Not happy with how the teacher is handling this (anxiety related)(19 Posts)
DS is Y3 in a new school, lots of medical history and ADHD and potential LD's. School were initially very supportive, put IEP in place very quickly which was great.
DS however has been increasingly unsettled. Lots of crying at home about not wanting to go to school, irrational fears about the family dying while he is there, being kidnapped in the school toilets etc. It has been getting worse rather than better. He has a history of anxiety, so I believe it is this rather than him just being silly.
He usually has a little cry in the mornings and I take him into school (which isn't really allowed) quickly reassure him etc but he does have "little cries" during the day, which are getting more frequent. He isn't loud, but children at his table tell the teacher he is crying and she has been getting increasingly fed up/angry and telling him to stop being silly/he is too big for crying etc.
Today when I picked him up the teacher marched him out (she usually stays inside) and angrily told me that there had been a lot of tears today and that this has to stop, he needs to get used to school and that she only wants to see a happy face from now on. I was taken aback by how cross she seemed, ds was really sobbing by this stage and i couldn't get away quick enough.
I certainly don't expect them to really faff around ds or give him special attention, but I'm not sure if IABU or not?
I thought about making an appointment with SENCo to discuss this, to try to put strategies in place to help ds "come down" from these episodes. We have things at home that work, such as stepping outside the situation and taking deep breaths, washing the face etc but I personally think that telling him he is silly and crying is for babies seems counterproductive to me.
Sorry for epic post, hoping that someone has gone through this and come out the other end. Any advice appreciated.
No experiences advice but didn't want you to feel alone.
If definately make an appointment with the senco that sounds terrible to me. Your poor ds.
Bump for more experienced mumsnetters
Wow, what disrespectful and unkind behaviour and words from a teacher. I think a formal complaint is needed as she is clearly unable to adapt to your child's needs. Whether she thinks a child shouldn't cry is irrelevant. What she does about it is in fact paramount. Your child has an IEP, you must discus how you expect the school to deal with your dc anxiety and endure it is added into the IEP. Then ensure it is clearly understood. Once you have this in place, any further outbursts from the teacher can be logged and maybe a call to ofsted / school governors may be in order if it does not get better
I would have gone bat shit crazy if that was my child's teacher.
Thanks for the replies, I was half thinking I might be accused of being PFB.
Is it appropriate to go straight to the SENCO, rather than the teacher?
Not an acceptable thing to say to anyone! Let alone a distressed child! I'm a teacher and have told a child to stop crying before but not angrily and only because he was clearly forcing it (lots of noise but no tears).
Awful way to treat a child.
I would be very unhappy if my child was spoken to like that.
I would contact the Senco.
Dreadful behaviour by the teacher. If this happened at DD's school the Head & board of Governors would be hauling her over the coals.
I haven't had any experience of SENCO so not quite sure how they fit into the 'running' of schools, but I do think it is worth speaking with the Head to see how they devise suitable strategies for helping your son. If an IEP is in place then has something changed with staffing that could have affected things?
I would email the senco and head teacher with the full details and request a meeting to discuss further IEP adjustments. I say email, so you have a record that the school were made aware for any future difficulties etc you may have.
Absolutely contact the senco and ask for an urgent meeting. Don't go into detail, just say ds is becoming increasingly distressed and you need to see her / him.
When there, tell them about what the teacher said.
That way, they can't do a denial / cover up before you manage to get into school. The teacher needs to be re-educated about how to cater for children who have differing needs sympathetically, and your ds may need some additional support as what he has now clearly isn't working.
We have been through similar. DS suffered terribly from anxiety, which came to a head in Year 5. We had good support from the school, he was supposed to be allowed to leave his lesson if he felt anxious, go and find the support worker, calm down with his breathing techniques, then return to class. One dreadful teacher would not allow him to see his support worker. He would sit in tears in her lesson trying to hold it together until break time. She overstepped the mark one day at break, DS was walking towards the support worker in a dreadful state, and the teacher shouted at him to stop crying and go outside.
