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Consequences for DC with PDA, and handling a current crisis

(102 Posts)
HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:21:34

So, things are pretty much out of control at the moment. I can understand the need for consequences and so on, just not convinced it's going to work whilst DS1 is in a crisis. Also, attempts at implementing consequences are escalating things, which is to be expected.

Just wondered what others think. I want to concentrate on understanding what is causing this crisis, sometimes I think it's just some kind of development phase, others a testing of the waters, but he really is not in control at all and nobody is very sure what to do.

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 19:24:03

Can you opt for 'natural consequences'. So, he makes a mess, you just don't have time to do x for him because you are too busy clearing up, etc?

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:34:02

That would work for a need that was immediate but things are dragging on for hours or are being carried over to the next occasion, just not sure of the point but understand something needs to be done. And I really don't think it will work, you could put him in prison and he would still stick to his guns because he can't help his actions and reactions atm, he's just not thinking straight. It's all got a bit siege mentality.

ponyandpotatopie Fri 08-Mar-13 19:38:15

My ds doesn't have a dx of PDA but we have been told he meets the criteria for diagnosis.
I use role play with puppets a lot to explain consequences and how his actions can affect himself and others- how other people feel etc.

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 19:43:55

Have you identified triggers?

Not the same thing at all, I'm sure, but DD3 is 3.11. She is going through a phase (please let it be a phase) of refusing to do something just because it is my idea.

So, at a Mothers' Day church service, trying to keep her entertained and distracted from wanting to go and sit next to DD2 <whimper> I drew a 'number matching game' for her.

She adores number matching (drawing lines from the number on the left side to the matching number on the right side). However, because I had suggested it, she resolutely refused to do it, pushing it away.

I chose to ignore it. I resolutely looked up at the children and ignored her hitting my feet and pushing my legs. After a few minutes, she looked at me out of the corner of her eye, and did the number matching.

I then stuffed up royally, by drawing her a little star to congratulate her. She told me in no uncertain terms that she didn't want a stupid star <sigh>

So in our 'phase' we are discovering that the way to deal with her is to just present the 'thing' and say nothing. If she does it, she does it, if comment.

Sorry, I've warbled on and DD3 doesn't even have a complex SN like PDA....I was just musing about how to get the job done without triggering demands. blush

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:46:13

Yes, that is a good option, DS1 would absolutely refuse to engage or listen, he would know there is a lesson in there and an implicit, albeit indirect demand to take it on board and would resist.

I can talk to him when all is calm, just not sure applying consequences, other than immediate and relevant ones is going to work. I don't know, we and school could carry on but I think we should regroup and take an entirely different approach for now whilst we work through this crisis.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:49:33

We have no idea what has triggered this latest phase, I think development changes, it is very bad, he is being severely violent and aggressive, but then everyone is escalating things too.

He clearly can't cope, we need to back off, make some changes, drop some demands for now.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:51:12

Agree with ignoring and not drawing attention to things, even achievements. The spitting is back (had gone for a year or more) and I can ignore that but we can't ignore the hitting and throwing.

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 19:52:55

So what is stopping you?

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 19:54:03

Ahh hitting and throwing.

Yes, DD1 had us there, too.

Walter4 Fri 08-Mar-13 19:55:21

Hothead, with my son , if things get to that uncontrollable stage nothing relating to dealing with the immediate behaviour will work. We look at the background cause of his stress and try to remove/deal with that. With his behaviour we try to nurture him, do things that make him calm and relaxed, let him direct it all as much as possible till that complete inability to cope with absolutely everything gradually subsides. Not sure if I'm making any sense?! I just really feel with PDA sometimes when its so bad you have to just try to do LESS, almost like trying to calm the waters while looking for the cause in the background and trying to remove or lessen that for him. Maybe not the way for you but it helps at times like that for our son. We get no where trying to look at the behaviour and DEAL with it, at least not at the " uncontrollable " times you are in at the moment. Trust how you feel you should deal with your son, you're most likely to be right!

