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My nursery says my 16th month may have special needs as he plays on his own??!!!

(35 Posts)
pudding137 Thu 21-Jul-11 20:21:38

Just returned from a parents chat session with my nursery. Within a couple of minutes his 'teacher' or whatever you call them at such a young age said that they had concerns about my wee boy as he only enjoys playing by himself and he had a poor grasp of concentration. She then went on to bring in the woman in charge of special needs to ask me some further questions, such as does he have any friends outside of here to play with as if all I ever did with him was take him round the shops! At this point I must state that he has a lovely temperment, never agressive always smiling and I make a point seeing as though I am a stay at home mum to do something really fun with him every day whether its swimming, the animal park or the play center and yes he does play with other children absolutely fine ! They also said he hates loud noises and cant sit in the piano session anymore as he gets in such a state. His nursery is a Montessori as well, Im not sure if their method of learning means they expect more from him, to me he is stilll a baby ! I just wanted to put this out there as I was very upset when I came back and feel I really do the best for him and maybe he is just shy at nursery, surely it doesnt mean there is anything more wrong with him than that does it?

Sorry for going on xx

BertieBotts Thu 21-Jul-11 20:24:10

I thought it was totally normal for them only to do parallel play until about 2 or so? confused

You could ask your health visitor what they think. They're usually quite good with developmental milestones etc.

StitchingMoss Thu 21-Jul-11 20:24:41

He is incredibly young to be talking about special needs sad - my DS2 is 21 mths and usually always plays on his own but I don't have any concerns about this as it's quite normal at his age. Obviously that's not the only thing they have raised, but it does seem rather strange to be making you anxious when he is so little.

Do you have any concerns about the nursery or are you otherwise happy?

RitaMorgan Thu 21-Jul-11 20:26:31

He sounds normal to me - maybe the Montessori method doesn't suit him and he'd be better off in a normal nursery where there is a bit more free play?

I don't know of any 16 month olds who play with other children - it's a skill they don't usually develop until 2.5-3 years. At this age at most you'd expect them to play in parallel with other children, but many are still in their own worlds. Short concentration spans and not liking loud noises is also very normal in babies/young toddlers.

dribbleface Thu 21-Jul-11 20:27:10

They sounds nuts to be honest, normal behaviour for most 16mth olds. I manage a nursery, was there nothing else they mentioned?

mycatthinksshesatiger Thu 21-Jul-11 20:35:39

It's far too early to be drawing any conclusions.

DD is dyslexic but no other special needs as far as I know, and has always liked her own company - at school, at nursery etc. Teachers always remark on it. Partly I think it's because she has had hearing problems and finds it hard to hear other children sometimes in a noisy classroom. And sometimes she just likes a bit of quiet time on her own. But at other times she plays with one friend or in a large group. We have never had any particular problems socially so far! (she is 10).

I think they are jumping the gun if there are no other signs of problems.

pudding137 Thu 21-Jul-11 20:35:48

sorry this is the first time Ive used a forum and I keep losing my replies to you all thank you for your quick responses!!

I live next door to 2 primary head teachers and they said it was totally out of order as ' special needs' obviously rings alarm bells in anyones head and you dont bring that into the conversation almost straight away. I dont have any other conerns about the nursery to be honest or with my little boy. He was 10lb 8 oz when born and is tall for his age, I dont know if they just think he should be more advanced due to how he looks. I would be the first to say if I thought I had concerns about his behaviour with me but I honestly dont know what they are on about, neither does any of my family or friends. I asked if he was agressive to any children there and they said no, so at least he is still as mild mannered with them as he is with me !!

DilysPrice Thu 21-Jul-11 20:35:51

Even though it is normal for a 16 month old to play alone, mI'd be inclined to take a nursery's concerns seriously, if the staff members making the observations were relatively experienced, after all they've seen a lot of children his age.
The piano thing is a bit of a marker.

DilysPrice Thu 21-Jul-11 20:37:43

Of course it's also possible that they're just rubbish and have lost track of his real age because he's so tall.

FannyFifer Thu 21-Jul-11 20:40:23

What's the piano thing a bit of a marker for?
Speak to your health visitor, but your wee guy sounds pretty normal to me.

My 17 month old sounds similar and her older brother was the same.

