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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.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 16:38:22

Keep, when she arrives ds is in socks (and pj's), i could forcibly dress him every day, which would just result in him rejecting the tutor even more. His breakfast and drink is still on the table untouched when she arrives. I then have to go upstairs and pick him up and force him to come downstairs to see her.

Ds will get dressed to leave the house at other times (apart from the last CAMHS appointment, he was refusing to go, i again had to pick him up and put him in the car, still in his pj's)

I figured it was more important for him to be accepting of the home tutor, than it was him getting dressed.

I agree with her, ds cannot sit there under a blanket, ignoring her for an hour, i just dont agree with her methods for getting him to come out.

Rather than arriving and stamping her authority, you will come out or else and now do a literacy sheet or read a book. Why not bring something along to interest him, to motivate him to WANT to come out from under the blanket. Why not talk to him about his pets or his interests for a short time to get him to come out.

Maybe tomorrow, i will insist on staying in the room, until he comes out, show her how it is done.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 17:21:35

lougle if your tutor is the wrong tutor for whatever reason they are not able to establish a trusting relationship necessary to get anxious 'school-refusers' back to rubbish m/s - this is against the ethos of any temporary solutions agency such as EOTAS so they will listen to you when you complain because this is cheaper than not listening to you, just as not listening to you whilst your child is in school is the cheaper option.

At the same time I endure meltdowns frequently by forcing DS1 out of his onesie into clothes or making him change his clothes each day the tutor sees him - this can take around 45 mins if the session is first thing in the morning or can last all morning if the session is later. atm, upcoming tribunal an' all, it is a priority. It is maybe not important or counter-productive for DS but it is important that you tick the boxes for safeguarding.

lougle Tue 12-Feb-13 17:34:48

keep, I know, but claw needs friends, not enemies, and from where I'm standing, there aren't too many friends left. If you complain about every service you encounter, you start to be the problem.

I'm not being unsympathetic, but claw has fought and fought to get a home tutor in the first place. Now, after just 3 sessions she's heading for irretrievable breakdown in the relationship.

I mean, she has an hour to do her session. Did you really have to go to the shop in that hour? Could your 16 year old not have gone for you, or you go later? I'm not picking, I'm just saying that if it is that hard when the tutor is here, then it's probably best that you are there.

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 17:44:18

I think your point about getting him to engage through the use of his interests is key. When ds1's inclusion teacher was struggling, she found out that if she did ten minutes work, followed by 5 minutes on something on her iphone he was happy. She also deliberately chose subject matter to do with his obsession (Nintendo, it's history, games and characters) and regularly uses that to get him to engage. If he didn't want to read a book, she would choose one about gaming or Pokemon to motivate him. Literacy sheets would be 'open' so, say he has to construct a sentence including two connectives, she could suggest one of his interests or obsessions as the subject matter.

The Ed Psych that started working with him before his dx, quickly found she got more out of him if she used the Talking Tom cat app.

Any tutor worth their salt should be doing this as a matter of course, particularly with children who have high anxiety. It not only engages the child, but it actually builds a trusting relationship along the way.

Claw - does your ds have particular pj's that he's attached to? If not, could you maybe get around the dressing problem by getting a few pairs of joggers and tshirts/sweatshirts that he can sleep in, which will then just look like day clothes when she arrives?

At the same time though, there has to be some acceptance coming the other way that if he didn't have any issues, she wouldn't nee to be there in the first place. My ds hates to get dressed as well and it's taken until very recently (he's nearly 11) to get to the point where he will reluctantly get dressed if we have someone coming to the house. Even then he will still be wearing only one sock (don't ask) and often clothes that are very worn and a tad on the snugside, because he wants to wear his favourites, particularly if strangers are coming, as he needs the comfort.

Sadly, I think others are right about having to do everything you can to be seen to be ticking all the right boxes re safeguarding, but maybe, with a little creative thinking we can help figure out some strategies to help you do that?

