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Tried to help a mum with her head in the clouds, but it backfired

(83 Posts)
nally Tue 27-Feb-07 00:21:24

I looked after a little boy for almost 2 years, 50 hours every week. I suspected for a long time that he had speech difficulties but didn't know whether to say anything or how to say it. I ended up, last June, mentioning to his mum that some people had commented on his speech and, although I am obviously no expert, she might want to get it checked out.
At around the same time he became aggressive, which got worse very quickly. I had always thought some of his behaviour was unusual and read up on it. It looked like he was probably autistic or had asperger syndrome. I didn't want to be the bearer of more bad news.
In October he started pre-school. Within 4 weeks the staff told me that he was very violent towards the children and to them, that he could not follow instructions, he laughed when being told off, became transfixed by the strangest things and that he would have periods of having a glazed expression and not responding to anything or anyone. They decided to my relief to speak to his mum. Four days later, she removed him from pre-school and terminated the childminding contract with me.
I have not seen him since then, 2 and a half months ago. There is a legal thing going on because she owes me money, but my concern is with him.
Will she just keep hiding him away so that she doesn't have to hear the truth? Will he have to wait until he starts school for anything to happen? Will she ever realise that both myself and the pre-school staff were trying to help them both?
I feel very upset. Can anyone say anything to cheer me up?

thelittleElf Tue 27-Feb-07 00:26:20

I do understand how you feel. I once worked in a nursery, and kept expressing my concern at the mobility of one of the youngsters in my care. His mother always changed the subject or came up with some excuse . It was some years later i found out he had been diagnosed with CP.....i was so upset because he had missed out on so much help, because his mum couldn't admit there was something wrong with him.

NurseyJo Tue 27-Feb-07 00:34:10

Message withdrawn

Katymac Tue 27-Feb-07 08:10:55

NurseryJo-Most c/mers won't have a SN policy - some may have an equal op policy - but it might be very rudimentary

We are in an invidious position - if we want to say anything controversal or offer advise we are over stepping our "lines" as we are not "qualified"

I remember a thread on here where a minder was slammed for suggesting that she might know better/more than the mum

Nally already feels bad and in her position I would try & contact the HV and see if she can visit - I am sure the preschool however will have contacted someone as they are required to have a SN policy & act on it

I would contact the preschool & explain your concerns and see what happens and also contact the HV as well

NurseyJo Tue 27-Feb-07 09:55:24

Message withdrawn

sunnyjim Tue 27-Feb-07 10:06:34

How do you know that the mum isn't doing things to help her son?

Just because she has removed him from pre school and your care doesn't mean she isn't doing other stuff with him.

TBH I'd do the same at this age if DS was suspected to have any seriuos LD. I'd spend time with him and look into alternative care /health packages that would help. I don't think she is 'hiding him away' I think maybe she just decided that maybe a bit of time not under the pressure of preschool would be helpful.

Unless you still have a close and friendly relationship with the mum(and it doesn't sound as if you do) its not really any of your business now. I know that might soudn harsh to you but if her son has been diagnosed with a LD this must be a really hard tiem for her - I know we thought at one stage that DS was autistic and it was hell. I'd have been annoyed with anyone who took it upon themselves to ring HV/schools etc and check up on me or who made the assumption that just because we weren't at playgroups etc that I was hiding DS away.

I also kind of agree with nurseryjo, if you cared for him f/t you do have some responsibiltuy to raise conerns as they occur - especially if it is things the pre schol has communicated to you. I know its hard to get that balance right, and you can feel unsure of how to tackle it, you don't have to say you know BETTER than the parents. But if the pre school told you there were concerns about the child don't you have a duty of care to pass that information on to the parent?

Although actually I am puzzled by the preschool. Why on earth didn't they talk to the mum first? I'd expect any carer/school to communciate directly with ME or DH as parents, not to discuss things like this with other carers first.

Its good that you are concerned about your ex charges health, but it is now out of your hands.

coppertop Tue 27-Feb-07 10:18:40

How do you know that she isn't doing anything with him? If one of my boys was having the difficulties you describe in another environment then I might well decide to take them out and find something better suited to their needs. Not all pre-schools are the same. The one my ds2 attends is excellent and meets his needs well, but if it was a choice between the other local one and no pre-school at all then I would have taken him out asap.

(Both boys are autistic btw)

I agree that it seems odd that you didn't speak to the mother first.

smeeinit Tue 27-Feb-07 10:56:01

i dont find it atall odd that you didnt chat with the mum first,as katymac says we are in a difficult position being cms and i too remember the thread bashing another cm for trying to help a parent in a similar way.
i think this little lad and his mum should be pleased that they have such a caring person whos looking out for them.
nurseryjo "If I were the parent of a child and various professionals were having conversations about my child's needs behind my back I would be most upset."
im afraid this happens every day in schools! thats life!

