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Starting primary school

(11 Posts)
redhappy Sun 11-Sep-11 21:08:27

Apologies if there's already a thread and I've missed it.

Ds is starting school this year. Seems to be a very nice one, and I'm happy so far. They have a very long settling in period though. He did 2 mornings last week, and is due in again Tuesday morning.

The first session was great. He looked happy to be there (we've been talking about it daily for months now, so he was probably just as relieved as me the day had finally arrived!). Unfortunately he picked up a cough just from that few hours, so the second session he wasn't feeling 100%.

They have a gate where parents drops off and the teacher takes the children to the classroom from there. On the second day that's where we dropped them. All the other parents were waiting around and crowding the entrance, so he was a bit anxious about that. Anyway, the staff all seemed to know who we were. they wouldn't let any other parents through, but waved me and ds straight through. He found all the other children in the playground too much, and started to kick out at some girls that were staring at him (not within reach as I was still holding his hand luckily). But again the staff seemed to be onhand and anticipating his needs. His teacher appeared immediately and took Myro into the classroom away from all the noise and a member of staff was waiting inside for him!

I'm so proud of him, he seems to be coping so well! That second day was hard though. As I left the playground I had to walk past all the other parents waiting to see the children being led into the classroom. And I just had to leave him out of sight knowing he might be anxious and potentially it could be a difficult day!

It has all got me thinking about how/when to tell him though about his dx (asd). When I was waiting to collect im, the other parents were asking each other how they were all settling in. I didn't know what to say. I don't want to have to tell everyone, but I didn't have an answer that made sense. Ds has speech delay, he wouldn't tell me how he's finding it.

How do other people deal with the other parents? Do you tell them? Do you keep to yourself, of try and join in with getting to know the other parents and children.

Sorry for such a long post! I'd love to hear how other parents are finding it!

I haven't been on here for about 6 months I think, and doubt anyone would remember me anyway. But I was a regular at one point smile

Tota1Xaos Sun 11-Sep-11 21:48:39

Hi Red, welcome back, and hope your DS carries on well with settling in. In terms of dealing with other parents - it's very much an individual decision. I only mentioned DS' language delay to parents I got on well with and felt I could trust, but others (most people I suspect) prefer a more cards on the table approach from the start. I would be v careful indeed mentioning his DX socially if your DS doesn't already know about it!

WilsonFrickett Sun 11-Sep-11 21:54:50

Good point, I am careful who I 'name' it to, as the last thing I want is another child 'telling' DS something that I haven't been able to help him understand yet. But at the same time I don't want to be ashamed of it either IYSWIM. I tend to say 'oh, DS Has a slight delay with his speech' unless I know the other parent well.

redhappy Mon 12-Sep-11 06:41:56

I do tend to be quite open about ds normally. I'm a lone parent, and ex was v.unsupportive when we were together. So be open with people helps us to get out and do things. I've met some really lovely people this way.

But then again I go on gut instinct with who to trust and it's not normally people we will have to see everyday!

The class has been split into groups for the settling in period, his group is due to do just one session this week. Ds is going to join another group for 2mornings. Of course I can't tell the other parents this! Tbh I wouldn't want to tell anyone so far, they all seem a bit loud and gossippy. Maybe nice people are holding back too for now.

starfishmummy Mon 12-Sep-11 08:02:05

I think you will probably just know instinctively who to speak to and when. They will probably get an inkling anyway - either because you are going in before them or from their children - and they will probably get the wrong idea iyswim so being upfront might be helpful.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 09:38:43

I would always prefer people to think that DS had ASD (or whatever) then to think that he was naughty.

They will quickly hear about him. Their child will come home and tell them how awful your DS was.

Would you rather they said to their child 'Well, just keep away from him then if he's naughty' - or 'Well, DS finds some things hard, and takes a little longer to learn things, so you need to just keep being kind to him.'

If you don't tell the parents, they don't even have the chance to say the 2nd line.

Also, I think you will be very socially isolated if you don't tell them, because like today, you just won't know what to say when they how is he.

Sure some people 'judge' kids with SN - but I think far more people judge kids who are 'naughty'.

redhappy Mon 12-Sep-11 10:15:57

Yes, I think you're both right, and that's the approach I've always taken really. I just find it really hard to think of him being fodder for their gossip. Most people who meet him, who spend some time with us do fall in love with him! or maybe they're just being kind to me.

He is next in on Wednesday so I will see how it goes then. At least this is the hardest part so far, and it'a me struggling not him.

I need to take a deep breath, shoulders back approach. Prepare for tactless well-meaning comments, and people being scared or awkward.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 10:38:06

Knowing he has SN won't stop them falling in love with him.

I'm sure he is wonderful and special, and people do genuinely like him.

The thing is to use the gossip mill to your advantage. Ie you just tell a couple of people, and know that it will get round to everyone else without you having to repeat yourself smile

Nothing wrong with being the subject of accurate gossip. It's made up lies or assumptions which are the problem.....

Friendship and support from the school mums is very, very helpful if you can get it. It really is worth making an effort at this stage - even though it is hard.

You have 7 years at this school. 7 years when you need to find out what's happening tomorrow, what happened yesterday, who to invite to play, who to not invite, what your DS should be doing, etc, etc.

redhappy Mon 12-Sep-11 10:56:27

I know, I know smile I just need to get on with it and reach out.

I left an abusive relationship in April. It's really hard to break certain habits left over from that. Like talking to strangers is fine but I wasn't allowed to let people we might meet again know anything about us ir our homelife. I need to do this for dcs. Yes, it would be lovely for him to have friends over, not sure how likely that is but yes I should definitely be facilitating that!

deadparrot Tue 13-Sep-11 19:10:25

I'm in a very similar situation just now. My DS1 (ASC) has just started reception class, and my biggest worry is what to tell the other parents. Sounds so petty! But I'm acutely aware that we're joining a new community, and wanting to bond with other parents but finding it difficult to connect with them because I don't want to reveal all at the moment - it's all still very new, and I still cry when I talk about it blush, so am fighting a strong urge to run away and hide in a corner rather than get into complicated discussions.

Eg, he's going for more introductory sessions than any of the other kids, and he has a 1:1 so there's obviously an extra member of staff in his class. Will I have to explain it? If I don't volunteer the info myself, am I being secretive or just normal, etc etc...? Mentally exhausted with all this worrying, when really the focus should be on him!

Really good to hear from other posts that I'm not the only one choosing not to share everything right from word go. Usually I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I've always found being more circumspect about his health probs v difficult, as I feel like I have to constantly watch what I say, but we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone, and people do so love a good gossip. Hopefully once I've said my patter a few times, it will come more naturally. Am planning to mention to just a few parents but talking about traits not the dx. But the idea of responding to questions off the cuff fills me with dread. Feels like we're a very long way from actually sharing details of dx with him at the moment, let alone with strangers, so I'm not even thinking about that for now.

Really good luck Red with navigating all this at your end, and I'm sure by Christmas we'll both have got into our stride. Would be really interested in hearing any other people's strategies etc.

redhappy Fri 16-Sep-11 23:45:31

Hi deadparrot, sorry I disappeared, had a horrible cold all week. But, we got through it! I'll reply properly tomorrow, hope your ds is enjoying school and setlling in.

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