Any teachers with experience of Aspergers?(12 Posts)
I have been posting on the SN board but thought I'd pop across here to see if anyone has any useful suggestions too.
DS is 6 and just completing Y1.
He is bright and generally happy at school. We moved him in Oct last year as his previous school had a lot of problems.
He is undergoing a multi-disciplinary assessment for possible AS or other SCD at present. He is due to see a SALT and OT and has been referred to CAMHS.
His main problems are:
*routine - clothes in particular, needs to be first, hates change
*hypotonia/hypermobility - makes sitting difficult and writing too , hates PE
*some problems with coordination
*possible social skill problems particularly understanding interactions with peers
My concern is that it is going to take months for all these assessments to be completed and in the meantime I don't know whether the right things are being done for him as he enters Y2.
His teachers are playing it by ear so far and have been sympathetic and supportive. But does he need some sort of plan? I'm passing back the info I get from appointments but no one has asked me to talk about it with them.
One of his teachers is SENCO too but he has never told me this himself!
Anyway, there have been a couple of incidents recently with one child in particular goading and teasing him and then getting him into trouble. He retaliates when he's grabbed and can't free himself (and this is really easy to do with his low muscle tone) or when someone's teasing. He doesn't seem to have the skills to know to go and tell someone no matter how many times he's told. Then he gets into trouble and doesn't explain himself to the teachers.
I saw his teacher after school today and he agreed with what I was saying but said he felt that he'd had a good year and this was just end of year stuff. He made me feel like I was being too negative.
I just worry because DS went through this at his last school were he was goaded to get into trouble and I don't want this happening again.
His new school are a million times better but I would really like to hear any suggestions about how I can deal with DS at school given there is no dx in place. I have a teacher's eve on Monday with both his teachers (it's a shared class).
Someone suggested a card system so he could alert teachers to any problem and his teacher tonight thought this was a good idea.
Any thoughts welcome.
You need to ask to see the SENCO & his class teacher. I'm surprised they haven't asked to see you.
I use something called the Incredible Five Point Scale with children so they can alert the teacher when things are beginning to stress them.
What I did for only little boy was to use the images and laminate them and use them on a keyring which he keeps in his pocket and can show the teacher when he needs help.
Visual timetables and prompts are often useful in class
social stories can help a child understand why their behaviour is wrong and how to deal with difficult situations.
Thanks for this. It's really helpful. The SENCO is one of his teachers and the deputy head. He had to take over as head for three days a week when the school's head went to 'rescue' a failing local school as acting head. As I was the one to first raise these things, and get the referral, he's not been involved.
He suggested having a card with a blank face which DS kept and could take out when he was in class and upset.
I worry about what happens when he's running around on the school field with other boys and someone decides to grab him which seems to happen with boys and he can't get free (he's very bendy and lightweight!). He knows not to lash out but it doesn't seem to stop him. He just seems to panic.
I am going to raise these suggestions on Monday and ask for a system to help him play with others (and they with him) so that he has an 'escape route'
Bumping this as I have a parents evening tomorrow and wondered if there were any suggestions
You need to be very assertive with the school to ensure that they listen to you as you know your child best and will know what the triggers are etc. Record key points and go through them with the teacher and SENCO. Social stories are excellent and the EdPsych/SALT should be able to help you with that.
At playtime, with the running and grabbing games, he needs a phrase that he can use and remember that the other children recognise as a 'flag' indicating they are to let him go and allow him to withdraw for a few minutes.
He also needs a safe space to withdraw to, so that he can disengage from what is happening and get his 'balance' back. Might be a location, might be a designated adult on the playground that he can go to without having to speak or explain unless he wants to.
Keep a running record of your own, so that you and the school can identify trigger points and be pre-emptive about solutions rather than reactive, stopping stuff before it starts.
Card system can work very well, mine had a time out card and a designated place to go without any sense of punishment or being 'sent out'
You are not being negative, you are looking at your child with clear sight and that will be his best help through the maze that you are both facing. In order for support to be effective, it has to be realistic.
One of the most useful things that my son's wonderful secondary HT did was to say 'If he needs a duvet day, take one, especially towards the end of term. Just phone in and say (code phrase for the head's ears only) and we will recognise that as 'Reasonable Adjustment'
Wow, thanks that is so useful. I will write all that down for tomorrow.
I agree with all that has been said. I taught a student at secondary level and fought to have him assessed for Asbergers, which seemed quite new at the time. I became very fond of him, but he sounds very like your son and did do well, but would have had far better skills if he had been assessed earlier.
I don't know if this helps at all but it was extremely important for him to have a safe and quiet place available at break and lunch. He did not enjoy any social interaction that did not have a framework, but a supervised library for instance, gave him the quiet, but he could also interact with those students who shared his interests.
The faces to show stress are really good as I found they could be shown subtley and quickly. Often language is difficult under stress and eye contact very limited so it can be difficult to read emotions of Asbergers students quickly and easily.
I totally agree with Goblinchild. You need to have all the support for your son you can get. Those parents who are pro-active get results and there are plenty of ways of showing this without seeming pushy. Really most teachers I know understand that any parent in your situation would do the same.
The Duvet day is also good. What I meant about the student I taught was that he was overlooked because he was academically very able, I believe it can be common with Asbergers, particularly if a lowish level. What he needed was time to adjust and regain equilibrium when under stress and far more attention paid to social cues and interaction ON HIS TERMS. These are the life skills that are so important once they leave a very structured environment such as a school.
By the way, the student I taught got a History Degree and found his place in the world in research. It wasn't easy, but he did it!
Thanks Hildabeast for your really encouraging post.
I have spoken to DS's teachers and the school doctor has spoken to the Head. They have been brilliant. Even compiling a little book of photos to help him adjust to his new classroom next year. He's been on a visit there, been introduced to the teachers, TA, children he doesn't know etc. His teacher has been asking him after break and before if he feels ok. he's been much happier
It's such a relief to have these things taken seriously.
They acknowledged too that it is easy to overlook these things when the child is academically able. But they seem completely 'on message' now!
That's great news debs, so now your job is to quietly monitor that they stay as aware and focused about him as they are at the moment.
The points to watch are when things like Christmas come along, and things change. Or they get used to him and forget that he needs strategies.
One of the more, um, lively conversations I had was with my son's group tutor who was new to the experience and had decided to muck about with some of the arrangements because it was convenient to do so,
'And G was managing so well...'
BOOM! Then he suddenly wasn't, and he was a hitter when stressed.
My point was that my dad has diabetes, and no one was ever stupid enough to say that he was managing so well, he obviously doesn't need the insulin or the diet sheet.
G copes because of the strategies, the reasonable adjustments, the organisation involved in meeting his needs as an individual on the spectrum.
They are not optional extras that can be removed at the whim of another without serious consequences.
Good luck, and stay alert!
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