What's happening?

(16 Posts)
HexBramble Sun 11-Sep-16 08:42:09

I met a year 7 class last week for the first time. 8 of them in a class, 4 couldn't spell their names properly. Very emotional, 2 had tantrums, 1 girl
sobbed because she was 'properly dyslexic and Lee hasn't been tested but he's getting dyslexic paper but I'm the proper dyslexic not him'.
I teach a MFL but have to teach them numbers and days of week in English before I can contemplate the target language. My work is always differentiated but this is an entirely new level for me.

I discussed this with a Foundation phase teacher friend yesterday and she told me that 5 new little ones in this years intake, are still in nappies. Not toilet trained at all. She doesn't have the staff to deal with this (2:1) yet she's been told by the SMT that they must take them or else they'd be in breach of these children's human rights (?). They are now preparing themselves for higher levels of infants without basic skills and who are not toilet trained to reach their classes. 2 children are unable to speak yet.

We live in a mixed bag area - high social deprivation and child poverty (my city school) but my friend is teaching in a more affluent area. We seem to be encountering more and more children who are lacking the basic skills required in order for them to access the curriculum. Is anyone else coming across this? Why is this happening do you think?

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Sun 11-Sep-16 08:52:24

Inclusion surely? As in lots of special provision units/schools have had finding cut, or even been closed entirely- so we see more in mainstream.
Anecdotally, my dd1 last year only potty trained the week before starting school. Despite having shown signs of readiness and having had many many attempts at toilet training over the prior 2 years. Yet she could tell you all about any dinosaur you woukd ever want to know about. Relentlessly grin. She's obviously bright and we are a professional sciencey home (I'm a chemistry teacher for eg). She has sensory issues around the toilet, and it still can be an issue. (She's scared of the flush sound, the hole, etc)

School and ourselves are working on the assumption that's she is high functioning autistic. She does mask well however, so it might have been dismissed as poor behaviour in another family and school.

There are many reasons for still being in nappies, some not so obvious.

HexBramble Sun 11-Sep-16 10:07:38

Your DD sounds fab grin
Yes of course <face palms> - cuts in funding means that STF's are closing down. Of course they need schooling. Are figures rising though?

The school where I work has an excellent STF. That said, the pupils I mentioned in the OP present with more difficulties than those there yet have been placed in mainstream. They've arrived at our comp with no statements or IEP's yet they are being flagged up by everyone they come across.

SusanAndBinkyRideForth Sun 11-Sep-16 10:18:00

No statements? That's a bit crap. Even my dd has a "my child plan" (or whatever it's called now) despite only needing the sort of low level adjustments that are just good practice anyway.

I think the cuts in social services funding is also having an impact as well - fewer family interventions - so yes there are probably more problems being seen in mainstream due to poor parenting as well as SN

Muddlewitch Sun 11-Sep-16 10:30:58

I think it's many factors but yes there is a noticeable increase in children needing extra support year on year.

As pp said, funding is cut all the time for specialist provisions, and with ECHP plans, Camhs referrals etc being even harder to get, and being given later, more and more pupils are being set up to fail in mainstream without support because they need to 'fail' to evidence the fact the need the additional support. It's horrible unfair on those children, their classmates and teaching staff.

I also think there is a wider issue - mental health support is dreadful and almost non existent in some areas so I think many parents who have issues are not getting the support they need and this has a knock on effect on how they are able to support their children. Same with social care support, many HomeStart and SureStart centres closing or being reduced etc. Coupled with the fact that grandparents are working longer and many people have to move for work etc support networks are less for parents when they struggle which has a knock on effect on children.

Emochild Sun 11-Sep-16 10:43:53

Talking to a SALT friend of mine, anecdotally she feels that the rise in speech and language difficulties can be attributed to the rise in technology use -both by preschoolers and their parents

People just aren't talking to their children as much as they used to

Toffeelatteplease Sun 11-Sep-16 10:51:35

It'seems a sad fact that nowadays to get decent education for a child with SEN is hard. You need a lot of perserverence, a degree of intelligence to understand the process and often a lot of self confidence to proceed when those in authority are telling you otherwise. Not everyone child is fortunate enough to have a parent able to fight the system even if the parent wants better for their child.

