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(18 Posts)
youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 11:23:33

Hey all. I'm very sorry this will be long but I REALLY need support - I don't know where to go next.

My DS is 8yo, in year 4. He is a late summer born and this has so far seemed to be a barrier in getting his difficulties recognised.

Throughout Infant school there were problems where DS seemed to struggle socially - sometimes behaving totally out of character. School said he has poor social communication - I agree!!! He also struggled greatly with literacy - especially the actual writing side of it. He learnt the phonics and grammer 'rules' like a Wiki dictionary!

In the December of year 1 he was a P8 writer and I expressed my concerns as he'd been 'mildly at risk' in the DEST. (told youngest, boy etc - give him time) Told at end of year 1 he's a 1B writer. (I was dubious)

Year 2 he seemed to really come into himself and manage more socially - his teacher told me in the Feb he was a 2C writer and was fully on course for a 2B by the end of year 2. Which he was given.

He started year 3 and had the most wonderful teacher ever! She really 'got' DS and described him a 'quirky' but got his 'quirks' and knew how to work with them instead of against them IYWIM? I expressed my concerns re his literacy but because he had a 2B he wasn't considered behind - despite the fact he could hardly write more than a jumbled sentence or 2. hmm

Feb of year 3 told he's a 2B still but she thinks he'll reach a 2A by the end of year 3. However she totally agreed there was something 'not right' about his writing and put him in for the DST - he came out 'not at risk' but had some -- scores and was 'diagnosed' with a poor working memory. He was a 2B at the end of year 3. Met the year 3 and year 4 teacher as concerned about his 'lack of progress'. Plan made verbally to monitor and assess his literacy and give support where needed.

Roll on January this year and DS is STILL a 2B writer. Having had enough and feeling something not right and DS being failed I met with the new head teacher. (started sept having been deputy at an outstanding school).

DS immediatly put on SEN register and given an IEP. He is on SA. I can see definitive improvement in his writing and agree with his teachers current assessment of him being a high acheiving 2B but with not enough use of discription to reach a 2A as yet.
I also agree with the schools reassessment of DS on entry of a 1A - but wish I had been informed of this at the time instead of misled - it does make sense why they were willing to reassess him for dyslexia too.

I have to praise the school and his current teacher for all they are doing for him. He has 20 minutes a week 1:1 to address his individual needs in writing, also joins other pupils who have diagnosed dyslexia once a week. The school have also now got a programme called junior speak (?) in which DS writes his sentences and it reads it back to him to get him to realise what he' writing isn't what he 'thinks' he's writing wink - he can then correct it. They are hoping aswell this will get him to notice his b,d reverals and using phonics correctly - eg no of syllables in word matching no of phonetic combination he writes!

His slight difficulty in reading, his habit of reading numbers in reverse and low writing ability is beginning to affect his maths aswell. I have addressed this with the teacher as he was a 3B at the end of year 3 and I have said he should have a reader/scribe if he needs it. I have been told its his lack of evidence that prevents his lack of progress.

However - I cannot help but think DS social difficulties are a big factor in affecting his writing. DS does not enjoy and is reluctant to read fiction - he says he just cannot imagine the characters and cannot predict what may happen next so I can only think he never gets that 'can't put this book down' feeling. He does enjoy however reading endless fiction books on his favourite things - transport and lego!
He talks in a very monotone voice and rarely shows much of a range of emotions, he's far more attached to 'things' than people. He does not read others very well although this is improving with extreme input from me. He'll often turn a conversation back to 'him' or more what he's thinking and often talks about it, there, him etc forgetting that the listener does not know what he's talking about. Sometimes I swear he starts the conversation in his head and then finishes it out loud grin.
Sometimes he won't answer someone - not because he's being rude but because he cannot think of what to say or how to answer. He'll just give half a smile and then run off back to what he was doing. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to stop him giving our life story to people in shops etc because they say something that sparks off a dialogue in his head and he just starts it. Basically he can't really and doesn't really have 2 way conversations. He'll just talk and talk about his latest obsession and doesn't even notice if no-ones listening.
Children he plays with are starting to comment that he always says the same thing.

He is a big target for being picked on - and often is. However lately whereas his peers are developing the ability to make those name callings and little niggly digs, pokes, foot steppings on - on the sly - DS cannot. He'll join in, retaliate, try and initiate play this way - and when he's 'told on' admit he did it without actually explaining why, and not standing up for himself with other children. I've tried to teach him to shout at them if they are hurting him to make them stop and draw attention to what is going on so an adult can come over and help him - but of course he can't shout because it' not allowed!!
Because of this, and because they tell on him when he retaliates it's beginning to look like DS is not a very nice little boy. He's no angel - obviously - but actually when you observe children in groups is the quietest socially.

