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Please help! I don't know what to about 6 year old DD

(96 Posts)
CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 18:26:47

At home time today DD's teacher tells me that DD has been in trouble again at school. According to the teacher she scratched another girl's face at lunchtime, threw her own lunch on the floor, then kicked the head when taken to her office. No adult saw the scratching incident though and the girl had no marks on her face afterwards.

DD's version of events is slightly different. She says she was thirsty at lunch time but had finished her drink. So she decided to open her yoghurt to have a drink of that! The girl next to her then apparently started calling the dinner lady over because "she was going to tell" as she said DD wasn't allowed to do that. DD said she was worried about getting in trouble so put her hand up to the girls face (she does do this, it is her sign for stop) but she says she didn't scratch her.

DD says that she was then carried to the head's office. She said she didn't know that her dinner got thrown on the floor, or how it happened but she is definite she didn't do it. She did agree with me that it might have been knock by accident though. Anyway once at the head's office she said the head told her she was going to phone me. She said that she kicked the head to stop her from phoning. I didn't get any phone call from the head.

These kind of incidents have been happening at least once a week since DD was in reception. I don't know what to do about it anymore. DD knows that hurting people or throwing things is not appropriate behaviour. She doesn't do it at home, at anyone else's house, or at out of school clubs. She says she feels angry at school because the teachers don't listen to her/believe her. She also says she is sad because "everyone thinks I am a naughty girl"

I just don't understand what is going on. Teacher say they don't know either. I just want to help her, but don't know how.

HandHolding Fri 28-Sep-12 09:53:46

Cat Don't worry about it smile
I think it is a very difficult time when you are trying to sort out what to do with school/teachers, looking if involving GP etc... is also worth doing.

I know that starting to go down the route of diagnosis was frightening for me. The label was frightening (even though, as we are only starting the process now, so there is no way I can say for sure what sort label, if any, ds will be having). It also meant for me recognizing that perhaps there is something 'not quite right' and ds needs support with.
I found that hard but I came to the conclusion that seeking a diagnosis wasn't such as big a issue after all because it would not change who ds is. He would always be the same little boy I love. Just that, hopefully, he will get the right support that he needs.

I really really didn't want to put pressure on you though and I am sorry it came across this way.

HTH

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 27-Sep-12 22:07:36

Sorry I think I might have come across in the wrong way with my last post. I don't want anyone to think I don't appreciate all the help and advise I've been given here because I really do. I think I'm just feeling a bit stressed with everything at the moment and finding it hard to decide what to do for the best.

HandHolding Thu 27-Sep-12 17:54:33

I don't think the idea is for you to do a diagnosis over the internet, more for you to be aware that there might be a diagnosis available for your dd, diagnosis that might help find the right support/environment for her so she can grow and fulfill all her potential.

From what you have said, I would personally go further than trying and find some methods that would help your dd fit in better at school, with the teachers/school. Bearing in mind that the teachers/SENCO will not be able to do a diagnosis either, I would really pursue a diagnosis vis the GP, ed psychologist so your dd can receive the help that is the most appropriate for her.

I think that what most people here are saying is that your dd might be fitting one category or another and that, from your description, it is worth going down the route of the diagnosis. Then you can just let the professional do their job and come up with the right 'tag'.

Tbh, a diagnosis is just a label, a name. It isn't going to do anything for her as such. Whether it is AS, PDA or something doesn't quite matter. But the 'label' (god I really do not like that word...) will help if it means she can get support at school. It will help if it means teachers have a better idea as to what should be working with her, what sort of method is more appropriate. It will help if it makes clear that she isn't 'naughty' or 'misbehaving' (and then restrained shock) but that she needs a different approach from them.

It isn't about forcing your dd to 'fit' with a lost of signs and symptoms. It's about finding ways that will ensure your dd gets the right support for her.

alison222 Thu 27-Sep-12 17:13:15

I hope you don't feel that anyone is trying to push you into finding a label for your daughter if that is not what you are looking for.
What my intention was, was to say that some of the behaviour is like things I have seen in my DS and these are strategies that we have found that have helped.

If you think that there could be a recognised name for the behaviours that you are seeing and want to take it further then I would suggest a visit to see your GP. Take a list of the concerns that you have and see what they say. If they think that there is a cause for concern then they will refer you for further investigation. However if this is not the path you want to follow no-one will tell you otherwise here.

From my personal experience having a name and therefore a "reason" for the behaviour that DS was exhibiting in school brought understanding and more help as I was able to find recognised strategies to help him. Others on this board have not had such helpful schools and have not necessarily had the same experiences.

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 27-Sep-12 09:40:21

sorry the link should have been this PDA

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 27-Sep-12 09:39:13

I had a look through all those websites last night and same as before some of it sounded like DD but other stuff was completely unlike her. I also tried doing the test that alison222 linked to, but obviously had to guess quite a few answers on DD's behalf. The score was 26 which is classed as above average, although I did it again for DS and myself and scored 38 and 45 respectively! shock

On the National Autistic Society website, I did find [http://www.autism.org.uk/About-autism/Related-conditions/PDA-Pathological-demand-avoidance-syndrome.aspx this] listed as a related condition. It does sound quite alot like DD, not totally but more so than ASD does I would say. In particular the stuff about role-play and imagination which is spot on for DD and one of the main things that would of persuaded me she didn't have ASD.

