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To be really annoyed with a colleague (SEN)

(16 Posts)
MaybeMabel Fri 21-Sep-12 21:33:03

I was talking to my child's keyworker at nursery and she mentioned 'oh we encouraged ds this week to play with other children like X suggested'.

X and I both both work with nursery (and older) children with SEN and she was visiting ds's nursery as she had another child to assess there (in another room). It turns out she asked to see ds (considering our job roles I don't blame nursery at all for presuming this was ok), observed him for a brief period and gave a few recommendations to staff, including encouraging play with other children as he was playing only (he's two).

I have no concerns regarding his social interaction! I'm happy for him to play alone if he so chooses, I don't think it's surprising he does with a huge age gap from his siblings it's a skill he's learnt. He is capable of normal play and often plays with others too, just a little bit of a loner at times like the rest of the family. The other recommendations regarding his speech were fine, but I've felt no reason to direct nursery myself in this as they have demonstrated they are every capable with supporting him with his (mildly) delayed speech without my input. He's come on loads since being there.

I'm quite open at work that ds has some language delay (related to early feeding problems and health issues) but I have no concerns about his development and he is showing every sign of now quickly progressing in his speech. It's not even that delayed, he can make his needs understood fine so he's happy. I've also quite deliberately NOT raised concerns about his speech as provision here until three is crappy group sessions that presume you don't talk to your child. If it was still a problem I'd wait until three to take it further. I'm not at all blind to his slow speech and poor start, but he's doing just great now.

I'm not that close to this colleague as for years we've worked in different ends of the borough. I'm livid she inferred and feel like giving her a right earful. She's quite pompous in her manner and will probably expect me to be grateful she's honoured him with her time. I feel like she's disrespected both my parenting and professional skills. Dh though, also working in education in the same area, isn't bothered at all and sees it as well-meaning. So am I being too precious?

Gumby Fri 21-Sep-12 21:34:39

Yanbu

Very unprofessional

coppertop Fri 21-Sep-12 21:39:40

YANBU

I would be reminding the nursery staff too that they ought to be getting your consent before allowing a third party to observe your child.

ihearsounds Fri 21-Sep-12 21:41:22

Unprofessional of her to do so. It doesn't matter if you should be grateful or whatever, you never asked for anyone to observe, nor did you give consent. I assume in your borough you have to have parental consent to do anything.
Bit odd as well that the nursery just assumed that this was fine.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 21:41:52

I don't think you are being too precious, but I think you need to be careful not to turn this into a bigger issue than it has to be.

From what you have said about this woman, she coud have been genuine in trying to help. Maybe she just wanted to see what you were talking about?

I understand why you are upset, but you sound like you have taken offence at your ds being encouraged to mix with others, when it's really not a bad thing that he does that. Of course there is nothing wrong with a 2yo playing alone, but I would have thought that encouraging integration between peers was fairly standard advice if there were any concers about speech delay. I doubt the nursery are implementing it because they think there is a problem socially.

MaybeMabel Fri 21-Sep-12 21:45:16

coppertop, she already had permission from the manager to be in the nursery for the other chid, and she is fairly often. I don't blame the young girls in his room for being a little intimidated by her being there and not questioning her at all once she'd stated what she was there for. She was hardly a random person off the street. I think it's fair for the nursery to expect that someone in her position would not do this and therefore not constantly supervise her. They would know we worked together too so it may not have seemed at all odd to them.

I think SHE was in the position of authority and the one who was way out of line.

Almandine Fri 21-Sep-12 21:46:39

Yes, nursery staff should have got consent from you. I would be talking to the manager about this, and asking where you need to sign.

I would behaving a word colleague. She has indeed disrespected your parenting and professional skills.

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 21:48:42

They don't really start really interacting big time with children their own age until 3 I thought?

If she thought anything at all she should have bloody talked to you about it before she went steaming in.

