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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.

sarahsal Tue 18-Sep-12 19:37:14

Sorry to hear that you and your daughter have had a bad day.

It sounds as if your DD has got into a negative spiral : she desperately wants to be `good` and when things go wrong she gets upset and frustrated and reacts with anger - she is angry with herself and school because she feels she has failed. Then the anger leads to worse behaviour . In other words she gets in a hole and keeps digging! Bless her!

If this has been going on since Reception I`m surprised that she is not on some sort of Behaviour Support plan. Has anything been put into place to address these problems?Have they escalated or are they getting any better?

I can think of strategies that might to help her but don`t want to go on at length if the school already has things in place.

wildpoppy Tue 18-Sep-12 19:45:07

I think you and the head and her teachers need to have a meeting where you explain all this and them agree that they and you will together talk to dd about a clean slate and starting again. Eg from tomorrow no one thinks you're naughty, so let's try really hard to keep it that way.

Failing that would a new class with a new teacher help?

I think the issue is exactly what your DD is telling you.

She isnt being listened to.

I would seriously object to a teacher carrying my DD anywhere. Especially at 6.

She is frustrated because she gets provoked, retaliates and then gets the blame when its all blown out of proportion.

My DD gets very het up if she feels she isnt being listened to.

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 20:12:10

DD definitely wants to be 'good' at school. Every time something like this happens she knows she was in the wrong, says sorry and promises it won't happen again. i believe that she does truly mean that too. However there always seems to be a next time, sometimes just minutes later.

I don't know if she has anything called a Behaviour Support plan- I have spoken to all her teachers and the head numerous times and agreed to them trying various strategies to enable DD "to make the right choices" None of them seem to make any difference though.
In reception year if something happened during class time she would be sent to one of the older year's classrooms. This would usually cause her to start screaming so she would then be taken to another class where the same would happen. Eventually she would end up in the heads office where I would get called in. This sometimes happens now but mostly she is taken to the school's 'chill out' room instead. So far this term she has been in there every day.

Reward/sticker charts have also been used several times over the years. These are kind of effective at first but never work out in the long term. Since reception I have been told several times that they want an educational psychologist to see DD. As far as I know this has never happened. She does however see a counselor/play therapist once a week. This happens during literacy (DD's least favourite subject) and she gets to do art stuff (her favourite subject)with her. She has never misbehaved during these sessions. Also when they can spare one they try to put a TA working alongside DD in class. Her behaviour is usually a lot better when this happens.

DeWe Tue 18-Sep-12 20:18:04

I don't often say this but actually your dd's story rings true to me.
The problem is that when a child is perceived by their peers as "naughty" often their actions get exaggerated and assumed to be "naughty" by the peers. Maybe at another time a different child complained she had scratched her face (possibly doing the same thing) and so this child assumed she was trying to scratch her.

I remember dd2 in year 1 telling me a story how child X in her class had hurt someone by doing something "on purpose". At the end I pointed out child X couldn't have done it because he was in A&E, as I was with dc3. Dd2 said in a surprised voice "Actually I think it was Y... but X might have done it". hmm

Really if a child "scratches" enough to hurt there will be some sign, even if it's a slight reddening, on the face they tend to show very clearly.

I think you need to talk to the school at length without your dd present. Point out that she feels she's being labelled as naughty, and doesn't get a chance to tell her side of the story, perhaps calmly away from the other children (so they can't interrupt and say "that's not true"). By the sound of it she could also do with a quiet space to go when she feels overloaded too.

Is she signing for communication? I wasn't sure when you say she does the stop sign whether that is something she does because she's generally signing, or just something she chooses to do.
It may be worth asking the class teacher to tell the class that is a sign that means "stop" and, of course children, if someone asks us to stop it would be very naughty not to stop...

Are the other incidents similar to this where another child has said something to DD? Or how does she be naughty in the first place?

adoptmama Tue 18-Sep-12 20:21:17

I'm sorry but I have to question if your DD is being truthful with you. It seems highly unlikely to me that every other person's versions of events are not true and that your DDs version - in which she is the victim not the 'naughty girl' - is true. Your DD has clearly had a number of regular behaviour issues at school for quite some time. It is really unacceptable behaviour she is displaying and the longer it goes on the harder it will be to change. If the teacher says she saw her throw the food then I am afraid you most likely need to accept she did. Likewise she kicked a teacher - totally unacceptable. In a few years it will be called 'assault' and the teachers will be perfectly within their rights to press charges against your child.

Your DD is not accepting any responsibility for her behaviour - it is the fault of the other girl, the mysterious someone who knocked over the food and the head teacher; and your are essentially becoming part of the problem if you make excuses as to why it is not her fault. She clearly has some problems which need addressed - in terms of her social interactions with peers, her self control and her violence. I'm sorry if all this sounds very blunt and negative, but by your own admission she has weekly outbursts, she kicked a teacher, possibly scratched another child and has engaged in this type of behaviour for a considerable period of time. You need to help her, not make excuses for her.

