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Changing routines at school

(8 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Oct-12 13:24:12

DS is quite settled at school now. He has a few little routines which are different to the rest of the class, e.g. he generally doesn't sit on the carpet at 'carpet time', he sits on a chair at assembly and he doesn't always line up.

His TA, who is pretty ill-equipped to support him (save the fact that she is a teacher!) tried to change everything around him at the start of term and I had to put a stop to that and things settled.

His teacher, who is new but who has some experience with autism, spoke to me this morning about working on some of these routines and trying to change them one by one, gradually.

For example, rather than sitting at a table at circle time, he sits a bit closer to the children on the carpet. And then moving on from here to sitting on the carpet. Apparently, he will sit on the carpet sometimes but other times, he sits on a chair.

Anyway, her view was that we have got until he moves to secondary school to try and change these things - two years basically.

I am all for changing things that are a problem but not change for change's sake.

There is a little boy in Y1 and the school have an ABA intervention for him so he is forced helped to line up etc. This can lead to screaming in the playground in the morning.

I think it is important to be part of a group but you need a clear idea about where you are going with it and why. Once he gets to senior school, his rountines would be entirely different anyway, so what does it matter whether he sits on a chair?

I want to help and be encouraging but I don't want him forced to make pointless changes just to 'fit in'.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Oct-12 13:26:33

Sorry, I should make it clear, that I mentioned the ABA intervention as I think school think they are making this massive effort to compel compliance with this child in Y1 and DS is left alone to do things differently. But when I see this child screaming, I think, that is an intervention which isn't working or is disproportionate to the benefit.

SallyBear Fri 12-Oct-12 13:31:38

I think that the chair/carpet time is a bit pointless. Why make an issue out of something for the sake of it? Surely if he is listening, paying attention and following instruction then that is more important than where he sits? if he is with his TA, she should ensure that he has understood the carpet time activity and make sure that he participates. Besides you'd never get a load of 12 yr olds sitting cross legged on the floor so why expect a 10 yr old too?

SallyBear Fri 12-Oct-12 13:35:20

The Yr 1 child, my youngest hated going into class first thing as it was full of parents and children and he would go into a sensory overload. We took him into a quiet room on the other side of the school and then walked him across once the hub-bub settled down. Maybe the Yr1 teachers are dead set on the ABA that they've not given enough thought to backward chaining his behaviour.

cornsconkers Fri 12-Oct-12 13:38:50

It does sound like change for the sake of it. Surely allowing him to sit on the chair is a reasonable adjustment?

bigbluebus Fri 12-Oct-12 13:43:00

I was going to say part of what Sallybear said. The sitting on the floor isn't going to happen at Secondary school - so why bother to change that. They need to work on things that are going to be important at Secondary school.

I think they need to follow the mantra "don't sweat the small stuff". Whilst compliance is an important thing to learn, is it really worth enforcing compliance about things that don't really matter.

cansu Fri 12-Oct-12 17:03:14

I think this is a difficult one to unpick. I would agree that they should focus on those things that are important and will be important when he attends secondary school. however I think there also is something to be said for encouraging him to follow the rules that others follow as this might make it easier for him in the long run as school is heavily based around compliance. I would support these efforts as it sounds like they are going to be tackled very gradually and in a non confrontational way. I would perhaps also ask that they prioritise those issues that will be most helpful at secondary.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Oct-12 18:46:39

Thanks. I had a chat and we have agreed to try and work on those issues which will be most useful at secondary school and to create a motivation for the change. I think this new teacher is not entirely a muggle - she may have some wizarding blood! grin

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