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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Any really good examples of dreadful generic strategies by the SEN generation that are failing our kids?

(218 Posts)
justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 15-Jul-11 11:24:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

willowthecat Fri 15-Jul-11 11:59:11

personal favourite - being told that ds1 likes looking at elephants in books because he is a 'visual learner' and so as elephants are big beasts they are easier for him to see hmm

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 15-Jul-11 12:25:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Fri 15-Jul-11 12:48:31

Being told week 10 of his sept term that his class teacher hadn't really talked to him yet because "these type of children often don't respond well to new people, so we like to take things slowly"....ds has no diagnosis but has a major language delay/disorder, but is friendly and manages change well if it can be explained to him...she did go on to say that he had settled well with his new TA hmm (so obviously only new teachers go slow) and that he had really surprised her last week by coming up to her in the corridor and saying "What are you doing Mrs XXX?" hmm

He has moved school.

TheTimeTravellersWife Fri 15-Jul-11 14:26:00

Being told that my verbal ASD DD has trouble remembering to use her cards to ask for the toilet, or for needing time out. Apparently, she will sometimes put her hand up (which is very great progress) to ask for the toilet and then get flustered because she hasn't used her cards.confused
(I may just take them home with me and quietly burn them in the garden....)

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 15-Jul-11 14:33:13

A SN teacher* chasing after my son, who was already trotting off to the loo because she had said "time to go to the toilet", frantically waving a picture of a loo at his retreating back, because "it will solidify the idea in his brain as he's a "visual learner" '(as apparently is every single one of the 1 in 100 asd kids, according to SEN establishment folklore).

Being told, when my son was an aggressive 2 year old - and non verbal - "praise him when he's NOT hitting you" - as the only solution to his aggression.

Being told, when son was similarly aged 2, non verbal, and spent most of the day fiddling with his willy in public - "put him in dungarees". "What, forever?" I asked?

To me, this all sums up not just what's wrong with SN education but also nf education. The lack of ability of adults to say no to kids anymore - even when they are aggressive - but resorting only to the "praise the good" side of the equation. The sidestepping of bad behaviours rather than tackling them head-on - leaving bad habits to develop when they could have been quickly and easily eradicated with a bit of firmness at a young age.

My boy no longer uses pictures, no longer punches or headbutts me and plays with his willy only in the privacy of his own room. But that's due to ABA and my taking charge. Left to the SN system, he would be heading towards 6ft 5, still violent, and probably destined for an institution and medication. So much for their "bless him" attitude early on.

*At a highly respected and renowned asd school

CQrrrneee Fri 15-Jul-11 14:44:03

SPLD support given by staff with no accredited SPLD training. My ds suffered this for years.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 15-Jul-11 15:01:44

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justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 15-Jul-11 15:01:53

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sickofsocalledexperts Fri 15-Jul-11 16:05:37

The other thing that occurs to me is that teachers are supposed to "differentiate the curriculum" for SN kids in mainstream. Actually , that never happened for me. I used to send in my own worksheets in with the LSA, based on what I knew the class was doing, and it was pretty much me who set my boy's workload. The teachers would occasionally look in on him, but there was no regular input. Is there no stash somewhere in our education system of worksheets related to P scales? If so, I never saw it!

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 15-Jul-11 16:10:22

Would be fascinated to see the article justa - PM me if don't want to show it publicly?

Starchart Fri 15-Jul-11 17:10:20

Verbal ds being having a plate of crisps and a plate of biscuits placed in front of him plus two small abstract pictures. He politely asks 'can I have a biscuit please?' and is told to pick up a picture. He follows these verbal instructions perfectly and hands the picture to the SALT whilst repeating 'Can I have a biscuit please?' at which point she looked at the picture and gave him a crisp.

