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I'm worried about my DS going into the juniors on Monday

(94 Posts)
Pinkchampagne Thu 30-Aug-07 23:28:59

I really don't know how he is going to cope with it all.
He has always had to have a lot of extra support at school (doesn't yet have a dx, but they are looking into AS/dyspraxia), and there is going to be so much more expected of him now.

I have been trying to do his diary writing homework with him, and even with me sitting over him, it is such a struggle. His writing is worse than a lot of the children we had in reception last year, and he needs so much pushing to actually get on with it. He slouches & rubs his eyes when he is sat down to write anything, and you cannot read what he eventually produces.

He cannot organise himself at all, and there won't be someone constantly asking if he has changed his reading book etc.

Also, I am getting upset at the thought of leaving him in that junior playground with all the bigger children. He struggled enough in the infant one.sad

I am just so worried for him.

Niecie Fri 31-Aug-07 03:11:02

Hi Pinkchampagne,

Just wanted to let you know I know how you feel. DS1 is starting juniors next week and has mild AS/dyspraxia and also has really bad handwriting. He is bright but let down by the handwriting and his lack of organisational skills. Not sure the infants were doing much towards the end of his time there so I shall be going to see his new teacher in a couple of weeks to see how she finds him and to see if we can see the OT sooner rather than later. Perhaps you could do the same and explain the situations as you see it. If his old school and the juniors are linked like ours I am sure that the teachers will have had some sort of handover but it is worth getting your point of view across.

Does your DS have any friends starting with him? They will make it easier for him. DS is worried about the new routines but I keep telling him he will know everybody in his class and that they will be told what to do so he will be fine (even if I have worries about him getting confused).

Are you on a waiting list to see the OT and psychologist? Perhaps you could get the new school to start pushing for the appointments if you haven't got one already. Maybe speak to the school nurse? They might add a bit of new impetus. It is important as then he can go on the SN Register and he can start getting some help which I believe the school are obliged to supply. Until the DX I don't think they are.

How is your DS feeling about it all? My DS is a bit apprehensive but OK at the moment but then we are on holiday so it all seems a long way off. Might be different when we get home on Saturday.

Good luck next week though. I bet they will be fine in the end - just a question of whether we will be!smile

Pinkchampagne Fri 31-Aug-07 11:00:19

Thanks, Niecie. It is all a worry isn't it?

The junior section is attached to the same school, and he will be moving up with his classmates, but he doesn't interact that well with many of them, and I'm worried about leaving him in that big junior playground with much bigger children & footballs everywhere!
You have to leave them at the enterence & they are expected to go in by themselves from day 1.

He has seen a pead, who has referred him to a speech therapist, OT, and child psychologist. I saw her back in May & have phoned the hospital to chase them up.

He is on the special needs register under school action plus, but until they know exactually what his problams are, they are often at a bit of a loss as in what to do with him.

He was put in the bottom group in yr 2 (after starting in reception in top group) because he is so hard to get motivated & his handwriting problems, yet his SATs results show he is getting good average grades for his age group. (He did some of his SATs on a laptop)

He hasn't spoken much about the juniors, but he dislikes school & doesn't want to go back.sad

Pinkchampagne Fri 31-Aug-07 11:01:53

Good luck to your DS next week too, Niecie. I hope all goes ok for

Niecie Fri 31-Aug-07 18:14:36

Hi again,

You are right it is a worry. I don't like the idea of leaving him in the playground either and the other thing is that he won't be able to go to the toilet whenever he likes any more. He seemed to use it as a bit of a refuge in Yr R and Yr 1 although he didn't do it so often in Yr 2 but I am worried that he won't have that in the Juniors. Silly thing to worry about really but there you go!

Do you know how long your waiting lists are in your area. We got referred in June 2004 but it took a year to see the psych. and 18mths to see the OT. I can't remember with the SALT but then I don't really think much of them anyway - took 18 months for them to come to the same conclusions as me - that he had trouble with only a few sounds, but he wasted Yr R doing daily exercises with the Classroom assistant which were too easy and unnecessary. She was also the only one who had him down as not very bright when all the other professionals said he was actually above average. I am considering not telling them not to bother with the SALT any more as it is just another thing that makes DS stand out from the crowd a bit.

Do you have a feeling about the DX for your son? I didn't think that my DS really had AS and that his troubles were more dyspraxia but having been on MN for a few months now he sounds pretty typical, even if I don't recognise him from descriptions in the books. I suppose the problem is that there are such huge overlaps between all the different behavioural syndromes (AS, dyspraxia, ADHD etc) that it isn't surprising if I am confused.

