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Teacher telling ds to keep his arms still (ie stop flapping)

(20 Posts)
BatFoxHippo Wed 24-Jun-15 22:29:05

Ds is almost 5, transitioning to P1 (Scotland). He flaps when excited or happy. No diagnosis but OT has said SPD so far, waiting to hear from SALT after her observation, whether we will get on the pathway for ASC assessment.

Not sure how to handle this? School have me down as neurotic parent, of course!

PolterGoose Thu 25-Jun-15 07:23:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Elisabennet Thu 25-Jun-15 14:06:10

I am unsure why a teacher would do that. As long as it is a behaviour that doesn't disrupt the class, this is unjustified.

tacal Thu 25-Jun-15 16:01:22

Hi, I am in Scotland too. I moved my ds to a new school in May (p2) and there was a transition meeting between the two schools. I was really surprised to hear the old school telling new school how ds was learning to keep his hands by his side and stop jumping around.

It made me a bit worried that this was going on and I didn't know. An o/t had been into the school and they had plenty of communication from me regarding ds' need to move around. If I had known about this I would have been having a very strong word with the school.

BatFoxHippo Fri 26-Jun-15 07:40:30

Yes Polter I think you are right re parent's opinions. Thanks for the blog, really helped me understand. I am going to try to remember that when I get pissed off with ds' unusual habits.

I called the OT and he's going to let them know about the SPD and steer the conversation towards classroom behaviour. He hasn't done a report or anything yet as we've only seen him a couple of times. But he seems to understand ds.

I find it amazing that everyone says communication is 95% non-verbal, except, you know, when it comes to autistic people's communication! I told the OT that the school should be actively looking for handflapping as it shows he is really excited or engaged by something. I also said they should count themselves lucky as he used to scream over and over when he was happy!

Elisa, he told me later that they said he might hit the person next to him. hmm

tacal, that is really sad for your ds, I hope his new school is more understanding. How is he getting on? Ds is not very forthcoming about sharing his day so I'm just fortunate he mentioned this.

zzzzz Fri 26-Jun-15 15:14:05

angry try not to kill anyone, but you need to stamp very hard on this

StarlightMcKenzee Fri 26-Jun-15 21:40:46

Write to the school asking them specifically to explain what the problem is with flapping and to record every-time they feel the need to intervene in a symptom or characteristic of his disability with a comment about why they felt intervention was appropriate.

Ask for that over a period of 2 weeks with a meeting at the end to discuss the problems.

Chances are they are simply telling him to stop because it annoys them and that is NOT reasonable.

There are good reasons for a child to be taught strategies that enable them to control their stimming so that THEY can keep themselves safe and access opportunities but that has to be done with very specialist input which looks carefully at the function of the behaviour and ensures the child has a safe and equally functional alternative.

But teaching them strategies is not the same thing as controlling when they can and can't stim, it is ensuring THEY have the choice.

StarlightMcKenzee Fri 26-Jun-15 21:41:54

DS was noisily flapping with vocal accompaniment near some picnickers last weekend. They gave him a massive piece of cake!

BatFoxHippo Sat 27-Jun-15 09:32:01

Thanks zzzzz, that is how I feel!

Starlight, thank you that is a very useful strategy. School breaks up here next week so he only has one settling in session to go. I will keep it in mind for next term though.

I agree they are saying it because it annoys them and they are used to telling kids off for not sitting still. That's interesting what you say about controlling stimming for his benefit. What kind of thing would that be? I would like to take him horse riding but am a bit worried he'd frighten the horses, flapping and jumping. Is it that sort of thing?

The complicating thing is that they don't know he has a disability as we are only at the beginning of the road of someone actually agreeing there is something going on (only taken 4.5yrs!). Hopefully things will become clearer over the summer holidays.

StarlightMcKenzee Sat 27-Jun-15 09:52:36

'I would like to take him horse riding but am a bit worried he'd frighten the horses, flapping and jumping. Is it that sort of thing?'

Yes. It is exactly that. If you feel that he would benefit from horse-interaction and the stimming is getting in the way, then he might need to learn how to control the stimming for just long enough to see the benefit of 'not stimming'.

My son attends a choir for an hour. It is a good choir and difficult for kids to get in. Standing still is VERY hard for him but a part of the whole choir 'thing'. A good choir is considered so from the discipline of standing uniformly. Standing still is even MORE difficult when it comes to a performance where he gets both anxious and excited.

