Y1 boy - parents evening - SEN?- thoughts?!(14 Posts)
Have namechanged....sorry- may be long.
DS is nearly 6 and is in Y1. Parents Evening was on Tuesday.
Reception was rocky. Teacher acknowledged he was very bright, very articulate, picked up reading very quickly etc. Several behavioural issues in the first term (particularly boisterous behaviour in the playground, the occasional meltdown when he didn't want to do something, silliness on carpet etc) and we had a brief meeting with the SENCO who thought/hoped it was something he'd grow out of and was all much better by the end of reception. No real interest in writing but devoured books and eager to learn. Popular, plays nicely, kind to younger children and so on. Can still be 'challenging' but not noticeably more so than his peers although can be demanding for the teachers attention.
He has loved Year 1 so far and loves his teacher. Tells us all about what he has been learning etc.
So at parent's evening teacher tells us she'd like to set up another meeting with the SENCO and herself but didn't really elaborate as she 'wanted to focus on the positives at parent's evening'.
Their reasons for concern appear to be the following:
He still doesn't really like writing- all too much effort and his handwriting is not good at all. However if he's in the right frame of mind and writing about things he's interested he's much better at it.
He doesn't always concentrate on the carpet. Again, not too bad when the teacher's talking about something he's interested in but if, e.g., another child is telling something he sometimes switches off.
He sometimes shouts out instead of putting his hand up.
He sometimes tells the class/teacher something totally irrelevant to what's being discussed and sometimes says it several times. (It will be something he's excited about- like that he's going to the cinema or someone's house to play.).
He sometimes gets cross when working with others in class if they don't want to do things his way.
She says that because he's so bright (I hate saying that but every teacher he has says it) she wants him to be able to get his thoughts etc down on paper and to achieve his full potential. She has no worries about his playground behaviour, his ability to make friends etc etc. and says that she really enjoys teaching him.
I know that she bought up the not concentrating with other parents but they are not having SENCO meetings.
My gut instinct is that the above are all things which are not hugely uncommon in Y1 children (esp. boys). He is definitely a big personality and is a bit different to a lot of children his age but I don't think there are any SEN issues. I am willing to be proved wrong though and happy for him to get any extra support that will help him achieve his potential.
I suppose what I'm wondering is if anyone sees any cause for concern in the school's reasons for concern?! When reception was a bit of a nightmare I looked into ADHD etc a lot but it didn't really seem to fit him.
Sorry- that was long!
Just because a child may have SEN doesn't mean that they need a long term 'medical' label. It could just be that the teacher is saying, I can see this child isn't reaching his potential, I don't know the best way to tap into his potential and want to involve the SENCO in giving me some helpful hints in how to proceed.
If he is physically struggling to write for example and that is holding him back, and it is showing through as a refusal to write, then getting the appropriate exercises now for him to learn to hold a pencil properly (for example) will mean less intervention further down the line.
Thanks for replying
I know you're right about SEN not necessarily meaning anything long term. I think I'm just upset really. I thought all The SENCO involvement was behind us (although I know it never really is- half the kids at school seem to have some sort of involvement!). The other DC has some physical issues that are causing concern at the moment and I was just hoping that parents evening would be all good!
It probably doesn't help much, but when I worked as a TA with 'reluctant writers' in Yr2 I would get them to DICTATE their ideas to me, and I would type them on the computer. Quite often, reluctance to write stems from not wanting/not being able to physically control a pencil to produce their ideas. Invariably, the ideas WERE there, and they were happy to dictate text to me. They enjoyed seeing their ideas appear on the screen, and as I am a touch-typist I could usually keep up with them.
So if you have a tape recorder, or a phone that he can use to record his ideas, that may produce better results, and take some of the pressure off him. Obviously, in due course he will need to write for himself, but I think at this stage producing the ideas and text via dictation could help.
It could also be BECAUSE he is bright, he gets impatient/frustrated with others who are not performing as he thinks they could. I keep on saying: we expect a great deal from very young children, and it is only two or three years since they learned to TALK!
Don't feel stigmatised by SENCO involvement. Nothing you've said implies a profound problem so I'd say just go and see what they want to talk about. It's probably all good, as they'll want to give your child more support/ strategies to help him focus and move on. Be pleased they're supporting him rather than worried maybe? I know it's tricky, but my son's got a lot more help and support since being on the SN register. He's in top groups so it doesn't necessarily indicate a child who's struggling.
Ferguson- that's a nice idea- I might try it.
Feeling much better and positive about things today and yes, I should be pleased that the school (hopefully) want to help! Thanks!
I agree, I would be pleased that the school want extra support for him, as said above, this can be for children doing well who could be doing even better. Also agree about the writing, most Year 1 boys I know can't bear it!
Im inclined to agree with you. I think that sounds all very normal for a 5 yr old, especially for a boy.
Certainly my ds was like that in yr1, and 3 of his 4 AS levels were essay based subjects - he's now at university doing an essay based subject, and at one point thought he'd like to be an author.
Im not just going on my own family though, you can add in over 20 yrs of teaching, including 13 of being a SENCo.
I'm a SENCo and a Y1 teacher and you've just described about six boys in my class, none of whom are on the SEN register. Sounds very normal to me.
It can be a matter of degrees.
Yes many of these things are entirely expected but a teacher isn't likely to refer a child or raise a concern about expected behaviours within an entirely expected range.
You use the word "sometimes" for most of the issues identified and that may be how the teacher has explained it but if those behaviours are actually quite frequent or if they are rarer but quite extreme (getting cross with other children may mean mildly irritated and a bit sullen or it might mean absolutely furious and a major outburst) then she may have concerns it is over and above what you'd expect for a young child.
There is no downside to having any issues like these assessed and supported. Since your DS is bright in fact there may be more reason to address the issues sooner before they interfere with him progressing as fast as he is able. If he is at the stage academically where he could express ideas and communicate what he knows but is held up by a few key issues, it could become very frustrating for him and slow him down.
If you go to your GP with a bullet point list from his class teacher / SENCO, he/she can refer you fir an assessment to CAHMS and to the Occupational Therapist. By the time your assessment comes through, you may find that things have been resolved. But, if not, this might be a useful way of clarifying things. It helped us.
op, he does sounds very normal. But on the other hand it could be small warning signs of other things.
The trouble is that over the internet we can't say which one it is.
I would think about how experienced this year one teacher is. Experienced teachers can often spot a child who needs help, it is almost a gut instinct that what they are seeing is not quite right. A newish teacher may be just the opposite, she/he hasn't come across anyone like your ds and they aren't sure how to handle it.
Thanks all- all taken on board. Interesting comments about experienced/non- experienced teachers but won't write any more details as may totally out me!
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