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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Teaching body language and non-verbal communication skills -Moondog et al

(54 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Sun 10-Feb-13 08:59:30

Ay suggestions for good sources for introducing body language and non verbal communication skills?

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 10:51:44

DS stopped on his way into school and looked towards our receptionist and said 'good morning'. He then reported back to me how he thought she looked in response - startled and pleased!

He usually mumble morning , head down, not waiting or looking for a response.

Big praise all round and a very happy DS.

But this was working with me not the TA. Have a feeling it might all fall apart if we passed it over to her, even if she were willing. It would end up as 'DS look at people when you speak to them'. Cue DS shutting down and not wanting to do it ever again.

I'm already thinking of trying to go in for an hour a week to follow a basic Tony Attwood CBT course with him. He would just never do it with the TA and he has enough piled up at home.

It gets ridiculous but when a child is older and they want him in lessons being taught, it is hard for them to see the reason to factor some of this stuff in.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 10:57:21

Sorry double post!

I think Moondog it is not feeling confident in doing something different and having a clear plan to guide this and not having a 'professional' to set it all out for them.

Our SLT is not trained in ABA but she is willing to try things. The ABA therapist seemed keen to focus on issues which were of no particular use to anyone but were probably more easy to address.

I have his bill to pay yet and school are probably sick of people coming in professing to be able to work on these things,

My best hope is our open minded SLT. And, of course, me! But we are working in the dark

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 11:22:04

Yes, pressing a tally counter was too much for ds' TA.

The HT looked me in the eye and told me that she was far too busy to press a tally counter every time ds did something.

How? How could she be too busy?

Well I'll tell you how. She was rarely even working with ds, despite his statement saying she should be. She was 'too busy' setting up the classroom for the next lesson, covering TAs in other classes, preparing for snack time. That is how.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 11:26:27

It's bloody criminal.
I've just turned down a request from IPSEA to interview my child as part of an 'awareness of need' project after reading the frankly embarrassing questionnaire they have drawn up which will do nothing for anyone other than fill another file.

I see 21 year old LSAs who voluntarily and eagerly take data on all sorts of things every day-PECS exchanges, trips to the loo, head hitting, verbalistations.

I don't even have to ask them to do it. They know they can't be effective unless they use these approaches.


inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 11:32:04

I think school would be up for this - if there was a clear plan. But how do I achieve that? Do I try ABA again? It's cost me about a grand already and school are now a bit cheesed off.

Do I try and get our SLT to develop ABA type approaches - ABA lite? How? Moondog, you should consult on these things!

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 12:44:47

That's what I do already in scores of classrooms.
It's my full time job!

The MN day is an attempt to share what we are able to achieve with some basic science and organisation.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 13:04:00

But Moondog, it really does depend on the TAs being used as they are supposed to be.

A tally-taking job actually requires the TA to dedicate their time to the child they are charged with, at least for a period of time, instead of the more common ignoring the child until they become a pita for the CT then remove them.

I don't know how this can be changed with schools used to sharing out their TAs in this way and having got used to the budgets being used in this way.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 13:32:26

I failt to see the point of a 1:1 unless they are working with that child alone. By all means, join in and when it can be dawn, withdraw (this being the whole point-to fade prompts).

If a 1:1 in an m/s class told me thay had 'no time' to take very simple data, I would be calling a meeting with the head and talking to the parents (assuming that they could be bothered-many aren't. MN parents are not representative of parents as a whole. That is very obvious to me.)

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 14:37:24

IA If your ds can cope with it, many of the programmes on CBeebies have people with very exaggerated expressions and simple storylines that won't make the expressions complicated iyswim.

I'm thinking more 'Grandpa In My Pocket' than 'In the Night Garden' though.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 14:44:34

There was no point Moondog which is why my ds is now in a special school.

DS' IEP targets had to be something along the lines of 'do 10 mins language work first thing (TA there to observed by parent first thing), sit sensibly at snack time (TA comes in anyway to cover teacher break), and 'put coat on sensibly at hometime' (TA there to be observed by parent).

Illusion of TA being there all day with child, but actually in another classroom supporting a different child who the school believes 'really' need the support rather than the one who has the pushy and deluded parent.

Eventually, ds would have got a proper fulltime 1:1, because it was only a matter of time before he self-imploded, but I'm pretty sure it would have been of the babysitting variety.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 14:51:42

I'll show you our new developments in the diary system which guarantee you that the person with your child really is with your child and doing what they are supposed to.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:04:36

With DS, the trouble is also that he can fade so well into the background of the class that it can be difficult to see how much work people need to do with him.

If a child is getting on with their work, it is hard to see they need help with specific skills away from academics until something goes wrong, so it is all reactive. This is always the problem with him as it seems once a child is in the class and academically able, schools can think 'job done' no matter what is on the statement. Then, problems develop and everyone notices his difficulties.

But school are willing to work on what needs working on and I am going to concentrate on refocussing at his AR but I am also conscious that we need guidance on how to break his difficulties down and teach skills individually.

For example, one of the big problems is that DS just does not look around him and take in information so teaching that will be a first step alongside teaching the importance of noting body language and non-verbal communication. But, whereas I can do that naturally at home, this seems complicated at school when you don't want to make a 10 year old look different.

It means removal from class and a very clear plan of what you want to achieve and how.

I don't think that is easy for people who haven't access to professionals like yourself and your team.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 15:11:35

It's been recommended that no-one asks ds yes or no questions in class, because 85% of the time the correct answer is 'yes' and ds has learn this as a default response to make the questioner go away.

By changing the way questions are asked, the CT can get a proper feel for how much ds is understanding.

Simple things like this cost NOTHING!

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:15:45

Good idea. But you need someone to recommend these things - otherwise you are just a mum asking for stuff.

School are pretty good about that generally!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 15:35:59

Although ds has got more sophisticated in his yes/no responses as he has cottoned on fast that he needs to:

Do you love daddy? - yes
Do you love Mummy? - Not particularly


Ask him what the question was and he hasn't a clue.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 15:38:40

Yes IA You have to PAY for someone to come in and make a recommendation that you could have made yourself, with a small percentage chance that the school might take a bit of it on board.

I don't know the answer. It's good you have a relationship I could have only dreamed of with the school, but even so, I see the struggles you are faced with and despair!

Sorry, that's probably not helpful.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 15:42:59

It's bloody ridiculous, having consultant upon consultant upon consultant.
That's why i see red when people bleat about SN needing more £££ and more people. Complete nonsense. The field needs paring back to the bone so that only the useful remain. The rest just add to the problem-certainly don't address it.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:46:14

I agree with you both. But where to find the help needed?

I think a very proactive engaged TA would make a big difference, but so many see TA'ing as the easy option.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 15:49:14

Well by default you keep returning to the original issue which is that you have no faith in your TA so in that cas,e you won't be able to get change to occur.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:00:51

Yes, she is on the move though, so we can but hope!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 16:06:12


Not sure if that is the solution IA but let's hope.

Though what on EARTH is happening in your school. HT leaving, CT leaving and TA leaving?

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:09:03

TA not leaving but moving sideways hopefully.

Big changes I know but CT was NQT and I think has decided its not for her.

It will be interesting to see if dynamic changes once TA is working alongside a more experienced teacher. Both teachers so far have been NQT.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 16:09:50

TA not becoming CT for a term?

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:10

I think though it will be necessary to have a very clear plan of action for whoever TA's DS and that is what is lacking at the moment.

It's hard to insist on things being done without a clear plan for what needs to be done.

I know Moondog is right but the reality is most of us don't have access to people like her!

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:46

TA not becoming CT for a term?


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