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New school please help....

(25 Posts)
woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 06:57:44

Hi all,
I am just after some advice please. We are movimg out of our are and are going to view some schools for my 5 year old dd. She has aapergers or hfa we are currently going through dx but its not offical yet.
My main question is would you tell the new schools about this and see what their reaction is or would you wait until its official or see if.the new Schools pick anything up?
The school she currently attends are failing her they can not see it and do not help leaving us to battle to get her there every.single day. We cant go.through this anymore.
Also just wondering what I should be looking new schools to make them more suitable?
Thank you for taking the time to read this any any advice would be greatfuly recieved. We are just struggling so much with school at the moment its getting us al down

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 09-Jan-13 07:07:51

Yes I would tell the schools and tell them straight off that your DD is being assessed for AS or HFA. Visit at least one school and take your DD along with you, see how welcoming or otherwise they are towards her. I would meet the SENCO too and ask lots of questions, would not solely rely on an OFSTED report for instance.

Many staff within schools are simply not trained to readily spot children on the ASD spectrum, particularly girls, so many such children can go unnoticed or ignored within a classroom. Their additional needs certainly do not get met as a result.

How far are you along the dx process?.

I would also be applying for a statement of special needs from the Local Education Authority. IPSEA's website is helpful in this area and you need to arm yourselves with as much information as possible. is the website. You are her best - and only - advocates here.

Keep posting here too.

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 07:23:44

Thank you for yor reply and for the link I will look into that. We have seen an ep to take history and dd has had a cognative assessment and has been observed in school by ep assistant. Ep can not make her mind up as she feels shes complex and so we are now awaiting for a speech and language assessment. Ep has said that she seems highly anxious, her non vebal skills and her talking of interests is not what it should be for her age. So some things have already been picked up by her. The thing is she is very good at just getting by at school. However passing.comments made by her reception teacher add up to something only the teachers are unable to add it all together. Her school report was full of little comments such as she needs to vary her tasks around the classroom, she keeps herself to her self. They read a book and was asked to write a story about it. Teacher said she was the only one that wrote the book word for word. This is a big red flag.for me as the others must of put it into their own words, teacher thought it was great? As you say I just dont feel teachers get it as she doesnt stand in class having meltdowns, she waits till she gets home!!

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 08:23:18

She sounds just like my Dd3 wooly, I agree that you must tell the schools that you are going to see about her difficulties and meet the senco.

See if there are any schools in the new area with specially resourced units attached, not for your Dd to go in but in my experience these schools are much better at inclusion and the teachers have often had more training.

Good luck smile

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 09-Jan-13 08:31:41

Attila gives good advice. smile

I would also be very upfront about your DD's needs. It may be that some schools are then reluctant to have her, but you don't want her in a school that isn't welcoming and inclusive of DC with SN. You need to be building a good relationship with her new school and sharing your concerns and any strategies you have learnt with each other will be essential. They will have access, once she starts, to he r school records which will include the EP assessment.

As Atilla says, Ofsted is often not the best source of information about how well a school will deal with your DD's AS. In fact, quite often, a school with a poorer Ofsted may have more experience with SEN. You need to meet the SENCo of your short listed schools, and ask them how they would go about supporting your DD, that should give you a good feel. They should be talking about her being on school action plus as a minimum, as she's had EP involvement and should hopefully be supportive of your request for Statutory Assessment.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 09-Jan-13 08:32:16

Crossed with Ineed!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 09-Jan-13 08:55:36

Hi wooly,

re your comment:-
"you say I just dont feel teachers get it as she doesnt stand in class having meltdowns, she waits till she gets home!!"

And that is also an indication that her additional needs within class are not being met. Taking out all the frustrations on parents in a safe environment after bottling up all the frustrations of the school day is often what happens.

EP and or EP assistant cannot make a diagnosis; what these people can and should be doing is making recommendations re her educational needs. They should be talking to you about applying for a statement.

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 10:15:57

So the school shes at now should have already put her on school action? After what I have just witnessed at school this morning this move can not come quick enough. I have just seen a lovely little boy aged 5 in my dds class have some sort of meltdown in the cloakroom, I do not know much about this boy other than my dd saying he is friendly.
Everyone else was rushed into class and this boy was left on his own kicking the door and screaming, it was an aufully sad moment I wanted to go and help him. No teacher came out to support him. I know its not my place to judge but shudnt someone have helped or stayed with this boy, it has realy upset me. Would you tell his mother or would you keep out of it?
Thank you for all of your replies re my dd it has given me alot to think about. There is a schoil in the area we are moving to that has a speech and language unit attached, I like the look of the main school from reading on the net and so tried to get to look around but they are full and so wont even let us view the school. If I explained my dd situation do u think they wud let us at least have a look around so she could possibly go on the waiting list fo a place. They look good with sn.
Thanks again

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 10:21:30

Also I didnt realise that ep can not give dx, so have I wasted all of this time? Who can dx? Sorry for all the questions!!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 09-Jan-13 10:47:23

Wooly, an EP can advise the school on how best to support your DD but they aren't medical professionals. I would advise you to see your GP with a list of all your concerns, let them know that the school has called in the EP (so they don't just think you are an over anxious parent hmm )and ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician or whatever the diagnostic route for ASD is in your health authority. It may be CAMHS as some posters on here have had to go through this route and have seen a clinical psychologist. Community paediatricians (rather than developmental specialists) aren't always experienced enough in ASD. It will help your DD's cause to get appropriate support if she has a DX, but be aware that the process can take a long, long time, so best start it sooner rather than later.