How about belvita-type breakfast biscuits and a glass of milk in bed on tutor days, perhaps selling it to him as a special treat?

moosemama Tue 12-Feb-13 17:49:24

Completely missed one of my main points out. blush

Basically, that it does sound like she is an old-school tutor and very set in her ways, but unfortunately it also seems like you are going to have to ask for a meeting with her, in order to be seen to co-operate. If you do that and offer her all your ideas for getting him to engage then perhaps you could confirm the conversation in writing. Then you have something on record.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 17:51:49

Lougle cross posted with you, as i said yes i agree with her ds cannot hide under a blanket, ignoring her for an hour. Its just her methods to get him to come out, that i am not happy with, come out or else, isnt a way to gain a kids trust and build a relationship.

He has had 9 sessions with her now, first 2 went much better, as these were more relaxed. As i said he wasnt refusing to come down or crying etc, etc. He was refusing to read or write however. Because these are the things he finds difficult, he has an eye disorder, hypermobility, cannot hold a pencil properly etc, etc. All she is doing is carrying on exactly as school did, as if he doesnt have any difficulties.

For example the text needs to be made larger for ds. He needs movement breaks is another, example. He has difficulty understanding verbal instructions. She is trying to teach ds like she would any other kid.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 17:52:51

lougle - I think claws' DS needs his needs met and that does not mean claw bending over backwards in an attempt to be friends with someone who is not a friend and never will be and is actually making things worse. I have encountered tutors who are retired-young teachers who have a very stuff and nonsense attitude to all SEN. Get rid. If you put up with it she it will be bad for DS and bad for you because you will be forced to object, to look as if you can never be satisfied etc.

DS1 can feel abandoned being left alone with the tutor but it is important that I leave them alone, no hovering, no leaving doors open etc but demonstrating trust. They will say that they were unable to build a trusting relationship because on the one hand you are an over-anxious control-freak spy and on the other you leave the house during a session and don't feed or dress him (not what I think - just how it can be constructed).

You have to ride two horses iykwim

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 18:15:45

Keep, i leave the door open on tutors request. As i said i usually just get on with my housework ie washing machine going, dishwasher etc and i cannot hear what is being said and leave them to get on with it. Today was no different, i popped to the shop for 5 minutes and asked older ds to come down and sit in the kitchen, while i went to the corner shop.

It was only after i returned and my older ds told me what he had over heard, that i didnt put on the washing machine, so i could over hear what was being said.

Prior to today, i assumed that ds was refusing to come downstairs etc, etc when tutor was here, due to the 'school' connection.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:00:54

I agree totally i need to try and work with the tutor, if she would let me have some input, things would run much more smoothly, especially now i am aware of her 'strategies'. But she doesnt want my input. I have asked her previously did she want to come round and have a chat before she started working with ds and the answer was 'no, i would prefer to get to know him'. I asked does she want copies of reports, same answer.

As i said i think ds would get dressed with minimal fuss, if she should would incorporate a movement break of him going outside for 5 minutes.

I think he would not be refusing to come downstairs and might even look forward to her coming, if she would incorporate something of interest to him into the start of the lesson.

I think he would not be refusing if she actually listened to him when he tells her he hasnt understood what she has just said, instead of dismissing him.

Today i sat here and listened to ds tell her he didnt understand (something which has taken me years to get him to do), she told him 'oh yes you do' he then started crying and she then told him 'stop crying, do you always whinge to avoid doing things'

Why is it so difficult to explain it to him again? why is it so difficult to rephrase what you said, using simpler words, so he can understand?

MareeyaDolores Tue 12-Feb-13 19:09:45

But claw, she is a mainstream teacher. This is the exact same 'connection with school' problem: he simply can't cope with how mainstream staff teach, and how they manage behaviour, and they simply can't see that he's disabled rather than difficult, or badly brought up.

This type of approach is usual for what a mainstream person would do, as it works reasonably well for many dc. So you will look nuts if you challenge it. Love the idea of recording to 'build on it'. With my tribunal head on, you could use an excellent specialist ASD, ABA or SN tutor so you can demonstrate evaluate the effect of the different methods.

