to the staff. Find out a bit more about what they want to do. If he gets extra support now that doesn't mean he's labelled for the rest of his life but if he needs it and you've turned it down you will never forgive yourself. I already feel guilty for putting off portage for so long. If you feel unhappy with him staying there then move him back but go to your GP and try to get a second opinion.

I really do know how you feel. It is such a shock to think that someone thinks of your child as anything less than perfect. They may be wrong (great!) but if they're not you'll regret it. Good luck. x

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 05-Jul-13 19:51:11

On the SEN boards I'm quite certain there is. I have enough experience in the system to know that you won't get through having a child with special needs without questioning the system! I was responding to the number of people on the thread saying 'well she is a childcare professional therefore you should take her seriously because she is the expert'. In the average preschool, I think that is a pretty dangerous attitude to take - in both directions, as a number if people on the thread have detailed staff who ignored or belittled cases where the parent knew there was in fact a problem.

impecuniousmarmoset Fri 05-Jul-13 19:51:57

Sorry, I meant sn boards not sen boards.

halcyondays Fri 05-Jul-13 19:57:16

I don't think anyone has said the nursery teacher is an expert, but she has raised concerns, so I'm not sure why so many people are dismissing them out of hand.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Jul-13 20:02:04

A childcare/educational professional flagging up a possible problem and passing it on to an expert is normal though. They are not diagnosing anything are they? they are just saying 'this may be an issue, maybe he needs some extra help' and it wont hurt to follow it through.

Has anyone said a teacher is qualified to diagnose?

Branleuse Fri 05-Jul-13 20:19:20

flagging up potential areas of extra needs is NOT writing them off ffs

FanjoForTheMammaries Fri 05-Jul-13 20:27:42

In fact it is the opposite of writing them off.

agnesf Fri 05-Jul-13 20:50:23


Haven't read the whole thread and not sure if I can add anything useful but I just wanted to say I really sympathise with your feelings. We don't have crystal balls and can't see how our DCs lives will play out.

My DS had various "issues" flagged at his really excellent nursery school to do with difficulty with fine motor skills. Now he's just about to set off to secondary school I can see he has no problem with fine motor skills and I'd love him to write/ draw something for his nursery teachers to show them how everything worked out.

But at the time they were flagged up I didn't know all this and was quite upset, as I was similarly upset about the fact that he had to be sent to the headteacher of his nursery school for aggressive behaviour.

Its all turned out fine. He didn't have extra support but somehow between us & his teachers and all the other friends and significant people in his life so far, he has turned out to be a well behaved, hard working and popular boy.

But I do remember the hours of wondering, not knowing & deciding whether to trust my own instincts/ listen to the teachers etc etc.

Somehow we found the right way through, by listening to what people had to say and doing what we felt might be the right thing. I hope you manage it too.

Kiriwawa Fri 05-Jul-13 20:51:35

DS's teacher told me at parents' evening in October that she thought he had issues. I was furious - he was (and still is) damn cute. He's also just been diagnosed with ADHD.

So I was really annoyed but now I'm incredibly grateful that she had the knowledge and experience to pick up the fact that he wasn't doing as well as he could/should and has put him on the path to getting the extra support he needs to achieve to the very best of his abilities.

There are some shockingly ignorant posts on this thread which really sicken me. Anyone who thinks they are responsible for the fact their children are NT needs to take a really long look at themselves. It's a horribly offensive thing to say and disablist in the extreme. Think yourselves lucky that your children were born without disability but don't ever think it is because your parenting is superior enough to prevent it.

GobbySadcase Fri 05-Jul-13 21:54:02

Kiri you are truly fab. Everything you said x 1000!

ChangeyMcChangeName Fri 05-Jul-13 22:04:48

God yes...well said Kiri! I used to be very naive about this kind of thing. Until my own child needed help. How grateful I am to her brilliant teacher...the one who saw her stress and has now helped her in every way to integrate.

Dozer Fri 05-Jul-13 22:11:42

Hear hear kiri.

