Should I email the school and give them a heads up about DS before his induction sessions?

(48 Posts)
Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 20:08:12

4 year old DS has toileting issues. He will occasionally wet and usually soils himself daily. He won't always tell someone that he's done it. I've taken him to the doctors and they can't figure out the problem although it may be linked to ADHD.

Yesterday the dr referred him to CAMHS for an ADHD assessment. He interrupts, can't sit still and will lash out randomly (there is more- see post in SN children).

Should I email the school and make them aware of the issues before he has his induction sessions? He has an hour one morning then a full morning the next week.

It's a very small school (46 pupils) so I'm a bit worried they'll refuse to take him or something if he goes in and kicks off. He can be lovely but I'm panicking now.

christinarossetti Thu 13-Jun-13 20:10:58

I think a face to face meeting would be much better than e-mail. Do you have a new starters meeting coming up at all? You could ask at that for a separate meeting with his class teacher and SN co-ordinator (they may be one and the same in such a small school!) and talk through your ds's needs then.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 20:11:41

The meeting is on the second induction visit which I can't get off work unfortunately.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 20:12:06

Does he have some kind of disposable pants?

WhoNose Thu 13-Jun-13 20:16:04

Yes, an email would be a start. My DD has issues (not toileting) and I brought them up a couple of months ago. This has enabled me to have a good talk with The SENCo and set a few strategies in place to ensure she is not just treated as a naughty/ stubborn child.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 20:16:49

School isn't compulsory until the term in which the child turns five. So they might suggest that he waits until his toileting has been sorted out. Anecdotally, some teachers and TAs don't seem anything like ready or prepared to deal with issues like this and appear to have left children in all kinds of states until their parents could pick them up. (Even right till the end of the day.)

BackforGood Thu 13-Jun-13 20:20:03

I wouldn't e-mail them, putting all the information in, I'd e-mail them saying that you'd like an appt with the SENCo, and suggest some times or days that you might be able to get there.

RandomMess Thu 13-Jun-13 20:23:01

Does he currently go to pre-school or nursery? If sho have they not already been in touch with them as our school did before the induction days.

TeenAndTween Thu 13-Jun-13 20:25:44

Ideally ask to speak to the SEN teacher / reception teacher for a face to face before the induction sessions. (You may need to say he is being referred to CAMHS to get them to let you have a meeting, otherwise they may just think you are being pfb)

Prepare a short to the point flyer for them to take away.

Only if you cannot meet in person before the induction sessions then email your flyer or a version thereof. Better still hand deliver it to the school.

Make sure whoever is taking him to the induction session takes a copy of flyer to handover to Reception teacher / TA when he is dropped off.

Coconutty Thu 13-Jun-13 20:27:07

Yes I think you need to contact the SENco about this before he goes in.

soapboxqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 20:34:53

As others have suggested, I would email and request an appointment with the senco. They need to know what they are dealing with and have time to prepare.

Toileting is not an issue. Schools cannot refuse a child because of it or request that a child delay entry to school. Any school that does not help to clean a child up or requests a parent come into do it are breaking the law. individual members of staff can refuse to do it but then the school need to sort something out.

The school also cannot refuse to take him because he has additional needs.

Morgause Thu 13-Jun-13 20:37:34

Kryptonite, you really need to see the SEN teacher and also you need to be at the induction meeting. Take a day's holiday or a day off without pay. It's very important that you are there.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 13-Jun-13 20:37:47

I would definitely address these issues with the school, that way you and they can come up with a plan to help your son in the most effective way. He will not be the first child they have taken with these issues.

AbbyR1973 Thu 13-Jun-13 20:38:48

Just want to add that CAMHS won't be able to help much with the soiling/wetting issues. You need to see a paediatrician. Soiling is almost invariably linked to constipation.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 20:40:40

The doctor thinks that the soiling may be linked to the ADHD as it can be inattentiveness. They gave him constipation medication and the problem still remains.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 20:43:58

I have no annual leave days left and my manager won't let me take it as unpaid leave. DP is working and will lose his bonus if he has a day off sick and we can't physically afford for that to happen. The other option I have is taking maternity leave 2 months earlier which is rather extreme!

