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HE from Day 1 (nearly 4 YO) with behavioural issues

(25 Posts)
worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 08:04:20

DS is a lovely, happy little boy who, for whatever reason, has reasonably severe concentration, attention and communication difficulties.

he finds group situations impossible.

He has (in a very nice, supportive way hmm) been turned from our local school. He cannot be be accomodated in that setting (I have a whole other thread on that.. this is hopefully what I do about it!)

Ideally, I would like to HE him with some support from a tutor to concentrate with handwriting and reading (he hates both and I feel if I try to do this, we will become frustrated with each other) I am more than happy to do all the other parts of HE, so I suppose my ideal would be 2 hours 5 days a week with a tutor.

Can I expect the LEA to help support this (financially, I mean... I do have a tutor for DS but currently paying privately and while it is very beneficial, it's not a long term option simply due to cost. And, currently DS only sees his tutor 4 hours a week and I really need to increase that)

Any advice would be much appreciated.

seeker Fri 11-May-12 08:11:24

Do you mean you have a thread about him being excluded from the local school? Because I am outraged about that before I can even think about your other question!

worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 08:19:28

Well, yes... Except he's never actually been to the school.

He should have started last year, but he refused (I mean, seriously refused) so it was agreed (I was part of that agreement) that he wouldn't start until this September (Reception) but now they are saying that they cannot adequately support his needs in this setting (this is a phrase which is used a lot and I'm guessing is important in terms of terminology)

I am not good at links, but it's in Special Education Needs.

FionaJNicholson Fri 11-May-12 10:14:09

I have information here about LAs using Alternative Provision Funding for SEN Support

I haven't read your posts on the other forum but I must say that 4 years old is very very early to focus on handwriting and reading in my opinion. I have a 19 year old who has never been to school. He types incredibly quickly and fluently and has done so for years but would rather put a ten inch nail up his nose than form letters with a pen. He started reading for himself when he was 8.

Of course this doesn't prove anything about anyone else's child, but I just wanted to get it off my chest!

ToffeeWhirl Fri 11-May-12 13:05:52

Have just caught up with your other thread, Worry, and I really feel for you. You are coming to terms with the diagnosis itself, as well as dealing with all the bureaucracy of schools and LEAs. You will develop a tough skin in the end, but it takes time - and dealing with other people's judgements (including other parents) at a time when all you need is support and sympathy can be very hard indeed.

With regards to the private tuition and your concern about handwriting and reading, I agree with Fiona that it seems far too early to be worrying about this.

Sorry, I don't know the answer to your specific question, but I can tell you that I am going to get educational provision (in the form of tutors and online learning) provided for my DS (12) by the LEA because he can't cope in a school environment. He is being home educated at present, although he is still registered at his school, which is why we can access LEA help (and if this doesn't work out, I will deregister). So you can get LEA help, but, in my experience, this is a last resort.

On the advice of a Mumsnetter, I contacted SOS SEN for advice about getting a statement for my son. I attended one of their one-day workshops on getting a statement a few months ago and it was incredibly useful. It sounds as if you need to explore this option next, even if you choose home education rather than school.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 11-May-12 13:29:37

Link here to an article about the advantages of not pushing early reading skills on young children.

ommmward Fri 11-May-12 18:55:55

I wouldn't worry about academics for him at all at the moment, tbh. I'd concentrate on helping him develop and grow at his own pace, offering non-threatening regular social opportunities in particular, and regarding those as the "formal" part of his education. You'll find he gets going on all the other stuff when he's ready - it might well be later than all those children in school, but there are more important things than winning the developmental race (and yes, this is an area I have personal experience in smile )

worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 19:38:20

Thankou all.

It's really not a development race, it's just I worry about letting him ONLY do the things he likes and not the things he doesn't.

he would never hold a pencil voluntarily. Ever. He would play computer games for 20 hours a day if he got away with it.

