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don't know what is going on with DD, feel like crying, but it won't help, will it?

(17 Posts)
edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 11:57:46

School phoned me before I had even got home this morning. DD has hurt another child in her class and has been given a half day internal exclusion. Its far from the first time something like this has happened and unfortunately, it probably won't be the last. I just don't know what to do anymore, to try and stop it. Everything I have tried has got us no where and in fact for the last few weeks it has been getting worse again.

school's POV: DD had put a toy on her desk, the teacher moved it, DD got up and hurt child X, who was across the classroom. It was deliberate and unprovoked.

DD's POV: child X has been bullying her for months, but she can't tell the teacher because it wouldn't be kind to get X into trouble. Being kind is a class rule. Yesterday X said she was going to 'kill DD with bombs' so DD is scared and takes a toy to school to protect her. She is safe and can't be killed if she has the toy. when the teacher moves the toy off her desk, DD is now not safe and might get killed by X, so she attacks X first.

The problem is I can see both points of view, but obviously they just don't fit together. Neither side seems to understand the other and I am some sort of translator in the middle. DD knows hurting is wrong. School know she has anxiety and strange rituals. Yet stuff like this keeps happening.

what is going on here? and what can I do to fix it?

DeafLeopard Tue 21-May-13 12:02:38

"what is going on here?" - the school is woefully lacking in empathy and understanding of SN for starters.

Without knowing how old your DD is and any back story, I would suggest:

- a meeting with teacher and SENCO
- (I'm working on the assumption that there is no diagnosis) trip to GP to ask for referral
- look into social stories to help your DD understand others POV (social stories not just useful for children with ASD, they are good for anyone iwth social difficulties)

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 12:46:16

DD is 7 years old, Year 2.

I spoke to the teacher this morning, as I have numerous times since reception year, but I really don't know what to say anymore. Every suggestion doesn't seem to work in practise. The SENCO applied for a statement for DD and she did have 1:1 in the afternoons for a whole term until that TA left. She now says they are looking to employ someone new from September.

DD has a diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder, diagnosed by ENT and is waiting to see an Occupational Therapist about her other sensory issues and problems with motor skills and co-ordination. I have been told this will take 2 years. I have asked the GP about DD having some kind of developmental assessment before. He sent in the school nurse who said they didn't do them at age 6. The outcome of it was I got 2 leaflets in the post, 1 about local parenting classes, the other about bedwetting because apparently DD was in her PE kit that day because her uniform was wet. When I asked DD it was because she spilled her drink at lunchtime not because she wet herself, which the school also confirmed to me.

we have also done social stories with DD. they work at times but like today they don't always especially when she is anxious or scared. She knows it is wrong to hit people, even if she doesn't grasp that it hurts the other person. The problem is when X said she was going to kill DD, she truly believes it, however implausible killing with bombs in school may be. Once it is in DD's head then it will actually happen and nothing will change that, only way to stop the anxiety is to let her do the things she needs to make herself safe. But the teacher didn't know that is what the toy was for and DD didn't say for the reasons I said earlier.

I will try again on getting DD to understand that sometimes the things people say are lies and not true so she shouldn't believe it. the problem is she then doesn't know how to tell when it is a lie or not. There are no rules to say in which situations someone might be lying so she can only seem to do either believe everyone all the time, or believe no one ever. Neither of those options are going to help are they?

I just feel like I going round in circles, getting nowhere and the whole time DD gets further behind at school because she is not in class and then her self esteem suffers because she thinks she is stupid and naughty. It makes me want to cry not knowing what to do or even why it is happening.

DisAstrophe Tue 21-May-13 15:39:51

You say the SENCo applied for a statement for dd and then she had a 1to1 until the TA left.

did you dd get the statement? and did the statement set out what support your dd should get?

Total rubbish about dd being too young for an assessment as I'm sure you realise. Go back to gp and ask for a referral to a community or developmental paediatrician. Get school to back this request up.

Also ask school to get in an educational psychologist to assess her needs.

Do you document your concerns in writing? I would follow up your conversation this morning with an email. Apologise for your dd's behaviour and express regret that she hurt another child. Ask what they school plans to do to help your dd and keep the other children safe?

DeafLeopard Tue 21-May-13 16:13:21

So have you agreed with the teacher that DD can keep the toy on her desk to keep her safe? And can that be put in her IEP so that anyone else covering the class knows not to move it?

