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Refusal to partake at school

(8 Posts)
Jerbil Sun 02-Mar-14 00:58:59

Does sending an ASD/SPD child to the head teacher work for refusal to do something? I'm talking about a child who behaves usually. He rarely gets into any trouble. The first event I agreed with as he simply refused to do his work. This time, he refused to get changed for his motor skills group and said he didn't want to do it. Usually he enjoys this. When we spoke he told me he'd had a tummy ache that dinner time. Also they had a special art day in his class and he loves art so even the teacher wondered if it was to do with that. He's had a turbulent week with his regular teacher absent and 4 replacements. He tends to get terrified at being in trouble and the first hint of trouble makes him clam up and not speak which is why then he cannot explain why he doesn't want to do something then they just think he's being awkward. Don't know how to handle this really. Just want opinions on whether I'm just being overprotective. But I just wondered if a more positive approach by them would help.

LilTreacle Sun 02-Mar-14 05:36:14

We find that refusal to do something is a sure sign of anxiety. Ds is dx AS and ADHD.
The stronger the refusal the more anxious he is. Ds cant rationalise why he feels anxious, he just knows he needs to feel more in control, so will refuse requests, becoming very defiant if the request is not dropped.

For ds it is an anxiety driven need to be in control.

The lack of consistency for your ds this week has caused him problems, and his new refusal behaviour is probably linked to that. The staff at school need to be sensitive to this and help him feel more settled.

Hopefully his class teacher will be back next week and things will go back to normal.

OneInEight Sun 02-Mar-14 08:55:56

Not for ds1 and ds2. The refusal would probably be because their anxiety levels were high and whatever the demand was would be sufficient to push them over the edge. ds2 for example would sometimes refuse to complete literacy tasks because they either asked him to describe feelings or write from some-one else's view point. It is problematic because neither would be able to explain at the point of refusal why they could not do what was asked for them. Sending to the head-teacher would just increase stress levels and possibly lead to meltdown. Obviously staff sickness etc is unpredictable but I wonder if it would help if school and you complete a 'passport' for your child so that incoming supply teachers are aware of the issues with your child and which strategies work best for her.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 02-Mar-14 09:04:07

Poor Ds jerbil sad

I agree with the others, it is probably anxiety that caused the behaviour and that goes with the territory of Asd/spd.

I know of an older boy who had exclusion after exclusion for passively resisting any attempts to get him to do any work otherr than what he was confident with.

I think your Ds's school need a kick up the backside and to be told firmly that this is not to happen again. He was probably terrified, poor thing.

Good luck I hope you can get this sorted!

Jerbil Sun 02-Mar-14 09:20:09

Yes anxiety definitely a huge factor. In fact over the past month he has developed OCD type symptoms. He always had them but they were always low key. The half term break did him some good. Now, according to school, he is only washing his hands every 20 minutes instead of every 5. He won't even touch his ipad with his fingers - uses his knuckles instead. Uses his wrists to lift it.

The head handled the absence of his teacher extremely well in the first instance but then the supply went off sick for a couple of days! The disappointing fact here is that the supply teachers are not to blame, and it was the TA who knows him and all his issues that sent him. I still don't think they all get him. I'm not sure if his regular teacher would have done it. He is a complex kid with huge issues and how he behaves so well with all this going on in his head is a mystery that I'm grateful for right now.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 02-Mar-14 09:26:59

I suppose the problem is that the TA was probably overstretched and ran out of ideas, it is still not good enough though.

What about suggesting that they set up a safe space for your Ds in case something similar happens again. I have worked in schools and believe me classrooms can change vastly in the presence of a supply teacher. My guess is that everything had changed for him and he simply couldnt cope.

Does he have a statement jerbil ?

youarewinning Sun 02-Mar-14 09:52:19

I'd say something. My Ds is the same. He doesn't want to do something - usually anxiety - ask him why he backs off more and cannot say why. (Probably as more anxious).

Him then being told off for it just makes him withdraw more. You then have to start again on working with him trying new stuff, or not worrying about telling a teacher something because they won't listen.

And that's the crux of it - he won't say anything because he feels they don't listen. When I fact it's often because he's not explaining himself well.

I remind the school they are the adults in this and it's their job to try and rathom out why DS is behaving that way. I thought they wouldn't take too kindly to my phrasing it like that but instead added to his IEP he can access ELSA in situations like this.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 02-Mar-14 14:43:39

youare I have heard of this ELSA on this board before so have just googled.

Dd3 so needs access to an ELSA!

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