Anyway, it is all a bit of a nightmare at times of change like this term so I suppose the only thing we can do is try and keep them strong and help them through it.

I hope by this time next week we might both be a little bit less worried about it all.

Pinkchampagne Sat 01-Sep-07 17:49:32

I am not sure how long the waiting lists are in our area, but I hope they aren't too long.
I have to go back to the pead in December.

My DS ticks a lot of boxes for dyspraxia, but I also feel he may well be somewhere on the autistic spectrum.
He doesn't mix well at all, and the differences between him & other children of his age are becoming more noticable. He hand flaps, but he also does other odd things like patting the back of his head or his chest rapidly, which I fear the other children are soon going to pick up on, especially older children.
He has a lot of trouble with his concentration, and often fiddles on the carpet at school & daydreams. He also still has problems dressing himself (puts things on back to front, has trouble with buttons & zips etc), and lots of problems organising himself.

The pead suspects his difficulties may lie on the autistic spectrum, and deep down I always have too, although I would never admit it.

Niecie Sat 01-Sep-07 18:47:26

Pinkchampagne, your DS sounds very like mine except for the patting. My DS flaps and paces the floor. He has trouble with buttons and shoelaces which wasn't a problem in the infants when they had elasticated waists on their trousers and wore polo shirts but as they get older they don't have elasticated waists and they are expected to wear ordinary shirts with buttons. He has also taken to chewing things and I am forever telling him to take things out of his mouth - he is worse than DS2! Eating with a knife and fork is a nightmare and we are on at him all the time. He is rubbish at sport although I think he could be a good runner if he only realised that anybody had said 'go' at the start of the race. He also gets very tired and everything seems to be a big effort. On the other hand it must take it out of you, all that flapping!!

Like you I worry a lot that older children will be less forgiving of his foibles. He is better at school than at home but we live next door to the infants and I could see him at play time getting bored of being with his friends (he has had the same 3 close frined all the way through school) and just pacing up and down the edge of the playground flapping. I won't be able to see him any more when he goes next door to that in the Juniors. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing!

I think I have found it difficult to accept the AS DX as the consultant paediatric clinical psychologist said he had social communciation difficulties but he wasn't bad enough to say he has AS. But after all the professionals had seen him there was a review meeting and they talked about a DX. The psych who had seen him wasn't there, just 2 of her assistants. The SALT wasn't there just the SALT manager who hadn't met him and the OT didn't know about it. Between them they decided he did need a label of AS which was a shock even though I had been pretty sure of the DX myself for 2 years. They gave us some leaflets and recommended some books, then signed him off with no psychological help at all. Apparently we are just supposed to ignore the flapping hmm. The only thing he is now getting is the speech therapy and he was getting OT but the school have let that lapse and the OT hasn't been back recently.

That leaves us totally at a loss how to deal with the AS behaviour like the handflapping. If he didn't do that you wouldn't necessarily think there was much wrong with him apart from the coordination things. He is a pretty happy chap although if he is upset or annoyed he does go off the deep end a bit which might get him in to trouble in the future. Mind you I think he is odd and then somebody will come along and tell me their 'normal' child has done the same thing and then I begin to wonder if there is that much wrong with him again! I might ask to see an ed psych to see if she can do anything to ease his way a bit although I suppose,if past experience is anything to go by, it will be a year before they get round to seeing him.sad

I think from the first meeting with the doctor to the review meeting for us was about 22 months. Much too long. I hope you don't have to wait so long in your area. You just need to know don't you? What does the rest of your family think about it? Do they think there is anything wrong or do they pretend he is fine. DH was not convinced and, as he hasn't been on MN I still think he isn't convinced but he knows DS isn't normal in some ways. Difficult to know what to make allowances for and what we should be trying to change.

Ho hum, doesn't really help us get through next week though, does it. Hope emotions aren't running to high in your house this weekend. We have an inset day on Monday so we don't start until Tuesday. Still keeping fingers crossed all will be OK for the boys.

Niecie Sat 01-Sep-07 18:48:08

Sorry, that was a bit long. I went on a bit didn't I.blush

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 01-Sep-07 19:12:53

Pink Champagne

Have you as yet written to your LEA asking for your DS to be assessed with regards to getting a Statement?. If not, I would seriously consider writing to them asap. IPSEA are very good and there are model letters you can use. IPSEA's web address is

Don't let the school apply for a statement if they think of it - you as the parent have far more power than school does in this regard so the request for this must come from you.

School action plus is not always worth the paper its written on, it can fall short of what is needed becuase very little support is provided and there is certainly no one to one in class with this plan.