If your daughter was out of control - and throwing her food suggests strongly she was - and carried to the head that is actually perfectly acceptable. It is acceptable as other children need to be kept safe, as do staff. Of course you do not know if she was carried - only your daughter said this and it would be very easy to find out if she was or wasn't as it would be witnessed by other adults/children. Regardless of whether she scratched this child - and they can be very 'hands on' at this age (and the fact that the other child was unmarked proves nothing one way or another) your daugher's reactions are very OTT for the situation she is facing and are obviously not accceptable in any environment. If she does not have these issues in other places, but only in school, then that is something that needs to be looked into; but not purely from the perspective of 'if it only happens in school, school must be causing it.' Not true - issues often show up first in school simply because it has very clear and consistent boundaries and expectations which some children struggle with.

I understand your desire to believe your child's version of events - noone wants to believe their child would behave in this way. But all the evidence tends to suggest she did. As teachers we do not go out of our way to label children - especially ones this young. Nor do we immediately believe one child over another or give them unsheddable bad reputations. As parents sometimes we support our children best when we call them on their actions - not when we blindly say we believe them in the face of all contrary evidence.

I strongly advise you to try to work with the school. They really do have your child's best interests at heart. Arrange a meeting. Listen to what they tell you. Try to establish triggers to her outbursts. Ask for help for her - from behaviour support, ed. psychologists - whoever they can offer. Find out what is going well and what is not. Look for strategies you can all apply to help your DD at school and in her relations with peers and teachers.

This thread has really struck a chord with me (probably because my DD seems similar although younger) and I mentioned it to DP.

He says he was labelled as "naughty" in school and on one occasion a girl accused him of stealing her lunchbox. It wasnt reported to the teacher until a few days later. The teacher phoned DPs parents to ask for it back.

He wasnt even at school the day it was taken. It was just presumed to be true.

Ineedalife Tue 18-Sep-12 20:48:25

If I were you I would be requesting a meeting with the HT and the Behaviour Coordinator who might also be the SENCO. I would be asking for an individual behaviour plan to be writtien and the targets be agreed with you and your Dd.

She needs to know that appropriate behaviour will be rewarded and that she will be listened to before anything will change.

Good lucksmile

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 20:55:04

In case I gave that impression, I am not saying that DD didn't do anything wrong or that she is being unfairly blamed at all. I'm just asking for help so I can do something to try and stop this stuff happening.

adoptmama I'm not believing my DD over the teachers. I wrote about both their opinions because I think it's important to look at EVERYONE's viewpoint when trying to work out how to solve a situation. I have always worked with the school in the past and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. I'm not trying to blame anyone or make excuses for her behaviour. I consider it to be inappropriate which is why I am trying to find a way to end it.

The things I do belive about what happened today, and in general regarding DD's behaviour
-She did not/does not ever intend to hurt anyone. She is normally a very kind and gentle child, who gets upset if she sees anyone hurt or sad
-She is genuinely remorseful about what happened. She intensely dislikes her own behaviour during these incidents.
- She does truly believe that the teacher do not listen to. I am not saying that this is because they don't ( I am very sure that they do or at least try their hardest to) just that it is DD's own personal opinion that she does not feel listened to by them.

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 21:14:46

Sorry, pressed post too soon

-She does appear to feel intensely either angry or very frightened which causes DD to behave this way. I have personally witnessed it a few times and this is also the opinion of other adults at the school, who have described it as almost similar to a toddler tantrum at times. BTW I am not saying it is an appropriate response to having those feelings (it isn't) or that it is in any way an excuse

-She does also understand that her behaviour isn't an appropriate response to her feelings. She does know what she should do in those situations. I have role-played stuff with her and she can tell you afterwards what she should have done, however she doesn't seem to be able to put this in to practise. From what I have seen its like she 'explodes' so quickly she doesn't even have time to think first.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 21:25:17

It sounds to me as if this school isn't meeting your child's needs at all. She must be incredibly frustrated sad. They do label children, the one who struggles with social skills is seen as naughty, I could go on. I think you need to look for somewhere nurturing for her, a school which likes art and is creative. She'll thrive in the right environment, and it really doesn't sound like this is the right one.

Thats exactly what I first thought.

I really dont think she is naughty. I think its a cycle. An impulse, she begins to feel angry or scared and reacts before she can think.

Poor her sad I really hope between you and the school you can come up with a way to help her.

BTW I feel awful at the thought of her being carried. How awful it must be when shes in that panic and a teacher carries her off.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 21:56:15

I didn't think that they were allowed to handle a child like that? sad

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 22:01:13

I'm not really sure what to think about the carrying tbh. I agree that when she does 'explode' in these situations, she does need to be removed from the room. Like I said before it looks quite similar to a toddler tantrum, with her arms and legs going everywhere (she is usually stood up or sitting though not laying on the floor) also she starts screaming too sometimes. So I can see that just asking her to leave or taking her by the hand might not work or be possible so they just carry her instead. I guess they also do it because is is very small for a 6 year old (below the 0.2 centile) so it is quite easy to just pick her up and whisk her away.

But thats probably making the situation worse.

Yes she needs removed. But how would you feel if you got upset and someone picked you up and carried you off?

Just because she is a child doesnt mean its ok.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 22:19:03

Is she 'exploding' because she doesn't know what's going on and she's panicking?

