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Pre-School have concerns about DS

(17 Posts)
MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 16:09:28

I'm hoping someone can give me an idea of what might happen from here. Or what I should be doing?

My DS started Pre School at the beginning of August. He was 3 at the end of August. He was at nursery in the same establishment, but
the staff suggested that he go up to Pre School as his language and knowledge were well developed.

Every time I collect him his keyworker makes a beeline for me to tell me about problems he is having. I am signing the incident book where they record when your child injures another on at least half of the times I collect him.

She tells me that his attempts to interact with other children are often rebuffed and then he
cries or hits the other child. She tries to get him to explain what he wants to do with the other child, but he just says "I don't know I want to be on my own".

She asked me how I would feel about someone coming in to watch him. I have said that of course if he has a problem I want him to get help sooner rather than later.

It's just breaking my heart that he is being rejected by the other children. FWIW I am very shy and have struggled to make friends quickly. I feel at a loss to know how to help him.

Also who might come and assess? Would it be a health visitor? Are they the best person? I could talk grandparents into a private assessment if that's a good idea?

If anyone has been through similar I would be so grateful. Any ideas on how to help a Pre schooler make friends and join in would be much appreciated.

I will be checking for messages,but am on a phone so typing takes a while.

ThePumpkinofDoomandTotalCha0s Wed 12-Oct-11 16:20:32

easy to say, but first I'ld say try not to panic, this may be something and nothing, but of course pre-school are correct in alerting you to a possible issue. At this stage it is likely to be some from the council early years team that would assess, who is likely to have an education/teaching background rather than an educational psychologist, who will hopefully have some helpful suggestions as to how to help your DS socialise/initiate play more appropriately. Do you have any concerns about his communication/understanding of instruction etc - just asking as sometimes a hidden language or hearing problem can affect behaviour?

In terms of how to help a pre-schooler make friends - I'ld say play turn taking games with him at home, or v simple games like hungry hippo, to get him used to the "back and forthness" and try and model the things a child might say to initiate play. Trying being cbeebies presenter type mom - v emphatic in your speech when trying to show him what to do/say.

mycarscallednev Wed 12-Oct-11 16:21:06

A little knowledge can be dangerous, how experienced with children is this key worker? Children can take a while to settle, but sometimes someone does 'the course' and then every child they see is on the Autistic Spectrum. A lot of children 'speak with their hands' if they feel unable to cope. Your child may be in a situation they feel uncomfortable with. Have you noticed problems in social situations before? What provokes the hitting out?
Make sure that they are observing your child correctly, and not just allowing this to form a pattern with another child, who may also have difficulty settling. Someone coming to observe is fine, but do find out who this is, and what they are looking for, and a good reason why. Also ask what they will do should something come up, and say you wish to be consulted at every level. You can even be there whilst they are 'watching', if you feel better. Remember this is your child, and you call the shots.

ThePumpkinofDoomandTotalCha0s Wed 12-Oct-11 16:24:23

yes, agree with nev that they should be trying to look at what leads up to the hitting, once your child and another child have had an upset is a bit late for them to try and sort the social side of it out! Given he's only been in pre-school a month, and his language seems fine I would not be hurrying any sort of private assessment urgently, but would give him more time to settle in, but of course others may differ. Having been through the ASD assessment process, it is not remotely intrusive etc to the child, it is a thorough look at their development/behaviour/language and play skills, so going through and not getting a diagnosis would not be the end of the world though

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 16:57:06

Thankyou Pumpkin and Nev. I was having a bit of a panic and your wise words have made me feel a bit more in control. The keyworker is the deputy manager at the nursery/preschool so I assumed she has a reasonable amount of experience, but I tend to agree a recent course could have increased her awareness of ASD.

Aside from the feedback I had when he was at nursery (which was always about him not listening) and then these recent issues I have had no concerns about him, he is generally very good natured and cheerful, and hit the milestones with regards to walking and talking as expected.

Pre School have said that they feel he is not able to label his feelings/emotions as they would expect or to recognise them in other people sad. My gut reaction was FFS he is only 3, but then the thinking bit of me is wondering as they are around other 3 year olds are they are are in a better position to judge than me?

He's fine with turn-taking during board games. I just don't know how to teach him how to join in with a game the other children have started appropriately.

I am feling really upset I saw my DS go up to another little boy at a local soft play and roar (like a dinosaur) . I said to DS if he wanted to play then he could say hello and tell the little boy what his name was. DS did this about 5 times in a row. The little boy said "That's Robbie. I don't like Robbie". The Dad of the little boy was mortified and made him apologise but I feel so helpless to help him with this stuff.

Thanks for reading my ramble. Any advice or tips appreciated.