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 12-Feb-13 19:10:08

Claw - if you heard that today, why didn't you speak to her?

I know it is horrible having to raise things all the time, but, I don't see what else you can do.

But you need to be constructive. Try and raise things directly and then, if that doesn't work, you need to say to her that you are not happy with her methods and take it higher.

My son can present as difficulty because of anxiety and it can be hard for others to understand until they know him.

Offer her suggestions on how best to deal with him, say you are happy to assist, yes, you don't want to hover but sometimes it is hard to introduce school to home and having a joint transition to a lesson with you settling him before going off to make a coffee or something.

Tell her to start with a bit of time on his special interests.

If none of this works, then take it further.

If you don't agree with any of that, just complain but don't record her. What's the point? It's underhand and unproductive. You either trust or you don't.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:30:53

IE she goes to another child straight after and rushes out the door once her time is up. To be honest, i sat here and still am sat here trying to work out the best way, the most diplomatic way of saying it.

I have provided her with a copies of his SALT report, his EP report etc which state exactly that he has difficulties understanding verbal instructions etc, etc. That was my diplomatic way on Friday (after she initially refused, 3 weeks ago, on Friday i just gave them to her, without asking). Today she gave me the reports back saying she has read them and then goes on to say that to ds.

She told me her daughter was an OT on Friday and that her daughter had given her recommendations of things to try with ds. I was kinda oh ok thats great and at the end of the session gave her a copy of ds's OT report. I assumed if she was willing to try her daughters ideas, then she might want to try some of the ideas the OT who has actually assessed ds had given.

Ds refused to do her daughters recommendations on Friday of pushing the wall and i get the feeling she has just lost patience with him. She tried pushing the wall, didnt work, give up and he just has to do as he is told kinda thing

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:37:42

You have to model trust but you need to be able to trust the tutor yourself to be able to model trust.

You will not look nuts if you challenge whether this m/s old-school tutor is appropriate. On the other hand you might looks nuts to prefer this over real m/s. These tutors are easy to find whereas good tutors tend not to be available within the statutory limit. I have been told that if current tutor was available at the time then DS1 would have had this tutor from the start. This is the place to let it be demonstrated that DS needs specialist tuition. For it to be that you need a tutor able to see his needs.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 19:41:49

Mareey, i dont think she has ever been a teacher, she is the wife of the manager of the PRU unit, the unit/manager who provides home tuition, so she is married to the guy who accpets the referals to the PRU. She told me she used to work in the PRU unit with 'disruptive' pupils and has years of experience.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:04:02

Keep, that is exactly it, she is not 'appropriate' for ds, she needs to deliver in an ASD way and she isnt. She is trying to teach ds in exactly the same way you would a 'normal' child, without taking any of his difficulties into account.

I am very aware of my rep for being negative, never happy, over anxious about ds's needs etc and the fact the LA are trying to blame me being 'negative' for ds's behaviour.

Tutor is literally picking up school work for ds, from school.

Im just undecided about what to do for the best.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:28:18

EP did recommend that home tutor should be 'specialist with experience of and additional training in ASD'

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:47:51

Complain to line manager. Why is this tutor not appropriate? What are her experience/qualifications etc?

cansu Tue 12-Feb-13 20:58:53

Ok I had typed a massive post which I have just lost. Fwiw I have a lot of sympathy for you but I think you do need to pick your battles. Some things are not important eg ds wearing pjs in house. But ds refusing to come out from under blanket and complete work with tutor is something you should be seen to support tutor on. If you don't want her to be firm with him then I think you need to do that job and direct your ds to put blanket down and do work. If he won't then maybe home tuition is not the answer. However I know you fought hard for it and if ou are seen to be unsupportive then this may bring the same hassle and interference from social care that you had before.

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:05:08

I dont know for sure that she isnt, i think i need to enquire about that first before i jump to conclusions. All she said to me was that she previously worked in the PRU unit and has experience of ASD.

I did ask what experience of ASD and she said 'disruptive' children. I then had to cut the phone call short, as i was just on my way out of the door, i had an appointment.

