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Any solutions to this problem please

(48 Posts)
claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 11:56:13

Ds 5.5 is claiming that other children are hitting him, being horrible, not wanting to play with him etc, etc and he is extremely unhappy about going to school.

He wont tell a teacher or if he does he is 'challenged' ie where, when, who, what, why etc he then gets extremely confused.

The school are saying if he cant tell them where, when,who etc, there is little they can do.

He has been given cards ie a help card, but then he still has to explain, who, when, etc so he is not using it.

I have a meeting with the school to discuss how he is getting on next week.

Any suggestions? Similar experiences?

TotalChaos Sun 11-Oct-09 12:12:50

to state the blindingly obvious, they should be supervising the children better at playtime and keeping an eye out for him. and also have a better way of facilitating communication - have more patience than firing a barrage of questions at him when already distressed. You will know yourself what the best way of extracting info is! Possibly add some more specific cards - say a sad card, a hit card, a lonely card so he can indicate the nature of the problem visually if he has trouble verbalising it...

very sorry your lad is having such a rotten time.

starfish71 Sun 11-Oct-09 12:16:42

Hi claw3 I haven't got any advice really but I understand actually how you feel as my DS 5.9 has the same problems at expressing himself in school. I am not sure how much they understand my ds at all - am really hoping the ASD outreach teacher who is coming in this week(?) will help them to understand him a bit better. DS can chat away happily for ages on a subject he likes but if anyone asks him questions he really finds it confusing and struggles. He too has come home saying child has been mean. hit him etc and it is really hard to get to the bottom of actually happened and at the moment feel school are not really getting the big picutre.
Sorry not much help but do understand some of what you are going through.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 12:37:36

Apart from the obvious as TC says, I think there may be social communication issues here, as they are defibitely the root of similar with ds1

Or it may be more spcial in origin, which is perhaps moreeasily solvable

DS1 thinks anyone that accidentally knocks him is bullying him (he has been bullied mind), and if he winds someone up ore ven hurts them and they respond he only spots the move that affronted him- no understanding of the chain of ausation leading to an event. Social stories and the like are the best thing here IME.

If it is a different factor though you need to think laterally- is there some opther way your child can indicate when things happen,such as a peg in a slot on a board with times on to show when they were scared without having to speak (I say scared because soemtimes scared is the issue that makes it hard for SN kids to verbalise timings- bullying can cause fear but people look a specific incident which is hard to explain if you have little in the way of abstract thought IYSWIM, or if you ahve limited verbals ability,or even if you just can't explain your feelings very well becuase you are five and like concrete absolutes).

Maybe if the cild is able ask them to draw a picture of the incident- there may be many clues in there?

But absolutely the key is prevention before cure.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 13:03:53

BFP - Getting info is like getting blood from a stone. I cant get a full story from him, it comes in bits and pieces and one incident often overlaps another. For example when ds was in reception a boy called X poked him in the ear with a stick and made the inside of his ear bleed(the school reported this to me)

In year 1 another boy poked him with a stick and made his hand bleed, he said it was same boy X from reception (who wasnt even in school)

To the school, this means that ds isnt telling the truth and incident didnt happen.

Because there are often inconsistencies in his stories, the school are saying that these incidents do not happen.

OT is saying something similar to what you are saying, touch can be painful for ds and he can misinterpret.

So i am now supposing there is something in between and my approach to school is i dont know whether these incidents are happening or not, but ds feels like they are, so what can we do to help.

I like the peg idea and pictures, but as far as the school are concerned these incidents do not happen.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 13:08:39

That's not uncommon Claw,sadly

IME a school like this is the same way regardless of whether SN is involved.

Het them (ask in wriitng) to send a copy of their bullying policy. Then speak to kidscape, I found them wonderfully helpful.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 13:09:46

Starfish - Exactly, because ds is very verbal, the school cant see why he would have problems communicating. I also get well he wasnt showing any signs of distress, hmmm he has problems showing his feelings!

The school have made referrals to TAMHS and an outreach worker to help ds, hopefully they will also be able to help the teachers understand. Its just what to do in the meantime, ds hates school and doesnt want to go.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 14:42:51

TC - Thanks for replying. I have no methods of getting info out of ds, i just have to wait until he wants to tell me, if i question him or he feels pressured in any way, he will just clam up or change the subject. Its a long process, with him telling me bits and pieces, all evening. obviously the school will only have a certain amount of time to spend on one incident.

Thank you all very much, i have written down all your suggestions. I will also ask the school about the 'buddy' scheme, although we had a bad experience of his older lunchtime 'buddy' stealing his lunch and going down his pockets and taking his bits and pieces, im sure there are plenty of children who would not take advantage.

Thank you all again.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:10:12

The buddy scheme ds1 has is more formal- certain friends are chosen by collaboration between school ds1 and me (I basically gave them a list, they vetoes one or two,ds1 vetoed one) and their aprents asked for permission, they are able to be approached at lunchtime but more usually are used for post incident feedback and support where ds1 can bounce ideas of them about what went wrong etc.

has been working OK, there are some amazing kids invovled with him now and last wqeek the Alpha kid had him home for tea which I don't think would have happened otherwise.

