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Reception child and poor behaviour(7 Posts)
DS (nearly 5) has had on/off behaviour issues since he started nursery aged 3, and now in Reception. Nursery eventually had him assessed by an Educational Psychologist and she diagnosed anxiety, which manifested itself as poor behaviour and she recommended strategies which completely turned his behaviour around.
School seem to not have the time or inclination to continue with these strategies (had meeting with EP, nursery and school SENCO prior to starting) and so we see some behaviours manifesting themselves again. I appreciate that he doesn't have a diagnosis that would require an EHCP etc so he's a low priority, but I'm not sure where to go from here.
Since early December his behaviour has gone downhill both at school and at home (usually fine at home) - at school he is pushing and hitting with usually the same new friends, knocking over other children's toys (all not constant, but still intermittent enough to be a concern); at home we have seen a resurgence in big tantrums (well actually when out in public, not so much at home) that have him hitting and kicking me repeatedly, calling me names like idiot and stupid, screaming and thrashing around, often throwing himself on the ground. Can become totally uncontrollable. At the train station the other day he was going berserk kicking and screaming at me and one of the staff told him off for treating his mum like that and he stopped instantly and said sorry. At other times he is perfectly behaved, like a different child. He can go days at a time with being a lovely little boy and then this demon appears.
School put down behaviour in December to the excitement of Christmas meaning a lot of Reception children have been having poor behaviour, plus bring very tired towards the end of term. Since going back to school after Christmas he has, for the first time, said he doesn't want to go to school and he is talking even more about how he misses nursery and his keyworker, and how all his friends have gone to other schools. We see them often but he misses them a lot despite having made a lot of new friends at school.
His teacher said yesterday that his behaviour is becoming aggressive when he retaliates if someone hits/pushes him first - he gets quite nasty with the way he pushes/hits back really hard. The teacher did say that now its often another child will hit him first, but she is concerned with how nastily he responds, and he has been told countless times to walk away and tell a teacher rather than retaliating but the message is not getting through to him even though he can parrot back to you what he should do.
I might point out that he never behaves badly with his nursery friends, other friends, and cousins outside of school.
In the past week he had been complaining of pain on/off and it ended up with the GP sending us to A&E and they all thought it was something potentially serious; turns out they can find absolutely nothing wrong with him after extensive tests and while we will be referred to a consultant to double check, they have suggested it is psychological.
So, what is going on with my DS? I know he doesn't like school and misses nursery desperately; no other major life changes in the family, his DF works long hours and he does miss him a lot but he knows no different. I keep swinging between feeling so sorry for him that he must feel unhappy, to angry and embarrassed at his behaviour and possibly wasting NHS resources. We don't think his teacher likes him at all as all she does is complain about him, and criticise his work efforts (parent meeting was nothing but negative of everything - not good at anything whatsoever) so I don't think she is of much help. SENCO came to the nursery meeting looking quite disinterested so we just don't know what to do to help DS with whatever issues he is feeling and causing him to behave badly.
Sorry this was so long, thanks for reading if you got this far.
I have read through your post and I agree it is worrying so didn’t want to run away.
My initial thought is to see if he can go to another school. He seems to be unsettled and the school isn’t making adjustments for him. As he has EP intervention I’m surprised at this.
I am not sure he will end up with many friends if this behaviour continues. As I am sure you are aware, MN is littered with posts about DC who are unpleasant to others at school. It’s difficult to see this ending well. Therefore do the schools where his nursery friends go have vacancies? Could this be an option?
I think if this school isn’t interested in YR, then I’m not sure I would trust them in the future. I would not want a YR with children hitting each other either. It sounds horrendous to me. Try and find a firm but calmer school. Neither of my DDs witnessed DC hitting each other in class. It’s also important to try and get DS away from hitting DC. The teacher should be far more proactive about this and do should okay supervisors. It sound like a few DC have issues and yours in joining in.
Don’t reward tantrums by attention. Ignore him. When he calms down cuddle him. Try and get him to articulate how he feels. Talk calmly about how he can feel better about everything. Good luck.
And so should midday supervisors.
And yours is joining in.
Should have previewed!
I don’t believe an Educational Psychologist can officially diagnose anxiety!
Our dd was very similar to this last year (in reception), even down to us feeling very strongly that her teacher didn't like her, negative parent's evening etc.
Then she started in year one, is being pushed more academically and has a teacher who seems to like her. All of a sudden, there's no issues with behaviour at school and at home we're back to 'normal' (for a 5 year old!).
The EP will have seen the behaviour is a result of being anxious.
What you need is assessments about why he's anxious,
The hitting back hard and very reactive to being pushed could be sensory overload. For some children it's a physical pain when they are touched - especially unexpectedly.
If he struggles with sensory stuff or social communication then he will be anxious as he doesn't have the skills to interact well.
I'd start with your GP. Ask for referral to development paediatrician.
Why would you want him in a school where he is being pushed about though? It seems unruly. It’s hardly going to help in the future and continual testing for issues isn’t great either. It’s draining. It’s such a shame he just cannot learn with ordinary DC.