Ds isnt 'disruptive', in fact the total opposite, he is usually passive to the extreme. So its 'out of character' for him to be refusing to do anything.

I have spent years teaching him that if he doesnt understand, all he has to do is speak up and say he doesnt understand. Then seems all it is met with is 'oh dont be silly of course you do' comments hmm

claw2 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:16:11

Cansu, as i have said, i totally agree ds cannot stay under a blanket.

However i think the tutor needs to be asking herself WHY is he hiding under a blanket. WHY is he refusing to do the work.

As i said previously, she is not taking into account his difficulties at all, she is expecting ds to just be able to do the work, like any other child without difficulties.

This is exactly the reason ds cannot attend/cope in school.

lougle Wed 13-Feb-13 06:13:13

But passivity and overt disruption can have the same cause and the same net effect. It is erroneous to see one as more 'disruptive' than the other. The difference is how much it effects other people.

I honestly think that you are singing from different hymn sheets. You see it as her job to gently lead your DS to the understanding that learning is not that bad and therefore school might be ok. For her the job is to help your DS work through the work given.

Hiding under a blanket, refusing to prepare for the one hour of learning...it's all disruptive, even if it's passively done.Allowing it sends the message to the tutor and your DS that this time isn't important. Leaving the breakfast things out just points out that there is an issue.

Pick your battles, sure. But there is so much you could do to meet this tutor half way. At least get him to slip on a tracksuit bottom and a t shirt. give him a time limit then clear the breakfast things, no fuss, no comment. Remove the blankets the night before so they aren't there to hide under. Support your DS but make it clear that this tutor comes to help him and it's rude to refuse. If, after all that he refuses, at least the tutor sees that you are trying. At the moment, from your posts, it sounds like you are colluding with your DS, albeit unconsciously.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 13-Feb-13 07:24:04

I agree with Lougle.

I am not criticising you at all. I really do understand how difficult it is to have an anxious child who digs his heels in because of that anxiety.Lougle is right, this behaviour may not be naughty or non-compliant in the sense of defiance but it is certainly disruptive.

But you have to work with her because this is difficult to deal with for anyone.

What helped in my son's school was for them to see that, when things were fine he was able to do the things they asked so we can really trust him that when things are bad for him, he can stay outside the class. He is taken on trust with this.

I think it helps to have a plan and a timetable in the morning to help with this and to set the clear expectation that you expect him to be out of the blanket and working and that you will stay to help with this for as long as needed not matter what the right thing is to do with 1;1 teaching etc. When my son started a new school, I took my work to school and worked in the staffroom and he could come to see me whenever he liked until he felt less anxious,

Take the pressure off with these things and agree a plan with her to reduce the anxiety. Show her what to do and that he will work for you at home . I assume he will?

This is only one hour and not a day at school. Emphasise that.

She is clearly floundering. Explain to her the type of language she should use and how you can both talk to him and encourage him.

If she doesn't respond positively to your offer of support and assistance, then ask for someone with more expertise but you will be in a better position to do that if you have done everything you can to make this work.

I know those dealing with our kids should know better but they don't. If they don't want to learn, then that is the problems.

Cornycabernet Wed 13-Feb-13 08:57:46

I also agree with Lougle. The tutor has a different idea of what her role is. I also agree with IE that she sounds like she is really struggling. She is probably embarrassed and being defensive. Not excusing it but I've seen that default mode many times with M/S teachers.

We had the same situation with ds when he was home tutored. It was a nightmare. He wouldn't come out of his room at all to begin with. We went through the entire time without him engaging with the tutor in the way that she expected to see.
I used to have things ready to hand to her as she came in that I knew would grab his interest. Or I would be doing something with ds so that she could see that he could engage if the task was appropriate e.g. a crafty thing or something on the computer.

The relationship between you and the tutor will be just as important as the relationship between the tutor and ds. It was really difficult at first for us with many sleepless nights worrying about it all and right till the end she kept telling me that I'd be fined if he didn't go to school etc.

