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Home Tutor

(79 Posts)
claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:54:13

Ds is having home tuition of 5 hours a week, which hasnt been going too well.

Ds has been refusing and hiding under a blanket. He is crying every morning before she arrives and saying that he doesnt want her to come etc, etc.

This morning i had to to go the shop, after the tutor arrived, so asked my 16 year old to come downstairs, while i went to the shop. I leave the door open to the room where ds and the tutor are.

I was only gone 5 minutes and was really surprised to see that ds was out from under the blanket when i got back.

My 16 year old told me, he was listening to what the tutor said to ds, apparently she told ds that unless he came out from under the blanket, the blanket would be banned and that she deals with kids like him every day and she was not standing for him hiding under a blanket.

Apparently she also said to ds that is 'not normal' to wear the same thing every day and that 'normal' children dont wear the same thing, get dressed and leave the house.

Do you feel this is harsh? Ds has a school phobia and this tutor is suppose to be acting as a link between home and school and getting ds back to school eventually.

Seems her strategy for refusal/avoidance is force. I was hoping she would try and motivate ds to want to work, i thought her purpose was to build trust and relationship to enable ds to return to education and that the work wasnt really important for now.

Or am i just being too Mary Poppins about this. Your thoughts please?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:10:30

claw DS1 is on his fourth tutor since November. The second one said things that I did not think appropriate and upset him so I phoned her supervisor - she was a m/s teacher not specialist and did not have a clue. She lasted 2 sessions. Then we had another m/s teacher who did not welcome my feedback and wrote nasty letters about me and wanted it recorded that I had a negative attitude etc. DH wrote a letter of complaint and so she was gone. The EOTAS coordinator from the lea and the lead tutor came to visit me to apologise. He now has a specialist tutor who works for the lea via an agency. She is truly wonderful. Even stood outside in freezing weather whilst DS1 talked for 15 minutes about his scooter.

It's important to get the right tutor. It won't do your case any harm to have a record of the difficulty in finding an appropriate tutor iykwim.

Well an ABA approach would be to 'make friends' first with the child to build trust and then start to slip demands in unnoticed, until you have full cooperation.

I'd have thought that kind of approach was even more important for a child with anxiety.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:46:26

That is exactly the approach tutor is using with DS1 - he's never had a teacher like her. It works too. The lea try to palm you off with whoever is available to meet their statutory obligations. It also shows that you are not intrinsically negative and that there is no pleasing you. When DS's needs are met then you are happy.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:02:58

I also overheard her telling ds today "stop whinging, do you always whinge to avoid doing things' and 'ive spoken to your teachers and they tell me you are capable of a lot more than you are doing' and 'i have to report back to the manager how you are doing and he wont be very pleased with you'

At one point, he was crying and i heard her say 'stop crying', then followed by the 'do you always whinge to avoid doing things'

Tell her you are going to record the session, in order to replicate it and continue his learning as you are keen that he should continue with his education outside of her sessions due to being so far behind.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:18:08

I was actually thinking of leaving my phone in there 'accidently' on record.

I know from experience when challenged, these things were never said or done.

I know she has been reporting back to the LA, from what the EP said. She appears to have exactly the same attitude as SW 'mum just isnt strict enough' just force him to do whatever you want and he will get used to it.

It's better to ask permission for recording. If she isn't willing, ask for reasons why, and then for someone who is.

I know I keep on harping on about ABA, but for an ABA tutor recording is just tough shit. It's how they learn and get better. It helps keep them on task and mindful. It's how they are supervised. It's how they avoid making the same mistake twice.

PipinJo Tue 12-Feb-13 13:26:30

You don't need permission in your own home to record and you can get nanny cams cheap from ebay. Great video evidence for tribunal of negative reinforcement and how not to teach a child!!

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:32:00

Tomorrow i think i will just tell her i am not happy with her approach. Her purpose was to build up trust and a relationship and she is not doing that.

Ds also tells me he cries and asks can i see my mum and she tells him no.

