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DD2 has been told off again...any thoughts?

(30 Posts)
lougle Wed 16-Oct-13 21:06:06

I am reluctant to use the word 'perceived' because I just read wetaugust's take on the word and it makes sense. However, DD2 has already this half-term got things 'wrong' twice.

It took me an hour to get to the point where I understood what DD2 was telling me, including having to create a mock up on the computer hmm but:

DD2 had to design a Christmas card. It was to take all afternoon. She was told (I think) to use 'different colours'. However, she used 'the same colours'. It turns out that she actually used 7 'different colours' but she used one colour for each shape she drew, so the shapes were coloured in solidly.

When she showed her teacher, her teacher told her she had done it wrongly. She intended her to do a multi-coloured card. Although her card was multi-coloured, each shape was monochrome.

Confused? Yeah, me too.

After a bit more probing, DD2 can't remember if she was told off because:

a) she hadn't used sufficient variety of colour within each shape.
b) she hadn't taken enough care and it was a bit messy.
c) she didn't spend long enough on it because she finished quite quickly and she should have taken all afternoon.

She says she had to start again. She says that her teacher was angry with her.

When I asked how she felt she said 'My body on the inside thought I was sad, but my face showed a worried face.' She said she was 'very nearly on the pit stop again'.

I've already had to speak to the teacher 3 times so far this half-term:
1. PE Changing stress due to a timer - turned out she didn't have a timer and wasn't the last to get changed anyway.

2. Posh shoes or no performing on stage at assembly - turned out there was no stage, was no assembly and no posh shoes needed.

3. Reading confusion - parent told off.

Do I go and find out what's going on, or does she need to tough it out?

I think she's probably misinterpreted the task again.

Hmm, from previous examples I guess DD2 is quite good at misinterpreting or just plain imagining things. Not meaning to be critical, but do you think she's overplaying these events for dramatic effect. Does she enjoy the effect it has on you? I would be tempted to downplay it completely, distract and change the subject and trust the teacher. Teachers are 'cross' with children every day but most have forgotten it within minutes and rarely discuss in such detail when they get home. Your DD is obviously not 'most' DC grin and you know her best, so please ignore me if I've got it wrong. smile

lougle Wed 16-Oct-13 21:53:09

She didn't tell me until around 5pm. She'd just been more grumpy than usual. I asked her if she was OK and she just poured it out.

Handywoman Wed 16-Oct-13 21:55:21

How worried was your dd2 when the subject came up initially before the 60mins interpreting? If not too bad I would summarise from your point of view then let it be.

My dd2's interpretation is often on traintracks. Discussion is futile. But bizarrely she shrugs these sorts of things off at school most of the time (which I think is most un-spectrummy!). At your dd2's age my dd2 would often misinterpret tasks (e.g. she used to go to Brownies, the group of 12 or so girls decorated a tile for father's day. Everyone's tile was along those lines with 'Dad/Happy Father's Day' but my dd2 painted a tile with an exact replica of the Brownies logo). If the anxiety is not huge I would let it be but it sounds as though your dd2's anxieties are coming out separately. Tough judgement call.

lougle Wed 16-Oct-13 22:05:16

She seemed very worried. The interpreting came when I was trying to work out whether she had actually got in trouble/been told she'd be on the pit stop, or whether she just thought it could happen. To do that I had to work out what happened. The confusion came because she said that she had to use different colours but she used all the same colours but then listed 7 different colours she used.... grin

I don't know. She's just woken again. Still half-asleep, mumbling.

I just sense that she's being viewed as careless/naughty/lazy rather than confused. But I don't want to be that mother either. My general view (not sure it comes across here hmm) is that teachers know what they're doing and should be allowed to do it. It's just that she's been back at school 4 weeks and she's been on the pit stop 3 times and kept in from break time twice, plus other 'shouty' 'angry' incidents. DD2's getting very anxious about all sorts of things, including forms that don't actually have to be back for another week yet, etc.

