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Sensory processing and support in school

(9 Posts)
HolidayCheer Wed 08-Mar-17 01:06:37

I just wanted to find out if anyone's child gets help in school with their sensory needs? Or if there is any consideration that this can affect learning?

My dd has a private SPD dx. I'm really struggling at the minute to work out what I should do at the moment and I have no idea if what is in place currently is fine or if I should be pushing for more help.

My dd is a year behind at school and has been for the last 4 years. She has had an Iep in place throughout that time with targets for learning needs only and although in the last few years she is making some progress she is still not closing the gap. There have been many concerns over the years about memory retention, sometimes understanding but sometimes just not there at all etc. There is nothing in place to meet her sensory needs or social/communication issues. Dd over the years has learnt to hold it together and mask until she gets home. She also depends on familiar predictable places to cope. Before and after school are horrible as everyday she is in overload or has a meltdown depending what has happened. She tries to refuse going to school in the mornings and cries or screams about going. After school where she's held it in she explodes and where she has difficulties sharing emotions or problems especially when anxious or overloaded and she can't talk to her teacher about what is wrong in school, we have the brunt of it at home. she is angry/losing it and then eventually gets to a point where she will just breakdown,cry and tell us what happened that day.
She is having social issues and trouble interacting with her friends at school according to teacher, although this has been happening since she started school and this is the first year she's interacting with others more and not just adults.
She also shuts down when she's overloaded and has a long issue with only talking to certain people and even then she can't talk to her safe people if upset about something. She has anxiety as a result of all the other issues.
As far as school are concerned she's fine. They don't 'see' her needs. They also don't really understand sensory issues.

I'm concerned that this will be it for the rest of her school life. I'm also very worried about the transition to her next school and how she will cope plus having sats. At the min spelling tests are bad enough. Is she always going to be a year behind or potentially more or should more be done to get support? Do I just put up with the overload and meltdowns school cause and just watch how unhappy she is and how much damage its doing?

Sorry this is a long and probably not well written post but I have been burying my head in the sand and not coping well as its been so difficult. I don't have anyone I can really talk to about it either.

Blossom4538 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:17:15

I think the school should be doing more. We don't yet have formal diagnosis but have for social and emotional issues - could be heading towards a spd/ASD diagnosis.

Currently, DD goes to sensory circuits at school and has been in a nurture group, four afternoons a week, which has helped a lot. She also had a few sessions of play therapy, resulting in a report from OT and further motor and processing skills assessment, carried out at our house (funded by school).

She has been supported with her fear of noise in toilets and has been able to use a separate toilet. Now she is venturing into the main one. I would arrange a meeting with school I think.

It's v hard isn't it. Have you looked at the A Sensory Life website? Sometimes soft fabrics or ribbons, water beads etc calm DD a little. She also water play, getting messy with glue paint glitter.... xx

Allthewaves Wed 08-Mar-17 10:48:24

Some schools are good, some are pants. My eldest ds has adhd. Only when I talked this wk about buying him stuff to use in the classroom did senco produce wobble cushions, bands ect. Ffs he's been in the school 4 years and diagnosed since 6 and thisnis firdt time they have thought to use props to helphim concentrate. Sorry mini rant

Bodley Wed 08-Mar-17 16:25:27

Hi holiday, I just wanted to say has your DD got ASD? Not that that is relevant, but I would push for more help. My DS was same and it resulted in self harm and school refusal. School should be doing more. I would contact someone like IPSEA or SOSSEN! to discuss your situation. Have you spoken to SENCO? It might help to meet with school and see what their knowledge is, what they can provide. Could you ask for an OT referral so they can make recommendations for your DD? Or an Ed Psych referral? Sorry if you've already done this, just throwing ideas out there, I did this and it was helpful. Sensory needs are often overlooked by schools but can be such a huge challenge. Hope things get better.

Holidaycheer Wed 08-Mar-17 18:50:47

Thanks for all the replies.

I wasn't sure if I was just expecting too much or not.

No ASD diagnosis, she was under a paediatrician who tried an ADOS test but she wouldn't participate and we haven't seen them since. As for Ed psych that's a no go as school refuse and same goes with EHC plan they point blank refused to consider it. In their eyes she doesn't meet criteria and she doesn't need either.

Our area doesn't deal with sensory integration and OT won't see her so we see a private OT in the next county but school ignore dx report outlining difficulties and anything that should be in place.

I feel like at the very least they should put a sensory diet in place so that DD is more regulated as she's constantly on edge or in overload.

Holidaycheer Wed 08-Mar-17 18:53:56

I will also look at that website thanks Blossom and the IPSEA website.

DD also has risk assessments to cover what could happen on trips even though they don't see the needs.
As for the SENCO she is useless and I have had nothing to do with her. I am to deal with the teacher!

Goldmandra Wed 08-Mar-17 21:06:13

The school should be looking at barriers to learning, not targets. Sensory processing difficulties are barriers to learning and the provision should be aimed at managing them.

This explains very well how the SEND support in schools should be implemented if the SEND Code of Practice was followed..

Bodley Wed 08-Mar-17 22:02:18

Could you try going back to paediatrician and pushing for diagnosis? Try and record stuff that's happening, and keep mentioning to teacher. Also you probably know you can request for an EHCP yourself? I also spoke to 'contact a family' who are also very helpful with these issues. Try writing to school with your concerns so that you have a bit of a record and start a paper trail. I know it's daunting but as previous poster said, there is a SEND code of practice which they're not sticking too. Sorry you're going through this, similar to my own experiences so I know how awful and frustrating it is.

tartanterror Mon 13-Mar-17 22:02:39

School also didn't really "see" DS' difficulties and thought he was uncooperative and awkward. They were surprised with his ASD diagnosis. They said we wouldn't get an EHCP. They were surprised when I applied and we were accepted for an EHC assessment. DS has a diagnosis of ASD, but OTs see SPD and signs of dyspraxia. I wondered if you should think about pursuing a diagnosis through the NHS which might be more widely recognised. Having said that you should be able to apply for an EHC needs assessment with the paperwork that you have and also describing the anxiety issues you list above as signs of "un-met needs".

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