We had to do a LOT of work on practising the 'non-flapping' thing. But it wasn't me saying to him 'right you're going to choir, don't flap or you'll be in big trouble!'. That would give him mental health problems.

We practised short chunks of 'not-flapping' building up. We talked about the opportunities the choir might give him that are close to his own ambitions and goals. We schedule flapping opportunities before and after choir practise. And a safe space whilst waiting for his 'slot' at performances. His choir leader supported this and helped.

For a young child it might not be as easy to have discussions about it so you might have to motivate him other ways. A BIG minute timer that he can watch and after successfully not stimming for a minute he gets an ice-lolly. You can call it the 'minute game'. You are not trying to eliminate the flapping out of his life, but teach him that sometimes, if there is something better to do, he can stop, just for a minute to see if he agrees.

This time can be extended as he grows. In school it might be necessary to stop stimming just long enough to hear the teachers instructions, but he's 5 and all children that age are impulsive and want to do what they want to do. It's unfair to single him out just because the teacher doesn't like it or it doesn't fit into their EYFS tick box.

PolterGoose Sat 27-Jun-15 10:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Sun 28-Jun-15 09:06:59

;Take him riding with RDA and you will get a flap-proof pony wink

I'm not a fan of Riding for the Disabled but they have beautifully trained horses and you can pay to go privately.

In my experience most dogs/horses get it grin and modify their behaviour for ds.

As an aside mine is 10 and still no dx shock

BatFoxHippo Sun 28-Jun-15 09:16:04

Thanks Star, makes sense and I will keep it in mind, although I think we'd have to start with 20 seconds...

Polter that is what I thought, that the motion would be good. However, he finds new experiences difficult so I expect there will be a lot of "No I don't want to do it! No I don't want to leave! No, I WANT to do it! No I don't want to" etc. before he gets on.

BatFoxHippo Sun 28-Jun-15 09:24:35

zzzzz Hope we don't end up competing for your title, 4 years is more than enough! We live in a weird remote place <vague> so there is no official riding for the disabled here unfortunately, otherwise I would go for it.

StarlightMcKenzee Sun 28-Jun-15 09:57:03

'However, he finds new experiences difficult so I expect there will be a lot of "No I don't want to do it! No I don't want to leave! No, I WANT to do it! No I don't want to" etc. before he gets on.'

Is it somewhere you can go regularly before he even attempts to 'ride'? Start with looking at pictures of horses, videos, then visit, then get closer, then touch etc.?

With ds I keep my eye on the goal. I know where we are aiming, but each step towards it has to be a success first, so that ds builds up a momentum of successes increasing his confidence in what it is I am asking him to do so that by the time I'm asking him to do something that would have before been impossible, he is so used to doing what I ask and it being rewarding, he just does it without fuss, expecting (and receiving hopefully) the same kind of enjoyment.

BatFoxHippo Sun 28-Jun-15 19:13:45

I see I am going to have to get a whole lot more patient!

I don't have anywhere in mind yet, going to phone and see what they say about docile ponies, visits etc. I suppose I'm putting it off as I haven't told anyone except my boss about the SPD (I need to alter my hours to cut down stress on ds and ended up crying). I've also got the number of the guy who supervises the indoor climbing wall, apparently there is some kind of loophole to get under 10s on.

MairOldAlibi Mon 29-Jun-15 20:49:00

Write to OT for advice. Passive-aggressive cc to school

"DS's constant movement is bothering his teachers, and they are trying to teach ds to keep his hands by his side and stop jumping around. Since we're still awaiting a decision on the ASD pathway, and he may not actually have an ASD, could you advise us meanwhile on how we can make him appear less autistic in school?"

StarlightMcKenzee Tue 30-Jun-15 17:42:33


AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 01-Jul-15 07:49:24

Regarding the riding, ds1 is a very "unable to stop moving ever" type and yet when he was on the horse for RDA he was very still. I used to sit and watch because it was so odd to see him not bouncing and flapping and such.

BatFoxHippo Wed 01-Jul-15 08:54:56

Ha ha MairOldAlibi, I'll put that on my list of approaches!

Alice that is really interesting, I find the gait of a horse very relaxing and sort of 'right' so I hope ds will enjoy it.

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