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Playtime alternatives at sch ASD

(36 Posts)
Skylar123 Thu 30-Jan-14 23:42:50

My Ds is suffering at school I am getting to the bottom of it and I think the unstructured playtime and lunchtime is causing him a problem not to mention the sensory integration issues.
I would be interested to hear what other MS schools offer to help children on the spectrum cope with this difficult period.
My Ds sch have offered for him to sit in the medical room alone which for some children may help but Ds doesn't want to sit alone he wants his friend with him but is not allowed.
Is it too much to ask that sch provide a quiet zone, structured club so Ds can do an activity he enjoys and intergrate with a small group of children with the same interest .
They have a buddy stop but it's not monitored properly.
Any ideas on how to approach the school about tacking this as it is clearly causing a big problem for Ds and I think is a big issue revolving around his school refusal episodes that are happening at least once a week now
Any tips would be very well received thank you in advance

zen1 Fri 31-Jan-14 00:55:44

At DS's school they run a small lunchtime club for children with social communication difficulties. It is run on a separate playground so quieter with lots of different activities set up. There is also another club run for junior children who find it difficult to play outside every day. Here they do things like build lego, k'nex, read comics.

DS is only 5, but the school have set up a 'circle of friends' for him so every day a few children from his class play games with him ( directed by an adult). My DS is terrified of lunchtimes too (severe sensory issues) but the school have been trying to help in trying to manage his anxiety. I don't think it's too much to ask for your son's school to provide something like this. There are likely to be other children in the same position so it could be really beneficial for the school to set up a small quiet area with structured activities.

LilTreacle Fri 31-Jan-14 05:42:23

I wish my ds school were anywhere near as accomodating as yours zen1

Ds school provided 1:1 support in the playground, but this was not structured support , they just stepped in when ds was getting over zealous....and he would react badly. Ds wants to be outside playing, so now he goes out with his TA onhis own. Not something we are happy about. He is ok about it but would like to play with children too.

despite having a number of children on the spectrum school do not provide any kind of club or orgainised outside play for breaktimes with reduced number of children that want to socialise but find doing that with the whole school running around difficult to manage.

I dont think its unreasonable to expect more support, but you might be seen as unreasonable to the school.

claw2 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:50:33

In previous MS school they had a lunch time club for children with sn's only. They sat at a different table away from others in the lunch hall and then went to the nursery to play, instead of the playground. It was a good idea, but badly executed. The children were not supervised enough and ds got punch on the nose, when another child had a meltdown. He was also teased by his class mates for being a 'baby' and playing in the nursery.

At ds's new school they run lunch club, instead of going out to play, all children can attend a lunch club, with different activities every day, chess, wii fit, football etc, etc. Again a good idea, but ds isn't interested in chess or football. When he attends wii fit, all machines are always taken so he doesn't get a turn, so he doesn't go.

He is allowed to go and sit quietly in the reception if he wants to. But when you have a child with many sensory issues, which he has been trying to control, come play time, he needs to run, spin around and let of some steam.

Ideally, ds needs more of a movement break, rather than a playtime and to be supervised by an adult for when he wants to join in with others, as this is when it all goes wrong for him. However he doesn't get this. I am told 'we will keep an eye on him'

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:52:21

Thank you for your replies. It seems it very much depends on the school. Ds sch said they don't have the staff to do anything like that when I briefly mentioned it before. However now I feel more sure that this is causing Ds school refusal which is beginning to become an horrendous order in the mornings I am going to speak to senco again. There are other children like Ds so it would benefit themetoo I am sure.
zen1 your sch sounds very understanding

claw2 Fri 31-Jan-14 07:59:52

I was told by previous school that lunch club was only for children with statements.

However at ds's new school (which is indi and not dependent on LA for funding) they have lunch club for all children.

I think what is 'reasonable' for you to ask for depends on your child's needs. If school are saying your ds has a need, but they dont have the resources to meet it ie don't have the staff, tell them to apply for the funding!

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 08:18:47

Thanks Claw how did you get your child into the indi school was it via the statement? I am going to speak to senco today.

claw2 Fri 31-Jan-14 08:59:29

With great difficulty ie 4 years of MS failing him. He eventually got a statement and indi school named.

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:11:07

Thanks claw sounds awful. I hope he is happy at his info sch now. Ds is screaming and shouting about not going to school again this morning. It's a never ending battle.

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:11:28

Indi not info - silly phone

ouryve Fri 31-Jan-14 09:54:15

Break times having a purpose has been helpful for DS1. He currently has responsibility for the toy shed. This is great, until someone else gets the shed key before him and then he completely loses the plot. He likes to help out with the first aid couch (DS2's 1:1 is a nominated first aider and there's always little ones with bumps and scrapes). When there was a computer room (it had to be turned into a regular classroom) he was computer monitor and made sure everything was shut down and things were where they should be.

He has 1:1 at playtimes in his statement, which does facilitate this flexibility.

ouryve Fri 31-Jan-14 09:56:26

And just one thing, Skylar - if there's a regular day of the week your DS school refuses, it's worth finding out who is on duty, that day. For DS1, a particular teacher being on duty made every single Monday a no go for him, a few years ago.

