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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

So down need help :O(

(14 Posts)
MissBreezy Tue 29-Sep-09 20:59:24

Just had the worse night....
My son is under assesment for Autism, and is finding school really tough, lots of hitting/pushing, tantrums and wandering about etc.
I recieved an email from my neighbour tonight which was very rude stating I must have a word with my son cos he is fed up of his boy coming home every day with injuries and feeling scared to go to school...I honestly just felt like crawling away somewhere and never coming out.
I was so upset and hurt that I rang them up about it, and an hour later and lots of tears came to the conclusion that both school and us as parents are doing all we can to help my son and that we are sorry their boy was getting hurt.
Now school have pulled me aside a few times over the past 2 weeks( hes only been there 2.5 weeks) and mentioned that hes pushing alot, struggling in lots of areas etc but to have a parent take it upon themselves to send threatening messages was just the tip of the iceburg and I honestly do not know where to go next!

I guess I can only hope he will get a DX soon and get more help he needs cos at home hes coming on so well....God it breaks my heart, Im an emotional wreck, my heads all over the place, I feel sick...Just awful.

Has anyone dealt with something similiar with their children starting school. DS is 4.
Thanks x

Littlefish Tue 29-Sep-09 21:17:53

Have you told the school about the letter you have received? It is something that they should be dealing with, not you.

Have you had a meeting with the SENCO and classteacher together to discuss appropriate strategies? If not, I would try and fix one up asap.

Has the LEA autism team been in to school to see your ds in the school setting and talk to the school about the best way to help him settle, and achieve?

PerryPlatypus Tue 29-Sep-09 22:29:35

I agree with Littlefish.

Even without an actual dx the school should be putting some strategies into place.

When my two with ASD started school, the pushing usually happened when they felt that the other children were getting too close to them. Carpet time was always a particular problem as children generally sit wherever there's a space rather than in rows. Something like a cushion or a carpet tile to sit on really helped my two. It defined which space was 'theirs' and helped them to feel less crowded.

The wandering around was also a problem. There is a lot of emphasis on free choice in Reception, with children being given much more freedom to choose which activities they want to do. It can work well for NT children but can be difficult for children with ASD. Without someone to keep him on track, ds1 would either wander round in circles doing nothing or would become fixed on one particular activity to the exclusion of all others. Then when other children chose the same activity he wanted them to leave him alone.

The solution for my ds was a visual timetable which set out which activities to do and in which order. Once he knew what was expected of him and what was coming next he settled a lot better.

At our school the meetings are usually about sharing ideas. The staff will tell me that there's a problem with a particular behaviour, tell me what they've tried so far, and ask if I know of anything else that might work. As things are getting better for you at home, it's highly likely that some of your strategies can be adapted for use at school too.

Barmymummy Tue 29-Sep-09 23:06:25

Well you know what I think darlin'....good advice here from the ladies. Hope our little chat helped a bit tonight smile

Thinking of you loads and let me know tomorrow how you are and how he goes, xxx

daisy5678 Tue 29-Sep-09 23:22:17

Didn't want to not post but must go to bed! For now, will just say that I totally understand how it feels and it is crap, but eventually other parents will realise that you're doing all you can - you do develop a thick skin in the end, but it hurts, I know.

Littlefish Wed 30-Sep-09 09:28:15

Good post by perryplatypus. I agree with the reason behind the pushing possibly being about personal space. In my school, we have children who find lining up very difficult. One strategy is to stop expecting those children to line up. They join the line at the end as it moves off, when they feel comfortable. Another reason for pushing can be the lack of awareness of social rules about joining in. Pushing may be your ds's way of joining in. He might need a "social story", which is essentially a picure, or series of pictures to help him understand what works and what doesn't. Social rules and communication are very complex, and lots of children need additional help, and sometimes, direct teaching about what those rules are and how to negotiate them.

Visual timetables can also be very helpful. I would suggest that to start with, he has an individual one (even if there is a class one as well). Ideally, he should be able to choose some of the symbols to put on so that he makes some choices, but that also, some of the things are fixed and non-negotiable - e.g. playtimes, phonics etc.

I think you need to become a pushy parent! The teacher has 30 children to look after and although she will be doing her best, it may take the extra push from you to get things moving. (I say this as a committed teacher - it's not a criticism of the teacher, just the way that things can be at the beginning of the year).

Here's what I would do:

Speak to the SENCO & class teacher together

Ask for a referral to the autism team/beahaviour support team etc.

If external agencies are involved (which I presume they must be if he is being assessed), then he should be on School Action Plus stage of the Special Needs list. Agree 3 targets that everyone will be working on with your ds. These should include details of what strategies will be used, over what timescale, who will be using the strategies (teacher, TA, lunchtime supervisers etc.)

