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Where the heck do I go from here?

(18 Posts)
CrunchieFeeling Fri 07-Nov-14 19:34:44

DC is 4. They have been assessed as having a social interactive development delay of around 2years, and an 18month speech delay. Paeds will complete assessment early next year to decide if to refer on for ASD. Ed psych referral made for probable SEN for behavioural issues.

Preschool is going very badly. DC hitting and kicking at staff and pupils when overwhelmed. So bad that I have started going in and acting as de facto one to one - it's like I'm translating the situation into terms DC can understand. No staff member has worked with us this week - I've been following DC around and interceding when it looks like kicking off. DC very stressed by preschool - very unhappy there, talks about how they are a naughty child there (DC knows the behaviours which are 'naughty' but seems unable to control them which increases their anxiety hugely)

Today. I was told that on Monday they have VIPs coming from local education dept and could I therefore not bring DC in. This was later 'clarified' to mean that they were worried DC might react badly to strangers (not true, never suggested or discussed) and that I should bring them in later when then visitors had gone.

Any ideas where I go from here? I'm quite unhappy that my DC should be kept out of sight because of their SN/SEN - do I need to get a grip? Am I massively over reacting? I was thinking if not taking them in on Monday but instead phoning paeds / ed psych and explaining the deteriorating situation wrt DC behaviour and asking to speed up referral.

Btw one DC, trying to be gender neutral (not sure why as preschool would obvs recognise this scenario but still...)

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Nov-14 20:01:32

I am sorry if this seems harsh but I wouldnt be going back, ever!!

This is your Ds's first experience of education and it is rubbish!!

I would be looking for a setting that is inclusive and that is going to take advice from outside professionals about how best to include your Ds.

Good luckflowers

CrunchieFeeling Fri 07-Nov-14 20:25:07

Phew I read the first few words there and thought I was going to be bollocked grin

I was in touch with an advice service for ASD who help support parents and schools and they have been advising the preschool to limit his time there to only thirty minutes a day which is missing part of the problem - he doesn't melt down at the end of his time there; often it starts badly with an episode as soon as he goes in.

Firstnamelastname Fri 07-Nov-14 20:34:19

I agree with I need more patience

How long has he left at preschool? 2 1/2 terms?

What are the alternatives like near you?

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Nov-14 20:35:42

Ha ha! Nope no bollocking on the SN pages we are very friendly grin

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Nov-14 20:42:10

Hmm, it is difficult if the setting are being told to reduce his sessions.

Part of the problem in my experience with so called ASD advisors is that they often see all children with Asd as the same and try to apply the same strategies for all the children that they work with hmm

Just remember that no matter what anyone says you know your Ds better than anyone and the preschool [if you want him to stay] need to work with you!

Also if his social development is delayed he will need them to treat him as though he is a younger child when it comes to settling, behaviour and following rules and routines!

A friend of mine was recently told that her child with autism was immature!!! Well no shit sherlock! That would be because she has developmental delays confused And this was from an outstanding Nursery which is supposed to be inclusive!

Education is a minefield sad

CrunchieFeeling Fri 07-Nov-14 21:03:19

I should have said - he goes for just over an hour each day so not the whole three hour session or anything close to it.

The preschool ate very willing to work with me - they've accommodated me going in and staying every day. But I'm a little dismayed at some of the things I've seen as I know dc just can't tolerate them which is making me worry that I'm asking something of him which I know he can't yet do - for example is so very very noisy there and he is totally stressed to the limit just trying to handle that. Add in 40 children all inundating him with interactions and he's just overwhelmed.

Is it an issue that they've asked for him to avoid their vip visitors or not so much? I don't want to lose sight of the woods for the trees - my main focus is on trying to work with them to get him support but on the other hand, it really isn't very nice is it?

CrunchieFeeling Fri 07-Nov-14 21:04:36

Btw Thank you both for your responses. I'm grateful you've taken the time to reply smile

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Nov-14 21:31:41

I do think it is very wrong of them to suggest you dont take him when the VIP's are visiting but it is probably more because they know they are not managing very well and not to save him!

I always think that if people know they are doing their jobs properly and including children the way they should be then they should welcome visitors so they can showcase their hard work!

Wanting him not to be there speaks volumes.

Also I think 40 is a huge number for a preschool! It is bigger than a reception class! No wonder he is overwhelmed!

Firstnamelastname Fri 07-Nov-14 22:05:03

From my experiences, I think the best way of finding places is word of mouth
So - could you contact your local parent group for recommendations. Then look round, be totally up front.
(Can ask about schools too)
Find somewhere that he feels wanted.
Don't know if this place is a day nursery type preschool but sometimes the state run nurseries are better IME

bedelia Fri 07-Nov-14 22:15:23

CrunchieFeeling, aside from allowing you to go in with your DC, has the Preschool offered any other strategies to help DC feel more comfortable and/or work on "inclusiveness"?

My DS has been attending a state-run nursery (attached to his big sister's school) for just over one term. Within a month, his key-worker identified some of his needs and worked with me to build a plan leading up to transitions for nursery/reception; requested assessments (with a view to extra help) from the LEA; began to suggest activities we can continue at home and explains methods used in nursery... Perhaps we're lucky to have "dropped on" to a good nursery, but if I were you I'd be seriously considering alternatives if your DC's preschool hasn't offered any other help than allowing you to stay.

