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What help will there be at school for my DD with AS

(8 Posts)
twocutedarlings Fri 31-Aug-07 09:02:42

Hi All,

My DD starts in Reception class on Tuesday, after IQ tests last Wednesday with Psychologist, the outcome was that DD is highly likely to have Aspergers, but dont want to give her a Dx until Dec/Jan as they want to see how she copes in school first. The peads and Psychologist ect are writing up there report, but that will take a 2/3 weeks before we get it, in mean time is there any support that school are obligated to put in place to help her ?? she is already on the SEN registar will this help her in any way? sorry for my rambleing, as you can probably tell this all very new to me, and i just want to make sure that DD gets all the help and support she is entitiled to, so that hopefully her first experiance of school is a good one.

UKMum2Boys Fri 31-Aug-07 12:06:49

Hello, I am a new member to Mumsnet and your post has urged me to write as we share so much in common ! My YS also starts in Reception Class on Tuesday, during the summer holidays he has been examined by a Paediatrician and had a 90 min assessment with a Psychologist,I have received her report and have read and digested its entire contents, I have phoned to give authorisation for it to be distributed out to everbody on the list.

I have recently received a letter to notify me that the Diagnostic/Planning meeting will be on the 17th October.

I would also really welcome a list of sugestions of what I should do next from experienced parents of AS childen.

ind regards Louise SAHM to ES 6.11 and YS 4.9 AS / 100% Hyperlexic

Dinosaur Fri 31-Aug-07 15:39:23

It seems to vary very much from school to school, to be honest.

My DSs' school do seem to manage to provide a lot of support for children with SEN even if they are not statemented, but as you will soon learn from reading this board, not all schools are able to do this (or even willing to try sad).

Have you been in and had a chat with her class teacher and the classroom assistant? I would arrange a meeting with them and the Special Needs Co-ordinator, talk to them about what your dd is like, what she likes, what she finds difficult etc and make it clear that the onus is really on them to get to grips with her needs.

flyingmum Fri 31-Aug-07 16:07:06

You know the areas where your child may need more support (ie, they may be able to read a bit already but will have a meltdown if someone bumps into them) so you need to tell the teacher this. Write it down if necessary. The start of term is always a bit of a nightmare for every teacher and sometimes you get info overload. Most receptions now seem to use visual clues for all children but if they don't suggest that they get a set of visual cards made with signs for snack time, writing time, quiet time, etc (whatever the school does) and use a velcro sticky board to put them on for your child.

The teacher might not be aware that an ASD child will not necessarily respond to the command 'now everyone I want you to . . .' because they do not see themseves as 'everyone'. so you might need to point out that the teacher needs to specifically use your child's name and give very exact instruction. The more confused and anxious a child is the more autistic it gets in my experience - the key is to minimise ANY anxiety.

Also, ask the teacher to prewarn on ANY change, however small and using timers really worked for my chap. So 'when the timer gets to x then we are going to put pens down and stop drawing and look at me' When it is 2.00 o'clock (aspies seem to learn time quite well in my experience both as a mum and teacher) we are going to get changed for pe and you are going to use this chair to put your things on'.

Assemblies are pretty difficult for lots of reception kids but for ASD kids they can be problematic. If yours will not sit still then get a carpet tile and that is their special sitting place.

The school may suggest a home/school diary which is good in a way and allows you to warn them if they might be going to have a stormy day for whatever reason. BUT be warned: some LSAs and teachers will write down every tiny little thing that you child has done 'wrong' in it which when you read it at home sounds awful. I set far too much store by this and it lost me my perspective so a sentence like 'A snapped a pencil in half and cried' seemed like the end of the world to me and confirmed his difficulties when in hindsight ANY child of 4 could be doing this and reacting in this way.

Always remember that not all teachers are willing to listen. Many will want to 'suck it and see', ie, 'well the child might be different in school than at home' YOU know your child best, you might have to badger, be ultra ultra helpful and nicey nicey even though you just want to thump them. AND (which I wish I had known) Lots of non-SN kids have difficulties with reception and settling - yours won't be the only one who might be having difficulties and there will be always one child who is reading Harry Potter aged 5 and knows their 3 times table already - don't stand next to that mother in the playground - it will make you feel crap.

We survived. I have to say reception was the worst year for us but that is becasue my son was a trail blazer - the first humdinging ASD ++++ other difficulties they had had. The two MS schools he has been to are now pretty specialised in this now - I just wish my son hadn't been a guinea pig. Good luck.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 31-Aug-07 17:31:00

Why don't they want to diagnose until January?.