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:55:41

Can't control everyone! The more consequences being applied the worse it's getting, but then it is pretty bad anyway. Psych appt on cards, considering making it an emergency, ditto for a social care assessment, things are really very bad indeed, exclusion is on the cards and we cannot cope without the break school gives. All a bit of a vicious circle really.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 19:58:13

That's the thing Walter, I don't know what's causing it, he has suddenly become very aggressive with other adults and children, he has never done this before. He's nearly seven btw.

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 20:00:55

Hothead I think we've discussed this before (at least I have, it's a bit of a pet project blush)

Consequences do not work for my ds either, nor do punishments or rewards (except huge ones which are unsustainable and only have a limited short term effect). I do not punish or issue consequences for behaviours which I think are out of his control. I do everything I can to reduce his anxiety and sensory problems, distraction, and also giving him as much control over what he does as is possible. So he sets his routines (with discussion), however, if he wants to insist on a routine and then spontaneously wants to change it, we say no but agree to re-negotiate.

My biggest tasks right now are for him to learn ways to manage his own sensory difficulties (with ace OT input thankfully) and to develop negotiation skills. I have always believed that you should never say 'no' when you can say 'yes' even if it is 'yes, but not now' followed by discussion. I don't always get it right, mind!

I think there is huge pressure to use consequences, but in my view, and I've said it before, it can and does raise anxiety, so if anxiety is the cause of the behaviour that resulted in the consequence, it just becomes a horrid cycle.

I know you recommend the Huebner books often, we've just done the worries one and it is really working.

ponyandpotatopie Fri 08-Mar-13 20:03:03

My ds's school control his environment very carefully. Could it be linked to his environment justbhaving much sensory input so he becomes disregulated?

Walter4 Fri 08-Mar-13 20:03:34

The hitting and throwing, we try to turn away, not react too much ( I know its difficult and is horrible) I tend to move away as I know he's about to do it, or distract him. Sometimes it goes mad for a while here too , but still we don't duel with the actual hitting , but look for why its got to that stage. It's awful I hate the hitting and throwing , but find reacting makes that incident worse and brings loads more after it!!
Think I'm starting to become a bit numb:/

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 20:09:05

When ds attacks me I either walk away or restrain him. I have scratches now. It makes it easier that he is an only child. He has got better and will some times say he needs to break something and will tear paper for a release. Summer is easier as physical activity makes a big difference.

It sounds like you want to just stop the consequences, just do it. See if it helps. Make yourself only engage with ds in a gentle positive way (however hard that is, or it is for me at times) and keep a diary to see if you recognise any patterns. Get a weekly timetable from school to add into this. He's on the spectrum isn't he? So may struggle with communicating what is really going on, my ds certainly has huge problems expressing his own needs.

Got to do bedtime, back later thanks

Walter4 Fri 08-Mar-13 20:14:38

Hothead, I think school gets a bit tougher for them at that age, mine is only nearly 5, social stuff is more complex, work is harder and perhaps he is seeing his own difficulties which I feel will increase my sons anxiety.

It sound like other people aren't using PDA methods with him, do they have all the info, PDA book,the PDA contact group do some great educational guidelines for school that are clear and short to read for them. My son punches us and hits relentlessly, almost goes into violent role play and he's still 4, I'm sure its much worse at 7 ! The hardest thing is getting other people to do what we know our children need. You're poor boy must be struggling too, wish I could do more.....

ponyandpotatopie Fri 08-Mar-13 20:18:00

We used to walk away but ds would follow us and carry on. It was awful. Restraining him just made it worse. He's grown out of the hitting for the most part now though.
He copies what he sees though and he only has to see a behaviour once to copy it. I think that he started hitting us when a so called 'friend' at primary school was hitting him.

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 20:21:23

My ds can't take praise either and a complement (unless it reflects exactly what he thinks about whatever he has achieved) will result in furious rage.

lougle Fri 08-Mar-13 20:25:30

DD1 would hit me, then when that got no response, she'd hit her sister. I then had two choices: Deal with her, leaving the hurt child to console themselves, or deal with the hurt child, leaving her free to hit the other sibling.

If I shut her out of the room, she'd climb the bannisters (wobbly) or do other death-defying things.

