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Your opinions would be most welcome

(19 Posts)
womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 09:52:44

My ds, 4.3, has a speech and language delay and as a result, sees a SALT once a month. Whilst ds was having a session a few months ago, i got chatting to a lady who does early years teaching and support. She said that she'd love to observe ds at nursery to see if there was any support she could offer him.

Anyway, on Monday, she spent the day with him and today i've received a copy of her report. It's really playing on my mind and i'm not sure if i'm reading too much into what she has said.

So, if any of you have a spare few minutes, i'd appreciate your input..thank in advance.

XXXX was happily playing outside when i arrived. he came over to greet me,(though he had only met me once before) and chatted, telling me what he was doing and naming other children. he was very active, flitting between riding a car, the sand tray, climbing frame, and bikes, never staying long at any activity.

1) XXXX has problems staying long at any activity and tends to flit between many activities. He is easily distracted mid activity and will move onto the next activity. He shows interest and is friendly to other children and knows all their names but tends to play alongside others rather than play co-operative games.

2) XXXX can have difficulty understanding taking turns, often saying "XXXX's turn", even when he has just had a turn. ((THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT TO WHAT I WAS TOLD AT HIS PARENTS EVE. I WAS TOLD THAT HE WAS GREAT AT SHARING AND EXCELLENT AT TAKING TURNS))

3) XXXX has a speech and language delay. His speech has improved greatly since having grommets. He will put words togather to make short sentences and phrases. XXXX will understand and follow simple tasks but will sometimes give imappropriate answers, unrelated to the questions asked, and shows lack of understanding of simple question words, e'g "who", "what". He still sometimes repeats the phrases he hears.

4) XXXX can sometimes get upset if his routine is changed. He apparently got very upset when he had to change clothes for PE. ((THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED AND HAVE NEVER KNOWN HIM BECOME UPSET WITH A CHANGE OF ROUTINE))

So, the above are the concerns. His strengths are listed as very happy, friendly, good understanding of nursery routine and follws class instruction, accepts transitions between activities well, listens and attends well to stories, joins in sounds and actions, enjoys all physical activities and is a well loved little boy by all his frinds and staff.

So, what are your opinions oh wise mumsnetters? Would you think he has underlying problems, aside from his speech and language delay, as that is what i'm picking up from this?

Thank you x

hana Sat 09-Jun-07 09:56:50

i think it sounds fine, I don't see any alarmig problems -0 remember this is on a one off visit for an hour or so? YOU know your dh , she doens't

wrg to one and two, that is completely normal for children this age, esp boys

and dthe pe one was a one off

your ds sounds like a normal little 4 year old to me!

womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 09:59:35

Thanks hana! I tend to get so protective where my ds is concerned and every little comment i take to heart.

lizyjane Sat 09-Jun-07 10:02:02

I would echo hana, sounds fine to me. One off visit not really the best way of judging a child - teacher input more valuable really. He sounds like a lovely little boy.

womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 10:04:28

Lizyjane...thanks to you also! He is a loving little creature and so endearing. Yes, he's like a whirlwind from the minute he wakes up to the minute he collapses into bed, but he sleeps for 11 hours straight so i can't complain. Well, i shouldn't, but i do!!

adath Sat 09-Jun-07 21:24:59

My friends ds is now 3.8 and that is almost exactly the same as was written about him when he had an assesment due to language delay.
I can only echo what the others have said YOU know and the nursery staff know your ds better than someone who mae an assesment over a short one off period. Also he may have been a bit excitable and even nervous because he would have been aware that this woman was watching him so it may not have been totally accurate to his usual daily routine.
He sounds like every other little boy I see every day when I take dd to nursery.

gess Sat 09-Jun-07 21:31:05

Did she give you any verbal feedback? Did she talk to the nursery staff. Where did she get the "sometimes gets upset if his routine is changed" from? Was that from nursery staff, or did she just see once incidence and add 2 and 2 to make 5? DS1 has SN, but tbh the stuff she's written sounds fairly normal to me. If his language is a little delayed because of past hearing problems then his attention will still be a bit flitty and that will affect his play- but it should now improve rapidly.

Do ring her up and ask her to clarify conerns though.....

BarbieLovesKen Sat 09-Jun-07 21:45:33

Hi Womba - ok, my honest opinion -

1)has problems staying long at any activity and tends to flit between activities? - for Gods sake!! hes FOUR!! - of course hes not going to spend alot of time at one activity when there others available to him - sounds like an intelligant, inquisitive mind to me - anxious to learn the next thing quickly!!

