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Feel completely devastated by something the SENCo said

(30 Posts)
Stradbroke Mon 18-Apr-16 13:54:25

I have just had a meeting with the SENCO at school.
She is new and has just seen my DD for the first time, spoken to class teacher, TA etc.

She said that both the class teacher and TA told her independently that her speech and language deteriorates over the holiday and it takes her about 2 weeks to regain what she has lost.

I feel awful. We talk with her. We don't (think) we talk down to her. I am at a loss and feel completely devastated and embarrassed. We often feel over the holidays that we see a jump forward in her communication. She is more chatty, her sense of humour shows through.

I don't know what to say or think or what to do.

PolterGoose Mon 18-Apr-16 14:04:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catmuffin Mon 18-Apr-16 14:20:23

We often feel over the holidays that we see a jump forward in her communication. She is more chatty, her sense of humour shows through.

Maybe going back is a bit of a shock to the system after having a lovely relaxed time at home and maybe she clams up for a bit at school until she gets used to it

Stradbroke Mon 18-Apr-16 14:22:29

Oh thank you so much! Yes maybe that is it. I know she finds it hard going back. And yes. At home she gets to be just her. That is totally what we are aiming for.

I actually tried to justify myself and told her that we do talk to her!

PolterGoose Mon 18-Apr-16 15:07:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amunt Mon 18-Apr-16 15:10:21

It sounds like she hasn't real thought through what she said, which is a shame for someone new in the job. I'm not sure how possible it would even be to lose language in that way, and regain it so quickly. The much more obvious explanation is what Polter and Catmuffin say.

zzzzz Mon 18-Apr-16 16:12:54

angry it is FAR more likely that they NEVER see her communicate as well at school as you do at home.
School are VERY fond of telling me how much ds has progressed since he started last year and how improved his interaction with the other children/adults is hmm
He was very overwhelmed at the start and is only know showing moments of his home level (if that) language. It's a story they tell themselves.

Email the senco and ask them to write down examples of both poor and improved communication. Tell them you would like to seek advice on how to support dcs transition back after holidays but need concrete examples --then see what YOU think-/

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 18-Apr-16 17:08:03

I'd see it as an opportunity for dialogue between you all. Could you meet them and they could show you specifically what they mean? And you could share what you see too. It could be they could learn from you and vice versa. But a vague report that you have now is a bit useless, could mean anything! And if they've specifically built up some language skills they should be sharing with you so you can receive any expert guidance here to maintain them. It could even be useful ammunition to apply for more SLT sessions in the holidays from local support.

ouryve Mon 18-Apr-16 17:25:15

School and home have very different demands. It's more likely the case that she's forgotten how to communicate with the myriad people she encounters at school, when she isn't in school. She has to get to know and trust the people who work with her all over again and she has to become re-accustomed to school routines and her place within those routines. Add in the sensory shock of no longer being in the calm small environment of home and of course it's going to take her a couple of weeks to get back up to speed with it all, again.

ouryve Mon 18-Apr-16 17:29:59

Also, if she takes some time to generalise new skills, it's going to take a while for her to start doing the new things she's learnt at home, at school. Say, in response to showing her a sandwich and asking "are you hungry?" she nods and replies "Hungry!" school might be asking a different question eg. "are you ready for lunch?" While she's being asked about the same thing, she hasn't learnt how to answer the second question, yet.

Imaginosity Mon 18-Apr-16 20:02:12

DS often steps back in his behaviour at school when he goes back after the holiday. I understand now he just needs to get used to the routine again. Because I know to expect his behaviour to deteriorate for a bit it doesn't worry me like it used to as if know he'll bounce back

ouryve Mon 18-Apr-16 21:54:07

DS2 spent most of his first day back, last week, on an absolute bender. He has a few things he likes to check, every morning - switches to flick and so on. He spent most of the morning doing that, turning computers on and off and so on and oculd not settle at all. he got home and did the same, there. it took some doing to distract him from it and get him into a calm state.

Blaming anyone wouldn't have achieved anything.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 18-Apr-16 22:06:46

My Dd3 was in school for 8 yrs and rarely communicated as well there as she does at home!

Its not you its the overwhelming environment!

Be kind to yourself flowers

Stradbroke Tue 19-Apr-16 09:57:39

Thanks everyone. I know you are all correct that actually this is a stress response from DD rather than anything lacking at home. It was definitely implied that it wouldn't happen if we did more SaL work with her at home over the holidays. It hit where it hurt which is the guilt and worry that we could always be doing more.

Anyway I have her review meeting later this week from statement to EHC plan and will be raising it in the context of DD finding transitions hard and that this is a clear stress response (along with the 'feeling unwell' we have all the time and not wanting to go to school).

This is why this board is so fantastic. Sensible people who understand, can cut through the emotions and see what is really happening.

Thanks all flowers

DigestiveBiscuit Wed 20-Apr-16 09:50:15

Its called summer learning loss. It happens with many "normal" children, but can be even more pronounced among SEN children - due to no speech and language therapy or OT. An argument for them being provided all the year round. The school must know dd is not the only child this happens to?

I used to see it with dd - her articulation got worse, with no speech therapy over the summer.

I can't think of an article by a reputable UK academic on it (I used to read all the professional journals, but gave up, as other things became more pressing), but it's well known in the US and there are some articles on Google about it.

PolterGoose Wed 20-Apr-16 11:58:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Wed 20-Apr-16 12:05:00

but can be even more pronounced among SEN children - due to no speech and language therapy or OT
Is there any clear evidence that S&LT and OT impact in this way or is this supposition?

DigestiveBiscuit Wed 20-Apr-16 14:19:29

Like I said, I do remember learning about this, but I can't remember where the article was or who it was by. Equally, I could have remembered this from conversations with speech and language therapists; who sat on working parties with the leading academics; or the heads of therapy at specialist speech and language schools.

DigestiveBiscuit Wed 20-Apr-16 14:48:59

I do remember the whole subject was discussed at our last tribunal by the independent educational psychologist and speech therapist versus the LA's solicitor - when he tried to suggest we could deliver speech therapy in the summer holiday and they shot him down in flames!

PolterGoose Wed 20-Apr-16 15:06:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Wed 20-Apr-16 16:35:19

I don't think language development works IN ANY WAY like that.

I do wonder if OT might not do a better job of it, if they would only use their skills to approach language/communication. I suspect they would feel the whole weight of SALTs displeasure if they did though.

DigestiveBiscuit Thu 21-Apr-16 09:34:43

zzzz - is that your supposition or do you have clear evidence for your belief?

I for one would no idea how to tackle Dd's profound expressive disorder, despite attending all the workshops with leading speech therapists and academics I could, reading all the literature and professional journals that came out, and spending years listening to speech therapists; but I could tell within 3 weeks when she had not had speech therapy. Several friends are top class speech therapists, and I think they would be honest enough to admit if they thought parents could do just as well as them.

zzzzz Thu 21-Apr-16 09:52:35

I live with the evidence digestive winkgrin but I was asking genuinely not taking a pop. My opinion is that salt seems very effective for speech but I'm on the fence about its true impact on language.

zzzzz Thu 21-Apr-16 09:54:29

Are you uk based? If so who do you consider leading speech therapists and academics?

(Again genuine interest not trying to be arsey)

Catmuffin Thu 21-Apr-16 10:17:48

Make sure you say this at the meeting op.

We often feel over the holidays that we see a jump forward in her communication. She is more chatty, her sense of humour shows through.

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