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How can I help my daughter?

(15 Posts)
NancyBoots Mon 09-Dec-13 12:45:35

Hi everyone, newbie here and looking for advice... My (just) 5 year old started school in September and it's a bit of a trauma at present. She had gone to nursery full time from 6 months old with absolutely no issues- hitting all milestones, made friends easily, loved going etc but School seems to be another ball game.
Her (newly qualified) teacher has had me in on a number if occasions due to issues with her attention and concentration - she isn't listening and they only manage to get her on task about 50% of the time. Listening at home can be an problem but have started to get down to her level and be firm with her and I've started to see an improvement.
She also struggles with the rules and often runs off without waiting In Line e.g to go to dinner.
School have now suggested a referral to an Additional Needs Service and am panicking that as a parent I have missed something... I work with young people/children with ads/add and haven't noticed any similar traits in my little girl.
So far they have put in place a visual timetable for her and did a week of a reward chart - both of these did appear to be helping but then the various Xmas activities they are doing seem to have disrupted this.
They have said that they have concerns as she's very intelligent and they don't want her to fall behind. She still enjoys school and we chat every morning about what she needs to do to have a great day - we also talk about what she's done brilliantly on the way home...
At home we read together and I have never had an issue with getting her to do her homework which she enjoys doing. We also have a reward chart and am always mindful to praise her when she listens well...
Can anyone suggest any tips for me to help improve her focus and attention?
Thanks in advance....

Jiltedjohnsjulie Mon 09-Dec-13 13:21:06

Welcome to MN thanks

Can anyone suggest any tips for me to help improve her focus and attention?. Yes, just wait. She is 5 and she hasn't even done a complete term yet. Your NQT might just not have had enough experience, what does the Senco and Head think if your DDs behaviour? Have they discussed it with you? If not, I'd be tempted to ask for a meeting with her teacher, the person responsible for Senco and the head.

In the meantime I'd get her eyes tested and ask school about a referral for a hearing test.

You might also want MNHQ to move this thread to primary education as I think there are some posters who are primary School Teachers. You can do this by clicking on report and just asking them to move it smile

NancyBoots Mon 09-Dec-13 13:26:25

Hi, thank you for replying smile
She wears glasses and has had hearing tests so no issues there... I'm going to a meeting with her teacher to discuss the referral to the additional needs team later today - will ask if the senco/dep head can also attend - senco had (via class teacher) originally suggested a caf,which at this stage didnt feel entirely appropriate without other techniques being tried...
I'll report and request my message be moved now - thanks again smile

KateAdiesEarrings Mon 09-Dec-13 13:32:30

My ds struggled to settle at first. We focused on one issue at a time and spent a lot of time role playing eg I was the teacher and he had to be quiet, remember to put his hand up,etc. Then we'd switch and he could be the teacher wink

I also chatted with the teacher to identify any trigger points eg being in bigger groups; taking part in activities that were less structured. Then I'd chat with ds at home about what the expectations were in those areas and he'd get an extra special sticker if he behaved well.

We didn't have a problem with staying in line but we did have an issue about going into school at first, and I sat down with ds and gave him ownership of making a plan for going into school. We could both suggest how he could make that problem better ie it was non-negotiable that he had to go in but he could decide if he held our hands or walked in front; he could decide who did drop off. He came up with a plan that worked for him. I wonder if something similar would work for your dd with staying in line?

tbh getting ds to stay quiet is still a work in progress but the other issues have all ironed out.

We still have bedtime stories, daily chats and a reward chart that reinforce the points he struggles with.

I hope you're referral meeting goes well. They seem to have suggested it very quickly.

KateAdiesEarrings Mon 09-Dec-13 13:33:22

oops! x-posted.

KateAdiesEarrings Mon 09-Dec-13 13:33:59

'your referral' not 'you're referral' - sorry sleepless night with dcs

sunbathe Mon 09-Dec-13 13:38:04

I'd echo the 'just wait'. She's very little still. She sounds fab!

My youngest became very unsettled with all the Christmas disruption too.