I don't mean this in a negative way against children who have additional needs, but I would be annoyed she'd put it in the nursery workers minds that they should be seeking out problems with your DS and would treat him differently than they otherwise would have.

She's gone over your head with your own DS, mixing up work with personal stuff, and that's not on.

Is she allowed to assess children not on her 'list'? Or without parental consent/discussion? Don't know how these things work.

MaybeMabel Fri 21-Sep-12 21:48:52

Outraged- it's just the principle that gets me really, her thinking she has the right. He is encouraged to mix with others anyway, but they probably upped it even more on her advice. They are a good nursery and pretty aware of needs.

It was probably more professional nosiness that was the motivation than a desire to help. I once heard a story of her walking into a review with parents purely for her own development, listen in without introduction then leave.

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 21:51:20

'and asking where you need to sign'

Or not sign as the case may be, I wouldn't be putting my name to anything I hadn't been consulted about.

Has what she's said to you been written up somewhere? Do you normally report back what you've observed/recommendations?

MaybeMabel Fri 21-Sep-12 21:52:54

Agent- you are right. At his age the expectation is that they are able to play alongside their peers. Many interact but it's certainly not a concern if they don't.

Of course she isn't normally allowed to do this!

DS is already a bit separate with his allergies/ small size and already spoilt with attention beyond what is sometimes good (for example being the only one in his room who is carried around). He plays on it happily.

MaybeMabel Fri 21-Sep-12 21:53:53

It was more a case of sticking her head round the door and dropping comments that a proper assessment. An inaccuarate snapshot really.

boredandrestless Fri 21-Sep-12 21:53:54

I would speak to the nursery manager and say you understand the staff in the room assuming she was telling the truth, but that she did not have permission now had she been asked to observe your child or comment on him. The manager should review this incident with her staff.

I would be emailing this colleague (so it is in writing) stating you are aware that she today observed and assessed your child at nursery today without your permission, and then commented on him to nursery workers. State you are confused about this as you did not ask for her to do this, and she did not ask for permission either.

I would involve whoever is above her too. Would she do this to a relative's child? A nieghbour's child? A personal friend's child? She has actually put her professional reputation on the line by breaking protocol like this and any parent would be right to put in an official complaint about her.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 21:54:24

I work in Early Years too and I can imagine the sort of person you are describing her as. But I figured it best to start with giving her the benefit of the doubt.

Your impression is probably entirely correct, so you have to decide whether to pull her up on it or leave it. I'd want to pull her up, but would chicken out probably. Just try not to go down the route of bitching about her to colleagues of you can!

AgentZigzag Fri 21-Sep-12 22:04:49

'It was more a case of sticking her head round the door and dropping comments that a proper assessment. An inaccuarate snapshot really. '

So she's not even based her comments on a proper assessment.

I know she hasn't said anything bad, and she might have done it for the best of reasons, but it's unethical.

You say other people might not pull her up on things because they're intimidated by her because of the type of person she is as well as the authoritative role she's in.

She shouldn't be using either of those to do things she hasn't gone through the proper procedures to get permission for.

Presumably that's the reason the procedures are there for.

You've said she's done things not in her remit twice you know of, has she done other stuff?

(I'm still only guessing at how these things work)

Flobbadobs Fri 21-Sep-12 23:03:40

I've worked in a nursery with exactly this type of person and YANBU in the slightest. It's unprofessional and undermining at its worst. At 2 yo parallel play is still the norm AFAIK? I would raise hell in the politest possible way with the nursey and remind them that you also work in childcare are are well aware of any guidlines relating to the development and wellbeing of your DS, throw in the relevant EYFS information for good measure and ask that they don't discuss or change your DS's care in any way without your expilicit consent. Sorry if that sounds overboard but having had someone try to go over my head about DD's mild speech delay with no authority a couple of years ago things like this boils my piss..
FWIW her delay was purely that she hadn't met the 20 word (as it was at that point) guidline at nursey in front of her keyworker Theres nothing wrong with her speech now at 7 other than she never stops talking! smile

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