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Sooooo frustrated!

(5 Posts)
ari11 Thu 14-May-15 09:54:36

Just needed to vent so apologies if I sound like I am ranting. My ds age 5 has had behavioural problems (no diagnosis as yet but awaiting assessment) since starting reception (no problems reported re: behaviour at nursery prior to this). We and the school have had some fantastic support from the local pru and they have been providing outreach support for my ds and providing strategies to the teachers to manage his behaviour. He also has 1:1 support from a untrained support worker. He had a half day exclusion which we didn't support and then we met with the Head teacher, his teacher, SENCO and PRU worker last Thurs and a pastoral support plan has been put in place with clear strategies and targets. Yesterday morning when at work I got a phone call from the head teacher saying he had come in to the classroom first thing and when asked to sit on the mat he threw a stool (completely unacceptable I know and he would never do that home!). She said that she would be excluding him for a fixed period of 3 days and she was aware he had an appt with the paeditrician on Saturday and was aware that I don't work on Thurs or Fri so it was easier to keep him at home with work provided until he had seen the paeditrician. She also reported the PRU had arranged for behaviour management training today for the staff. When in the office she also showed me footage she had recorded of him experiencing a meltdown, she seemed a bit sheepish and said she wasn't sure if she should have asked for consent to record him and has given me the SD card for me to do what I want with it. The PRU visit my ds on a weds and thurs so I expressed my concern that as he was excluded on these days we would not be able review the strategies being used with her and when we next meet next Thurs we wont be any further forward. I spoke to PRU and they also ( sort of) agreed that 3 days isn't sufficient time to see whether the strategies in place are working and often childrens behaviour will deteriorate first before it improves. I really feel very strongly that they aren't giving him sufficient time to try the strategies recommened by PRU and excluding him is a easy convenient option for them. Also the behaviour that prompted the exclusion wasn't as severe as previous behaviour that he wasn't excluded for so I am very confused. I really feel whether they don't want him at the school or whether they are making things so difficult that we move him. I would be reluctant to move his as he has friends but if we could find a smaller school that could better meet his needs it might be worth changing earlier rather than later. Also he is due to see the Ed Psych on monday. Any ideas, advice thoughts gratefully received. Sorry for the rant

OneInEight Thu 14-May-15 12:45:49

Don't apologise for ranting. You have come to the right place where sadly many of us have had experience of exclusions and unsupportive Ht's. Your HT is being extremely naïve if she thinks one Paediatrician visit is going to miraculously solve the problems. If the thinking is ASD then they should be putting in place strategies accordingly NOW. The school need to analyse the incident. What happened before the chair was thrown was it particularly noisy, chaotic or out of routine for instance. Does the school know how to recognize when your son is stressed? Do they know how to calm him. We only found help got in place really when my ds's were statemented and the only benefit of the exclsuions was to give us the evidence for this.

Icimoi Thu 14-May-15 14:32:50

Make sure that this is recorded as an official exclusion: you should get a letter formally telling you about it, including giving notice of your right to ask the governors to review it. They can't overturn it, but I think they need to look at why this happened - what triggered the incident in question, was the school doing what it should in accordance with the PRU's advice to prevent it, why doesn't he have a trained TA etc. It sounds, for instance, as if he may have trouble with transitions and this was what caused the incident since it was just after he came into the classroom: does he normally show stress around transitions, could they be doing something to prepare him for them, could they have brought him into the classroom before the others to enable him to settle down?

I think you should also talk to the school about applying for an EHC needs assessment - it doesn't matter that he hasn't yet been diagnosed, the reality is that he clearly needs more support than the school is providing and they seem to need more advice and training. If they won't do it, think about making the application yourself.

senvet Fri 15-May-15 00:07:09

I agree with Ici - if there is a 1 to 1 and the behaviour is still a problem, then everyone needs to know why.

But one thing, where the hell was the TA when dc threw the stool, and why could the TA not have pre-empted the incident and distracted dc?

The meltdown is VERY significant evidence to back your call for an EHCP assessment. As is the exclusion of course.

It may take a while to get a reasonable understanding of what causes the behaviour and what can be done to prevent it, but EHCP is a way to find out more.

One other thought - if dc would not do this at home, then it may be sensory overload at school - too much noise for example. So maybe your GP would refer you to an OT to take a look at that.

I heard of one child where there were two types of behaviour problem. One was clearly premeditated naughtiness eg hitting a kid in the afternoon who had been mean to the kid in the morning. PRUs are good at techniques for that - eg time out etc.
But alongside that, was screaming behaviour, more like an instant reaction. That was sesnory overload from memory. The only answer is a calm room to give time for the overload to subside, and sensory therapy to prevent the overloads happening in the future. Some kids it is press ups, or exercise breaks, some it is stress ball to press.

Hope this helps

Good Luck

ari11 Fri 15-May-15 12:07:45

Thanks all for your words of wisdom, its nice to know I am not alone. I have sent an email to the headteacher outlining my concerns about the exclusion and the fact there were strategies in place i.e 1:1 support to stop this from happening. I agree with you senvet that it appears to be sensory overload as there is no warning or trigger. Also I have requested what they will put in place to support my ds when he returns to school on Monday. I will definitely speak to them about how we can make the transitions easier but find it frustating as it is always us and the PRU (the parents) suggesting strategies rather than the school being proactive and suggesting some themselves. I believe he has sensory issues as he can not tolerate loud noises, certain food textures but fortunately he has been referred to the OT (I am actually an OT but don't specialise in paediatrics) so hopefully she can address these sensory issues. Also the school seem to be very rigid in that if a strategy doesn't work it doesn't try to find alternatives. An example is that as a reward for participating in a adult led activity my ds can choose an activity after (usually football) but then this triggers a melt down when he is asked to come back in from football as he doesn't want too. The PRU suggested if the football wasn't working to try another reward/activity..........why didn't they think of this themselves!!! I really feel they don't feel confident in how to manage him at all and their expectations are unrealistic. In all the meetings we have attended not once has a EHCP been suggested so will definitely discuss this at the next meeting on Thurs. We have an appointment with a paediatrician tomorrow which I am sort of looking forward to as well as being very apprehensive about. My ds is also seeing an ed psych at the school on Monday. All these referrals have been requested again by us not the school so I do question their commitment to actually support my ds in acquiring the skills needed to function in a classroom environment. However, to give them credit, they have identified that they need training in behaviour management and have organised this very quickly. It such a shame, as, at the moment my ds is sad that he can't go to school as he says he really enjoys it (which is a positive) Thanks again for all your support and advice as at the moment it is very new to us and we are not sure how to deal with it so its great to hear all your suggestions and learn from your experiencessmile

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