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Sudden behaviour issues in YR2

(20 Posts)
minionmadness Sat 15-Nov-14 19:54:00

Dts's are in YR2. Dts1 has ASD and we made the decision to put them in separate classes as dts2 has always felt a sense of responsibility for his brother and we felt that being in a different class would allow dts1 to gain some independence and give dts2 some time away from feeling that responsibility.

Dts2 has been doing really well at school, above average levels end of YR1, fantastic report from his CT. I guess I've always had my concerns about him, he does have some ASD traits and can be very quirky and definitely struggles socially at times. He also appears (to me) to have problems with processing instructions, but decided that if these issues were causing problems in school the CT would raise them with me. Neither RT of YR1 did, in fact they would often tell me what a lovely, kind and considerate boy he was.

He's now in YR2 and boy have things gone down hill! Almost daily the CT is having to speak with him about doing silly things, speaking when he shouldn't, pushing in the line, not listening etc. I spoke with him and he said he didn't know why he was doing these things and just kept repeating that the CT and TA don't like him and are not very nice to him? Any attempts to assure him this is not the case are dismissed.

On Friday he was in the toilets and locked the door from the outside (climbed up). CT apparently got very cross with him and the DH was called as dts2 was hysterical. I spoke with him last night, trying to get to the bottom of this recent increase in bad behaviour, he got very upset and just kept reiterating that he didn't know, the CT is not very kind to him and the boys in his class are always telling the CT stuff about him. He also kept repeating that he is useless and not good.

Sorry this is so long... I'm just wondering how I move this forward, he genuinely feels that the CT and TA don't like him. Do I start getting tough with him and start issuing sanctions for bad behaviour in school. Incidentally his behaviour is ok at home (apart from the normal 6 year old stuff), but we have been having an awful time with dts1, both at home and school, so he has been getting the lions share of my time.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sat 15-Nov-14 20:49:40

it does sound like it is his reaction to what is happening and a cry for attention. Is there any way one of you could spend some real quality time with him doing something he wants to do?

RandomMess Sat 15-Nov-14 20:54:08

He may be struggling with an internal conflict - happy to be aways from his brother, missing him, feeling guilty & just not able to process it. Plus he may be a bit socially isolated as he has lost his role of "carer" for his brother?

He probably doesn't know why he is behaving "badly" - I wonder if describing to him about having different feelings towards his brother and being seperate may help him?

minionmadness Sat 15-Nov-14 22:03:06

Thank you both.

Random - They have been separated since starting school, so whilst I see what you're saying, I don't believe it's related to the current issues. Although looking along a similar line, he might be feeling upset because his dtb is having a rough time.

Nonickname - I was thinking along the same lines. Unfortunately DH works away, so only get home late Friday evening and goes back early Monday morning so it's just me for the most part. That said I think that we do need to find a way to spend some quality 1-2-1 time with him.

How can I approach this with CT ? He really feels that she doesn't like him.

Betsy003 Sat 15-Nov-14 23:40:17

Is there any chance that you DS2 could be copying DS1 to gain attention?

Betsy003 Sun 16-Nov-14 07:54:04

It sounds to me like he doesn't feel very liked at all. By anyone and is therefore unhappy and playing up. It could be that he has been labeled as the black sheep of the class. Groups of children can act to isolate individuals and he could have become a victim of the pack. It is possible his CT and TA don't like him - not everyone is professional all the time or able to cope with individual pupils.

At the se time it could just be that he is being naughty and pushing boundaries. Are the kids just reporting what he is doing? Has he got a friend in the class?

Many schools only test for SEN once a child reaches year 2/3 as they hope to avoid spending money on the assessment.

In your shoes I'd request a joint meeting with the head and class teacher. I'd give them the problem. I'd explain that this is the first year DS has caused problems and you are very concerned as it's out of character. It's very odd he has suddenly started behaving badly at school. However make the meeting not about his behaviour but about him feeling isolated and disliked by everyone including staff. Ask what they can do to make DS happy and feel valued at school because things need to move forward.

Can he move class.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 10:03:32

Betsy - Yes, I too get the impression that he feels no one likes him, which of course makes me very sad. When we talk about school, it's all about what other boys in his class are saying to him, and that they are being mean to him. I don't believe this to be true all the time, although at parties for example I do notice that despite being the tallest boy in his class he lets the others get the better of him, appears immature in comparison and takes everything to heart and seems to struggle with social interactions.

