to remove DD from nursery because she's happier at home?(70 Posts)
DD will be 4 in July. She's under a paediatrician for speech delay and likely autism. She started nursery school in September and though it's an excellent school, she just isn't happy there. She likes the teachers and will occasionally chat to them but they struggle to understand her because of her poor speech. She has never had to be forced to go in crying or anything but her face lights up when she wakes and it's the weekend. She regularly asks not to go and has never said shes enjoyed anything she's done there. She has no friends and has never played with another child there.
I've arranged play dates with four different children from her class but there is no interaction from her at all. At parents evening her teacher said she plays alone in corners turned away from everyone else. She can share and take turns well with her siblings and will occasionally play with them. She has been off this week as she has an ear and chest infection and has barely been sleeping but despite illness, she has been massively happier than she is when she's at nursery school. She starts becoming withdrawn on Sunday evening and scratches and pinches herself until she bleeds when anxious
I just don't feel she's gaining anything by being there and I know she would be a great deal happier at home. However, I also know she can't be a hermit for the rest of her life. Aibu to consider removing her or should she keep going in the hope it improves for her?
I'm a SAHM for the foreseeable future and planning to delay her entry to primary until 2017 anyway.
You are very obviously right not to send her.
I have a son with autism who is 3.7, he goes to a special needs play group twice a week. Is there anything like that near where you live? My sons autism is fairly severe and there is no way he would be happy in a mainstream nursery environment - we have been approved for an ehcp for him (new version of statement) and are waiting to hear if we have got him a place at specialist school for September.
Ultimately if your little one isn't happy I wouldn't push her into going to nursery. I would go to some different play groups and make lots of trips to the park and to soft play etc and speech therapy (are you on the waiting list or seeing someone?)
yanbu at all to consider it.
What do nursery say? Do they have a senco and a plan to help your dd enjoy it more?
So are you planning to keep her at home until she starts school? Just wondering whether that would make her socialising even harder.
If she's not going to school until 2017 I would definitely take her out now. You can always reassess in six months.
She sounds lovely, OP
It sounds to me like she's in the wrong nursery, rather than she shouldn't be going to nursery.
Can you look at other settings for her? Crèche, playgroups, there may be specific additional needs settings in your town. Nursery teachers shouldn't be struggling to understand a speech-delayed child - they manage to understand pre-verbal babies after all.
It sounds like she's in the wrong place getting the wrong support. With all the gentleness in the workd, get used to this. You have to fight for the support she needs, that is the life of a SN parent
YANBU The one-to-one with you in an environment that she's comfortable and happy in may bring her along much more. You can find lots of activities and little clubs that you can go out to with her so she can still have opportunities to interact with other children but more on her terms, for shorter periods, and with you there to reassure her a bit if she needs it
That's a great reason not to send her, of course you are doing the right thing.
WRT her being a 'hermit for ever' - this won't mean that. She's not ready for the setting and she may never like big groups but sending her before she's ready is more likely to make her withdraw/ resist. She'll do much better when she's either ready or more able to talk through and strategize what she finds difficult. It doesn't teach her anything to put her in difficult situations if she can't cope, except maybe it'll teach her she can't cope.
You're doing the right thing OP
It sounds like the developmental priority right now is improving her speech and she'll be best placed to do that with you at home.
We do go to play groups, soft play, swimming, the park and so on each week. I make sure we get out somewhere every day (besides older siblings school run) but she'd happily stay at home 24/7. She is under a speech therapist but their suggestions have been laughable, to be honest. She suggested that if DD gestures or uses the wrong or mispronounced word for something then I should tell her she can have it when she can say it correctly
Her teacher has tried to follow her interests of things we do at home but if an activity is busy at nursery she'll just avoid it even if it's something she'd like to do.
You should do whatever you think best - she's tiny and you know her best.
However the nursery doesn't sound very good! If I were you I'd be looking round for ones that offer gentle encouragement to join in rather than tell you at parents evening she plays in a corner all day. They should at the very least be keeping you informed on a more daily level if they have concerns.