It really was an impossible situation. In fact, I have video footage of the Learning Disabilities nurse trying to implement the 'naughty step'. She'd be told she could get off, and she'd be walking down the hallway with her hands like claws, ready to attack with a huge grin on her face. Totally in her own little game world.

The thing that made it harder was that the other two didn't understand to 'stay away' if I was restraining her. They thought I didn't want them near me. I had to teach them 'be safe' as a command.

Now, we have SS help, KIDS club and Home Start, which covers 4 days out of the 5.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 20:50:10

I think it's a phase, he is in the wrong initially, school feel they have to issue a consequence and the whole thing escalates - restraint, more violence etc. What starts off as a brief but unpleasant behaviour from DS1 towards another child ends up in a shocking thing to witness and experience for all. It's like a rolling incident now, something needs to interrupt it all.

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 21:16:19

Can you keep him off school for a few days to stop the cycle. I've kept ds off on odd days when his anxiety has been high.

MareeyaDolores Fri 08-Mar-13 21:26:22

Gosh lougle, I'd repressed forgotten how long we spent doing 'stay safe' with dd when controlling ds1 didn't work.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 21:48:27

I don't know Polter, I think school have to change tack.

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 22:01:16

They probably do. But will they? And right now would ds benefit from some time out of school for you to sort of re-modulate him?

I suspect I've not had it as hard as you, but our whole family life is totally geared around ds's mood, it is fucking hard and relentless.

HotheadPaisan Fri 08-Mar-13 22:11:26

Yes, we're pondering, everyone needs to calm down and stop the cycle, at least it's the weekend.

Walter4 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:35:25

Maybe they do have to change tack Hothead ,but it might give you're son a break and them time to think about how their way is not working.... If school is making him worse at the moment perhaps give him time to break the cycle and build reserves to cope with it, hopefully with them changing too?
If only they could all really really get it, or just trust us parents for gods sake!!
Off to bed now...have a peaceful night X

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 22:38:12

Just seen your latest post on the other thread, honestly, school are getting it all wrong in my view. They need to stop the punishment, stop the letters, a quick 'sorry' and move on. It is so hard to get it across though. They've tried to fob me off with 'all the children have to follow the same rules' well, no actually, they don't, school have to make 'reasonable adjustments'. All the effort has to go into the before not the after, but you know all that, I'm just being angry, sorry.

I do hope you have a good weekend thanks

popgoestheweezel Fri 08-Mar-13 23:56:23

Consequences are terrible here too. We only use time out when we need space ourselves not really as a consequence for ds.
It sounds like you're having a very tough time, although not found yiur other thresd yet, and i know how horribly draining it really is. we have had two unexpectedly calm days today and yesterday, not quite sure why as there could be lots of reasons but I have been giving him Bach flower remedies for a few days- maybe a coincidence or maybe not- dunno.
When ds is in a negative zone there is often almost nothing that helps at all and im sure you use all the pda techniques already but from what poltergeist says maybe school haven't? i have been going over all this old ground since school have suddenly got on board and are asking me what they should be doing and actually ive found it a useful refresher course myself as i had definitely lost sight of some useful techniques.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 06:54:15

I agree it's all going too far. I am really unhappy about the restraint and him being blocked and trapped in rooms, it's inevitable he's going to try and get away.

Agree the effort needs to go into prevention, this is all rolling on from a week ago. He is in the wrong for being physical with other children but they could direct the play and intervene sooner or change his schedule in many ways to reduce the risk of that whilst he's going through this phase.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 07:10:39

How old is he?
Testosterone surge?

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 07:23:46

Nearly seven, definitely a developmental phase, it will settle and there is lots that could be done to help with it. He is very clear on what should happen and what is a reasonable consequence for hurting other children, losing 5 mins of playtime for example. It needs a completely different approach. I need to go back in.

Considering how I could present some time off for him whilst I sort this out, will need to be done carefully.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 07:28:08

Does he have 1:1?

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 07:39:31

Yes, 25 hours, no cover for unstructured times, has just gone to panel for an increase of hours, they want more info before deciding.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 07:46:40

No cover for unstructured times?
What more info do they need!!