Jinsei Fri 05-Jul-13 22:17:14

Very well said Kiri

pinkballetflats Fri 05-Jul-13 22:18:38

OP - I have the opposite problem - the school think my instincts that something is up with my DC is wrong; luckily for my DC I have a good GPRS who listened and referred and DC does have extra needs. Id say take the help for now because if it dies turn out that your DC dies have additional needs you'll be kicking yourself in the future. The NHS dies have money to throw away so I doubt your DC will be diagnosed if there isn't anything to actually diagnose.

Kiriwawa Fri 05-Jul-13 22:21:42

Aww thanks, that's very nice of you smile

I'm going through that really angry stage at the moment, I'm sure I'll get to resigned acceptance one day

FreyaSnow Fri 05-Jul-13 22:32:32

Amberieaf, my language was negative because it reflected an incredibly stressful period of my life where the school was constantly trying to convince me my child had an issue he did not have.

If a school kept insisting that a child should be in a wheelchair when there is nothing wrong with them, that would be abuse. It isn't a criticism of children who use wheelchairs or the parents who had to fight for the funding for that to say so. The same applies to SEN.

Having spent two years being gas lighted by a school insisting my child had a range of problems he did not have, I am aware that happens, and parents should be wary of schools/nurseries raising concerns because it can lead to years of hell for no benefit to the child or family.

crashdoll Fri 05-Jul-13 22:35:09

In defence of the majority of us who have offered our opinions and tried to help the OP, it was only a select few who suggested their 'wonderful' parenting was the reason why their children are NT.

'SN deniers' is a ludicrous term and I think that poster was goading by insinuating that just because some us feel it might not be SN, that clearly we don't think SN exists. hmm Given the information in the OP, having had experience as an EYFS practitioner, I would not jump to SN in a child that young. <shrugs> Just my opinion!

Velvetbee Fri 05-Jul-13 22:40:30

He is 3 years old! Let the poor little sod run round a field, he's got the rest of his life to sit at a desk and use his listening ears.

Balaboosta Fri 05-Jul-13 22:42:43

My (vvvv cute) son has ASD and pre-school never said a thing! It was me that spotted it. Pre-schools aren't known for being forward about this stuff. If they've picked something up and they want to do something about it - happy days! Better than having to fight for help. Its very odd to think that raising a concern about a child is a criticism.

thetrackisback Fri 05-Jul-13 22:43:50

I find this odd. Why were they putting a referral in for your son without talking to you of their concerns first? You had to ring them to find out this ? I'm really cynical but are you sure there isn't an ulterior motive going on here? Like funding for another member of staff? Just find it all weird? It is amazing how unproffessional some professionals can be!

ouryve Fri 05-Jul-13 22:52:18

Thetrack - schools no longer get any additional funding for SEN unless a child has a very high level statement. They have to deal with it all out of a set budget based on the demographics of the intake.

Kiriwawa Sat 06-Jul-13 07:03:16

Well exactly ouryve. Which is why ascribing some kind of nefarious motive to them raising concerns is ludicrous. The pre-school has nothing to gain at all.

kungfupannda Sat 06-Jul-13 07:33:59

Would a pre-school even get extra funding?

Most of them are privately run and paid for (excluding the 15 free hours) even if they're associated with schools.

DS1 is at a pre-school on a primary school site - it's still a private setting.

JakeBullet Sat 06-Jul-13 07:41:36

Hi OP, I haven't anything much to add from the already good stuff which has been posted.

However, they are not diagnosing your DS with anything, just looking at how they can meet his individual needs which are different from the other children they have.
There could be a whole host of reasons for this and it might simply be down to an active personality. There is nothing wrong with that at all and I would be comforted that they are recognising his needs and not ignoring them.

Lastofthepodpeople Sat 06-Jul-13 07:49:10

He sound like my DS. Huge amount of energy, not interested in mark making. His preschool just describe him as 'full of beans' and his teacher mentioned to me a few days ago that he was starting to join in some of the teacher led activity without being asked 'which is nice' so they don't push if the child doesn't want to. I'm not a childcare professional but 3 is still very young and your DS sounds normal to me. I'd think about changing schools in your situation.