Ineedmorepatience - when my DS moves up to the next "level" of nursery (just after Christmas) he will unfortunately be in a similarly large class: up to 13 children for each of three of the three adults (so 39 total). I'm told it's because of changes to childcare guidelines, but am dreading it nonetheless.

Firstnamelastname Fri 07-Nov-14 22:45:01

Hopefully Crunchie, they would be able to apply for some funding to get a lower ratio - ditto for Bedelia.

Crunchie, we were at a nursery like yours but didn't move DS
We then landed on a great state school & the difference is astonishing in what they put in place.
(I so regret not transferring him to a nursery like Bedelia's - I had no idea of what could have been put in place at the time)

2boysnamedR Fri 07-Nov-14 23:18:54

Is he under early years?? They have been amazing for me

CrunchieFeeling Sat 08-Nov-14 08:11:15

2boys - I have no idea about early years, but I was told that the VIPs were from the early years team and they specifically don't want DS in preschool when they are visiting so I assume not?

Bedelia - we have a book which is passed between us which records whether DS had a good day or not and which activities he did that day, but that doesn't actually help him. They tried setting up a quiet time corner for him, but it's inaccessible unless they rearrange the room which they only did a few times as DS didn't use it (it would take many weeks for DS to be comfortable with it). They did have the odd session where a staff member worked with him one to one and they always went really well but they seem to have become bored with that.

A huge problem is that it's totally unstructured - random children are grabbed by members of staff to do activities whenever they feel like and DS is left to wander the room. He's resistant to joining in anything like painting and would need support to do so.

Is it reasonable to expect them to help him more or can they just say that if he needs that level of help he should be elsewhere? (Where????)

firstname it is indeed a day nursery type preschool. Most preschools here are full and I don't think I'll be able to get him in anywhere else but I'll ask the ed dept on Monday I think just to see what options there are...

Firstnamelastname Mon 10-Nov-14 19:43:37

How did it go today Crunchie

CrunchieFeeling Mon 10-Nov-14 21:31:01

Hello first name! In the end we didn't take dc in to preschool - I left a quick message but didn't get into the whys and wherefores and my feeling is, when I take dc in to morrow, that I will avoid them them too.

I can't see anything positive in talking about why they didn't want dc in today. It was in fact the early years representative that they wanted us hidden from. I think that whilemI'm plenty angry at the idea of hiding my son away, I think going forward, everything has to be focused on supporting ny dc as much as possible - that's the important bit isn't it? So if anyone has any ideas about how the preschool can help then Im all ears - I know they mentioned an IEP but don't know if one has been completed. Any ideas on things to help ds - I was thinking of structuring his time there more, so a laminated chart with say four places for different activities to be stuck on, and the when they're done it would be home time? Also, if I'm there, then a member of staff working with me and ds - they were kinda shrug-gy last week and left us alone saying "well you have that bond with him" but they could join in a little to create a bond? Does anyone have any other ideas - I would be really grateful for any thoughts smile

bedelia Mon 10-Nov-14 22:39:02

CrunchieFeeling - Much kudos to you smile Obviously your DS should be your main focus, and by concentrating oh him and what he needs you'll be heading in the right direction.

My gut feeling is that his current preschool is not (and may not be able to) meet his needs. I'm certainly no expert but in your position (and if there were no other way of finding an alternative) I'd be doing one of two things:

- Arrange a meeting with DS's key worker (he should have one). Ask about the goals they hope he can achieve during the remaining time he will spend there and what you - as a parent - can do to support this. If the meeting is refused or is unsatisfactory, proceed to the second suggestion regardless.

- Alternatively, try to find contact details of the "Early Years" team in your area, explain your situation and ask them what you as a parent can do to support DS in his current setting.

I realise my second suggestion might seem a bit "underhand", but as explained in the EYFS statutory framework, "All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes", and quite frankly from what I've read so far, your preschool is not doing this effectively.

Much information about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) can be found here: www.foundationyears.org.uk/eyfs-statutory-framework/

Aside from this, I can only suggest a few tips gleaned from my own DS's key worker (which have helped us immensely so far, though of course this effectiveness is subjective and may not work for you):

- Be clear about your (and preschool's) expectations of behaviour
- Eye contact (including getting down to DS's level) when communicating with him.
- Short, clear instructions
- Makaton and visual aids (pictures of happy/sad faces, for example) to reinforce what you are saying
- (Small) Group time daily (max 3 or 4 children) to encourage turn taking and socialisation through simple games and shared experiences (such as taking turns at snack time). If there's activities you can do at home too, all the better!
- Reinforce positive behaviour

Your idea of a chart with activities sounds like a wonderful starting point =) I might be tempted to try just two or three activities to begin with and build on from there; explain to your DS beforehand and reinforce throughout your time there, make it really visual and consistent.

I really hope for both of you that things work out better soon, one way or another. Sending big hugs and positive vibes your way flowers

mymatemax Mon 10-Nov-14 23:08:46

maybe it was your son they were trying to keep hidden but the fact that they are not able to support a child without a parent present.
It wouldn't show them in a very good like.
Do they get any additional funding to support your son?
From your description it does sound like a large setting & possibly not the right place for him.
Do you have a specialist SEN health visitor in your area that may be able to help find a more suitable nursery.
Do you have a local childrens centre, do they run a pre school SEN group.
It will allow you to see how your dc copes in a smaller, calmer group & the other parents may be able to recommend nurserys/schools

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