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 07:53:02

I know, I think they think they can shuffle his existing hours, no chance. Things have escalated since the emergency annual review, it's just lurching from one crisis to another atm. The strategies are just not working, everyone needs to admit that and start again.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 07:56:18

Is he going to continue at school until the panel decides?

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 07:58:12

That depends on whether school exclude him or we give him a break, it could be a fairly quick decision once the last report is in next week.

shaftedbyschool Sat 09-Mar-13 07:58:54

Sympathies - have had to go through similar with a school who wanted everyone to behave the same with the same sanctions applied e.g all children will follow instructions and pay attention in class. They didn't want someone like my ds upsetting the applecart. After part-time timetable and a spell in PRU staff provoked him leading to a meltdown and permanent exclusion.
Schools have to want to be flexible and sadly too many aren't resulting in consequences for our dc's. All they see is the behaviour and not what causes it.
You really need to get school on board and to be as understanding as possible or things will get worse sad.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:01:40

Can you do the break thing?

shaftedbyschool Sat 09-Mar-13 08:04:15

Also the right TA/1:1 is crucial. We had staff with very little training but thought they were experts iykwim. They in effect were actually causing a lot of the anxiety by their actions but just couldn't see it. Yes, he had full time support but it was the wrong type of support. Have had copies of records showing that his 1:1 thought he was choosing behaviours and so she was insisting on him doing things which were actually making things worse sad

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:10:31

We could give him a break but it might not be easy, I need to have another meeting, it all feels horribly out of control and escalating daily. He is very clear about it all though, we should all listen to him.

Jsut been reading about differentiated behaviour management, they have to make reasonable adjustments and they just can't.

He loves his 1-2-1 and his teacher really likes him, it had been going well but it has all fallen apart very quickly.

Thanks so much for all the responses, I am reading them and giving this a lot of thought, he is so small for all this to be happening around him, we need to show him we're in control and it will all be fine without punishing him all the time.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:18:28

It's very positive that he likes his 1-2-1 and teacher.
Something to work with at least.
I can really empathise wrt crap TAs.
Until schools start actually employing trained staff then this is going to happen more and more...
In my sons case, a TA that could spell and use grammar would have been nice!
His current TA is truly dire.
I am not even sure she has any quals at all!

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:20:17

I think a mistrust has crept in this week and that needs to be turned around.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:21:54

Is really insidious once it starts.

ilikemysleep Sat 09-Mar-13 08:32:34

Is he in mainstream? Maybe the environment is just too much. Too many people, too much noise and movement. Is a move to asc ss out of the question? We have seen a few pda-type children who have settled immensely in the quieter less stimulating environment of ss. I think this is a very tricky situation for school as well as yourselves. They have to handle upset parents whose dc have been hurt if your dc is being violent, and to those parents a quick 'sorry' doesn't always satisfy them. Which is not your concern but raises school's stress on how long they can sustain things and manage all those relationships. I am sorry things are so bad at present and hope there is a positive change soon.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:42:51

An ASD SS is an option, is ind though so LA would have to agree. He is overloaded but there is a lot that could be done, 10 mins of sensory circuits ever hour, going out to play 10 mins earlier so he has a headstart etc.

It is a recent thing him poking and pushing other children, just once, not sustained, different child each time, but not on. From what I know it's happening once every other day, always at playtime.

The lack of supervision and reaction though, adults confronting him, no immediate physical need to intervene, the escalation to restriant and two adult carrying him in off the playground, at which point he definitely lashes out.

Taking him into a small room and blocking the exit to tell him he will miss all of the next play time and then him trashing the room as he's trapped.

There are other options and approaches, this is new behaviour, we need to calm it down not escalate it.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:45:07

Well I don't have PDA and I would freak out if someone trapped me in a small room and told me I couldn't leave!
What are they thinking!?
Are you hoping the LA agree to the SS?

