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Trusting anyone else to look after dd - traumatised at thought of nursery.

(14 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Tue 26-Aug-08 00:16:13

dd is 2.3 and has CP, can crawl and just learning to walk with a frame. She has just had the CAF done by the Early years team and they have told me that she would benefit from going to a nursery (I guess it would benefit me too). I have visited a Surestart place near me which they have recommended but I just can't get over the feeling that no-one else is good enough to look after my child.

I trust both sets of Grandparents as they have known her from birth and they know all her little nuances. They need to know things like when she is standing to play she needs someone there behind her as she can suddenly topple. They don't seem to think they need any extra staff but I think she needs 1-1. I need to know they have correct seating etc as well. I'm not even sure the furniture is laid out so she could use her walking frame. The nursery have been a bit pushy and want to do a 'settle' this week where I leave dd for an hour. I just kind of agreed but now feel sick at the thought of it. dd and I are really very close and I know it will be hard for us both but equally I know it is something we both need.

Instinctively I just don't want to do this, I just don't get the right vibe from this nursery but it is known to be one of the best in town so is it just me? Do I trust instinct and keep my little girlie at home with me? I just feel worried that they don't know her and that she could actually hurt herself if she is not properly supervised. sad

Arabica Tue 26-Aug-08 01:33:55

Do you have anyone who works with DD, like a physio or portage worker, who can come and advise the nursery about DD's needs, plus give you feedback about what they think of the place?
My DD's nursery had me attend every session for the first four sessions; it was a goof way to observe the staff AND to see how geared up they were.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Tue 26-Aug-08 08:37:58

thanks Arabica - yes, they have said they will try to get physio to visit at some point but they are keen to get her started but I really want everything in place before she starts. I'm going to phone them today and tell them my concerns and I guess if they don't take them seriously it's not the right place for dd.

TotalChaos Tue 26-Aug-08 08:41:39

tbh I'm getting bad vibes just reading your post. don't let them hurry you into anything, you are being completely reasonable wanting physio etc to suss things out before she starts. just because a nursery has a good reputation doesn't mean it is the best at dealing with kids with SN. Do you have portage at all? As they or physio could have a good idea as to which nurseries are most clued up as to physical problems. DS's nursery let me attend the first few sessions with him.

drowninginlaundry Tue 26-Aug-08 08:42:10

I wish I could reassure you, but all I can say is trust your instincts. Staff in mainstream nurseries are not trained in special needs, and most don't have the background/education/training to understand and nurture a child with complex needs. My son has ASD and he attended one of 'the best' nurseries in our borough. The Early Years Team in our case as well was very laid back about the placement, thought he didn't need any extra support, thought that with a bit of 'advice' from an ed psych these 19-year old girls who have never ever looked after a child with ASD could cope. They didn't, they didn't follow mine or anyone's instructions, they either treated like a pet which was patronising, or assumed that he would be able to do things that a NT child could do (toileting).

It was more stress for me than what it was worth, there was this niggling worry in the back of my mind every time I took him in there, and I wasn't happy, he wasn't happy, so it wasn't working. In hindsight it did no good for him, the opposite in fact (his speech and language regressed). The LEA is hell-bent on pushing all children into nurseries as early as possible because they need to start their assessments, and because mostly, unfortunately, there is no other provision for children with special needs. Just because it's the only place they can find doesn't mean that it's the right one.

Trust your instincts. Could you perhaps start with a few sessions where you attend with your DD like Arabica said, and if you like what you see then great, if you don't then at least you have tried?

sweetgrapes Tue 26-Aug-08 09:02:18

Dd was in a mainstream nursery for a little while which was fab as they had a few places empty and so could give her loads of attention with no extra cost to me.

Later on she was in a special needs nursery which was fab too. They had mostly 1:1 anyway and had loads of experience with different types of problems.

Both places were referred to by the Portage lady and she was in touch all the way till dd joined school.

Your dd is over 2 so I would think you need to start letting go a little. Of course, check it out thoroughly and observe as many sessions as you need to feel comfortable. We had a lot of mums who would wait ther the whole 2 hours (some because they came from 2 far away - but some just to 'be there'.)

sweetgrapes Tue 26-Aug-08 09:03:39

and go and visit more nurseries. Just because this is the 'best' doesn't mean it's best for you.

sarah293 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:14:26

Message withdrawn

silverfrog Tue 26-Aug-08 11:02:39

agree, if you are not getting good vibes, then look around.