2) eh, again - hes four - he may excellent at taking turns most of the time but of course he wont want to all the time, Im an adult and I sometimes I dont want to take turns, but (being an adult) I have to show maturity - thats the beauty of children - so, so honest and maybe he basically didnt want to. end of.

3) this *His speech has improved greatly since having grommets* is what should be sticking in your mind out of this paragraph - an improvment! how fantastic!

4) again, I dont see this as anything out of the ordinary - my little girl adores her routine.

*very happy, friendly, good understanding of nursery routine and follws class instruction, accepts transitions between activities well, listens and attends well to stories, joins in sounds and actions, enjoys all physical activities and is a well loved little boy by all his frinds and staff.*

I think he sounds like a little pleasure to have around and perfectly fine!!

newlifenewname Sat 09-Jun-07 21:51:00

There doesn't seem to be anything alarming in there to me, though she does not elaborate much. Was she supposed to?

She's tending to state examples without concluding anything but couldn't really conclude much from singular examples of behaviour so that's okay.

A pretty meaningless report imo, neither the positives or negatives are formed into any kind of opinion on his behaviour, they are just observations and there are not enough of them really to form a real picture.

My reports are far more detailed than this. Is this the whole thing?

InTheHouse Sat 09-Jun-07 21:53:01

She spent one day with him.........."can sometimes get upset if his routine is changed." That's not really a sweeping statement is it after knowing him for one day maximum. And he knew she was there? He may have been affected by her presence.

I don't like that report!

womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 21:55:13

Thank you gess and adath...your opinions are valued!
I didn't have any verbal feedback as such..just that when i was collecting ds from nursery, the lady stroked his head and said what a lovely child he was but that she had concerns.
I have a meeting with her in 2 weeks to discuss ds moving up to big school and to see if there is anything she can do to help with his initiation.

As for his routine being changed, she apparently got this from one of the helpers who said that he didn't want to get changed for PE and got upset, on one instance! I'm fairly strict with his and his little sisters bed time routines, but during the days, we're flexible, and our moods, the weather and the expense determine want we do and when we do it....i have never seen him get upset with this!!

My dh has just read the report and got a bit annoyed with the comments about his lack of attention to activities. He just said he's 4 ffs... he's an excitable little boy who wants to do everything at once!

womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 22:02:02

BarbielovesKen.... you're right! Thank you for saying it as it is...

newlifenewname..yes, thats the whole report! I didn't even know she was observing my ds that day. She just came over to me as i was collecting him and told me she'd been observing him and others throughout the day.

InTheHouse..yes, he knew she was there. He met her briefly at one of his SALT appointments several months ago and he instantly recognised her apparently.

adath Sat 09-Jun-07 22:32:27

My dd would recognise someone she met months ago and she is more than 6 months younger.
It is funny though how different people have a different perspective. My dd is a whirlwind and flits from one activity to the other at nursery and the staff see this as a positive thing, an inquisitive mind who wants to experience as much as possible.

What my friend did find though after a more in depth talk was that some of the findigs were totally wrong like her first instinct but when the woman assesing elaborated on some aspects she could see how they came to that conclusion or know the rational explanation why it was wrong.

2 of her ds points were: cannot undertand simple insrtuctions.....they had asked him to leave the taps on the sink alone and come back and play and he this little boy couldn't talk but you could give him a complicated list of 10 things to do and he would do them all....he was ignoring the assesors because his mum wasn't allowed to converse with him.
another was the flitting from thing to her situaion he was in a different environment with toys he didn't have at home and wanted a shot of them all.

I suppose what I am saying is there are a lot of factors that can contribute to her observations so I wouldn't worry. I cna imagine how angry your dh is I would be too.

womba1 Sat 09-Jun-07 22:47:48

Thanks again adath.. my dh has just booked the day off so that he can accompany me to this initiation should be interesting!!

I must admit that i'm not worrying as much after all your comments and opinions. It just galls me that someone sees fit to be so negative about a little boy when she doesn't know him and is just observing in a classroom with 20 other children.

As i said in an earlier post, he is a little whirlwind and wants to do everything at once, and whereas i've always thought of it as a postive, it just takes someone who is supposedly in the know, to make you start questioning and doubting yourself.

Bloody woman!! I hope she's happy... i've just munched an entire box of maltesers because of her!!

gess Sat 09-Jun-07 23:30:41

Good idea to have dh there.