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:46:46

Oh, and an incident report listed what he did to the teachers restraining him but didn't mention the large scratch across his cheek that he ended up with, I think that should have been recorded too.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:48:12

I'm not sure, I still think ms could work, this is just a bad patch being made worse.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:49:05

It's an awful situation for everyone isn't it?
Your son primarily, but also you and the staff.
They obviously have no idea what they are doing.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 08:50:41

Yep, exactly. When someone with a neurological disorder is in crisis you don't keep upping the ante, it simply doesn't work.

ilikemysleep Sat 09-Mar-13 08:52:19

So... You can contact LA now while things are so bad and not tell them there is lots more school could be doing, school may well support a move...that 's plan a...or you can meet again, tell school all the things they could and should be doing, which means LA will probably close off SS route as school 'should' be doing more, and hopefully things will then improve in his current setting for ds. That's plan b. Which one is in ds's best interests, now and moving forward? (Genuine question...only you can answer that!)

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 08:57:53

What do you want for your ds?
Does your ds understand/have any insights into what is happening/what he wants?
Sorry if that's a daft question.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 09:01:38

I don't know <wail> How on earth would we tell him he has to leave the 2/3 friends he has finally made, and lose his TA.

He moves to Juniors in Sept, my gut feelng is that we get the FT hours and carry on for now but the restraint has to stop and all the other strategies have to start now.

This is a phase, it has not been this bad before, no reason to think he can't be helped and supervised and guided to get through it.

Honestly, a few weeks ago people were sitting back smiling about how well it was going.

I have spoken to the LA and they now have these latest reports, am hoping they put the extra hours in asap. The question is do we give him a break whilst everyone calms down, it would be a risky precedent. But school won't want to back down from him missing the next playtime, which will escalate things again.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 09:03:48

He is very aware, he explained it all with great clarity to me last night, calmly acknowledged his own part in it and explained how it's all making him feel, wish I had recorded it.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 09:10:16

Poor boy sad

OneInEight Sat 09-Mar-13 09:10:21

This sounds horribly familiar. ds1 has already been permanently excluded for similar. To try and keep ds2 in school they are now trying to reduce his stress levels by (i) Allowing him to come home at lunchtime (ii) Giving him the choice whether he goes outside or not at playtime (iii) Allocating him an area in the school where he can go at anytime if he needs a break (iv) Allowing him to 'study' at home if there are planned activities he is known to not cope with. It is a bit soon to tell if this will work in the long-term and we will need to do something to help ds2 reintegrate into society at some point but is keeping ds2 in school in the short-term whilst we try and fight for diagnosis and support.

Badvoc Sat 09-Mar-13 09:10:38

....and poor you too!

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 09:18:15

I think his awareness counts against him, because he has the awareness people think he should have the control and be able to tolerate the consequences and he can't.

I have also noticed his sensory issue have worsened lately, he is covering his ears again at loud noises, I think his brain is going through changes. An OT is going into school next week which might help.

I will request a meeting and ask for a different approach for the next week or two whilst the hours are decided on.

MareeyaDolores Sat 09-Mar-13 13:03:09

Hot, don't go in feeling reasonable. They are actively triggering these behaviours with a set of inadequate behavioural strategies.

It's like the parent of a dc with CP being reasonable about their frequent falls in school. Ok, so they may keep landing on and injuring other kids, and there's a genuine health and safety issue. But managing each fall by taking away the walking frame and heading for the stairs really isn't a sensible approach.

ponyandpotatopie Sat 09-Mar-13 13:38:59

School staff need proper training on how to handle him. Blocking/restraining him is totally inappropriate. Poor ds - no wonder he's so wound up.
Has a sensory OT looked at his school/class environment?

ponyandpotatopie Sat 09-Mar-13 13:39:43

(Sorry just seen OT is going in to school next week.)

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 13:53:02

I really do think these are preventable flashpoints, ie when he is struggling to play the game he wants and pushes a child, if someone was there they could guide and distract and deescalate or direct the game. Also I don't think he is charging after others and generally being aggressive, although I get the sense it's escalating. There are loads of changes that could be made.

ponyandpotatopie Sat 09-Mar-13 13:56:20

Yes I'm sure you're absolutely right about that. He needs someone who understands the triggers to intervene.

popgoestheweezel Sat 09-Mar-13 16:48:33

Sounds to me like school need a serious kick in the right direction. Correct me if I'm wrong but is this the scenario? they are leaving a child with diagnosed pda and social communication issues unsupported in the playground (mistake number 1) then they are dealing with relatively minor incidents with an old fashioned telling off and consequences (mistake number 2) then when they get the inevitable outburst they manhandle him into a confined space (mistake number 4) and then load on more consequences (mistake number 5) those consequences are to follow at a later date ie. missing playtime on monday (mistake number 6)
if that is what is happening they need a serious wake up call, they are dealing with the situation in the worst possible way for a child with PDA.
Perhaps it's time for a stern, non emotional letter quoting from sencop.