A Statement as well, unlike School action plus, is legally binding so the school will have to stick to it to the letter. I would push the LEA hard for one to be issued for your son, it could make his school life a lot easier for him and by turn make things re school easier for your good self.

Pinkchampagne Sun 02-Sep-07 10:05:19

ATM - I haven't looked into the possibility of a statement for DS yet, as I thought I would stand no chance with him not yet having an official dx - also, I know how hard they are to get, through my own experiences working in a school.
I will take a look at the IPSEA site though, and give it a go, as it is worth a try I guess.
Thanks for the

Niecie - your DS sounds very similar to mine in a lot of ways!
My DS is a very messy eater & still doesn't use a knife & fork properly. He often eats with his fingers, and makes loads of mess!
He will often wander around the playground alone, flapping or patting, and he also runs his fingers through soil a lot.
The chewing thing also sounds familiar!

Does your DS have a statement?

Niecie Sun 02-Sep-07 12:27:41

With regard to the Statement, we were told very early on by the infant headteacher that there was no way he would get a statement. He wasn't anywhere near bad enough to get one and you needed to be severely affected or disabled to be considered, which thankfully he is not. Sounds a lot like your school. By the sounds of it your DS is like mine and not badly affected either. Do you notice he has problems with the social communication stuff like eye contact, getting jokes, holding a conversation, understanding being teased and all that kind of thing.

To be honest, I think that he doesn't really needs a statement as long as they do the programmes set out by the OT and the SALT. I think that being on the SN Register is enough to make sure that the school do these programmes with him. I am no expert really. He is supposed to have an IEP but I have only seen one once and it wasn't that impressive so I haven't bothered asking again.

I kind of feel we don't fit anywhere. He isn't really badly affected and he is doing well at school apart from the handwriting. I think it might well have affected his SATs but since he got 2's and 3's nobody is that bothered. I therefore don't consider him to be SN as such. On the other hand he isn't quite normal either. I don't know where either of us fit in.

How are things in your house today? We have just got back from hols and I am having second thoughts about when the start of term actually is.blush. Officially it is tomorrow (3rd) but I think there is an inset day so they don't start until 4th which is what I have been working to. But I now can't find anything with that date on it so I am having second thoughts. Not the best way to ease things for poor DS! He doesn't know what to do. I have phoned a friend and left a message but it is all a bit embarrassing.blush

Pinkchampagne Sun 02-Sep-07 14:10:47

See my DS is affected at school because he needs constant pushing all the time.
when he went for the morning visit to his new junior class, he just stood there while all the others were sitting down, and the new TA had a real job getting him to write anything.
She came right up to me at break time, and said "We need to have a chat about your son at some time - there are problems there aren't there?"

I am feeling really anxious for him tomorrow. He is not at all happy at the thought of school, but think the pressure in the juniors is going to hit him hard.sad

Niecie Sun 02-Sep-07 14:52:34

Your DS sounds a bit like my DS in Yr R. At least somebody else has recognised a problem. Nobody seems that bothered by my DS although maybe that is because he has a dx and they expect him to be a bit different. I know that his old teacher made allowances for him - like when they did writing they were supposed to start every day by writing the date and their own name twice (weird but what do I know!). DS has a long name so rather than wait for him to struggle through writing it twice she let him write it only once. They don't push him to do things in PE either- no surprisingly he has a terrible time skipping and it has taken 3 yrs to get the hang of it.

Not sure how I feel about that as 1)it draws attention to him, and 2) it doesn't do him any favours if he is just being lazy and making excuses which occasionally, I think he is. He does give up very easily which is possibly the hardest part for me to cope with.

Pinkchampagne Sun 02-Sep-07 15:43:42

My DS gives up very easily too, and dislikes PE, which I can see becoming more of a problem in the juniors as they introduce things like football etc.
He hates any attention being drawn to him too, and always has done. He will often say he doesn't want to do things because people may laugh at him.

My family don't want to admit there is a problem, and my parents get quite cross if I ever mention anything.
My dad thinks I should be protecting him & not allow anyone to stick a silly label on him!

I have kept the fact I am having him assessed from my parents.

Pinkchampagne Sun 02-Sep-07 22:28:58

So worried about DS tomorrow.
I mentioned it to his dad, and he said there was no point worrying, and that he isn't going to cope, but there's nothing anyone can do about it.sad

Niecie Sun 02-Sep-07 23:46:50

Sadly your DS dad may have a point - it is a bit of a car crash waiting to happen, isn't it. Maybe though some good will come out of it and your ds will get some help quicker. I suppose we will both have to handle it one day at a time and see how it goes. You never know, his new teacher might be really switched on and know what to do to make it easier for him.

