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DD (ASD) age 3 starting nursery in January. Settling in?

(18 Posts)

Agnes have PM'd you. I hope this is OK

AgnesDiPesto Mon 10-Dec-12 23:27:03

Outreach staff always say children don't need 1:1 all the time as they are employed by LA and usually follow the party line to gatekeep funds and statements. They know full time 1:1 means a child will need a statement when they start school so usually try and put this off as long as they can. But this is not about funding - that is for the nursery and LA to sort out. This is about need. How are your child's needs going to be met if she cannot join in without a trained helper? Who will do her speech programme, toilet training, social skills groups? who will make signs and photo books?

Also this all sounds vague - they don't know how much money etc, why not? Tell them to have a meeting with salt, outreach, area senco, sen officer and you and sort it. Write to the LA and ask for a copy of their policy and funding and what its been awarded for. Make it clear you expect your child to be educated not just babysat. DS had full time 1:1 for a year plus outreach plus salt and learnt absolutely nothing. It's also about the quality of the intervention not just the quantity. I know I'm being bossy but your child will never get this time back. You do not want your child falling further and further behind. They can employ someone 2 mornings. They may need to get the LA to agree funding and a notice period eg if the funding was to stop that the LA would give notice. Perhaps the LA can even provide one of its own outreach TAs to come and work with your child. If they are not going to use it for 1:1 what will they spend it on? If they don't know they should get the ed psych in and get advice.

DS was pretty happy at nursery. In terms of his development it was a disaster but he was happy enough - he got to sit and stim happily all morning. In the end we had to pay privately for an autism specialist to go in and do the training the autism outreach teacher either hadn't bothered to do or didn't know how to do.

Is your child going to be in under or over threes class as the staff ratio often changes from 1:4 to 1:8. That's when not having an extra member of staff really becomes a problem.

ScramblyEgg Mon 10-Dec-12 22:09:25

Sorry not to have answered your question sooner.

DS was fine, it was so gradual that he didn't cry at all. Luckily the nursery were very understanding about it & happy to do things the way I wanted. He's been there for a year now & still has the odd wobble, but I just stay a bit longer at drop-off on those days.

Special toy is something we've been using too, and he's getting to need it much less - on a good day he's happy to give it to his keyworker after only about 10 minutes.

Good luck, hope it goes better than you're expecting. It's really nerve-wracking, isn't it?

Ineedpigsinblankets Mon 10-Dec-12 13:56:07

We are really lucky tbh because we have high staff ratios and a relatively small setting.

We have never manged to access any funding for one to one but if we did and we have wished for it, I would probably do the one to one and we would get someone in to cover me .

We have a couple of bank staff who are willing to work any hours available so that is probably how we would work around it.

Hazy, I totally get what you are saying about children who hate being touched, it is especially hard when there are other parents around because it looks very cruel not to pick up or cuddle a distressed child.
We have got a lo like this atm and this morning he lay on the floor, he wasnt crying until I approached him and patted his back. It is sooo hard to resist the urge to comfort them.

Hope your lo settles eventually.

hazeyjane Mon 10-Dec-12 10:00:39

Ds has huge separation anxiety, he is very wary of new surroundings and lots of people. He also doesn't like people touching him, so it has taken nearly a year for him to give a toy to his portage lady. We go to a sn nursery at the moment (he is 2.5), and I have to leave the room each time for 2 minutes whilst he is with his keyworker, he is just beside himself when I leave, and when i return is a screaming mess. I was kept talking for 20 minutes by the SALT the other day, and when i came back, he could barely scream anymore, he was covered in snot, and was just wrecked, I gave him a cuddle and he just went blank, he couldn't keep his eyes open and then just went blank, and was like that until the end of the session. It is very very difficult, because we really don't know how to approach the idea of preschool, although the preschool has said they would be happy with me coming in for sessions, obviously we need to work towards me leaving him.

We are in the process of applying for a statement (pathfinder, single assessment framework), I think he will definitely need 1-1, and I assumed this would be a member of staff assigned to ds - he has no speech, has gdd, low muscle tone etc

The things we have done, and plan to do are things that have been mentioned here

photos of me and family

special toy

putting in place a very definite plan of eg 1 minute bubbles, then 1 minute looking for mummy, find mummy - yay everyone is happy!!!(this has only recently been put in place, and has yet to work!)

I have asked for one of the keyworkers at the preschool (the one with makaton training) to come over to our house, and she has very kindly offered to do this weekly in the build up to preschool

asking staff to try to remember that ds doesn't like being touched, so to try not to cuddle him (this is surprisingly hard!)

I will watch your thread with interest, for any other suggestions - sorry for barging in with an essay!!

Ineedpigsinblankets Mon 10-Dec-12 08:12:14

Have to go to work now but will pop back latersmile

Ineedpigsinblankets, thanks again. I will suggest the photo book to them.

Just out of interest, how do you manage staffing? Did the children you had have 1-1?

Thanks ScramblyEgg. Did your DS cope ok with the settling in do you feel? I mean, was he crying or was it gradual enough to not cause upset?