Perhaps it would also help if you started a new message with the word autism or ASD in the title, so that people on here with similar experiences can help you.

MissBreezy Wed 30-Sep-09 09:53:47

Thanks to everyone for the comments.
I went in to school the morning to speak to the headteacher about it all, she was very good and made me feel a little more positive about it all. She said ds isnt coping very well and they really need to work on his anger/meltdowns,not wanting to do things and social skills. They are going to put social stories in place and I took in some visual timetables which we use at home to show her, and she said they have a class one but not individual ones.
I also asked to speak to SENCO as I wasnt sure if they had already got them involved an they havent yet which i found a bit strange! So have asked to get her involved now and also having a meeting with a support worker on Friday!

This morning for instance, a little girl put her arm in front of ds asking for a password to get by her, the look on his face was just awful, he looked scared stiff, confused and very uncomfortable and just didnt know what to do, had I not been with him ive no doubt that would of been a moment where he would of lashed out.

The Paed is going in to see him at school on Monday so school are kinda just hanging on till then to see what comes of the assesment and they are hoping the DR sees enough to really then push help forward!

The head kept telling me ds is by no means the only one with similar problems, and they are one of the best schools around to deal with SN children....But not sure I believe her totally on that one...

Im just so desperate for things to get better for everyones sake, I know my son is not the only one involved in tis, but I do not want him to be hated and have no friends, and I do not want parents to be coming to me each day having a go when they do not know what it is like!

Honestly i feel like getting in that bloody playground and shouting it from the top of my lungs that DS isnt naughty, and that he just needs help and understanding!

Thanks for listening and for the replys once again...I cannot seem to stop crying which is starting to make me feel ill so I really do have to get a grip x

Simplistica Wed 30-Sep-09 10:00:19

Massive hugs, have been there myself and know it hurts so much

Am going to start a new thread regarding the off-MN support group; perhaps you'dlike to join us? It'scalled TTR.

MissBreezy Wed 30-Sep-09 10:09:58

Yes please x

Simplistica Wed 30-Sep-09 10:13:53

Just waiting for OK from mod to use email, will start then

magso Wed 30-Sep-09 11:01:04

Hug from me too. Been there also!

It does sound like the school are on the ball and likely to be supportive.

Parents should discuss problems (including class and playground behaviour/management) at school with school. I used to just politely say to such parents, 'I am sorry to hear that. Please discuss it with teacher x. I will do all I can to help but it is better when there is a problem in school if the you (the other parent) speak to them directly.' It is so hard (and painful) to cope with these comments on the hoof!

Littlefish Wed 30-Sep-09 11:51:08

MissBreezy - the school stuff sounds positive. I'm glad the headteacher was supportive. It's definitely important to get the SENCO involved. Let us know how it goes with the Paed in school.

Please take time to let yourself be upset, and then start to consider any positives. Just ignoring how you feel is not going to make it go away. Sorry if that sounds preachy. It really sounds like you need a safe place and time to unburden and explore your feelings - I hope you find that place via simplistica.

Simplistica Wed 30-Sep-09 12:35:53

2shoes ahs started a thread about TTR

You say yu'renot sure about school..... I found the best way to get feedback on ours (entirely negative sadly, still gave us the edge to get ds3 his SNU place) was to go along to an SN event or two, are you on your council mailng list? They should be able to help you with fidning somewhree- for us it's a SN rugby group.

Lauree Wed 30-Sep-09 21:22:40

My son struggles at school too ( he's in his second year of primary now)... I can sympathise with how hurt you can feel when other parents think DC's behaviour is something you can deal with with a bit of 'proper' discipline.

Its very hard on kids starting school, SN or not, but especially for those little ones who need extra help.

The silver lining smileis that the school has noticed difficulties in the first couple of weeks, and the SENCO is involved, I'm sure every day feels like an eternity to you right now, but your account of how the school is responding is all good news;

I don't think anyone's mentioned a statement yet...The SENCO might talk about getting your son 'statemented' sounds awful, but it just means getting a statement of special needs, and with that, your son can access extra help (eg from a learning support assistant at school), the school can access extra funding, and your DS'll be getting regular monitoring.
Getting a statement can be a bit of a struggle, but if the SENCO doesn't suggest it, you should ask. Don't worry about not having the DX yet. It can help, but it isn't necessary, so long as your son's support needs can be identified. If you haven't already, start filing copies of all your paed reports, consultant's letters etc etc, it's all good background info to support your case for extra help.

Good luck for the meeting on Friday; remember it's in the school's interest as well as yours that your son gets the help he needs at what must be a very confusing and scary time in his little life x

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