Maybe they do keep thinking he is older than he is.

monkoray Thu 21-Jul-11 20:40:48

The nursery staff sound bonkers. My DS goes to a Montessori and at 16 months they don't expect anything special. They don't really do structured montessori until they are 2 years old in most Montessori nurseries. I don't think this is a Montessori thing, i think this is a crazy staff thing.
My DS is 21 months and still doesn't play with other kids, hates hoovers and hand dryers and can't concentrate on anything except 'In the night garden' for any significant time.
Is your DS big for his age, do you think they have forgotten how old he is?
I guess if it has concerned you you could ask your GP if he needs a referral but like StitchingMoss says, it sounds a bit early to be talking SEN.

monkoray Thu 21-Jul-11 20:43:00

x-post with you saying he is big. i bet thats it

alowVera Thu 21-Jul-11 20:56:40

Think your nursery staff are nuts too, a 16mth old does not play with other children. I know 2-3 yr olds who do not play with other children.
Why would any 16mth old want to sit in a piano session?

AngelDog Thu 21-Jul-11 21:59:00

Agree with the above.

My 18 m.o. is very similar and also hates loud noises. I think it's very normal from what I've read.

StitchingMoss Thu 21-Jul-11 22:08:47

I agree with your neighbours - you don't band around phrases like SEN without being very sure of your ground.

I would go back to them and say you take on board their concerns but just want to leave things as they are and let him develop at his own speed.

The size thing could definitely be part of the problem.

pudding137 Thu 21-Jul-11 22:27:17

Brilliant thanks again, think I will say something about being very concerned at what they said and to keep me more informed if these 'issues' are still continuing, rather than saying I think they are jumping the gun a bit etc etc and see how it goes, poor wee man maybe I should be buying him shakespere for his 2nd birthday ! Xxx

ponyprincess Thu 21-Jul-11 22:40:27

I agree with the others that it is perfectly normal not to be engaging in play with other children at that age--could they have meant that he doesn't respond to play with adults, which might be a bit more unusual?

The Montessori philosophy is about letting the child lead the learning, so I don't think it would be part of that necessarily that they have these expectations, though it might be to do with how they implement it at your nursery.

Did they say what exactly they expected him to be doing in terms of play and concentration?

catchingzeds Fri 22-Jul-11 06:20:48

I don't think the nursery have communicated very well with you but I wouldn't dismiss their chat with you entirely. Nursery nurses care for literally hundreds of children and grasp a very good understanding of child development. Nursery nurses are often the first to raise concerns about a child, I would visit your health visitor or ask the nursery to observe your child for a couple of months and then if it is felt necessary invite the area senco to the nursery environment to observe your DS.

catchingzeds Fri 22-Jul-11 06:24:46

Meant to add, I think you may have taken the comments re socialising out of nursery the wrong way. I don't think they are suggesting you don't do enough with your child , I have read it as in they were wondering if you see your DS along side other children as a comparison/marker.

bonkers20 Fri 22-Jul-11 07:23:17

If you trust this nursery (and I assume you do otherwise your son would not be there), then I would certainly not dismiss what they are saying. In you position I would ask them to provide you with his developmental notes (which I think they are required to maintain) and discuss with your HV or doctor. The dislike of loud noises and not being able to sit at piano times might be slight concern. I admit to not knowing much about Montessori principles though.

cory Fri 22-Jul-11 08:36:37

I don't even think dislike of loud noises is a cause for concern at such a young age. I've known lots of toddlers who have been timid and easily upset at this age, yet have not had any problems later.

As for the nursery staff being experienced, I think even very experienced staff can sometimes get caught up with targets and an exaggerated idea of normality. Our highly experienced childminder (middle-aged lady, been doing it for years, hundreds of children passing through her hands, every qualification in the book) thought ds might have a speech problem because he didn't know the words on her list, including the name for a goat's baby. Dh refrained from pointing out that there aren't many goats in our city streets and that telling a male from a female mallard (which he could do) probably represents an equal stage of language development. Ds is now 11 and has no speech problem whatsoever. He didn't in those days either. Though he was rather scared of the CM.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 22-Jul-11 08:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumeeee Fri 22-Jul-11 13:50:11

OP your DS sounds completely normal to me. The nursery don't know what they are talking about. children don't really start playing together properly until they are about 3. Also a 16 month old doesn't guava any concentration and will often not like load noises. Nursery nurses ark taught this when they are training.

cat64 Fri 22-Jul-11 14:46:07

Message withdrawn

strawberrypink Fri 22-Jul-11 15:25:42

pudding 1234, hi, don't worry!! what they say , I have 5 children and my elderest now 20 had special needs dyslexia the school liked to tell me things about my boy when he was naughty, but when i starting asking questions back what they was going to do about it different matter all together, They can only go so far because of funding, you have to say strong and keep asking question . In my case we had to get my son tested at 10 and we found out he did have dyslexia and then when I paid out for the test privately thats when it got interesting. But now my son has a very good career he's a painter and decorator of his own company and also works for fulham football club proud mum. All you need to do is keep asking then so called teachers what they are going to do for him and do some research, also any meetings they wants you want to go to ALWAYS take hubby or a friend . I hope that helps : )

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