Handywoman Wed 16-Oct-13 22:11:29

Do you have parents' eve soon?

It does sound like the teacher isn't recognising her misunderstanding and interpreting it as misbehaviour. She's very articulate, is she not? It might be easy to miss her difficulties in pragmatics and semantics if she comes across as articulate and bright. (Which she is, of course smile ) I think a chat with the teacher is in order. (Backed up with a 'confirming our conversation' email.)

lougle Wed 16-Oct-13 22:17:41

We have one next month.

I don't blame the teacher. I can't work her out, so how is she meant to?

Ineedmorepatience Wed 16-Oct-13 22:33:18

I have been having this with Dd3, I think I have finally managed to get through to the teacher that I am not having a dig at her but that when Dd3 hasnt understood she comes home very upset and then I have to sort it out.

The solution is simple, the teacher makes sure she is understanding or the school put someone in to support her. If she understands she isnt upset!! It has improved things already for Dd3. Shame it took her to refuse to go to school before they actually took on board what I was saying and start acting on it.

lougle Wed 16-Oct-13 22:38:17

It's so hard. Especially when she doesn't even officially have any established needs. It's SATS year, also, so the pressure will be on.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 16-Oct-13 22:43:54

I know, did you get a SALT assessment done?

If the SALT found that she does have issues with her language you should be able to use that to help the teacher to understand her issues a bit more.

It is horrible to think of them being sad at school sad

PolterGoose Wed 16-Oct-13 22:51:14

lougle poor dd sad I think you do need to be that mother because even if what dd is telling you isn't the 'truth' it is still a reflection of her anxiety and the feelings are real to her even if she is unable to articulate how she got those feelings. I really regret not being that mother years ago when ds first started struggling. I had too much faith in teachers, it was misguided.

I hope this comes across in the way it's intended, but pushing for a reason might be increasing the chances of her embellishing and creating 'her story' because actually she doesn't know why she feels like she does, but her desire to please you may make her feel she has to tell you 'why' even though she doesn't know.

School do need to put in some scaffolding for her.

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 22:59:04

Do you have a contact book? Write a note in there?

claw2 Wed 16-Oct-13 23:30:05

CAMHS actually said something today that made sense, kids, particularly with asd tend to focus on the minor details. Adults need to focus on the bigger picture.

I don't think the problem is with your dd's misinterpreting, I think its with her understanding of language, instructions, explanations etc. The question is why.

lougle Thu 17-Oct-13 07:05:58

Thank you, all good points.

Polter, I can completely see your point. It's hard because she will say a single sentence that doesn't make much sense. Yesterday it was 'Mrs x was angry because I used the same colours'.
You're right though; it possibly makes it worse by trying to understand.

She had a SALT assessment. It identified:

-doesn't respond to tone of voice

-doesn't respond to noon verbal cues for information

-only gives bear minimum of information

-Needs direct request to give more information

-Takes questions very literally

-Only initiated conversation half way through the assessment.

Conclusion: Mild pragmatic difficulties which don't have a significant effect on function. No need for SALT but ELSA/ narrative group may be appropriate in school.

Handywoman Thu 17-Oct-13 08:17:40

I have been in to school and gone through dd2's SALT report line by line in the past. If your dd2's CT is good she will be receptive. Teachers are really poor at identifying language problems. dd2's language was 'severely disordered and delayed' age 4 but nursery told me there was no problem. Since then I have given every teacher a 'heads up' in Sept despite not wanting to be 'that mother'. The only year I didn't do this (Y1) dd2 had a rubbish year and just coasted and didn't even respond to teacher's request for her to join for small group time crap teacher but that's another story

Ineedmorepatience Thu 17-Oct-13 08:24:02

I hate it when they say things dont have a significant effect. How do they know ,unless they live with them confused

I agree with polter about being "that" mother, I am definitely one of them but I have been forced to be like that.