PolterGoose Sat 09-Mar-13 16:51:36

That is a brilliant summing up pop, it is shocking. I agree it is time to consider reference to SENCOP and also the Equality Act.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 17:19:58

Agree, they feel out of their depth I think, they were sure the rules and consequences would fix everything, there has been so little direct teaching of social skills, just punishment when he gets it wrong, the confrontation and restraint incident is still playing on my mind.

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 17:34:37

Sounds like the 'punishment' is causing total panic. And once in blind panic there is likely no awareness of hitting and biting only the need to get free.Ds reacts very badly to restraint and confinement too. It just occurred to me - is the poking and pushing not meant to hurt. Ds used to get into a lot of trouble for 'hitting' and 'pinching' in yr 1 when he was actually trying to get someone's attention by touching- something we all have to do for him due to his poor attensional focus. In his enthusiasm - especially if he was not noticed at first, he would continue harder and forget his strength. Then he would get distraught because he had not (in his understanding) hit or pinched! So he got into trouble without knowing what exactly was the issue. I had to teach him how gentle to be.
We had some similarly dreadful times around this time, and eventually did get a transfer to a ds. Ds got more and more confused and anxious about getting into trouble. One day in a park, a child some distance from ds fell and broke his arm Once ds saw the child crying he ran away saying sorry, so the other parent who had not been watching thought it was ds fault. It just showed me how life was for him. Confusing!

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 17:42:03

No, he did want the child to move, but absolutely no lessons have come from this. No ways to say 'Can I have a turn?' or what to do about waiting and so on. And he's actually very good about waiting and negotiating in general.

This was a bad incident (S1 poked the child in the eye) that is now completely out of proportion and has been compounded by more incidents because there is a total seige mentality going on.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 17:45:50

DS1 used to say he was responsible for incidents he was nowhere near.

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 17:49:41

Sorry got interrupted. One of the things school tried was to send him to another teacher to help her (for instance with a task ds found soothing) rather than give him time out. another thing that helped although there are dangers in unofficial exclusions was to take ds home for lunch, giving time for calm and nurture, and keeping him away from difficulties in the playground. As an emergency measure lunch time at home might give some time to regroup. Ds does not have a DX of PDA but is very demand avoiding and has ASD with LD.

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 18:02:28

Sorry cross posted. I really feel for you. I remember well that awful awful mistified shock and dispare when my child hurt another, but then it's also been compounded by handling the original behaviour in an unsuitable way. I presume the school are trying to punish both the eye poking and the subsiquent panic.they will also want to risk assess to protect their staff and pupils from a recurrence and be seen to be doing that.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 18:21:42

Yes, but two adults confornting and dragging DS1 from the playground in front of all the children is hardly proportionate or 'keeping him and them safe' as the godawful doublespeak has it.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 18:23:23

Remember there was no immediate risk to anyone merit intervention here, there was no fight or sustained attack going on, I'm not even sure he'd ever done anything like this before.

popgoestheweezel Sat 09-Mar-13 18:36:05

They have failed to keep your ds and others safe in the first place by leaving him unsupported in the challenging playground environment. They have failed to keep your ds and others safe by enflaming an incident. And again they failed to keep your ds and others safa by further enflaming the situation when they put him in an enclosed space.

popgoestheweezel Sat 09-Mar-13 18:39:34

I think they haven't got a clue. You need to let them know in writing how you see it and keep referring to their legal responsibilities. Is every child matters is still current? Refer to that and the sencop. They are totally letting him down by using the possible worst management techniques.

HotheadPaisan Sat 09-Mar-13 18:40:04

Indeed, I can't believe I trusted them, I thought the rules and consequence route and lack of playtime support and social skills teaching was unlikely to work out but I was actually directly told 'we are the experts', with the unspoken message to back off and leave them to it. I am very, very angry.

