This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Should teachers be doing more?(17 Posts)
I don’t know if my expectations are unreasonable. My daughter is currently seeing the community paediatrician about possible asd. The Dr says it’s a tricky case because she doesn’t completely fit the criteria but there are obvious problems with eye contact and some social scenarios.
She has just started reception and isn’t doing well at making friends. She’s trying hard but just doesn’t quite seem to have the skills there. For eg this morning she was trying to join in with some other kids at drop off time and they ended up turning away from her repeatedly and after a few tries to join in she just stopped and stood, looking down in the playground.
By her account this is fairly standard at school. I’ve spoken to the teachers a few times but because she’s well behaved they just leave her to herself but at home she’s so sad because she says she’s lonely at school.
I don’t know what to do.
We had this a lot in reception and while it did die down given time, it resurfaced badly this year in year 1 and I ended up putting my concerns down in writing (my daughter has speech problems so couldn't express it well at school) before they took it seriously, did a little bit of gently engineering chances for her to break into a group of girls and started to sort it out.
I've been a rather squeaky wheel this last half term.
Getting it in writing may be a good idea. I have pnd from the birth of my youngest so find myself feeling emotional whenever I try to address the matter with teachers so don’t express it enough.
What is you think the teacher should be doing?
That’s part of the problem, I don’t know what they should be doing or indeed if they should be doing anything. It’s just very sad that a little 4 year old is spending her whole day alone despite trying her best. At the moment there are very few structured class activities, mostly free play and they say she just stands by herself and watches.
Have you invited any classmates over to play after school? Have you done any fun outings (eg park, farm) at the weekends and taken a classmate along?
If not, get on these things now.
But how do we pick a classmate to invite when she doesn’t seem to have any friends?
My ds has asd traits and was a selective mute. He struggled socially whole ks1.
Breakthrough came in yr2, when he met one of his class mate at the park, he never spoke with before. They hit off straight away and inseparable since.
So, yes, I agree with Plate, invite lots of friends, she may find like minded children she can get along well.
You could tell the teacher you’re trying to help your DS out with building friendships and ask who a good match could be. Ask for a few names and try and have them each over one on one over the next few weeks. Don’t put the teacher on the spot, ask her to really really think about it and get back to you.
You may end up having to have a lot of classmates over/out one to one - but it’ll be worth it if it means your DD builds her social skills and maybe even makes a friend.
Are there teaching assistants or pupil support workers at the school? Maybe a small structured play session a couple of times a week in a small group might encourage her to build friendships?
OP, find out about a programme called Playing and Learning to Socialise (PALS). My DD's school offer it to Reception children who struggle with social skills. Parents at my DD's school who have had children on it have spoken highly of it. It originated from Australia.
The class is very well staffed, 25 children 1 teacher and 4 TAs.
I will ask about both ideas!
Not on my phone now so can type a bit more easily. We had this all Reception year with DD2... because of how she is she can come across as being very self reliant... if she doesn't have someone to play with she would mooch off and find something to do on her own - but it WAS getting to her and I don't think school particularly got a handle on it last year, I think we let it drop a bit too easily for her. By the end of the year she'd made friends mainly among the boys but there's not a nice composition of girls in that year group which had made it harder for her.
This year again it's been a problem (a bit of it is being encouraged by one mother in particular though) and again, our concerns were being somewhat disregarded by school in terms of this and her language difficulties were meaning that she couldn't express what was going on easily either... so in the end I did put it all down in writing and school finally did take it seriously and put her on the kids who would be monitored more carefully at playtime and supported to take part in playground games etc and the class teacher put time and effort into reinforcing and rewarding good friend type behaviour within the class which has broken things down a little bit for her - but I did have to really start flagging it up to school loudly that this was happening for them to take me seriously on it (by the point of Y1 it was starting to become more social exclusion than just not fitting in yet and an element of it was being done because of some of her SN).
I was being fobbed off slightly by the class teacher so went through the SENCO in the end - the letter was in response to getting the minutes for her SN review meeting where we'd flagged this up very heavily as a problem and it was completely and totally minimised in the minutes.
How does she interact with other children outside of school.
Of course the school should be doing something to help! There are lots of things they could do - have a buddy bench, maybe pair her up with kids she might get along with in class.
I also agree that having kids over and doing nice things so they want to come is a good idea. You will be able to get a better idea how your dd interacts and maybe role play some situations with her.
This is always very sad to hear about.Children are still very young when joining school, in some other Countries, they wouldn't start school until 6 or 7 years of age.
Definitely must bring these situations to the teachers attention, and remember there are other options, like homeschooling.
You know your child better than anyone, you are their best teacher, i did homeschooling for many years.
Wishing you and your precious child all the best. Adele Jane 👼🏼