DS struggled with the "being kind" thing and wouldn't tell tales on people who were horrible to him. We flipped it round and said if someone was unkind first (other child bullying) then it was ok to tell as this wouldn't be classed as unkind.

What does the statement say? If the statement says she should be having 1:1 then you need to nag the school to get this in place now not September

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 16:20:09

Yes I did get the statement but it doesn't say she should be having a 1:1, that was just what the school did, although they told me they were getting no extra money to cover it, it came out of the school's own budget.

It also said she should have social skills and stress management programs, but I don't know if she gets them. It says she should also be allowed to use a computer or dictation instead of writing which does happen sometimes but its up to the teacher when. I think there was also a part about DD being able to leave the class and go to a quiet room when she is anxious and I'm quite sure this never happens as I know today, DD tried to leave the class and it was when she was stopped she then hurt the other child.

also DD has seen an educational psychologist in the past at school. They got her to do some tests that showed she was capable of working at the same level as her peers and was only behind due to the amount of learning she has missed due to not being in the class room all day everyday. I knew this already but it was good to get it officially I suppose. When DD did have a TA 1:1 she actually went up 1 or 2 sub levels in every subject but since then her progress has flat lined again.

Anyway as an update, at home time DD came out in floods of tears. I was told when she went back to her class this afternoon, on two separate occasions X said things which caused DD to react. One of them was criticising DD's work but fortunately this time DD didn't do anything except start crying.

When the teacher came over I did say I thought they weren't taking DD's needs into account and that she should have been given time to calm down this morning. I also said again that I feel DD is being bullied and I want something done about it, but I think I may have been too harsh as the teacher actually almost started crying too. Now I feel bad about that as well as feeling I am failing DD and still have no idea what to do about it.

DisAstrophe Tue 21-May-13 16:33:47

Sounds like the teacher is really struggling too. Time for a formal meeting with the school?

What support is specified in the statement for your dd? The school must have thought she needed one to one at least some of the time. Can you and the school use the annual review of the statement to ask the LEA to increase the amount of 1to1 and support she gets -especially around the times when problems are most likely? If the annual review is not for a while you and the school can decide to have an additional interim review. You can then go through what is detailed in the statement line by line and ask them what they are doing in each area.

Also does she have an IEP and a provision map? I asked for a timetable from my son's previous school to show when they were delivering the social skills group, SALT etc. Was very telling that it took them ages to produce one.

Really think you should push for an assessment by a paediatrician.

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 16:36:41

oh and the toy was only today and the place it 'had' to be would have likely only be known to DD, it tends to be different objects for different things depending on what she is anxious about at that time- a toothbrush was 'needed' so she could talk in a class assembly!. Most days she is ok as long as she has said goodbye to me with the correct number of hugs/kisses, again this is only logical in DD's head so not something that can be planned for really.

BeeMom Tue 21-May-13 16:59:06

You say you feel like crying, but it won't help. I am not sure I agree.

Sometimes, when you get totally overwhelmed, the tears - once you allow yourself to let them out - can be cleansing. On more than one occasion, after a big, snotty, ugly sobbing cry with a more than mild dose of woe is me I found that I could think more clearly and make decisions without getting the emotion in the way.

Give yourself permission to lose it - it sounds like you need it right now.

With regard to your DD's "object", is there any chance she can carry a little purse or pocket with her safe object inside? If it is always with her, it can protect her, and if it is "on her person" no one can take it.

Anxiety, especially as complex as your DD's, can be exhausting for everyone involved. I am sorry she got the 1/2 day exclusion, but there is a tiny bit of me that is happy to hear that the bully got thumped. Not appropriate, I know, but satisfying nonetheless... blush

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 18:09:13

True and the crying may come later tonight once all DC are in bed, until then I will keep up the pretence of being strong mummy who will sort everything out. Being able to think clearly and know what to do is so hard though, I seem to be searching for what to do next all the time and then pinning my hopes on that being the answer. But it never seems to amount to anything and I have to start over again, never actually getting anywhere in the process.

Last time I went to the GP to ask for a referral to a paediatrician at the child development centre, he told me that the school nurse would need to see DD first and she would decide whether a referral was appropriate. As I explained earlier she wasn't very helpful and no0thing came from it. DD is on the waiting list to see an OT but I'm not sure what kind of assessment that will be and anyway it could be 18 months away.