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 18:45:27

I agree. Pop has summed it up well. This has gone from an isolated but serious (because of the potential for eye injury) to a huge incident because of the use of un warranted force by the adults (on your child) and the panic that caused. Effectively there are two incidents - the ?deliberate poking and injury - and the subsequent use of adult force, causing primal panic presumably beyond the control of the child. It is right to have a suitable consequence with learning for the first (missing rest of play, apology assuming eye injury was not the intention) but the latter needs a different mindset.
The restraint method used here is the approach method and that does require 2 adults. Each time this has been used on my (now older) child it has caused days of upset and a need for time at home.

PolterGoose Sat 09-Mar-13 18:45:31

You have every right to be angry. TBH the biggest problems I have had with ds's school is teacher arrogance.

I'm also very aware that my dealings with school are clouded and hindered as a result of my own experience of school, which was not good. I've tried really hard to overcome the wobbly incoherent mess that I become in some situations, including school.

It is time to tell them what to do.

PolterGoose Sat 09-Mar-13 18:46:49

And to borrow from another MNer

You are your child's best, and only, advocate

popgoestheweezel Sat 09-Mar-13 18:57:11

You are right to feel angry but just make sure you don't let your emotions undermine you. That's why I feel letter writing is so useful in situations like this. In your shoes, I would write a letter tonight, avoid thinking about it at all tomorrow until the evening when you can read it objectively and edit accordingly, then take into school office first thing Monday morning.

MareeyaDolores Sat 09-Mar-13 19:53:43

<mareeya resists very strong urge to organise vigilante posse
armed with sharp sticks to poke in various eyes>

PolterGoose Sat 09-Mar-13 19:58:24

Mareeya grin

I just remember going through similar with ds.

<grabs poker>

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 07:50:46

So, an immediate consequence was tried (playground assistant approached DS1) which resulted in DS1 bolting (he did quite a lap so this took time), he returned and the SENCo was fetched and approached him to talk to him and he tried to hit her but missed, he went to kick her and she put him in a T wrap, then another helper arrived and he kicked her, then he was carried by these two adults from the playground in to a small room and carried on kicking out then starting throwing things as he wasn't allowed to leave the room. Remember all that was played out in front of other children.

He knows he was in the wrong when a child refused to move from a seat he wanted and DS1 poked him, I bet he doesn't know it was it being his eye that was a particular problem.

Either way, this approach is just not going to work, he can't end up being restrained whenever he does something wrong. There has been incident after incident since.

He needs playtime support, the school can say there aren't the resources but look at all this time and effort around incidents. Just making him miss playtime after playtime isn't going to work either, there are lots of changes that could be made. He needs an indirect, non-public approach for a start, unless there is an incident that requires immediate physical intervention of course.

justaboutalittlefrazzled Sun 10-Mar-13 08:43:42

Jeez, Hothead.

Poor you and poor DS1

<emotional and unhelpful>

PolterGoose Sun 10-Mar-13 08:44:08

They do, but ideally school staff need to recognise when your ds is on edge and take action then, easier said than done I know, but they need to be proactive, so if his LSA can see he is anxious he probably shouldn't be sent straight out to the playground.

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 08:47:07

Or they need to supervise and direct the play, which is what I've been saying forever. I was quite surprised there was no playtime support at all, I thought the number of hours he had included some.

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 08:48:25

What happened should not have ended in restraint and containment, it just shouldn't have.

MareeyaDolores Sun 10-Mar-13 10:27:57

The school is choosing to manage this badly. Almost every area has a behaviour support team they can call on. Most have an ASD team who can advise. They all have access to educational psychology.

The school is strapped for resources, this may be linked to the fact they are choosing not to use these services to help manage your son.

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 13:52:51

The LA have asked the Specialist Teaching Team to go back in and report back and that will happen next week. In the middle of all this DS1 is being sick so that's take the pressure off tomorrow as he can't go anyway now.

Interestingly, I think the funding changes and increase of Academies and so on means there will be no intervention/therapies without reports and targets and monitoring. Or there just won't be any intervention or therapies of course.

