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Why would nursery teacher want a house visit?

(33 Posts)
Aika Mon 29-Apr-13 14:31:22

Our lovely 3.5 y.o. DS is being investigated for ASD. He is not speaking, showing communication delays and resisting toilet training. He is no trouble otherwise and is a clear favourite of one of his nursery teachers. We really like her and so far have had a great relationship with her. Last week out of nowhere she suggested that she should do a home visit to observe how we interact with DS at home. When asked why she was very evasive regarding her reasons for wanting to do this. What could this mean? Should I worry?

Handywoman Tue 30-Apr-13 21:46:49

"If someone wants to do a home visit, they should be able to look you in the eye & give clear, concise reasons for doing so. If she can't do this, say no."

...lorks I think that just about sums it up!!!

blueberryupsidedown Tue 30-Apr-13 12:56:05

DS's nursery key worker and SaLT both came to our house when he started nursery. He behaves differently at home, he is much more 'himself' than at school (he used to isolate himself from other children and not talk at all) but when they came home he was very proud to show them his toys, his room, his big brother, and they got to know each other better and I think there were benefits for both my child and the teacher/SaLT. I don't see any problem with it, but then they never called it an assessment and never said that it was to observe how we interact with him. It was just a home visit, and I think that most kids in his speech unit had one.

iAutism Tue 30-Apr-13 12:33:55

We invited the nursery manager and key worker to the house. Great opportunity for them to understand DC home environment,current issues and also the work we do with her. Good catchup for you on how your child is progressing in the nursery setting. Also The autism team went to observe DC in the nursery. The nursery manager very detailed report was very useful for the statementing process.

Its great they have taken an interest some places dont.


ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 30-Apr-13 11:46:01

Say no.

She's not qualified to do an assessment.

Bigpants1 Tue 30-Apr-13 11:43:53

Lol, me too zzzzz!
Aika, I have "been in the system" a looong time, & a bit (a lot) of a cynic.
But, if this request has made you uncomfortable, I would trust your gut instinct. If someone wants to do a home visit, they should be able to look you in the eye & give clear, concise reasons for doing so. If she can't do this, say no.
You will learn, as you go through the system with your ds, that some professionals have another agenda, other than what they say to your face. Like in other professions, you will find good & "bad" people. You will also find, that profess. talk with each other freely. Anytime a profess. says they are going to write a Report on your ds, ask for a copy, & keep a note of e-mails & telephone calls.
Sorry, but I did laugh, when you said to a previous poster, "why would they say that about your house, would they help you get another one?" You would think, wouldn't you? But, for some reason, when you have a dc with SN, some profess. think they can say what they want, however unjustified, however pointless, then walk out of your life, leaving you upset & questioning yourself.
I don't want to put you off seeking help for your ds, but always trust your instinct, & develop some broad shoulders! x

zzzzz Tue 30-Apr-13 11:43:10


DailyNameChanger Mon 29-Apr-13 23:11:10

Lol zzz Hurrah for the well behaved, high achieving sibling. I have one of those too.

zzzzz Mon 29-Apr-13 20:41:00

The point is "how will it help?". I'm pretty sure "how to drive a toy car down a ramp" is lower down on the list than say "how to line up at nursery", and even that is way below "don't bite". The point is that if the professionals idea of what's important isn't the same as yours, you should be the one evaluating if it is worth your time.

I too have had comments on our house (In our case written in to the report!! shock ).

In some ways I am incredibley lucky in that ds is my middle child, and at least one of my children is so sickeningly able it's rather hard to say it is nurture (though some rather brave individuals do still try). I feel honour bound to point out the stupidity of saying my interaction with one of 5 children could have caused what is obviously (if you have even a modicum of intelligence) a neurological disorder.

MareeyaDolores Mon 29-Apr-13 20:34:40

You could tell her she'd be very welcome for a social chat and cup of tea, or to do a well-validated assessment. But nothing in between wink

cansu Mon 29-Apr-13 20:06:58

I agree with zzzz it's a question of privacy. Other parents would not be visited in this way and tbh I don't think that a home visit is usually necessary to diagnose ASD and certainly not by a nursery teacher. She probably has good intentions but I get very annoyed now when professionals forget that we as a family have the same right to privacy that they would expect for their own families. Having a child with ASD shouldn't mean that your parenting or interactions are questioned. When ds was first diagnosed I let a psych, an ed psych and a ASD play therapist in to see ds. None of them contributed anything useful. The play specialist faffed around with some schedules and succeeded in upsetting ds and depressing me with his lack of play skills. She came three times and accomplished nothing with ds still refusing to push the car down the ramp after three visits. The psych came and on observing ds banging his toys on the tv demonstrated how to say no stop for me as if I had never tried this. When I explained this was fine but I was unable to spend 12 hours per day next to the tv she wrote a report suggesting we needed support to control his behaviour and was never seen again. The ed psych came and blew some bubbles and jumped up and down and told us ds had significant problems and was never seen again! When dd was diagnosed three years later I was much more picky about who came to the house! Don't be bullied. I think there is far too much of this useless box ticking!