Well, just tell her that at the end of each session you are asking ds to give her a rating out of 1 to 10 for how much he wants her to come back again, so that you can assess how well the relationship and trust is building. Keep it on a tally chart on the wall where she is working.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:52:50

She started quite well, ds liked her to start with, he wasnt refusing to come downstairs or crying etc, etc. He was just refusing to do some of the work ie writing or reading. He would play games with her and talk to her. This lasted for about 2 sessions.

Seems her patience has run out. He dreads her coming, he refuses to come downstairs, i have to carry him down, he then puts a blanket over his head (throws i have in the front room), refuses to eat etc, etc.

Its going exactly the same way as school.

Ds says things such as he is going to throw all the work at her etc, etc, before she gets here (obviously i tell him he cant do that) but he is obviously feeling very angry etc

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 12-Feb-13 14:08:08

Maybe she just had a bad day. Don't you ever lose patience with him?

Don't start recording people, I am sorry but it makes you look deranged and that you're never satisfied with anything.

That is a last not a first resort.

Sit down and try and speak to her openly when she comes. Find out if she has experience of dealing with kids on the spectrum. Try and encourage and work together - set clear targets for him even if he is only going to work for a short while. Take it step by step.

DS found it hard to work at home at first and needed a very clear structure, to know exactly what they were going to do and for how long and to get regular breaks and lots of encouragement.

Tell her you would like to sit in so you can encourage him. If you can't get him to work, how the hell can she?

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 14:09:03

Definitely not being 'mary poppins' I would be livid if anyone used the words 'not normal' to my ds.

Also, the whole thing about having spoken to his teachers and the manager not being happy with him - surely that's exactly what you'd do to ensure that he never wants to go back to school - ever!

I would tell her you want to record the session - if you like you can tell her it's so you can identify strategies to use at home yourself with ds - and if she refuses, then tell her that you are unhappy with her approach and why.

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 14:10:43

Kind of agree with IE's second paragraph, in that it could just add fuel to their fire against you - hence the idea of asking to record the session to identify strategies you can use yourself.

She might have been having a bad day IE but she does need to keep some of those comments under control as they could be damaging to a very anxious boy.

The fact that claw's other ds was moved to 'report' her does count for something here I think.

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 12-Feb-13 14:21:50

Why not just sit in to see what is happening yourself first or are we suggesting Claw engage in yet another war with yet another service?

You did not hear the comments. The correct approach would be to put the comments to her. She will, of course, deny them, but jumping to recording her without speaking to her, whatever the pretext, is not a healthy approach.

I have had years of people dealing with my highly anxious son the wrong way. You need to hit it head on not covertly. You need to lead by example and show how to get the best out of him

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 14:38:53

This is ds's 9th session today IE the first 2 sessions went well.

Seems she has been having more than one bad day, although i cannot be sure of that, as i usually have the washing machine going etc, etc, so dont usually listen to what is being said.

Today, it was only were my older ds told me what he had heard, that i didnt bother pottering about in the kitchen and kept things quiet on purpose, so i could over hear.

After session 2 things went rapidly downhill.

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 12-Feb-13 14:41:55

Speak to her Claw - I implore you. You don't need the stress of another battle. If it went well to start, it can again.

My son is similar and can dig his heels in and people don't always know how to handle it. Make her a coffee and ask for a chat first.

Then, if it doesn't work, go to plan B!

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 14:59:58

IE she does not want me to sit in, apparently she 'doesnt work like that and finds she gets better results without parents being in the room'

I find her very dismissive, i have tried to talk to her about what works for me with ds, things such as following the OT recommendations of movement breaks, deep pressure etc. I gave her a copy of the OT report. BUT she knows best, her daughter is an OT and recommended that ds push the wall before attempting to read.

I could have told her that ds will not do that, ive tried before, he feels foolish just pushing a wall, but doesnt have a problem with you putting pressure on his shoulders etc.