Peaceflower Fri 15-Jul-11 17:21:53

ds (AS, 8) being put in class next year without his best friend so as to encourage him to extend his circle of friends sad

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 15-Jul-11 17:54:19

I think there is a also a lot of very dubious, nebulous stuff being propagated upon SN parents by the burgeoning OT industry. Since when did anyone actually measure any results from the so-called OT "sensory diets" that are being dished out every day? There is lots of jargon bandied around ('he needs a lot of proprioceptive input'), and I have been recommended to buy several expensive things (eg the bobbly cushIon). None of it seemed to have any effect at all on my autistic son's hyperactivity, though he always enjoys bouncing on the trampoline, swinging or rolling around on the yoga ball. A lot of guff is talked, imho, about sensory needs. Much of it seems to me just the 2011 equivalent of what my grandma used to call "a good run around in the park". Yet OTs are regularly treated with great reverence within the SN industry, as are SALTs. Neither group did my son any good at all, yet the ABA tutors (who did in fact do him a lot of good) were treated as the imposters! I do accept that OT probably does a lot of good in the case of physical disabilities, but I question it for mental disabliities such as autism Awaits flaming.

tabulahrasa Fri 15-Jul-11 18:23:16

DS is in mainstream because the LEA have a policy of inclusion, he is then kept seperate from the other pupils at break and lunchtime for his own safety. hmm

So their inclusion policy results in him being excluded in a mainstream school instead of being included in a non-mainstream school.

I think the best one was a friend's DD, she'd expressed that she was massively unhappy about having nobody to play with at playtime, so we asked if they could implement something to encourage the other children to ask her if she wanted to play so that the onus wasn't on her to ask. We were told that autistic children get stressed when forced to socialize so they weren't willing to do anything.

purplepidjincantatem Fri 15-Jul-11 18:29:27

HT saying "<Child> needs to go to their seperate area when they misbehave". TA removes child to area when misbehaving. Next day "We need to keep <child> in the classroom as much as possible, why did you spend yesterday afternoon out of the classroom?" TA spends day in classroom with disruptive child "Why didn't you use the special area to help <child> calm down?"

Teachers (particularly NQTs) treating TA's like they know nothing. How do they think TA's get hired? We don't all suck the (female?) HT's cock dont put that bit in please maybe experience has something to do with it?!

silverfrog Fri 15-Jul-11 18:42:21

dd1 did SI OT, sickof, and it did have a massive impact on her. literally overnight - lots of reduced anxiety, less repetitive language etc. her coping in stressful (for her) environments improved dramatically too - she was able to walk past an escalator in the shopping centre the day after her first session (I had always had to carry her previously, after she dropped ot the floor, covered her ears etc). but yes, I agree in general - lots of public (ie LA) support for some strategies which are not proven, yet none for techniques which are....

anyway, in relation to the OP, I would say the dogged insistance on PECS for a pre-schooler with ASD. dd1 was verbal, but the following farce still took place. it lasted nearly an hour.

Early years inclusion officer: I think dd1 would benefit form PECS

Me: hmm, do yuo think so? she can get pretty much everything she needs, even if her language is scripted.

EYIO: let's give it a go.

<we put dd1 in her highchair - she was about 2.8 I guess. Had language, some of it indistinct. blueberries at the ready as a reward>

dd1: (on sight of the blueberries) can I have some berries please?

EYIO: (to me) you need to prompt her to hand over the card.

Me: (silently - wtf?!) ok.

dd1: I'd like some berries.
dd1: berries please
dd1: mummy, can I have berries?

me: (trying to get dd1 to pick up the card. she is spectacularly uninterested)

dd1: I've finished my lunch, can I have berries (thus showing of her rote language skills - it wasn't lunchtime, but it was one of the phrases she had learned from me)
dd1: (increasingly distressed) berries! berries! time for berries!

<meltdown ensues. I call a halt to PECS introduction>

me: why do we need to get her to hand the card over, since she can ask in a variety of ways for what she wants?

EYIO: well, yes, she has clearly learnt several phrases form you, but what if it was a new food she was asking for

me: (silently - new food? are you mad? don't you realise she has food issues?) well, ummm, I guess I'd teach her the name of the new food? and get her to practise asking for it.

EYIO: well, if you are determined to be obstructive about this, it will only be dd1 who loses out.

End of PECS introduction...

the same officer tried at least 3 more times to get me to agree to "do PECS" with dd1. unsurprisingly I refused.

smallwhitecat Fri 15-Jul-11 18:50:00

Message withdrawn

moondog Fri 15-Jul-11 18:52:54

Silverfrog, the number of people who understand how to use PECS (assuming they have even been on a PECS course) is terrifyingly low and many s/lts don't get it at all which i finf utterly perplexing as it is such a logical, well explained system.