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 22:39:56

I don't know and when asked DD does sometimes say she didn't know why she did it either. Other times, like today, she will say she was worried, scared, angry and sometimes it appears that it is in response to something else e.g. starting a new activity or stopping it or a combination of both like stopping art to start literacy. Its never one particular thing that is the trigger as far as the teachers or I can see.

I think theres a serious issue here in that the teachers have labelled her as naughty and have, because of that, totally overlooked the fact that she needs help. Whether it be with expressing herself or coping with change.

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 22:59:43

So she gets really upset when her routine is changed? What about her social skills? Does she run into a game, oblivious that she has to wait? Have problems with eye contact? Get a little obsessive about something she enjoys?

I think that you could do with asking MNHQ to move this into the special needs section, there's a lot of very knowledgeable parents in there who can offer you some help with this.

CatWantsPeopleFood Tue 18-Sep-12 23:20:56

I don't think the teacher's have labelled her naughty although they certainly don't think she is a perfectly behaved pupil (with good reason) either. I do think that a lot of the other children in the school, particularly those in her class, do think that and the 'removing her to another class' tactic didn't help with that in my opinion. i have on a few occasions heard older children refer to DD as 'naughty X' but i guess that is how they view her because of her behaviour and there is not a lot that can be done to change it really.

It is interesting that you say she needs help coping with change. I don't particularly like change myself and find it quite stressful but make sure that the DC are not aware of it. DD's younger brother is also very bad with changes. He will say very clearly though that it is bothering him whereas DD does not really say anything like that. e.g yesterday a brown fence we walk past going to school had been painted white. This upset DS so much he cried all the way home saying he 'missed the brown fence' DD was unaffected by that change but was bothered that her brother was upset so hugged him.

Anyway what i'm trying to say is that I do worry that maybe it is something I have passed on to my children. Also because of it I do try to keep things fairly routine and structured at home, talk about planned changes well in advance and use visuals and reminders for both of them. It could be that because she doesn't get those things at school also that leads to her bad behaviour sometimes?

Saying that though, I can't see anything about today's incident that was linked in any way to changes. I really don't know what to do for the best and it is starting to stress me out that I can't find a solution to the problem because I can't work out what is causing it. sad

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 18-Sep-12 23:28:53

My son has problems with social skills, he always has done. At primary school, all I would hear was 'ds has been naughty', even from the teachers, but most of the time they wouldn't be able to tell me what he'd done, and ds had no idea. Turns out all he was doing was asking the other children to play again and again in case they changed their minds. Mud sticks, sadly. Putting your hand over a child's face to stop them from speaking is crossing the line to be honest, it's invading their space. Usually children are aware of this 'boundary'.

Are there other issues with her behaviour? Does she like to play with the same things for example? Has a habit of repeating voices and phrases that she's heard off the TV?

My point about the naughty child thing is more that they arent worried enough about these tantrums. If they are liking them to toddler tantrums then surely that is an issue. I hope you see what I mean and dont think Im being harsh.

The thing about the other girl saying she wasnt allowed to eat the yoghurt really jumps out at me. I assume there was no reason that she shouldnt eat the yoghurt? But this girl was telling on her. She panicked. Thought she was in for a telling off and the whole cycle started.

DD has been told shes not allowed to play in her own garden by neighbours kids. And she believed them but wasnt happy about it at all. When I told her to ignore them she did for a while and then was back listening to their crap.

I dont think Im making much sense here. I just think, like LadySybile says, there might be an issue with social skills there that is being treated as bad behaviour.

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 00:01:44

Yes putting her hand in the other girls face is invading their space. I have spoken to her (actually both DC) about this before as it is something they don't understand very well yet. I meant to explain earlier when another poster asked about her using hand signs, she does usually talk as well but not always when she is worried about something. I have explained that not everyone will understand them so she needs to use words instead and mostly she does. Its not any normal kind of signing anyway just something she invented herself when she was younger.

Also something that's hard to describe but DD has always 'looked with her hands' if that makes sense. She seems to need to touch any object she is looking at- sometimes this is dangerous e.g when she was watching me cut up cucumber and nearly got her fingers sliced too. So sometimes when she is talking to people she will try to touch their face or touch other parts of them or pull their clothing (adults mainly if they are not at eye level, with other children/adults at eye level it would be their face). She doesn't do it to hurt them and does it gently, but I have told her many times that it is something she shouldn't do. Oh and if she wants someone to look at something and they don't immediately see it, she doesn't point with her finger but will try to turn their head with her hands, so they look in the right direction. again I have told her it is not the right thing to do.

sorry I have written so much on here tonight, it is really helping me to think about all the things DD does that are not quite right and organise my thoughts. I don't really have any close friends in real life to talk these things through with which is why I am asking for help and advice on here.

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 00:13:07

I forgot to say- yes to repeating phrases from the TV, they both do that all the time. Their current favourite though is 'Have you swiped your Nectar card?' from the Sainsbury's self service tills. I find it quite amusing but it also gets annoying after a while, though I can't complain because I used to do the same as a child and liked to 'learn' the words to adverts off TV and radio and also radio jingles. I can still remember most of them too!

Dont apologise!

Im not a professional and I havent heaps of experience, but you should maybe go look at the SN board.

A starting point might be Aspergers. I have a cousin with it and some of the things you say do sound similar.

That said, it could be other things Im not aware of.