I am still worried though that by reading all these lists of symptoms I am just trying to fit her behaviour into something that isn't really there. Also I don't want to start making 'diagnosis by google' because the school would probably start thinking (if they don't already) that I am some kind of neurotic mother. AAAAAArgh why do they have to make parenting so difficult!

alison222 Wed 26-Sep-12 20:56:36

Different site you linked to though lady in disguise and you make an important point about early diagnosis often being the more affected children and also about not generalising.

LadyInDisguise Wed 26-Sep-12 20:50:32

sorry x post

LadyInDisguise Wed 26-Sep-12 20:49:55

No it far from unusual that children with Asperger syndrome are diagnosed later on. Children who are diagnosed 'very early' ie before they go to school are usually on the 'strongly affected' end but for children who are on the other end, this will be considered only later on.
It is a spectrum which means that not all children will have signs that are very obvious. It will also be there in different ways for different people.

As they say, when yu have seen one person with autism (or asperger) you have seen one person with autism. You can't make generalization from that as there is such variety (This might also be the reason why sometimes it looks like websites are contradicting each other).
Perhaps start with The National Autistic Society

alison222 Wed 26-Sep-12 20:47:06

ASD is a huge spectrum with very low functioning people on one end and high functioning at the other ( Eintsein, Bill Gates).
If a child is high functioning it can be more difficult to spot and to diagnose.
for what its worth my DS got a diagnosis when he was 7. Now I know lots about it to me it is obvious, but "oh that the way he is" then my SIL read about it and DN ticked most boxes and it suddenly looked obvious.

I am not saying that your DD is on the spectrum, just that some of the strategies used for some of the behaviours you were describing may well help as they sound similar.

RE sites to read have you looked at
this. Download the PDF and read from about page 7.
young minds
myths about aspergers syndrome
test to give an indication that the person may have ASD
test

Most of the pages I linked to are either HFA or Asperger's so at the higher functioning end of the spectrum.

Hope this helps

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 26-Sep-12 19:42:25

Well I had a look at a few websites when it was first mentioned on here, as I really don't know alot about ASD. some of the things did sound a bit like her but other things didn't really fit her. Some of the sites also seemed to contradict each other too so that was a bit confusing. Does anyone recommend a really good website or a checklist of symptoms I could look at it again? Although I don't want to start trying to interpret her behaviour in a particular to make it fit the symptoms, when it could be something else or nothing at all instead. Also wouldn't I (or someone else e.g health visitor) noticed signs of ASD earlier, like before she went to school, if she did have it?

alison222 Wed 26-Sep-12 18:27:23

I know that you said you thought your DS does not have ASD but a lot of the strategies used may help as some of the behaviour is similar.
The thing about getting the child#s attention by saying their name before you talk to them is commonly mentioned and I find it does work with my DS as long as of course I remember!

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 26-Sep-12 16:41:46

alison222 what you said about hearing is interesting. I did wonder before if it was a case of DD hearing the talking but it just being like any other noise to her if that makes sense. I find if she doesn't seem to be hearing what I am saying, I need to actually get in her eyeline or actually touch her, so that she will realise I am talking and listen properly. Yelling at her across a classroom, especially if its noisy, isn't going to work IMO and I have told her teachers this before

alison222 Wed 26-Sep-12 10:59:59

So many of these behaviours sound like those I have seen in my DS when he was younger. He has Asperger's but so many of these behaviours can be seen in other conditions too, or not connected to anything in particular.

Having read this thread, It sounds like your daughter is overwhelmed by lots of things.
Simple things that might help include
Warnings of transitions - ie 5 mins, 1 min, 30 secs etc.
That she sits at the front of the class so there are less distractions,
The visual timetable that others have suggested sounds great.
It sounds like she needs some support with work. The distress about things not being quite right at the first attempt sounds SO familiar and the throwing the work away as it was not up to the standard she wanted it to be.
Do you think that she is overwhelmed by noise and smells? Perhaps being at the back or front of the line when the class lines up will help, as will being allowed to withdraw to the calm room for a few minutes at a time just to clear her head.
You mentioned her not answering when people are talking. if she has difficulty screening out background noise then this would show up but a hearing test would not show anything because she can hear. Ways to overcome this are always to say her name at the beginning of the sentence so
"X put your shoes on" rather than " Put your shoes on X". This way once you have her attention from saying her name she will hear the instruction, but if you do it at the end of the sentence she is not focussing.

Also keeping the language very simple and direct will help too if this is the case.

It is something that you can easily try at home and that the teacher should be able to do simply too.

