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Please help - reception aged dd hates school

(24 Posts)
boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 09:37:21

She is August born, and started after October half term.

It started ok, but after a few weeks she started disliking going, and it is now at the point where she cries / moans and whinges about going. We are late nearly every day as I'm spending time coaxing her out of the house.

When I speak with her about it, I get the impression (from as far as a 4 yr old can express themselves) that its a chaotic, noisy, boisterous environment, and that her teacher shouts which she doesn't like.

She's a quiet, independent, fairly introverted child, though she plays well and has friends.

I just don't think she is emotionally ready for this transition. (She is fine and on target with reading/writing/maths)

Has anyone got any tips on how I can manage this? It's horrible to see her unhappy. (She seems ok when she's there, it's just getting there)

ZuleikaD Thu 03-Apr-14 11:35:55

I would talk to the council about delaying her for a year - it can be really tough for August-borns. Ask if they would keep a place for her in the next Reception class.

If you have to stay at this school, do you have the capacity to pick her up at lunchtimes? She's not actually legally obliged to attend fulltime until after her 5th birthday so the school SHOULD accommodate half-time. There's always home-school...

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 12:11:58

I picked my DD2 up at lunchtimes for the first two terms of YR because I could tell that she wasn't emotionally ready for school. The school staff weren't too pleased and kept coming up with rubbish about not being able to assess her levels properly, etc but I stuck it out because I knew I was doing the right thing.

When she was diagnosed with AS three years later I knew I was right to have kept her part time even though I hadn't known the reason at the time.

You know your child best so do what's right for her.

If you delay her for a year she may then just end up starting in Y1 which won't help. The play-based environment of Reception will be easier for her to settle into, even if it's just for a term or part time.

odyssey2001 Thu 03-Apr-14 13:20:44

The biggest worry would be if she was crying at school as well. You are not alone on having this trouble.

Check with the school that she is okay when she gets there and throughout the day. TBH the best thing you can do for her is ride it out IMHO.

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 13:29:03

Check with the school that she is okay when she gets there and throughout the day.

Lots of children, especially those who are quite introverted and find it hard to show their feelings to less familiar people, appear to be fine in school and can only express themselves at home. This doesn't mean that they are fine at all and her consistent reluctance to leave the house and clear descriptions of the aspects of school that she finds hard are indicators that she's finding it really stressful there.

If this were simply about separating or wanting to be at home, she wouldn't have gone in so happily in the early days.

OP, have you let the teacher know that she finds the shouting so upsetting?

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 13:41:49

Thank u for your replies. I have asked the teacher about her at school, teacher says she plays well, although sometimes enjoys doing things on her own, which teacher says she encourages in her. I haven't asked teacher about her shouting as dd has only recently told me about it. I'm anxious to bring it up with her as I don't like confrontation! I need to think of a way to gently do it.. She doesn't shout at dd, when I've asked dd when she shouts it seems to be when children are being naughty. But I don't like it, quite an unnerving and chaotic environment, and shows a lack of skills IMO.

I would love to put her in a more nurturing environment, be that home schooling, or part time school or childcare. But I'm doing quite a demanding degree at the moment so need the time.

I will talk to the teacher again, but I'm not sure what she can do other than be aware hey.

My gut is that my dd is not emotionally ready for school, so I guess my only options are riding it out, or taking her out..

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 13:47:34

My Uni finishes for the year mid June, so I may see if I can help out in her class after that for the remainder of term, which may make her feel a bit safer.. Really hate to think of her feeling stressed at school. I've noticed she's been quite shouty with me lately which is new behaviour, and I'm a pretty calm person.

odyssey2001 Thu 03-Apr-14 13:57:08

I have been an infant teacher for 8 years and while I agree that some children are shy and introverted, I have seen this scores of times and it always passes if it isn't happening in school as well. However, the idea you had about going in to help is a lovely one - children always love it when their grown up comes into help.

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 14:25:22

I have seen this scores of times and it always passes if it isn't happening in school as well.

You've been an infant teacher for eight years and you've never come across a child on the Autism spectrum (whether diagnosed or not) who masks their stress in school and lets it out at home? It most certainly doesn't pass for these children.

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 14:33:34

Goldmandra what were the signs of your dd's autism? If u don't mind me asking

odyssey2001 Thu 03-Apr-14 14:37:18

If you are now trying to imply that boomoohoo's child is autistic just to get one over on me, that is a little low.

Boo - keep an eye on things, keep caring and do what you are doing. I would hope (except in very unusual circumstances) that this will pass.

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 14:37:46

Fwiw I don't feel that dd is on the autistic spectrum, but I've heard it does present differently in girls than boys, and I'm not sure how

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 14:39:26

Odyssey - thank u, it's reassuring that its not uncommon! I will definitely have a word with the teacher about helping out.

gymboywalton Thu 03-Apr-14 14:44:34

i don't blame her for hating school. i work in a school and the reception class is incredibly noisy and busy and if your child is a quiet child who likes a bit of peace then i can imagine it being stressful for her.sad

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 16:43:23

If you are now trying to imply that boomoohoo's child is autistic just to get one over on me, that is a little low.