Stressedtothehilt Mon 29-Apr-13 19:39:18

I agree with tiger and its not her place to do a home visit.

The psychs words were "oh and dd is stuck in this small house all day!" I neary smacked her! My house is average size but def not small , 3 floors and a big garden! She filmed me playing with her and criticised everything was very awkward. Needless to say she wasn't invited back again

Aika Mon 29-Apr-13 19:22:13

stressed that sounds awful! Why would she say that your house was small? Would she help you get a bigger house?

TigerSwallowTail Mon 29-Apr-13 19:21:45

Your son is being investigated for ASD, so presumably a psychologist or paediatrician is involved, if anyone was to do a home visit I'd expect it to be one of these professionals dealing with the ASD diagnosis, not his nursery teacher.

I know that some nursery and school teachers do home visits in the transition from nursery to school but from what you've said, this is to do with his possible ASD dx, not moving to school.

Personally I'd refuse as I don't see why she should be doing a home visit, she isn't diagnosing your child.

Stressedtothehilt Mon 29-Apr-13 19:10:52

I've had sessions at home with CDC nursery workers that were really good and useful. Then I've had sessions at home with a child pyschologist to see how I interact with DD which quite frankly was awful! I felt le a shitty parent and the Pysch put me down constantly, told me my 3 storey house was tiny! and that dd was bored! I will never ever subject myself to that again!
If you do it just be prepared

BeeMom Mon 29-Apr-13 18:22:15

I agree with Handywoman regarding ulterior motives. There can be a huge benefit to an assessment like that, as invasive as it may seem, but in order for it to be helpful/supportive, several things have to occur/be in place...

1) absolute lack of judgement, both on the part of the assessor and the family
2) absolute willingness to accept criticism without internalizing it or getting into a spiral of "I am useless as a parent" or "that sodding cow doesn't have a clue"
3) broad and varied cultural understanding on the part of the assessor
4) honesty and transparency across the board
5) the assessor MUST be VERY experienced, and able to observe without inference regarding motivation

However, our homes are our sanctuary. Our most intimate moments occur there, we generally experience or deal with the highest and lowest points of our lives behind the closed and locked doors of our "castle". Our parenting is an extension of ourselves, we identify ourselves in relation to our children - when those skills are critiqued and dissected, even when this is not the intent, it feels like a personal affront or insult.

We expect that the assessor is looking to find fault or weakness, and will do our best to be "perfect" while being assessed - that is why formal assessments of all types are inherently flawed.

We are not robots, when our "territory" is violated, we either go on the defensive or the attack. When our territory is violated, and then the perceived attack becomes even more personal, nothing productive can come of it, but it can be exceptionally damaging.

Now, my childhood was less than exceptional. Parents divorced when I was 1.5, mother remarried 3 more times (4 if you could her greatest love - the bottle), father twice. My mother's marriages were always brief, she essentially raised us on her own. There was a favourite child hint, it wasn't me and I had problems of my own fitting in with my peers. Back and forth between parents, I was essentially raising myself by the time I was 12. I was hospitalised with mental health issues at 17, and my mother and father both told the social worker they didn't want me (I wasn't trouble, or disruptive, just quiet and withdrawn). Instead, I went into a group home, then out to live independently. I worked full time and had my own place while I finished high school and went to university to earn my degree.

Needless to say, I didn't have the greatest role models for parenting. IF I could separate the emotion from my own parenting ability, I am SURE I could learn a lot that would help with Bee's challenging behaviour by having someone observe and critique the quality of our interactions. However, they would have to know about ALL of the intermeshing gears in my history, and DH's, and what has happened since Bee was born, and what happened before then, too.