Don't be downhearted. You haven't wasted your time so far. The medical profs can DX but they don't offer much in the way of support or strategies to help your DD. This board is an amazing source of information for you and getting your DD good support within education and getting yourself informed so you can help her as well is your goal and getting the EP involved is quite an achievement, truly. smile

Has she ever had any involvement with Speech and Language Therapy? You description of her makes me think her language development is good, so maybe not?

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 10:52:46

Inneed, I have been following your posts as as you say your dc sounds just like mine. Do you have a dx for your dc ans' if so how did u get one if u dont mind me asking? Its just that it has been a battle to get this far with schol saying they.cant see anyting. I feel like they dont believe me sometimes. The ep says there is a difference between our history from home and school. Is this the case with you aswell? I just dont know how to prove anything if we apparently r only ones seeing anything. I first went to gp and hv when she was 18 months shes now 5!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 09-Jan-13 10:58:00

What Ellen has stated.

You've already done well to get EP involved early on.

Some schools often do not spot children with special needs particularly if these children are both quiet and compliant in a classroon setting, they are simply not trained enough in SEN to do so. Often as well these children get ignored.

I would ask the GP to refer you asap to a developmental paed (sorry, I meant to write that earlier). EP cannot diagnose ASD or anything re special needs, they make recommendations re educational needs.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 09-Jan-13 11:02:30

I'm sure Ineed will be along later, but IIRC, her DD3 has AS DX or HFA. She had difficulty getting her DD's first school to support her and moved schools. I'm not sure what age her DD was when she received her DX, but it was much older than 5, I think she's 9 or 10 now.

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 11:07:21

Hi, thanks for reply. I will start at the beginning. When dd was 18 months old I had concerns so went to hv.
She was a very hard baby to care for, everyone said she was my first and that was why. I however just had this feeling that there has always been something else. I used to watch her alongside other childern of her own age and she never seemed to bother with them, even at that young age she seemed so grown up beond her years. She never realy played with toys instead would sit for hours doing puzzles, completting 100 piece puzzles on her own by the time she was two. She has always had obsessional phases! So special needs hv came out to assess at 3, she completted assesment and said she was off the scale in all areas, the scale went up to 5 years. So we were left and told she was cleaver.
Went back to gp and he refered to ped when she was 3 half, he said she had as traits but no language delay!
So we went back when she was 4 said same thing. When she started school I went back to ped threw a 60 points list at him of traits of asd, he refered on to ep. And that is where we are at now. So shud I go back to ped and ask to be refered onto some one who can dx.
School have sent reports to ep but have never realu got involved. Feel like we are just going round in circles.
Sorry if this doesnt make sence so confused

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 09-Jan-13 11:17:40

Blimey, you have been shoved from pillar to post! I think, maybe, because your DD is so bright and good with language that she's been too young for the paed to DX with ASD. Aspergers (or HFA as is being DXed these days) isn't usually DXed until later, but usually because a young DC with Aspergers is really hard to tell apart from a young Gifted and Talented, or just quirky child. For what it's worth, I think your mum's instincts should be worth more investigation, and just because your DD doesn't cause any fuss at school, it's not good enough that she isn't being supported or having her difficulties recognised.

You need the parents of girls on this board to advise you, as you've pretty much done most of what I would advise. Ineed is one, silverfrog another and LeonieDelt as well. I'm sure there are others I've forgotten. If they don't spot this thread, maybe start one with '5 yo girl with suspected AS, paed not DXing' or something. X

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 11:25:40

LOL, ellen is spot on, I will go back to my paperwork, you dont need me grin

Joking aside though, I had to be really persistant to get Dd3 a dx, she was 5.5 when I started the process and 9 when she got her dx of ASD, we tend to say she has aspergers because she fits that profile.

Dd3 has advanced skills in some areas and that what was the school was focusing on but she has what they call a spikey profile, that means she is really good at somethings and really poor at others.

My Dd3 has never ever been able to do puzzles due to her poor coordination but a LO I am currently working with who has ASD is amazing at puzzles but is totally imersed in them at the expense of everything else.

I guess that the school are like Dd3's old school, because she didnt melt down she was fine. The fact the she used to come out of school looking grey and used to run off out of the gates obviously didnt register with themhmm

This is your chance for a fresh start but you need to go and meet the Heads and Sencos. Ultimately you will probably need their support to get a dx becasue the proffs are very reluctant to dx without another so called professional opinion.

