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Afterschool Club - Help and Advice Wanted

(86 Posts)
Batters Tue 28-Sep-04 11:15:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marina Tue 28-Sep-04 11:23:51

Is the Club run by a local consortium (ours is, it's borough wide)? Do they have a Special Needs policy (sorry, you've probably already asked). I would have thought they ought to? We had to fill in a VERY detailed form for ds' club and it did include a section on health, allergies and behavioural issues. It would surely help the little boy get more out of the Club if he had one-to-one support.
Hope you can sort this one, Batters,

tabitha Tue 28-Sep-04 11:27:23

I think that I would certainly voice my concerns with the After School Club, without necessarily (sp?) making a complaint - telling them that your daughter is frightened of this boy and is becoming unhappy at the club. Also, ask what the club's policy on children with special needs is - they should (I think) have one.
I think that if this boy's needs are such that he requires one to one help in the classroom, then it isn't fair on anyone in the After School Club, including the boy himself, to have him there in a less structured atmosphere without simmilar help. It may be that they have a policy which states that they accept children with 'special needs' but have taken this boy into the club without really thinking through his specific needs and how they are going to affect the club in general. If this is the case, then I think that the situation could be 'an accident waiting to happen'.

coppertop Tue 28-Sep-04 11:29:43

It sounds as though XXX needs more support at the after-school club than he is getting. After all, if he needs 1:1 during normal school hours it's unlikely that he is going to be able to cope without it at the club. The current support system (or lack thereof) is obviously failing if other children are genuinely frightened.

As a parent of a child with SN I would genuinely want to know if this was happening. If this boy is shouting, swearing etc then he obviously isn't coping well or happy in that environment. If you speak to the people in charge of the after-school club then they will be in a better position to discuss it with the school and hopefully find a solution.

Batters Tue 28-Sep-04 11:41:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jimjams Tue 28-Sep-04 11:44:51

I think there are several issues here really.

First- in terms of your dd. She may just need to have his behaviour explained to her- especially if he isn't actually singling her out or being aggressive towards children as such. (For example my osn will scream and shout- but then hits himself not others). My son't behaviour is certianly odd- I dropped him off at shcool yesterday and watched through the window as all the children sat down for registration and he went srtraight to the back of the room and *climbed* onto the table at the back. The school have introduced a school wide circle time where they are going to talk about him in every class (mainly they said to try and emphasise that the other children have to give him some space- as they tend to want to pet him quite a lot apparently). It is my experience though that most children are very accepting of ds1's problems and bizarre behaviour when it is explained to them.

As for the after school club. I would never send ds1 to one as I know that there is no chance that he would get 1:1 and I wouldn't be confident that he was safe without it (well he wouldn't be safe). Locally there is an inclusion service that has started providing limited support for holiday clubs- we've never managed to access it though. I doubt very much whether 1:1 is available. And there's the problem if both parents work. Does one of them have to give up their job? (in our family we've decided that the answer to that is yes- but not everyone is in the same situation as us).

Ao I would say- talk to the staff to see whether they or you can talk to your dd about him. If he starts actually attacking her unporovked then obviously it is different- but if she is just scared of him when he hasn't actually done anything to her then maybe try an explantion. You will need ot talk to the staff to see if they can give you moreinfo though (they won't be able to give much- but they may be able to tell you something).

Batters Tue 28-Sep-04 11:54:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jimjams Tue 28-Sep-04 11:58:25

It's difficult to know what to say when you don't know what's wrong batters- which is why you might want to get more information from the after school club.

Batters Tue 28-Sep-04 12:52:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Davros Tue 28-Sep-04 12:56:34

WHen you speak to them, maybe you can suggest that they formulate some way of explaining this boy and his behaviour to all the children, or maybe his daytime 1:1 could come along just once?

tigermoth Tue 28-Sep-04 13:09:39

Can't add much to the excellent advice here. I think more talking through is needed as others have said, so do talk to the playclub workers.

As you say, you don't intend to make a full blown complaint, it's more about bringing this issue to their attention. Could you highlight one particular incident to show them exactly what you mean? The leaders may not be aware that your dd is feeling a bit nervous. I also agree that the playclub leaders might do more to explain things to the children or possibly amend some of the rules to help everyone feel happy.

In a school setting (and I realise this is not), I remember robinw making the point that if parents do bring these sort of issues up, it can help everyone in the long run. Parental presure can be used as evidence that more assistance is needed. Could you possibly ask the playclub if extra pressure from parents might help them get extra help from the LEA for this boy?

