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No quiet place(12 Posts)
Ds is highly anxious and things have been rapidly going downhill at school. When he started there he was allowed to go to the room made available for all the SEN children to go when they needed a break he doesnt like this room. Says it is dirty and grubby and smells old (has various sensory issues as you can tell). He only attended part-time for months so didnt really need the room too much last year. Now he is back full time it has become an issue. He did run off to a place he felt safe in the playground but has been told that he can no longer do this. The only place available in the school is that room an area of corridor was suggested but this is not an option. Any ideas what to do about this? It does say in the sm that he needs access to a quiet area when agitated.
The statement is a legal document. If the room is not suitable, they should either clean it and make it inviting or find an alternative.
This is exactly the kind of thing that scares me about secondary.
How can they expect them not to find their own safe space if the one provided is vile?
I have no advice but keep bumping your thread as there are some people on here with great knowledge of the law around statements.
Thanks Ineeda. Yes, school really need to sort something as there's no point keep telling us how worried they are about him . The autism specialist said she has concerns too but it's getting someone to actually do something about it that's the issue.
Offer to go and clean the room? It may shame them in to doing it.
This may seem way out there, but is there any way that you could approach the administration and offer to clean up the room yourselves? Perhaps, if he is involved in making the room more suitable, he might be more inclined to use it when he needs it (as it'll be more "his" safe place).
Even better, as far as the school is concerned - it is a totally FREE solution for them, they don't even have to provide the labour to do it.
I think this is a tricky one and you need to start by seeing the room and identifying for yourself what the problems are with it.
Sometimes, no amount of cleaning will help if our sensitive sensory souls think it smells. My son can gag when I can't even smell anything!!
Once you have identified what the problem is you can try and come up with solutions - perhaps cleaning it up or making a special corner in it for him.
I understand about the sensory issues - both of my kids have sensory differences, and even I am a little defensive in a tactile way. I have noticed, though, even my DS (AS 14) can be a bit more willing to adapt to noxious stimuli if they are involved in changing them.
That said... if it is noxious enough that a "non-sensory" person can identify the smell, then it'll be an uphill battle at best.
I was just trying to throw out a potential solution that could be offered to the school as no effort/no cost to them.
Sorry beemum - I wasn't criticising you or your suggestion in any way!! I can see I put it badly. I think it is a great idea and one which I would definitely follow. I was just adding that it's best to start by seeing it for yourself!!
Library in school is often a quiet place, maybe a small area could be created there? School must show willing in resolving the issues with this for your DS....you shouldn't be having to fight for a quiet, suitable, pleasant area that DS can feel safe and calm within....it's their remit to ensure this is possible and provided and it's on his statement as a necessary need that must be available to him at all times.
Maybe school would be interested in getting a group together to give the space a make over, paint it, invest some funds in making it calm, cosy, and comfy, etc for all the kids who need it. Have a brain storming with the kids and decide on colours, furnishings, lighting, equipment, etc...might be worth a try to go about it this way, like a project which also incorporates their learning/education, etc??..maybe??
For my DS the support base room wasn't helpful to him either and actually made him more upset in many ways, esp sensory. It is often too busy with noise, people coming and going,etc. My ds sat in a corner with headphones on playing loud music and trying to block out everything else around him...not a good situation at all.
Its difficult isnt it. I know my DS wont share a room that other people use. He wants his OWN quiet area. If people are going to come and go then he would remove himself and run off and find somewhere else.
Sounds like if your DS is happy to go out into the playground then he is requesting just that. To be left alone.
How big is the room? Go visit it and see if it can be partitioned off in anyway by temporary screening. Give each section a work station, bean bag and blanket and lighting plus plain walls or something the child wants to put up to make his mark on it.
Perhaps a couple of school coffee mornings or sponsored something or other may collect funds to make the improvements. Involve all the kids that use this room as a team building excercise in designing drawings of what THEY would like to see in their own quiet space and come up with ideas on how to achieve it
School cant say they are concerned and then leave this going as it is. Some just dont get that its the child that picks the place they feel secure in.
Just make yourself a polite, concerned interferring PITA
Sell the idea to them by saying it would be good for the school......photo of SN friendly school in local rag and the pupils achievements. Anything goes as long as the end result benefits your DS
Thanks all. I am already seen as a major pita and this is just the latest problem really. Will have to have discussions to see what can be done I guess.
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