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How can you tell if your child has a SEN or not? Concerned about dd - bit long...........

(19 Posts)
worriedparent Wed 18-Jul-07 22:41:30

Just got dd's report. She's underachieving in maths and reading/writing amongst other things. I am concerned for her future and I've worried about her since she started school. I don't wish to compare her with my other two, one younger and one older, but I have no worries about how they will do at school. Dd, however, I have always worried about. Since she was very small, it has been clear her concentration skills are poor and her attention span is very short. She cannot sit still. I read her a book every night, yet she cannot sit still to listen, but rather is all over the place half listening whilst doing other things. She is one of the youngest in her year and rather immature at that. She will not be seven until after they break up for summer. She often says things which are inappropriate (can't think of an example), yet doesn't have the understanding that what she's said might make her unpopular with her friends, yet she's desperate to be popular. Emotionally, she is very sensitive and already feels different from her peers. She has little confidence in herself and is easily upset.

I don't know if going down the route of investigating whether or not there is some sort of attention deficit problem and whether or not anything can be done to help her is the right thing to do, or whether this is just dd and what she will be like. At this rate though, she will be a low achiever and that worries me for her future. She is willing, but it seems, not so able and the information is just not going in, yet she is a bright enough girl.

Her teacher has been great and she has come on brilliantly (for her) with her reading this year, but is still miles behind some of her peer group.

As well as all that, a few other people have noticed 'something' about her which caused concern. This information is a bit vague at the moment, but the person who called me to mention it is going to speak to the person who made the observations and find out what they meant. This particular person has a solid background in working with children with similar issues and also children on the autistic spectrum, although I'm pretty sure that autism/asperger's is not the problem.

I'm thinking worst case scenario is an ADD problem, so if anyone has any experience of this I'd be greatful for any suggestions or information or whether I'm reading far too much into this and that dd is perfectly normal. I am very worried for her though and if her 'symptoms' do need investigating, where do I go for help?

worriedparent Wed 18-Jul-07 22:42:56

ps - have namechanged for obvious reasons. Sorry if I've not been really clear - it's hard to get it all down!

worriedparent Wed 18-Jul-07 22:53:59

Anyone? please?

thinkingaboutselling Wed 18-Jul-07 23:07:11

sorry - no ideas but bumping in case someone else does - worth coming on tomorrow and bumping then too, maybe folks have gone to bed early tonight

worriedparent Wed 18-Jul-07 23:12:13

Thanks for bumping TAS.

Yes, it does seem a bit quiet tonight, so I'll be heading to bed myself shortly (lunches to make first - yawn), and will bump again tomorrow.

1dilemma Thu 19-Jul-07 01:25:32

Sorry can't help but would it be worth posting in development or SN/SEN?

constancereader Thu 19-Jul-07 06:48:58

What does her teacher think? Sorry I can't really offer any help, except that it is probably worth investigating formally as you are worried. If there is a diagnosis then you and her teachers can target help appropriately. It might just be that she is very young for her age.

I would make an appointment with the school, asking for the SENCO to be present.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Jul-07 07:33:02


How old is your DD?. If you think there is a problem do not ignore it - chances are you are correct.

I would visit your GP and ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician. They could be of assistance here with regards to getting a diagnosis.

Would talk to the School and get the SENCO (special needs co-ordinator) on side as well.

I suggest too that you put your post on the Special Needs forum of this website.

worriedparent Thu 19-Jul-07 09:28:19

Thank you all for your posts. I'll need to be quick as her teacher is leaving next week. She is head of department and is out of class often, so I know that doesn't help and makes it tricky to catch her in the afternoons.

She will be seven at the end of this month Attila. I will post on Special needs too. I do know of another child, (now young adult) who was diagnosed with ADD and at the time, I was very skeptical (never heard of it) as it never seemed that there was anything wrong with her. It would seem similar with dd, but the educational problems were present with this child as they appear to be with dd.

dragonstitcher Thu 19-Jul-07 10:24:48

She sounds very similar to my 11yo DD2. I started having concerns about the same age. I went to my GP, who refered me to a developmental paediatrician and she was tested for ADD. The test proved negative. I was then refered to Family therapy, because of family problems but that really had nothing to do with DDs low acheivement at school.

