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Feeling overwhelmed

(13 Posts)
padua Thu 18-Sep-08 17:37:42

Feeling overwhelmed. My DS has just started reception. He is undergoing assessments for possible dyspraxia and or high functioning autism and hypertonia. The OT and Physio have just told us he has hypermobile joints. This was enough to take in but now his class teacher is telling me daily that he has disrupted her carpet session by talking to himself or not sitting upright. She has told the other children that he cannot follow the rules like them. Two other mothers have approached me in the playground to say that the Teaching Assistant in the class told them my son couldn't follow the class rules and gets up from the carpet to wander around the room. Also that the class teacher had told their children my DS had weak bones.
I just went home and cried. His pre school said he was a sweet kind and loving boy and was able to join in well by the end of the year. I'm a Senco myself and am appalled at their lack of confidentiality and attitude towards including him. I feel that I'm in that awful situation where if I complain at this stage things will get worse for him.

Niecie Thu 18-Sep-08 17:45:32

I think you need to say something to them - even if it is too late for your DS they need to know it isn't on to tell the other mothers.

It wouldn't have been quite so bad if they had got it right - I would be worried that the teacher doesn't actually know what hypertonia was. I appreciate she might be making it easier for the children to understand but it may be that she actually doesn't know herself.

Personally, I would be expecting one of the TA to be helping out whilst the children were on the mat and keeping an eye on your DS, either helping to stay sitting down or guiding him back to the mat. Children in reception probably didn't even notice his behaviour and if they had wouldn't have thought anything of it so I see no reason to tell them.

My DS has something similar and I would be horrified if people I didn't know that well were discussing my son, about things they probably don't understand. Only one person apart from the school know his full dx and a few people know he has extra help but it is private. It isn't that I am ashamed of him but that he has enough to deal with without having to deal with other people's ignorance and prejudices.

angry I feel for you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 18-Sep-08 17:59:02

Hi padua

Would agree with Niecie's response. I would ensure that both his class teacher and TA are fully aware of his additional needs, ignorance of such things on their part leads only to problems like you have experienced. You need to arrange a meeting with both these individuals.

Is there an IEP in place for your son currently?. If not there ought to be and you also should be in there termly to discuss it.

If DS is under the care of a developmental paed request that he writes a letter to the school. That ought to gee them up a bit.

Have you given any thought to date about applying for a Statement for your son?. That would certainly give him additional support in class. You don't need a diagnosis to apply for such a document. Generally speaking, the earlier that this is applied for the better.

You are your son's best - and only - advocate.

lingle Thu 18-Sep-08 18:03:13

angry I think I would go straight to the head's office myself.
But if you want to build bridges, I'm just wondering if you had a leavers' report from the old pre-school that you could show the head and staff, or offer to put them in touch with the pre-school leader who worked so well with your little one? At the end of the day, I guess you want the staff to feel positive towards your little one so perhaps you could bring yourself to give them a second chance? hard I know as they don't deserve it.
I may be posting a similar message next Sept. so feel for you.

bullet123 Thu 18-Sep-08 18:09:39

"She has told the other children that he cannot follow the rules like them. Two other mothers have approached me in the playground to say that the Teaching Assistant in the class told them my son couldn't follow the class rules and gets up from the carpet to wander around the room. Also that the class teacher had told their children my DS had weak bones"
I would put in a complaint about this to be honest. Your teacher should not be discussing your son to the other children or parents.

cory Thu 18-Sep-08 18:17:52

There is some excuse though for the teacher explaining to the other children why your ds cannot follow rules about sitting still. If he has hypermobile joints, then he will need to fidget more than the other children can be allowed, and this may well need explaining to the other children.

The report you are receiving in the playground about what the teacher said about weak bones is third hand and transmitted through 4yos- you may expect that to be garbled.

I have two children with hypermobility syndrome so know something about this.

What I would do would be to go in and discuss with the teacher what you want her to tell the other children and how. But you need to accept that it is a choice between her telling them something and her telling your ds off when he fidgets- which is a natural consequence of his condition. The third option (letting everybody fidget and move around) isn't really viable. And you can bet that the other children will complain if he is allowed extra movement without any explanation.