Other things that can help with transitions are that she comes in from break 2 mins earlier than the others and has 2 mins to talk to a TA to tell her of any difficulties, so that she has "got it out of her system" and then can focus on the lesson coming up and be prepared/reminded what it is.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 25-Sep-12 23:42:48

smile I think you're doing all the right things. Keep asking them questions, the SENCO seems to know how to support your daughter, it's useful if she's still assessed though as she'll be able to access further support if she needs it. I hope all goes well tomorrow.

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 25-Sep-12 20:20:53

I know they have got the sticker chart because I have seen this, although DD said the teacher forgot to put any on today (or maybe she just didn't earn any today) I don't think they have the sand timers as I have never seen any; DD says they are only in the reception classroom. I will ask to see the records tomorrow, so I will find out then if they are actually keeping them.

I spoke to the school nurse last week and she said she was going to visit DD at school next week. I have got to ring her back though because the GP has asked if she can do another check of her motor skills at the same time, so hopefully she will be able to give me a date and time.

Also the school told me last week that a woman from the Behaviour Team (I'm not really sure what that is confused) would be coming to see DD this wednesday (tomorrow) They did say I would be contacted before and asked some questions. I haven't been contacted so I'm now not sure if this is still happening tomorrow or if they just don't want any input from me. I will ask about it in the morning.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 25-Sep-12 19:05:22

Do you know whether the teachers are actually following the IEP and if they are keeping records? If they are not following it then it's not serving any purpose at all. The school really isn't coming across very well in your posts; they are not working as a team and they are not meeting the needs of your child. Have you had any luck contacting the school nurse?

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 25-Sep-12 17:56:26

Managed to find out who is the Senco at the school today and spoke to her briefly. She told me DD has an IEP and has had it since year 1. Why have they never told me about this before? don't they think that is the kind of thing I would want to know about? well I didn't know what it actually was until she gave me a copy, if I did then I would have known to ask if DD had one I suppose.

Anyway the targets on DD's IEP are:
-To stay on task during times of transition
-Make small transitions without getting distracted or distressed
-To form positive relationships with her peers
-Acknowledge when an adult is speaking to her
-Follow instructions after no more than 3 requests

It says they will achieve these targets by using a reward chart/stickers and ignoring her when she fails to comply. It also suggests using a sand timer for transitions and they are keeping a record of the types of behaviour DD exhibits and when they happen.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? The senco said to speak to her if I had any questions about it. I'm pretty sure that they don't use sand timers in her classroom. Also I'm wondering if the ignoring is why DD feels the teachers don't listen to her? I would definitely like to see the behaviour record though, to see if there looks like any particular times when the incidents occur more frequently than others.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 21-Sep-12 12:27:32

That sounds good, I hope the rest of her day goes as well. smile

Don't panic, just write down all you need to do, then put it in some sort of order. It will all be OK.

CatWantsPeopleFood Fri 21-Sep-12 12:03:03

School drop off went ok this morning. We made cakes for the harvest fair last night, so DD was quite happy to carry them into school this morning and got lots of praise for how well decorated they were etc. Hopefully that is going to carry on for the rest of the day, but I'm going to be back at school again soon anyway, to set up for the morning.

I did get a phone call about an hour after drop off and was expecting it to be school. It wasn't though, it was my college tutor. She was ringing to remind me that I'm meant to start back there next week I had forgotten all about it! So now I'm panicking a bit and trying to write lists of the things I need to do and get before then.

LadySybildeChocolate Fri 21-Sep-12 10:50:14

Hi, Cat. I'm just wondering how things are going today? smile brew

EscapeInTheCity Thu 20-Sep-12 20:56:24

Cat this thread is very well where it is now smile

EscapeInTheCity Thu 20-Sep-12 20:55:36

Cat the school has said that they wanted her to see an ed psychologist but this has never materialized.

Seen what you have written, I would really encourage you to demand to see an ed psychologist with the school.
Also as others have said, go and see your GP too and ask for a referral for an assessment.

My experience with small school is that they are quite often unprepared to meet the needs of children that acts 'in a different way' mainly because they just don't see that sort of children on a regular basis. That means that problems aren't sorted properly, mistakes are made and children suffer from the consequences.
Has your even been in touch with the SENCO at the school? This is the person who 'takes care' of children with different needs (ie SN, SEN or very able children who get very bored). SENCO normally have a bit more experience/training about that sort of situation. I would have though that person should have been involved a long time ago on how to best handle your dd.

What stick out a lot from your last example, for example, is the fact that your dd didn't seem to have grasp that there was no more need to go to MrsX room. She was still expecting it to happen and kicked up[ a fuss when it didn't.
Perhaps starting by giving her lots of warnings would help a lot.
I am also getting the feeling that you have worked out a nice way to communicate with your dcs that means that they can cope with changes. It obviously works if there are little problems at home or when she is out with you etc.. Perhaps the school could learn from your experience and use warnings and visual aids too?

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 20-Sep-12 20:55:28

no, but I got recommended to move the thread to this section

sunshine401 Thu 20-Sep-12 20:43:24

Does your child have SN ?

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