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Starting school - got what I wanted for DS so why am I still so worried??

(11 Posts)
Barmymummy Wed 07-Oct-09 10:07:52

DS is 4 and is due to start fulltime primary school in January (we deferred him for a term). He is on the spectrum ever so slightly but one of the main things he struggles with anxiety over new places. You can imagine my worry and his stress about starting school then!!

I have been taking him into his prospective classroom every Monday and Friday morning for 5-10 mins before we carry on to playschool. Teachers are great and very encouraging for us to do this and he is now really happy to waltz in there and come out after 5-10 mins but this is WITH ME!! This is however making all the teachers and his SENco (at playschool) struggle to believe me that he has this anxiety thing going on.

I have fought for him to be taken by playschool to his new school without me. This is key because with me he is soooo much better but that will change when I go to leave him there. Tears, stress and anxiety will kick in big time and they will see a new boy who is almost impossible to console (upset not violence.)

Anyway, this morning SENco at playschool tells me she has arranged for her and another lady to take DS to school for an hour after lunch on 2nd Nov and 9th Nov (+ poss other sessions too) to help him settle in without me. Got what I wanted but its now breaking my heart into pieces that he is going to lose the plot when he is told this is going to happen. He is going to be so frightened sad. I need playschool and school to see this so they can learn and understand how to help him but I feel so mean putting him through this. He hates Mondays with a passion because he has to stay for lunch so we have huge tears and upset when I leave as it is so put that with going to school later on that day he is going to be a mess.

Do I warn him? If so, when? Before the 2nd or on that morning? Or do I not tell him at all which spares me seeing his scared and upset face and the clinging on but does that hurt him more int he long run?

Ohhhhhh this is so hard......sad Please tell me I have done the right thing arranging this for him....sad

troutpout Wed 07-Oct-09 10:20:30

<<sits beside barmy and pats her back>>

You tell that he can grow to learn that what you say will happen will happen. You prepare him as best you can...start as soon as possible.

Can you get pics of people who are going to take him to his school? (look on school website there may be pics on there to use) Can you photograph the school? the classroom? can you make a story involving what will happen using the pictures? If you can visually show him what will happen it may help him to come to terms with it and calm him somewhat.
You can make a social story using these pictures.
He could take his picture story of 'what will happen' on the day.

It is hard
You have done the right thing

Marne Wed 07-Oct-09 10:24:03

Could you prepare him with pictures?, when dd2 started a new nursery i made her a book of pictures/photos which explained what was going to happen, maybe a picture of the lady who will be taking him, a picture of the entrance to the school, a picture of his teacher and a picture of the class room (containing his favorite activity), show this to him maybe in the morning before (or night before) and let him take it with him so he knows whats going to happen next.

I think sometimes they find pictures easier to take in than us trying to explain whats going to happen.

You never no he might cope better than you think, i don't mean to sound harsh but he might find it less stressful with someone else taking him (as he won't see you getting upset), you could get the playgroup or school to give you a ring and let you know how he is getting on.

Fingers crossed for you both.

Marne Wed 07-Oct-09 10:24:34

Cross posts grin

linglette Wed 07-Oct-09 10:30:22

Are you using a visual timetable Barmy?

I believe you have to do lots and lots of ordinary "ABCD" days before they can get comfort from seeing that reassuring "D" at the end of the "ABED" or "AGCD" day.

Sorry if this is a grandmother and egg-sucking situation blush

Barmymummy Wed 07-Oct-09 11:16:24

Thank you all for your replies smile and the pat on the back, very much appreciated, x

Yes I use a visual timetable with him at home which he enjoys. Today it says "breakfast, take DD to school, playschool, lunch" and we will change it when he comes home to complete the rest of the day. Verbally he is fine with it and can remember it when asked but I can see he likes seeing it in picture form too.

The lady he is going with to school is his normal playschool teacher so he is very very familiar with her which is great. He knows exactly where school is and how it looks as DD has been going there 3 years and as I say he is well aware what his classroom and teacher looks like as he is seeing them every week.

I will definately do a little social story for him though as can see that might help visualise it for him even though it might not help his anticipation anxiety much.

Marne I so hope you are right about him being better than I may think going with someone else. A little bit of me is actually quite optimistic I think wink I get soooooo wound up and nervous when big changes come up for him and then try sooooo hard to be 'normal' with him so as not to pass this onto him as I am constantly anticipating a sobbing terrified child whereas they won't be so to speak. BUT on the other hand I want them to see how he can be lol!! Can't win!!

OK, next thing I need you to help me with is.......pleeeeease talk me out of wanting to sit hidden in my parked car somewhere where I can see him going in with them grin. Am set on torturing myself aren't I?? If I see him upset that will make me feel better knowing I haven't wasted anyones time but my heart will break for DS BUT on the other hand if he is OK then I will be so happy for DS but annoyed they haven't seen what he can be like!!!! grin

ki28 Wed 07-Oct-09 11:28:44

hi barmymummy. my sons school made him a storyboard of what was going to happen. We had pictures of all the teachers he would work with,even a picture of his nursey teacher,who he would still see but she has the younger childeren.
there was a picture of the coat hook and the symbol what was his his. were he would queue up.
How much his dinner would be and a picture of which card he needed to put in his box to say what he is doin for dinner that day. Even the picture of were he would go for a wee.And we just left this lying about the house to look at when he pleased aswell as a allotted time to look at it. We found he enjoyed showing people who came to ur house it too.

I think this helped him alot,the fact that they were proper photos too,so everything loked exactley the same on the board as it did at the school.
If they school crnt do it, maybe you could suggest that your ds comes in with you or his pre school teacher and take the photos himself??
Maybe make the photos into a game by saying 'were do we go for a wee' 'what door do you line up at'

not sure if this is right for you,but worked wonders for me.

good luck xx

Barmymummy Wed 07-Oct-09 20:13:23

Thank you so much everyone smile

I took your advice and thought I would break it to him gently this evening when we snuggled up in bed reading his bedtime story.

Bearing in mind his anxiety....ok??

Me: DS, what do you think about going to school with Mrs ** one day?

DS: To play?

Me: Yes

DS: Will she stay with me?

Me: Yes of course she will.

DS: Will I be going back to playschool after playing? And then go back to our house?

Me: Yes! Thats right!

DS: Ponders...

Me: Waits for tears and major upset.....sad

DS: Yes, OK.

Me: Lying unconscious on floor....


Whats the betting he isn't like this on D-Day hmm

ki28 Thu 08-Oct-09 11:32:56

fingers crossed for you that it is x

MrsMagnolia Fri 09-Oct-09 11:02:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Barmymummy Fri 09-Oct-09 11:23:05

Thank you MrsM smile gives me hope! Its all very very well getting them in there but you can't make them like it can you? So pleased your DS loves it smile

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