appt with school inclusion officer and SENCo

(27 Posts)
vickibee Mon 04-Nov-13 16:15:53

would very much like your views on this odd request. following parents even his class teacher said his response to being asked why he had done something he shouldn't was ' a voice in my head told me to'. Now they think he has SN and has suggested an appt as above. He is in Y2. I have never heard him say this, he is a spirited boy and can be naughty but nothing too serious. He has achieved average levels of attainment but is very immature for his age.
can anyone offer some insight here as it has made me quite worried. his class teacher said she has never ever heard a child use this excuse before

vickibee Mon 04-Nov-13 17:05:02

bump anyone

juneau Mon 04-Nov-13 17:15:36

Well if she's requesting this referral based on just one comment, then I'd say that was a massive overreaction. If, however, this is one more thing that makes her think perhaps a referral is merited, then going along with the referral will put an end to her speculation. I think if it was me I'd want to know if she has other worries that she hasn't voiced.

mummytime Belgium Mon 04-Nov-13 18:04:14

I would say this is something the teacher has to take seriously, it isn't a usual thing for a year 2 to say. Although I could imagine some teens saying it to try to get a reaction, even then the teacher should "report upwards".

I would suggest you don't get too worried if they ask to refer your son to CAMHS. As CAMHS are the experts and can quickly assess how much of an issue it is.

LIZS Mon 04-Nov-13 18:07:23

Inclusion officer sounds a bit ott but has he got a bit of history of causing difficulties in class ? They may see a pattern of spiritedness and naughty behaviour out of synch with his peers. Referral may rule out/in reasons behind it.

Ferguson Mon 04-Nov-13 18:11:13

Hi -
Retired male TA here. I've worked twenty years in primary schools, mostly KS1. The expression "a voice in my head" could just be something he has heard used in stories or TV, that he thinks is a good 'get out' in a difficult situation. The fact that he used that as an excuse could indicate he is pretty clever!

However, I guess it is just possible he does have some imaginative, reality-blurring things in his head, so advice from a suitable professional might be worth trying. Could you ask your GP first, as I doubt if school staff, even a SENCo, are qualified to make a definitive judgment.

I don't want to worry you, but there is a condition called 'Maladaptive Daydreaming' where people (of all ages) create imaginative scenarios in their head. It isn't very well known though it has been around for ten years or so; I don't think the NHS will admit to its existence, but there are several references on-line, and it is through people 'talking' about it on-line that more is now known about it.

vickibee Tue 05-Nov-13 08:02:29

Thnx for replies, apparently he has said it a few times but to me it is an excuse to get out of trouble, kind of it wasn't me. He has a very vivid imagination and can talk for ever. He is mostly well behaved in class but does get into bother during unstructured times.
Muumytime what is CAHMS? I believe he is a clever boy and if he put all his efforts into his school work he would be above avg he is lazy and can't be bothered with writing abd reading.

LIZS Tue 05-Nov-13 08:12:36

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Don't be put off by the title , in some areas it is simply an umbrella term for a multidisciplinary team which could include Speech and Language, Educational Psychologist, therapists etc, in others they operate independently on referral from school or gp/developmental paediatrician with CAHMS more to do with problems coping and counselling services.

mummytime Belgium Tue 05-Nov-13 10:16:21

The nice thing about CAMHS is they do try to make it seem (at least around here) friendly and non-threatening. Eg. around here it is in the grounds of the adult hospital specialising in mental health (and for some reason the GUM clinic...) but you enter around the back from a totally separate entrance just for children and teens, and the building is friendly. The staff are very good in seeing the difference between Mental Health problems, medical issues, and just "ways to get out of trouble".
It could be that your son is bored, he could be having odd migraine symptoms, or...a whole host of other reasons. They may be able to suggest strategies to help him engage more.

The SENCO should be a trained teacher anyway, who should have more experience than the class teacher. You inclusion officer might work more like the Home-School link worker in my DDs school, who does work with various children who are having difficulties in a number of ways (including for example those whose parents are divorcing or where a parent has died).

vickibee Tue 05-Nov-13 10:50:50

He has a settled home life and seems very happy, he skips and sings his way through the day and never stops talking. I honestly think it is a get out of jail excuse and they are over reacting but I will have to see. If he gets additional support I guess that would be a good thing although I don't want him to feel labelled

Periwinkle007 Tue 05-Nov-13 11:37:27

IMO labels are only a problem if they are wrong. If they 'label' him with something and give him appropriate support then does it matter? I am trying to get my child labelled pretty much so that she can get the support she needs. sadly I am not having any success.

mummytime Belgium Tue 05-Nov-13 11:44:03

My problem is that you are already labelling him as "lazy and can't be bothered", which are unhelpful labels. You have also said he is "he is a spirited boy and can be naughty", which are more unhelpful labels.

If he has no SN or SEN, then why is he being lazy? Why is he being naughty?

Either it is his home life, which I am not suggesting it is.
Or there is a mismatch between how he is being taught in school and him. He could be bored (not challenged). He could be finding it hard (too challenging so he doesn't try and deflects attention). Or he could lack social skills (so doesn't get that the teacher is more important than the boy sitting next to him etc.). He could find the environment over stimulating, so he can't focus on the correct thing. Maybe he goes crazy after drinking Orange Juice (my DS did) or maybe he needs more exercise. Or a whole host of other reasons.

