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What can I expect from a behavioural expert called in by school?

(7 Posts)
NaughtyDolly Wed 23-Jan-13 14:22:27

My DS is 4 and started school in September as one of the youngest in the year group. He did mornings until Christmas and really enjoyed school, although his behaviour wasn't tip-top, but since he has started doing all day, things have really gone downhill.

At a parent consultation evening last year, his teacher told us he was doing very well academically, but that he was not good at joining in with group activities. He pretty much refuses to do anything where they go into the hall, or to sit down and be read a story, for instance. He missed out on doing the Nativity because he just couldn't sit still long enough and started acting up and being disruptive. Likewise assemblies or church visits are a problem.

Since Christmas, he has been very unhappy going into school in the mornings, often tearful and angry and trying to run away and having to be dragged into class by his teacher.

Last week, she called me in for a word after school and said they wanted to call in a behavioural expert because he keeps trying to run away during school hours, particularly at lunch time or if his teacher leaves the classroom. He had not mentioned this to me at all.

Apparently, he runs out of the playground gate and into the main body of the school, where he usually gets lost and no one can find him. I hate the thought of him doing this, he said he wants to get to the school office so that they can phone me to come and get him.

When he has been upset in the mornings I have consoled myself by thinking he is all right once he gets inside, but now it seems as though this is not the case and that he is unhappy all day.

He is a lively and happy kid normally, although very full-on and he can be badly behaved at home when he doesn't get his way. But since he's been back at school he's become very clingy. At a birthday party at the weekend he wouldn't get off my lap, and this is so unlike him.

I'd like to know what a behavioural expert looks for and the kind of things he or she is likely to offer. Am I doing the right thing by agreeing to this? DH is concerned they might want to give him drugs to calm him down a bit.

Anyone's experiences would be great. Thank you.

DeWe Wed 23-Jan-13 14:29:02

I very much doubt they will look at giving drugs in your situation.

Ds last year (young reception) only did a week of half time before going full time. He was fine half time, but really struggled full time.

He went very clingy and not wanting to be parted from me, and his behaviour was poor in the afternoons. Looking back I should have stood out and said he was only going half time-school would have been fine with that, but no one else was doing that, and I didn't want him to stand out.

This year, in year 1, he is much better mostly, and happier at school usually. However I don't think he's going to be thrilled with school until he starts doing stuff he thinks of as more interesting.

NaughtyDolly Wed 23-Jan-13 14:49:08

Thank you! In my heart of hearts I don't think he is ready for full time school, but in our case this isn't an option. The headmaster pushed quite hard for everyone to go full time right from the start, and I think he sees this as proof that DS should have done full days last term.

I think I could withdraw him altogether, but then he would start cold in Year 1 where they give maths homework every night and I think the culture shock would be worse, especially with all his classmates having formed bonds etc.

Glad to hear he isn't the only one who had these problems. Thank you.

cory Thu 24-Jan-13 19:20:40

I think you can definitely put your dh's mind at rest re drugs. In the UK doctors are very careful about only handing out drugs as a last resort, and it really doesn't sound as if your ds is there.

lljkk Thu 24-Jan-13 19:35:39

This brings to mind a story my dad tells: when he & his twin brother started school (prematurely born and among the very youngest of the year) they regularly legged it over the school yard fence to play in the lumber yard next door. The principal was authorised to paddle both boys regularly (not that that seemed to discourage them).

They also got into constant fights with rest of the class. This went on until the penultimate year of primary school.

Then they settled down. Grew up to become successful lawyers, rather boring and respectable! although one of my cousins has a devil of a temper and I now understand from where.

Kirky12 Thu 24-Jan-13 19:45:00

My DS is exactly the same, same age and as the term progressed behaviour got worse. There was a slight improvement after a week off at HT but then the weeks to Xmas were awful. they are Also bringing in an expert for guidance. Is your school quite traditional and slightly un-dynamic? I do think they tend to reach for a prop of the expert when they can't quite be bothered to discover for themselves what might help make some kids who are a bit different happy. I'm being a bit more forceful myself and that seems to be helping, they seem to now want to try different things to keep him from getting bored in the afternoons. oh and they tend to do a lot of crafty stuff in the afternoon which bores the pants of my DS smile

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 24-Jan-13 19:56:16

My DS has been having weekly behavioural therapy sessions since he was 5, now he's 9. He is diagnosed ASD. When he was younger various things overwhelmed him like the busy classroom full of children, noise behind him in his seat, coats hanging over his peg. All minor things to you and i but to him very distressing. The behavioural therapists who've worked with him have been able to make recommendations for minor changes to his environment to make him more settled. He sits near the teacher, he finds comfort in this, he sits with his back to a wall because loud noises and chatting behind him disturb him, he has a peg at the end of the run so its clear and easily accessible. He has also been taught how to tell the teacher when he's not comfortable.

The therapists have worked on many other areas with him particularly social skills and interaction, this is all part of the ASD.

Generally I've found the experts who work with children are very open to chatting through their methods and findings either by appointment or on the phone. Why not ask the school if you could make contact either before or after the visit?

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