H won't write it will he? DS1 loves to write and keep a diary.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 22:31:00

BFP - I really like the idea of a buddy scheme and will be asking the school if they have anything in place. Ds doesnt eat or drink a thing at lunch time (at home or school) without prompting. Also his self esteem is so low, he calls himself a loser, weirdo and thinks he cant do anything right, he is feeling very low. He could really do with a friend.

He is always writing and drawing, usually notes asking the people who hit him to stop. Unfortunately his notes are not readable to anyone but him (spelling etc)

Its heartbreaking for me, he is always asking me why no one likes him and when i say good night to him, he says good night horrible world

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:40:55

The system we use is called circle of friends, the senco should know it.

Can he read his diary or notes back to you? thats what ds1 does (appalling writing- hypermobile wrists)

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 22:47:07

Same here, hypermobility in wrist, fingers, elbows etc. Yes, i wouldnt have a clue what they said, i only know what they say because he reads them to me. Its not actual writing as such, just letters he has written, he can read them shortly after he has written them, not sure if he would know the day after.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 22:48:49

Claw, what you write is so distressing it really is. sad

You need to write all of this stuff down as facts to present to his teacher. A written record is vital.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 22:50:25

What activities is he doing in his spare time?
Activities with very clear rules and emphasis on group work can really help, such as martial arts.

Also doing things with animals who provide non judgemental companionship.

Cubs, Woodcraft folk.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 23:05:51

Moondog - I keep a diary and log everything. I presented it to the school last week. A list of incidents and names and as much info as ds had given me and how he was feeling, dreading coming to school etc. He puts a blanket over his head every school morning and doesnt take it off until we reach the school, he hides behind my legs and refuses to line up etc.

The Head Teacher told me she was disgusted that i had actually named children. I commented that how else was i suppose to report it!

She also told me that it 'was all in his head' and that none of the incidents had happened. I asked her how did she know none of the incidents had happened, had she looked into them. No she couldnt because the other children might feel 'victimised'.

We have tried martial arts the shouting put him off, dance class he just froze. We started a social club last week and he loved it, he was running around with all the other kids, he actually asked tonight when his calender would be here, so he can count down the days until he can go again. I am looking into the nearest cubs.

We have a dog, who is his best friend.

linglette Sun 11-Oct-09 23:13:05

How is it going with the cards now claws? How about trialling some alternative cards at home (no elephants) until you've found three images that really work, the present them to school as a fait accompli.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 23:13:09

'The Head Teacher told me she was disgusted that i had actually named children. I commented that how else was i suppose to report it!' hmm- sounds like you really do need kidscape!

Remember as well if the HEad is no use there is always the Goernor system.Again, kidscape 9there is a website). When ds1 was attacked so badly he had shoe shaped bruises they talked me through sorting it.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 23:14:29

Claw, whether or not it is 'in his head' it is still a serious cause for oncern.I don't advocate cod psychological approaches as a rule but he sounds to me like a very distressed and anxious little boy.

Are you sure this school is right for him?
The elephant/smiley card stuff sounded weird and a headteacher who doesn't take such allegations very seriously indeed (whether or not she believes in their veracity) is really bizarre.

It rings massive alarm bells for me tbh.

Your next port of call should be Parent partnership/Special Needs Advisory Project (statutory set up attached to every Education Authority-your SENCO will give you details). However, I'm not sure i would even want to be wasting time arguing the toss which such folk.

I don't often say stuff like this but please Claw, think carefully.

I so feel for your and your boy. How utterly appalling.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 23:15:12

At the meeting OT did say that she didnt feel it was all in his head and that he could be misinterpreting a light touch as painful etc.

Which i agree he does sometimes does do that,sometimes a push might feel like a punch etc but can you misinterpret being strangled (the school admitted to this, he had marks on his neck), pushed down the stairs, pushed off a wall, being thrown on the floor etc.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 23:15:42

Social club and dog sound lovely, really positive though. smile

Is his father on the scene or other good male role models who can do stuff with him?

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 23:16:50

I totally back Monndog.

I didn;t realise how ahrd school at infants level was for ds1 despite everyone on here telling me to get the hell out, and you are saying the same stuff I did back then, esp. the Head things.

Juniors is fab but I think ds1 would be in a much better palce had I followed the advice.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 23:18:21

(DS1 loves his SN rugby club btw-male role models (not that we are male lite with 4 boys, 2 nephews and a full set of grandads, uncles as well as Dad LOL0 but itsa controlled aggressive, accepting place and it is stunningly good for him.

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 23:20:41

Sounds good Peachy.
I really worry about the lack of men in the worls of SN.

claw3 Sun 11-Oct-09 23:29:40

Hi Linglette - He is not understanding the cards at all. I didnt really want to clash with the school and use different cards and confuse him even more. I was hoping we could agree cards, then both use.

He had a major panic attack, when he thought he lost his cards after bringing them home in his pocket. I think he is convinced the cards are going to stop children hitting him and being mean. He was inconsolable when he thought they were lost (and i dont think he has even used them)

moondog Sun 11-Oct-09 23:31:21

I'd agree. It's one thing to start something at home and then present it to school as a fait accompli (as you have done Linglette) but quite another to work on something which is in direct conflict with what he is doing for the bulk of his day.Consistency is key.

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