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To be upset over approach to snack time at nursery

30 replies

Flumpbump · 09/10/2018 04:58

DD is suspected of having autism, we'll find out if they'll diagnose her in 3 months.

Since she's started nursery we've had staff saying she's fine, been doing well etc. Never really any complaints, except thay they can find it hard to watch her and run after her (we went to pick her up and they were shouting at her to get off play equipment)Hmm

But we've had an action plan given to us from senco which came from external team, theres a few things on there that I'm struggling to understand why it's not been brought up to me before being made official.
One is that DD hogs the snacks which are meant for sharing.. she just doesn't understand sharing and is used to having her own plate. It's made me upset because I could provide an extra snack for her to have her own if they'd mentioned it she already takes a packed lunch. I feel like they could have worked around it by giving her a plate of her own and putting her snacks on the plate without making such a big deal of it.
I don't know, I'm sat crying because i feel like it's not hard to talk to me so i can help. It's not fair nit picking at easily avoidable situations, she's oblivious to it all so i have the urge to stand up for her and protect her.

OP posts:
BitOfFun · 09/10/2018 05:25

Oh love, don't let this get you down! Discuss it with them- don't worry about being emotional either, they will be used to it. Any strategies you can suggest will help.

whatsitallabout1 · 09/10/2018 05:26

I'm sure it's not really about the snacks. The reason it's on her action plan is because they want to work with her on her understanding of "sharing". If they ask you to bring in extra snacks/plates they lose that opportunity.

Whilst it may seem it would just be easier to just give her her own it wouldn't necessarily be in her best interests.

I do appreciate how hard it is, seeing her labelled as different for what seem petty and easily avoided behaviours, but I do think you need to start with the assumption that they are on your daughter (and your) side. And work with them to get the most from the process, keeping the entirely understandable desire to protect her from criticism under wraps unless really needed.

Good luck, and wishing you strength on your journey.

Flumpbump · 09/10/2018 05:37

I think it's just one of them I struggle to get her to eat so it's hard making the fact that shes eating a negative.
I do everything I can and take on board what anyone's saying to help her, I just don't want food to become more difficult for her.
It's probably all hormones and sleep deprivation making everything seem worse than it is.Blush

OP posts:
Thesmallthings · 09/10/2018 05:44


I'd be questioning why all the children don't have their own plate. Purely out of a hygiene aspect.

Snack time is not the time to be teaching sharing, esp if it something that upsets her.
I work in a nursery and have work with children with very low functioning autism and wgd. And all the children have been very understanding about the child/children.

For example, a child used to take other people's snacks when ever possible so we made sure that we was on him as much as possible and made sure that he would get his snack as soon as possible.

She needs her own plate. (They all do really) and they should not have a problem in doing this, if they do I would probably think about moving her as they obviously are taking her needs to account and where does it stop?

BitOfFun · 09/10/2018 05:47

Flump, I get it, I really do. My dd is 18 now Shock, but I vividly remember the food issues at that time. Be gentle with yourself.

AnnieAnoniMouse · 09/10/2018 06:15


It’s VERY difficult & especially so when it concerns food if they’re not good eaters anyway.

Maybe they’re trying to deal with it in their own way, but it’s worth asking what they’re doing when it happens, if you’re not happy with their approach then ask them if they can do x instead.

However, it sounds like it was just one comment in their report for DD’s assessment, where they need to give examples of her behaviours. If they didn’t include things like this, it’s going to negatively affect her being assessed accurately.

It’s a hard road to travel, look after yourself along the way 💐

AjasLipstick · 09/10/2018 06:28

I also question their reasons for having one plate. It's probably for no reason other than to reduce their own workload. One sharing plate of fruit is easier to deal with than having them all eat from their own plate.

If you ask them "Why do they all eat from one plate?" I bet they'd just say "It's to encourage sharing"

But in reality, that's rare...ask do they have a dish each to put their portion on.

I bet the answer is no....they will say "Oh it's just fruit so they don't need a plate"

But in reality, sharing one dish is pointless unless they're getting the chance to load their own dish and learn how much is a proper portion.

So they should give ALL the children a plate each and that way your DD would be happier.

AjasLipstick · 09/10/2018 06:29

What I mean by "that's rare" is that in life, people don't usually eat from one dish....they will have a bowl of their own to put shared food ONTO. I bet if they helped your DD first...allowed her to get some food on her plate, then she'd be fine with it all.

Witchofwisteria · 09/10/2018 06:45

I am sure you are just feeling very sensitive and protective. It's not about the snack, unfortunately even children with Autism need to know the basic rules the same as the other kids and go along with the rest of the classes arrangements. I have a colleague who has constantly argued that her DS be above almost all school rules because he's autistic and can't help it. Sadly it's done him no favours and only now he's 10 are they having to do lots of parenting classes to undo a lot of the behaviours experts have said he's picked up from having absolutely no rules.

AjasLipstick · 09/10/2018 06:49

even children with Autism need to know the basic rules the same as the other kids and go along with the rest of the classes arrangements

Not always.

Sometimes, exceptions can be made if the rule will cause a lot of stress and I would argue that staying calm and happy around food is of major importance for all children.

The world should alter itself for those who need extra attention and care.

AjasLipstick · 09/10/2018 06:50

And also, Witch your friend's son's story is anecdotal and has absolutely no relevance here.