But she actually became a useful 'ally' and spoke up for ds and his need for specialist support at multi agency meetings. Once she got to know ds (and me) she could see that MS support just wasn't suitable for him and she gave me some really good advice.

Actually, that's a good point Corny made. If you can help her 'save face' when she arrives, by helping her, you might get her onside that way.

Also, once you have 'helped her' once, you might have enough trust to agree to finish early the next day in order to have a 10 minute chat about how you will both plan the start of the session the next day in order to achieve the maximum.

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:49:35

Lougle and IE, i appreciate your opinions, i did ask am i being a bit Mary Poppins in my OT and i appreciate that you are being honest with me.

She requested that i leave the breakfast things there, in case ds wanted to eat/drink as he worked.

The tutor hasnt mentioned to me the blankets being a problem, i have asked does she want me to stay in the room to get ds to come out or remove the blankets and she has said no, 'its ok, he must feel nice and safe under there'. Which is why i was so surprised by her comments to ds.

Its a bit harder Lougle than just slipping on a pair of tracksuit bottoms, he refuses point blank, rolls in a ball rigid and to get clothes on him, i would literally have to force him, prise his legs and arms out. He loses x-box for not wearing his t-shirt, each day.

I have tried visual timetable for ds, social stories about the tutor, i carry him downstairs and into the room as he refuses to come down. I dont see what else i can do.

This morning i have removed the blankets, ds has just rolled up into a ball instead. I asked would she like me to stay and help and the answer is no.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:08:57

DS is having home tuition but it is not necessary to build a good relationship with this particular tutor. I had invested in building the relationship with DS1's first tutor but she was pulled due to reorganisation with no warning despite the impact on DS1. They would change tutors at the drop of a hat if it suited their needs.

I don't agree that the tutor is there just to teach the material. They have a vital role in reintegrating DC into school, via the PRU. From the leas pov a 'good' tutor enables the DC to return to m/s rather than one that teaches the material but is unable to move away from 1:1 home tuition.

It is not possible to build a good relationship - and you do have to try - with someone that thinks that you are the problem. It feels like having an enemy in your midst. There are negative consequences to being out of school. The first remit of temporary tuition must be to do no further harm.

Not only have the tutors that DS1 has had used different teaching techniques but they have also taught at the level of KS1 and KS3. One week I was the problem (negative) the next week I was wonderfully supportive and positive. I had not changed, the tutor had. One week DS1 apparently understood everything but the next week a different tutor could see that for example he could name the vowels in isolation but if you asked him whether a letter of the alphabet was a vowel or a consenant he got the answer wrong.

The issue of whether or not DS1 actually understood was key - with a very passive and compliant DC the tutor needs to be able to see that the child does not understand and help them to do so rather than insist that they do. You have to remember that where the is disagreement between the lea and parent of the suitability of m/s the tutors opinion as to whether DS can understand m/s teaching will be crucial. Don't let them build a paper trail to 'prove' that DS can understand if he can't.

What kind of a life-lesson is this? Do you really want to encourage him to trust someone who does not have his best interests at heart?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 10:15:03

claw - with some tutors you have to be wary about them asking you to leave breakfast things out or leave the door open because their written record will not state that you are behaving as they asked but that this behaviour is evidence of safe-guarding issues. I had one tutor who would try to involve me constantly and then report that I was inappropriately involving myself.

Specialistteacher Wed 13-Feb-13 10:37:59

Hello, I was very upset to read the many negative experiences many of you have had with tutors. I am specialist tutor of children with learning difficulties and SEN . Some of the children have been with me for 5 years plus.They come to me once a week .We have FUN whillt every step each child makes is making a positive step for enriching our future generation.I feel very lucky to see a three year old from Nursery to key stage 2.Not only do I support the children , the parents can talk to me anytime.

So how would you advise the OP to proceed, to get the most out of the situation?

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:49:31

Its quite clear that the tutor is here as a 'referee', im saying ds has difficulties, school are saying he has no difficulties. I welcome this as ds clearly does have difficulties.