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 13:53:25

That's a report to increase the hours to FT btw.

OneInEight Sun 10-Mar-13 15:59:55

For what its worth our area educational psychologist said that restraint should be an absolute last resort as it is likely to be perceived as traumatic (understatement) for the child and trigger a 'fight or flee' response.

magso Sun 10-Mar-13 17:52:59

Hopefully the school will use what happened to get more (appropriate) resources to support your son in unstructured time as well as class time. It sounds like social learning would be helpful so he has scripts to help him and give him confidence in the playground. Perhaps your child was sickening and short on skills as a result. When ever my son been restrained, ( with resulting major meltdown and distress) I think everyone involved has realised it was the wrong approach for my child. I find 'shepherding' works better especially once ds is distressed and beyond hearing. Hope it all calms down quickly but is a trigger for better support.

HotheadPaisan Sun 10-Mar-13 18:34:19

I agree, thanks all, lots to think about but I want restraint to be an absolute last resort and only if there is immediate danger. This needed an indirect approach out of the earshot of others. There can still be consequences but addressing it immediately is bound to escalate things.

We've had a good chat today about why it is so dangerous to poke people's eyes, he does listen, and often genuinely apologises without prompting, he just can't respond and reflect in the moment.

ouryve Mon 11-Mar-13 22:33:00

OK, so I'm late to this thread, but just a few thoughts based on current experience.

Consequences for DS1 might be seemingly small, but they're big to him. We make sure they're natural to the situation, too. His computer time after school is important to him. The other week, he deliberately trawled through every bit of sticky mud he could find on his way home. So he had to "help" me clean his shoes before he could use it. It was enough of an intrusion that he's not trailed through the mud since then. The amount of time he gets is tweaked according to his mood. Not less than an hour though. He's declared that as not worth having and it takes something pretty major, like sitting in the middle of the street and refusing to walk home or lurching from one screeching meltdown to another to have it completely curtailed.

School manage to cover lunch and break for both of the boys by making sure there's other TAs around in the gaps.

HotheadPaisan Tue 12-Mar-13 07:24:32

We do struggle with effective and immediate consequences because there is so little to use as collateral.

ouryve Tue 12-Mar-13 09:43:41

There's not an awful lot we can do without punishing ourselves, either.

We managed to get a reasonably calm weekend out of him for once because he was desperate for DH to update Lego Digital Designer for him. This meant he had to try very hard not to lose his rag with DS2 over how he plays with his leapster. It took 3 days for him to earn it, but he got there in the end.

We've always tried to offer him reasonable choices and tailor consequences to his interests and coping ability at the time. It's not easy.

I remember reading an article about ADHD which mentions being selectively deaf. It focuses on the same behaviours exhibited with PDA. I'll see if I can find it, later (my power could go off any minute for the rest of the day, so I'll not try, now!) I think a lot of it would be teaching grandma to suck eggs, and it's very American, but I did find it very encouraging when I read it.

HotheadPaisan Tue 12-Mar-13 11:39:30

Thanks, would appreciate it, that is absolutely right that consequences for him just make us suffer. And/or he does a very good job at affecting total disinterest. He'd really rather go without than comply. And sometimes we push him when he really can't cope and that is distressing, other time it's just totally about control without the anxiety. I know it's all linked but still there are differences. We need more support really. I took to rewarding flexibility with a malteser the other day but all these things only work for now.

ouryve Tue 12-Mar-13 17:34:10

Pffft. I found what I thought was that in my bookmarks but it was a dead link.

The joys of being back in the 21st century.

Yes, DS1 was predictably unimpressed to get home and find he couldn't use his computer at all. Even the giant cardboard box the postie had been good enough to deliver held no interest for him. The promise of having a go at gugl on my iPad helped him pull himself together. Pure novelty, though. Next week, he'll be straight into Plants V Zombies so he can feed all my chocolate to my snail at once.

HotheadPaisan Tue 12-Mar-13 17:48:43

Grr, mine just not interested. So just found out respite care not for family, doesn't seem right to me, we can't reciprocate babysitting favours for S2 and organising multiple babysitters at the same time is hard.

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