I think my DD could well grow up with these issues. So I can see how worrying it can be. I hope you are ok!

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 00:24:17

A lot of what you've mentioned sounds like aspergers/ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder, there's lots of things which come under this, it doesn't always mean autism). The problems with space, need to touch, inability to recognise danger, need for routine, I think there's more. I'm not saying this is what the problem is, I do think that your daughter needs some help though and her school has placed a label on her rather then asked the right questions. Everyone's brain processes information differently, it's what makes us so unique. A child with aspergers/ASD processes information in a very different way, and can often struggle with the world as a whole as it's just so weird. I think it would help if you had a chat with your GP. Some schools are rubbish at detecting this. Have a think about it first, look up some information and see what they say. I'd pop and see your GP regardless, the quicker you do, the quicker you can access some help and support for whatever the problem may be.

As I said earlier, the SN board on here is full of parents who have more knowledge then the experts, so they will be able to help. I'll ask MNHQ to move this for you. smile

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 00:25:12

x post with domesticgoddess. smile

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 00:52:56

Aspergers/ASD? I don't really know much about those but I will look them up and see if it fits DD at all. I suppose if it is then that would help towards finding a solution to these problems. I'm not sure though. I know a little boy at DS's nursery who has autism and he is nothing like DD. He doesn't talk much whereas she talks non stop sometimes, but like I said i don't know much about it. The only other thing I know about that little boy is my DS is very jealous of him because he gets to hold the calculator all day!

Thanks for asking for this thread to be moved btw, if you think it would be better somewhere else. I have no idea how to do that myself.

The autistic spectrum is very wide. It goes from one extreme to the other. Every child on it is affected to a different degree.

My cousin is in mainstream secondary school now. He has some difficulties with social situations and interactions but is generally doing well at school. He was diagnosed at 5.

Another girl I know of is Autistic and cannot talk at all for long periods of time. Her needs are high.

From the sound of your DD it sounds mild. But it is causing issues.

No matter what it is, knowledge is power. The sooner you work out whats going on the sooner you can help her smile

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 09:53:36

I read through some stuff on aspergers last night. I'm not really sure tbh. Some of it does sound like DD but other parts do not.

This morning I have mad a huge mistake I think. After reading the comments on here about carrying, I asked DD how she felt about it. she said she didn't like it and also describe a particular way that they held her head that she hated. DD asked me to 'ask them to stop it' so I promised I would talk to her teacher about it as I had already agreed to talk about yesterday with her teacher this morning anyway. I did say to her that I couldn't promise that they would stop, but I could only talk to the teacher about it. But I think this was a mistake because basically, I have just left the school where DD is screaming in the corridor, while 3 adults stop her from running after me. I wish I knew what I could do to make this right sad

Oh no. You did what you could though (none of us really have a clue do we, we just muddle through) so try not to feel bad.

I think you need to make an appointment with the GP.

And, honestly, the school sounds dreadful. I think they are making the situation worse. The head hold thing sounds awful.

I would be finding another school. You should be able to make them stop. She is your child. If you say they shouldnt carry her or hold her then they shouldnt.

Your poor girl sad

Oh and when I was in primary school a boy in the year below started mid term. He didnt want to go. They used to lift him, an adult at each arm and leg into the classroom.

Even at my young age I used to wonder was there not a better way. Just because they are kids doesnt make it right. They are people, with their own thoughts and feelings.

sarahsal Wed 19-Sep-12 10:06:13

It seems that your DD`s outbursts are caused by anxiety. I doubt you`ll be able to make them disappear but there are things you and school can do to help relieve it and to support her in reacting more appropriately.
First I`d want to change her self-image of being `naughty`. I`d tell her she`s good/kind/thoughtful/helpful as many times as you can. Bombard her with compliments, always giving a reason why she`s so good. Ask school to support you by telling you/giving a list of 5 (3?4?) good things she`s done each day.
If you feel she needs something visual I`ve had success in school with `Catch-me stars` -stick stars on a long strip of paper every time you catch her being `good` and watch the strip grow....
Don`t go for specific targets yet it`s too much pressure if she fails.

Let her know that we all make mistakes (point out yours on and off throughout the day) but it`s not the end of the world. We can put it right and start again -might help with the panicking.

Ask for a `formal` meeting with school. If she`s not on the SEN register she should be with targets, strategies, support and review dates on a written IEP.
The key word there is support - she is clearly not coping at the moment and some TA support helps.
Try to get some timetabled for her -the school should know when it`s most helpful. (When a TA is free isn`t good enough !)

Other possibilities might include a visual timetable of the day`s events, pre-warning of changes, a quiet cosy space of her own to go to if she can feel things going wrong/to talk things through /bash a few cushions (not a naughty place - a little bit of sanctuary) , a trusted adult to help her at these times, small group circle-type sessions to help with the social skills .

It wouldn`t do any harm to chase up the ed psych referral either. Apart from highlighting any possible underlying condition for further investigation it would make her School Action Plus which should bring TA support!

Above all remember she`s only 6 and this behaviour is a way of telling you that it`s all too much for her! Give her a hug from me!

sarahsal Wed 19-Sep-12 10:11:15

Just read your last posted -posted while I was writing the above.
Make that 2 hugs from me!