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 16:58:43

Sorry that wasn't very clear. I had the conversation at Pre-School yesterday and up til then hadn't had serious concerns. The soft play incident happened today and I have got in a bit of a tizz about it.

WilsonFrickett Wed 12-Oct-11 17:15:14

OK Mary, thing is, with the incident you just described what do you think your DS did wrong? Because it reads to me that this other kid (for whatever reason) doesn't like him, and from there that is a very big jump to a potential diagnosis of - anything, actually.

Yes, preschool see a lot of other children so you should listen to them to an extent. I think for me I always had a niggle, IYSWIM? So when nursery said 'actually, we think there's a problem' it was a relief. I'm not hearing that kind of underlying doubt or worry in your posts, but then again I could be reading you wrongly.

He could, for example, just need some very structured help in intiating conversations and interactions. That could be all. He could be hitting out because he's unhappy, or because his teeth hurt. So, don't panic.

Have you spoken to a HV or GP? Do you have any concerns?

cat64 Wed 12-Oct-11 17:26:40

Message withdrawn

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 17:33:43

Thanks Wilson

I am over-reacting blush

You are reading me right - I thought until yesterday that he's socially immature perhaps, but not that far off his peers and that he would catch up. Just like he can't do a running jump yet like his friends but he'll get there.

Hopefully as you say the Early Years person can give me and Pre School some ideas about making friends.

Poor DS - I'm a bit socially awkward, it's no wonder he needs a steer.

If anyone knows of any books that are good for helping young children understand making friends that would be useful. DS loves acting out scenes from books.

Many thanks for all your reassuring posts.

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 17:51:46

Thanks cat, cross posted with you.

Its actually very reassuring to know that this is a common procedure, and that they are just doing their job properly.

cat64 Wed 12-Oct-11 18:57:23

Message withdrawn

WilsonFrickett Wed 12-Oct-11 18:58:51

Cats last sentence - reread that grin. Sounds like nursery are doing a really good job, go down the 'health' route if you want a second opinion.

I will see if I can find you some resources, most of the things I use or have seen are 'autism related' - no harm in that though, and they can be used for all children, in the same way my DS needs a visual timetable at school, but actually all the children respond to it.

madwomanintheattic Wed 12-Oct-11 19:13:04

'he's socially immature perhaps' and they moved him up a year because of his language and knowledge?

and the pre-school are wondering why he's struggling socially?

fwiw, dd2 was working many years ahead of her peer group academically, but the (very sensible) school refused to move her up a year because she needed support socially.

nothing in what you write raises any huge concerns with me - but the area senco is no big deal, if that's who they are inviting in. they pop in and play a bit and observe interactions. then they should call you and ask you to come in and chat through the observations.

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 12-Oct-11 20:45:59

Sorry I have been putting DS to bed and not been online to read last two posts.

Wilson any resources you can suggest that could help with DS getting the hang of expressing his feelings and recognising how other people feel would be a great start.

madwoman (I love your name by the way), it is very reassuring to know that actually it isn't such a big deal and that worrying about whether he needs a specialist assessment is way, way premature. I know what you mean about whether it was wise to move him to Pre School in August as usually he wouldn't have moved up until after Xmas. With the benefit of hindsight I would have insisted he stay in the Nursery. At the time the reasoning was that August is a quiet month in Pre School and that he would get a chance to get used to it before it became busy. The staff thought that he might pay more attention to them if the activities were more challenging/interesting. And being an August baby I thought it best for him to get used to a more school like environment so he doesn't get such a shock in September 2012 when he goes into Reception.

Many thanks everyone for your comments. I do feel I have got this back in proportion now and I thank everyone for their understanding and time taken to reassure and advise me.

WilsonFrickett Wed 12-Oct-11 23:19:14

I've just looked for a couple of things that I remember reading and using and I think the best place to start is on the National Autistic Society website - but I PROMISE I'm only sending you there because it's a good website with good insight and lots of good links, so don't freak out and think I'm trying to suggest a dx, OK?

www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/communicating-and-interacting/social-skills/social-skills-in-young-children.aspx

Has particular info on the topic you are interested in, with lots of suggestions for role plays and practice. (hope link works, on iPad)!

MaryQueenOfSpots Thu 13-Oct-11 08:24:36

Wilson, thank you so much and I completely get that you are not trying to infer anything re: diagnosis smile

I have just read the first 2 pages and it already looks really helpful.

My DH and I have had a chat and we are going to suggest to the Pre School that we come in to observe ourselves and then help DS with de coding the mysterious social world of the Pre schooler if that's what's needed to get him enjoying his time there.

Thanks again.

WilsonFrickett Thu 13-Oct-11 09:17:44

Good luck smile

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