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Writing and school grrrrrrr

(23 Posts)
debs40 Wed 16-Sep-09 11:45:11

DS (6 possible AS) has hypotonia and hypermobility (he's very floppy) and is hating 'joined up' writing.

I've tried to explain all this to school and have had some input from OT (we've yet to see them) which I have passed on.

Their answer seems to be 'oh well no one really likes handwriting practise and he's doing fine, he just needs to come and tell us if he's worried'.

They haven't suggested adopting any of the recommendations from the OT

I think they're missing the point and I'm worried he is going to have more of a battle with this as the year goes on unless they do.

He is already getting worked up about being last to finish

ChopsTheDuck Wed 16-Sep-09 12:23:09

has the OT done a school liason visit yet? Might be worth asking for one.

Ours stopped joined up once I said the OT had strongly recommended it and was happy to discuss it over the phone.

debs40 Wed 16-Sep-09 12:24:36

No, I have just had a chat with OT on the phone. I've contacted her again today.

I don't want them putting him off writing by pushing this when he is clearly struggling.

cory Wed 16-Sep-09 12:30:02

Is he in pain as well? Just asking because my ds who is hypermobile actually gets quite a lot of pain in his wrists from writing. But it took ages for us to find out, he never told us. His school is looking at a laptop or possibly dictaphone.

Have they got special pens for him?

debs40 Wed 16-Sep-09 12:32:17

They have got nothing for him. I bought pen grips but he told me they didn't use them last week in handwriting practise.

I am slightly hypermobile myself and I have never master joined up writing. I also find it painful to write. God knows what it's like for him - he's so bendy he can put his feet behind his head grin

ChopsTheDuck Wed 16-Sep-09 13:01:24

I think it is a battle to get anything provided by the school unless the OT says to the school that they need it. it cna then be provided out of the SEN budget.

I'm still waiting for the school to provide ds's stuff, and he keeps losing the grips I send in. hmm

debs40 Wed 16-Sep-09 13:10:24

Chops - that makes sense. I wondered why they seemed so non-committal when I suggested all these things!

Will chase OT on appointment. It's starting to feel like I spend my life running around after these people....hmm

debs40 Wed 16-Sep-09 20:28:37

Mmmm, DS has just told me he was shouted at last week during their first handwriting practise of the term. It seems there is a formal time set aside for it. What fun hmmHe was last to finish (by loads) and his teacher told him to 'stop messing about and taking so long and just do it'. Other people got team points and he didn't sad.No wonder he was so worked up about his writing homework at the weekend. He kept on crying and saying he was rubbish.

I wouldn't mind but I spent 40 mins with this teacher before the start of term talking about issues like this.

I feel like they've fallen at the first hurdle a bit

ChopsTheDuck Thu 17-Sep-09 07:53:07

poor lad sad You must be feeling so frustrated.

Have you spoken to the senco? I think to upset him this much is unnaceptable and you are going to have to go over her head, and either speak to the senco or the headteacher.

I'd request that he is either given an earlier start time or less to do as well. Self confidence is so important for dealing with these issues, and coming last every week isn't going to help him at all.

Does he have an IEP? Issues like this should be dealt with in that. I remember ds had something in his about handwriting at one time. It can then also state the support he needs.

debs40 Thu 17-Sep-09 08:20:48

Thanks chops. Fortunately, he has two teachers and the other one has been much more switched on now I've raised all this with her. She has said they won't be pushing the 'joined up' bit and has said all the right things.

Would I know if he had an IEP? No one has mentioned it. They have given him some extra TA time but that is it at the moment. I think this is going to be used for writing too

ChopsTheDuck Thu 17-Sep-09 09:00:46

You should know, I have meetings with the teacher each time it is changed.

ds's at that age had things liek learnign to form letters correctly, learning to dress himself independently for PE, sitting nicely at carpet time. Just addressing the things he foudn difficult and forming achievable targets and methods to attain them.

I'm glad the other teacher is a bit more understanding. smile

optimisticmumma Thu 17-Sep-09 09:04:53

Soounds to me like you need to make an appointment with the SENCO. I teach Y3/4 and have a couple of children in my class who have similar issues. Does your child have a 'statement'? If not then he should have an IEP and yes you and he should agree it!!!How much help is he getting a week?
Frankly I am appalled by your post. I can't believe how inflexible the class teachers are being. One of my pupils has an OT target/SAlt target/Physio target and these get done every day. He uses a laptop in class. Same with the other one.. Whenever possible he uses a PC.

Good luck and don't take any nonsense!!!!grin

optimisticmumma Thu 17-Sep-09 09:14:07

Oh and also there is something called 'Provision Mapping' which you might like to ask SENCO about. Looks at what 'provision' is needed for individual children basically (both ends of the spectrum and through the middle too). We looked at our children throughout the school before term began and sorted out the TAs accordingly!
HTH. Keep smiling and keep everyone onside if you can. You are not being awkward you are simply asking for your chiild's needs to be taken into account. Which we all do!!

debs40 Thu 17-Sep-09 13:34:39

Thanks for this. DS doesn't have a statement. I have sorted out all the referrals. He moved schools in Yr1 and I had already started to notice sensory and other issues so I was a few steps ahead of the teachers.

Their view, initially, was that there was no problem. He is bright and has some friends. Does fine with reading and writing.

They then began to see the issues I was talking about and set up some help for him at the end of last term to help with the change of classes. This was because he seemed to go into freefall a bit with all the change.