I wasn't at all. I was questioning your sweeping statement and even suggesting that I was is a very low blow angry

boo, both of my daughters have been really adept at the masking which girls with AS (i.e. Autism with normal or high IQ and without speech delay) use to cover up their difficulties and blend in socially. We've regularly been told that they don't look autistic or they are fine in school and just manipulating us.

They have both seemed absolutely NT when around adults and older children or in quiet, calm environments. They've played with others but not been comfortable in larger groups, preferred structured games with rules, struggled with busy and intense sensory environments, people touching, shouting unexpectedly and unexpected changes like having supply teachers, days off timetable. There are so many aspects to it that it's hard to list them off the top of your head.

The biggest problem for both of them was not wanting to be in school and being very stressed when they got home. They have both been absolute angels in school, very academically able and the perfect pupils in many ways because they were masking so well. However, they have also found every school day stressful and exhausting.

Tony Attwood writes a lot about how girls with AS can present although my girl's presentations were even subtler than a lot of what he describes. Google him and read some of his interviews.

Even if your DD doesn't have Autism, she is quite introverted and sounds like she finds some sensory experiences quite overwhelming at the moment, so some of the strategies used to help children with ASD may well help her too.

The teacher who shouts needs to know how your DD feels. She could use other methods of behaviour management and she could also give your DD a small signal, e.g. a wink or a thumbs up, to let her know that she isn't in trouble when another child is told off so she feels reassured.

odyssey2001 Thu 03-Apr-14 17:39:44

Or she is just a little girl who would rather be at home with her Mummy. This happens all the time.

While I appreciate you have a lot of experience in your area, I feel you are unnecessarily worrying Boo. You have made sweeping statements - she is introverted and has sensory processing issues! That is making a few massive leaps on very little information.

Boo, please again, do not worry now or tomorrow or the next day. This may take months to overcome. If it is still happening after Christmas then go to your GP if you are worried. The transition to Year 1 may cause this to escalate but again this all part of attachment and separation. I am happy for you to PM me if you want to talk anymore because I don't think this thread is the place for me anymore.

Goldmandra Thu 03-Apr-14 17:46:22

No. The OP said herself that she is quite introverted and I said she sounds like she finds some sensory experiences overwhelming. That is not the same as having sensory processing issues hmm

I have answered a question that the OP asked. I'm sure she's grown up enough to decide for herself what she would like to know.

wheresthelight Thu 03-Apr-14 20:26:30

Reception class does generally end up being a case of "organised chaos" ime, and for a child not used to beingin a noisy eenvironment it can be stressful and upsetting but I doubt the teacher is out of control!! Having taught reception (admittedly many years ago) teachers do have to raise their voices to be heard above the noise at times.

I would explain to the teacher that your dd is finding it all a bit stressful and is struggling to adapt, I wouldn't mention the shouting tbh as chances are it isn't shouting as an adult would interpret iyswim. Ask the teacher if there is anything you can do at home to support the school and Dd in her adapting to the environment.

How does she cope with things like soft play centres?

boomoohoo Thu 03-Apr-14 20:56:20

Thank u all, you've all given me things to think about.

She doesn't mind soft play, if they're small and quiet! If they're loud and busy she wants me to go round with her.

I don't think it is an attachment / separation issue, as she is used to not being around me for periods of time (spends 24 hours a week at her dads, has regular overnights or double nights at various grandparents) and copes fine. She's was also in a nursery before school which was so lovely, small and calm, which she totally loved and begged to go at weekends!

I'm thinking she may be hyper sensitive to noise.

wheresthelight Thu 03-Apr-14 21:03:38

Sounds like she just isn't adjusting to the noise. Sounds awful but pprobably the best way to get her used to it is to put her in those situations if you can, obviously not distress her too much but a certain degree of aversion therapy may be required!

Definitely talk to the teacher but in an "dd isn't coping well with the noise levels" kind of way rather than referring to it as being chaotic if that makes sense. The school may be able to adjust some of the groups your dd is working in to make them quieter/easier for her to deal with in the short term.

Good luck and hope she adjusts soon

boomoohoo Fri 04-Apr-14 11:37:21

thank you, yes i'll make teacher aware of her noise sensitivity and how it affects her (god i sound so wanky and pfb about it!)

the easter hols will also be a welcome break smile

wheresthelight Fri 04-Apr-14 16:37:37

No you sound concerned for you dd!!

Just remember that irrespective of any sn she has, a kid who is used to quiet and order will have a very different perspective on what is chaotic to a kid who enjoys the hubbub of noise and commotion.

My dss gets very tetchy about rules being followed and gets himself in all sorts of knots about kids running in the corridors at school, his younger sister however sees it for what it is, kids rushing to go home.

naty1 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:24:16

I imagine it will get better as the other kids get more controlled maybe by next year.
My DD didnt like nursery when she went at 14m. I think the lack of adults the uncontrolled volume of kids the crying etc.
But she was fine in noisy environments with me. Then she started having separation anxiety at playgroups. I took her out of nursery in the end.
She got back to usual at the groups.
I think she wasnt ready.

I think its difficult for summer borns. They need to start so they arent behind but emotionally they may not be ready.
I think more are diagnosed with things like ADHD. But then they wouldnt have the concentration of children a year older.
I actually think they need more support

boomoohoo Sun 06-Apr-14 22:25:20

I agree, the difference between autumn and summer borns is immense.

thank u all for your help, I'm defo going to discuss with the teacher.

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