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I'm not looking forward to dd2 going back to school, wish i could keep her at home :(

(16 Posts)
Marne Tue 28-Dec-10 18:15:53

We had so much trouble with her going to school for the last 2 weeks before school broke up (meltdowns, lack of support from school and then dd2 was ill), she now gets upset when i say anything about school sad, i know i will have problems getting her to go next week and it will break my heart to see her upset. We were all ready to move her to another school after the school was not meeting her statement but now the school are saying they have everything in place (full 1:1) for next week so we felt we should give them a chance. I'm now worried sick as i don't think she should be in MS and should be at the sn school, although her social skills have improved a lot sinse starting school her sensory problems and meltdowns have got worse.

Her speach has improved and she's linking more words together to make usefull sentances but can not handle the noise at school (even with ear deffenders), can't sit in asembelly or eat lunch in the hall, she gets frustrated with any changes in routine which resaults in meltdowns. She loves Maths and English (can read and write) but the school have no idea how to get the best out of her and spend a lot of time just trying to stop her from getting upset or from touching things she shouldn't touch.

I feel that she should be learning life skills so she can suppoert herself in the future (what use is maths and english if you cant dress yourself or cross a road?), if she was at a sn school she would be learning more life skills as well as maths, english etc..

We were refussed a place at the sn school but i was told we could re-apply if we had evedence to say the ms was not working. Would we be able to re-apply now or is it too soon? (she only started in september). Idealy dd2 would go to sn school and then i would move dd1 to the village school (at the moment i drive them 12 miles to school).

My 2nd option would be to home ed but i havn't got a clue how to go about it and i'm not sure if i can afford to stay at home (i was planing on going back to work in the new year after 2 years at home). What help is available if we decide to home ed?

I'm so confussed, i dont know what to do for the best. I will try and send her to school next week but i want a back up plan if things go wrong.

Any advice?

IndigoBell Tue 28-Dec-10 18:19:29

Sounds like she has a lot of sensory issues. Are you able to do anything to tackle this ( Auditory Integration Training, Theureputic listening, retained reflexes, sensory integration training....)

IndigoBell Tue 28-Dec-10 18:21:25

Sorry - posted by accident.

I meant to say. Not at all sure what to do about the school issue.

Home edding is a good backup plan, but if you don't want to do that you should first try moving schools, and then try flexi-schooling.....

I think I would be inclined to give the MS school a little bit longer - but I'm not sure why I think that. Normally I recommend moving school grin

IndigoBell Tue 28-Dec-10 18:22:27

But I really think you should look at theurepatic listening or the listening program, if you can't do Auditory Integration Training.

Spinkle Tue 28-Dec-10 18:25:54

December is bloomin hard for all kids on the spectrum and the NTs at school, believe me.

She may settle again in the new year when it's back to normal.

Def worth thinking about moving her on to a different school if she's still unhappy.

Marne Tue 28-Dec-10 18:26:50

We are seeing OT on the 10th of Jan, i'm hoping they can offer some advice, up until now her main problems have just been communication (speech and understanding), she has always been a little sensitive to sound but sinse being at school this has got a lot worse. Today we went shopping and she could not handle being in Argos as it was too noisy and busy, a year ago she would not have been bothered. She has strated covering her ears more (she did this a lot when she was younger but improved when she settled at nursery), she also covers her face and walks with her head down (i have to drag her along).

I will take a look at Interegation training ect and see if i can help her. I have spent a lot of time finding ways to help her with communication, PEC'S, signing, floor time and ABA. She had some music therapy whilst at nursery which really helped but this has stoped now shes at school and the school will not continue it sad.

devientadventenigma Tue 28-Dec-10 18:34:05

Hi Marne,
when I saw your post I cringed as it's something I am not relishing either. However my son is in special school, though he refuses to go. Again like you I beleive they should be working on his needs rather than looking at maths etc. Again what use is learning to count to 10 when he can't even dress!!!
The behaviour team are coming in, in Jan to force him back..........
As for the shops etc, we are lucky to get him to leave the house, though do use ear defenders. HTH x

Marne Tue 28-Dec-10 18:39:37

Thanks dev, i'm sorry you are going through this too, at the moment i can force dd2 out the house as i can pick her up, as she gets bigger it will become harder sad. Her sister (dd1) has Aspergers and often refusses to go out so we don't take them out often.

ommmward Tue 28-Dec-10 19:16:02

We home ed, with very very similar sensory defensive issues as you describe.

There are a million advantages to that, for our family. We can work on the sensory stuff without overload. We can work on the academic stuff when children are calm and receptive and not in an overwhelming environment. We know which life skills need working on like right now, and which can be put off for a while. We know the needs of our own child better than any professional ever could.

Financially: lots of HE families have one parent working part time in hours when the other (WOHP) is available to do child care. Or have one parent doing something fairly casual from home. Or just tighten belts (we have no car, we rent, holidays are always at my parents' house or my brothers' house - familiar places work best for us anyway, so it's not like I am missing out on the otherwise realistic family trips to Hawaii)

I think a supportive school environment which really gets your child can be a wondrous thing, but HE is, for us, a positive choice rather than an act of desperation. In my family, we are all thriving in that lifestyle rather than struggling. I think an unschooling/autonomous HE approach can be absolutely fabulous with children on the spectrum. Running with the child's interests, seeking to engage them on their terms - it's very consonant with what I know of the whole greenspan/floortime stylee approach, and of course there is TIME in a HE day

In your position, I'd think carefully about what the response from one or both children would be if you said "ok, you don't have to go back to school". If it would be ecstasy, then what is stopping you?

