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"He's just not learning"(?!)

(21 Posts)
Lesley25 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:57:16

I'm hopping mad.

To clarify:

My ds (Asd ADHD) has 1:1 support at school, a great senco, and a ms school with quite a few children with additional needs -so completely on board with IEPs, etc.
I pick up my ds today and a brief chat to ask how my ds's been and the ta (lovely as she is) said behaviour great, however "he just doesn't seem to be learning- but we can discuss this on Thursday at the iep...."
By this point, I have a hungry ds pulling me to leave and I'm completely flummoxed.
I'm already gearing up now for a heated debate on Thursday with my key questions being (I nicked them from another poster on here)
How can we change the learning environment to help ds learn, and are there (if any) therapist that I haven't explored (salt and OT all ongoing)?

I guess I'm just tired of having to stick on my armour at every bloody meeting with every bloody therapist just to try and ascertain how best I can help my ds and appease everyone

Lesley25 Tue 06-Jan-15 20:19:08

I forgot to add ds is 6

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 06-Jan-15 20:43:46

Well I'd be seeking a behavioural analyst/therapist tbh.

They know how best to do proper functional analysis of learning behaviour to pinpoint exactly where the teaching fails to elicit learning.

No child fails to learn ffs. Failure to learn is a consequence of a failure to teach.

Lesley25 Tue 06-Jan-15 21:16:43

Thanks starlight. I'm going to use that middle Paragraph on Thursday whilst silently shouting out the third paragraph

senvet Tue 06-Jan-15 21:38:16

'he's not learning' Wow.

I bet they back track by the time you get to the meeting.

Do you want more help for ds? - (is 'ongoing SALT and OT' an ongoing battle for it, or do you already have it?). Are you wanting an assessment of SEN for a statement, or a reassessment of an existing statement?

If any of those things, then Please, please consider going softly softly, ever-so-nicey to the meeting and see if you can manage to get them to repeat any area where he is not learning, and get some written record.

This ever-so-nice stuff is because staff tend to become very defensive if they feel under attack. If they feel you are blaming them they may do their level best to think of some instance of progress to defend their record.

The TA may have been thinking that his numbers and letters weren't progressing, or maybe it is the SEN side, and her efforts to teach social skills, or manage sensory issues does not seem to her to be working.

But either way, if you can get them to repeat any area or areas where he is not learning it is your passport to getting more help. Especially if you get a written record. Generate one yourself by an ever-so-nice email if you have to.

Absence of progress either in mainstream subjects or SEN areas is a Code of Practice marker for taking another good look.

And yes, track through each SEN and see what they are doing as a work-around (changing the environment), and what they are doing to make him less prone to having the difficulty. eg for social skills, having support in the playground and a buddy programme is the work-around - changing his environment, and SALT is teaching him social skills to make him more able to function in a mainstream environment.

And if he isn't learning, it will be what more they need to do to help on each of those headings

Of course I am fuming with you, big time, but hoping it will turn out to be a good outcome for you and ds

senvet Tue 06-Jan-15 21:39:03

sorry forgot to tick the watch thread box

zzzzz Tue 06-Jan-15 22:33:32

Can you teach him? If so what do you do?

I agree that they are not teaching if he is not learning. Good teaching starts at where the child is and draws to understanding.

Someone told me ds couldn't learn until he could follow instructions....he can count, add, read, ride a bike, swim, yadda yadda yadda. How does he do that then?

Have examples of how your ds has learnt on the tip of your tongue.

Honk honk

senvet Wed 07-Jan-15 02:06:57

Good point zzzz

I should have added that they may have missed something major in his iep which is blocking the progress,

Sensory stuff to help maintain a clam alert state is relatively new, with quite recent research on the calming effect of resistance work on the vestibular system (I didn;t have a clue what it meant either.) I heard of one kid who could happily concentrate for an hour in a secondary class as long as he did press ups against the wall every so often. or push or pull a weighted door

Every kid is different, so all the very best wishes for finding some good results for yours.

Lesley25 Wed 07-Jan-15 09:50:39

Thanks everyone.

I will go softly softly, revert back to his sen statement and have those things my ds has learnt ready to hand. Good point, so how the hell has he learnt all the things I've taught him?

