School run with dd(5) with asd.

(22 Posts)
millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 12:36:09

Hi everyone. I've not posted before but could do with some advice with regards to managing the school run. My dd(5) has autism and goes to mainstream primary, she's in year 1. We coped, just about through year r but as she gets older, stronger/ faster I'm finding it harder to keep her safe when were out and about. The morning school run is fine. We park a couple of streets away, where it's quiet for loading/ unloading and then she cycles whilst I push her sister(3) in the the buggy. This works fine. She will stop when she needs to, goes in with no issue etc. The problem comes after school when she's exhausted. She's on the brink if a meltdown most days. I realise she is completely overloaded which is something we need to address with the school. She will race off ahead on her bike. I usually try to keep up with her but it's hard as it's crowded, lots of prams, dogs etc. If I stop her she will start hitting, screaming or just lie down on the pavement whilst everyone tries to walk around us, which I don't think us ok either. There's building work at the school which means it's extra noisy, busy as only one small gate. We had a couple of incidents last week when she cycled ran into the road, once in front of a car which luckily saw her in time.

How do you manage this time of the day? Do school do anything to help? Should I be asking to pick her up early before the crowds? Or slightly later, when my eldest daughter(15) is able to help with the youngest? I'm just exhausted trying to keep her safe. And her sister who frequently gets left in her buggy whilst I run after dd. Plus I hate that her peers see her struggling so much when she's managed to get through the day. Thanks for reading.

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Sirzy Sun 26-Nov-17 14:25:02

Ds leaves School via the office and 5 minutes before the others. We tried various different methods of getting him out but this one seems to be working best so far!

If you are in the car can you not just park closer to the school? Or ask School if you can use their car park?

millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 14:36:24

They don't have a car park at the moment due to the building work, maybe in the future. It's really difficult to park by the school. There's a few spaces, I guess if I get her earlier it might be easier. I tend to park where I do as it's quiet so less people/ cars around if I have a battle to get her in the car. That's good that you can pick your son up early though. I'm hoping the school will be ok for us to try this.

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CaptainKirkssparetupee Sun 26-Nov-17 15:24:21

Let your 3 year old hold your hand and put your 5 year old in the buggy.

Sirzy Sun 26-Nov-17 15:27:45

I would ditch the bike that is just going to make things more complicated. Buggy board?

OneInEight Sun 26-Nov-17 17:28:19

We, with permission from the school, used to drop ds2 off late and pick him up early to avoid incidents. Alternatively, you could ask to pick up from a different door. If he was on a really bad day they let us use the disabled parking spot near the school entrance for pick up but I tried to avoid that as was a really tight spot to drive out of. Basically, a good school will be prepared to offer adaptions on pick up to reduce anxiety / sensory overload for a child with an ASC.

millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 17:38:01

Thanks for replying, we do use the buggy occasionally, on family days out etc but she wouldn't use it after school. She wants to run/ cycle along with all her friends but she's not safe doing so by the road. It's hard to explain but we use the bike as it kind of keeps her focussed and going in a straight line. Without the bike she's able to run in any direction. We do have a buggy board actually that might work. Hoping school will be helpful tomorrow.

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Sirzy Sun 26-Nov-17 17:43:57

I get she wants to keep up with her friends but she is 5 and she can’t do that safely so you need a system whereby she is next to you the whole time for her safety as much as anything else. If she zooms ahead on her bike then that is increasing the danger.

Ds is 8 but he still has to have his hand held the whole way into school because it is the only way to sort of ensure he gets there safely

millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 17:49:33

OneinEight, how much earlier do you pick him up? Do you pick him up from the main office?

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millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 17:59:29

Sirzy, that's the problem. She won't stay by me when she's overloaded, tired. She's fine in the morning. But if I try and keep her close after school she just runs, screams, hits me or failing that lies in the middle of the pavement. I just sit down next to her now and wait for it to pass. But I don't like all her peers seeing her when she's struggling like that. So I guess I'm asking, does that justify me asking to collect her early? Plus the fact that it's so busy makes a meltdown more likely.

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Allthewaves Sun 26-Nov-17 20:43:56

You should be allowed to collect her early. There's two children in dc school that get collected 10mins early at reception and go straight into car outside.

millyk Sun 26-Nov-17 20:54:40

Thanks, Allthewaves. It's good to know some people do this.