She is the wife of a LA bod and tells me she has years of experience of working with children in the PRU children, 'disruptive' children.

My rep is already an over anxious mother and i have totally stepped back and let her find out for herself.

She is elderly and appears very set in her ways, she talks over the top of everything i say and even ds without knowing my views, has said she talks over the top of him. He says when he tells her he doesnt understand, she just dismisses him and says 'oh yes you do' or just keeps repeating the thing that he doesnt understand in a louder voice.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 15:16:06

IE ive tried explaining ds's difficulties to her, for example he refuses to get dressed when she comes, as he thinks she is going to take him to school. I am working on this and he is now wearing socks whenever she comes (this is the start of his 3rd week) and i will gradually build on this.

I havent pushed it as we are in the process of SA and ds is finding assessment very stressful and difficult, its affecting his sleeping badly, his eating, his soiling, he is scratching again etc, etc. Too many things, all at the same time.

I have explained this to her and that my plan is once SA is over and ds has got to know her a bit better, to then progress to ds putting a t-shirt on. Yet every day, she comments to ds when she arrives 'oh you are not dressed then' and then when she leaves 'i expected to see you dressed tomorrow morning'

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 15:21:59

I will ask her tomorrow if she can make time for a meeting with me. The whole thing is again being handled really badly. She literally just turned up, without having spoken to me or having read a report to teach ds.

I asked her if she wanted copies of reports about ds and she said no, she would 'just get to know ds'. Last week, i just gave her copies of the reports.

I will ask if we can meet to agree targets, she doesnt even want to give me her telephone number!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 15:54:39

First port of call is to speak to the tutor.

If this fails speak to her line manger (lead tutor) or the lea EOTAS co-ordinator. She sounds like tutor number 3 - 2 sessions getting to know the child and then pressing on with box ticking to show understanding regardless of whether or not there is any actual understanding. And then to have the cheek to claim that this was ABA.

They do fill in reports btw and include 'safeguarding' ie whether the child is appropriately dressed, had breakfast, clean etc.

I am not inviting someone into my home and giving them access to my child unless they know what they are doing. When I reported comments that I did not hear but DS1 reported that a tutor laughed at him and said he can't have tried very hard or got into trouble for low scores on assessments, followed by 'oh, your'e serious', the managers rolled their eyes and said they need to do some tutor observations.

I'll PM you a copy of the complaint made by DH as comparison if you like.

marjproops Tue 12-Feb-13 16:27:32

wearing the same clothes every day???? errrrm...

school uniform springs to mind. 5 days a week same clothes on the trot.

I home school DC and she wears a uniform as its then she knows its 'schooltime' (autism) and calls me Miss Proops (she knows Im still mum but likes to go the whole hog as shes been in classes with me when i worked in scholls).

Id like to get extra tuition for her as there are a couple of things Im not strong on (geography and science) but DC gets same, she has speech and language therapy and screams blue murder everytime. so I stay in room with her. i read a book or something but she just wants to know im around.

OP try not going out when tutors are there, even just go to another room and let your child know youre there?

lougle Tue 12-Feb-13 16:36:02

Honestly, I would say she has a point. She is there to tutor your DS. You wanted home tuition and got it, it's pointless to let him hide under a blanket. If the throws weren't there, he wouldn't be able to hide under them. Yes, that may change the avoidant behaviour to something else, but then it would be obvious that it was him that wasn't coping, and not you colluding with him.

I also think it's worthwhile making him get dressed. Even if it's a case of reassuring him that he won't be made to put socks and shoes on (ie. it's impossible to leave the house without them!) and he can put his shoes somewhere out of sight before she gets there.

My DD1's school is fantastic. They would tell her to stop crying. At some point he has to cope with not having you by his side all the time.

It's 5 hours per week. An hour per day. You have to make this work.

I agree with IE, that going into combat will just make you look loony. You don't get to switch tutors time and time again. You don't get to choose the service provided. Your choice is simple - engage or withdraw.

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