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Aaarrrghhh DD and getting out of the door for school...

(19 Posts)
neverputasockinatoaster Wed 19-Nov-14 14:17:50

DD is seven.
Although she has no DX (because we can't get her assessed because we can't get past the triage rotweilers at cahms because she doesn't present at school...) I am pretty certain she has PDA.
Getting out of the house to school has been a nightmare from day one. Once at school she presents well to her teachers.
Getting her to school was one of the factors in my inability to do my job properly because of the mind blowing stress and distress I felt.
We thought it was because of the hustle of getting out of the door so we had high hopes when I stopped working and they changed schools. The start of the day is much more relaxed and for a while all was well. However, since half term, it has all gone to hell in a hand cart.
She gets up perfectly happy. She gets dressed perfectly happily. She talks about what she is going to do at school today.
Then it is time to clean her teeth and put on shoes and socks and it all goes horribly wrong. It doesn't matter how I phrase it or mix up the routine. She finds something to be stressed about. I KNOW it is all to do with the change from home to school and not because her plait is 'wrong' or her shoes are 'stupid'..
She then wails most of the way to school no matter how we travel which then stresses DS who is HFA...
As soon as we cross the threshold of school and she's had a cuddle she goes in happily and I come home a wreck and collapse with -gin- a cup of tea.
School are at a loss. She's fine once she's there. Everything she gives as a reason has been sorted.
I don't know what else to do.

Mollyweasley Wed 19-Nov-14 15:50:12

Although my children are a bit older, I am in a similar situation and know how exhausting and frustrating it is so these are for you flowers. Do you ask her to do her teeth and put her shoes on?

neverputasockinatoaster Wed 19-Nov-14 17:11:11

I either say 'teeth and shoes' which is the method that works best with DS or I say 'it's time for teeth and shoes' and then go and put the bags by the door.
Up until half term this worked brilliantly!

Mollyweasley Wed 19-Nov-14 17:50:36

That sounds good. I find demand avoidance incredibly frustrating! Have you thought of using a timer. And tell him that when it rings it is time for shoes and teeth ( this way you remove demand completely! The timer asks not you). you could also have a sticker chart: He gets a sticker for shoes and one for teeth when he is ready? Not sure if it would work but might be worth a try. It would sort of turn things maybe to a more positive tone. Perhaps at first he might not do his teeth, but after a while he might do. Also do you feel pressurise to get to school on time, would you be able to think " I'll get there when I get there, might remove a bit more pressure).Also are his socks not a problem because there were a nightmare for DS and we had to get seamless socks.These are just suggestions as I know this to be incredibly difficult, and I know it might not work ( I have the same kind of struggle here!).

Ineedmorepatience Wed 19-Nov-14 17:54:48

We use a visual time table, Dd3 has all the steps she needs to get ready for school on laminated strips of paper velcroed to a piece of felt. As she completes each step she removes it and places it in an envelope so it is done.Some one on here recommended it too me about 3 yrs ago!!

This method has reduced the demands I place on her to zero before school, she doesnt need to even speak if she doesnt want to and I never have to say have you done x, y or z!

Not sure if this would work if you suspect PDA but it has worked for us over the years with a Dd with Asd and Spd who is very demand avoidant when stressed.

We made the timeline together she chose the colour of the paper, the font the size etc to give her ownership of it and for us it has been brilliant.

Dd3's SALT tried to get us to move on from this method as she has now moved to secondary but we couldnt come up with a better, more grown up version. Also we wanted to reduce the number of changes at the stressfull transition time.

It may or may not work for your Dd but I guess it could be worth a try.

Good luck flowers

neverputasockinatoaster Wed 19-Nov-14 21:16:28

I like the idea of a timetable and a sticker chart.
The timer might work too as we use a traffic light timer for DS and activities coming to an end.
Thank you.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 19-Nov-14 21:40:33

Not saying your Dd is the same as mine but I have never been able to use timers for Dd3, she would just run around flapping and getting in a panic and not actually manage to acheive anything [speaks from experience] grin

Worth a try though if she is used to seeing one being used smile

Mollyweasley Thu 20-Nov-14 07:48:25

I know what you mean*ineed*, but I actually use the alarm on my phone so that you don't see time go. Another one which I think doesn't trigger panic is time timers (there is an app for them). I don't know why but instead of giving the idea that time is going quickly, they seem to act as if you have plenty of time left!

