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SN DS Started SN School Sept 09 - have I made a mistake?(12 Posts)
My 8 yr old DS started at a small LEA SN school for children with moderate difficulties in Sept this year.
He has a broad spectrum of problems including developmental delay, sensory processing problems, co-ordination difficulties, speech and language delay and shows autistic tendancies.
He was at mainstream primary up until year 3 and was always a popular class member. I fought hard to have him moved as despite great efforts from the mainstream school he was unable to manage the curriculum, was losing confidence in himself as he was always the bottom of everything and was becoming increasingly disruptive - and was missing out on class time and activities as he was constantly going out of class for his statement requirements such as OT etc - i wanted him to feel more part of everything and to have things as part of his day rather than at the exclusion of lessons as well as giving him the opportunity to be good at something and feel positive about himself and his abilities.
The new school is lovely but he is struggling with fitting into a class where a lot of the children have more pronounced needs than his - he seems happy enough to go to school but is having difficulty making friends as he is a) the new boy and b)he is experiencing very different types of behaviour..
for the past few weeks he has started mimicing more of the behaviour he is seeing at school - shouting, hitting etc (none of which he has done before) and now is wanting to wear a nappy to school as some of the other children do and although he is totally continent seems intent on wearing one!
i worry that i have made a mistake and that rather than help him he's going to adapt his behaviour so he can "fit in". is this normal - has anyone else experienced this change in their child as they adpated? how did you deal with it?
Hi,really sorry to hear that. I had to fight to get my son (asd,with global developmental delay and dyspraxia)into a mainstream school because i'd been worried he might imitate worse behaviours. I was told at the time i was being silly and that he wouldn't do this but i felt i couldn't be sure.
He's 8 now and still in mainstream,he doesn't follow the same curriculum as his class mates and his TA is given work to do with him by an outreach support center. He has his TA with him for all but 2 hours of the day when he copes in class by himself.
He has made some really good friends (never thought he would to be honest,or was v worried he wouldn't). The teacher said at his recent parent evening that he has brought a lot to the class and has taught the rest of the class a lot about having compassion and understanding.
It might be worth talking over your concerns with the LEA ?
When i put my son in mainstream i was warned it would cause a lot of hasstle if at a later date i decided to change to an SN school. I told them that i was prepared for any hasstle in making sure he was at the right place for him and i guess i've just been lucky that i've not had to.
I hope you get some good support with this issue
We also changed our son to sn (MLD/ASD) school. Ds changed at the beginning of year 3 and I had some worries in that first term when he copied some of the quirky behaviours around him. However 2 years down the line he is settled and has freinds and best of all is making steady (if slow) progress something that was not happening in ms. He has his confidence back too. Ds also took an interest in pads (nappies) - but I think that is what it was - an interst. He understands he does not need them by day - but his freind does. He lost interest just as quickly. Other cpied behavious faded too.
Ds attends the village beavers/cubs and other village things with his former ms class mates. I would say he gets on well in a freindly way but is not best buddies with any of them - they are so much more advanced. They look out for him in a brotherly/sisterly way though which is lovely.
Overall I think we did the right thing for ds but there is always a little bit of me that wonders if perhaps he could have also thrived in ms with more support.
It is early days for your child. Can he keep up with his old ms classmates - perhaps join in with afterschool clubs the park?
We are at a stage before you: the headteachers are asking when dd2's place in mainstream should finish, and for all the same reasons as you all, I am so hesitant.
The after-school clubs sound good but only if you can get your child in there: my dd2 is non-mobile and gastrostomy fed and in pads so I think it would be an uphill struggle to get her accepted into any club.
Its a minefield!
thanks guys - magso your situation sounds similar to ours - DS goes to cubs with his old school friends and you are right - they do look at him more as a younger sibling than an equal... it's so good to hear that i'm not alone with the things that worry me and the doubts i have about the decisions i made!
marsbars - what are the options for you if your dd moves from mainstream?
Jackofall, dd2 is already at sn for 3 days of the week and our village ms for the other 2, so it would be a move to entirely sn.
Our problem is the lack of clubs etc, we are very rural and I have 2 other kids, so she would need transport and a makaton and gastro-trained assistant and an accessible venue and a changing bed!!!
Yes I think suitable afterschool clubs can be even more challenging to find for medical or physical needs than learning disability. We are so so lucky in finding a very nurturing small afterschool club ( with personal sn staff experience and interest) that can accommodate ds. ( Ds only goes 1-2 nights a week but whilst I was in hospital they took him in everyday and did a brilliant job!) Social services locally are trying to help with sn children/adults accessing ms activities like all other children and offered to on site befriending or provide training for cubs or the afterschool club - so perhaps it is worth approaching ss melted. ( Here they are consentrating on over 8s I think) There is a system to apply for 1:1 support ( any age) in clubs too - but I have not used it yet so do not know how it works. We were also asked if we needed equipment to help ds access clubs (we don't - escape proofing is already in place!) and it may have been more a theorectical question ie because of the current EDCM consultation going on) We are awaiting DPs and may use this to free me up!
Hope life improoves for both your families!
My daughter who has GDD and speech and langauge difficulties moved to a MLD this year too. She is in year 7. She has been loud and shouty and more defiant but this is settling down now. She was also copying the noises one of the other children makes.
I honestly believe she is at the right school now. Some of her behaviour is her just taking time to adjust and this may be the same for your son. She also still goes to her 'mainstream' out of school stuff which is good. She had a small operation a few weeks ago and this has affected her too. I just cross my fingers and hope these phases will pass before puberty really starts !
melted mars, in our area there is provision run by the pct to include children into after school clubs/evening activities and so on. They offer one service where they aim to help the child settle (however long it may take), and then quit, they call this Enabling; and another where they recognise they will always need to be with the child; they call this One to One. Not being able to go to any after school activities is a real trial to my daughter so I have fought hard and she has been to Rainbows/Brownies/and now Guides. She is wheelchair/trache ventilated/gastrostomy and the venue is ok, a church hall; if she needs the loo that is the end of the evening for her as i would have to go and get her and bring her home. We too are pretty rural but the Scouting movement really wants to include disabled children; might be worth a try.
Yes the enabling service that is what was offered.
The scouts have been mostly brilliant with ds - recruiting extra young leaders - so there are extra hands but ds feels no different to other children! (I no longer stay all session - but ds has minimal medical needs) They have tried really hard to make it happen and accommodate ds. He even got his map reading badge dispite not reading words yet.
Another trouble is that most of it would be over dd2's head - her learning ablilities are very limited, to learning thro play, reception style. She just loves children and is very good at social interaction.
i had parents meeting at the new school on Fiday which was v interesting - i am soooo impressed with his teacher who seems to have got the measure of ds very quickly! he described his behaviour as "chameleon" like - and thinks this will take a while to settle but will get there in the end :0
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