The school doesn't seem to know what her problem is because it is inconsistant. She can focus if a subject really interests her (art, ICT and history) but fails at reading, comprehension and maths. She has just had her KS2 SATs results - all 3's. I have just spoken to her teacher who assures me that she has shown improvement over the last year. It is starting to look like I am just going to have to accept that DD may not have any 'problem' as such, she just isn't a genious.

Reallytired Thu 19-Jul-07 11:28:52

Have you got her hearing and eye sight tested. Its worth ruling out simple things that are easily helped.

foxinsocks Thu 19-Jul-07 11:32:25

I would agree with what the others have said re going to the GP, perhaps speaking to the SENCO at school. Would also concur with speaking to her teacher as she'll have a good idea of how she is compared to her peers.

Also, if she's 7 at the end of this month, she's young for yr2. My dd is August and I'm constantly amazed at how immature she appears compared to the older girls in her class so don't forget to take that into account too.

worriedparent Thu 19-Jul-07 11:44:05

Sorry - had to go out (making most of last chance to shop without whinging company!

Yes, I may just have to accept that she's just not a genius! Actually, I'm well aware she isn't, but it makes me sad that she is aware of it too. However, I'm positive she's smart enough to be grasping the basics and they are filtering through i guess, but her progress is very slow and frustrating to watch as she struggles with things that her older brother found simple.

Within the family also, it's difficult as they often come to blows and he just doesn't understand her and why she is like she is.

worriedparent Thu 19-Jul-07 11:50:03

Yes foxy - there is that, and she is somewhat immature anyway, even for a six year old. Her two chums in the road are both a year younger and she's really more where they are than where her classmates are.

There are other concerns within the class though and this year the HT has decided it would be a good idea to split the classes (two in year group) and swap them around to give a more even academic balance in both classes. This now means that dd will be in a different class from most of her good friends and the only one who is left will be leaving at Christmas (military family). She's still missing one who left two years ago who was her very best friend in the world!! So who knows what effect that will have on her.

SparklePrincess Thu 19-Jul-07 20:21:53

My dd is exactly the same WP Shes 6 & in year one. Im pretty certain shes got ADD or something. Ive known there was something different about her for quite some time. From birth she was incapable of sitting still. She would constantly wriggle in her car seat. Ive never actually looked into it properly though because we love her as she is. But now its affecting her schooling maybe its time to find out?
The frustrating thing with my dd is that I know she is bright & very capable of doing the work. Trouble is she simply wont/cant pay attention, concentrate or participate in anything unless you stand over her with a big stick. She finds it very hard to socialise with the other kids, she doesnt seem to have a clue. (But then neither did I at that age) I asked her teacher at what point would they start to consider "other possibilities" with regard to her behaviour, & she said next year.
Id be interested to hear how you get along if you do decide to get this checked out.

worriedparent Thu 19-Jul-07 21:20:21

I think I'm going to find out more and arm myself with information SP and see what I can do at home to aid the situation.

Peachy Thu 19-Jul-07 21:26:16

If she really is emotionallys ensitive I'd say that writes off ASD (Autism) to be honest

DS1 and ds3 have SN, ds3 is by far the more 'severe'. yet i noticed ds1's much earlier on (took ages to get people to agree though but he has a dx of HFA now), because ds1 was very challenging in the extreme, whereas ds3 is completely the opposite,m worryingly so in retrospect

One warning sign of ASD is diffentials in subjects- a child who is doing wonderfully in one ara and completely failing ina nother would flag, for example (although there are normal limits obv).

An Ed Psycha ssessment may be a good way to go, if you think you may need a Paed do get on the waiting list- by the time they have all the assessments they need it can be (as we have learned) years before they ahev andswers, better to start sooner imo

mimsum Thu 19-Jul-07 23:19:09

both my boys have a diagnosis of ASD plus other things and they're both incredibly emotionally sensitive - in fact ds1 is hypersensitive (but that could be the Tourette's in his case)

definitely if you're worried ask for a referral to see a developmental specialist - and before you go, write a list of all the things that you're concerned about, plus other people's observations as children often have a habit of behaving absolutely beautifully in the dr's office!

Peachy Fri 20-Jul-07 12:10:01

perhaps we have different definitions of emotionally sensitive then, as I am referring to the empathic variant that is aprt of the diagnostic criteria for ASD.

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