I sometimes wonder, because ds has limited language that it's assumed he "won't understand" and the work is pitched at too low a level so if it's accomplished once, ds doesn't see the point of repeating it "again" and "again". I will use examples of where I've seen this at home.

I just wonder (the cynic in me) if school are gearing me up to tag on "learning difficulties" as another diagnosis just to get them off the hook...nope, I'm being a cynic, generally the school and ta are very good. Maybe she needs some more help with strategies - which I'll mention too.
Thanks everyone.

StarlightMcKenzee Wed 07-Jan-15 10:25:25

That's what happened with my ds. He has an expressive language disorder, but his receptive language is very good.

When people 'teach' him something he usually understands perfectly. However when you say to him 'ds, can you tell me two things about a mammal?' or some such he is unable to, which makes the teacher think he never learned it. So then he's on some kind of repeat programme which bores him senseless and then he DOES switch his brain off, stim, cause low level disruption to get himself sent out of the classroom etc.

StarlightMcKenzee Wed 07-Jan-15 10:28:10

Ach, I'd be tempted to tell them there is no such thing as learning difficulties, only teaching difficulties.

But I have completely lost patience with the whole damn system, called its bluff then followed through. You probably need to hold onto whatever relationship you have for as long as you can.

PandasRock Wed 07-Jan-15 17:18:28

I was told, when my dd1 was only 4, that I would have to accept she would 'never learn anything at school' angry

This was because, after more than a year fulltime, a specialist provision had failed to teach her anything.

I asked what, if anything, they could pinpoint which she had learned over the time with them. Answer: "it depends what you mean by learning" double angry

I withdrew her from the school the same day (after all, they had admitted they would not be able to teach her), and redoubled my efforts to get her into the placement we wanted (which, for her, meant an ABA school).

She has thrived, and I can report that she has learned an awful lot over the last 6 years, and is a million miles away from the child 'who will never learn'.

If a child doesn't learn, then the teacher isn't teaching. That's all there is to it.

mymatemax Wed 07-Jan-15 18:02:56

He's not learning, is a very broad statement.
They say his behaviour is good, so I assume he has learnt to wait & listen & cope in a MS classroom.
Does she mean that he has not made any academic progress at all in any area, or has he just not progressed at the rate they would like or is demonstrating it in the usual way.
Maybe its their assessment tools that need to adapt a little.
Maybe just coping and dealing with the sensory environment is all he can deal with at the moment??
All just maybes I know

Lesley25 Wed 07-Jan-15 20:10:19

I'm almost certain the ta was alluding to academic progress. Bearing in mind he has a 1:1 statement so academic progress wasn't going to be easy to quantify- given my ds's limited speech. It was a broad statement the ta made. Almost a "careless slip" that rolled off her tongue.
I dont buy the "learning difficulties" label in my ds's instance. Far far too many maybes here due to speech and an easy cop out to then not even "try" different approaches and teaching methods.

zzzzz Thu 08-Jan-15 16:17:55

I find it helps to teach them something rather stupendously obviously impossible to do if you weren't able to learn.

My child is nine and severely language disordered and Undiagnosed but autistic (admin not lack of evidence).

We are doing Non-verbal Reasoning Bond papers ATM. wink. You can buy books in WHSmiths.

Lesley25 Thu 08-Jan-15 17:36:42

Thanks for the top. I'll get me some of those!

Lesley25 Thu 08-Jan-15 17:37:04

Tip not top....sheeesh

zzzzz Thu 08-Jan-15 17:41:00

It really rubs it in if he takes them in to show the teacher. [innocent]

Ds is HE now but I teach him lots of things for PR rather than real education.

(I do also think it's important to find things that challenge him without language so rubrics cube type stuff is important)

zzzzz Thu 08-Jan-15 17:41:58

Should have read

-really rubs it in-- helps if....!

Typo mania

zzzzz Thu 08-Jan-15 17:50:42

I give up.

Obviously need to share some NVR test papers myself grin

Lesley25 Thu 08-Jan-15 18:31:48

Pahahahahahaha that made me chuckle. Yes, I agree, non verbal reasoning tests are the way forward in our circumstances too.

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