Her teacher seems to think she's happy there because she rarely gets upset but not interacting at all with any other children isn't great, is it? She was so so happy during the Christmas holidays and I hate the thought of her being unhappy there.
The speech therapist suggested small group work to encourage her to socialise more but it hasn't worked. She is lovely and kind and considerate to her siblings and I know she would make a wonderful friend but she just doesn't have the urge to make connections with anyone away from home.
I feel your are slightly wrong to criticise the speech therapist. . I think she is trying to get you to say the required word to your DD and then get her to repeat it correctly before you give her the drink , put on a CD or give her the toy she wants. If she continues to have everyone giving her what she wants by anticipation or responding to gestures then there is no incentive to learn the words. Why would she bother? Clearly speech delay is isolating so trying to move her vocabulary forward is important.
I would look for a nursery from September with experience of this type of child. Are there any nurseries attached to schools with more highly qualified staff?
I don't think there is a right or wrong here. Take her out and try concentrate on her communication skills and re evaluate for September or could she do fewer hours?
Could you drop down to one day/half a day so she still gets the practice at being "at school" but not so much?
I agree with bojorojo you need to be on the same page with the speech therapist or there's no point. If you're not sure about something she's suggesting then talk to her about it.
Sounds like the nursery isn't all that well set up for your dd, I don't blame you for wanting to take her out but maybe have a look around for a more suitable alternative. Have you looked into ABA at all?
It's a nursery school so the teachers are fully qualified. I understand that approach bojorojo but to actually refuse to do as she wishes unless she pronounces it properly there and then is just going to lead to frustration IMO.
I haven't asked about dropping hours yet. Everyone does set morning or afternoon sessions of three hours per day and I believe there's a waiting list so I doubt they'd agree as another child could use the space fully.
Applied behavioural analysis. I'm a trained tutor in this and had great success as part of a team working with a little boy with ASD at age 2-3 and beyond. It's a big investment of time, effort and money but can be well worth it from what Ive seen. Have a read up online, PEACH do a lot of it in the UK.
And yes, the nursery teachers may be qualified but they are still most likely not that experienced in the intricate behavioural elements of ASD children. As long as she turns up and doesn't cause any problems I should imagine it's very easy for them to let her slip under the radar a bit. The comment about your dd standing in the corner was a bit un-nerving, it sounds like she could do with more proactive intervention.
Could you look into a special needs nanny to accompany her to nursery to push and assist her With integrating a little more?
I really feel for you and your DD. My DS has a speech delay and we started therapy last March. He had about 5% hearing which we now have at 50%. They suspected autism but we got the all clear on that front.
Based on what I have been through over the past year I would say you need a specialist setting where the teachers are trained to work with SNs. My son goes to a regular daycare but they have speech and occupational therapists on staff to help any student who is behind and between them they spend up to 3-4 hours a day in class with DS, observing and guiding the teachers using the plan set out by his assigned therapists. He also has two hours of 1-1 speech therapy and 3 hours of 1-1 play based therapy each week. The play based therapy is awesome as its got him interacting. The approach that has been used has worked for DS. The progress we have seen is amazing, although he is still behind where he should be for his age.
First stop should be the paediatrician and speech therapist. Both should be aware of specialist groups that would be an appropriate setting for your DD. For what you say about the speech therapist, with my son it really worked by making him approximate. For months he would approximate but by making him to speak and say the word correctly over a matter of months he finally got it. I would also ask about additional speech therapy sessions. Over the summer DS had an hour of speech a day and it made a huge difference. I would also ask about 1-1 play based therapy where the focus is on social interaction.
It doesn't sound like this nursery is right for your DD. I would give notice but I would look for something more suitable to her needs.
If being at nursery is causing her high levels of anxiety then it sounds like keeping her at home is exactly what she needs.
As far as school attendance is concerned, you are of course completely within your rights to homeschool her. i have a few homeschool aquaintances who have childrem with Autism and it works very, very well for their children.
YOu don't need to be a teacher, there are almost limitless resources and contacts out there these days and it would give BOTH of you the freedom to let her develop at her own pace. PM me if you'd like any further info.
Good luck whatever you choose to do, she is lucky to have a mum tuned in so well to her needs.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.