Lazy, naughty and spirited do not tell anyone - why your son is acting the way he is, so don't enable anyone to help him.

vickibee Tue 05-Nov-13 11:47:15

It is such a shame that children do not get the support they dearly need. I guess it is sadly down to budgets. My former colleague has paid privately to get her son tested for Dyslexia and now has a statement for her son (finally)
The school has suggested an after school appt - sith Me and dad but where is DS meant to go. Have no one who can look after him, will he wait for us at school? I don't think staff realise these things.

Labro Tue 05-Nov-13 16:12:22

Re. the appointment, explain to school that you have no one to leave him with, they may have somewhere he can wait or if not do you have a friend who could have him on a play date if you return the favour another time.
As far as Senco etc are concerned, go to the meeting and see what they say.
My ds was on the receiving end of a very inexperienced teacher deciding to diagnose him with 'autism' because he chewed the end of his pencil. The Senco was able to gently point out the errors in this teachers judgement, but had there been a real problem could have also signposted different things available to us.

keepsmiling12345 Tue 05-Nov-13 16:48:45

op I don't understand how you can bemoan that "children do not get the support they dearly need" when your DS is being offered support and you are reacting badly to the suggestion and suggesting the teacher is over-reacting. Your DS's school is suggesting a discussion about his needs so that they can put in place appropriate support. Why wouldn't you agree to that? And yes, I also appreciate the difficulties of childcare for appointments (I'm a working, single mum) but there are always ways around this, e.g. sending my DD to friends' houses for play dates or paying babysitters. Not always preferred options but worth doing so I can have an open, honest conversation with the teachers etc without my DD there.

sublimelime Wed 06-Nov-13 13:52:45

School cannot diagnose or label. They also have to have your permission to refer him to outside agencies for additional help and information.

Ask what they have been doing to support him regarding his behaviour. This is the first and vital step if there is a problem. If they have not taken any steps to deal with his behaviour I do not see anyone could justify any extra cost regarding referral and assessment. This is what is referred to as 'graduated response' in the SEN CoP.

If this is your first meeting with the SENCO, it is probably so they can trial some strategies to deal with his behaviour.

vickibee Wed 06-Nov-13 14:31:10

yes it is the first meeting, he is generally well behaved and has only occasional instances. It is the voices in the head thing that casued the referral, they must think he has mental health problems or something?

LIZS Wed 06-Nov-13 14:34:37

they must think he has mental health problems or something?

Probably not . Don't jump to conclusions . They are just trying to establish if there is a pattern of behaviour and how to help him . He may have said or done all sorts of things , some of which may be not typical of his age or ability. Go along with an open mind and listen to what they say.

sublimelime Wed 06-Nov-13 14:38:39

The only way to find out is to go and see what they say. If you cannot arrange childcare tell them. They should be able to re arrange.

As I have said this is school, they absolutely cannot diagnose.

If there is anything on TV, that your child has been watching, he could have picked this phrase up from 'The Simpsons' or something like it, let them know. Language is a funny thing, children can pick up all sorts of phrases quite rapidly without fully understanding the implications of what they are saying. If you feel that this is what could be happening you can ask them to monitor him to see how this pans out. Have you they / spoken to him about what he said? If his behaviour is otherwise OK I would not see this as a problem at this stage.

vickibee Wed 06-Nov-13 14:56:51

In class he is really well behaved now, he had trouble settling and there were some issues in Reception. His behaviour is not as it should be at playtimes, he appears to be over zealous when he is playing but he has improved here too.

Sublime - he does minecraft is there anything on there he could have copied? maybe I will take a closer look?
Thanks for the responses

sublimelime Wed 06-Nov-13 16:20:24

Yes, I would take a closer look at anything he is interested in and watch out for phrases similar to what he has used. People do often describe thoughts as an 'inner voice'. He may not mean he actually felt like he heard an audible voice and just be describing his thought process.

Sorry, do not know much about minecraft myself but do know phrases can be easily picked up and copied.

sublimelime Wed 06-Nov-13 16:27:52

btw I'm sure I have heard the phrase 'That little voice inside me...' quite frequently on TV, its a colloquial expression.

vickibee Fri 08-Nov-13 09:46:58

The appt is scheduled for Weds next week and the Educational Psychologist will also attend. I am sure they think he may have issues inside his head. Hey ho go with an open mind

mummytime Belgium Fri 08-Nov-13 09:55:35

They really will not have bought in the Ed Psych for a one off incident.
The Ed Psych costs money, and and has limited time. There are parents on MN who spend years trying to get the Ed Psych to see their child, never mind see them.

But don't let them intimidate you. Do feel free to take notes. Do ask questions, and get back to them with questions. Do take your DH or a friend with you if you can. You may even want to contact parent partnership, to ask questions and receive so e support.

I would start keeping a diary of contact with school, and record any things that it is agreed that so done will do, with dates, and date the action will be started by, and dates to review progress.

Good luck!

BackforGood Fri 08-Nov-13 23:04:02

I'm amazed that you have got to the stage of having an Ed Psych in a meeting, if this is really the first time the school have raised any concerns with you ???
Ed Psychs' time is like gold dust. They will not have called this meeting on one comment such as you have put in the OP.

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