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DS hurting other children(18 Posts)
This is my first post here, although I have been lurking for a while and have taken some wonderful advice from the posts I have read.
My DS is 5.10, and received a diagnosis of autism in November 2012, which was done privately as we had been waiting over a year for any action from the NHS paediatric team. We first referred him via our GP in January 2010 due to concerns over his behaviour.
Since diagnosis we have spoken to the school, and DS is now on their SEN register/school action plus. He has an IEP and a home/ school book. These are all relatively recent so no progress yet.
His main difficulties lie in social interaction and impulse control. Reception year at school was ok-ish but Yr 1 has been TERRIBLE so far. He is continually hurting other children, mostly in the playground but occasionally in the classroom. I think he is trying to interact but does not know how to, and gets frustrated and loses control. There have been numerous complaints from parents about him, both to the CT and the HT. I work full time, so do not get to see the class teacher, but receive many phone calls from school regarding his behaviour.
I am going to see the HT today ? the head asked if I would come in as she has several meetings lined up over the next few days with parents about DS. I wondered what you would all advise me to say. Should she disclose his autism to these parents? Would this make them more understanding? What strategies would help with the playground issues? They have asked the lunchtime supervisors to keep a close eye on him. Is there anything else that you have seen work well?
We struggle with him at home as well, and he does hurt his younger brother, but I guess we keep close to him.
I am also still struggling to deal with the diagnosis, and feel sad, depressed and devastated, which I know is selfish but I cannot seem to shake myself out of it. I feel dreadful about him hurting other children. I know I should ignore the other parents as they do not understand, but I am finding that difficult as well. He has no friends and never gets invited to parties, and it all makes me sad for him and scared for his future.
Sorry this is a depressing post! Any advice gratefully received.
We have had this with our ds. he has a diagnosis of ADHD and speech delay. it wasn't until he got a full time one to one support assistant that things improved particularly at playtimes and unstructured moments throughout the day. Your head needs to task someone specifically to look after him at playtime not just keep an eye out. H e needs to have ideas shown to him of how to play, ideas that he is interested in and also get the other children involved so he is not left out. Your head needs to be directing her energies into finding a solution to supporting your son fully and less time spent soothing other parents.
Also your head needs to look at what came just before these incidents, what lead up to them not just the incident itself and what your son has done. we found that when he was,t being supervised closely before, our ds was sometimes being goaded into reacting which he did, with bells on.
I think you maybe need to look at getting him statemented, as that may lead to his getting an LSA (1-to-1 support). Also, we used a system called ABA to manage my autistic boy's aggression , maybe you can ask what they can offer in terms of behavioural support.
When my boy was at mainstream I was v upfront about his autism, but then again you can't really miss it ith my boy.
It is hard, but sometimes gong into action mode helps in these early days after diagnosis.
Good luck, you have definitely come to the right place for lots of advice.
Your head needs to be directing her energies into finding a solution to supporting your son fully and less time spent soothing other parents.
When you speak to her, turn everything round to what they are doing.
'DS hit another child'
'Yes, that's unfortunate of course, but why did he do that?'
'We don't know'
'Well, there must be a reason.'
'Perhaps he was frustrated because he didn't understand the game?'
'That sounds very likely doesn't it? How are school going to support DS to understand what's happening during playtime so this doesn't happen again?'
Can you take someone with you? Take notes and reflect it all back in writing too:
Dear HT, thank you for meeting with me today. As we discussed, DS needs additional support in the playground to help him play appropriately with others...'
This is NOT bad behaviour, this is an unsupported child. Put it this way, if he used a wheelchair and the HT said 'I'm concerned BelsJr refuses to skip' you'd laugh in her face, right? Same thing here. They are asking him to do something he has no concept of being able to do. (that's not to say he won't get there of course, but only with suitable support and teaching).
Thank you all so much for your replies and ideas. I will use them in my meeting later. I feel much more prepared.
It is also nice to not feel so alone - I had been feeling very isolated over the last few weeks.
How your HT deals with other parents is not your concern. The HT cannot disclose personal information about your DS to other parents without your consent.
A quick update following my meeting with the HT on Thursday.
It appears there is a witch hunt going on amongst the playground parents in respect of DS .
The HT wanted to ask my permission to discuss DS additional needs with the parents. In fairness to the HT, it was with the objective of putting a stop to said witch hunt, and to reinforce the idea of inclusion of all children, rather than just placating the parents. I said yes, not sure how I feel about it though.
However, she did not seem entirely clear about what she was going to change to support DS better and prevent these issues occurring. I took the advice of the posters on here (thank you all) and quizzed the HT about DS could be better supported. After pushing by me she said they would work with him to encourage constructive play in the playground and unstructured time. I will follow this up with an email.
She said he was not severe enough to get a statement not sure how true or otherwise that is. Once thing that concerned me was she said they would work with DS in addressing these issues even if we have to take him out of the classroom to do so. This does not seem entirely fair on him.
My gut feeling is the school are just trying to manage the situation rather than truly help DS. I feel very sad and down about it all. I sit at work every day worrying about what is happening at school, which cant be right, can it?
I am sure I will be on here regularly in the coming weeks.
My ds is in a special school. Was also told he wasn't severe enough for a statement.
I don't think anyone is told otherwise ever these days.
The best thing you can do right now, is keep a regular record of incidences, contact with the school and verbal conversations (by following up in writing what was said for 'clarification'. Eventually you will have a paper trail and evidence that will support a request for a statement.
I would withdraw your consent for her to tell the other parents,
because if they are nice, they will 'understand' and 'excuse' the behaviour
iI they stop going in and complaining about your ds hitting their dc,
then the school will stop worrying (even though it's a major life skills issue)
and will be even less effective in helping him learn an alternative approach
Plus, they have to log all these complaints. and one day you can ask for copies
Thank you for your replies. Its is good advice to start collecting a log of incidents and complaints to strengthen our case. I need to see this as postive rather than negative.
DS punched another child at after school club tonight . It is relentless. Can the school exclude a child from an after school club that they run due to incidents such as this?
Poor you. It's really stressful managing everything and there's nothing worse than being told of parental complaints. Your out of school club may have a policy regarding behaviour. Ours isn't related to school so behaviour in one or other should be independent. Worth discussing your ds' s needs so that such an occurence can be avoided/chance of reduced in the future. Keep logs etc but make your own request for statutory assessment: see ipsea web site. Schools dont like starting the process as they're obliged to put in minimum cover themselves whilst the 26 weeks run. They need to be able to tell you what they're doing to support your ds and you'll need to be able to question them if it appears not to be enough. Perhaps the individual work proposed is seal/social emotional sessions. Our ds has had this in small groups to avoid any feelings of being singled out. School put letter out saying all would get opportunity and if parents wanted dc not included they had to say so. Keep following your instincts. You're ahead as you've got a dx.
The formal support is all quite new (since January). He is on School Action Plus, and has an IEP primarily focused on social and behavioural issues. The school have said we need to give it time to see if the strategies are working. However the incidents appear to be escalting in number.
I have asked for more support to be given to DS in the playground / unstructured activities as that is where he struggles. I am waiting to see what is put in place. If incidents continue I guess I should assume this assistance is not in place or is not working.
Play time supervision has really helped our ds along with all staff being aware of his difficulties.
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