Dd3 had a speech and language assessment which was invaluable because it highlighted that although she has very good language her communication skills are poor, she only talks about what she wants to talk about and is not able to conversation share. The SALT picked this up very quickly and also the fact that she was very literal in her language.

TBH, the very best bit of advice I had when she was being assessed was to keep a diary. I recorded and dated all incidents of unusual/quirky behaviour, what caused it [if I knew] and how I dealt with it. The proffs really sat up and took notice when I took it too them.

I think you should go back to the paed if you havent seen him/her since the EP saw her because you are still concerned and nothing has changed.

Good lucksmile

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 11:28:39

Thank you so much for your post it realy means a lot. I have been getting down about this as I do realy know she has this but what you wrote about the gifted and talented thing is so true as we thought about this for a while. But now she is in year 1 and dont feel this is the case as she does struggle with some of the work but I think she has some sort of hidden communication problem. At home I always say her name before speeking, keep things simple. I have overheard people commenting on the way I speek to dd they say I bark orders at her eg I say dd shoes on now instead of can you put your shoes on please which is what I say to my two other dds. If I use long sentences with her we wud be sitting there for about half hour before she gets the idea! But anyway im waffling on. Thank you x

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 11:43:59

Will def start a diary, what a good idea. My dd looks like that when she comes from school too. The puzzle fad was the same totaly focused u cant join in anything with her unless she invites you to, games have to be played her way, acting things out has to be done exacly the same way as the book or tvshow. Yet people think she has good playskills? Very literal in languge to I said one oh my I thought I was going to die. My reaction to something I now think ive scared her for life as she thinks im going to die!You have to be very carefull about what you say, shes so scared about moving into the unknown but we are putting stories together.
Anyway thanks agin for all of your comments you have all been great and have had some good advise.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 12:12:17

Gosh, she does sound like Dd3, she plays for hours with her playmobil and everyone thinks she must have a great imagination but actually she is usually reinacting[sp] either Tracy Beaker or Helicopter Heroes!

She has trouble with playdates because other children mess up her playmobil and there is so much of it it dominates her bedroom. Other children are blown away by it but then they move stuff and she gets really upsetsad

Today she told me she was never drinking water again because her teacher said it was millions of years old and made of dinosaur weeshock why the heck do they have to say things like that??

We have to be very careful what we say too.

When you do the diary make sure you note any unusual language or literal understanding and then when you ask for a SALT referral you can say why you want it.

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 12:39:52

Y do teachers say things like that.
They r only aloud to drink water at my dds school. She doesnt like water so I put a drop of squash in the cup she has is class. U can not see into the bottle as it has pictures on. Yet dd thinks teacher knows she has squash in there and so always comes home with full bottle which means she only drinks at lunchtime. But this could also be because she wont use the toilets at school.
They do sound very alike. Dd warns anyone who goes into her room not to touch anything, so we dont have friends over she has been to thier houses though

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 14:06:10

Thinking that the teacher knows something that she couldnt possibly know could be due to poor Theory of Mind. does she often expect you to know things that are in her head??

If she does this, write it in the diary.

Also write that she doesnt use the toilets at school, it is really bad for them to go all day without a wee but Dd3 does regularly in fact I have only been into school this morning to ask them to remind her to drink. She had a UTI just before xmas and was really poorly, the nurse who saw her at the OOH said it could be because she is not drinking or weeing enough.

I have been doing the squash thing too, I wonder if Dd3 thinks that the teacher will know it is squashhmm hmm, will have to ask her.
I gave her water today as she only drank the tiniest bit yesterday but now that she thinks water is dinosaur wee I doubt she will drink it.

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 14:39:12

Yes she does expect me to know things. She will talk about things and sometimes I havent a clue what shes on about but I feel im expected to know as when I ask questions she goes mad. Now I try and pick things up as shes talking but as she only talks to me aboit things when she wants to. If I ask her bout her day she wonf speek. I have started to break it down now and ask what she dis before luch after lunch etc.
Sorry to hear that bout ur dd, she doesnt like the toilets at school and is quite pickey about the ones she uses when out with us. It hasnt caused major drama yet as I know which ones she will.use in town.
Shes not dry at night though. Think its cos she dosent go in the day!

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 14:56:13

You should definitely record those things in the diary wooly, google Theory of Mind you will find a better explanation than I can give.

I believe that poor Theory of Mind impacts on empathy because it effects the ability to understand that other people think differently to you.

I think your Dd could do with a SALT assessment. In some areas you can self refer but your paed could refer her.

Try not to stress to much for now, get your move sorted and the new school and do the diary and then you can start to move everything foraward when you are all settled.

Good lucksmile

woolyandtig Wed 09-Jan-13 14:58:59

Thank you for your replies x

Ineedmorepatience Wed 09-Jan-13 15:12:10

You are more than welcome, when I was in your situation this board was a life saver. I literally had no other support. So I know what you are going through.

That is one of the great things about the board is that after you get help and move forward you can pass on what helped to other people who are further back in the process.

Keep coming on here, its what keeps it goingsmile

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