Its well documented that ds refusing to eat is a sign of anxiety, so tutor can write that he hasnt had any breakfast, it just proves my point again.

On tutors first visit, i shut the door and she asked me to leave it open. apparently she has to work with the door open.

It is also very clear to me that i am being blamed by school for reinforcing his behaviour. I am literally forcing ds to come downstairs, i cannot force him to engage with the tutor, I could help, but my offers of helping have been turned down.

I have purposely backed off for the last 3 weeks, as i am aware that i am being labelled as over anxious and interfering. I have left her to get on with it, as this is what she wanted.

I have tried visuals and social stories, knowing these wont work, but that i have to be seen to be following advice of CAMHS.

She has tried for 3 weeks to get ds to engage and all that is happened is she has increased his anxiety and the situation has got progressively worse and the tutor is clearly losing patience with ds.

I had a quick word with her today, as she was rushing off.

I suggested that ds be allowed to do a 'show and tell' at the start of the lesson.

I suggested a movement break, which would take place outside, which i will do, i will run up and down with, skipping etc, so ds has to get dressed, so there is a 'purpose' for him getting dressed. As clearly getting dressed for a tutors visits is a double negative for him. This will also mean he gets to see me for 5 minutes, as he clearly has seperation anxiety.

I will also do a reward chart for him and stick it up in the room ie maths = a token for 30 minutes of x-box which she can give him, if he engages.

Had i tried to do these things BEFORE, i would have been accused of doing things to meet needs, that are not there, thereby 'being anxious about ds's needs'.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 12:43:32

Like you say DS does not engage with this tutor - end of.

DS1 has engaged with his specialist tutors, especially the latest one. Its kind of hard for him not to as she treats him like he is the best thing since sliced bread and is absolutely fascinated by him and his interests.

I had problems with him this morning and he was hiding under the duvet upstairs when she arrived. Stress increases tactile sensitivity. She understands this and sees past it. She said she wondered how things would be this morning as it was the first time they were broaching maths. A m/s tutor would judge me for his not having eaten his breakfast, got dressed etc ready for his session. m/s tutors are judging parenting skills. Specialist tutors are there to meet the needs of the child.

You can't make a m/s teacher interpret the same events in the same way as a specialist teacher. Its not just being in m/s school that is the problem for some DC but mainstream teaching. atm he is not in m/s school but is being taught as if he were.

lougle Wed 13-Feb-13 13:01:17

"You can't make a m/s teacher interpret the same events in the same way as a specialist teacher. Its not just being in m/s school that is the problem for some DC but mainstream teaching. atm he is not in m/s school but is being taught as if he were."

But keepon, you are talking from the perspective of a situation where it has been established that a child needs specialist teaching.

For Claw's DS, that is not fact, it is a matter of debate. Claw says 'MS not suitable' but the school says 'perfectly fine'. Those positions are completely incompatible. Specialist tutors are different because at the point that they are engaged to work with a child, it has been acknowledged that the child needs their input and it is better to have some input than none. This situation is a long way off of that, I think.

If Claw can show a committment to making the best of the situation and work with the tutor and it still fails, she's in a much stronger position to argue 'needs specialist teaching'. If Claw is seen to be obstructive, or in any case not supportive, then the message will be 'mum is the issue here'.

Going into combat isn't always the way to get what you want.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:16:00

lougle - interesting that you should say that. I am in a similar position to Claw - DS1 was in m/s primary up until last summer. 2 refusals for SA largely based on school reports that everything is fine. I am going to tribunal in a couple of months - LA have named m/s secondary in statement and definately do not agree that DS1 needs ss. The debate/disagreement is to be decided by tribunal.

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:18:54

Keep, ds IS capable of being in MS, he just needs specialist provision. SS is not the place for him and neither is MS without specialist provision.

The 'difficulty' if you like, is that potentially he is very able, functionally he performs no where near able.

