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Spending time outside the classroom

(16 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Mon 19-Nov-12 22:15:57

DS has been having a bit of a tough time over the last few weeks.

He had done really well over the first half of term but over the last few weeks he has increasingly spent more and more time outside the classroom. He has a TA who works with him.

Last week he had several half days.

Today, I barely got him to school and he refused all day to go into class and wouldn't go into the lunch hall too.

When asked, he just says he feels anxious.

School are very sympathetic. His teacher is a bit panicky - NQ and young. SENco just focused on keeping him in school all day. Teacher panicked about him regressing.

I just think life is actually pretty tough sometimes if you have Asperger's and you will get times like this.

But then, on the other hand, I think I am trying to fit into a square peg into a round hole.

How do you get to the bottom of the general anxiety and encourage him back into the fold?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 19-Nov-12 22:22:41

Look at it from his pov. Why SHOULD he go back into the classroom? Why SHOULD he go into the lunch hall?

Ask him.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 19-Nov-12 22:39:02

Thanks. I know this is part of the problem. He doesn't want to be at school at all sometimes and doesn't see any point. You can discuss these things until the cows come home with him. If he doesn't want to do it, you'll get nowhere.

He did have an ABA intervention to get him into the classroom earlier in the year. I wonder if we should apply the programme again. He got computer breaks for being in the classroom.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 19-Nov-12 22:42:21

Thanks that got me thinking.

coff33pot Tue 20-Nov-12 01:07:39

If DS stays in the classroom and completes a target of work however short he is awarded a letter. He has a workstation with a design of his making (dinosaurs) and laminated. In the centre are squares and these letters go in the squares to gradually spell out FREE TIME. Each one is 2 minutes long and allows him 16 minutes of free time of his choice. He has a list to choose from to the side so he can say something silly like eat cake lol.

Might be worth a go maybe?

coff33pot Tue 20-Nov-12 01:09:15

This is extra to his normal award stickers etc as obviously he may not get there by the end of the day and its carried forward to the next. He still receives his exercise and quiet time etc but the free time is made a big thing of x

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 20-Nov-12 11:01:09

Thanks coff - that is a good idea.

bialystockandbloom Tue 20-Nov-12 12:07:27

Someone at the school (TA? class teacher? Your ABA consultant probably...) needs to go and observe to delve into what is causing the anxiety. Is it:

not understanding what's happening in the classroom
motivation to work to 'succeed' not there
difficulties with peers (social)
difficulties understanding/processing academic instructions or work
classroom too noisy
motivation lacking to 'join in' with peers

You need to really work out what the difficulties are before knowing how to address them. But if it is any of the above, or something else, sounds like he definitely needs expert support to address this. It can't go on that he's either out of the classroom or at home - what's the point of him being in school if he's effectively being taught on his own by the TA?

Eg when my ds was at nursery he hated it, was never ever happy to be left there - we realised afterwards it was because (at that age) he didn't have the language or play skills to be able to join in, so would just wander round on his own. Until we got expert support there (ABA) it continued like this.

We also had a short-lived period in Reception with reluctance to come in so we put in a reward system for coming in (first it was ipad tokens, then faded to a smiley face drawn on his thumb, then faded completely). Def worth trying that again.

The point is that it must be more rewarding for him to be at school than not to be, and if that has to start off with rewards, so be it. But also try and work out if there is something else going on (eg maybe some of the work is too abstract, needs differentiating, is he struggling to focus on what's being said, is he having problems with social side, etc).

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 20-Nov-12 12:27:38

WRT the rewards, the point is that the rewards get him into the classroom in the first place, but then work has to be done to make staying in the classroom rewarding, which means differentiating the teaching, giving him satisfaction and enjoyment from his work and his attempts etc. so that eventually he wants to go to school, just because he likes school, and can put up with the bits he doesn't like because overall it is pretty okay.

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 20-Nov-12 12:34:00

Thanks, that is really helpful.

The problem with DS is that it is so variable. He can be fine but then all of a sudden decide he can't manage.

Of course, the problem with a child with communication difficulties is that he doesn't like to sit and explore these issues. He would rather just demonstrate with his behaviour that he finds things difficult.

We did have an ABA intervention in April which helped motivate him into the classroom but the consultant also mentioned a whole list of other things she could change and then disappeared without any training of the TA etc who then took it upon herself to nag DS into submission about these changes. This really damaged their relationship.

The ABA consultant is too busy to take him on but she has a Masters student helping another child in school so I may go back to her.

mycarscallednev Tue 20-Nov-12 12:36:30

There are so many others here who can give you far more advise than I can - but send him a huge hug from me and my little man - he often talks about him xx

cornykatona Tue 20-Nov-12 12:37:14

it's really tough when they are struggling to go to school. Poor you and ds sad
Has he had a sensory assessment?
My ds's OT suggested some things that could have helped when he was in MS. One was to have a pop up tent in the classroom for him to go into when he was getting stressed. He's in SS now but his teacher is really clued up and she can see when he's getting anxious and responds really well. The NQT probably very likely needs some training. Perhaps you could suggest it....

some courses on this site

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 20-Nov-12 13:08:33

Thanks. I have an OT coming in on Monday as the NHS one has left us without anything in terms of a programme or support. DS is at that age where he doesn't want to 'look different' which can make things doubly hard.

Although, he looks pretty different in the corridor with his TA hmm

School are being helpful but I just feel I have never got to grips with the intervention that will help properly

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 20-Nov-12 13:11:54

Hi mycarscallednev - how's your chap too?

mycarscallednev Tue 20-Nov-12 14:07:12

I'll pm you later - all's taken crap to a new level now - hospital and the LA - what joy, plus my little man has further dx's and still no help - same old story eh? xx

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 20-Nov-12 14:11:57

You poor thing sad

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