DeWe Thu 13-Jun-13 20:48:08

I don't see that you absolutely must be at the induction meeting. It's generally a bit sort of reassurance they'll be okay... nothing specific.
But I would phone and ask for a meeting with the head and possibly the SENCO before the induction meeting, probably as soon as possible.

I doubt they could refuse him on the grounds you've posted. Generally all schools are considered to be able to cope with most sn and they would have to prove they couldn't, which sounds unlikely.

soapboxqueen Thu 13-Jun-13 21:05:29

I agree with DeWe . The induction meeting is very generic. A specific meeting would be better and can be arranged for a convenient time.

tinytalker Thu 13-Jun-13 21:22:05

As a teacher I really do think you should forewarn the school. It would be very unfair on them and your son to leave it until the last minute. They need to liase with you and plan how to cope with this, a face to face meeting is always preferable. It could be after school hours so maybe you need only take a few hours off, it really would be much appreciated by school staff and starts your relationship with the school on a positive footing.

party245 Thu 13-Jun-13 21:32:27

Please listen to Abby and at least try a paediatrician. You may well find that the behaviours you note are a symptom of the constipation/toileting problems rather than the cause.

CAMHS will presume you have ruled out all medical reasons and focus on the behaviours and quite possibly blame yourselves.

Many GPs do not diagnose the toileting problems correctly and assume it is not constipation unless a child displays the classic symptoms. However a child can have chronic constipation with no straining/no hard stools as it is just overflow hence they have no control at all.

The wetting is a classic symptom of an impaction and again the child has no little control because of the pressure on the bladder.

Many children with these issues display these behaviours because they are so distressed at not having control of their bowels and bladder and just cant understand why not.

Untreated it can cause long term damage, DD has not regained proper control of the bowel after 3 years of medication due to the length of misdiagnosis.

K8Middleton Thu 13-Jun-13 21:50:30

You may be able to take unpaid parental leave. Your manager cannot stop you taking it if you are entitled to it because it is a statutory right.

Some things are important and a face to face meeting in this instance is probably one of them.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 21:57:46

Bugger I've only been employed since September so I won't qualify for parental leave sad
I had know idea it existed though so thank you for making me aware I will file it away for future reference!

Rockchick1984 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:03:55

Can't DH take parental leave if you aren't eligible for it? That wouldn't be a sick day so wouldn't affect his bonus.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 22:06:16

He only started his new job in January. I have the option of being signed off as I have SPD and the doctor has said about signing me off if it gets too bad but I would feel really guilty.

I'll phone the school tomorrow on my lunch break and see if they are able to arrange a meeting.

Smartiepants79 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:16:12

You must speak to the school. It would be very unfair to your DS to not let them know.
They cannot refuse to take him but if this is a daily occurrence they will need to work out a plan for how it will be managed. It is a tricky one as it is such a private thing and cleaning a child after an accident like that causes issues around accusations of abuse etc.
I don't know what hours you work but school should be able to arrange a meeting to suit you.

Kyrptonite Thu 13-Jun-13 22:19:46

I work in a nursery so its school hours I work. Hopefully though my manager will allow me to leave an hour early one day so that I can go and talk to them.

MidniteScribbler Fri 14-Jun-13 03:40:25

You absolutely need to meet with the school. An email is not sufficient. There will need to be a number of staff involved in your sons education and it's important that every get together to put a plan in place for how it is dealt with. Particularly with regards to toileting, as there will need to be a member of staff able to care for him if he wets/soils himself. Teachers don't do this, as they cannot leave the class, but there will need to be someone else in the school available, as well as making sure there is a suitable place to help him clean up, spare clothes available.

Quite bluntly, there are going to be many times you will need to meet with the school as you go down this path. Even considering sending him along without meeting with them first is irresponsible, and will leave the school without any opportunities to develop strategies and procedures for him. You need to take time off to meet with them. Please do not try to downplay any issues about his needs. Schools can't help him most effectively if you are withholding information.

I wish you luck OP.