I feel I HAVE to try and make sure he has a healthy and balanced day, where there is fun but also some responsibility that he has to learn tasks.

seeker Fri 11-May-12 19:42:39

Am I misunderstanding- how old is he now?

worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 19:45:54

He is 3, but only a matter of weeks off 4.

seeker Fri 11-May-12 19:47:58

So why are you even thinking about reading and writing? Why has he already been turned away from school? is there loads of backstory that I should know about but don't? If so, please ignore me!

worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 19:54:34


I don't know why I am so bothered about his reading and writing. Because I've been told he's behind? BEcause his little sister (2) is better at it than him? I don't know. Maybe I AM making a mountain out of a molehill.

Re. Schools: He's never attended anything. NOt a nursery, not a playgroup, not a group activity. He hsa done anything (and everything) in his power to have himself excluded (or leave of his own accord) every single time.

Our local school are now saying (He has never actually attended there) that they do not feel they can cope with him.

He is massively intelligent, but also massively disruptive, defiant, disobedient. The only way I've ever seen him concentrate is on a 1-2-1 level. He appears unable or unwilling to deal with compromise or consequences (He will be 4 soon and has, it appears, no concept of his birthday - even though he knows he is 3 and will be 4. He couldn't give two hoots about a party or presents). I don't disagree with what the school are saying per se, just I want them to come up with SOMETHING as I don't feel I can home educate without help.

seeker Fri 11-May-12 19:57:11

Hwow do the school know that? Sorry- I seem to be asking loads of questions......

Moat 3 year olds can't read and write. if your z2 year old can, she's the exceptional one, not him!

worrywortisworrying Fri 11-May-12 20:15:25

I really don't mind you asking questions. I'm a bit insecure about what I should be asking for at the moment!!

DS can read and write. he can write his name, knows all his letters etc, but not as good as DD (who will be 3 in August).
Both are out of nappies day and night and have been for AGES (which, I feel, is a bit thing, as lots of the NT children I know aren't doing that yet)

I feel DS needs to be in a mainstream school but with a TA to help him with the group activities (he struggles terribly with these and def. has a lot of sensory issues - sounds / noise / light etc. We do have a DX of high functioning autism, but no statement)

seeker Fri 11-May-12 21:20:41

So just apply for school. They can't say jo in advance. You don't actually have to go. But apply, and ask them what they can offer to help.

ommmward Fri 11-May-12 21:26:01

I would read Alan Thomas and Harriet Pattison "How Children Learn at Home".

I would read a lot about families who autonomously home educate - that is, who have broken out of the mindset that education is something that has to be done to children because children can't be trusted to make good educational decisions for themselves. My daughter has never had a maths lesson in her life. No formal maths, not any, nada, zip. But when the treasure hunt craze began, and I ran out of inspiration for word-based clues, in desperation I stuck up numbers on every drawer and cupboard in the house, and did maths questions as the clues. I reckon we covered 2 years of primary maths in a very intensive, and entirely child-led, 2 weeks. So what would have been the point of spending years trying to drill maths in when she wasn't interested or ready? I could offer similar anecdotes for reading, writing, drawing, potty learning, just about everything, actually.

I would follow your child's needs and leads. He doesn't want to be in group situations at this point in his life? then why on earth would you think that being in MS school with a TA is going to be productive for him? Group settings can come later, when he's ready - if he has sensory issues, then putting him into a group environment day after day will be truly hellish for him. Why would you do that?

If, at 3, he is already defiant, disruptive, disobedient, you need to find smart ways to transcend authoritarian parenting. He's not going to respond to your authority well - getting firmer and more top-down is not going to be a good long-term (or even maybe short-term) strategy. Look into the Natural child project; Unschooling; Unconditional Parenting; Taking Children Seriously; Mindful Parenting - there are all sorts of alternatives to conventional parenting. If you have an unconventional child, you are likely to need to find a healthy but unconventional family dynamic which suits your constellation of personalities. If you can get yourself into reading some of the home education blogs (try this or this as good ways into the networks) you'll begin to see other people with quirky children living quirky but happy lives.