My advice is to give the school a ring to ask if she`s calmed down and make an appointment!

adoptmama Wed 19-Sep-12 10:41:39

Ok I know that I said yesterday that carrying/holding a child is ok under some circumstances, and i stand by that. However no safe hold or restraint I have ever been taught to use involves holding a child's head (with one exception from when I was working with offenders and totally not on the cards here).

I would have serious concerns about them if they are holding your daughter's head whilst carrying her as it can be dangerous. I think you need an urgent meeting with the school and take someone with you if necessary so that if you are emotional a second person can record the meeting on your behalf.

You need to know what holds they are using, if and when they restrain, if they are trained and what their policy is on when hands can be put on a child (and it should only be for her safety or that of other people).

I would not let 3 adults keep my child from me when she is upset and I understand how devastating this morning must have been for both of you. It is not acceptable that things escalated like this or that your daughter's distress was made so public; an offer to allow you and DD to have a few moments together in a private room to say good bye could have de-escalated the whole thing. If 3 adults were needed to hold your tiny 6 year old back then clearly she was hugely over-wrought. You need help for her to find out why she has such a high level of anxiety and why her emotions are so extreme. Also she sounds as if she has difficulty with impulse control and there is lots that can be done to help in this area.

I still maintain you urgently need a proper meeting with the school on all the long term problems your daughter is having. You need an educational assessment for her to find out why she is having these problems: is she on the Autistic spectrum, does she have a high level of anxiety (my own DD worked long term with a psych doing art therapy due to anxiety). You need CARING intervention and it doesn't sound like the school is doing that.

NO CHILD should be in an environment where they are needing to be regularly held or restrained. School should be a safe place for your child - emotionally and physically - and it sounds as if it is not. I'm tempted to advise you to get the assessments done and find a new school because - regardless of how/whether school and you can work together - your daughter may need a fresh start with a new peer group and teachers. But be careful before doing this incase she thinks she is being moved as a punishment or because she is 'too bad' to stay at her current school.

If you need to talk to the teacher again, please do it without your DD there though as many children find it hugely difficult to be around such conversations.

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 10:45:14

I asked the teacher about the head holding thing. She said it doesn't happen but that they do have a technique for restraining pupils if necessary, which is only carried out by MrsX who has been trained. DD was adamant that it did/does happen. That is the point where the problems started and I think where everything went wrong.

-DD said she wanted me to take her down the corridor to talk to MrsX in her room.
-Her class teacher said I could go down and see if she was free (quite possibly not as you normally need to queue outside) but DD needed to go into class now.
-DD says no to this, is getting visibly angry and trying to pull me down the corridor.
-The whole conversation repeats several times, with DD just getting angrier.
-A TA also comes out to try to lead DD back to class.She lets go of my hand( holds the TAs instead) but when I say I'm going she starts shouting no and repeating that she wants to go to MrsX's room
-MrsX actually comes down the corridor. DD is momentarily happy and goes to her, hugs her, holds her hand.
-Class teacher explains about the head holding/ restraining. MrsX says the same as the techer about it. DD agrees that MrsX is gentle/doesn't hurt her, but also still says it does happen and she wants it to stop
-DD is then asked to go into class but again says no, she wants to go with me to Mrs X's room. It is explained that the issue has been discussed but she continues to get angrier about it.
-I agree with the teachers that I should just leave now and they will phone me about it later. DD is still screaming about going to MrsX's room with me. Also by now she is stamping her feet trying to move her arms that are being held by two people.

Now after typing all that out it looks to me that DD had imagined in her head the scenario of me and her going to MrsX's room to talk. even though I did talk to MrsX and the outcome would have been the same, I wonder if to DD it felt it wasn't the same because the exact scenario in her head did not happen and she wasn't able to let go of it until it did? The anger was her way of trying to explain this or make it happen? I don't know.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 10:47:42

sad I hope her day's improving.

School nurses are very useful, and they will work with the school to make sure your child's needs are being met, which they are not being at the moment. I think it's a good idea for you to get in contact, you can do this by telling reception that you'd like to speak to her, you don't need to say why. They will get her to call you and arrange an appointment.

No child will have all of the markers of aspergers, and sometimes this can overlap with other conditions such as dyspraxia, which is why it's important to get a diagnosis, it opens up support that will really benefit a child.

unobtanium Wed 19-Sep-12 10:59:31

Hello, quite apart from everything else that has been said (I have not read it all but lots of excellent advice it seems...)

... have you (or has anyone) questioned how the teacher could say that your DD had scratched someone's face when no adult had actually seen her do this??

Chandon Wed 19-Sep-12 11:00:03

I agree with a lot that adoptmama was saying.

The school should really come up with a plan ( a social emotional IEP for example)

And you and the school should tell your DD that it is OK to feel angry, it is OK to feel upset, but acting up is NOT OK.

I had to have quite a few chats like this with my DS, when he was in year 1. I dreaded the schoolgate moment, once a week or so, where the teacher would say: mrs Chandon, can I have a word with you please?!...that Sinking feeling.

With hindsight, my DS was just very immature for his age, the expectations for behaviour were maybe unrealistic, he needed a while to adapt.

