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Scared. Reception DD just been referred for SEN

(21 Posts)
SoddingCupcakes Thu 06-Nov-14 09:05:26

Was called in to meet the teacher for a 'progress report'. I thought it was going to be a regular parent-teacher meeting. Nope. They tell us our DD (summer baby) has the following 'difficulties':

1. Limited vocabulary communication with adults and peers.
2. Attention, particularly in large groups.
3. Working independently.
4. Self-care skills.

Her limited vocab is absolute news to us! As for the other things, we just put them down to her being one of the youngest in the class sad

So, what diagnosis would you give based on these? What 'label' would you use?

I'm feeling tearful, scared, deflated. I literally just returned to work after 4 years as a SAHM so am feeling insecure at to whether this is a sign of my poor parenting.

R4roger Thu 06-Nov-14 09:10:31

aw, how old is she? Just 4?
and what are they going to do at school to help?

SoddingCupcakes Thu 06-Nov-14 09:21:13

She's just 4 yes (July birthday).

They've made an action plan and are getting a 'speech and language' specialist in.

Flexibilityisaghost Thu 06-Nov-14 09:22:52

That must have been a shock for you, but it is absolutely not a reflection on your parenting. It may not be anything more than what you thought, that she is younger than a lot of her classmates, and needs a bit of help to keep up while she settles in. Try to look on it positively, the school have identified that she needs a bit of extra help, and are going to make sure she gets it. Re the limited vocab, is it possible that she has been a bit shy at school, so they have not seen much of her vocabulary being used? All the other bits do sound like they could be down to her age.

TreaterAnita Thu 06-Nov-14 09:28:53

Has she had her hearing checked OP? The first 2 difficulties (and actually the other 2 as well if she's not hearing instructions) could be due to a hearing loss. Have you noticed/the teacher said that she's making some progress in other areas, eg reading and maths?

R4roger Thu 06-Nov-14 09:31:44

What did her nursery say?

SoddingCupcakes Thu 06-Nov-14 10:15:50

Thanks everyone for your replies. This is my first-born so I feel out of my depth.

is it possible that she has been a bit shy at school, so they have not seen much of her vocabulary being used?

Absolutely. She never stops talking at home. The vocab concern was the biggest surprise for us.

TreaterAnita Yes she's doing very well in maths. That's her strong point. The school recently made her star of the week for her maths. I'd say her reading is pretty bog-standard normal.

R4roger her nursery never had any concerns, but to be fair, in hindsight they were a poor nursery.

LingDiLong Thu 06-Nov-14 10:22:01

That must be a real shock. I have to be honest, I would have thought being limited in all of those areas would be kind of normal for a just turned 4 year old?! I mean how independent do they expect her to be? Do they mean that she can't wipe her bum for example or that she is unable to even go to the toilet independently at all? I'd want some specific example of what she is struggling with and what they feel is appropriate for her age - if nothing else so you can perhaps focus on them at home.

She can only benefit from the extra attention at school though and if it is indeed just an age thing she'll soon catch up.

capsium Thu 06-Nov-14 10:23:55

I would give them as much information as you can about how she is away from the school setting. Language, concentration skills, self care skills and what you can leave her to do by herself (how often you have to check on her when she is dressing, for example, or can you leave her to tidy some toys away).

It may be, as you say that she has been a bit overwhelmed starting school and is shy. See how you think she measures against the EYFS profile, here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/301256/2014_EYFS_handbook.pdf

It is impossible to give a label, at this stage with the information, they have given you (which sounds quite vague).

Floggingmolly Thu 06-Nov-14 10:26:46

They'll probably just put her in a nurture group for a while, until she comes on a bit. It doesn't necessarily mean ongoing SEN per se; she'll by no means be the only one in the class.

molesbreath Thu 06-Nov-14 10:32:58

Aw poor you.

So your little DD has been at her first school all of 6 weeks or so ?

I think its far too early days for her to have found her feet. She's got plenty of time to grow and blossom.

