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Child who can't cope with school

(36 Posts)
scittlescatter Fri 16-Aug-19 23:51:45

My DC started school last year and it was a bit of a disaster. Not coping: tantrums, falling asleep. Very difficult to get her into school. She would scream the whole way to school while being dragged in.

Now it is the holidays, her behaviour is miles better. No more tantrums, generally a lot happier.

She still doesn't like group settings though: playgroups make her anxious. She says she doesn't like people and loud noise.

She is fine in small groups though. Generally very happy and affectionate, and I have no concerns about her general development.

Any ideas for restarting school in September? I am thinking about ear defenders, but unsure if this is perpetuating a problem

OP’s posts: |
bombaychef Fri 16-Aug-19 23:54:20

Your post raises loads of questions. Is she very Young in the year. Any suspicion of ASD?

scittlescatter Fri 16-Aug-19 23:57:43

No, she has a middle of the year birthday.

I don't personally suspect ASD. It seems more like she is painfully shy and sensitive to noise.

OP’s posts: |
minipie Sat 17-Aug-19 00:03:27

Bit of a left field suggestion but has she ever been seen by an ENT or had her hearing checked? Any snoring?

InDubiousBattle Sat 17-Aug-19 00:05:18

What is her school like? My ds goes to a big, busy setting and last year (his reception year)several children had problems settling in. Did she go to nursery/pre school? What did the school do to help her last year?

scittlescatter Sat 17-Aug-19 00:07:01

Minipie, yes she does snore. Very healthy in general.

Never seen an ENT or had her hearing checked (in fact she has never been to gp other than 6 week check, or to A&E)

OP’s posts: |
minipie Sat 17-Aug-19 00:30:21

I wonder if she has a slight hearing problem (eg due to glue ear) which makes her find loud and busy places difficult. I also wonder about sleep apnoea given the snoring and tiredness. I may be barking up a gumtree but worth asking GP for a referral to an ENT specialist maybe to check things out?

Cantchooseaname Sat 17-Aug-19 00:39:23

If she is happy with war defenders, it may be a good start.
I would suggest a chat with senco re: modifications to the day.
Have a think/ chat about stress points of day, and think about how they can be reduced.
-arrive 10 mins early/ late to avoid morning rush.
-playtime- anywhere else she can access that might be quieter? Option for going on library sometimes.
-wet playtimes in a hall can be awful- is there an alternative?
-lunchtime- again, is there maybe a little group that could eat somewhere else?
-assembly- sit at the back/ side/ wherever she is most comfortable.
Does she know what times of day are worst? Hopefully reducing stress of parts of day will make it more manageable overall.

BabyMommaDec2012 Sat 17-Aug-19 11:21:44

My son is similar - he’s 6 and will be going into Year 2 in Sept. He’s mostly ok at home (just usual 6yrs old nonsense) but totally falls apart at school. I have a diagnosis meeting to find out if he has ASD or ADHD next week. Keep an eye on your daughter over the next term OP - if her problems continue, seek help from the SENCO asap. It’s taken us 2yrs to get to this diagnosis stage.

minipie Sat 17-Aug-19 13:07:03

The thing that made me think ENT/sleep apnoea rather than eg ASD, is the extreme tiredness (falling asleep in school). Is this something that also happens with ASD?

scittlescatter Sat 17-Aug-19 14:42:15

Minipie I don't know. She was sleeping poorly at the time (going to bed late). Partly I think her tiredness was down to tantrums as well: it's a lot of effort to shout for an hour!

As she is getting older this is becoming less age appropriate. I do think it stems from anxiety at least in part (relating to noise/people). Not sure how to manage it all. sad

OP’s posts: |
Needadvices Sat 17-Aug-19 14:50:49

my friend's daughter had same problem in reception,they have now been happily home schooling for past few years.

Paddingtonthebear Sat 17-Aug-19 14:50:58

How old is she? Hour long tantrums doesn’t sound right

scittlescatter Sat 17-Aug-19 15:09:21

Home schooling isn't an option for me as I need to work. Also not sure it would help with the underlying issues, if they are there.

I agree the tantrums aren't 'normal'.

OP’s posts: |
Paddingtonthebear Sat 17-Aug-19 20:36:19

I think I would make an appointment at start of sept term with school and their SEND staff member and just talk through what you’ve mentioned here and see what they suggest

Zodlebud Sat 17-Aug-19 20:49:04

Could be Auditory Processing Disorder (look it up on NHS Direct). If it sounds like your daughter then be prepared for a long haul diagnosis as a lot of people, including GPs haven’t heard of it.

Mistigri Sat 17-Aug-19 23:21:33

My DS used to find noisy, busy environments extremely stressful when he was primary school age. One of the things he did to escape from stressful situations was to fall asleep.

He did better in a small school in a very traditional classroom environment. Pre-school and play-based classrooms were definitely not for him.

He did have some ASD-like traits, but they have mostly disappeared as he has got older. He's now a teenager and seems perfectly ordinary.

BubblesBuddy Sun 18-Aug-19 10:30:48

Don’t DC have pre school health checks now? I’m surprised your DD hasn’t seen anyone for checks after 6 weeks old.

I would definitely speak to the school and the Y1 teacher. Y1 should also be more formal and you should notice a more settled classroom. I would also go to see your GP. Hopefully you will get in before term starts!

I have seen children like this and they have not had lasting problems. They just don’t like school much to begin with but then learn to cope. Having friends also helps. They look forward to seeing them.

A new teacher and a quieter classroom would be a good start to the term. Wishing you the best.

scittlescatter Mon 19-Aug-19 21:58:37

bubbles not any more. Very little exists nowadays.

It's reassuring to hear this does get better usually. She does have friends. She enjoys socialising, just gets easily overwhelmed if too many children.

OP’s posts: |
Lara53 Tue 20-Aug-19 15:09:44

Have a look at Sensory Processing disorder. There is a great book I read when my son was struggling called the highly sensitive child.

LIttleMissTickles Tue 20-Aug-19 15:20:59

I second that book The highly sensitive child, it was a life saver for us.

Inniu Tue 20-Aug-19 15:28:07

Did her school or nursery voice any concerns to you?
Sometimes as parents we are not best place to realize that our child behavior is not typical for their age and can be indicative of a bigger issue.

scittlescatter Tue 20-Aug-19 20:34:04

Yes school has voiced concerns. A lot of them, but haven't been able to find a solution.

Thank you for the book suggestion.

OP’s posts: |
MidniteScribbler Tue 20-Aug-19 23:35:23

Get your head out of the sand and get to the GP. She needs an assessment.

movingontosomethingnew Wed 21-Aug-19 00:03:42

@MidniteScribbler it's really not as easy as that. I wish it was but it isn't.

Our health board won't refer on without them seeing an educational psychologist first. The school have to organise that.

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