His behaviour improved dramatically once he was around 7, he was not really ready for school before then, acerbated by his dyslexia. He is completely fine now, 100%!

Imo, gentle but clear reinforcement of boundaries helps. Her pushing her hand in someones face is not acceptable behaviour, even if t is not scratching anyone. She needs to learn that feeling worried or angry is OK, but physical reactions are not.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 11:01:39

In her head there's a set way that things should be done, it makes her feel safe when it's like this. If things change, she can't cope. She no longer feels safe and in control. This school is really failing your daughter, they need to work out why this behaviour is occuring and how to support her, they are actually causing some of her problems rather then solving them.

adoptmama Wed 19-Sep-12 11:03:53

My DD is also very over sensitive to touch at times - part of her many little 'issues' smile Is it possible that what you, another adult or even a child would consider a reasonable level of touch is not the same for your DD? My DD can react as if she is being crushed and tortured because a zip is pressing on her skin in the car and she will totally flip until she gets undressed. She is not on the Spectrum btw, but it did cross my mind at one point and I asked the psych. You do need answers and I hope you can quickly start of the process of getting them before things deteriorate even further.

Chandon Wed 19-Sep-12 11:05:39

Also, second thought, have there been any changes in your or her home situation? A divorce, death or sickness in the family, new sibling, moving house, unemployment or mental health issues parents?

These things can really affect kids, even though they appear to be coping fine. My DS really was affected by us having moved, and death of his grandfather, for example.

theboneperson Wed 19-Sep-12 11:13:17

I would actually start looking at taking her out of that school.

When I was six, my first school closed down, so I was moved to another local school for one term. For some reason, I got labelled as 'naughty' by the class teacher (who clearly didn't like me) and I remember one incident where a girl said I'd blunted her pencil - I hadn't - and I got sent out to the cloakroom. Where I put the plugs in all the basins and turned the taps on..... To this day, I don't know why I did that, but presumably it was to do with frustration.

Anyway, after that one term, a place came up that school my parents wanted, and nothing like that ever happened again. In fact, I was consistently top of the class and won the overall prize at the end of primary... I really doubt that that's what would have happened had I stayed at that other school.

I would honestly get her on the waiting list for some other schools. Fresh start, no labelling.

adoptmama Wed 19-Sep-12 11:19:42

Also 'holding the head' and 'immobilising the head' in terms of restraint are different things. But for your daughter they may not be - she just calls it all 'holding my head' iyswim.

There are very strict guidelines (circular 10/98 I think) on what can be used as a hold or restraint and these apply to all schools. These should be readily available to you. Only trained staff should restrain, although any teacher has a duty of care to act if a child is putting himself or others in danger. If a restraint or hold is not properly executed e.g. a basket hold, then the head can be free to headbutt you so it is not without the bounds of possibility that, if your DD is flailing around, someone has pinned her head with their arm to protect themselves - but they shouldn't as the risk of constricting the throat or twisting the neck is too high. However it frankly seems to me to have been a bit of an over-reaction to have 2-3 adults hold her this morning. She was not in danger. They were not in danger. She was disobeying - yes. She was highly emotional - yes. But she was not in danger and the only place she was trying to go was to you - not to run out of the school or onto a busy road for example.

Your DD this morning sounds as if she was trying to exert control over the outcome of things. She was trying to make the scenario she wanted - of going with your to Mrs X's room - the one that happened. Now, on the one hand you may have a hugely manipulative and strong willed child who has unfortunately discovered that acting out and aggression may get her what she wants OR you may have a child with some serious emotional and/or developmental difficulties which need to be identified and supported. Please get her assessed asap by a psychologist. If you cannot get the school to do it - and there should be some kind of appeals process if they will not - then talk with your GP and ask for a referral to the child psychological services in your area.

That scenario this morning very much sounds like Aspergers. As people have already said, your DD has it set in her head how it should happen and then cannot deal with a change from that.

I know it seems awful now. But honestly, an understanding school which has the measures in place to help her will make the world of difference.

My personal experience of Aspergers is that with the right support and a bit of flexibility the child can excel.

There also seems to be an issue that your DD may realise she is a bit "different" and this can add to the anxiety.

But really, can anyone blame her for being anxious? She is routinely humiliated infront of her peers (not necessarily anyones fault but its still humiliating) and not listened to. She is expected to tow a line which for whatever reason she cannot.

Others here have great advice and much more experience than I have on procedures. I just wanted to help it be seen from your DDs point of view. You sound like a great mum! It can be scary, worrying, heartbreaking. But it can be better than it is now!

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 12:24:46

I don't know if it was caused by her not getting to do it the way she wanted, i was just trying to guess and maybe because I looked at the stuff about aspergers last night, I was reading something into it that wasn't there.

DD has definitely noticed she is different from the other children in her class in several ways, because she has spoken to me about it before. One thing I know that botheres her a lot is that she knows she is quite behind her classmates regarding her handwriting. Several times she has done written work in class that she is unhappy with because 'the writing is not all neat like other peoples' she screwed up the worksheet and through it in the bin which then got her in trouble. When the teacher tried to reassure her that her writing was ok and to get it back out, DD once again 'exploded' and was taken out of class.