PastSellByDate Fri 14-Jun-13 05:54:33

Hi Kryptonite:

Only scanned some of this but 2 things occur.

First off - I'd contact the school and explain that your DS does clearly have SEN issues (is he at a nursery? If so they will prepare a report on hime & how he's doing on the EYFS scales for the school - sometimes they send it directly/ sometiems they pass it to you to give to the school).

Most reception classes have their own toilet facilities right there - and your DS's situation isn't that uncommon. Accidents happen - and more frequently than you imagine. (If you haven't thought about it - send along a change of clothes & a plastic bag for soiled clothes - usually can fit within PE kit)

Second: I'm sure you can work around this flexibly. Two options occur.

Teachers can arrange a meeting earlier or later in the day. So you could start work late and work longer into the evening or through lunch - or you could start an hour early and take a long lunch to meet with the school.

Generally - employers do understand unless it is a situation of your going leaves a 'customer facing' position unoccupied.

If you haven't prepared yourself for it already - do bear in mind that sometimes schools start gradually with half days and several days off a week - so make sure you understand what going to school in September actually means (don't assume 5 days a week full-time).


Periwinkle007 Fri 14-Jun-13 10:20:35

absolutely you need to meet with them. yes children can have accidents but if it is most days then it is more than an occasional accident and it is only fair to the staff (and other children) that the school is already aware and has procedures in place.

Smartiepants79 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:11:19

You work in a nursery and your boss won't let you have an hour off to speak to school!! I would have thought they of all people would understand how important it is.
If you can be there between 4 and 5 there should be no issue with seeing you.

ipadquietly Fri 14-Jun-13 21:25:06

Yes, definitely. You need to agree a plan of action about what will happen if he soils himself. Forewarned is forearmed.

Kyrptonite Fri 14-Jun-13 21:58:29

I have an appointment Tuesday at 3:45 with the head teacher. Hopefully they won't be dreading DS starting there once I've explained everything. I'm really nervous.

Don't worry, ds2 has similar issues and has speech problems as well.

I told them back in march and the school have been lovely. He had the option of SN school but it's an hour away so I asked our school if they'd be willing to take him and they were happy to take him on. They've already arranged his resource hours and sna and he had his induction last week. His teacher is the principal (also a small school) and she brought dd in for the first hour to help him settle and peeled him off me when he kicked off. He settled after a few minutes and had a great day.

I'm sure the school will be happy to talk to you and will be grateful you've given them a heads up.

ipadquietly Fri 14-Jun-13 22:16:47

Don't worry krypton. They'd only feel like that if they were unaware of problems once he'd started!
If everyone knows the score and there's an action plan in place, no-one has any cause for complaint!
I know with some of our children coming in with problems, teachers have made little books about the classrooms and teachers (with pictures and labels) that the children have been able to look at with their parents over the summer holiday.

Good luck, and don't worry.

MrsDimples Fri 14-Jun-13 23:13:58

My daughter who isn't 4 yet, but starts school in September isn't toilet trained yet - won't even sit on the potty - I have GP & HV involved. I spoke to the reception teacher this week who was lovely and has contacted the school nurse, who I'm still waiting to hear back from.

Pre school / nursery have also submitted the forms for the SEN, (I think it's SEN), because of this and other sensory issues.

The HV told me it was very common - yet the reception teacher & school nurse are 'investigating' what happens, so not that common - and that the incontinence clinic won't get involved until she is five.

I am not looking forward to being chained to within 5 minutes of the school, to have to nip in and change nappies when needed. Especially given she is currently going through a phase of lots of small squidgy poos - that she doesn't tell you about - there's been 5 or 6 an hour some days this week sad

melody1771 Sat 15-Jun-13 02:23:21

I don't often post on here but I am rather annoyed at this last post! The school have an obligation to change your child if it is needed. They should of be ringing you for you to come in and change them, obviously you need to provide the necessary kit but the school should have a plan of how to deal with this. You need to speak the senco and inform them that you are not prepared to come into school to change her. And I am a reception teacher who has had to deal with this more than once. It is your child's sen, you wouldn't expect mum to come in every day because her child is blind..... This is no different!