Would certainly second the suggestion to speak to the SENCO at her school. Schools are very variable in the support they offer particularly if a Statement is not in place for the child.

You as her parent can do something, you are certainly not powerless here and in the following regard you have more power than school. I would urge you to now write to your LEA (Local Education Authority) asking for your DD to be assessed with a view to getting a Statement of special needs. Having such a document which is legally binding (unlike plans like School action and school action plus) will give her extra support in class and will help her in her school life. IPSEA (www.ipsea.org.uk) have model letters you can use.

coppertop Fri 31-Aug-07 18:05:27

Unless your dd has a statement then the school aren't obligated to do anything. So much will depend on the school. Ds1's school has done a lot for him without a statement but, as Dinosaur says, this doesn't happen everywhere.

At the very least your dd should be given an IEP. This will set out some targets for your dd to work towards and should include details of how the school will help her to achieve them. As your dd will be new to the school you should ideally be able to attend the meeting when the targets are being decided upon.

Potential problems when starting school will include (as Flyingmum says) things like:

Carpet time: it's fairly common for children with AS/ASD to find this difficult. My ds1 hates other children sitting too close. My ds2 dislikes it too but also manages to upset other children by practically sitting on top of them when he feels like it. Ds1 has a small cushion which he uses when he wants to. A carpet tile has also worked just as well.

Noise: Depending on what your child is used to, the noise in the classroom might be overwhelming at first. A quiet area in the classroom can be a real help. My ds2 has headphones that help to reduce the noise levels.

Routine: Visual timetables setting out what is going to happen are very useful. The only real difficulty I've seen with these in Reception is that the focus is supposed to be on children choosing their own activities at certain times and sometimes staff feel that setting out what a child will do is somehow in conflict with this. Stick to your guns!

Playground: If break-times are completely unstructured it can be very difficult for a child with AS/ASD. There is also the whole social minefield to make their way through, eg joining in with games, interacting with other children. Social stories might be useful as a way of explaining 'the rules' and avoiding some of the confusion.

Assemblies: Sitting in a large room full of children can be difficult, especially when everyone starts singing. Sitting on the end of the row will help a little as it is slightly less crowded. Ds1's teacher's strategy was to let children who found assemblies difficult to sit them out until the assembly was almost finished. Gradually she would bring them in earlier and earlier until eventually they would hopefully be able to sit through the whole thing.

UKMum2Boys - as well as the above you might find that you have to really emphasise the fact that just because your ds can read something it doesn't mean that he will necessarily understand it. I was quite fortunate in this as ds1's teachers soon realised that although he could technically read very difficult books he actually needed much easier ones. That way he could slowly build up comprehension skills.

twocutedarlings Fri 31-Aug-07 20:13:50

Thankyou so much for your replys

Dinosaur, Yes i have met teacher but not on a one to one basis only on our open day,ive tryed to get intouch with school all week i have even walked up 3 times but it was all locked up !!, but DDs teacher is aware that DD was having assessments done over the summer.

However When pre school refered us to CDC, all i knew was we were having a combined assessment as she has never socialised with peers ect, but because nobody had ever menioned AS to us intil our first appointment at CDC last month shock, However since our 1st appointment i have obviously done my own research on line ect, all DD issues/quirkes have all clicked into place, tbh we just thought that she was quite stubborn and abit ignorant, feel really crap now!! for all the times ive played merry hell at her for not listening ect.

Flyingmum, your advice for the home school/diary is something that i think will really help as DDs behaviour at home is quite different than what pre school experianced. so i think if i can have an insight this will be extremley helpful. Thankyou

Attilla, They dont want to give her a Dx until they can see how she copes at school. (crap i know) to be totally honest i dont think she ticks all the boxes as there are a lots of AS traits that DD doesnt have, however they did say that to DX a girl with AS is more difficult as they often cope and mask problems better than boys, so im not sure if this is the reason (yet another question i should have asked). but im now thinking that they are just waiting to see if she sinks of swims (didnt think of this at the time)this is what is now breaking my heart. But your right i will enquire about a statement first thing monday.

Coppertop, im just about to print off what you have writen, as everything you have said will apply to DD (hope thats OK).

Long post again im sorry, but thanks again !! im so glad ive found MN you lot have helped so much.

coppertop Sun 02-Sep-07 19:51:54

Of course it's okay, TCD.

Good luck!

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