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gigglingHyena Sun 26-Nov-17 20:57:26

This sounds so familiar. My DS can cope with scooting/cycling in the morning, but I simply can't rely on him being able to follow instructions on the way home, as you say he's generally too close to meltdown when he comes out.

We've developed a routine where I don't ask him anything till we're home and he's had a chance to calm down. He comes out, we have a high five and walk home/to the car in silence.

Although he still comes out at the same time as the rest of his class, he has a quick sensory break with his TA just before leaving. She also makes sure he gets into the cloakroom to fetch his stuff before it gets busy. It's made a surprising difference. (school were more than happy for me to do an early pick up, but that upset my other child!)

If you are a cycling family, could you do the school run with both children in a trailer? Perhaps she'd still feel like it was going by bike. That was my solution for a few years, and unlike the car I could bring the bike trailer right up to the classroom door.

Sleepyhead21 Sun 26-Nov-17 22:50:16

This is also very familiar to me. My 5 year old autistic DD is really over loaded after school. She veers between over excited/sensory seeking and angry and is often on the brink of a meltdown. It is very hard to get her home safely. I've stopped letting her use a scooter as she went so far ahead I could no longer see her. She wouldn't wait to cross the road with me. Despite living a ten minute walk (for an an adult!) from the school I've had to start driving as DD's mood was too unpredictable for me to keep her safe even walking home.

So my only advice is to park closer! My DD loves scooting and I wish she could do it safely to and from school but it's not possible at the moment. I will also be talking to her teacher about how they can help meet her sensory and emotional needs in school. Hopefully we can develop a plan so that walking home is a possibility.

zzzzz Sun 26-Nov-17 22:55:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneInEight Mon 27-Nov-17 07:08:37

It was a few years ago but, yes, we picked up from the main office ten minutes early (likewise dropped him off ten minutes late). As he was very reluctant to go to school at that time it would have been upsetting for the other children to see so it was really as much for their benefit as much as his.

millyk Mon 27-Nov-17 15:10:38

Spoke to the senco this morning and they agreed we could pick her up earlier today. She's going to talk to the head about making it a regular thing. We've just picked her up. 5 past 3 and we're home, no meltdowns, no near misses, she's happy. Such a relief! Makes me realize how much stress we've been going through on a daily basis, for do long. Need to remember to look at things, ask for help earlier next time!

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Sleepyhead21 Mon 27-Nov-17 16:44:29

That is brilliant and such an easy fix. A much easier end to the school day for you and your DD from now on. Well done!

notgivingin789 Mon 27-Nov-17 16:45:42

DS was like this OP. It was HORRENDOUS ! in conjunction with hitting me numerous of times. Thankfully, early last year this stopped but in DS case and in your DD’s case, it looks like she’s exhausted ! As a Poster mentioned above reduce demands.... in fact don’t even mention any demands. Just pick her up from school and that’s that.

I would ditch the bike as it sounds it’s not really helping the situation. Would a scooter be a better option... you can attach one of those pull- along-scooter material and pull your DD, on her scooter, on the way home ?

See if you can pick her up from school a bit earlier, maybe introduce a timetable for the end of the schoo day ??

notgivingin789 Mon 27-Nov-17 16:50:31

Sleepyhead DS was the same way.... regarding not scooting safely and not waiting to cross grin. All I can say it takes practice, practice, practice. Everytime I took DS out and when we stood by a crossing, I will tell him to wait, wait for the green man, look to the left and right because “Cars can hurt you”. This took a year ! But now DS can scoot way ahead of me and will now wait for me at the crossing.

millyk Mon 27-Nov-17 18:37:39

She does like to scoot too but just can't do it safely after school. The head has said we can pick her up at quarter to 3 from now on and I should be able to park closer at that time too. They've given me a timetable of the school day so I can make her up one for home and tie in after school too, so hopefully that will help a little also.

OP’s posts: |
millyk Mon 27-Nov-17 18:56:32

She does like to scoot too but just can't do it safely after school. The head has said we can pick her up at quarter to 3 from now on and I should be able to park closer at that time too. They've given me a timetable of the school day so I can make her up one for home and tie in after school too, so hopefully that will help a little also.

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