NancyBoots Mon 09-Dec-13 13:40:29

The referral was what panicked me! Not sure why they're doing it tbh. I've absolutely no concerns about her social communication and the not listening/paying attention has never rang any massive alarm bells. In the copy if the referral they've posted to me they have mentioned lack of eye contact and that she sometimes likes to play alone - I've watched her this weekend at a birthday party and while we've been out and about and this has not been an issue...
They also wrote that she smacked a TA and that this showed she lacks empathy - l was horrified she'd smacked someone as this is not her typical behaviour and had I been told his at the time I would have addressed it with her....
It's all getting me convinced I've somehow been oblivious for the last 5 years sad

NancyBoots Mon 09-Dec-13 13:42:59

Oooops should have said - no issues with friendships and/or eye contact at home At all... She's such a kind little girl and desperately don't want her to not carry on being happy and enjoying school...

Thanks sooo much everyone for replying smile

MerryMarigold Mon 09-Dec-13 13:50:20

Just to say my ds1's issues all kicked off in Reception. I think it is a time of intense change (for them) and a big ratio of kids to teachers, which can highlight issues. Your school sounds good in that they have spotted something (which may turn out to be nothing). I assume the NQT would not refer her without the SENCO taking a look or even an experienced TA. You have nothing to lose by getting things looked and possibly a lot to gain. My ds1's school was not so good, so he spent 3 years feeling like a failure and having his self esteem plummet. He has delayed development which manifests in some mild asd traits (not all) and mild adhd plus a lot of sensory processing problems. The school have now been really helpful in helping him, now they know the needs. It's not a huge deal and he has grown up a lot, improved a lot, but I just wish he'd been assessed earlier rather than him/ me being in the dark, watching him fall behind, being told off continually, never getting parts in the plays, being treated badly by TA's etc.

Also, my friend's ds was sent for an Autism assessment and decided he was clear, though scored very highly in a couple of areas. So it's not a foregone conclusion that your dd has a problem, just that school are concerned enough to explore it. Well done to the school.

MerryMarigold Mon 09-Dec-13 13:52:27

I really don't see what you have to gain in waiting tbh. Experts will be able to figure it out, possibly put your mind at rest sooner rather than later, or get her the specific help she needs sooner rather than later. I think they will know 'end of term' itis when they see it.

NancyBoots Mon 09-Dec-13 13:58:13

Hi, yes I do think the school have been good in responding quickly - was just wondering if the response re additional needs before putting any strategies in place was typical in Reception? I'm happy to go with anything if it helps my daughter - my best friend went through a similar situation to you and fought and fought for years before her son got his statement and the necessary support sad

LisaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-Dec-13 14:26:46

Just to let everyone know that we're going to move this thread to Primary Education at the OP's request.

DeWe Mon 09-Dec-13 14:40:47

Hearing tests? Were they ENT or school based? You need a good ENT check. Also if it's glue ear (very common) she can have it one week, not the other. Ds had a test last May which he got better than average hearing for his age. Beginning of October I glanced at the hearing test, and commented "That's not good" and the ENT consultant said "actually it's worse" grin
Summer hearing tests give markedly better results than the winter. the only point in the summer ones for him is to see how well his natural hearing is.

I think it's unusual to have referrals in reception. In my experience they don't tend to do that after a term unless there's specific things they've spotted. It's often the parents fighting for it, and the schools saying "well, they're young..."

If there isn't anything to spot, then they won't spot it. If there is, then the earlier the better.

KateAdiesEarrings Mon 09-Dec-13 18:53:45

Although it is good that they have given a referral so quickly, I would be concerned that the paperwork raises issues that they haven't discussed with you eg hitting the TA. There could be a few different reasons for hitting, it's not necessarily a lack of empathy hmm.

I'm not sure how quickly they move to a referral without putting strategies in place but ime dcs' school allowed the Reception children at least six months to adjust to their new environment before putting strategies in place, which means any statement or referral probably wouldn't happen until the following year.

Does she attend any out-of-school activities? Have they raised similar concerns? Of course she may be responding differently at school but if other, independent adults aren't raising concerns about eye contact, etc, then I would mention that to the school to help them gain a deeper understanding of what your dd is like in different environments.

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