I will add that any child in care even with the best foster carers can have a devil of a job getting together enough evidence for a statement if they aren't kept in the same place long enough and often because the process is started far later.

SEN schools are closing down. But also there are vast difference between individual schools, which are often quite specialist. Children may fall between the gaps of SEN provision and places are (not theoretically but without tribunal in practice) limited. Not all children with SEN suceed in Special School either. (DS certainly didnt)

Yes SN is increasing. My theory: many carry a genetic increased risk, as people with an increased genetic risk have children and their children have children the rate of occurrance increases. we are way behind in terms of provision.

NickiFury Sun 11-Sep-16 10:57:44

Have been involved in "discussion" on a home ed thread in AIBU all day yesterday. I should direct the nay sayers here as one of my points was the lack of SEN/SN provision in schools and why some parents are forced into home ed. Some great explanations here.

Toffeelatteplease Sun 11-Sep-16 11:06:40

rise in speech and language difficulties can be attributed to the rise in technology use

Oh this gets me so cross.

Google Silicon Valley autism explosion for information on the connection between tech and maths learning parents and genetic predisposition. Added to that We know that often children with Autism have a connection to technology, for self calming and because it's easier and more predictable than dealing with real people.

Then we can have a discussion about chicken and eggs.

But obviously a childs speech and language difficulties are a parents fault. hmm I'm sorry but your friends attitude is an ignorant disgrace. so sad she works in SLT

bloodyteenagers Sun 11-Sep-16 11:21:05

Sometimes it's down to parenting.
You read posts on here about meal times. The dc's eat at 5 and we eat later, 7 days a week. These children are missing learning opportunities of how to use cutlery and in turn essential motor skills.

Instead of getting out the art equivalent, using the tech to create pictures. Think about when your toddler picked up a crayon or whatever, and in the scribbles, shapes changing and some resembled letters.

Reliance on tech for reading. When we sit with the child, we are next to them and usually point at the words as we are reading. We also have a conversation about the book, and may even say oh do you know what this says? A machine doesn't do that.

Out and about, children whizzing around on scooters so again there's not that interaction. Or the adult is on the phone.

Toilet training. But it's not convenient for me this week even though the child is showing an interest.

Tantrums because some parents dont want to say no.

Yes some children will have genuine special needs. But not all.

PoisonWitch Sun 11-Sep-16 11:28:08

Toffee no-one is saying autism is caused by the parents. It is true though that speech delay can be caused by neglect. Children are not going to learn if they are not talked to.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 11-Sep-16 11:40:34

toffee the rise of NOISE from technology can slow the progress of speech. One of the first things I learnt when researching language development, was that when working with children with speech delay was that the TV needs to be off for them to hear the words being spoken. Add into that mix the noise from tablets and mobile phones and you have a cocophony of sound all masking important word sounds.

Toffeelatteplease Sun 11-Sep-16 11:48:12

saying the TV needs to be off for a child to understand easily is very different than rise in speech and language difficulties can be attributed to the rise in technology use

I totally agree with the first the second is very different

Scarydinosaurs Sun 11-Sep-16 11:54:46

That is what I understood from the second- things like: noise from technology and reduced face to face conversations.

FourLittleSpeckledFrogs Sun 11-Sep-16 12:20:45

rise in speech and language difficulties can be attributed to the rise in technology use

In the area I work in, we are seeing more and more children with language delay at 4/5 years old. They are all plugged into phones, tablets and gaming consoles as soon as they can sit up. We see younger siblings in the pram, not facing mum/dad/carer, but goggling at a phone.

In bygone years, they would have been out playing.

A lot of services have been cut and it's having a big effect.

HexBramble Sun 11-Sep-16 17:50:35

There are so many factors in the mix here, not to mention the cut in provisions, but there surely IS a correlation between the rise in technology and the rise in developmental delay. Tech has a monumental impact on our social behaviour - it's only logical that our children are exhibiting their effects. As for me, I'll spend this evening planning for my little group of Year 7'ers because nothing in my differentiated database is going to help them.

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