Just because everyone says this si the best nursery in the area does not mean it is the best for your dd.

dd1 (ASD) went to nursery at 20 months old (I needed a break) and I wish i had shopped around a little more.

the niursery she went to was great - lovely facilities etc, but it was not right for dd1.

She ended up like DIL's ds - either treated like a pet, or being asked to do things beyond her capabilities.

She has now been at a mainstream pre-school for a year and loves it, but i am on the verge of turning down a SN nursery placement because I fear that they will just forge ahead with their own agenda and notlisten to me, or dd1, about what might be best for her.

Trust your instincts. At the very least make sure that this placement are willing to listen to you (it doesn't sound like it atm) and if you think your dd needs certain things in place before she goes, then either try to make them see that too, or ask why they think these things aren't needed straightaway.

If it is agreed that your dd needs this extra help, then it should be in place from the start as otherwise it is a waste of everyone's time (not least your dd, going somewhere she cannot fully access).

mrz Tue 26-Aug-08 11:15:51

Hangingbellyofbabylon it is understandable that this is an anxious time for you and a big step for both you and your daughter so you need to be happy.
I'm a reception teacher working in a FSU with children from 3 to 5 and when children arrive with CP their OP and PT have usually already visited to ensure that the setting is able to match the child's needs. The LA also has a team that checks out any adaptations and resources which may be required , such as suitable seating, writing slopes, standing frames, computer programs, changing tables... and them everyone involved meets with the parents to see if we have forgotten anything after all you know your own child best. From your post it doesn't sound as if any of this has happened.
I would ask for a meeting if this isn't offered and discuss support issues and insist that it is a multi agency meeting. Were you present when the CAF was filled in?

Hangingbellyofbabylon Tue 26-Aug-08 14:48:16

Thanks for all your replies- yes, I was present for the CAF and we have the 'meeting around the child' or whatever they call it these days in a couple of weeks. I think the nursery think they know everything about CP as they have another child, a boy of 20 months with CP. But it is madness to think dd will be the same as this little boy - for a start he's already whizzing around with a walking frame at an age when my dd wasn't even crawling so dd will have different needs.

They have talked about getting physio and OT to visit but after she's been there for a while which again just seems silly. I have also asked about statementing but they say they can't start the process as she is not 'known by the Ed psych' - I know I need to fight harder but at the moment I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water with daily life and just can't fit in any more.

I have rung the place this morning and said I will be staying with dd for the settling in session this week, they were fine about it. I'm going to go around and conduct my own kind of risk assessment as the areas that dd will need help and support will be more obvious to me than to the physio probably.

Also is it reasonable to expect that if she wants to do something like go on the little seesaw in the play area they will lift her on and help to hold her so she won't fall off? I want her to be able to access all the stuff the other children can. They could argue they don't need 1 to 1, but that would mean dd being confined to a chair or a mat but if she is to fully access everything then I believe she will need someone working along side her.

Anyway, I am going to see if i get a better vibe when I see them again this thursday and luckily it's the day before we're off on holiday so dh is off work so he can see what he thinks too.

mrz Tue 26-Aug-08 16:08:13

I've worked with a number of children with CP and until you actually meet the child it is impossible to know their needs. I had one little boy who was horizontal and a girl who was walking and yet another who was in a wheelchair and a variety of needs in between, so couldn't make adjustments to the classroom environment based purely on previous experience so I fully understand your anxiety.
As a teacher I would want a risk assessment carried out ASAP and would mention this to the staff. I cannot give a definitive answer about such things as see saws as this would all fall under the risk assessment in my LA (have staff had handling /lifting training for example)
Good Luck for Thursday I'm pleased you are getting the chance to spend some time in the setting.

NineYearsOfNappies Fri 29-Aug-08 17:21:03

When dd2 started her mainstream pre-school we had a team around the child meeting beforehand with all her home based pros and the staff from the preschool. I stayed for the initial visits. Community children's nurse was there for the first full session to train all the staff in her medical needs. SLT was there for the next session doing feeding stuff and communication stuff. Physio was there for the next one and went back a week later to reinforce things. No was would I have been comfortable without all that. She did have 1:1 though and a statement.Rubbish that the statementing process can't start if she isn't known to ed psychs; you can write and request and an ed psych can be appointed. dd 1's statement was begun at 18 months.

Arabica Sat 30-Aug-08 00:14:06

We also started the statementing process ourselves, without DD knowing an ed psych, when DD was 22 months. An ed psych was appointed and came to nursery to observe. Very helpful and friendly he was, too! Statements are portable, so if you don't like the nursery, you can go elsewhere and your DD will get the same support (well, that's what I have been told...)

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