This for us was a bridge too far. We kept DS off school the next day and arranged a meeting with the Deputy Head. Deputy was awesome. Made sure it never happened again. But had we not had that outcome, OFSTED would have been next on my list. That teacher failed in her duty of care towards my son. I still feel angry now thinking about her.
Please don't let this go. Your DS will not improve with that attitude from the teacher. Yes go straight to SENCO and demand support.
Some teachers have no insight into anxiety and think that children are doing it deliberately. I'm sorry you are going through this, so stressful.
My DD is v similar with terrible anxiety & your DSs teacher is being cruel & unnecessary. He is probably finding it difficult to 'bond' with her & that's increasing his anxiety. Def talk to SENCO & nip her meanness in the bud right now - this is trying to bully his anxiety out of him - ridiculous behaviour in a teacher.
Sorry to hear your ds is finding it hard. I often find trying to talk to the teacher directly helps. Something like, I understand that ds is struggling in school at the moment and crying a bit, as you are probably aware he has anxiety issues and I don't want to teach you to suck eggs but we have some strategies at home that we find useful, I wondered if you d like to try them in school as it will probably make it easier for you and him.......worth a try?
Poor boy. Poor you too. He needs to be made safe at school, not frog marched angrily.
I would be livid and not want my da back in her class unless she played a very different tune,and even then I am not sure how he could feel safe with her again.
Im afraid I'd have to take it to the head if she didn't peddle back pretty fast.
Definitely see the SENCO.
Start keeping a diary.
You didn't say whether you've seen a child psychologist. Yes, speak to senco. But, this needs to be sorted. My DD developed anxiety and it was a horrific experience. Saw a fantastic psychologist who did CBT which taught DD to break the episodes herself.
We also had zero support from school and made a move pretty sharpish. The teacher had been watching DD having panic attacks (gasping, white lips, legs too numb to hold herself up) for months. Told her to stop play acting!
I can understand how exasperating it is for her but she really shouldn't let your DS see that. Very poor.
SENCO first and then head if things don't include. Document everything in writing e.g. what strategies are being put in place as a record. I would also suggest asking if anyone in the school is ELSA trained as they can be very effective. I would also suggest dropping in on the SEN board for support as you'll find people in a similar situation dealing with schools.
For those that mention Ofsted - they do not investigate parental complaints. You have to follow the school complaints procedure and then the route afterwards depends on whether the school is an academy or not, but this doesn't include Ofsted.
This happened in my DD's old school, and it wasn't just one teacher - there was several like this over a number of years. And no it didn't work - she got worse. Awful awful school
We eventually moved her in year 4. Her new school are brilliant, unsurprisingly she cries a lot less.
Definitely rise this will senco or head - it's no acceptable.
DD2 has anxiety and is currently seeing CAHMS about it.
What struck me is the list of anxieties you gave kidnapped/family dying etc.
Dd2 does those, but if you address them it actually makes it worse. Because she knows in her head that they are, I'm going to use the word silly, please don't take offense at that. If I take it apparently seriously and say how unlikely etc. then she takes it firstly as a "if mum is taking it seriously then it might happen" and secondly she goes into more and more ridiculous ideas.
I find it much better to say something along the lines of "I've never heard of that happening at school" and change the subject or as her how likely she thinks it is.
It does feel at times, and I suspect this is where the teacher is coming from as very attention seeking, but you have to try not to treat it as such.
What I do find is that often you need to drill down and find the real anxiety. So the being kidnapped from the toilet might be finding there's no paper or something really little and then you can say "check before you lock the door and if there isn't some go into the next cubical."
We've also had regular meetings with the GP who keeps an eye on her and allows her to talk about things. He's good at both giving her a sceptical look on her flights of fancy and listening seriously when appropriate. So I would go and talk to the GP about anxiety as it is a medical issue-dd2 also gets stomach ache and migraines connected with it.
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