to be cross after this phone call from school about DS's 'odd' behaviour?(76 Posts)
My son is 5 and in year 1 at primary school. His teacher is concerned with the fact that he is very, very shy and reserved, doesn't interact much in groups, daydreams, hardly speaks to anyone, and gets fixated on things. She first raised this issue with myself and DH at the last parents evening a few weeks ago. We both laughed it off at the time and assured her that we are not at all worried about our son, as he is very much the way that we were as children. We know he is a very happy boy both at school and at home. I thought that would be the end of her worries about him.
We put his new teacher's reaction to our son's personality down to her lack of experience. He has been through nursery and reception year with no problems. His teachers have always commented on his shyness, good behaviour and good learning with no problems.
I have just had a phone call from one of the teachers school. She taught my son in reception.
She told me that my son's new teacher has asked her to speak to me regarding her concerns my son's 'odd' behaviour at school.
They are recommending that he is seen by SENCO
I have told her that my son is completely normal and happy, he is learning lots and that his new teacher is overreacting.
I have refused this intervention as I feel it is inappropriate.
I am so cross that I'm actually shaking now. I have a feeling this won't be the end of it. I wonder what she thinks is going on with him at home? I'm going to talk to DH tonight.
I don't know what we are going to do next.
Has anyone else had any experience of this? Please help!
I have experience of a child with special needs.
Seeing a SENCO doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with your child. It means the school is looking for ways to help support him make friends and be less shy.
If you feel there is nothing to worry about I would go along to an initial appointment with an open mind.
Are you worried they are going to label him as autistic / Asperger's?
Personally I would take up the offer of seeing the SENCO. If nothing is wrong you can put it all behind you and the teacher will have to accept his behaviour is normal. If there are further concerns then your son can receive help.
My instinct is to wonder whether you would rather she had concerns and didn't raise them with you? I think being so cross you are shaking is an overreaction.
Yes, your son is normal. Just like any other child that might be assessed by the SENCO. Don't use that word.
What do you think they might think is going on at home? I would imagine that they have seen behaviour at school that causes concern, and as such want your DS to be checked out. If your DS is neurotypical, then being seen by the SENCO isn't going to cause him any problems. If he "has" something, then he does. And not seeing someone won't make it go away, just as seeing someone won't create a problem or of nothing.
It might be the case that there is nothing to worry about. But you'll have confirmation of this. It might be the case that your child needs some extra help, in which case he will have the support he needs.
It isn't an assessment of your parenting. It isn't a judgement on your home life. Its simply a qualified person talking and assessing your child to see if there's anything worth looking at further.
Why do you think the intervention is inappropriate?
They care - that's all. An open discussion will help them to understand him better and you to get a picture of how he is at school. Go along and reassure them.
You can be happy and learning well and still have additional needs y'know.
What is it that's making you so angry?
Try not to get angry. I honestly think she's trying to help. You've refused the intervention, so that should be the end of it.
I wonder what she thinks is going on with him at home?
I doubt she's thinking anything outside of helping him to be happy and confident at school.
My experience is different to yours; my son is increasingly isolated, unhappy and anxious at school, so I asked for SENCO intervention and they're dealing with it well. To me, the end of the game is helping him be happy, and I'm glad that the school are working with me on this.
I'm not sure why you object to SENCO observing your child? 2 separate trained teachers have identified that his actions are out of line with their expectations. SENCO will observe and assess your child without him even being aware and will let you know if he needs some extra guidance.
You might as well be describing my eldest there, he's very bright, well mannered, well behaved and a delight to teach apparently, however he does have input from SENCO, nothing would be evident to you or I as it only manifests in a learning environment. Surely you want him to have as much help to achieve his best as possible?
Yes, practically exactly the same happened when my son was the same age, and his teacher also described him as "odd", which is very hurtful. My son has tics, which made it even more upsetting. We did end up having him tested for various things, but if you have no concerns maybe speak with the head about your concerns with the teacher.
Schools do not see special needs where there are none, firstly because the support they provide has to come out of their pocket.
You're extremely defensive about this, but trust me, your son being just like you and your husband as a child does not preclude him from needing extra support in the classroom. You accuse the teacher of being inexperienced, but I bet she's not, not compared to you. You only have the experience of your own child, she has 29 others to compare him to.
Take the support. Let them keep an eye on him, because in five years time you will have a better idea of how much help he needs, and can take or leave the help that will hopefully still be on offer.
Surely it's better to rule out any issues (especially if your DS's behaviour has been picked up by not one but two different teachers?)
