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to think DD has SN and expect her teacher to do something?

(100 Posts)
alisunshine29 Sun 17-Feb-13 17:10:13

When DD was at nursery school she spent the entire year talking to her friends but no adults at all - not even once. Since starting reception in September she hasn't spoken to any other child, though she does have friends. She reads her words to her teacher one on one but doesn't speak at all all day other than that. At home she never stops talking and is very happy but she has been really despondent about going to school for the past few weeks and isn't enjoying it at all. Surely almost 2 years of not talking in a school environment is enough proof she isn't going to suddenly ''come out of her shell's and her teacher should do something?

teacherandguideleader Sun 17-Feb-13 18:58:25

I believe I had selective mutism at school - I never spoke. My teachers never picked up that there was anything wrong, they were probably just grateful for a quiet kid in the class! It didn't harm my education so I don't see it as being a special need as such.

I have children in my classes who don't speak. Unless I thought it was affecting their education (i.e. they were not hitting their target grades) there is probably nothing I would do. Some children are just quiet in school.

lljkk Sun 17-Feb-13 19:00:00

What changed for you TAGL? When and why did you start speaking again?

From what I've picked up, there is no consensus on best way to help SM kids start talking, except not to pressure them.

Floggingmolly Sun 17-Feb-13 19:01:15

Have you spoken to your daughter about this, specifically how she has friends at school that she's never actually spoken to? It sounds most unlikely.
Why would you see the situation as being up to the teacher to sort out?

teacherandguideleader Sun 17-Feb-13 19:07:24

I went away to university. I chose to go somewhere far away where no-one knew me and gradually I found the confidence to speak out. I learned my voice wasn't worthless.

There are times when I revert back to my silent self, but they are becoming less frequent. I think the key was that I was never pushed, I spoke out in my own time.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 17-Feb-13 19:13:15

Teachers can't diagnose, you need a referral to a paediatrician which you'll get from a GP.

Pagwatch Sun 17-Feb-13 19:16:09

Do you understand that the teacher is not the person responsible for getting a diagnosis for your child?

You need to go and see your GP and tell them that you want an imediate referral. Do that as soon as possible.

The teacher is neither nor qualified to get this help for your DD.

Is your GP supportive/approachable?

poppypebble Sun 17-Feb-13 19:19:37

My niece was selectively mute for the entirety of her school years. Please do seek advice from your GP.

She had tons of friends at school - they just spoke for her and she played with them as normal.

Try not to make a big deal of it - my niece wanted to talk at school for a long time but was terrified because she thought everyone would make a big deal of it when she did. So she never did.

Wallace Sun 17-Feb-13 19:20:30

MY dd had SM - and it sounds like your dd does - and the teachers and I worked together, they referred to SALT, Ed Psych etc, we never saw the GP

Also ds2 maybe has some SN and again it is the school who referred him to the paediatrician.

So YANBU to expect her teacher to do something.

thekidsrule Sun 17-Feb-13 19:21:33

blame the school AGAIN


and stop labelling dc as sn yourself

Surely the school have got a range of people who would be able to help, my DDs school have access to a SEN coordinator, Parent support advisor, Educational Psychologist, Child and adolescent mental health team, Multi agancy support team.

The teacher doesn't have to be involved but the school should be helping if there is a problem.

DD1 has also had play therapy and a learning mentor through school as she has social issues, finds it difficult to be a friend.

McNewPants2013 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:26:09

OP can i ask how do you know this.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 17-Feb-13 19:28:21

The only thing I had access to through the school was an educational psychologist who can't diagnose. I got referrals to SALT, paediatrician and camhs myself.

Pagwatch Sun 17-Feb-13 19:53:53

Many schools have support services once a child has a diagnosis or is in the process of getting a diagnosis.
But schools cannot diagnose.

JeffFaFa Sun 17-Feb-13 20:07:46

Some really harsh replies here i feel. 'Your child your problem' - nice

Alot of people suspect their dc's have SN but think if they did school would pick up on it i know i did, i thought im only one person with no experaince of children so nothing to base my worries against, where as at school they encounted many people surely they couldnt miss it right? its only through reading the SN forum on mumsnet and finding this forum by chance while googling and worrying one night that i realised that school often miss/dont want to see/deny and problems and if you want to get help you have to do it yourself.