It's very difficult for me as dts1 issues were very clear from around 18 months old and he was dx at 3, which is young but should give you some idea how severe his issues are. In comparison dts2 seems completely NT.

That said I have always had concerns that there was something going on, but decided that whilst he seemed happy and was doing well at school I would just keep a close eye on him. His CT's have never raised any concerns, in fact the opposite, comments like, dts2 is a very popular member of the class, natural leader, amazes us all with his knowledge learnt at home etc. He has also loved the two CT's he has had to date and has always loved school.

So this sudden change is very worrying and although my attention has been mainly with dts1, he still gets lots of love and attention, but I accept that having a child with severe behavioural issues can have detrimental effects on every family member. These issues have always been there though, although we are going through a difficult time at present.

I've expressed to CT that he doesn't feel very like by her, I'm sure this isn't so, although when the parents were in class to see topic work, dts2 took my hand and walked towards the classroom door, to look at his work in the corridor, CT stopped him and bluntly asked him what he was doing. To give context, parents were wondering about the classroom with their respective children viewing their work. I watched two children go outside afterwards and never got stopped. This makes me wonder whether she's treating dts2 like she would dts1 (who needs full time 121 in school to manage) and he's not liking being treated this way at all.

Thank you all... very grateful for any views I may be missing. I'm writing all this down in an attempt to get my head around what may be going on for him. We've had a good weekend and he's been happy and fine so I'll see what this week brings in school and arrange a meeting and go with that approach rather than the behaviour. Sadly he can't move class as only two classes in YR2.

Betsy003 Sun 16-Nov-14 10:14:02

Is it worth politely asking why DS was questioned on leaving the room when others weren't? Could seem a bit pedantic possibly but it would make me wonder if the treatment was typical.

Also what reward systems have the school set up to help support his good behaviour?

Is it possible he has struggled with the transition from class 1 to class 2. Just thinking about ASD and finding change/transition challenging.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 10:32:31

Class has a general reward system in place which he normally responds well to.

The more I think about this the more I'm seeing a little boy who is struggling and can't quite articulate why. At bedtime last night we talked again while having a cuddle and again he talked about not believing in classroom staff and they weren't proving that to him!

Have these issues always been there at school? Is he being affected by his brothers current issues more than we think? Has this CT decided he's just naughty? Has CT taken umbrage that I told her that he doesn't think she likes him? Do school think there is something going on at home? School's can have a habit of presuming that all children's issues are related to home, I appreciated they are sometimes but not in this instance.

Betsy003 Sun 16-Nov-14 10:43:02

It's definitely worth highlighting with school that you are worried because he's well behaved at home and his present school behaviour seems to be new. Maybe he needs new school strategies specially for him to help him get back on track.

If hes quite low in confidence and struggling to deal with other people could you look at acting classes and role play.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 10:50:27

All great advise... thanks for taking the time to respond "Betsy*

We are heading out for a walk by the river, hopefully help clear my mind.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 16-Nov-14 12:29:52

oh gosh that is extra hard if your hubby is away a lot as well. no family locally?

I think you do need to speak to the school, inclusion/senco might be a good place to start especially if there are concerns about whether the teacher likes him or not. Worth asking if the school do ELSA sessions as they can address different things so they could address his feelings about himself, about how others view him or how he feels about his brother's problems and so on. ELSA can really get children to bring their feelings out in the open but without them really realising they are doing it. My daughter found her sessions excellent, I wish she could have had some more to be honest and she quite possibly will in the future but at the moment many of her problems have settled down. a few of her other friends have also had similar to her with anxiety being the main thing addressed for them.

Is there a slight chance that he could be high functioning ASD? He is very bright from what you have said and he may not have the severe problems his brother has but it isn't unusual for family members to be affected differently. If he is high functioning then he could very easily have hidden it until now but things are starting to come unstuck. Could the other children have noticed some differences and that is what they are then using against him? the school need to address that if there is nastiness and the teacher needs to look carefully at whether she is subconsciously treating him a bit differently if there is a personality clash, teachers are only human and it does happen even if the teacher is normally excellent.

Do you have any local support when your husband is away? even if it is just someone you can talk to? Our school SENCO/Inclusion team have always been VERY clear that we can just ask to meet them for a coffee and a chat if we need one. It sounds like YOU could really benefit from something like that yourself and then it would help you get your head around what might be the best way to help your sons.