My DS was a bit upset about school tonight but I don't think he is alone. My friend's daughter is also worried and worked up. Not much we can do about it I suppose - just something they have to go through like exams or learning to drive. We can't do it for them. Doesn't make it any easier though.

I have myself a breathing space as there is an inset day tomorrow. Felt a right idiot for not knowing and having to phone a friend.

DS2 is now copying his big brother and saying he doesn't want to go back to his playgroup although that doesn't start until 10th. Does your DS2 copy his big brother, including the AS stuff? Makes me wonder about my DS2 sometimes but then he says almost the same things and I comfort myself by reasoning that if he really did have AS he would have his own version, not a carbon copy of his brother's traits. Probably won't stop me worrying though!

All the best tomorrow. I hope it doesn't turn out to be as bad as you think it is going to be and DS is happy to go back on Tuesday.

Pinkchampagne Mon 03-Sep-07 08:01:39


We have already had a big fuss from DS1 this morning because he was refusing to get the school shirt on that they are expected to wear in the juniors, and was searching for one of his old polo shirts.
I can see him really struggling with life in KS2, and I am so worried for him.sad

pinkbubble Mon 03-Sep-07 08:21:33

PC, DS does not need to wear shirt just yet, he can go back in summer uniform!

Niecie Mon 03-Sep-07 12:13:44

Hope you made it out the door OK with the right shirt on. I hope my DS's school is happy with polo shirts as I haven't even dared by any proper shirts yet. I thought about it last week but chickened out.

How did you get on once you made it to school? I really hope it went better than expected. I have been thinking about you this morning and am very glad that most of Hampshire seems to have an inset day and I can put this off until tomorrow.

Peachy Mon 03-Sep-07 12:20:00

DS1 went today so I know how you feel (he has AS / HFA with additional learning disabilities and SPD). I ahve no idea how he will cope, his SATS results were all but faked last year (' well he attained a level 1 but we decided to bump him to 2 for effort' hmm). HOWEVER the You may well find this is the thing he needs- a different Senco, may be able / willing to access mroe supprt 9far better provision now at ours than Infants) and it could be the start of getting those vital answers.

I did ds1's homework with him the alst few days and was disgusted how little he really has learned in Infants- I really hope that this phase will be so much mroe psoitive.

Peachy Mon 03-Sep-07 12:24:49

Oh and ds3 (admittedly mroesevere) doesn't have a formal dx yet but has a statement of 505 -1 (not enough but shows it can exist- a statement wiothout a dx)

Niecie Mon 03-Sep-07 12:37:32

Peachy - that is a good way of looking at it. A fresh start for everybody.

Can I ask - does your DS1 have a statement too? I only ask as my son has AS and the infant headteacher says he wouldn't get a statement as he isn't bad enough. I am just wondering if it is worth challenging that or even if it means anything in practice. Difficult get unbiased opinions from the education professionals

Peachy Mon 03-Sep-07 12:43:38

DS1 gets 10 hours support a week, yes. I had to do ALL the legwork- school totally useless and even lied that they'd already beenr efused help- but it wasn't as hard as all that, IPSEA were good (but hard to reach), NAS also ahs an education line which helped a lot with info.

Trick imo is to be straight when applying for statements- ds1 has aggression issues and I put clearly that should he be refused supervision and another child was injured I would hold the LEA legally responsible! that can also be turned into should he be bullied, or develop depression / educatinal issues.

Niecie Mon 03-Sep-07 12:51:41

But can anything actually be done for the AS. DS1 has OT and ST is which really about motor skills but nothing for the social communication side like the bouncing and hand flapping, pacing and head shaking. Everybody says just ignore it but it is that kind of thing that is going to get him picked on at school.

I know that AS children can't help stimming but is there no way to modify the behaviour?

Peachy Mon 03-Sep-07 12:57:58

There's quite a lot that can be done- firstly the stimming may well self modify if the stress that is causing them is reduced. I would suggest (not knowing your DS) a visual timetable should be provided by the teacher (Ebay often ahve good ones), a safe and accesible time out zone so he can take himself away if needed (hugely useful in AS), availability and access to social stories which address issues such as flapping that can, as you say, invite bullying (you can make these yourself- gess ahs some good links- or Amazon sell them too I belive). Timed warnings over changes / transitions (a five minute warning buzzer for example), ds1 also received a termof circle time help with the local Ed Psych and a few schoolmates working on social skills- eg names (ds1 doesnt usually bother with them), turn taking, sharing etc- we pulled him out when they wanted to train a prent as we felt that was abreach of trust for him, but until then it was excellent.

There's a book on Mazon that I found useful- will find and link. All rpactical strategies, no guff smile

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