I actually think you are being unreasonable - if there is nothing 'wrong' with your son then what's the harm in letting him be assessed?
I actually cannot understand why you are so angry about it?
By the way - the school picked up a hearing problem with my son when he was in reception that I didn't notice. I was so close to him that I never realized he couldn't hear well. We had grommets fitted and it made a huge difference. I am so glad they picked it up.
sounds as though they're seeing signs of asd. I know that teachers are very very reluctant to raise this subject with parents and much prefer having it raised by the parent themselves. The fact that they've mentioned this to you signals that they're pretty certain that something is going on re behaviour and possible sen.
Try not to be so defensive and actually glad that the teacher cares enough to be concerned. It's a bit rude of you to comment on her lack of experience. Shaking and being so angry is overreacting and for what over? Meet with the Senco, there's no harm in that.
It sounds like a good school where the teachers are on the ball. Sencos don't piss around for fun they have enough to do. If you have been offered this take it now. If there is any issues, it's better they are addressed now proactively. I wish my child's school had been as good.
Thanks everyone for the replies. We do have older children but we have never experienced anything like this before. I think I will go to see the teacher with an open mind about the SENCO intervention.
I'm afraid I have no advice but I just wanted to say that I feel for you. I was a very quiet, shy child at school and if I were a child today, I expect my mother would be getting phone calls about my 'odd' behaviour!
There isn't (and never has been) anything wrong with me. My dd's are both the quietest children in their classes. My Dh was the same apparently.
I wish quiet, reserved children were allowed to be just that. Loud, confident and sociable isn't better or more normal then quiet, thoughtful and reserved.
I'm wondering if you are taking it as a criticism of you, rather than an offer of help for him.
You say that he's very like you were as a child. So, by extension, you are assuming either they are saying you were 'odd' (did they really use that word? Pretty unprofessional if so), or that your parenting is at fault.
I get it. But if your little boy is likely to need some help socially, you do owe it to him to go along and see of they can help.
I don't agree that they have decided already that your son has ASD. Simply being painfully shy, and unable to make friends etc, would be viewed as something needing intervention, to support the child so they get the most out of school.
I was very quiet and shy in early primary school and I wish someone had taken the time to work with me to raise my confidence, as they have done with my own dc. (I do/did not have SEN).
Seeing the SENCO won't make your child have any conditions that aren't there already, iyswim.
The school have a good insight about your child - they get to see him trying out new things, both academic and social, which they can view dispassionately (which is important) and have a range of other children (both in the same class/year and from their own history) to contextualise him with (I'm deliberately not saying compare). You have a good insight into your child because you see him every day as well, care about him deeply and have a personal insight (which is also very important) and can contextualise him with your DH's and own childhoods, and his life up to starting school.
I see a meeting as being no more than fitting together the two very important halves to see if there is anything or nothing that needs further looking at. Can you look at it like that?
Can you articulate what has upset you so much about the offer of a chat with the SENCO?
Is it the implication that there might be something wrong?
Do you think they will judge you because of your sons shyness?
Neither is the case - the teacher will just want to understand your sons development better and a SENCO can help her do this.
So, daydreamy children can benefit from sitting nearer the teacher to maintain concentration with less distraction. Shy children can be encouraged to gain confidence if social skills techniques are overtly taught to them. Use of a visual timetable can help transitions between activities if your son decides he wants to fixate on an activity he loves and is reluctant to move onto something he finds less interesting. There are loads of simple classroom techniques which really help learning and behaviour for children who are quiet, shy, daydreamy or otherwise not just like the majority of boisterous classmates.
You said he is happy and learning well - great - but there is no harm in seeing if the school environment can be even better suited to his preferences.
I think the use of the word odd, when speaking to you, was not ideal.
I think you're being stubborn. As I see it, they are seeking to help your son and have the means to facilitate an assessment to see if they can. There is nothing inappropriate about that, nothing untoward, nothing sinister. The intentions are good.
You are understandably defensive about this, but believe me, you don't need to be.
Schools are much better at noticing and acting on concerns than they used to be.
Here's an example - my friend got a call from her son's teacher suggesting my friend take him for an eye test. My friend had never noticed anything amiss with his sight at all, and was taken aback. She took the advice though, thinking it couldn't hurt to check.
Turned out he was very short sighted, and the world was actually a blur to him. He had never complained because he simply assumed that's how everyone saw the world. Yes, she said, he stood close to the tv, but don't all kids do that?
She was mortified not to have known, and so grateful to the school for flagging it up.
Don't cut off your nose to spite your face. As you say, it's probably over precaution, but better that than ignorance hey?
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