Good luck

Smartiepants79 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:21:04

Sorry, but the very personal nature of nappy changing makes it VERY different. You may well find that some members of staff/schools will be prepared to do it but I think they are within their rights to refuse.
This leaves staff wide open to all sorts of accusations
SN schools may be different.
I know the staff at my school would be very uncomfortable changing a child on a regular basis.
I would- and I am also a experienced teacher!

ipadquietly Sat 15-Jun-13 14:32:17

They are definitely within their rights to refuse. Support staff in a reception class aren't employed to change nappies/pants all the time. They are employed to help children learn, in addition to the child protection issues.

You definitely need to have an agreement with the school.

Mrs.dimples, lots of small soft/runny poos are a sign of constipation. You may want to have the gp check her out. It's common in kids with toileting issues for them to start withholding poo which leads to constipation and overflow. Ds2 does it and has to take movicol daily.

soapboxqueen Sat 15-Jun-13 17:00:09

Individual members of staff can refuse to change a child but the school cannot. The school has to find a solution, not individual members of staff or the parents.

It is against the law to refuse a child who is not toilet trained. It is neglect to leave a child to sit in their own mess while a parent makes their way into school.

Kyrptonite Mon 17-Jun-13 20:47:08

Arrggghhh. Meeting with school tomorrow and nursery manager (who is also my MIL) thinks I should play down the extent of DS' toilet and behaviour issues and say he has occasional accidents but changes himself (not true) in case they refuse him a school place.

Can they do this? I'm thinking it might be worth taking his nursery folder to show them he is ready for school, he does adding, subtracting, writing etc.

Slambang Mon 17-Jun-13 20:58:28

Be honest or what's the point in talking to them? They'll find out for themselves when your ds starts.

They won't refuse him a place but they may want to discuss strategies for dealing with incidents. You don't want to get called out of work to sort him every day so can you suggest things that will help ds manage? (e.g. Regular prompting to visit the loo.)

Kyrptonite Mon 17-Jun-13 21:08:48

I plan to be honest. We haven't found a strategy so far that has any effect. He's reminded to go, physically taken to go, we have tried rewards, bribes, taking treats away etc and nothing.

Periwinkle007 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:13:06

you MUST tell them the actual situation. From the sounds of things by law they can't refuse him so you shouldn't have to worry about that but it would be very unfair to him as well as them to tell them it is occasional if it isn't. If they have as much warning as possible then they will be completely geared up for it, if they are only told half the story then they won't be and that could cause more problems.

I am quite shocked she has told you to play it down actually. what would she do if she had a child in her care with the same problems and was meeting with their school in a handover meeting? would she tell them the child was fine and didn't really have a problem? what if his/her parents didn't think to tell the school. the poor child would turn up on day 1 and noone would be ready to deal with them or help them.

Kyrptonite Mon 17-Jun-13 21:22:18

She refuses to consider he potentially has ADHD as well. She's told me not to tell any other staff members at the nursery and that she will monitor the situation. She's in the bloody office all day she doesn't have a clue what goes on in the room. I thought he would at least go on an IEP as we have another boy in the setting who has behavioural issues and as such is on an IEP.

5 more weeks and he leaves nursery and I go on mat leave grin

Periwinkle007 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:37:47

she is in denial then - ok well I would ignore her and do what you feel your son needs. Your instinct will be right, he is your son and you know him best. You know he needs support (and assessment) and you are the one who needs to have the good relationship with the school so the more information you can give them the better.

Smartiepants79 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:58:50

He is your son.
You are doing him no favours by not being honest.
They cannot refuse to take him. He has been offered a place and you have accepted.
They must be given a chance to figure out how they will deal with this.
Who is his key worker at nursery. If he needs an IEP then he should have one. He will get little support without one.
Please tell them the truth. Do what is right for your boy, it is not up to your MIL to decide.

Kyrptonite Mon 17-Jun-13 22:01:57

I've spoken to his key worker. We've sorted out a notebook and both of us (I work there too) are keeping a record of his behaviour. Key worker is a tad scared of manager MIL though so is reluctant to discuss DS with her as MIL tends to ignore it.

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