Confidentiality is good- but you can only ask the other children to accept the needs of your ds if they are allowed to know about him. The best thing would probably be if either you or your ds's OT went into the class and explained the situation to the children.

cory Thu 18-Sep-08 18:24:28

Ah sorry, missed the autism diagnosis in process. So that would be the 'not able to follow rules'. Hmm, that's less acceptable and I can understand your concerns. Still, the kids do need to be told something. Otherwise it will undermine discipline if he seems to get away with things and they don't. Again, I think you need to take charge of what you want the class to be told.

But remember the teacher's comment may have been quite innocent. Something like:
-Miss, why don't you tell X off, look he's being naughty (kids of this age tend to be sticklers for justice)
-Now just sit down, Y. Some children find it harder to remember the rules, just don't you worry about it.

And by the time this is told at second hand it will sound totally different.

So I wouldn't go in steaming, more with a list of suggestions for how the teacher should tackle this. Hopefully your ds will soon get a statement (if he needs one) and whatever support he may need.

vjg13 Thu 18-Sep-08 18:25:24

I am really upset for you. I agree with the other postings and am amazed especially at the behaviour of the TA. angry

The head of my younger daughter's nursery gave out lots of details about my older daughter's needs and school problems to another parent and I was fuming. I complained but was stunned that she thought this was ok.

Hope you get chance to see the Head Teacher tomorrow.

padua Thu 18-Sep-08 18:55:56

I understand the need to explain to the class my DS's inability to sit still in a sympathetic way. I would do this myself as a teacher. He has only attended a few mornings so far and (due to the nursery feedback)I wasn't prepared that it would be such an obvious problem so quickly. I haven't even had the OT's report back so was waiting for that before I discussed strategies. As a teacher I would also wait for a time when the child wasn't in the room before I discussed his difficulties with a class. His were discussed in front of him. He has never known he is different to anyone else nor had we told him about his hypermobility as we only found out last week. I feel to blame now that I didn't take charge of what the teacher would tell them. It all just happened so fast.

aquariusgirl Thu 18-Sep-08 19:16:33

I can sympathise. My son has seen the paediatrician because of his 'differentness' which the school were assessing not quick enough for my liking and she told us that he was 'on the edge' of dyspraxia and ADD. That he would grow out of it to a certain extent which I feel too. He is a very bright little boy but between 4 and 7 he would disrupt the class by wandering and also invading the other children's personal space. He had for two years a fantastic teacher who understood him and gave him such encouragement. He was allowed to sit on a chair as he was physially unable to sit cross legged on the floor. His classmates were told to move away and tell him very nicely that they did not like him touching them today. He is just a loving boy. I wondered whether he needed statementing but this county are reluctant to do that as it means they would have to provide funding - never mind the needs of the child! Heis now 9 and getting better. He still cannot keep still and is gangly and awkward but growing into himself!

cory Thu 18-Sep-08 19:31:56

Lots of sympathy!!! It is so hard to know what to do for the best and to predict what their day is going to be like.

padua Mon 22-Sep-08 07:32:23

Just to let you know after reading your posts I wrote to the Senco explaining what had happened and my concerns. She wrote a very nice reply back and has invited me in to meet with her so she can assure me of their commitment to providing the right environment for my DS. Feeling more positive now and thank you all for listening.

Romy7 Mon 22-Sep-08 14:24:08

some ideas that might help - at carpet time dd2 uses the back of the drawer cabinet to lean on, or her chair - the teacher and the TA know that sitting still for longer periods is easier for her if there is some support - her pre-school used a coloured circle of carpet as a visual cue for her to remember where she was supposed to be, and positioned it carefully lol.
hope the senco has lots of other ideas - are you getting an OT referral? (might be jumping the gun but i'm thinking if fine motor/ pencil control, and sometimes it helps to be a bit pro-active if you suspect there might be problems - referrals can take ages...)

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