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Sitting on his own at school

4 replies

Furiousfive · 30/01/2020 10:44

Hi,

My 7yo son has been referred for investigations into ASD and/or ADHD and on the whole the school has been supportive. The SENCO is not great and hard to get hold of, but his teacher and headteacher are good and have put things in place which are helping him during the school day.

However, for several weeks now they have placed him on a table by himself in the classroom as they say that he was getting irritable and losing his temper by small things that the other children did. I'm not sure about this as it feels like he's being further isolated and made to stand out from the other children, some of whom already refer to him as 'naughty' :(.

The school has explained that the reason he is seated by himself is to stop him getting upset and because he's happier there, rather than to protect the other children. (He has occasionally hit other children but this has been mainly at lunchbreak during over the top games/when they're all unsupervised). During lessons, he can be disruptive in that he'll get upset when eg he can't do a piece of work, but this normally manifests with him hiding under a table, tearing up his work etc.

Just wondering what other people thought about this? Last year he was sitting with other kids with no real issues, so I'm sad that we're in this situation when he already has problems with keeping friendships.

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SuperSleepyBaby · 31/01/2020 10:33

I understand why you feel sad about this - things like this used to break my heart.

My son is 10 now and I am at last comfortable with the fact that he is a bit different from the other children and needs to do things in a different way. As long as he is happier and can get through the day feeling calmer that is the most important thing.

I spent years trying to help my square peg son fit into a round hole but when I accepted he was a square peg then we were all happier. My son will need to do some things in a different way to the other children and that’s ok.

To ensure your son is still included with the other children you could ask the school to link him up with some other children in the schoolyard. At break-times my son’s teacher gets one or two of the other children to do an activity with my son - like they get to bring some toys or sports equipment out for just them to play with. Sometimes my son just wants to play for 10 minutes and then likes time to run around by himself to unwind. The other children enjoy being asked to do it - and the teacher rotates the children doing it so they have a chance to do what they normally do. It makes my son feel included and gives the other children a chance to get to know him when they are all doing an activity they enjoy.

If some of the other children view your son as naughty then it would be worthwhile for the teacher to explain that your son is good but that some people find certain situations difficult - like every child in the class finds something difficult. It would be better for the other children to know your son is not simply naughty.

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Furiousfive · 31/01/2020 19:05

Thank you Supersleepy, I hadn't looked at it like that but it's a nice way to think about it: I need to start accepting that he is a bit of a square peg and if he's happy about it, then that should be my priority. He does like having his own desk but as he isn't the most perceptive kid, I don't think he connects this as marking him as a bit different.

There is another child in the class with autism and has quite severe behaviour issues, and the teacher has told the rest of the class about this in quite a sensitive manner. I think the problem is that my son behaves 'normally' some of the time so might be harder to explain to the other kids. The fact that he hasn't been diagnosed yet also makes me feel we're a bit in limbo as we don't have anything concrete to tell the school yet.

Thank you for your advice - I really appreciate it

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SuperSleepyBaby · 31/01/2020 22:04

No problem. One more thing - there’s a good book called Martian in the Playground - written by someone with autism about their school days and it is very good and helps you to understand things from their point of view.

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ParsnipToast · 02/02/2020 09:26

How does he feel about it? My 8 year old got her own desk recently because she was getting upset in class and finding it hard to focus. She is really happy with it and told me it helps a lot. I think a workstation can be really helpful for a lot of children.

Her teacher has also done a lot to make it a nice thing. She has some side panels on it which he has put some pictures on of things she likes. As well as her now/next board to help her manage transitions. It’s very much set up as her space, not a naughty corner. I think how it’s presented makes a huge difference.

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