Claw makes a good point about focussing on tiny detail. Dd3 does this, she picks up on a tiny part of an insruction or conversation and they can only think about that bit. Then she misses the rest and gets really stressed. At home she would meltdown but never at school so it all gets held in and blown massively out of proportion by 3.30 sad

Good luck smile

claw2 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:50:41

Lougle you don't need to speak to the teacher to find out what is going on. You know what is going on, SALT has highlighted her difficulties, you have highlighted how her difficulties do affect her functional ability.

There is no 'toughing' out difficulties that affect your ability to function effectively.

lougle Thu 17-Oct-13 09:18:49

NEWSFLASH -Sit down, or you might fall down...

I thought I'd just mention that DD2 has been sleepwalking to her teacher. I plucked up the courage to approach her and she nearly fell off the step (good icebreaker) so I took the plunge and told her that DD2 has been very anxious about school, sleepwalking, etc. That it took me an hour to decipher what had gone on, etc.

She said straight away 'well she doesn't listen to me at all.' (kindly). I said 'That's amazing. You've seen it. Thank you so much.'

The upshot was:

-DD2 is not working at the level 1a that her previous teacher assessed her as for literacy.

-DD2 is often not even listening to the instructions given. Her teacher can see her looking around the room and completely distracted (this is very much the same at home).

-DD2 was not only told what to do yesterday, but shown an example.

-DD2 wasn't careless with what she did. It was neat. It was just not what the teacher asked her to do. She wasn't angry.

-She was given a SALT report to read this morning (hmm how long does the system take? The assessment was in July).

-Teacher took on board my comments about tone of voice; that she isn't lazy but will appear to be indifferent; that she actually cares a great deal; that I teach her explicitly at home, so she can seem more able than she is; that eye contact has been learned by rote; that her obsessions can make her seem very smart (repeating patterns, etc.).

*Action Plan*:

-Her teacher is going to pay more attention to DD2, to see what's happening.

-She's going to talk to the TA also.

-She's going to make sure DD2 is in front of her when she gives instructions (apparently she has quite a few that must be in front of her, but seemed keen).

-She's going to talk to DD2 to reassure her.

-She's going to read the SALT report carefully to make sure she understands what it means for DD2.

How amazing is that? I could have hugged her. I told her that I'd been saying for two years that she wasn't fine.

Isn't it sad that I'm so happy that the teacher isn't happy with DD2 and has seen past the 'pretty blonde girl with a smile'? confused

claw2 Thu 17-Oct-13 09:29:19

Brilliant news Lougle smile

I know that feeling all too well, yesterday I was happy when the teacher told me that girl x HAD indeed been pinching ds. Not by the fact that ds had been pinched and hurt, by the fact that ds had been reporting this for weeks and it wasn't just his 'perception', he wasn't 'lying'. Happy they were now taking it seriously.

I immediately thought what a f**ked up system

Handywoman Thu 17-Oct-13 09:42:30

Oh Lougle what a relief!! And breathe..... and brew

PolterGoose Thu 17-Oct-13 10:45:53

That is fantastic lougle grin

That's great, Lougle, sounds like you will be able to have a good relationship with this teacher. Glad I was barking up the wrong tree, hope you didn't mind. smile

lougle Thu 17-Oct-13 16:20:08

I don't think you were barking up the wrong tree, Ellen. It was a perfectly plausible explanation and not one DD2 wouldn't be adverse to using in the right situation wink

I suppose the thing that makes me take it more seriously at the moment is the sleep walking - you can't fake that when you're 6 years old.

lougle Thu 17-Oct-13 22:39:14

DD2 came out of school today and said 'I had to sit at the front today so that I listen better because I fiddle with stuff.' I asked her how she felt about it. It was quite interesting:
She said at first she felt 'just ok' about it. But after it was good. She said it was good because she could lean against a table with drawers and she could put her feet out.

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