Asheth Sat 06-Jul-13 09:15:08

Thank you Kiri for your brilliant post. You said everything I tried to say upthread, but phrased it so much better!

Freya if a school put a child in a wheelchair it would be abuse. But they wouldn't. What they might do is notice problems with a childs mobility and suggest it get checked out. It would be for the medical profession to decide on a wheel chair.

It will be the same here. Th pre-school have their concerns. They would like to refer your DS to someone - could be a SALT, Educational Psycologist, a paediatrician. You don't have to agree to this. But it really is worth listening to what the pre-school have to say. As a parent your views should be important (if you're not listened to then it certainly is a bad pre-school) but also try to listen to what they have to say with an open mind.

mrsjay Sat 06-Jul-13 09:57:43

I wasn't going to say this as it personal but I raised concerns with my DDs nursery when she was 3
I was dismissed as she is young a bit scatty she will settle when she goes to school
, when she went to school at 4 well she is young (she is a winter birthday that is a younger pupil in scotland) it took me until she was 6 to get the help she needed turns out she has dyspraxia

it is bloody frustrating that the Preschool are offering help to your son and you are refusing or wanting to take him away , In no way am I saying your son has any special needs but the preschool has his best interests at heart you should at least be open to listening to them

FinnTheHuman Sat 06-Jul-13 10:45:21

Preschools can get extra funding for a child needing extra support, it needs no diagnosis of SN just a fairly simple form filled in and sent to a local panel.

Support from an observation from an Early Years Advisor helps, but they are very often no more qualified than a preschool worker, just more experienced. Remember preschools are run by NVQ3 qualified personnel.

This qualification does not give a great deal of specific training in spotting children with additional needs which is why outside support is sought. The concerns may be justified they may not, but its worth looking into and getting a more qualified view.

As for letting a 3year old run around a field for 3 hours fine, but research the preschool you send your child to if that's what is wanted. Many are run out of public spaces such as village halls and church rooms and keeping children safe with ratios of 1 member of staff to 8 children does not allow for this.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 06-Jul-13 12:45:33

I think it's a really sensitive subject, but I certainty got upset when the nursery raised concerns (already wrote my anecdote up thread!)... But the reason I was upset is that the nursery were saying it as a negative and to justify their problems in handling my son kindly.

It was not because of my attitudes towards SN, as if he had any, I would be biting their hands off to get support!

I was really shocked as was so unexpected, and upset cos I thought I might have missed something or my darling little one was struggling and I was a bad mum for missing something so 'obvious' according to the nursery... I took it seriously though and went away and thought about it, observed my son etc, but realised there was no basis in what the nursery was saying.

I lost faith in them as they lumped in a potential SN problem with criticisms about his personality and both were clearly motivated my their dislike of a two year old! Makes my blood boil even thinking about it.

Anyway my point is that just because I was upset about the idea of Ds having a SN, doesn't make me prejudiced

Asheth Sat 06-Jul-13 13:10:15

I agree that it is a sensitive subject. And that is certainly something the professionals should be aware of when talking to parents. I felt such anger and even hatred towards my DSs key worker - something I'm thoroughly ashamed of now that I've seen how much extra work she's had to put in and the amazing amount of support she's given him. If she hadn't raised her concerns or if I'd ignored them I would have been much happier with my head in the sand. She would have had so much less work. Win win really... except in the middle of that was a little boy who needed/needs some extra support to reach his full potential.

And that's what it's all the about - the children. It shouldn't be a competion as to who's right - the parents or the staff. Both will usually have the child's best interest at heart. Both will see different aspects of the child. Both will have their points of view. But for the child's sake all these points of view need to be considered. Obviously it is the OP's chocie but IMO to just remove the child would not help. She needs to talk to the pre-school, listen to their concerns, see the evidence and find out what help they can give. If after that she's not happy, feels like her point of view hasn't been considered and doesn't feel like it is the best setting for her DS then she and her DH and consider their options.