In my area at least though referrals are meant to be made by school, only when school refuse/dont bother making the referral can the gp go over them, as is happening now with my dc.

Hope you get some answers soon op, id recommend going over the sn forum on here there is alot of good advice.

tethersend Sun 17-Feb-13 20:18:31

I think that the problem here is that SN is being confused with SEN.

Of course the child has SEN; she doesn't speak to staff or peers. The school does have a responsibility to identify her needs/barriers to learning and take steps to deal with them. This can mean placing her on the CoP at School Action, writing an IEP and reviewing it regularly. It can mean regular 1:1 sessions with a learning mentor, small group withdrawal to work on social skills or just some engineered situations to encourage her to talk. None of these actions require any diagnosis, and are at the school's discretion.

The OP's DD absolutely should be receiving support from the school. It is not the OP's responsibility to put in support for her at school.

Yfronts Sun 17-Feb-13 20:36:24

Can you meet with her teacher and ask them to work out some strategies to put in place.

Isityouorme Sun 17-Feb-13 20:42:38

Your her mother, you start the ball rolling. Ask the school what they are going to do and put deadlines on things happening here possible.

alisunshine29 Sun 17-Feb-13 21:53:16

I spoke to the GP after she'd been at nursery school for 6 months without speaking and he said to wait and see and go back if it was still an issue in 6 months by which point it was the summer holidays so knew I'd have to wait til she'd been in reception a few months before going back to GP or would be told to wait and see again while she settled in. Went back to GP last week and he said that of school were concerned then they'd support/refer her and to give it more time. I know she hasn't spoken to her friends because she has told me and her friend saw us out of school and overheard her talking and said 'wow! She CAN actually talk!' Plus other kids mums have said their children have said she doesn't talk at all. Have spoken to teacher about it who said to give her time but I feel like she's just left to it because she's well behaved. She reads her words one on one at school but doesn't take part in any group work or discussion etc so it's impacting her education. It's getting to the stage where she's pretending she's ill so she doesn't have to go or won't eat so she's lethargic etc. I don't know what else I can do to help her.

tethersend Sun 17-Feb-13 22:35:48

Have a look at SMIRA for some advice, then make an appointment with the teacher and the SENCo to discuss your concerns and ask if and how her behaviour is impacting on her achievement.

As a teacher, I would say that an IEP at this stage would be wholly appropriate. I would want to review the situation perhaps after Easter in order to test the strategies in the IEP, and then think about making a referral to a Speech and Language therapist if appropriate.

Good luck smile

alisunshine29 Sun 17-Feb-13 23:09:38

The thing is, DD is the oldest in her year and we do a lot of reading/number work at home so she's actually ahead educationally in that - another reason why her teacher is reluctant to do anything.

tethersend Sun 17-Feb-13 23:31:10

But under the EYFS, social development is a large part of her achievement- it's not all about reading and writing. Even for English, part of what she is assessed on will be her speaking and listening skills; obviously, her difficulties will mean that she cannot be accurately assessed in this area in the normal way, and school may have to try a different strategy in order to accurately assess her abilities.

tethersend Sun 17-Feb-13 23:33:42

Parents' guide to the EYFS available to download here

twilight3 Mon 18-Feb-13 01:07:21

OP, my daughter had selective mutism (started when her bio parents were killed) and back then we talked to the SENCO who was very helpful and put everything in motion. She was referred to CAMHS and a S&L therapist would visit her in the school. We did have the school's full support and help every step of the way. She is now a confident little girl with almost no sign of her previous anxious self. She is in fact in the gifted and talented group at school.

So, yes, the school should help you but it's you who has to step up first. Talk to the SENCO, talk to the GP, push push push, she shouldn't have to live with that.

Good luck

OccamsRaiser Mon 18-Feb-13 01:17:34

(At the risk of going against my better judgement and cross-referencing other posts...)

Do you think that this might be a reaction to some of the other things going on in her(/your) life? It may well be an attempt to take back some measure of control when, from the sound of some of your previous posts, it sounds like there might well be a number of areas where she feels powerless...

My all means, speak to her teacher, explain the background, seek their advice. But as others have mentioned, I don't think it is solely the teacher's responsibility here.

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