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nursery physically restraining ds1

(9 Posts)
timsmama Wed 28-Sep-11 19:40:34

I'm just after your points of view, really. ds1, who has AS,started at his new nursery in August. After having a horrific experience at his previous nursery (which lead to him being taken out and staying at home with my other dcs for 8 months), I was, and still am really, convinced that this place is fantastic for him.

It's an inclusional nursery with smaller groups and one additional teacher; they have OT, speech thery, physio and psycologists on site, SN children are obviously well catered for.

It started off well, surprisingly ds1 was able to stay the full day straight away. He then had a couple of weeks where he didnt want to go, saying it was "too much fun". But for the past 2 weeks it's been ok again.

Now..this morning he didnt want to go, but I did eventually managed to get him on the bus and he was fine. This afternoon, playing in the garden, he said to me, completely out of the blue "I dont like nursery" I asked him why and he said "i always have to do time out, sit on the bench with the others holding me down"

I dont know why I was quite shocked to hear this and why I am a bit upset. I know he just does not accept time out, doesnt at home either. If I want to go through with time out, I would have to physically hold him down too...but I am his mum...

How would you feel when your dc told you about people at their nursery physically restarined them in order to enforce time out?

supercalafragalistic Wed 28-Sep-11 19:52:23

I dont think I would be very happy tbh! I think you probably need to find out what is going on. The problem with time outs is they often don't work for kids with ASD. I guess they must work for neurotypical kids but kids with ASD don't always understand what they have done or why they are in time out. It is often frustration that leads them to outbursts so the root cause needs to found. Are there any triggers to outbursts?

lacornsillk Wed 28-Sep-11 19:53:42

physical restraint should only be used if a child is a danger to themselves or others....but check with them first exactly what happened

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 28-Sep-11 20:01:18

When my son was first at a preschool, they had to "hold him down" to get him to sit still for even a nanosecond, but what that actually meant was one person either side of him with a hand on the knee to keep him sitting. The trick I think is to make him see there will be some reward for sitting still, eg "first sit down for 2/4/5 mins, then playtime". Agree you should find out what is really happening, and also agree that Time Out is often uniquely unsuitable for autistic/aspergers children (after all, being left to their own devices is what they probably want most!). I am quite glad the teachers and later ABA tutors did this "restraint" as he is now, aged 8, able to sit still for 20 mins or so and actually learn. To be honest, without the skill to sit still for a short amount of time, they can't really learn so it's an important skill.

timsmama Wed 28-Sep-11 20:14:41

yes, one of the ladies there had said to me before that she had to put her foot behind one of the legs of his chair in order for him to sit and e.g. eat his breakfast. That I have absolutely no problems with.

Although it is an inclusional nursery, and in every group they have 12 NT children and 5 with SN, they dont actually have any experience with autism. One of them did go on a 1 or 2 day course, but obviously that would have only scratched the surface.

I, too, feel like time out doesnt really work for him. , I did tell them a little while ago about me feelings re time out and my ds, but they seem to think it works (however, if they have to hold him down, is that a sign of it working?)

Also, last week one of the teachers told me that ds1 didnt want to tidy up, so he was told that if he didnt tidy up now he wouldnt be able to play with it tomorrow. When I said that he needs to see consequences straight away as he wouldnt understand the next day why he isnt allowed something, she very quickly said "but it worked, he tidied up". I just thought, well, lucky he tidied up as it would otherwise have been quite a spectacular meltdown the next day.

will def need to find out more HOW they hold him down. He is very sensitive to touch, so maybe the picture I have in my head is completely wrong.

Marne Wed 28-Sep-11 20:55:41

Time out has never worked for my 2 either, the nursery should know that using time out on a child with AS is often a waste of time. I would be angry and i think they need to discus with you another punishment that would be effective.

Holding down a child who probably has sensory issues is only going to make things worse sad.

lisad123 Wed 28-Sep-11 21:56:27

If they are restraining him I'm pretty sure you should be given a written form to say thi had been done and why. Every restraint should be on school record and these reviewed by head every term.
Certainly wouldn't be happy with some restraining my girls.
dd2 special school had real trouble and she attacked them because she didn't want to get her shoeson to go outside. Personally I would have carried herout with no shoes on but they did restrain her. First and only time.

youarekidding Wed 28-Sep-11 22:17:28

I think you need to talk to the nursery.

From a professional POV (I work in special ed) if a restraint is used to prevent injury to staff, the pupil, other pupils or property if has to be logged, parents must be informed and also the county. There is copious amounts of paperwork, debriefs, looking at behavioural plans, risk assesments for every incident.

Also ask which behavioural management/ restraint technique training staff have had.

Best of luck and for any specific questions please PM me and I'll try and help you.

timsmama Thu 29-Sep-11 18:57:24

Thank you guys! I should have said that we are in Germany, so not sure what the rules etc are like here. But am aiting for my MIL to call back; she's been working in a nursery for more than 30 yrs, so hopefully she'll know what they are and are not allowed to do legally.

Tomorrow morning one of the staff will call me for a chat - we have an in-depth review coming up in 2 weeks anyway, but I dont want to wait this long.

I also managed to get some more info from ds re time out. it seems that sometimes he gets very long time outs, usually when they are outside. Obviously he cant tell me how long, but he said "until the bus comes to pick me up", so it must seem AGES for him. I asked him to show me how they restrain him, and he held my upper arms very tightly with both his hands! I just dont think that this is ok without consulting me first! I asked him what he does when they hold him and he said (obviously) "cry".

so...it sounds like the big problem is after lunch (when he would be tired) in the playground. Playground was always a big problem in his previous nursery, I guess with all children running around, quite a lot of noise, unstructured play etc...but dont you find it cruel for the staff to keep ds outside in full view of the other children, restraining him and him screaming? What will the other children think? And how must ds feel?! sad

ANyway, am curious to find out more tomorrow. Just cant believe that I wouldnt know any of this had ds not mentioned it!angry

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