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Emotional Literacy Support

(11 Posts)
Topsy34 Mon 09-Nov-15 10:28:21

Has anyone have any experience of ELSA?

DS school has said they would like him to do some emotional literacy support because he is happy all the time......and because I'm pregnant.

I dont really know enough about it to make a decision on it and am going to the school later today to discuss it. Alot of the info I have read says that ELSA is used for children with emotional distress, experienced break up and bereavement.

ds is 6 and a happy, sweet, compassionate boy. He rarely lets things get to him, we talk a lot at home about emotions and recently his hamster died so we spoke about that in depth, although he didnt seem sad.

I am concerned about one boy in his year, he continually calls ds babyish because he still likes cbeebies, this boy watches a lot of violent films and programs after school eg zombie films, sherlock, csi etc....would ELSA help DS to, not stand up to this boy, but be able to express himself better??

He is secure or exceeding in all areas at school, so no extra needs in those areas.

I just feel a bit uncomfortable about it, but i cant place why.

irvine101 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:05:19

"DS school has said they would like him to do some emotional literacy support because he is happy all the time"

If the school said that, then maybe school is asking your child to support other children?

One of my dc's friend's mum asked me if my dc can be able to support her dc at school, when the child is distressed(she has sen), and they told school about it.

Sorry, can be completely different.

Topsy34 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:13:17

The teacher said at the parents evening that 'he is always happy, smiling and he will always be the one the pick up someone if they fall over or hug if they are sad, that along with you being pregnant think he could do with ELSA so he can explore other emotions'

So it seems to me that they are concerned about him being too happy?! I would say he is balanced and understand other emotions, we've talked in depth about my pregnancy and what might happen (baby crying, me bf etc) and he seems excited and cool with it all

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Nov-15 11:15:26

Both my DD's have used ELSA support at their primary, and DD1 also pastoral support at secondary. It has been really helpful to both of them.

My girls are adopted, and DD1 originally used ELSA support whilst in care, then transferred over when we adopted her to help her make sense of things. DD2 (adopted age 2) has used it to help her express emotions, she went through a period of just withdrawing in when upset, unable to cope at all.

The school has experience of hundreds of children. If they feel it would be beneficial then it probably will be. How to recognise and express different emotions is really important, as is being able to be appropriately assertive when necessary. Resources for this sort of thing are usually tight, so if they have suggested it they must feel it would be useful.

Your DS isn't babyish to watch Cbeebies. It is the other boy who is way out of kilter (I presume the school is aware? In extremis this can be considered a form of child abuse.) My DD2 still watches Cbeebies sometimes (though age 11 this could be considered babyish).

Maybe a chat to the school as to what the ELSA sessions would involve would help you set your mind at rest? But I would say go for it.

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Nov-15 11:19:53

If he stays happy in situations when they/you might expect him to be cross, upset, scared, sad or whatever then that might flag. e.g. DD1 used to repress anger as she was too scared of what anger was to let herself be angry iyswim?

Alternately, maybe your DS is just a happy-go-lucky kid. He seems to have good empathy from what you've written.

irvine101 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:29:49

Sorry, completely irrelevant.

Your child seems like a lovely boy. smile

Topsy34 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:32:26

The only thing that i expected him to be upset over was his hamster, but it wasnt sudden, we had discussed that she was very ill and very old and that we would have to take her to the vet and see if he thought she should be put to sleep. When the time came, he simply said, yes i think it time to let her go to heaven. Later that day we spoke about the hamster and buried he, he said he felt sad, but glad that she wasnt hurting anymore.

I'm not suying we are a perfect family, but we are stable, we are a secure little unit and very open, so it surprised me that they think he needs it. He is in a very small school (15 in his class year 1 &2 combined), i think it might be all just my pregnant irrational brain over thinking it, but all the info i can find on it seems to be that ELSA is aimed at children who have an unstabke history or emotional issues....or am i just blind to it as his mummy??

ELSA is brand new to the school, the TA completed the course within the last month.

I dont know if the school know about the other little boy, i will mention it as i have other concerns about the same boy, i just dont want the mum to know it came from me.

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Nov-15 12:09:22

If ELSA is brand new, I'm surprised they think your son is a priority, given what you've said here. Definitely try to get more info from them.

Topsy34 Mon 09-Nov-15 13:05:30

Thanks ladies, i am going to see the deputy head about it. there is children from unstable backgrounds and exposed to all sorts of things, so its odd they think he is a priority.

All the info I'm reading says its an emotional intervention and i think I'm just not comfortable with it

Jhm9rhs Mon 09-Nov-15 13:26:15

I'd have a word and ask for more clarification as to why exactly they have recommended it x

Topsy34 Mon 09-Nov-15 16:13:42

So i saw the deputy head after school today and she co-ordinates the SEN and ELSA etc. I said that I was unhappy about the lack of info given to us and that from all the info I have read it falls under SEN, but we are unaware of any SEN. She said that its absolutely not the case, and his teacher hasnt explained it well.

She said that they want to support him as much as possible and its a very positive thing, nothing to worry about. its 6 weeks and I can go and see the ELSA at anytime to see how he is going, or stop them. We spoke about his hamster and she said he could be upset and not know how to express it, or he can see that the hamster is no longer in pain and is genuinely ok about it. They thought the neutral support might help if he gets jealous after the baby comes.

She said they dont consider it to be a behavioural intervention, but a time to learn new emotions and how they might affect him. She said she can take him off the programme and we can consider it if we want to. I think I am no happy for him to do it, its 30 mins a week for 6 weeks and she thinks he will benefit from the space and freedom to say exactly how he is feeling.

I feel alot happier about it, so i'm going to let him do it this week and then speak to the ELSA and see how it goes.

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