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Jul-13 13:55:47

Asheth I agree, you (OP) for certain need to know more, and also think it pretty odd that they did not approach you for a meeting about these concerns, but they were only raised when you contacted them, so came very unexpectedly. It seems bizarre to be preparing documentation before talking with the parents.

You can't tell at this point what is going on, whether it is just a lively child in the wrong environment or a child who is going to need more support, so given that I would be in there pronto, having meetings with the staff, SALT and SENCO or whoever again, trying to get to the bottom of their concerns.

Then you can make a decision.

Of course, it may be the case that it is not an either/or situation, there may be concerns or potential SN issues and the environment may not be right too, in which case a move might be indicated, but surely you need to get to the bottom of their thinking before making such a decision.

fabergeegg Sat 06-Jul-13 14:41:20

Your son may still need the nurturing support of a family unit rather than teachers. He's so young. Provided he's hitting his milestones, it seems absurd to suggest there are ways in which he's failing to perform in preschool.

Are you aware that while it may suit some kids to start formal learning so early, research has shown that it can actually disadvantage others who are less developed? Especially boys? In light of that, I would have lost confidence in these professionals when they didn't see the gender issue as significant straight away. Professional advice can be invaluable but it can also be mistaken and subjective.

There are no advantages for your child in attempting to keep pace with little girls who are probably more advanced in a number of ways. I also agree that it could be very hard for your son to encounter - probably unnecessarily - a message that he's different, or lacking in some way.

With your son, you are the professional. You're looking at him through a lens of deep understanding and love, as a result of thousands of hours of one-to-one time. The staff have only seen him as a member of a recently formed group, of which he happens not to be a typical member.

Perhaps it would help if you - or a dedicated childminder - were to work on engaging your son's interest at his own level. Without discipline or hectoring, he could naturally grow into longer and longer periods of concentration. I tried this with an autistic child, and it worked. Not a quick fix, though! I would probably feel there was nothing a classroom assistant could do that I wouldn't do better in this situation.

You may have to face these problems again later, or you may not. Either way, your little boy has a right to be happy.

Please don't let this experience make you anxious about your son, or lose confidence about your ability to parent him well. It would be very sad if he picked up on your anxiety and felt deep down that it was his fault. I think you should continue to enjoy him and celebrate who he is and what he does. Let this whole experience go down the river.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 06-Jul-13 15:05:48

I also agree with Asheth smile

Go digging for more info then decide what to do

dayshiftdoris Sat 06-Jul-13 15:28:39

Everything you said about your DS was said about mine when he was 3yrs old... And when he was 4yrs old and 5 and 6 and 7.... You get the drift wink

However at 3yrs old - when I rang, like you did, for the same reasons you did I was reassured...

At 4, 5 & 6 the negatives continued and got bigger but no real action as my son is also damn cute & very intelligent.

At nearly 7 he was diagnosed with ASD - he is very high functioning... Great I thought - we would get 'that different path of education'

His school failed him - they were quite open about it.

Now 9 and in a fantastic school but counting the costs of missed opportunities at many points in his education.

Take the extra support - take everything they are offering then ask for it at home so you can support what is done at pre-school.

I am not saying your son has ASD at all - I am just saying that it is rare to find settings that are so proactive... There is no real money or benefit to them in gaining funding as it will probably cost more than they get.

Early intervention in ANY issue will prevent so much heartache and in the vast majority will just get them through a blip...

I wish my son had been given this opportunity at 3... It could have changed his life dramatically. Please don't turn it down.

GobbySadcase Sat 06-Jul-13 15:37:13

My 'lens of love' didn't see anything different about DS1. Why would it? He was my first.

An experienced preschool worker raised concerns.

We chose to follow it up. He has Aspergers.

I'm not saying this will be true for the OP. but really, really what harm will that extra support actually do? Nobody has answered that.