This leads on to the next thing - he actually isn't quiet! and comes across as far more confident than he is. When playing games he tends to play with 'you need to do this' 'and then this is happening' and 'this character behaves this way'. If children do not want to play his way he actually couldn't give a shit and plays alone! In fact he'd much rather play lego alone in his room than outside with all the children from our street. sad Sadly, again as children are getting older and develop the social skills DS doesn't have, they are starting to be quite mean about his way of playing, a few picking up on the fact they can flounce quite loudly "I'm not playing your game unless, it's not just your way etc". Of course DS just says that's fine go and play your game then - and they use it as an excuse to report DS is being mean because 'he won't let them play' Sadly aswell his need for things to be done 'right' can often be miscontruthed a bossy and domaneering. Something I'd probably think myself if it wasn't for the fact I also know he's a total sheep because he doesn't have the verbal or social kills to make the right choice yet.

This is by no means a complete list of all his social difficulties - and he really does want to social interact with others.

I can't can't help thinking that DS problems are more some sort of special need with social interaction, imagination and communication - and that he cannot apply his literacy knowledge to paper because he doesn't understand how to communicate with others and doesn't have an imagination beyond his own interests.

I'm meeting DS' teacher on Monday and have a GP appointment on Tuesday but could really do some advice, perspectives from others who have knowledge of this field or have been there themselves with their children.

TIA thanks

RiversideMum Sun 12-May-13 12:43:25

From what you say, it suggests to me that external agency involvement would be appropriate. First off, I'd ask for a Speech & Language referral to assess his receptive ad expressive language skills - that will give you an idea if they are within age appropriate limits and give you and the school help with supporting his language development. S&L are a good gateway to other services if needed.

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 12:48:53

Thankyou. So do I just ask the GP for referral to SALT? I'm not sure if I need to go with a list of concerns or go and ask right out for a referral to agency?

RiversideMum Sun 12-May-13 13:31:46

I'm not sure if the GP will do this. They tend to bat everything back to education. The school Senco can do a referral.

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 13:36:53

Thanks. This where I'm confused! School can do educational support - they are and also write behaviour into IEP - not done yet but will be bringing it up Monday.

Got told behaviour/ social issues are external agency matter - go to GP, but I have heard that it is almost impossible to get referral -hence my cries of help to MNers who have been there! I have no idea if I need to actually just ask for assessment for ASD/dyspraxia or the like outright or go in and lit my concern and ask for help. confused

LynetteScavo Sun 12-May-13 13:46:33

When at the go say you would like a specific diagnosis and stress his problems are at home and at school. ( if you say he only has problems at school they might say its for the school to sort out) if you aren't given a referral go back. And back again. It took many gp visits and me hysterically begging for a specific diagnosis, and 5 years before I got what I wanted. I wish I'd been more demanding earlier on.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 13:51:45

Your son needs a SaLT and OT referral, this can be done by your GP or by the SENCO. I would also suggest you request an Educational Psychologist assessment and mention ASD concerns.

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 14:00:44

Thankyou. So mrz I can ask his teacher for ed psych referral? or do I ask the GP? I have already mentioned to his teacher if the action they are taking don't improve things by end of school year I would be looking for ed psych report a it' clear then the problems don't just lie within hi literacy skills.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 14:08:11

The school would make the referral

juniper9 Sun 12-May-13 14:30:18

Being SA doesn't mean he will see outside agencies- that's what SA+ is.

Depending on the school, SA can mean nothing more than it being acknowledged. Lots of schools don't do IEPs for SA and there will be no additional funding coming into the classroom.

At my school, being SA is a waste of time as absolutely nothing happens although our SENCO is a joke

mrz Sun 12-May-13 14:36:06

He would move onto SA+ if outside agencies become involved.

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 15:39:19

So basically I need to get school to recognise his social difficulties as SEN aswell and push for SA+ and outside agency involvement? So if I speak to teacher Monday, ask GP for referral Tuesday and if it doesn't happen go back to school?

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 15:44:20

Although right now we are having problems with him doing his homework - because they have been told about Agent Jack and his exploration of mount doom in Peru. D ha to draw this place and surrounding land with a key and coordinates. He wants to get it 'right' so is googling mount doom. Of course we can only find JRR Tolkeins version and the volcano in NZ that was used for the film.
Cannot convince DS its fictional and he needs to make it up because it happened, and things landed at school, empty classrooms etc! I've tried the what book are you reading tact etc! I feel bad because he buys into it so much - and is a great testement to how much his teacher engages the pupils in learning - but really makes if difficult when DS cannot find things on the internet because they don't exist and he i convinced they HAVE to grin

mrz Sun 12-May-13 15:56:44

He might like

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 16:16:14

Thanks mrz I've had a look at the link.

mrz Sun 12-May-13 16:21:45

I'm assuming those are the books his teacher is reading

youarewinning Sun 12-May-13 16:44:48

apparently not according to DS! Agent Jack doesn't have a surname!

Something has landed in his school field that says Top secret - from agent Jack about his adventures. grin There's something to do with the empty classroom above his and codes etc. Totally fictional - the typical topic opener - but it's happened so it's real. hmm grin

HotheadPaisan Sun 12-May-13 16:48:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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