Anyway, I had a talk to the more difficult teacher at the start of term about everything. She seemed to listen and was very reassuring. However, she then shouts at him in the first h/writing class and tells me this morning that 'none of them like writing, he's doing fine'.

We have yet to see OT/SALT and have SCD assessment but I think you have to meet the need that is there irrespective of lack of diagnosis at present. I think the problem is that this teacher doesn't necessarily see the need as she thinks he's doing fine. My point would be that it is clearly difficult for him so let's not wait until he proves it to you by really struggling and falling behind hmm

It annoyed me that she said he could come and talk to her about these worries. I mean what are the chances of any 6 year old boy doing that with a new teacher but especially one with SCD.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm going mad flapping about it all and making myself look like an overanxious parent. Other times, I feel that I'm not doing enough.

He has 3 hours per week TA support but I don't know whether that is part of a plan of any sort.

optimisticmumma Thu 17-Sep-09 13:39:44

Sounds like you've done loads! smile. As I say your best bet is to make an appointment with the SENCO. Your little chap is still very little and shouldn't be shouted at whether he has needs or not!!!! I know some teachers get very 'stressy' at the beginning of the year but it's no excuse imo.

Keep at it - I'm sure it will all settle down as the term goes on.

debs40 Thu 17-Sep-09 13:43:35

They haven't said they have put him on the SEN register. Would he have to be on it and have an IEP to get TA help or can that be done informally?

trace2 Thu 17-Sep-09 15:46:01

you and ds sounds like my ds hes 7 and in year 3 with AS because ds is very bright and maths reading they say hes ok but he holds is pen so hard it hurts is hands and his writing is awful and messy and hes very slow we did mention this but was told all children is age have problems with this! so i am waiting in time to see how far behind he gets but i said the sats would let him down with his hand writing and they did he got very high marks with reading understanding and maths.

optimisticmumma Thu 17-Sep-09 16:00:43

Debs - yes he could get help without necessarily being on register. The new 'Provision Mapping' looks at every child in the class and flags up everyone's individual needs. Don't know if all authorities are doing this. It's new for us this term.
Perhaps your first port of call would be the nicer teacher. Ask her if he is on the SENCO's list!

debs40 Thu 17-Sep-09 16:09:08

Thanks optimisticmumma. The whole thing is very confusing. I will ask nicer teacher about the basis for the provision.

trace2 - this is what I'm worried about a bit. He's kept pace with everyone else as they've been learning the basics and hasn't been unhappy about writing too much.

Now it's getting more complicated and harder for him and I can see he's struggling physically to achieve what they want him to, I think he might need a bit of help. That's why it was frustrating to be met with the 'they're all struggling with joined up writing' attitude.

Yes, I'm sure they are but that doesn't pay attention to the fact that the doctors say it will be HARDER for DS than it is for the others.

Oh well, it is getting me down a bit. DS came out of school like a coiled spring, screaming down the street because people got in front of us and his books are well below his reading level. I can't remember the last time he got stuck on a word.

I can't be up moaning every 5 mins and this is a good school. Still early days start of term and all that

BethNoire Thu 17-Sep-09 16:13:50

Optimisticmumma you sound good- I coud have sorely done with you in the past (we'reluckier now, ahve had BAD experiences!)

Debs- thsi 'can cope' thing is ofetn the downfall of more able children with AS: a teacher who is not necessaily committed to inclusion (or sometimes very uninformed about it- a friend did her Secondary PGCE last year and has enrolled on an SEN MAsters as she didn't even get told what an ASD was!!!) will deal with children sometimes on a basis dictated by he who shouts lloudest. That can mean that some childrena re negelcted- ds3 despite quite amrked needs was left to fester in the corner as he didn't rpesent an actual problem, he just tuned out.

Also, ds1 is IMO (and that of some others) is very bright- but becuase he hits an average band they are happy with his eprformance and not targeting it unless he falls below- average band BTW is 5th percentile, ds1 is 6th! It can be hard for teachers sometimes to realise that the kids who are functioning at a set elvel culd actually do far better if provision is made.

debs40 Thu 17-Sep-09 16:42:08

It can be hard for teachers sometimes to realise that the kids who are functioning at a set level culd actually do far better if provision is made.

Bethnoire - I agree with your point completely. I often think that about DS. I am far from a pushy parent about academic things so I've only ever spoken up about DS's emotional wellbeing but really he is punching far below his weight. Everyone is happy as he's ticking all the boxes. It was only one of his teachers last year who made reference to it as she thought he was not being stretched (sounds terrrrrrible when parents say that I know shock).

I think sometimes to keep him happy they will keep him with children he knows but who are less able (they've said as much). I think this is fine if he's happier at school because of it but it is the sort of thing you have to watch I think.

neversaydie Fri 18-Sep-09 12:48:57

Shouting at a child who is struggling is to my mind completely unacceptable (as well as counterproductive). My ds has similar issues with fine motor skills and writing and I have twice gone straight to the head for this particular crime. That at least gives you time to sort the other stuff out without him being picked on and losing heart.

And we too have had the discussion about him under performing in other subjects because his writing is so poor. I was told that it didn't matter because he was 'coping'. We moved him to another school.

debs40 Fri 18-Sep-09 13:05:31

Thanks neversaydie. It is something I'm going to keep my eye on. I don't want this to get in his way but I need to get to OT apps etc to strengthen my stance on this. At the moment, there's only me hollering on about what the professionals have said and asking them to take it on board.

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