Anxiety in ds does raise his tactile sensitivity greatly, this has already been indentified and written in reports by OT and CAMHS. This tutor is very much judging me, which is why i have let her try it 'her' way ie forcing, so she can see the results for herself.

'Forcing' just doesnt work, it has the opposite effect and she has seen this now. She obviously thought after listening to school, that she was just going to come in, tell ds to sit up straight and get on with his work and be dressed when she comes and he would. This approach hasnt worked for her.

She has now agreed to include my ideas, motivation, rewards, movement breaks, rather than force. I dont think you need to be 'specialist' to do this, just willing to try and understand.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:31:49

Maintained ss is not right for DS1 either - that's why I am naming specialist indi school that caters for SpLD, HF ASD, APD, SPD etc so its giving specialist provision to DC who do not have MLD/SLD but can't cope in m/s.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:51:40

Do you think that DS will engage with her if she includes your ideas? Tutor No 3 included my feedback/suggestions (whilst reporting that this behaviour was inappropriate) but she did it in a going-through-the-motions, 'I have been on a half-day course' kind of way and tbh it made things worse.

Because there was disagreement between me and her as to whether DS1 had understood something or not (DS1 told me he didn't understand but told her that he did regardless of whether he did or not - as he puts it/sings it 'I'm just a boy who can't say no...') at the end of the session she would make DS1 give it a mark out of 10 and complete a pie chart. This ticked the boxes but wasn't actually true. DS1 thought that he understood things at the time whilst the tutor was talking but later found that he had misunderstood most of it or that he was not able to demonstrate understanding. But exellent evidence that he can understand m/s teaching.

Are the teachers of your preferred school specialist in terms of qualifications/experience with HFA? If he needs that at the school you should make sure that he gets it now. If not, make this work - ime the problem is not the individuals so much as their being m/s.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 13-Feb-13 16:27:30

I think you've handled it the right way Claw.
Its up to her now to decide to take the help offered and make her life easier or carry on with her way which is not working.
I agree if you can get her on side that will help enormously.
I would suggest a 5 min discussion each day even if that cuts ds time short at least until she has got to know him and how to manage him.
The important thing is that he is successful, and its better to be successful for 20 mins out of the hour than unsuccessful for 60.

Cornycabernet Wed 13-Feb-13 16:44:30

It's not necessarily a bad thing that she has seen for herself how difficult ds finds it to engage. She'll have tried all her usual strategies that will usually work with children who just need a 'firm hand' <eye roll> and they have clearly failed.
As stressful as it is for you and ds, it's evidence that his needs can't be met with MS teaching techniques and that school are talking bollocks.

It does sound like she is beginning to understand the extent of ds's difficulties at least.
It's a nightmare I know. You will get through it though.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 13-Feb-13 17:07:42

Well done Claw. I think you handled that really well.

Your DS and my DS sound very similar and I completely agree that forcing things just doesn't work - you need proper clear strategies.

When I have seen teachers/TAs wanting to 'put their foot down' I always think, good luck with that - you'll learn.

Now you have tried to help and if you can show that your strategies help, you will be in a much better position as you will be the mum who knows what to do.

This can also be a good way to get DS onside. I try and get him to see that if people trust me, they will deal with things properly and he can help them trust me by us showing how our way of doing things works

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 19:33:03

Keep, whether it works or not, ive tried, if it doesnt work, then i try to think of something else. The tutor doesnt really have to apply my ideas, i do.

1. Movement break, i will be the one out in the street with him, doing the movement break (obviously she is more than welcome to join in).

2. 'show and tell' will be oraganised by me/ds, all the tutor has to do is sit there, watch and listen to ds for 5 minutes at the start of the lesson.

3. Rewards chart, i have just knocked up a chart, with maths, literacy, reading, handwriting, getting dressed on it and rewards of things such as 15 mins extra x-box, staying up 10 minutes later, sweets and the movement break with mum etc. With a special reward of McDonalds for trying hard all week.

We can do the rewards in two ways, if tutor wants to get involved, she can give tokens, stickers, i will even supply her with some sweets to give to ds at the time. If she doesnt, fine, i will do it myself, all she has to tell me at the end of the lesson is whether ds tried to do math, literacy etc.