Marne Tue 28-Dec-10 20:18:09

Thanks ommmward, its great to hear from someone who home ed's. I guess the thing that is holding me back is that i feel i am giving up on dd2 improving enough to live a normal life sad, deep down there is a part of me that thinks she will improve and be able to cope at school, i find it hard to admit to myself that dd2 will always struggle and will always need extra help at school and at home.

The past year has been very stressful, not getting a place at the sn school and then the school not meeting her needs. It hurts me to see dd2 upset and makes life for the whole family so much harder. Dd1 is a whole different story, she suffers with anxiety, struggles to make friends but loves going to school, she's top of the class and is doing well (so will want to stay at school).

There is a possibility i could work from home (something i could look into).

Do you get together with other families? i worry that i would get lonley without contact with other parents.

IndigoBell Tue 28-Dec-10 20:32:57

If you kept DD1 at school and just home schooled DD2 you would have all the 'school Mum's' contact through DD1.

Don't see home edding as 'giving up' on DD2. It's not at all. If you can do it you are very priviliged indeed....

Have a poke round the Home Ed board of MN and also research what local home ed groups there are. Near where I live there are some ones that sound excellent... ( I just haven't managed to convince my kids that staying home with DH would be more fun than going to school grin )

5inthebed Tue 28-Dec-10 20:41:14

DS2 was very much like your DD2 in his first year of MS school Marne, although he still can't read or write. He only just started to settle in during the last term before the summer holidays. He settled back much more when he started in Y1 in September.

I found what helped the most was having his 1:1 clued up on ASD. His 1:1 is an amazing woman an has one a few courses on ASD, she did the Early Bird + with me, and she is now doing an A level in Autism through the ASD school DS2 used to attend.

Would it be possible for you to suggest any courses that the 1:1 could attend for her to get a better understanding on your DD2s needs? Schools don't get much training on ASD, DS2s school tol me they get a few hours a year on it during a teachers training day, which is not really helpful for our DC is it.

I really hope your DD2 settles into school, I would definitely say give her time to adjust to the new change and routine. December is a hard time for any children, throw in the run up to Christmas and sensory issues and it is a recipe for disaster.

PipinJo Tue 28-Dec-10 21:20:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marne Tue 28-Dec-10 21:21:57

5inthebed- dd's 1:1 is great, she is willing to go on as many courses as the school will send her on (its the school thats the problem), she is great with dd2 which is why i want to give it one more chance. Dd2's outreach worker has suggested a few courses but the school keeps on about funding them and covering staff whilst they are attending them angry.

ommmward Wed 29-Dec-10 16:43:58

Getting the school thing right may well be the best route for your family.

HEers I know tend to talk in these sorts of terms:

Perhaps a child not being in school is NOT an admission of failure, of saying that that child will never catch up. For some children, school would be such a stressful environment at various points in their childhood that they are much more likely to develop in an optimum way out of that environment at various times.

It's not a one-way decision. If later, the sensory issues abate sufficiently, then the child can go back into school.

the HE route might make it more feasible to put a child into environments they can cope with, and put them in overwhelming environments only with easy escape clauses, ear defenders, massive amounts of preparation when necessary (photo books, daily social stories for weeks before the event, whatever it is). The child can take the baby steps they need to in the areas they need to, but fly free in their areas of strength - a child might be reading fluently but still in nappies, say.

Socialising: some areas have big HE communities. There is one in our city, although, at the moment, most of our socialising happens with pre-schoolers whose older siblings have gone to school, or at weekends with children who go to school. We don't really have room in our calendar to squeeze more social life in right now! There are two HE families we socialise with fairly regularly, and there would be many more if I made the slightest effort in that direction.

"i feel i am giving up on dd2 improving enough to live a normal life"

Might be worth asking yourself: when are you hoping this normal life will happen? I mean, she wasn't a normal 2 year old, and you've missed the chance for that. And presumably she isn't a normal whatever-she-is-now year old. Are you hoping she'll magically turn into a normal whatever-she-is-plus-one year old? Or is it more likely that she will catch up in her early twenties? If you are wanting your child to have the skills to pass as a normal whatever-it-is year old, what is the optimum environment in which for her to concentrate on gaining those skills?

I am playing the long game. I'd hope that my child will live a normal life as (say) a 20 year old, having had a really enjoyable childhood with a personalised and optimised education that shifts on a moment-by-moment basis according to their needs, and that helps them grow into an independent adult able to function in society. I think it highly unlikely that they'll merge with the crowd as a pre-teen - that's a really complex and age-specific culture.

For me, sending my child to school would be the failure - failing them - at this point.

Personally, I'm most interested in where my children are on their journey to independence, not where everyone else's are. If everyone else's children are happy to go off to school every morning, then bully for them. If mine aren't happy to do that, I'm not going to make them suffer just so they superficially look like everyone else in terms of daily timetable.

[scuttles away anxiously - I do not usually share this much personal info on MN]

Marne Wed 29-Dec-10 16:55:38

Thanks ommmward, thanks for sharing with me smile. My gut is telling me to keep her at home, my dh is telling me she needs to go to school (he is against HE unless we have no other choice). I think i am going to re-apply for the sn school and go from there. I know she's not going to be a normal 5 year old but i hope by the time she is an adult she can do what most adults can do and be able to look after herself.

At the end of the day i just want my dd's to be a happy, if that means taking dd2 out of school (or dd1 if things change) then i will, i don't like the idea of forcing them to go.

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