Enid Tue 27-Feb-07 10:58:14

I find it shockign that the preschool told you all this tbh

agree with others who have said you cannot possibly know what is goign on now and it is out of your hands

coppertop Tue 27-Feb-07 11:04:30

Teachers talking to each other at school about children is very different to a pre-school telling a CM all about a child's problems before speaking to the child's parents IMHO.

ScummyMummy Tue 27-Feb-07 11:08:49

Agree, Enid. It's disgraceful that the preschool spoke to you before the parent. i would remove my child from a preschool who did that like a shot. I'm sure this family will come to terms with things and find help in their own time and in their own way.

Aloha Tue 27-Feb-07 11:11:00

I think your OP is horribly unsympathetic tbh. Have you no empathy at all? I assume you have never had the tearing at your heart that happens when you start to realise your child is different. He was clearly not coping with pre-school. Removing him from a plainly stressful situation is not 'hiding him away' it is HELPING him. I removed my son from nursery when he was clearly unhappy. My only regret (he was subsequently diagnosed with Aspergers) is that I didn't remove him from his childminder and subsequently his nursery much earlier. I am really quite racked with guilt about that. It is NOT helpful to hear a litany of complaints about your child btw. And oddly enough, it never makes me feel 'grateful'. Perhaps she decided to give up work to care for her child precisely because she did realise that childcare wasn't working out for him?
Realising your child has special needs is very, very, very painful. I don't think you 'get' that at all.
If you miss the child, that's one thing, but I dont't really understand from your post exactly what you are upset about.

smeeinit Tue 27-Feb-07 11:12:58

so on one hand nally plays a important part in this childs upbringing being a full time carer but not important enough for the pre school to express concerns too?

smeeinit Tue 27-Feb-07 11:15:34

aloha you have just explained why us as cms have such a hard time when it comes to discussing concerns with parents.............
"It is NOT helpful to hear a litany of complaints about your child btw. And oddly enough, it never makes me feel 'grateful'."

NurseyJo Tue 27-Feb-07 11:17:29

Message withdrawn

Enid Tue 27-Feb-07 11:18:04

interesting point smeeint

I think no but others may disagree with me

Aloha Tue 27-Feb-07 11:19:19

So you think it is helpful to hear a litany of complaints? You'd love that with your own kids would you? and to have lots of whispering behind your back? You really do not get it, I'm afraid.

NurseyJo Tue 27-Feb-07 11:20:57

Message withdrawn

smeeinit Tue 27-Feb-07 11:22:11

calm down aloha!
the op didnt state that she agve the mum a litany of complaints did she?
and yes i do get it i have a special needs teenager and get it very clearly thank you aloha!!!

Enid Tue 27-Feb-07 11:22:27

I sent dd1 to a nursrey when she was 2 and the nursery manager told me that I had to remove her as she was 'impossible to socialise'. She also told me that in her opinion she would never settle at primary school and would need 'specialist help'. She broke my heart.

I have never forgiven her and tbh still feel like parading my bright, sensitive, caring dd1 and all her many friends in front of her house on a daily basis.

so no, it is not always helpful.

quietmouse Tue 27-Feb-07 11:22:47

I think people are being unfair to nally. She does sound concerned about the child.

She obviously wanted ro raise her concerns but didn't know how to do it. I agree it's not nice for a parent to hear things about their child but what do you want a childminder to do? Nothing?

Aloha Tue 27-Feb-07 11:25:38

I think Nally comes over as extremely insensitive, frankly. To describe a woman who is being told horrible things about their child, and almost certainly is beginning to realise their child has problems, as 'having their head in the clouds' trivialises her feelings in what I think is an offensive way. Everyone comes to terms with their child being different in their own way. To tell them that their way (which she knows nothing about btw) is wrong is pretty grotesque in my book.

ScummyMummy Tue 27-Feb-07 11:25:54

A pre-school should talk through any serious worries with parents/guardians first, not with childminders, imo. This is nothing to do with childminders not being important to the child. It's to do with sensitivity, good practice and professionalism on the part of the pre-school.

smeeinit Tue 27-Feb-07 11:25:56

blimey enid thats awful {shock]
thats not a nice thing to say about a child.

Aloha Tue 27-Feb-07 11:26:31

And I bet his mother cares a million times more about him than anyone else.

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