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Nov-14 23:22:03

have you asked her whether she would like you to do her teeth or will she do it herself? same with shoes?

have you made it a race to get out of the door first? )ie claim that you are going to be first and she can not possibly be fast enough to beat you... then the overdramatic wailing that you were wrong and you thought you were definitely going to win this time...

ask her what she needs to do next?

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Nov-14 23:23:50

timing works if you are doing the counting down and adjust the timing to meet the childs speed... proper fixed length units of time are a disaster.

Fool4u Fri 21-Nov-14 01:02:19

Without crashing the thread with my own situation.. We're in the "lucky" position of having CAMHS intervention to the point where we have a psychology nurse who comes to our house each morning! Although we're in week 8 of complete school refusal, my DS is also 7 so some of the things we're trying to implement may be relevant & useful. The plan for us was "social story" book to reaffirm exactly what happens on a school day.. Emphasis on how much fun it is at school. This is in conjunction with a visual Velcro timetable, posting each morning activity in a special box when completed. When all tasks are completed there's a "grab bag" of small surprise rewards by the front door (that can be anything that appeals to your child., in our case it's stickers & dinky type cars), which DS can take with him & provides a distraction on the transition between home & school. It's all about easing the anxiety of the home school transition., it hasn't worked for us yet!! & I'm not saying it's the solution to your problem as every child is so different but it might be worth a try

Fool4u Fri 21-Nov-14 01:12:29

Should've said its 1 surprise reward a day from the grab bag .. Not the whole bag.. I Have no wish to add to anyone's stress by sending them bankrupt!!

Ineedmorepatience Fri 21-Nov-14 08:07:05

Hi fool that is great and really helpful to everyone. Things must have been awful for you and your Ds for to be getting this support and I hope it is helping.

Thanks for sharing so others can benefit from the advice smile flowers

Handywoman Fri 21-Nov-14 18:54:36

Think it was me with the laminated tasks on Velcro. Think I may need to revisit this method as we had near total refusal on Monday (dd2, 9yo, ASD). It is so awful and makes the whole day traumatic. Socks appear to be the 'focus'. Just bought seamless ones but am not holding out much hope because she says they are too 'squeezy'.

1805 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:42:14

Hi. I can get what you're dealing with by the sounds of it. Dd (9) recently dx ASD, I reckon PDA. Lovely at school, they didn't believe me etc etc….

Our problems - getting out of bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast, shoes and socks, school snack, into the car, out of the car.

What we did - bought a supply of waffles for breakfast (her choice), let her have an extra 30mins in bed (deal was she then got up without fuss) - risky, but it worked, made a velcro "monkey" chart (she likes monkeys, monkey climbs a tree with each stage of getting ready, gets a banana at the top - 6 bananas = 50p of sweets), shoes and socks on in school car park (no idea why this is ok, but it is). All this = calmer school run.

It's not easy, but you have to persevere. The monkey chart works because I don't ask her to do anything, I simply say "where is monkey at the moment?" which prompts her to do the next task. The waffles work as she can smell them being warmed up.

Having said all this, she wouldn't get out the car at school this morning, and after a 30min stand-off, had to get her teacher to come and get her out. (she had a french test which she hadn't revised for = anxiety) And tonight she refused to go to bed, but all in all, we're on a good roll at the moment!

wine cake

1805 Fri 21-Nov-14 23:44:11

- has anyone come across bottle green seamless socks?

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Sat 22-Nov-14 00:05:29

Saw this and thought of you! No words of wisdom, I have this every day with dd aged 7. The only thing that spurs her on is seeing her friend walk past so she suddenly gets a wriggle on to try and catch her up. Is there anyone who could knock for you to walk together? We've also got a reward chart if she's ready by 8.15 (giving her an extra 20 mins after that if she's ready to watch TV/play).

neverputasockinatoaster Mon 24-Nov-14 22:23:15

Lots of great ideas, thank you!
My mum made an interesting point this weekend.. DD has always been anxious about my whereabouts. Once she is in bed she doesn't want me to leave the room for example.
Friday she was a little angel leaving for school but my mum was here. Mum thinks she's worried I'm lonely or that I might disappear. When mum's here she knows I'm not alone?
DD has said she misses me when she's at school.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 25-Nov-14 08:10:16

Yes Dd3 used to worry about me too, I work most days now in an early years setting right outside the back gate of her new school and she seems to be less worried now!

Dd3 is extremely clingy and struggles with seperation anxiety, sometimes I feel like I am wearing her.

Keep reassuring your Dd that you are an adult and she doesnt need to worry about you. Our girls are massive worriers and it can all become too much for them sometimes sad

Good luck flowers

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