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ds almost 5 new school says ? special needs.

(6 Posts)
jazzy1 Thu 20-May-04 10:28:35

I was asked to speak to my ds teacher at school today about problems with "settling in" He started school in april and is in reception.
The discussion however was with the teacher and the special needs link who together feel he does not interact well with a large group of children or concentrate well. he sometimes seems to be in a 'world of his own'
His language, counting,writing etc for his age are good but they feel he needs extra adult support and want to apply for funding for this.
AT nursery they said he did not have these problems and I always thought he played well with other children.
I have a dd age 3 and a new baby expected in 5 days so am very worried about how this will affect him and that he will be labelled 'special needs'
I don't know what to do either wait and see how he gets on bearing in mind the effects of a new baby in the house or let the school say he has a problem

coppertop Thu 20-May-04 10:38:55

If he only started in April it doesn't sound as though he's had a lot of time to settle in.

I would say to go ahead with allowing your ds to be assessed. If they find no problems then this should put your mind at rest. If they do find something then the earlier he gets help the better. If they are talking about getting him statemented then this could take 6 months to arrange. If he needs the help it would be better for the school to be able to request a statement sooner rather than later.

Have they said what they think the problem could be?

Jimjams Thu 20-May-04 10:44:19

well first- stop worrying about "label". They are simply signposts that give some indication of the type of help children need- they are not some awful thing. The correct "label" is in fact very helpful.

Agree with CT that is does sound a bit early to be too concerned, but that assessment is a very good idea. They will probably be able to gve him extra help from within the schools resources and he probably won't need a statement. This type of help is in short supply- so he will not be given it if he doesn't need it- but it may make things much easier for him in the long term, to have some input now- before a real problem occurs.

dinosaur Thu 20-May-04 10:46:54

JazzyJ, sorry you are having to cope with this additional stress when you have so much on your plate anyway.

Please don't worry about your son being labelled "special needs". As many others have said on here, identifying any problems your son might have is not "labelling" him, instead it's getting a pointer in the direction of any extra help that he may need.

My son has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism, so he is regarded as having "special needs" (he's also in Reception). But I don't feel it stigmatises or sets him apart in any way, it just means that the teacher and the class assistant understand that there are some things he has particular difficulty with, and they can help to give him extra support on those particular areas.

One question I have is, what do they mean when they say they want to apply for extra funding? Do they mean that they want to apply for a statement of special educational needs for your son? In that case, I would have thought (based on the experience of a friend's son) that your son would need an actual medical diagnosis of e.g. autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD etc. Or are they envisaging something else? If I were you, I would go back to the school and get some more information.

I hope that helps, please don't worry too much (I know, easy to say!) and remember you are not alone.

tigermoth Thu 20-May-04 11:49:14

Agree with dinosaur - ask what sort of funding they are talking about. Will the funding go to someone who will come in and directly support your son? Or, is it a case of the school wanting to up the staff ratio generally (and lower the ofsted targets they have to reach) by showing a large proportion of the children are on the school's special needs register?

I can tell you a story here: my oldest son was put on the school's special needs register for behaviour at the end of year 1. I had no problem with it. This was not unusual - about a third of the children in his class were on the register and my son was very lively. He was at the lowest level of the 5 levels, so not formally assessed, but it was an procedure designed to measure his progress at school and set targets. At the end of year 2, though still lively, he left with a good report. I felt he was settling down well. His teacher categorically said to me that he was not special needs. The teacher also happened to be a friend of ours. However, two weeks later I was called in to see the schools SENCO and she said they were going to put my son up to level 2 on the speccial needs register. I got a bit cross about this, as it totally contradicted the class teacher's assessment of my son.

AS it happened, my son got offered a place at another school shortly into year 3. Within weeks of him moving, the teachers, including the SENCO, all said there was no way he should be on the special needs register and openly put some of his behavior issues down to bad teaching. He didn't improve overnight but by year 4 he was much better.

So why did his previous school want to put him on level 2? I suppose different teachers will always have different views but I heard more facts through the grapevine. Apparently his year 2 teacher tended to put children in his class on the special needs register to cover his back - he was apparently not that good at his job. He did recommend that our son be put on the register so lied to me. He left the profession shortly after my son finished year 2. Another SENCO at my son's old school told us this. She also said no way was my son was special needs.

Make of that what you will, but IME there are all sorts of reasons behind schools putting children on the special needs register so keep an open mind about what is said to you.

jazzy1 Fri 21-May-04 16:51:33

Thanks for your replies. I understood the funding was for another adult in the classroom to give ds more support.
When my v. cross husband spoke to the school yesterday they said their only concern was that ds needed alot of adult encouragement [ie alot less of a problem than they told me] and they would just observe him.
I feel a bit confused now as to what they are actually saying. Ds sometimes likes school and other days doesn't he does play with other children but says alot of them are silly and adults more fun!

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