Advice re behaviour(15 Posts)
(also posted in behaviour/development)
I've just had a call from the school as my 5 year old DS bit another child today when he grew frustrated with them. They were standing in the wrong group and DS tried to organise them into the right group. When he wouldn't move DS bit. Apparently he's been trying to act like a bit of a teacher over the course of this term, trying to organise the other children and make sure that they're doing what the should be. This has been to the detriment of his own work. They have put him on a 'positive behaviour chart' to try and get him to focus on not doing this. He's had some anxieties noted too, although not to any one thing in particular. After a long series of dry nights, he's started bed wetting most nights.
He has intermittently had problems with biting and some other challenging behaviour since he was about 18m old. His biting settled as his language improved, although there have been some intermittent episodes since. This settled when he left nursery and went to school.
Occasionally he will be upset by loud noises, but not consistently. School are going to offer him ear defenders when this happens in class. He's a bright child, and previously his behaviour has suffered when he gets bored. I don't think he meets criteria for autism or sensory processing disorders. The school are planning some observations by their learning support teacher, but they have been unwell for the past few weeks. They want to meet us in the new year.
I'd be very grateful for any advice on helping him through this. After school today I'm going to sit him down and talk things through with him, and gently try to explore what makes him anxious. We'll reinforce the work school are doing about not trying to take control and organise things.
The thing is that taking control and trying to organise is part of the anxiety, so just expecting him to stop will not help, and might make him more anxious.
He needs to feel assured that someone is in charge, and given some other strategies to use if he notices that other children aren’t doing the right thing.
Have you heard of social stories? He is so little that he won’t yet be able to articulate clearly what he is feeling and why. You might need to do that for him. I.e. “Sometimes other children don’t do what they should be, and that makes you feel a bit worried. It’s great that you try to help them but that is the teachers job. You can help the teacher and the other children by showing them what to do. If you’re very worried you can tell the teacher or another adult and they can help.”
Maybe he could have a card or something to show an adult when he is feeling anxious and they can then help him resolve it?
That's really useful, thanks. I'll have a look into social stories. I've contacted the school tonight to arrange a meeting.
Have you had his hearing checked? One of my dc acted a bit like this turned out to be glue ear which can really affect behaviour. Grommets fitted and all was well.
Today I've been contacted by another school mum friend to say another parent complained about something my DS had done last week, and was told that the school had identified an issue and he was being taken out of class to work on his behaviour. This is now all round the playground, and I am the last to know of his 'issue'. Meeting arranged with the school for Monday, and I've asked for a timeline of events and actions.
If that’s true then it’s unacceptable behaviour from the school. They should not be sharing information about your son with another parent and I would complain.
Absolutely. It breaches all kinds of rules. I've not told the school about what I've heard, but will definitely be including it on Monday. I just can't believe all of this is happening.
Thanks for the suggestion about hearing.
My guess is that because a parent complained the school wanted to show it was being proactive. They should have told you though. As you will see from many threads on MN, complaining parents want action!
I think you can have a fruitful meeting if you don’t dwell on the incident and the complaint from the parent. You complaining about the school’s handling of the complaint won’t get your child the help he needs. So let it go. You need to look forward and try to find out what strategy the school is implementing if they are thinking of taking him out of class. In my view this course of action is not acceptable. He should not be separated. They should observe and monitor and suggest intervention.
We've got a bit of a plan for tomorrow. WE will mention the gossip regarding DS but not dwell on it and work with the school. Hopefully it can be productive. We've had a good family weekend, and spent some time today finishing off his Christmas craft homework for school.
Thanks to all for advice, hopefully we'll be in a better position after meeting with the school.
What leads you to rule out autism? Just wondering as my son was diagnosed at 5 and had similar type issues. He's doing very well in school now at age 8 and his behaviour issues are minimal with the right support & understanding. Autism can present in so many ways and people sometimes have very set ideas of what it looks like before they become familiar with it.
Having said all that it may be something else - or it may be just a bit of immaturity that he'll grow out of.
What do you think are the causes of his behaviours?
Imaginosity, because it is so setting dependant and it isn't consistent. We've got good family friends who are specialist teachers and doctors and they don't feel he needs assessed by CAMHS. They've seen a lot of him in a wide variety of settings, including in groups. If he does have a diagnosis then of course I would accept that. My worry at the moment is that the school are rushing towards something that isn't there and meanwhile time is passing when he needs support in the classroom.
All of this started the same time as his best friend was diagnosed with a serious illness and is now undergoing treatment. I contacted the school as he was understandably upset and was told he was fine. He's very confused as he has been told not to tell tales when he's been hit in the class, and he's frightened to make mistakes. He thinks the other children in the class laugh at him. Since he told me this a few days ago we've gone from nightly or twice nightly bed-wetting to being dry at night again.
It went well. There has been no complaint, and they were genuinely taken aback when I mentioned the gossip about DS. They hadn't realised the link between a friend being sick and him loosing confidence. The teacher hadn't noticed that he was not blending words as he only ever reads in a group of 3 or 4, but assures me that they'll work on it. He sets high standards for himself. They'll also work on helping him worry less about getting something wrong. The behaviour chart is stopping and they're going to use a communication book home instead.
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