Jimjams Tue 28-Sep-04 13:21:15

They're not usually LEA run Twiglett (out of school hours). The problem for the playclub is that if the boy has something like autism then he will be disabled. The DDA would I guess make it difficult for them to refuse him a place. Agree with Davros that all children need to be spoken to really. After school hours and school holidays are a real problem for those of us with children whose behaviour/needs makes it difficult to be accomodated at after school/holiday clubs etc as there just isn't anywhere or anyone you can go to to access the necessary support for the child.

tigermoth Tue 28-Sep-04 13:33:07

think you mean me, jimjams, not twiglet as was.
Pity that the LEA - and their funding - can't help here.

Batters, I wonder if there is another local playclub who have sucessfully solved this type of problem to the benefit of all? many of our playclubs are centrally organised by the local council play club service, hopefully they can share solutions and information. Is your playclub part of a similar network?

Davros Tue 28-Sep-04 13:37:04

I know this is obvious, but anyone who does talk to the other children needs to be very sensitive towards him and probably speak to his parents, I'm sure they'd be upset if they thought this happened without them knowing.

Jimjams Tue 28-Sep-04 13:39:01

oh yes sorry- I am going mad! I think my mum is worried about me as she told dh I was exhausted and stressed out yesterday when he suggested she leave behind a smile for me (NEVER heard my Mum stick up for me like that, ever in my life!) and she rang me to remind me I had an antenatal appointment! Think I am going slowly insane.

If the child does have recognised SN it moght be worth the playclub leaders contacting the local inclusion services if such a thing exists. Not easy though as its something they would have to take on board themselves (for no gratitude!) and they may feel that's too much iyswim. The other people they could contact for advice may be SS but I doubt they'd get much sense out of them.

Jimjams Tue 28-Sep-04 13:40:15

Agreed Davros- - also they may be the best people to gove advice on how to manage his behaviour.

Batters Wed 29-Sep-04 21:18:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chocol8 Wed 29-Sep-04 21:37:23

Batters, this is an interesting post. My ds is AS and ADHD and this term is receiving no special 1:1 care in the classroom.

I was (until it closed down due to lack of funds) the treasurer of the independent after school club. The women running the group did their very best for the children - even taking money from their own pocket to buy things - and they gave it their best shot, but sadly it didn't work out.

The women running the group, as far as I know, have never been put in the position of caring for a SN child within the club - but feel they would have, had a child joined. The staff and children at your dd's club should never have been put in this position - it is unfair for every one concerned, and more especially for the child with ADHD. I mean, imagining that he doesn't need 1:1 when he's had it all day, is just ridiculous!

I really hope they deal with your concerns in a professional manner and that everyone gets the result they want. Let us know what they say. x

Jimjams Wed 29-Sep-04 21:46:56

The problem is though that no-one is responsible for providing the 1:1 support that is needed- so it won't happen. The boy will just be expelled if they can expel him, or everyone will struggle on with no-one happy if they can't.

Lack of after-school/holiday facilities for children with SN is a real bug bear of mine. The system sucks. Personally I think SS should be responsible for providing something during holidays anyway (wouldn't it come under repite?) but there is nothing. It's another gapp in the inclusion policy. Special schools can be quite good at setting up holiday schemes- but remove the child from the special school environment and there is nothing for them. It really wound me up last summer to be honest. DS1 needed something, *I* needed a break- and for him to go to something- and there was nothing available. Nothing.

blossomhill Wed 29-Sep-04 21:48:16

I really hope you manage to get something sorted out for next jimjams! Will you need to go down the ss route again?

blossomhill Wed 29-Sep-04 21:48:32

next year I meant!

Davros Wed 29-Sep-04 21:49:40

I hope they don't just simply remove him. That would be unfair to him and not solve the real problem at all, i.e. that this club and the staff should be given extra resources to include a child with SN. I expect his poor parents find the remaining 2 sessions a godsend

Jimjams Wed 29-Sep-04 21:51:25

SS ring me occasionally to ask the same question again ("does your son get dla?" "does your son have a statement?"). I am hoping they will get their arses in gear and have something organised by Easter (after all they will have had my referral for almost a year by then) but I have a feeling I need to start chasing. Sigh. No energy at the moment!

They did send me the details of a playscheme to apply for- for 8-13 year olds with physical disabilities..... And ds1 is 5 with no physical disabilities. TBH I despair!

Jimjams Wed 29-Sep-04 21:52:05

My thoughts exactly Davros Every half hour counts doesn't it?

blossomhill Wed 29-Sep-04 21:53:42

Davros - you are so right about it being the children that suffer I am lucky in the fact that my dd is now okay if she is on a 4:1, possibly 8:1 depending on the day she was having. To get 1:1 support I believe is so much harder. The summerscheme that dd was on had children that had 1:1 workers and it worked really well.
Again I think it is a lottery and depends on where you live. We are really lucky as we have one of the best borouughs for sn and sn schooling. The facilites in general are very good and I can't complain at all, unfortunately as I have seen on mumsnet this is not the case for everybody

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