If I tried to be as open and honest as I could, I would still not be able to provide all the background for the assessment to be truly transparent. Too much water has flowed under that bridge.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Apr-13 18:11:57

Ask her for her reasons in writing. It isn't necessarily a bad thing but I want to be clear about the reasons.

If I agreed to it I would probably be a bit cheeky in return and ask when I should come into the nursery to observe ds and how he interacts in their environment with the staff and other children.d

zzzzz Mon 29-Apr-13 18:06:47

I wouldn't be bothered at all by someone I wanted to assess ds whose opinion I valued (and could use) and who was qualified to do it, came to my house. In fact I asked the EdPsych ds saw to come to the house, because he behaved so very differently in his own environment.

That's not the same as his nursery nurse, with no clear agenda.

Aika Mon 29-Apr-13 17:58:33

After reading your helpful comments I asked myself why I am freaking out as I honestly have nothing to hide. My DC1 is doing really really well academically and socially and I know we have done everything we could for DC2 to develop. I guess I hate the idea of being judged for my parenting and, although I like the teacher, I don't completely trust her not to jump at some silly conclusions. I would much prefer someone qualified to do the assessments if necessary.

DailyNameChanger Mon 29-Apr-13 17:33:54

I had this some years ago with my first son at nursery. He was a late talker and his key worker asked to come and do a home visit. I was a bit freaked out too. Mainly because I found his interaction completely different when someone else came round so I couldn't see what would be achieved. Anyway I bumped into the nursery senco in a supermarket and stopped for a chat and just asked her why the keyworker needed to come round my house. Nothing came of it after that. I'm not sure she had even told her superiors and tbh, she was a NVQ qualified nursery assistant who also worked part time in a shop. Nothing wrong with any of that but she wasn't qualified to come round and do assessments in my house. I don't think there was anything sinister though, I think she just had concerns about him at nursery and wanted to see if he was different at home. I have always been a bit freaked about things like this but as time has gone on and my second child has now been diagnosed with ASD, I am a lot more chilled now and don't feels so vulnerable. Whenever HVs have come to my house they've always said they like coming round because i'm so normal lol I think that's a compliment?!!

zzzzz Mon 29-Apr-13 17:29:29

For me it's not about "having something to hide", it's about privacy and our right to it. Having a child with sn lays you open to a world of judgement and intrusion that drives me a bit potty.

Unless I understand exactly why a question is being asked/an observation being undertaken, I fail to see why I would allow my child to participate?

Why on earth wouldn't this be a reasonable expectation?

PolterGoose Mon 29-Apr-13 17:19:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Handywoman Mon 29-Apr-13 17:15:54

I think by 'ulterior motives' we might be talking about an general assessment of the situation your ds is growing up in. More specifically, whether he has adequate opportunities to flourish in terms of his physical, emotional and cognitive development (what sort of toys does he have, does the home seem a 'happy' place, how your ds behaves and interacts with you at home and whether he appears 'securely attached' etc.). The problem with this is children can live in what appears to be a perfect home and in fact suffer appalling emotional abuse and harmful neglect. Therefore the person making this judgement needs to be properly clued up, otherwise it becomes a subjective judgement of little value.

If the teacher fails to makes it clear what she is looking for and what criteria will be used, or if she herself is unclear about this assessment, it is easy for the assessed party to feel there is something 'fishy' going on. In which case instead of the Paed/Psych putting you through a 'let's blame the parents first' assessment it's the nursery school teacher doing this (which imo could be even worse since you see her five days a week = nightmare).

frizzcat Mon 29-Apr-13 16:51:21

More than a year!? confused
If you are not clear on the purpose then personally I'd be telling her the thoughts I'd expressed here to ensure she clarifies her purpose - I would not take too kindly to it either. Sorry, I thought it was the informal meet we have. I'd also be inclined to put my questions in writing tbh - has she made the request official or was it just a verbal?
You say you have a good relationship with her, talk to her about it, it may well be she is trying to support him better - but you'll get a better feel if you talk to her

Aika Mon 29-Apr-13 16:39:23

BTW, what 'ulterior motives' might she have??

Aika Mon 29-Apr-13 16:38:46

Thank you all so much. I wish the teacher would explain herself as clearly as Handywoman, BeeMom did.

frizzcat we've been with them for more than a year now, so it's a bit too late for the 'get to know you'.

We really like the teacher and she probably means well, but I doubt she is qualified to do whatever assessment is necessary. The paranoid side of me is freaking out, but not sure why.

I think I would politely decline at this point and wait for the specialists' opinion first.

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