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2 yr old DD with Down Syndrome finding it hard to settle at nursery - Advice please!

(11 Posts)
luckynumber9 Fri 26-Apr-13 08:22:37

My 2-and-a-half year old twins started nursery last week, both in the toddler room (18 months - 3 yrs). One DD has DS and one does not. My DD without DS settled almost immediately and loves the exposure to so many other children. In her words: "I just wuv it!" My DD with DS has found the transition much more difficult and has spent her time crying, holding on tightly to a member of staff and falling asleep. It has been stressful, over-stimulating (I think) and completely exhausting for her. Until yesterday. Yesterday the staff member who was looking after her (she has funding for 75% support) decided to take her into the baby room for a while and, almost immediately, she relaxed and began to play, interact, smile and generally be herself. She was happy and not too tired when I collected her at lunchtime. I know the advice is that she will thrive and develop better if she is kept with her age peers rather than her developmental peers but all of my instincts are saying that she will be happier and it will be more possible to support her learning and development in the quieter, calmer baby room, even just for a few months until she gets used to the environment and being away from home. The nursery staff think so too but the professionals don't agree. I'm not sure what to do for the best and would really appreciate any advice, experiences or information ...

pannetone Fri 26-Apr-13 08:34:33

No experience but wanted to say that in your position I would follow your instincts and the advice of the nursery. As for your DD being with same age peers she has a twin who is is with more than without! Professionals couldn't have arranged that! Both your DD sound lovely and are managing nursery in their own ways.

PolterGoose Fri 26-Apr-13 09:21:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

luckynumber9 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:25:55

Thank you pannetone. It's always hard to go against expert advice and I worry about being short-termist and doing something that will have a negative effect in the long-run. As you say though, she does have her twin and exposure to other children her own age at home. The numbers at nursery make the toddler room feel unmanageable while she is trying to adjust to a new environment. Also, the noise and high activity level makes it harder for her to concentrate. Thank you - it's nice to have some support for what I think will probably be our decision smile

luckynumber9 Fri 26-Apr-13 09:28:25

Thank you PolterGoose! Can you tell me a bit more about how the slow transition worked for your DS? Did he have the same 1:1 in both rooms? The nursery have never worked with a child with DS before and they're learning too. Thanks for your advice and support.

Smartieaddict Fri 26-Apr-13 09:30:44

Again I have no experience, but I really don't see how being distressed on a daily basis will help her development. You are the expert on your little girl, so I think what your instincts tell you is almost certainly the right thing to do. Good luck, I hope she settles in soon.

PolterGoose Fri 26-Apr-13 10:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

proudmum74 Fri 26-Apr-13 10:37:24

Hi luckynumber9 , my DD has just turned 3 and has DS. She has been in nursery part time from the age of 1. Don't get too hung up on the age appropriate room, my DD has moved up to each room slightly later than her peers and this has not harmed her development.

At my DD nursery they have 4 rooms:

Baby (6 mths to about a year)
Toddler (1-2)
Nursery (2-3)
Per-school (3-4)

DD was in the baby room until she could crawl with confidence (18 mths)
The toddler room until she could walk with support (31 mths) and is still in the nursery room as she's only just started to walk unaided and we're fighting the LEA for 1-1 support in line with her statement (long story), but gets to go on play dates in the other room with support.

The next room up sounds like quite a big age band, and if her mobility is still a little unstable then the sight of other children charging around her must be scary. If she's only been there a few weeks, maybe it is best to be in the baby room for a while just until she gets used to the other children & grows in confidence.

What are her hearing / communication skills like? If they're OK, perhaps she could join the older children for quiter times (e.g. Mealtime & stories) so that she still has that peer group contact

HTH

luckynumber9 Fri 26-Apr-13 11:38:30

Thanks for the good wishes and support smartie smile

PolterGoose - that's really helpful thank you and I will talk to nursery about that kind of approach. I had been wondering whether she could be in the baby room but do some small group activities with toddlers too. I'm glad your DS had a good experience! Is he at school now? Hope they're doing a good job if so. smile

proudmum - Our little girls are v close in age! I'm really glad to hear that moving through the rooms more slowly has worked out well for your DD. My DD can't walk yet although we think she's very close. Apart from anything else this means that a lot of things in the toddler room are at the wrong height for her. I know they're supposed to alter them to suit her but that might take time. Her hearing is ok - glue ear from time to time but nothing major. She concentrates really well on books, singing etc and is just beginning to sign so I would say her communication is good even though she has no words (and not that many sounds) yet. She's very good at letting us know what she wants! grin. Nice to hear from you - thanks.

sonora Fri 26-Apr-13 18:11:07

Hi, my son has DS and was at nursery from baby room through to pre-school ( now in reception)

Ds didn't always move up a room when ready by age. He also didn't walk till almost three so they delayed his transition to the 2-3 room by quite a few months till he was more confident (with his mobility and being around more children as the 2-3 rm was a busy one)

They steadily increased his visits so he got to be with his peers who'd already moved up, but still gots lots developmentally from both rooms.

luckynumber9 Tue 30-Apr-13 18:16:27

Thank you Sonora - sounds like a v similar situation. We've made our decision and are going to try settling her in the baby room. Fingers crossed she'll settle and have a lovely time. Thanks all for advice!

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