Sickof, I heartily agree with you on the OT stuff.
Went to a very interesting conference last year.
Evidence base ofr most of this weighted blanket/jacket/ body brushing malarkey? Virtually zero.

Undoubtedly 'sesnory' activities help many kids.
My feeling is that a simple activity is elevated to the position of a 'therapy' which can only take place in official buildings with official folk. Very dubious.

SALT not immune from this either.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Fri 15-Jul-11 19:01:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dannyblanchflower Fri 15-Jul-11 19:03:11

Bloody visual timetables! Fabulous things, used them many times with children with many issues, but they don't solve every problem.

<disclaimer: I am a teacher not a parent>
Why would I want to use a visual timetable with a very able reception child who can read and has full verbal comprehension. Yes, his speech is severely disordered but he can understand me when I talk to him and to be honest, he could read a note if I passed it to him.
Oh and this is Foundation Stage in term 1 so there is no "timetable". What DO they teach them at SALT school?!

dannyblanchflower Fri 15-Jul-11 19:04:50

Well, I am a parent <worries I have forgotten my own children> but they are teens and luckily never needed outside agencies.

moondog Fri 15-Jul-11 19:06:17

As an s/lt it is very interesting to see how people have jumped on the symbol/pictures bandwagon.
15 years ago, you had a hell of a job persuading teachers that a lot of the kids couldn't cope with processing speech with no back up and that symbols/pictures could help.

Fast forward to 2011 and every bugger has them going with no thought as to how appropriate they are.

silverfrog Fri 15-Jul-11 19:06:36

oh yes, I know moondog - this was back in the mists of time, before I realised that annoying (supposedly) essential LA staff was going to be my path in life (not for enjoyment of it, you understand, but because they all insisted on suggesting bloody hopeless strategies for dd1)

post the PECS-insistance phase we also had this:

we had managed (by way of threatening to withdraw from the Earlybird course) managed to get an agreement for SALT for dd1. so, SALT decides that dd1 woudl benfit from work on choosing. she did need work on this, for sure, but was at the time able to choose what she wanted to do form a list of preferred activities. dd1 was just turned 3.

SALT arrives, and shows me a shiny new choice board.

me: umm, I don't like to be difficult, but you might want to change the activities on offer. dd1 doesn't like bubbles, in fact she is scared of them, and won't do sticking and gluing either, I'm afraid - she's tactile defensive and can't bear glue.

SALT: well, w do need ot work on her choice making, and I have had a lot fo success with these acitvities.

me: I'm sure you have, but wouldn't it be helpful, especially when first introducing something, if you used activities that dd1 enjoys?

SALT: (huffily) as I said, I have had a lot of success with this.

me: <shrug> ok, carry on.

SALT: dd1 - would you like to do bubbles (exaggerated point, and signs "bubbles") or gluing (exaggerated poitn, but clearly doesn't know the sign for gluing)?

dd1: <retreats to the opposite side of the room, and turns her back)

SALT: dd1, come and choose! come on! it'll be fun! bubbles, or gluing?

<repeat ad nauseam)

after about 30 minutes (no joke) of this, SALT makes a schoolgirl error, and (clearly tiring of this charade) says: dd1, come on, choose, what would you like to do?

dd1 jumps up, runs to the book pile, sorts through hastily, finds her book and advances triumphantly, and says (to SALT, not me - this is the first session she has had with SALT): "I'd like to read dinosaurumpus please", and sits down next ot her expectantly.

SALT: hahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahhaha. I've been caught out with that book before. oh no - you're not goign to get me to read that! so, dd1: which one, bubbles or gluing?

dd1 retreats in disgust again, and never again (in our brief spell with SALT) answers the SALT - her expression each time clearly saying "why on earth would I ask you anythign? you ignore me when I do..."

moondog Fri 15-Jul-11 19:10:43

I am embarrassed and ashamed reading that Silver.
The really worrying thing is that a lot of parents who would not put up with this sort of drivel, would be described as 'disangaged' or 'unsupportive'.

There is a tendency for those who do not fall in with what is on offerto be treated as odd or 'difficult'.

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