Kiriwawa Sat 06-Jul-13 17:17:37

None at all Gobby - it just means that the child gets the additional help they need.

For example, one of the things that DS does at school is for children who have issues with social skills. There are 5 kids from his class in the 'club' - some of whom are just painfully shy and some (I assume) may also have SN. They're all benefiting from targeted support in helping them communicate.

Why would anyone want to turn that down unless they feel there is some inherent shame in their child getting extra help?

Asheth Sat 06-Jul-13 17:46:07

Although I am a professional, I am not a professional with my DC. My experience as a teacher dealing with SEN and as a parent have been totally different (and in fact in all other areas of my DC's education) And that is a good thing. I love being a Mummy far too much to want to be their teacher! Yes, I do know how much children learn from their parents, but it is a very different role.

In a bit over a year the OPs DS will start school and learning will get a bit more formal than at pre-school. Unless the OP chooses to HE, it is the pre-schools job to help get her DS ready for school.

OP, there is no reason for what the pre-school say to make you over anxious or lose confidence in your parenting. Nor should it make you view your DS any differently. And if the extra support is well handled by the pre-school your DS will probably never know anything about it. It wil not prevent you enjoying him. My older DC do not have any SEN, but I do not enjoy my younger any less. I am as confident with him as with others and save all my anxiety for my PFB!

I'm not saying you're wrong to be worried and emotional about it now. But if after meeting with the pre-school you decide to accept their support, then probably in a few months time you'll be looking back and wondering what you were so worried about.

parkin2010 Sat 06-Jul-13 20:52:11

From what you are saying it's not the support needed, its the manner abd lack of empathy displayed towards your son (who sounds lovely) which is unsettling. My daughter needs extra support- she is struggling with speech/ doesnt understand outcomes/ cannot sit still for long- but it has been provided as well as valuing who she is and what she is good at (sports/ practical activities/ dance/ art) Any comments like you heard wpuld have made me tearful too. I think going back to nursery alongside additional support would be a nice solution personally x

Elvisina Thu 11-Jul-13 00:07:42

Ok, I thought I’d give you an update. I went into my DS’s preschool yesterday for the afternoon session to observe him (3 hours). It was so eye opening! The majority of the session was free play, with some structure regarding what was available to play with (they had interesting, good resources). Throughout this free play time my DS was a cutie! Loads of engaging with the toys and other students. Loads of chatting. Loved telling me people’s names and showing me things. Happy to take part in the little routines. No mark making of course but he had done one picture (scribble) in the morning before I’d got there. I have to say the staff were really warm towards him and he obviously loved being there.

However, half-way through the session, the children were taken to another room for ‘Learning Time’. They were asked to sit cross legged while the teacher read a story from a large screen. She read it well but it took 10 mins and my DS was struggling after 5 minutes. He did join in enough for me to say he got something out of it. He laughed at appropriate moments etc but he did lie down towards the end. The other children definitely sat more nicely than him but then I noticed that there were 13 GIRLS and only 2 BOYS! My DS was one of the boys and the other boy was new that day, and understandably feeling shy. So if the new boy hadn’t been there my DS would have been the only boy! After 10 minutes of sitting still and listening they were put into small groups and asked to take part in another quite formal 10 minute task which involved listening to the teacher and then putting things into categories and counting them. My DS only managed about 2 mins of this and started wandering around the classroom. Afterwards, the teacher said not to worry as she understood he had a different learning style. I said perhaps his ‘different learning style’ was that he was a boy and pointed out the class ratio. She honestly did not seem to have noticed!