Groovee · 09/10/2018 06:52

I would ask them how they run their snack. Most of the places I having worked do a rolling snack with so many places and they come and get their plate then put snack on it then get a drink and then find a seat. Usually a member of staff supervises it. Other places put the snack on the table and they help themselves.

If your Dd is being allowed to help herself she's maybe taking it all because she doesn't understand. I would expect the staff member on snack to be there to encourage her to follow what's the menu or the numbers by the food and support her through snack.

I currently do a one to one and the wee one has a habit of liking something such as grapes and has been caught helping themselves off others plates or going up to get more when they know that what's on their plate is their snack.

It's most likely a target for the staff to work on but that no one has explained it to you. I would ask at nursery about it and just explain like how have here and get what they actually mean.

Any targets in our nursery are explained to the parents and why.

lovetherisingsun · 09/10/2018 06:57

It's not about the snack, unfortunately even children with Autism need to know the basic rules the same as the other kids and go along with the rest of the classes arrangements

Yeaaaah.......that's not how autism works.

AllTheChocolateMice · 09/10/2018 07:01

We had the same problem, the school gave him his own plate .

He didnt like to eat in large groups either so salt suggested starting off sitting with just a couple of other dc

The school had a lot of input from salt regarding sharing but food wasn’t something they suggested trying until well into reception

ItWentInMyEye · 09/10/2018 07:05

Could you ask if you're allowed to provide your own snack for her if it's an issue? My DS with ASD has taken his own in since the first week of nursery, now In year 1.

MemoryOfSleep · 09/10/2018 07:05


Op's DD sounds like she's high functioning and as such can probably learn to navigate this social hurdle. Just because it's initially hard doesn't mean there is no need to try.

At meetings etc, people do just grab their food from a shared pile. I agree with PP, it's not in the child's best interests to deny them learning opportunities because of a label they happen to have.

LucieMorningstar · 09/10/2018 07:07

They have to list every little thing that could point towards an asd diagnosis on these reports. They see it as a struggle for her, which obviously they should have discussed with you, but they need it in file as it’s an asd trait. Don’t take it personally, if you’d read the paperwork from when my eldest was going through diagnosis you’d think he was a self absorbed monster! They just have to detail ALL the possible traits.

AjasLipstick · 09/10/2018 07:15

Memory there isn't such a thing as two types of Autism you know. All children are different. You can't say "Oh that child's high functioning so they will be fine"

It's a lot more complex.

Howdoyoudoit31 · 09/10/2018 07:16

It's not about the snack, unfortunately even children with Autism need to know the basic rules the same as the other kids and go along with the rest of the classes arrangements

You clearly know nothing about autism. The ignorance of some people is unbelievable

MemoryOfSleep · 09/10/2018 07:20


Yes, I know. It's a spectrum. I do have a fair amount of knowledge on this issue. If she's functioning highly enough to have a diagnosis in doubt she can probably learn to share. She's likely to need to hold down a job in future and stopping her developing necessary skills isn't going to be helpful. Presumably, as it's an sen target, support will be put in place to help her achieve it. Thus, I see no problem with it.

weaving5688 · 09/10/2018 07:21

flump I don’t think you are wrong to object to them making any changes to snack without your approval - your idea of a packed lunch is a better one, especially as you say she is difficult to feed at home. I hope they get expert help before they make changes.

Datedandold · 09/10/2018 07:21

At my school they dump all the snack fruit in a large bowl and at playtime one child gets to be in charge of holding the bowl (lets be honest, it’s a washing up bowl) so all the other children can get a piece to take out with them.


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weaving5688 · 09/10/2018 07:22

Otoh, one of the disgnostic criteria for older girls with aspergers is a link to eating disorders -
I don’t think you are wrong, trust your instincts.

TheSteakBakeOfAwesome · 09/10/2018 07:37

It won't be the last time they seem to really latch onto something and go on and on about it and it gets really soul destroying at times. I had a report which went on and on and on about DD2's "overintense" gaze and eye contact. It's not - she's got a bloody squint which gives her the "concentrating too hard" look because of how her eyes converge ever so slightly but it's one of those really hard to tell if it's a squint squints. I bloody told them about it and explained it but they still went OTT on the report going on and on about this fecking thing! (There are no concerns over autism or anything like that where it might be relevant either)

Likewise school are obsessed with putting ear defenders on every bit of her planning - despite me telling them repeatedly that it's only certain sounds she overreacts to - hand driers (which school don't have at all) and other children crying. I've told them it's not at all likely she's ever going to need them in school... but they're obsessed with putting it down... I think it's just because they've got them in school and so it's easy for them to fill a line in looking like they're doing "something" when it's nowt of the sort really.

junebirthdaygirl · 09/10/2018 07:39

Its so difficult seeing things written down about your own child that you knew nothing about. Your maternal instincts are bound to jump into place. The whole process before a diagnosis is so upsetting as there is a grieving everytime another issue is mentioned. Just go easy on yourself. Children in a nursery setting are different than in the home setting so you could never have known what was an issue. As a special needs teacher l cannot write anything on a report for a professional that l haven't first discussed with the parents. There should be no surprises.
Saying that, parents always cry as seeing everything written down altogether can paint a bleak picture and is difficult to accept. But its not the full picture. Its a difficult stage leading up to diagnosis but l don't think there is ever another time when all the difficulties are laid bare in one place. Its tough.
I hope the staff have found a way to understand your little one and work with her in a positive way.

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