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Should I have spoken to Teacher/TA instead of Senco

(7 Posts)
BunnyRabbit Thu 01-Oct-09 22:21:41

Briefly: DS1 (6)DX ASD in feb. Has IEP but no statement. Was having 10mins 1 to 1 and doing very well. Good feedback from TA in day book and comment in IEP review re the feedback working well.

New year. New SENCo (did not know she was leaving). New CT and new TA. Had quick chat with CT end of last term, she said not sure we needed a day book. Explained that we had one since DX and was working well. So we start getting a small book with one line per day eg. "Did crab walk and read book". Not very useful as DS1 could tell me that.

Left it a while and called to speak to SENco on Wednesday about OT aids which DS1 is supposed to be getting and mentioned day book. She didn't know anything about either but said she'd look into it.

DH picked up DS1 tonight and CT asked if we had time to meet with her as I had called the school.

I now feel guilty for not talking to her but annoyed at myself for feeling guilty. Should I have spoken to her first? I don't think she takes DS1's SN seriously. I've spoken to her 3 times now and there is always that suggestion of DS1's ASD not being that severe, I suppose as he doesn't have any LDs and is an early diagnosis.

Anyway sorry for the long post but as I'm of work at the mo I will be going to see her tomorrow and I'm ridiculously nervous.


debs40 Thu 01-Oct-09 23:13:36


I think it's perfectly appropriate to go to the SENCO directly as they are responsible for the coordination of provision for SEN and liaising with parents etc.

It's not the same as complaining to the head behind a teacher's back.

I've had a very similar experience recently and I got very annoyed at my son's new class teacher's attitude (annoyed in my own head not expressed to her!) but teacher friends of mine said that most teachers don't understand these things and rely on the SENCO to sort it/train them/give info etc.

You've done the right thing.

Dysgu Thu 01-Oct-09 23:20:39

Don't worry too much about speaking to the SENCo instead of the CT. If it makes you feel better, get passed it by saying 'I'm never really sure who I should go to first about his SEN,' then CT can respond if it bothers her. Mostly likely scenario is that SENCo spoke to CT who then thought it might be good to have a discussion as she has you DS each day.

Re the day book - I would think it might be useful if you still have last year's one to take with you to give CT an idea of what sorts of things were recorded in it. Personally (and I am speaking as a teacher here) I would welcome some idea about what you would want me to tell you in the book.

DS - with no LD and presumably high functioning - would probably/possibly be able to tell you information about his day. What are you after the CT or TA to tell you?

Teachers spend a lot of time meeting with parents. If you can go in already having considered what you want her to do then you can probably have a successful, short-ish meeting that will leave you both happy.

Relax! Teachers are people too!

debs40 Fri 02-Oct-09 08:08:33

Just to add, we are setting up one of these books for DS.

He is high functioning, probably AS and has no LD but he has social and communication issues which are at the heart of these disorders. It means that somethings in class simply pass him by and it is helpful to have a note of things to reinforce events or things such as a new teacher.

But actually this is a home/school book. It is not just what you want from the teachers, but what they should be interested in getting from you, e.g. if DS has been distressed or worried about something at school which he is unlikely to confide in a teacher and which can be easily resolved. My DS gets worked up about really simple things such as who he will sit by if he has hot dinners. These are big issues for kids with ASD sometimes.

A dialogue is then opened which means you don't have to interrupt the teachers' day.

As I say, not to denigrate teachers but not all teachers understand the real nature of these things, so it is best spelt out.

As Dysgu says, they are people and will want to help

Good luck

BunnyRabbit Fri 02-Oct-09 11:38:00

Thanks guys.

In his old book there would be comments on how he performed each task, how he behaved on return to class e.g. Sat down quietly even though someone was in his place or found it difficult to share etc. I would then sometimes add comments too on what we are working on at home, or thanking the TA for her comments etc. All these things helped me to understand what affects his behaviour and how we can manage and make things easier for him.

Was at school for coffee morning (I love being off work smile) so had a quick chat with the CT and explained that I called because we have a new SENCo and wanted to chase up the OT things, which I had already discussed with the OT last week. All seems ok and I will be seeing her next week for a catch up. Thanks for the support.

PS Debs I think we've talked about our boys before and they have near enough the same DX. The book was very helpful for the 4 months we were using it last year and had a very positive affect on DS1's behaviour in the class.

debs40 Fri 02-Oct-09 11:49:03

BR - that's good. Hope you're feeling better. It makes such a difference to have good communication established. I don't know about you but I always feel DS is a bit 'lost in the system' and good communication is a way of keeping him on the radar!

I'm glad you've had a positive experience with the book. I think it will really help us as DS really does get confused about things and will find it really reassuring to know mum can sort it out with a note to the teacher.

It can, as you say, also help you plot those moments where DS is struggling or getting upset unnecessarily and to work out strategies to help - together!

BunnyRabbit Fri 02-Oct-09 11:56:37

Yeah I know what you mean about lost. I think because it's very much a 'hidden' SN it's not really taken that seriously. I mean there's nothing really wrong with him right?? He's just a little bit selfish etc right?? hmm I think this is half the problem though, as they don't have learning difficulties or speech delay and are advanced verbally, vocab and comprehension it's easy for people to 'forget'. DS1 started a French club after school and managed to cut his trousers with a pair of scissors. The french teacher sent me a lovely note apologising for what happened and saying she will watch him more closely. The thing is, this is something an NT child of his age would do too, only because DS1 is advanced verbally, people think he's older, sensible, able to manage and seem to forget he's only 6 and has SN and hey, give a pair of scissors to a 6 year old and leave them alone and what do you think is going to happen??

Was more annoyed at him for doing it as he had already ripped his only other pair the week before!

Oh what fun!


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