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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


School and time out

12 replies

Maiyakat · 20/09/2016 09:41

DD has started reception. She is very outgoing and settled in well. This is great, however because she is confident and has gone in without much fuss it gives everyone a false sense that she is fine and they don't need to do anything different because she doesn't have any obvious issues from being adopted.

On Friday she came home and told me she'd been 'on amber.' On further questioning this appears to be the same as time out, and was apparently because she was messing about with a hula-hoop and accidentally hit another child with it. School did not communicate with me at all about this.

DD was off school sick yesterday. Today she was very clingy going into school having previously been fine. I can only assume this is because of being in time out on Friday.

I need to address with the teacher that time out is not great for an adopted child, without seeming to say I think DD should be able to get away with anything without consequence. I'm also not impressed that they didn't tell me about it. Any words of wisdom from those who have been there done that? School is a whole new world to me as a parent and I need to know how to get what DD needs without pissing off all the staff along the way!

OP posts:
greenandblackssurvivalkit · 20/09/2016 09:58

Being "on Amber" is usually a warning stage. From amber, if further misdemeanors, they can go to "red", which leads to a sanction. Amber itself isn't usually trigger to a sanction.

Could you go in and discuss the school discipline policy in depth? Then you'll know exactly what should be going on, and can address anything shame inducing etc before it happens. And you're not reliant on DD's interpretation! Although, of course, her interpretation is important.

Maiyakat · 20/09/2016 10:05

Good thought about the behaviour policy, hadn't thought of that (I really am clueless about school!) Found it on the website, amber means missing 5 minutes of playtime.

OP posts:
RatherBeIndoors · 20/09/2016 10:20

I would go in gently, ask for a meeting so you've got time to talk to the teacher properly rather than either of you being rushed. Ask what they do to differentiate their behaviour policy for children who cannot cope with consequences involving "shame" - systems like "being on amber" often involve having your name displayed in some way, it's horrid, and a very visible isolating shaming thing to do in front of peers. Ask nicely whether they have all had extra training on how to adapt things to enable LAC and adopted children to cope (the answer should be yes, but it's nice to ask and gives them hopefully an opportunity to show you things they do know). If they are looking blank, I would say that anything involving rejecting, shaming or isolating is going to be very triggering for your child, may escalate some behaviour, and will certain stop them from being able to trust the school and settle. Some alternatives other schools use are: time in, so being asked to come and help the teacher or TA with a little job for a few minutes; thinking time WITH the teacher or TX, so there's no rejection but instead a few minutes of sitting down and re-connecting with the teacher and tuning in to each other, etc etc.

TBH if it was an accidental hit with a hula hoop I think the consequence sounds bizarre. If there was perceived to be a deliberate hit, I would be asking what they did to calm the situation down and help your DD to be able to cope (playground time or unstructured time being the moments that our children are likely to find hardest...)

If you're concerned about the lack of communication, I would also ask for a home-school book, where you and the teacher exchange brief notes about significant things that happen that might affect your DD that day/night. It is early in the term and they won't have learned to read your DD yet, to understand when she is OK and when she's masking like mad but not OK, so help from you about what to look out for should hopefully be something they'd value. Hope your DD is OK Flowers

greenandblackssurvivalkit · 20/09/2016 11:52

5 minutes of play is huge! Here that's a third of playtime! Sounds harsh, no wonder she's upset.

Go in and have a chat.

Maiyakat · 20/09/2016 12:38

Thank you both for your advice and for reassuring me that I'm not being an over the top PFB mum. There is a home-school diary, and there was something written in there but nothing about behaviour.

She may have got totally confused about the whole thing, but something is definitely not right, so I'll see what I can find out at pick up and ask for a proper meeting later in the week.

OP posts:
marmeemarch1 · 20/09/2016 14:10

Hi, this has always been a bit of a battle for us as well, I saw this blog post recently which might be of interest also I found this document helped the teachers a bit too
Definitely worth supporting school in getting it right early on. Make sure your child is receiving pupil premium and how your child can benefit from this. Your area virtual school for looked after children may also be able to provide training to the teachers. Sorry this is a bit rushed. Hope the school are helpful

tldr · 20/09/2016 14:26

I'd definitely speak to them, as others have said.

You might also take the opportunity to talk to them about curriculum issues that might be difficult (baby photos etc) and how you'd like to see the PP spent (if you know).

I have come to be that parent. Grin

PoppyStellar · 20/09/2016 14:39

Yep I am pretty sure I am that parent too.

I found this document online a good while ago about supporting adopted children at school There's a really useful grid on page 8 or 9 I think about how attachment issues can present themselves in a child's behaviour at school and what a school might do to support that child. I've given it to the SENCO at school and used it as the starting point for discussion with DDs class teacher.

I have an outwardly very compliant daughter which sometimes masks her anxieties. School have been very helpful in working with me to work out what type of intervention and support would help most. When she was in reception this was a nurture group focused on building self esteem. Don't be afraid to ask to speak to them to work out ways together to support your DD. Hopefully your school will be very supportive and keen to work in partnership with you.

It might be worth suggesting they spend a chunk of the PP allocation your daughter is entitled to on training on attachment for some or all staff.

PootlewasthebestFlump · 11/10/2016 19:43

I am that parent too. DS lost 5 min of playtime due to 3 counts of hitting/pushing (teacher felt he had to be sanctioned same as the other kids).

Luckily we have the Senco on board and I spoke to her to request that if his behaviour escalates then he is given extra support as he is not coping with class, and that we are spoken with as there may be things going on at home that have triggered problems or we may understand more about what he's not coping with.

At the time he had no 1:1 TA support and could not cope. This year, new teacher and X2 TA he's loving it.

Never be afraid to be that parent. I'm Mama Bear everywhere now and I bloody love it Wink

crispandcheesesanwichplease · 11/10/2016 23:10

Hi Op.
I am also 'that parent'. It's not who I ever imagined I'd be but the fact is you have no choice, she's your DD and you do whatever you need to do to support her.

I'm too tired to write a longer post but you've had some really good advice from others here who've had similar experiences and I agree with that advice.

My daughter presents as confident, academic, outspoken. She's all of these, but she's also the swan who seems serene on the surface but is paddling like mad under the water just to appear to be coping.

Don't be afraid to keep pushing on her behalf and please don't think of yourself as being a nuisance to school or anyone else. Adopted children are traumatised and it's our job to fight for the support they need to grow and develop into healthy and robust people.

Eventually the rest of the world will catch up with us in understanding our kids. Join us as the pioneers!

Maiyakat · 14/10/2016 21:26

Thanks for all the advice. Spoke to the teacher. Think she thinks I'm a neurotic mother but she seemed to take on board what I said. She hasn't come back to me with alternative options but DD hasn't had time out since so hopefully all is good.

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crispandcheesesanwichplease · 19/10/2016 17:00

You'll get used to people treating you like the neurotic mother. It's their shit not yours. Just because a professional doesn't understand, or hasn't been educated re the issues your child experiences it doesn't mean you're not right.

Despite having had a diagnosis of disinhibited attachment difficulties for our DD 2 years previously, we had a subsequent social worker and LAC nurse question my style of parenting. They thought I was too restrictive/controlling because I wouldn't let her play out unsupervised or let her go to friends' houses without me. At that point in her life she would talk to/sit on the knee of any stranger, was beyond reckless with physical danger, constantly had her hand down her pants and was lying and stealing as easily as breathing.

I ignored them and continued to parent as I saw fit, but it made me question my own judgement at times. She's your DD Maiyakat and you know her best.

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