I don’t want to overplay the gender issue here but, in my experience as a teacher, it’s pretty basic practice to acknowledge and make allowances for the differences between boys and girls. Of course you can’t generalise but my goodness a secondary school class with nearly all girls would be completely different to teach than a class with nearly all boys. I’m not at all saying that my DS doesn’t need to learn to sit still and listen, he has to learn to conform at school if he’s going to do well, but I don’t think it’s a massive cause for concern that he can’t do this for longer than 5 mins at the age of 3. It seems that his inability to focus in the formal sessions was what I was being invited in to observe. If you include the morning session, he would have been expected to sit still and listen for at least an hour today (they also have another story at the end of each session). He was still in nappies 6 months ago! Anyway, I have a meeting with the school later this week. I’m not sure what to do. On the one hand, he absolutely loves being there and the staff did seem genuinely nice but on the other hand perhaps he should be in a place where the gender mix is more even. Or is it a good thing that he is with mostly girls as they model positive classroom behaviour? Am I making too much of this gender ratio? Obviously I’m keen to jump on an excuse for him being different so am biased. I feel as though I saw a little boy who managed fine for the majority of the session but just wasn’t interested in sitting still and listening for longer than 5 mins.

shewhowines Thu 11-Jul-13 00:22:02

He is obviously capable of it if he sat for 5 minutes. I'd keep him there and let this develop with age - as long as he is happy. You are right- there would be a lot more like him if there was a better gender mix. You are also correct in that, he will probably learn faster with positive role models rather than being with others who will mess around with him and/or distract him.

If they want to provide him with extra support, to do things with him, when he has obviously had enough, then i'd grab it with both hands. He won't be labeled.

MsMarple Thu 11-Jul-13 00:54:35

For what it is worth OP I have a very happy DS who wouldn't draw or even attempt to write throughout pre-school. He spent the whole time outside in a little tikes car and could never be persuaded inside for craft things. As you say, the ones at the writing and drawing table were mostly girls.

Fast forward one year to the end of reception he can read and write very well according to his teacher.

It sounds like all your instincts are screaming at you that it is perfectly normal and healthy for your 3 year old boy to spend his time playing, which sounds pretty sensible to me too. Not sure what kind of 'extra support' they envisage - would it be to 'help' him sit still and do what they want him to do, or to let him get on with his own thing whilst everyone else does the dull formal stuff?! If it were me, I'd tell them that you just want him to have fun, and play with whatever he wants, and you'll worry about school when he gets there - but obviously that isn't a professional opinion!

Also, I have to say the fact that there are so few other boys to play with would worry me too. Do any of the girls there like to play the same kind of things he does? I'm sure girls are very nice (being one myself!) but it might be even more fun for him to have some little boy mates too. Tricky for you as he seems to like it there, but maybe he is the kind of sweet natured child who would make the best of anywhere, whether or not it was the best place for him?

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 11-Jul-13 05:08:26

I was going to come in here and say "but you're turning DOWN extra support?! It was such a struggle for me to get extra support! My god! Take it!!"

But if their concern is that he's not participating in teacher-led activities at three years old, then maybe the problem lies with them and their prescriptive attitude, rather than your DC and his "extra learning needs". It doesn't sound like they're willing to tolerate too much difference (and, in the era of Wilshaw, I'm betting that creative approaches to learning not based around total discipline and confirmity are... not exactly encouraged, so approbation from Ofsted isn't necessarily a good thing).

I'd experiment with somewhere else if I were you. Montessori? Maybe... it doesn't necessarily have to be an entirely alternative teaching credo, but I'd be looking around.

McGeeDiNozzo Thu 11-Jul-13 05:09:05

WTF is confirmity? ConFORMity!!

MrsMelons Thu 11-Jul-13 08:10:37

I have worked in a pre-school setting and it is so so difficult when the staff identify that a child needs extra support but the parent does not accept it is necessary. We have had children leave and go to other settings and the parents have been told exactly the same there so it ends up the child doesn't get the support they need before starting school which is such a shame.

A lot of work (additional 1:1 support, meetings, paperwork) goes into to offering extra support so I can't imagine they would do this lightly however it does seem their main problem is the fact he doesn't sit still, there is plenty of time for this, obviously 10 mins is not a long time for a child to sit still but some do not manage this until at least 4 YO so its not a massive issue. Are there genuinely no other issues they are talking about? If not I think they are making too much of this.

I think you are making lots of excuses re boys and girls, at this age there is much less difference than you are suggestion.

