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ds' autistic spectrum year so far

10 replies

JazzyJ · 16/11/2004 14:21

I know I hav'n't been about at all in hte last 6 months or so but I just thought I'd let you know how things have progressed since ds's diagnosis in march.
Got DLA middle rate after total brain melt down trying to fill out that bloody form. Think I have to do it again in December coz ds is going to be 5, oh joy.
Got a lot of help from 'contact a family'and a web site (I don't know how to do links)
Have a speech therapist helping ds out, but we were on the waiting list for 18 months.
We were not successful in getting a statement for him, I think because he was at a private nursery but we are going to go for it again because ds started reception class at the local mainstream school in September, and it is proving much more difficult than any one thorght. Ds will not sit on the carpet with all the rest of the children, he hides under tables or any available nook when he does not want to do something, usually group activities such as assembly, pe and carpet time. The teacher is doing as much as she can and genuinely seems to like him which I count as a massive bonus, and the headmaster also seems very supportive so far, they need a 1 to 1 person for ds and they are trying, they had one but she had to leave to go back to Australia, trained teacher and everything, big bummer. They have been using various interested 'mums'but they have their own stuff going on, and ds needs consistency. The head has assured us that he has found the funding for a 1 to 1 person for ds but he has to advertise and get the right person, so when this person will turn up is anyones guess.
I keep falling in and out of love with the school, because they really do give the impression that they want to be inclusive and are doing all they can to support ds, but it still seems that the only real progress being made is between the class teacher and us by concockting cunning plans to get ds to sit on the ruddy carpet.
The head apparently used to sit on the board that gives out statements and has sounded optomistic about getting one, but the senco at the school is rather more pessimistic as are most other people, since we have a diagnosis nad have still been refused so far.
We will see I guess, but at the moment it is day to day battle getting out of the house fully dressed, getting to school vaguely on time and then ds getting through the day avoiding stress as best he can, generally by hiding in a book, and then getting dragged off to after school club where he endures the noise and rowdiness of post-school mayhem. Finally being picked up by post work mum, dragged to dd's nursery to pick her up then supper, that he usually hates, followed by the melt down when bed time is first mentioned.
There you go, life so far,if any one has any good getting auti boys to sit down and listen techniques please pass them this way, any suggestions gratefully recived.

OP posts:
coppertop · 16/11/2004 19:05

It sounds like a hectic 6 months!

What is it exactly about carpet time that ds dislikes? My ds1 (4yrs) will tolerate it as long as the other children don't get too close to him. Someone (Jimjams?) mentioned perhaps giving ds a carpet tile to sit on which no one else is allowed to touch. That gives them the personal space they need.

Hiding under the tables is something my ds1 used to do when he had a sensory overload. It sounds as though ds really needs some kind of time-out. Does he have an area of the classroom where he can go to help him calm down? My ds1's school were prepared to do this but in the end it wasn't needed. Perhaps an enclosed/partitioned area in a corner somewhere?

The method that ds1's school were going to use for assemblies might also help with carpet-time (again he didn't need it in the end). They encourage the child to sit down for the last minute or so to start with and then build this up with each session. The pre-school SENCO said that this was better than trying to get them to sit down at the beginning, struggling with the situation and then leaving. Perhaps a similar technique could work.

Finally, does ds really need to be sitting on the carpet? I know they like to have all of the children sitting down but would ds be happier to perhaps sit on a chair? The argument that other children will think he is getting preferential treatment is a load of rubbish. As my ds1's teacher explains it "Yes needs to learn that there is a certain way to behave BUT it's just as important for the other children to learn that they need to make allowances too."

Good luck and let us know how it all goes.

jmb1964 · 16/11/2004 23:26

carpet-time... we hate it too! This year's teacher has agreed that it's not such a big dea; and ds1 (7, Aspergers) now gets to sit on his very own chair! There's something about the general fidgetiness (ds1 particularly, but all the others too) that makes it more likely for arms and legs to touch and ds1 can so easily misinterpret that. We are also trying ear plugs at the moment to help with the sensory overload thing in the busy classroom. He doesn't hide under tables any more, but as well as his normal place at a table with 5 other children, he has his own 'base' with his back to the room which he can choose to go to if things get too much. And the 1:1 person is there full-time, but trying her best to stand back and let him cope on his own as far as he can.
So, our third year at school, and finally things are coming together, but it's been a bumpy ride - good luck!

JaysMum · 16/11/2004 23:38

We had the same probs with J sittins on the carpet and listening.

We used a L plate that you have when learning to drive and suggested they tried it a school.

J saw the red L and knew it was sit and Listen time.

Teacher used it for the whole class and it helped a lot.

Also teacher had J sitting closely to her so she could keep his attention better.

J was also the teachers helper at carpet time - so he handed out the news letters, helped with turning pages etc.

J also had a cushion to sit on which helped with his loathing of nylon carpet - which he is hyper sensitive too.

I really think it is a case of trial and error and eventually you will find something that helps with carpet time.

JaysMum · 16/11/2004 23:42

Oh and I forgot to add...

have you tried IPSEA with help regards your statementing probs?

They have been really good in helping us get a statement for 18 hours 1:1 after we had been refused 3 times previously.

Good Luck.

Socci · 16/11/2004 23:44

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JaysMum · 17/11/2004 00:00

Sounds like it could be. Have a read of a book called The Out of Synch Child by Carol ??????.

A good book which explains loads about sensory problems.

Socci · 17/11/2004 00:04

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coppertop · 17/11/2004 10:10

It sounds as though it could be a sensory overload. Dh still suffers from this to a certain extent and says that when there are too many people around him the smells can be overpowering: different perfumes, deodorants, soaps, even toothpaste. The noise is also difficult to deal with: people speaking too loudly or in the 'wrong' pitch, chewing noises, noisy shoes etc. If the room/building has fluorescent lights the buzzing and the flicking can be very annoying too. These are all things that he can cope fairly well with separately (as your dd probably can when she first arrives) but when they all combine it can be too much. As an adult dh can usually just get up and retreat to a safe distance but as a child it's not always so easy. When ds1 has an overload he either tries to crawl under a table or chair (ds2 does this too) or he just lies down on the ground.

Socci · 17/11/2004 10:25

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JazzyJ · 17/11/2004 20:09

The sensory overload thing is a definate. Ds says it is the hubub of large gatherings eg assembly and pre registration. We have set up a reward system with the teacher, if he manages to sit and listen to her 'some' of the time she gives him a star in a book at the end of the day which he brings home and we give him praise for being 'good' at school. It does seem to have had an impact as he is apparently spending more time on the carpet. The classroom assistant has started taking him in to assembly just after it has begun so there is less noise for him, he has said that he doesn't like it when the nursery children do an assembly because he doesn't like their singing!
The quiet area in the class room is a great idea, his teacher says that when it does get noisey he tends to go to the tape machine and put the head phones on. I think they plonk him in front of the computer aswell where I guess he can zone out.

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