I've got so many thoughts on all the things people have written on this thread, I feel like I could go on typing all day.But I need to go and do some work now, so I will just say thanks for all the advice and will try to reply to everyone later on.

One thing I would say is that if she was naughty or manipulative you would notice these tantrums everyday everywhere.

I know you dont want to read too much into things but sometimes thats needed.

I consider myself quite a strict parent, but I truely believe there are reasons behind this type of behaviour. Sometimes it cant just be put down to bad behaviour.

adoptmama Wed 19-Sep-12 12:55:35

My DD is a total perfectionist - she too will throw away things that are not 'perfect'. She hates handwriting at school as she is slower than others and cannot get the result she wants. Sometimes they need to learn to accept mistakes. My DD was, according to psych., 'more motivated to avoid failure than achieve success'. Therefore she would exert passive resistance and refuse to do things in Reception she was not confident she would excel at (even if I/teacher knew she could do it anyway). Maybe part of the issue is your DD is also perfectionist and can't cope with 'failure' or her own idea of what failing is. She certainly sounds like a complex girl with some wideranging needs. I hope you can get some help soon.

steppemum Wed 19-Sep-12 13:51:20

I read this earlier and so much wanted to post but had to run, sorry if this overlaps with what others have said.

her perception of what is happening in a situation is not the same as what actually happend. A child's understanding and the truth are sometimes very different. I think this is important because she sounds as if she sees something in one way and then doesn't understand why it isn't seen that way by others.

My son does this, blatantly tells me black is white when I saw what happened, because he sees it through the prism of his emotions. One thing that has helped is not to get stuck in the who did what to who but take a step back, acknowledging her feelings. For my ds it was 'i know your sister was being a pain, I know she can sometimes be annoying and wind you up. It is ok to be cross with her and not to like it. But you can't hurt her when you feel that way'
then we go through things he can do when he is angry and ways he can express his frustration. I know he is a bit older, but the same principle works.

I also taught a boy who got really angry when he thought he wasn't listened to. I promised him that when there was a fight (pretty much every playtime with him) I would listen properly to his side of the story, but then he had to understand I would also listen properly to the other persons. He calmed down enormously once he knew I was listening, even though he was usually the instigator!

I know others have mentioned aspergers. She does sound as if she is struggling with sensory overload (very typical asd) and also change. It is hard to get girls diagnosed, but there are lots of tools you can use even if she doesn't have asd, which might help. One key one is to give her warnings of change, and let her know what the plan is for the day. This is often done in school anyway, 5 minute warning to finish your art. You said the school has a calm room, can she take herself to it? Can she have a cushion in a corner where she can bury her head when she feels overwhelmed? Give her a picture timetable which she can help make at the beginning of the day. This is pictures of all the activities (literacy, art, lunch, etc) with velcro on the back and a board. The TA can help her put them on in the order they will happen, then she knows what is coming up for the morning. (actually lots of children like this, not just asd).

It is definitley time to ask the school for a meeting, with class teacher and another (head or SENCO). Ask them to make a plan, ask them to think not just about sticker charts but also about some of the asd techniques which would help her. She needs help in managing these emotions and doesn't need to be labelled as naughty.

sorry that was long, really hope you can find help.

Please ask on special needs boards for tips with things to do.

steppemum Wed 19-Sep-12 14:54:10

sympton lists can be offputting, and no child has them all. My friends ds is very clearly asd, but he is very affectionate, not typical at all in that respect, but very typical in others. There is a boy in dds class with aspergers, he is very talkative, has good friends, but struggles a lot with change (had melt down when reception class transformed home corner into shop over one weekend)

KatMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-Sep-12 15:34:46


Aspergers/ASD? I don't really know much about those but I will look them up and see if it fits DD at all. I suppose if it is then that would help towards finding a solution to these problems. I'm not sure though. I know a little boy at DS's nursery who has autism and he is nothing like DD. He doesn't talk much whereas she talks non stop sometimes, but like I said i don't know much about it. The only other thing I know about that little boy is my DS is very jealous of him because he gets to hold the calculator all day!

Thanks for asking for this thread to be moved btw, if you think it would be better somewhere else. I have no idea how to do that myself.

Hi OP, we've moved this thread into Special Needs: Education, hope you find the advice and support you need thanks

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 17:18:55

Thanks for moving it.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 17:43:49

My nephew has aspergers. He's a lovely little boy, but he can talk and talk about pop groups. I hope your DD has had a better day. smile

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 18:33:07

Well according to her teacher she had a good day, a bit up and down (whatever that means) but generally good and better than yesterday. She did however forget to mention how DD acquired the large cut on her lip that she has come home with! So mostly tonight she has spent her time either complaining about how much it hurts or freaking out when it started bleeding again while she was eating dinner.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 19:33:07

sad I hope it heals quickly. Does the school write a diary of her day for you? It can help if things are documented.

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 21:19:59

No they don't write a diary. I have asked in the past to be told everything but it never lasts past a few weeks. The teacher has started a new sticker chart for DD today though and said they will try to get someone from Behaviour Support to see her next week.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 22:38:14

They are not helping at all. Is there another school that she can go to? I'm not a huge fan of moving children to different schools, it sounds as though they are failing your daughter on so many levels though. sad

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 23:01:47

There are no other primary schools nearby (this one is a 40 minute walk from home) and it would be a long way to travel to the other ones I know about. They are also in the opposite direction to the way I need to go, so would need to have breakfast club too. Also I have a DS at this chool so they would both need to move as I can't be in two places at once. I suppose its something I can look into though but I don't know if it would be any different and i think I would worry the upheaval would make DD's problems worse or if it was the same, changing school would have been a waste of time.