I will try to ask the GP again and explain what happened last time but I'm not hopeful he will say anything different. I have been googling to see if there is a way to get DD seen privately by a paediatrician but I don't really know what to look for, or how much it is likely to cost. Has anyone had their DC assessed privately and would recommend them? We are in the south east (not London) but I don't mind travelling. Also how much would it be, I don't earn a lot but the way I feel right now I'd consider taking out a loan to pay for it, if there was a chance it would help improve things for DD.

zzzzz Tue 21-May-13 19:07:17

Don't go privately. Your dd should be seeing an Nhs paediatrician. Go back and ask to be referred again. Ask the CT to lend her support if necessary.

Where the TAs funding comes from is not your concern. Either the child needs 1to1 or she doesn't. If she does they MUST provide it, whether from their own coffers (which include funding or SN) or by applying for extra funding from the LA.

When school went really wrong or ds it was soul destroying. I felt totally distraught and slightly unhinged. Hang in there, lots of good people who can help here will.

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 20:06:12

she probably should be seen on the nhs, but if she WILL is not necessarily the same thing. Even if the
GP will agree, isn't the waiting list likely to be as long as it is for OT. If so there is no way I am prepared to wait that long. DD has been at school now for 3 years already and I worry she is already so behind that it will be impossible for her to catch up ever. In a few months she will be in junior school, yet she is unable to form the majority of letters correctly and does not know the sounds they make. she can't do a simple maths sum unless somebody physically puts 2 cubes next to each other and says how many although i.e 1+1=? without help she says 'I don't know' to all questions, regardless of whether she does, so standard tests are useless to her. but an EP says she is of normal intelligence and should be at a level with her peers. and she knows that as do her class mates. She thinks she is stupid and naughty, the other children think she is stupid and naughty. the kinder children trat her like a baby sister and try to help her, the less kind mock and tease her or use her for their own entertainment because she is so desperate to please people she will do anything (yes absolutely anything) they say. to the point where she has just had enough and cannot cope, then she at best screams and cries uncontrollably (so gets removed cos she is distrupting the class) and at worst lashes out and hurts herself and others. that is how the little 4 year old who was excited to be starting school, grew into the 7 year old who hides under her bed at the mere mention of the word. then to top it off the person who is supposed to be able to sort everything for her (me) has no clue why this has happened, nor can anyone else, or even find a way to fix it and make it better for her.

PolterGoose Tue 21-May-13 21:44:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edgeoftheabyss Tue 21-May-13 22:43:31

DD isn't often violent in school (almost never at home) but she does disrupt the class in other ways, like making noises or walking around, when she doesn't have 1:1. The standard response from school when I ask why she does it is 'we don't know' and I think that is the problem, they take no notice until she does something wrong so always miss the triggers.

Twice she has had fixed term exclusions in three years, but there have been many, many more internal or informal exclusions. i've lost count of the number of times DD tells me she spent the day photocopying or counting newsletters in the office. Now I have no problem that DD needs to leave the class to calm herself when anxious, she does this at home and goes to her room for 5-10 minutes and is fine after that. i also understand she can't be allowed to disrupt others learning but I feel that others are allowed to disrupt hers, its just not seen as important.

This is exactly what i said to her teacher today, that I send DD to school to get an education, but the way she is treated at school means she is not being given the chance to learn and is being denied an education. That is what caused to teacher to nearly start crying.

Do I have the right to ask for details on how many days this year DD has spent out of class and not learning? Will they have even kept this information and are they likely to let me have it?

PolterGoose Tue 21-May-13 22:47:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

billybobster Tue 21-May-13 23:06:48

When was the statement issued? It should be reviewed anyway within 12 months of its issue.

The way Annual Reviews work is that the school holds a meeting and gets parents, all relevant professionals and the LA (who often don't come) together. They submit recommendations and the LA must make a decision on whether to amend the statement or keep it the same. This decision must be made within 12 months of the issue of the statement.

Depending in when the statement was issued, you could raise this all at the AR but if you still have some time to wait for that, then you could ask school to ask for an emergency review.

Either way, the informal exclusions need to stop. Equally if she is being removed from the class on a consistent basis, school need to say how they are going to address this as she is clearly not accessing the curriculum or even any basic education. I would write/email head and SENCO and ask for a meeting.

billybobster Tue 21-May-13 23:07:53

I should add that the importance of a review is that it gives you the opportunity to appeal if the statement is not amended to tighten up the provision.

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