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How to help DS focus at school

(7 Posts)
chuckeyegg Tue 20-Sep-11 07:30:54

DS is 4 he has just started in reception. He has done better than I could have hoped for but the teacher says he won't sit and focus on anything for hardly any time, he wanders around the the room a lot. I'm not surprised really, does anyone have any tips to help him. She has some sandtimers for him, I wondered about a social story expaining what is expected of him.

Many thanks in advance. x

chuckeyegg Tue 20-Sep-11 07:31:31

Should have said he has autism.

glitch Tue 20-Sep-11 08:04:48

Does he have 1:1 support?
My Ds is 5 and needs constant support to keep him focussed on anything.
He has also been given a weighted lap cushion for when he does desk work which helps. Other things that help are sitting with his back leaning on something (or someone!), getting up every so often to do physical work (eg, star jumps, push ups), having a now and next board, visual timetables so he knows what is coming up, fidget toys.
Have OT been in to see him?

LIZS Tue 20-Sep-11 08:44:01

If he needs sensory input to concentrate then maybe a move n sit cushion or blutak/putty to fiddle with. Does he find being in a large group difficult ?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 20-Sep-11 09:16:16

Hi chuckeyegg,

Presumably the SENCO is aware that your DS is autistic so what else are they doing or are going to do to help your DS?. Are they adopting the default "wait and see" approach?. Is he on School Action Plus?. If DS cannot sit and focus for any real length of time this will affect his ability to learn.

Sandtimers are good but he needs more support than what the school could ultimately be able to give him. He may need 1 to 1 to keep him on task but this is usually only available if there is a statement in place. Also you need to think longer term. Reception is very much play based but in Year 1 the focus changes.

I would not delay unduly and now start gathering evidence re applying for a Statement asap to your LEA. His needs in school with such a document will be recoginsed and this is legally binding as well. You need to make that application personally as you would know its been done then. is a good website re the statementing process. Use that resource and also the NAS's website.

You are your child's best - and only - advocate here. The above may all seem a bit daunting and a step too far at present but its something you should seriously consider now rather than say in a year's time.

chuckeyegg Tue 20-Sep-11 09:51:00

Thank you all for your replies, we are starting statementing process we are waiting for an educational pyscholigist to see him. I understand this is the first step.

Glitch - was your son given the weighted cushion? He has just started seeing an OT. He does enjoy being squashed with cushions and pillows so it may help.

I've never been able to interest him in fiddle toys, he likes to chew too but doesn't like chewy tubes.

He has a visual timetable and a little workstation that is his alone, where he can be alone for short periods of the day.

The website looks very useful, thanks so much for that.


glitch Tue 20-Sep-11 09:59:08

Hi Chuckeyegg,
Yes the OT brought the weighted cushion in, he also had a go with a weighted vest for a while. They have been brilliant and come up with lots of ideas for him (not all of them work obviously!)
Is your DS on School Action plus? If you have a dx and OT have seen him already, can you start the statementing process now? Might speed up the ed psch coming to see him. Are the school fully on board about getting him some 1:1 support?

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