singingmum Fri 11-May-12 21:53:16

My son is 18 in august so ending his HE. He did attend nursery for a couple of months and we had to remove him as we were informed he was backwards, we said that he could read and write already what did they mean and the reply was(and to this day I am shocked to think of it).
"He can't hold a stencil still"
I laughed at first as I can't either but it turned out they were serious. There were other things as well but that finished it. My ds like yours was potty trained early etc.and seriously intelligent. He hated crowds loud noises etc, however, he is now a capable kind intelligent man who is about to take a a year out while applying to uni.
Like your son he can game for hours hates to write by hand and used to get serious swings in mood. He has all the signs of aspergers but as by the time we were aware we had made the leap to HE no diagnosis seemed needed. We have done a mix of structured and child led HE with both him and his sister who has milder signs of aspergers and is dyslexic so have had fun with the whole reading thing. I can honestly say that school would have ruined my dc's as I have seen what it did to my brother who has probs.
HE looks and sounds scary but by using things that the child likes ie computers using educational software or in my dd's case human anatomy books you can push the things they don't like by hiding them in the things they do. My dd didn't start reading until she was about 9 but is now reading twilight as she's into vampires and general creepy things.
My Dp and I were only 20 when we started HE and we were scared as we both didn't do so well in formal ed but it truly has been the best decision for our whole family. Yes there are bad days and good days but all so very worth it especially in our case as no one but close friends and family know there is anything different about our dc's and so don't treat them any differently.
Sorry this is so long but I have seen how it goes in and out of school and out has proved the better path in my experience

singingmum Fri 11-May-12 22:02:44

Oh and the group thing gets a bit better with age. For my ds it was us buying a games workshop kit to see how he got on when he was about 8 and then taking him in for some time with the shop workers(knowing they are crb checked) to learn the game when other kids in school then easing him into the groups always with the option to leave. He now is so comfortable there and his confidence in group situations grown so much that he can go to big crowded GW events with no panic or uncomfortablness at all in fact he loves it

ThreadWatcher Fri 11-May-12 22:45:44

Hi op
Your son is 3 (nearly 4 but right now only 3)
Your dd is 2 - they are almost babies

Neither of them need be concerned with learning to read, write, or even holding a pencil for that matter (unless they choose to)

And neither should you (be concerned about their academic abilities)

Read the wise words of people such as ommward - play, run, sing, read (to them) kick leaves, play in sand/mud. - but dont teach......... not for AGES

Please ditch any tutors as well - someone to play with them to give you a break would be a better idea I think.

I hope you get the support and help for your son that you need.

FionaJNicholson Sat 12-May-12 07:18:24

Back to the original post, I'm wondering if there might have been the notion that someone else - on a one to one basis - might be able to get him to do things, where he won't do them for you? Rather than your just having a break from a high maintenance child?

As I look back over the past 19 years in home education, my son has never had any cast-iron unassailable reason to do writing by hand with pen or pencil in his life, with the exception of signing his bank card.

The phrase we use a lot is "pick your battles"...

seeker Sat 12-May-12 08:32:46

I've just posted on tour other thread to say that this is not being handled correctly. The school cannot ^ assess^ a 3 year old and say they won't have him- it's not up to them. Talk to the LEA admissions team on Monday.

mumette Sun 13-May-12 21:10:07

your wonderful child isnt even 4 years old yet, he's still so young, if he doesnt want to read or write yet , dont bother. read to him of course. the whole wide world is far more interesting than sitting at a desk in a stuffy classroom . i think there's so much pressure on parents to make their children grow up far too quickly academicaly.

itsstillgood Mon 14-May-12 08:59:32

Can I suggest you join the forum a little bit of structure?
There are people on there who have been in similar situations, quite a number home educate children with special needs and/or flexi-school. Some have children who have successfully gone back in to school.
The forum, as a whole, is nowhere near as 'anti-school' as many home ed forums so I am sure you will find it a huge source of support no matter how things proceed.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 15-May-12 18:58:49

Useful link here about councils' duty to educate children who are not in school (but not being home educated).

chocolatecrispies Fri 15-Jun-12 23:08:12

Posting late here to say my nearly 4 year old ds never writes, can't read and shows no interest, and if given a pen scribbles for about 2 seconds before moving on. He is also non-compliant, hates formal activities and anything that is product focused unless it is baking. He reacts very very badly to any form of control. I am reading a lot about radical unschooling as our lives were becoming miserable and it is really helping. I would ditch the tutor and go with more playing - frankly it is your dd who surprises me not your ds!

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