If you want him to stay at the setting I would accept the support for now and see how it goes as it may actually be good for him.

Januarymadness Thu 11-Jul-13 09:49:14

Have you asked what the extra support entails? I think it is probably as simple as getting another member of staff in that would allow him to get up and go do other things away from the rest of the class if he is not happy.

In short they want him to be happy. This kind of thing is not always negative.

atrcts Thu 11-Jul-13 09:53:02

I can understand you might feel your son is under personal attack, but I'd be surprised if its that they don't like him (as you feared), it is more likely that they are trying to prepare him for school in a year's time - where he WILL have to sit and listen some of the time.

However I strongly feel that 3 years old is so young. I really wish this country would not try and lose their childhood for them so soon! But the sad fact is there is an expectation that all 4/5 year olds attend school, which has all sorts of restrictions an rules attached to it.

I'd rather my son was slowly accustomed to lining up and sitting down for stories etc in preschool, rather than shocked by being thrown into the deep end later on at school.

I suppose if you take your son out of this place and then regret it, it would be hard to being him back? So maybe go along with what they say just to be open minded and give them a chance to prove themselves right or not, as the case may be. Then, if you still feel uneasy, act on it?

missesjellybean Thu 11-Jul-13 10:20:44

I don't like the fact the nursery told you that they were filling in a report to get him extra help without even consulting you. I would be pretty livid about that tbh.
they're concerned enough to start to apply for extra help but haven't had a talk with you or grasped your input.

personally if it was me I'd put him back in his old nursery where he got on really well. he is only 3 and going to be in education doing teacher led activities from 4-18. if it was my child id let him have a fun environment to learn and develop in for the next year but that's just me.

Asheth Thu 11-Jul-13 13:24:38

Thank you for the update! From what you observed I can't see any major cause for concern. Are all the children the same age or are some starting school in September?

I do find the gender imbalance a bit concerning, as it's so extreme. It wouldn't bother me if there were more girls than boy or vice versa. But just one other boy is not much. Again, is that something that may change in September with some leaving and maybe new ones starting? I hope so as apart from that it sounds like a lovely pre-school.

Have they told you what referrals they want to make or what the extra support would involve? To me it sounds that they have some valid concerns, but to jump straight from that into referrals seems a bit extreme. I would expect them to monitor and observe him, for at least another half term. And to work on him gradually increasing his concentration span. For example if he can concentrate for 5 mins to reward him with a sticker when he concentrates for 6, then 7 etc. And if those stratetgies don't work and he doesn't improve then to look at more help and support for when he's a bit nearer starting school!

Branleuse Fri 12-Jul-13 07:23:05

I think if you think its just that hes not ready for school, then just take him out, especially if you think theyve never experienced boys before.

Theyre offering him support. Not a ball and chain. Support.

Bonsoir Fri 12-Jul-13 07:35:00

My DD went to French école maternelle when she was 2.10. It was very much teacher-led and there were three years of it. She never got great reports when she was there and her final year teacher told me she refused to listen or concentrate. I knew there was nothing wrong with my DD but boredom.

Fast forward three years and she is doing incredibly well, at the same school, and others who "excelled" at pre-school are bumbling along. Trust your instincts and look long and hard at what school is providing. It is often very inadequate.

nosila12 Fri 12-Jul-13 13:32:08

Similar story to Bonsoir with my dd. Mine wouldn't sit still and listen. Got some awful reports from pre-school and in reception. But doing extremely well by year 2. She's still very fidgety but she absorbs the information whilst she's fidgeting. I think it was more of a compliance issue with mine - she didn't want to listen to a story, she wanted to play. Once she got to school the rules were fairly quickly drummed into her and she started to comply, eventually. I don't think your ds is unusual. There were five or six like mine, even in year 1 the teacher told me. I cried when I got her end of year 1 report. Having only previously had reports that she was a problem, we were suddenly told she was doing extremely well. My gut instinct all the way through was that they just don't get her.

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