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Secondary teachers. Firstly, good luck for the start of term. I do appreciate all that teachers do. Secondly,

(8 Posts)
Cushun Sun 28-Aug-16 17:52:50

I'd appreciate your views/experience please.

My DS is starting seniors in a week. He is bright, wants to do well, but is immature. He has ADHD and dyslexia. He will be trying his best to do what is expected, but will not make it some/a lot of the time.

He is averagely/above averagely achieving, but according to Ed Psych assessment, very bright. He can't write legibly, and finds too much text on a page overwhelming. He will have a learning mentor, but doesn't need a TA.

I can guarantee that despite my and his best efforts, he WILL forget his stuff. He WILL lose kit. He WILL fidget and appear not to be paying attention. He WILL struggle to copy from the board and may blurt things out when he shouldn't. He WILL get distracted by others mucking around. He WILL perform inconsistently. I could go on.

My question is, bearing in mind I find all these things incredibly annoying as a parent (!), what can he/I do to help teachers see that he IS trying, and is not being lazy/not caring/not putting in the effort?

He is a very sensitive soul, and being told off will completely destroy him (or if it gets too bad, he may decide he has had enough and walk or whatever). I want his senior school to be a safe, accepting pace for him, but his school has a rep for cracking down n the small things.

I will be meeting with the SENCO this week, and she has said that all teachers will have access to his electronic record, so all should know his needs. However, how does that translate to the classroom where you have four kids without a pen, and one of them in my son, who put several in his bag, forgot to zip it up, and lost them all (as an example...), or read the homework as one paragraph of explanation, not one page...

Thank you!

PumpkinPie2013 Sun 28-Aug-16 21:16:22

I'm a secondary teacher and teach/have taught children with additional needs.

The SENCo and learning mentor will have support in place, especially for the first few weeks. At the school I work at, children can access the 'meet and greet' team in the morning. This team literally meet the children, check they are ok, make sure they know what they have to do that day and check equipment. Could you ask if this kind of support is available at your son's school?

In terms of teaching staff- they should have access to the notes regarding your son's needs - I always make sure that I double check everything in the notes for my pupils and I would always make allowances where necessary as well as finding ways to support the pupil in class.

If you feel your son is struggling with particular things once he starts, do contact the SENCo again so that they can look at strategies to support him.

I hope your son settles in quickly to his new school and enjoys it smile

cannotlogin Mon 29-Aug-16 12:52:26

Get him a laptop and get him practising touch typing at home. Ask to be allowed to use the laptop, particularly when doing assessments, in class. You can help him not forget what he needs by getting him a big bag so he can carry all his books, all the time. Get him to bag a locker and his PE kit can go in there (take in Monday, bring home Friday for washing). Keep spare pencil case with 20 pens etc in it in the locker so he always has spares. Ask for it back at half term and refill.

At some level, he needs to take responsibility and work out routines to help him remember whatever it is he needs to remember - simple stuff like standing up and then looking at the desk to make sure he hasn't left anything. It will become second nature after a while. Give rewards if he gets through a week without losing points.

Some teachers are good at dyslexia and will try to help - but you can ask, for example, that he is allowed to concentrate on questions rather than copying. So, the teacher gives him the essential stuff to stick in his book (make sure he has a glue stick) and he gets on with the analysis whilst the rest are copying. I do this for students all the time. It helps dyslexic students keep up and do the important stuff.

Be aware not all teachers are sympathetic but most will do everything they can to help. Try not to worry.

sashh Fri 02-Sep-16 10:11:41

I'm supply so have worked in quite a few place.

two things that I have seen work well, one school issues a sort of toy to children with needs like our son, it is the same thing they give to people trying to stop smoking. If you google 'stop smoking toy' you will find some.

Because it is school issue I would know not to challenge the child and other children knew why I wasn't challenging someone who appeared to be messing about.

The other is a sort of 'get out of class' card. The student is issued with a card that says they need to leave the room, thsi could be to use the toilet or in the case of an ASD child they should have a known 'safe place' to go. This might be with a member of support staff, or a corner of the library. As a teacher I need to know he is safe so there may be an email trail or a child sent to check where he is, this is purely to ensure he is in a known place in case of a fire or other need.

As for losing pens - we were shown a poem at one training course - I'll try to find it, but since reading it I don't ask students why they don't have a pen I lend them one, I have had some printed with 'stolen from Miss X' for this term so I can retrieve them at the end of the lesson or day, I have also issued bright ink glittery pens to boys as they come back.

off to google the poem.

sashh Fri 02-Sep-16 10:17:41

Got it - I keep it to remind myself some kids have climbed a mountain just to get to my class

Cause I ain’t got a pencil
By Joshua T. Dickerson

I woke myself up
Because we ain’t got an alarm clock
Dug in the dirty clothes basket,
Cause ain’t nobody washed my uniform
Brushed my hair and teeth in the dark,
Cause the lights ain’t on
Even got my baby sister ready
Cause my mama wasn’t home.
Got us both to school on time,
To eat us a good breakfast.
Then when I got to class the teacher fussed
Cause I ain’t got a pencil.

Beautifullymixed Sun 04-Sep-16 14:11:20

A TA here who loves this poem.
Utterly sad though, but enough to make us stop and think about the child who is fidgeting and can't sit still, because he's hungry, or the girl with no sanitary protection because no one will buy it.
All the kids who have climbed a mountain just to get to school.

CodyKing Mon 05-Sep-16 07:16:48

iPad would be better

He can photograph the board - keep a diary and use it for spell check

Set the setting for Deucalion for he can 'write' his homework by speaking to it - also set the setting to read text - so he highlights text and has it read back

You can get a PDF reader for photos or downloaded documents - it will speak text on pictures or write on PDF

Get out I class card

Key worker

Is there a safe room? Usually library?

The electronic system has red flags so a student is highlighted on the register if there are issues - generally or that day - so it gets passed on to the next teacher

Good luck!

Cushun Tue 06-Sep-16 10:29:03

Thanks so much everyone. Most of these suggestions are great.
My meeting with the SENCO went well, she seemed to get it, but it is how that feeds down to the teachers day to day that still worries me.

He has gone in today for his first day. Nervous, but looking forward to seeing his friends. We have been working on his organisational skills, he has a reserve set of stationery to live in his locker, and a laptop (so he can type his classwork and homework).

The SENCO said that he will see a learning mentor once a week, hopefully won't need a get out card (it might be a negative thing to start school with it iyswim) - but this will be reviewed. She also said teachers probably won't have handouts in most lessons, so he will need to copy/type from the board/take notes. I have said this will be an issue, but she has said we should see how he gets on and review, rather than assuming he can't do stuff. Not sure about this one!

So, I will see how he gets on. I expect that things will come to light after the first few settling in days. Just hope no one shouts at him today, as that is one thing sure to worry him and not what he needs. Yikes!

Thanks again, it has been a really helpful thread.

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