1) the flitting- does go with delayed speech. That shuld improve.

2) WRT speech delay- ho do you find he copes with 'wh' questions.

The fact that he listens to stories well and understands how he is meant to behave at nursery & transitions well are all things that mean that I wouldn't worry. He's having SALT anyway (does she leave stuff to do at home/nursery) and as his speech & language improve so should the attention.

To 'test' understanding you need to do it out of context. So for example ds1 can understand quite complex stuff like "go upstairs to the bathroom and get your school shoes" in context (i.e. in the morning when he's getting dressed and I'm pointing upstairs), but if I said " take the yellow pen and put it underneath the box on the table" he wouldn't have a clue. You need to test with arms next to your side- just speech & an unusual instruction. That igves you an idea about 'pure' language abilities (although obviuosly if you use colour or something be sure that he knows the colours)

womba1 Sun 10-Jun-07 07:42:28

gess... we are currently working on where, who, why and how, in conjunction with the SALT, and we are making real progress. DS loves to learn and once he gets the bit between his teeth, won't let go!

We have also been working on under, in, behind and next to.... e.g... can you place the blue teddy behind the chair etc. He has picked it up very well and now tests me and dh. If we purposely get it wrong, he tells dd (16 months)that we are a bit daft!

I think my main concern with ds is that he does answer some questions inappropriately. So, i've just asked him if he slept well and he said 'yes, great' and then i asked him if he'd like a drink and he said 'daddy at work' I just repeat the question and gently coax him into giving the correct response.

womba1 Tue 26-Jun-07 09:45:31

I just wanted to give a quick update on the Initiation Meeting that was held yesterday concerning my ds's move up to big school. Present were myself, dh, our ds's nursery teacher, his SALT, his soon to be headteacher and the lady who wrote that 'orrible report!!

So, the support worker gave us all copies of the report that i wrote on here, and proceeded to read from it, asking us to jump in at any time if we wished to discuss anything with her... oh how i bet she wishes she'd kept her mouth shut!!

Sue (the teacher), completely disagreed with the flitting between activities and said that if XXXX is enjoying an activity, he will happily spend 25 to 30 mins on it. She actually feels that his attention span and attention to detail is extraordinary for a child of just 4.There are so many toys and things to play with, that it's very tempting to run around and cram as much into your day as possible, and it shows his enthusiasm and sense of adventure.

As for DS playing alongside other children, again, Sue piped up and said that because he doesn't always understand the other childrens rules if they are playing a game, he will watch from the sidelines. Because of his speech and language delay, he hasn't got the confidence yet to interrupt and ask questions, but he is by no means being pushed out of things. However, if XXXX is the one to start a game or pretend play, his friends all love joining in with him and then he is at the centre of the action.

And again, when it came to the comments about ds's problem with sharing and having his routine broken, Sue just said that on that particular day, XXXX had told her he was cold and didn't want to take his trousers off for PE. He got upset when he had to put his shorts on as his legs were chilly. So of course, that equates to a child who hates having his routine changed..

And, XXXX doesn't always like to take turns but he does understand that he needs to and is becoming a real gentleman about it. Apparently, when playing in the car in the playground, ds will hold the door open for the girls! Bless him!

So, basically, the headteacher is very much looking forward to having XXXX in her school, Sue is very sad about his leaving and has asked that we wean her off him! The SALT had a session with ds yesterday and is delighted at how much he is improving, and the teaching and support worker didn't say an awful lot and looked as if her nose had been put out of joint!
I did make one suggestion to her that perhaps instead of writing a full report after spending just a few hours with these children, she could perhaps hold off until a few more visits, and thus gain a fuller understanding and awareness of her subjects. She said it wasn't the first time that it had been suggested and probably wouldn't be the last..and that was it! Bloody unhelpful woman!

So anyway, dh and i were postively beaming after the meeting and consider ourselves very lucky to have such a delightfully, well liked little boy. And thanks to all you mums who responded to my first post..your opinions were much appreciated.

Womba x

hockeypuck Tue 26-Jun-07 09:59:11

oh womba how lovely to read your update.

My friend has a little boy very much like yours, but a year or so younger so it's encouraging to see how much a child can change during nursery year.

I'm very pleased for you and it sounds like you've done a great job of raising him to be such a likeable young chap!

womba1 Tue 26-Jun-07 10:04:10

Thank you for your kind words hockeypuck x

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