On the other hand it is great that the school have picked up on that she's quiet and not doing certain things that could be expected. SEN can be a broad umbrella for lots of issues at school and doesn't mean that she will be labelled with anything - it just may be that she needs a bit of help and encouragement to achieve and are putting together an action plan - which is great isn't it ?

loudarts Thu 06-Nov-14 10:34:42

My eldest has just been signed off from Sen in year 3. All it really meant was that she was given extra help in her lessons,i.e. they would explain the work to her again and make sure she understood what she was meant to be doing. She would be sat at a table with the other children who needed a bit more help and a TA would be sat at the table with them so they could ask for help. The speech therapist will assess her individually and decide if she needs any help in that respect. When dd did her sats at the end of year 2 she tested as average and that's why she has now been signed off, I was so proud.

molesbreath Thu 06-Nov-14 10:36:16

average is great isn't it loudarts.

VenusRising Thu 06-Nov-14 10:39:25

Well, if there is a problem with your dd it's fabulous that she's being assessed.

If there's no problem, you will have peace of mind. If there is a problem, you will have had intervention form the beginning, not much later when it's less lightly to have a positive outcome, and she's fallen way behind.

Think positively.

trikken Thu 06-Nov-14 10:41:51

My d's went through this before he was diagnosed with aspergers (not saying by any means that your dd has). It was actually quite helpful as he got help at school. I know it's daunting at first but means your dd will get help at school if she needs it.

ghostvitruvius Thu 06-Nov-14 10:45:41

I wouldn't think of it in terms of diagnosis or label (and definitely not poor parenting) - the teacher has just noticed some areas in which she is struggling in comparison to other children her age, and wants to give her some extra help.

loudarts Thu 06-Nov-14 10:55:30

Average is amazing when she has been behind since she started.

SoddingCupcakes Thu 06-Nov-14 11:47:58

I mean how independent do they expect her to be? Do they mean that she can't wipe her bum for example or that she is unable to even go to the toilet independently at all?

My initial reaction was "this is just because she's a summer baby, there's nothing wrong with my child" but I realise that I'm being defensive. With regard to independence, the example they gave was that DD can't decide where she is going to work. She can't choose from the abundance of options and gets overwhelmed.

Floggingmolly They specifically mentioned SEN. They said they were referring 5 children from the class.

On the other hand it is great that the school have picked up on that she's quiet and not doing certain things that could be expected.

Yes, I agree. They're apparently "outstanding" so I trust their judgement. Although I am shocked and sad, I realise that early intervention is absolutely in DDs best interests. I just wish I understood how this is all going to pan out for the future. I am dyslexic and dyspraxic and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

i.e. they would explain the work to her again and make sure she understood what she was meant to be doing

That's exactly the kind of thing on DDs action plan.

Lancelottie Thu 06-Nov-14 12:00:47

SEN covers a huge, huge range. In school terminology, it just means they need to take a little extra 'action' (i.e. give her some extra help) within school. It doesn't mean she'll necessarily have any extra needs in other, less crowded and overwhelming settings.

OK, she might. But there's nothing really shouting long-term difficulties' in your current post.

(SEN veteran here, but mine at 4 was hiding under desks and screaming, so we were slightly more prepared that there might be a problem!)

TeenAndTween Sun 16-Nov-14 11:16:26

OP. So much better if any difficulties can be flagged up sooner rather than later. They may turn out to be because she is young, but then no harm done.

My DD1 is 15 (yes 15) and has just had an assessment which is going to result in a diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Delay. I have been flagging things up for at least 5 years but because she was doing 'OK' I have found it hard to be listened to.
My DD2 is 10 and has just received a report with same diagnosis. Issues first flagged by Reception teacher but put down to other things when assessed. She is falling behind in school and her confidence is severely dented.

So much better to have an on the ball school.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 19-Nov-14 22:28:24

my daughter panicked at choosing time - she is now in Yr1 so they don't have it any more. school weren't bothered by this at all, it was me who raised it with them because she was worrying about it.

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