I agree with you AgnesDiPesto but they were saying they cannot manage to employ an extra person just for those 2 mornings and due to their staffing (all their nursery staff are full time I suspect). Also they weren't sure how much money she would get but they were concerned with the idea as they seem to believe that it would be costing them money. We had a meeting with the SALT and outreach and there wasn't any solid idea what they would do with their staffing but the outreach pointed out that 1-1 didn't always mean all the time.
There was also the implication that they might not be able to accept DD if 1-1 was required as it was also 'a business' sad. But DD's name has been down on their waiting list for over a year and (albeit most of that time she did not have a diagnosis).
The problem is that it is the only workable nursery I would send her to. She should be attending state nursery in September (there is only one intake around here for nursery schools).

AgnesDiPesto Sun 09-Dec-12 21:51:40

Don't understand why they are saying the funding for a 1:1 won't cover staff - thats what its been awarded for!
DS had 1:1 while he was at private nursery in identical circumstances
Why is the hourly rate not covering the cost?

I suspect the LA will not be happy if they are taking the money and not providing 1:1. They should be employing someone 2 mornings if they cannot free up staff.

DS needed and still at 6 needs someone following him about all the time - he would isolate himself and not join in at all if no-one was making him do it. He needed 1:1 to teach him to be more independent, he wouldn't have done it on his own - the idea a child who is without 1:1 help is learning to be independent in that time is generally a lie to save money. Usually they are sat in the corner on their own learning nothing.

The LA should be sending in advice via outreach staff and speech therapists and these professionals will be expecting to work with one member of staff who is allocated to your child and who will be delivering intervention during the 2 mornings.

Good outreach staff should be setting programmes for the 1:1 to do during those 2 mornings. The nursery staff will need to draw up IEPs, have meetings with you and professionals to write and review these etc

Your child should be having all her special educational needs met via this funding - if she is not then you need to apply for more support via a statement.

Ineedpigsinblankets Sun 09-Dec-12 21:26:32

We like the photo book and have made them for a few children, it is nice because you can talk to her at home about more specific toys and people.

We use the same pics for the books as for the visual timelines and also for individual children to see what is happening now and next on a key ring which I carry.

I agree with scrambly about doing very small steps, make sure you always say goodbye and mummys coming back.

Lo's have to learn that you are coming back and some take longer than others, i think their understanding of this is the key to the way they settle.

Be patient, it may take a whilesmile

ScramblyEgg Sun 09-Dec-12 20:58:59

I did a really gradual settling in with DS as he was very clingy.

First day I stayed for the whole session, next day left for half an hour then came back, next day an hour... took a couple of weeks to build up to leaving him for the whole session.

Another advantage of spending quite a lot of time there with him was that I got to know the set up, staff & other children so could talk to DS about specific things at nursery.

Thanks both of you.
starfishmummy I imagined we'd do something similar with DD. She is quite prone to separation anxiety (she's like my shadow) and doesn't trust unfamiliarity. So I am thinking she'll need more sessions with me 'around'.
Ineedpigsinblankets a photo book sounds like a brilliant idea. They are setting up her visual timetable right now and we already use one at home.

MummytoMog Sun 09-Dec-12 19:25:25

Was there some reason you didn't go for a non-private nursery? Ours has been incredibly good with our DD (non-verbal, not potty trained and doesn't like othe children so not easy) and the consistency of three hours every day seems to really work for DD. She has never been difficult to leave anywhere though, so can't help on separation issues.

starfishmummy Sun 09-Dec-12 17:15:23

With DS, i attended a couple of sessions with him but kept a low profile. Then I went a couple more times but sat in the staff room so I was there if Ds needed me (he was fine!) or if the staff needed me for some reason.

He hadn't been to playgroups or anything without a parent around before nursery. He could talk but had a limited vocabulary and a "stock of phrases" that he would trot out all the time!

Ineedpigsinblankets Sun 09-Dec-12 16:57:32

Hmm, slightly different setting and we dont get any additional funding but. When we settled a LO with ASD in september:

We did quite a few short visits through the summer term.

We made a photo book with pictures of the adults, the playroom, the outside area, some of the toys and on the front put her picture and xxxx comes to playgroup on xxxxx

We have a key person to bond with each child and she had chance to get to know hers.

We encourages parents to settle her in the best way for her and actually they did just leave her, she doesnt have any separation anxiety.

We provide one to one for transitions during the sessions and any time she is struggling.

We use photos and objects of reference to help her understand what is happening now and next.

We work with her for short periods of time in a one to one situation to encourage progression.

HTHsmile

Shameless bump...

I was hoping some of you could help me with your experiences of settling in to (private day) nursery. DD is going to be starting nursery in January. We have education funded place for 15 hours (plus SEN funding has been given for the 15 hours) but we are going to spread that over the holidays (as it is a private day nursery I would have to pay for the holidays otherwise) so she will be doing 2 mornings a week.
She has trouble with language and communication, is verbal but her speech is hard to comprehend as she has very unclear speech. She is more clingy towards us than anything, and hasn't been in childcare before (but has attended plenty of groups, including playgroups, with me there). I have no idea how she will react once I start leaving her, but I was wondering if anyone who has been through similar can tell me how they arranged the settling in? I think it will have to be gradual, but does anyone have any tips?

Also, as a private nursery they are a business and their staffing is full time. They are not really sure where the funding for DD's SEN will be spent and how best to spend it. She has the highest rate available but it seems apparently not enough to have an extra member of staff. I appreciate that they don't want to be following her about at all times, but I do think she will need a lot of attention especially during more chaotic times. Any experience here with how your nursery used any money they had?

Thanks in advance.

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