I can only do what i can, I cant change the way she teaches, only she can.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 13-Feb-13 20:07:36

Well precisely. If it doesn't work, at least you've tried.

It is only an hour. By the time you've done all that, she won't have much time to muck it up.

Tell her what you do works if she follows it.

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:24:05

Thanks Agnes, IE and Corny, well ds has already thought about what he wants to show the tutor at 'show and tell', which is progress by itself. At this point he is usually insisting that she isnt coming back and he never wants to see her again.

He is also very pleased at the rewards and hasnt commented at all about not doing the work to get them. Ds agreeing to something is half the battle won already.

Hopefully a mixture of things he likes with high motivators and things he finds difficulties, will work much better. Fingers crossed.

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:28:41

Sorry my spelling is terrible, i need to put my glasses on, if i could find them grin

MareeyaDolores Wed 13-Feb-13 20:47:53

can you get him some PJs that don't look ike PJs? wink

Cornycabernet Wed 13-Feb-13 20:58:06

good idea mareeya - what about a onesie?

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 21:16:02

Most of his pj's dont actually look like pj's, they could easily pass for day clothes, i think?

like this kind of thing

Ds wont wear a onesie, he has soiling problems and i think he likes his pj bottoms as they are easy to change without having to ask for help, he also does a bad job of cleaning himself up (because he wont ask for help) and often has to change his pj bottoms 4/5 times a day.

Ds will get dressed, if we are going out, but he gets changed the moment we walk back through the door. Even if we are going back out again a few hours later, he would rather get dressed, undressed and dressed again, than sit in his clothes. So for ds there has to be a purpose for him tolerating being dressed iyswim

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 21:27:30

Most of ds's t-shirts, tops etc, have logos on them, like Moshi Monsters, Pokemon, Skylanders, that kind of thing. I found him to be more accepting of new clothes, if they have something of interest to him on them.

Tutor probably wont even notice the difference when he does get dressed!

MareeyaDolores Wed 13-Feb-13 21:29:17

It he'll wear those, he won't notice the difference, but narky tutor probably will. So buy some simple, pj-like trackies and T shirts (maybe Primark? or ebay if he likes them soft and many-times washed) and replace the current ones.

MareeyaDolores Wed 13-Feb-13 21:30:49

or these?

claw2 Wed 13-Feb-13 21:58:45

Mareey, thanks for that link, i have bookmarked it.

I will give the getting dressed for a purpose a go first, see how that goes. If that doesnt work, then plan b.

Ani123 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:20:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

cansu Wed 20-Feb-13 10:29:09

I would stop calling them pjs and instead call them comfy clothes. My ds always wears pjs at home and will always get changed the minute he comes in into his pjs. He gets dressed to go out and that's it. I really don't see an issue with this. I think him getting changed into a different pairs of pjs which you call comfy clothes should be enough. I would highlight that he has changed into his clean comfy clothes and give him the sticker in front of the tutor.

montage Thu 21-Feb-13 20:52:35

I think it would be much easier for you and your DS if the psychologist at CAHMS actually gave written guidelines for anxiety management - how to approach your DS with demands, what to do when he avoids them/can't face them etc.

Not so much for you but so that any home tutor etc has a clear set of guidelines for how to approach your DS and manage behaviour. And more to the point for this particular tutor, they have a clear message about what NOT to do.

This means you don't have to keep adressing things and explaining - unfortunately you can say something and be ignored but the exact same thing in writing from a professional gets adhered to.

The psychologist should be well willing to do that - they know how important a consistent approach is.

emmetbrown Fri 22-Feb-13 10:16:48

Sorry I have only read first & last page. But I really feel for you OP. Surely we should strive to help our autistic children feel safe & secure. I know everyone has to be challenged to learn more, but I think that only works in a safe environment. It doesn't sound like that tutor is capable of making anyone feel safe & secure. In fact, I think she sounds like a right nasty piece of work. Good luck OP.

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