There are some books by erm Brian Moses I think it is, called things like 'I feel frightened' and 'I feel angry'. I bought them off Amazon as our eldest had terrible problems communicating how she felt. They are written for children and I think were initially done for ASD children. The pictures and short dialogue type text helps them realise that it is normal to have concerns and everyone does have them for different things and it can prompt them to talk about how they are feeling and it helps suggest things to try and think instead. So with the jealous one things like 'I feel jealous when I see x with a new doll' 'but then I look at all the toys I do have and I feel lucky', that kind of thing. Worth looking into, the library or the school quite probably have copies.

Also if he is worrying a lot then 'The Huge Bag of Worries' I think it is called is a picture story book about a child carrying around a huge bag of different worries but that when they are shared they all disappear. Again it encourages them to talk about what is going on in their head.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 21:17:04

Lots of useful information nonickname thank you so much. I'm going to have a look at those books. I've got some of the "what to do when you" range of books about worry, anger, anxiety etc. The "bag of worries" looks good too. I've had a google about SEAL too and will speak with SENCO.

It sounds really silly but I've spent the entire time since he started school for a CT to say "minion, we are concerned about dts2". That said I'm not convinced it's ASD, but I don't know really, my only bench mark is dts1, which is probably why I can't get my head around it.

I'm written a some notes from when I've had a few casual chats with him over the weekend and going to speak with his CT first.

I just feel so very sad for him, he has a lot to deal with really for someone his age.

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 16-Nov-14 21:46:06

oh we have one of the 'what to do' books but never showed it to DD because I thought it would add to her worries!

ASD can vary so so much, it really might be worth getting him referred and seen, even if to rule it out.

He does have a lot to deal with and so do you all as a family but if you can get him the support he needs somehow then he will be able to grow up stronger and probably far more caring than your average person as a result.

hugs, it must be hard for you

APlaceInTheWinter Sun 16-Nov-14 22:18:54

It may just be a clash with the teacher. I had a similar situation with DS. He was getting into trouble and kept saying he was 'bad'. His teacher said she never called him that and tbf I don't think she did, but when we were at the school, we could see that she did treat him differently. It was only little subtle differences, similar to your attempt to leave the classroom.

DS now has a new teacher and the change has been incredible. He isn't getting into trouble. He thinks of himself as 'good' and he adores his new teacher.

I think it can be difficult to change the dynamic between a teacher and a child. It requires constant thought on the teacher's part and I think they are generally too busy for that level of concentration when dealing with one child. If you can move him to the same class as his DT then I think I would. We didn't have that option for DS but when he moved up a class, the change was immediate.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 22:20:02

I think I will take him to the GP... I took him just after he started school with a list of my concerns but we both agreed to see if school raised any issues. As you say, if only to rule things out. I have a great GP so I know she will support me.

He is a very caring, thoughtful boy. His previous CT said he is always the one to rely on to support his classmates when they are upset, and to encourage "making friends" when others are falling out.

It's upsetting when you have a child go from loving school to hating it in a matter of weeks.

Thanks flowers

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 22:31:30

Aplace Sorry cross posts.

I don't like to think it is the CT, she seems genuinely concerned, only talked to her twice though. He is convinced that she "doesn't believe in him" and when I try to persuade him otherwise he just insists she "doesn't prove it. When we spoke again at bedtime about people who care for us, he just said his previous CT, when I said what about new CT, he said a very resounding NO.

This is a boy who absolutely adored everything about school in YR1...

APlaceInTheWinter Sun 16-Nov-14 22:56:03

Minion I didn't want to think it was down to DS' teacher and I never raised it as an issue. DS was being bullied and that was much more my focus in any dealings with the school.

It's only seeing the difference now that I think it was a factor (and I think it was also a factor in how the teacher responded to the bullying).

Can your DS tell you the point when he started to think his teacher didn't believe in him? Then you can work with the teacher to reassure him on that issue.

I hope you manage to resolve it. It is horrible to see such a change in your DC especially when they have to spend so much time at school.

minionmadness Sun 16-Nov-14 23:09:26

I will try to get to the bottom on when this change happened but I do recall him starting to say small negative things about school around 4 weeks after moving up to YR2.

I'm so sorry you've gone through similar with your ds, I'm pleased to read that he's happier since moving up... long may it continue.

APlaceInTheWinter Sun 16-Nov-14 23:21:51

Thank you flowers I hope your DS rediscovers his love for school too.

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