I wouldn't really know what to look for in a different school either as I obviously didn't do a good job choosing this one. I just picked the closest one to home because i thought that it would be fine. I don't have any experience with schools, only the ones I went to and that was just the closest to my house then too. My school experience was very different to DD's though because I was just allowed to do whatever I wanted most of the time.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 23:11:40

Don't blame yourself, we've all made mistakes. I moved my son 3 times before I found the right primary for him. Have you thought about speaking to the school nurse? I worked with them here for a little while, they are so supportive and will liase with the school for you to make sure your daughter gets the care that she needs.

CatWantsPeopleFood Wed 19-Sep-12 23:25:01

I don't think that the school have a nurse. Its quite a small school and they just have a little first aid room for children to go to when they are sick/hurt. I've never actually seen a nurse in there, teachers/TAs just take them in there when necessary.

steppemum Wed 19-Sep-12 23:42:54

there will be a school nurse, there is a nurse responsible for your school, but she isn't on site, she probably has a dozen schools in her remit. You can request a meeting. You may be able to request a meeting without going through school. Have you tried your gp? If they are good they may be able to refer you.

I think the school is thinking along nehaviour lines, and there needs ot be a shift towards understanding her needs. that is possible. don't write them off yet.

LadySybildeChocolate Wed 19-Sep-12 23:43:14

All schools have access to a school nurse, even the tiny private ones. They are not always based in the school though. They usually pop in when needed, or to do the weight/height checks. Pop into reception tomorrow, tell them that you'd like to speak to the school nurse and they will arrange for her to call you, you don't need to say what it's about. The school nurse will call you and arrange to come and see you. You just need to tell her that your daughter is having some problems at school, and you don't know what to do. If you can explain what the problems are this will help, or if it helps to print this thread off and hand it to her rather then speak, then do that. They are lovely people, and she/he'll do their very best to help and support you and your daughter.

I'd be so proud if you were my mum, you sound as if you love your daughter very much. smile

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 20-Sep-12 00:14:10

Would the school nurse be the person who does hearing tests? If it is then I was told she only comes to the school twice a year when I was trying to get DD's hearing checked when she first started school because I was worried that she didn't always respond to noises or being spoken to. She has had 2 hearing tests since then though and it came out fine.

Anyway that is something else I will look into tomorrow as well.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 20-Sep-12 00:31:36

Yes, she does all sorts. I worked with the school nurses here for a little while, you can see them at any time. If school reception say otherwise, you may have to hunt them down. They are usually based at one of the health centres, so you could try calling around. You can also go and see your GP, although he/she may not be able to liase with the school for you. You do need to get the ball rolling with regards to an assessment, so you can either wait for the school nurse, ask the school (again) or see your GP. I know it's confusing, there's a lot of different ways to get to the same place.

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 20-Sep-12 10:12:46

Feeling really awful this morning. DD was totally happy to go to school up to the point the doors opened, then she just froze. I don't know if she could tell what was about to happen but I certainly didn't. A TA appear and just grabbed her, said 'bye mum' to me then carried her screaming into school. I was really shocked and confused, I'm sure DD must have felt the same way. I had no idea they were planning to do that, if I had I could have at least prepared DD for what to expect. We didn't even have a chance to do our little saying goodbye routine ( a hug and a kiss and a spare one for later) it all happened so quickly.

I feel like going back to the school and taking my baby out and never sending her back there. I know that probably isn't a good idea though and they did it for a good reason. I'm happy to do whatever it takes to help DD with her behaviour at school, but this just didn't feel right sad


That sounds hideous. How you must be feeling right now. It isnt right.

If I was you I would be going and getting her now. I know that isnt always possible. But shes only 6. Thats still so young.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 20-Sep-12 11:06:45

sad They really have no idea. I think you need to tell the TA/teachers to stop doing this. If she does have aspergers it's only going to make things a lot worse and upset your child. You're going to have to speak up, 'don't do that to my child, can't you see how much it distresses her?' The school is making things a thousand times worse. I'd be upset if a TA did this to my child, it's very unnecessary. Did you manage to track the school nurse down?

Chandon Thu 20-Sep-12 13:09:38

Sorry but the school sounds rubbish!

Start looking at other schools, and get to know the HT.

A HT sets the tone for the school, and some schools are truely inclusive, and helpful when a child is anxious or has difficulties.

CatWantsPeopleFood Thu 20-Sep-12 20:33:04

I did a bit of research and managed to find out there is a school nurse that covers our area. Luckily she was located in a part of a building I was already going to a meeting at today. I went in and spoke to her and she has agreed to visit the school to see DD.

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

Does your child have SN ?

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

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

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?

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

Cat this thread is very well where it is now smile

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

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

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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.

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 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 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 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

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

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

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

sorry x post

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.

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!

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

sorry the link should have been this PDA

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.

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.

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 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.


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