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 13:54:52

Thanks for all the ideas and comments. There is not a regular pattern with school refusal but it's getting more and more frequent . The HT isn't very sympathetic to it at all.

claw2 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:59:37

Sky that is how ds ended up, school refusing in both MS schools he attended, due to not receiving appropriate support. He eventually ended up with his school anxiety sky high, in A&E for emergency mental health assessment and CAMHS signing him off school. That was this time last year. He is do much better at his new school.

As I said if school are saying they don't have the resources to meet your ds needs, then they need to apply for the resources, its no excuse!

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:35:01

Ah claw how awful for your poor Ds I am so glad things are much better for him now. I can not begin to imagine what it must be like for them when they can't cope.
I spoke to senco today she said Ds now has a choice at lunchtime to go to a quiet garden with two friends or go to main playground. Nothing for playtime though. Apparently Ds choose main playground but Ds tells me he didn't have the choice of the quiet garden, they show him choices by using pictures. He said he only had main playground. Something is not being communicated property so I will look Into it Monday. Ds needs to know he can go to the quiet garden and he is allowed to take his friend. He has become really dependant on one friend to get through playtimes.
Ds said today that he finds sch hard but he doesn't think the others do. I think he is becoming more aware that he is a little different. He said that sch is so hard but he doesn't know why something just happens to him. It's hard no matter what I try. He can't explain why tho. I just pick up on little comments he makes or things he writes in his worry box which all seem to be sch related. What can I do to help him, am considering SA and naming a school , I have no idea how that works or if it's possible so will look Into it. There is a high functioning autism sch quite close to us he may be more suited there. He is really bright and I'm worries to move him out of ms if it isn't the right thing to do but his signals are telling me it isn't working for him.

claw2 Fri 31-Jan-14 23:09:33

Maybe the pictures are too abstract for him. In previous school ds was given a trouser card to show, which was to indicate that he needed the toilet!

Does your ds need a statement to attend HFA school?

If you decide to apply for SA you can get lots of help from here and there are plenty of websites giving step by step instructions etc.

Skylar123 Fri 31-Jan-14 23:43:46

Maybe. I will take a look at what they are actually showing him when offering him choices. he struggles to verbally express himself. Yes statement would be needed to attend hfa sch. It's £25k pa. I'm not looking forward to SA application and will most probably be on here asking for help sooner or later. Have also spoken to Ipsea.

AwfulMaureen Sat 01-Feb-14 00:20:47

Our school has a lego club at lunchtimes which is sometimes swapped for "quiet club" which I think is for DC who want to sit and read or draw in the company of others...they are staffed by teachers or TAs and are excellent....our school is very inclusive and there are a number of children on the spectrum that I'm aware of. I agree that offering for him to sit in the medical room is ridiculous! He's not ill...why should he? He wants to be with other dc and having a nice time. They should sort it out.

claw2 Sat 01-Feb-14 00:22:25

Good idea to take a look.

Ipsea guide is brill and so is IA's

You will get lots of great advice on here too, it was my lifeline, without Mner's im sure ds wouldn't have got a statement.

Good luck smile

Skylar123 Sat 01-Feb-14 01:15:29

Thanks again claw I wouldn't know half the stuff I know now without M'ners.
awful your right they do need to sort it out. Lego club would my Ds perfect lunchtime activity...if only.

youarewinning Sat 01-Feb-14 07:33:30

My DS attends 'lunchtime club' originally set up for him but now used for another child with SN and occasional use by pupils needing extra support.
He goes out for a quick run around after he's eaten and then goes inside and uses the ICT suite. The Elsa is in the suite with them and each child gets to chose a buddy to go with them daily.

youarewinning Sat 01-Feb-14 07:36:05

Btw my DS has no statement or official DX yet.

Skylar123 Sat 01-Feb-14 14:38:24

Thank you all. What about playtimes ? Anything for this or is it too short to expect anything. Ds cannot go inside in lunch hour sch have said can't do it no teachers to enable this to work. He can use quiet area and choose a buddy to join him. This is better than nothing and gets him out of the hustle and bustle area. The only offer for playtime is to sit alone in the medical room .

claw2 Sat 01-Feb-14 14:46:19

Skylar does a buddy want to join him in the quiet area? I could understand lots of volunteers if your ds was getting to use a computer or do something that another child would enjoy, but I can imagine not many children want to be in the quiet area. Does your ds even enjoy just going to a quiet area. Ds would be bored stiff.

Maybe this is why he isn't choosing quiet area?

There are lots of ideas for playtime, lunchtime etc you can suggest. Most would require supervision though and giving a child motivation for wanting to choose them in the first place.

claw2 Sat 01-Feb-14 14:55:22

Most schools use the 'bore them back into the playground' approach and then claim 'but he choose to go into the playground'!

Not many kids want to sit and do something totally boring, while all the other kids have fun!

Ds doesn't want to sit quietly anywhere, or wander aimlessly in a quiet area, he wants to enjoy doing something like everyone else. He just struggles to enjoy the same things as the others, so needs his playtime differanted.

Ds does go into the playground, as it is the lesser of two evils, sitting and reading by himself in reception. But he struggles greatly.

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