Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Friday afternoon plan for child with SEN?
13

GloomyMonday · 22/09/2018 06:29

I'm a Year 5 teacher (third year teaching) with a little girl who just cannot cope with Friday afternoons. She's got a complicated diagnosis that boils down to extreme and sudden rages in the classroom. There are several agencies involved and she's receiving lots of support but Friday afternoons are a real flashpoint.

We don't do anything differently but I suppose she is just exhausted after a week of trying to hold it together, and maybe there is a slightly excited 'weekend' air amongst the children.

I really want to do my best for this child. I like her, and she's come a long way from where she was a year ago. I think she needs to be doing something different on a Friday afternoon and my Head is receptive, but what? Does anyone have any ideas? I'm quite inexperienced, and certainly have never experienced a child this troubled.

She has counselling and play therapy during the week. It would be ideal if one of those could move to Friday afternoons, but the professionals involved can't accommodate it.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Sirzy · 22/09/2018 06:41

What does she enjoy doing? Can you link that in? Ds will ofren be found doing tasks relating to maps on the iPad on a Friday afternoon (or any other afternoon for that matter)

Can she verbalise at another time why she finds it hard? You may be shocked by her answer and it may help focus support

Does she has additional support? Are there adults available for her to be out of class?

If there are then you could perhaps talk to the play therapist and see if there is anything that School can do during that time to compliment her development

Have you sat and spoken with her parents? They may well have ideas which could help

Good luck!

Please
or
to access all these features

mynamechangemyrules · 22/09/2018 06:49

I teach younger children at the moment, but in the past I have instigated a little element of choice- Free Choice Friday meant that there was a selection of curriculum linked 'play' activities (think Reception style child initiated, ramped up to your year group level). So for Y2 there could be clay/ paint/ ipads/ all linked in various ways to what we've done all week and they get to choose what they do and, if inclined, share with the class what they've done/ made and relate it back to their prior learning. If it's just for her she could have a 'station' like this maybe? We've also had FCF as a STEM based extension afternoon, but his allows for more 'down time' or self directed activities for her too.

Another alternative I've used for SEN children is this 'mentoring' idea: on a Friday afternoon they go to read stories to N/ Rec and 'help' them with their play. They have objectives related to Eng speaking and listening which they knew about before they went, but it gave a lot of them a chance to experience success and being an achiever. They also made sweet younger friendships which made them feel mature (when some were really not..)
Lastly I've done it where it's a chance for outdoor learning (Forest School Fridays- I do like a catchy name!) Again, related to our learning for the week but extending or consolidating it through outdoor, hands-on activities.

If you have to facilitate this just for one child, it could be hard. But I think if you have a sensible head they would see the benefits of many of these activities for the whole class, but you've given the girl who is struggling options to choose what she feels she can handle, you've made the others more independently task-focused too, so if she needs you, you are more available. Plus we all totally looked forward to it so it jollied us all along on a tired Thursday afternoon to think of the fun ahead!!

Please
or
to access all these features

GloomyMonday · 22/09/2018 07:23

Thank you so much, both of you. I didn't expect such quick responses!

I love the idea of Forest School Fridays or Free Choice Fridays but sadly not allowed in our school so I think it will have to be something tailored to this child specifically.

Even when calm she cannot articulate what it is that upsets her, but there is a TA available to remove her from the classroom, albeit also supporting two other children so they can't go far!

I like the idea of asking the play therapist for ideas to complement her work, and of a little station of activities.

The mentoring idea is interesting. I would love her to experience that level of achievement and success but she can be so volatile that younger children are often frightened. I'll give that some thought I think.

Brilliant ideas and there'll be a plan in place by next Friday, thank you!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

redcaryellowcar · 22/09/2018 14:17

I would have suggested outside activities for the whole class if possible, forest fridays sounds perfect, but if that's not possible, then more thinking is required. Does she like baking/ cooking, could she do something quite therapeutic eg dough or clay? Would you be able to have an extended study time to allow them to sit (perhaps comfortable on cushions, lying on tummies, bean bags etc?) and listen to a longer than normal story time. It could be linked to what you are doing the following week? Or just because it's a nice relaxing story?

Please
or
to access all these features

JimmyGrimble · 22/09/2018 18:41

It happening on a Friday afternoon would be a massive red flag for me. What is this child's home situation like? It could be that she is dreading the weekend.

Please
or
to access all these features

EggysMom · 22/09/2018 18:47

It happening on a Friday afternoon would be a massive red flag for me. What is this child's home situation like? It could be that she is dreading the weekend.

Fridays stuck out for me too, I was wondering if she was fixated on the routine of school and found the prospect of a non-structured weekend created a high level of anxiety. Could equally be that she's dreading a visit to a NRP or relatives.

Please
or
to access all these features

Penguinsetpandas · 22/09/2018 19:13

I have a 11 year old ASD DS fine at home but went through periods of getting very frustrated at school. I would ask the parents as each child varies but for him I would have suggested something very calming where nothing can go wrong e.g. no instructions to follow.

So something like a sensory room or a walk or watching a film, playing with dough / clay might work but art / baking etc with him could set him off if he got one thing wrong. Or if the parents are keen she is learning I would go for favourite subject. Gardening might work though you do also have to be careful to not give an incentive to have a rage. I wasn't keen on DS being given anything too much fun as it worsened his behaviour though a regular thing is different to child screams and gets to go to playroom. My DS used to like reading encylopedias as well. Can be trial and error with these things.

I wouldn't be overly concerned there's anything wrong at home with ASD, without other indicators, it may well be change of routine / tiredness though would maybe see if child is getting enough sleep though easier said than done to enforce it. My child was once worse on Thursdays and Fridays and it was as he had a different teacher (who put him in playroom when he screamed) that day so is worth looking what is different. Mine will only talk with a few people - me, his sister and often one teacher at school. If you can get the child to talk that's best - in my case I feed back to school via e-mail. It maybe worth asking the child for ideas. Mine loves cushions, anything soft he can cuddle calms him down. Other thing might be worth checking, though probably not this, is are they eating Friday lunch? ASD kids can be very restricted in their diet and will starve themselves if they don't like food and never helps mood. To get mine to talk the best thing is to talk about their interests first then gradually slip into conversation neutral questions not implying blame on them like what do you like about school? What do you dislike? It's quite common for them to want somewhere quiet to hide when everything gets too much.

Please
or
to access all these features

Mintylizzy9 · 22/09/2018 19:17

When my son (possible adhd/sensory processing difficulties/attachment issues/anxiety) is getting to that point we blitz the sensory play so lots of play dough/ foam soap / painting etc as it helps him to reconnect and means he can also zone out a bit.

Please
or
to access all these features

GloomyMonday · 22/09/2018 19:20

Thank you so much everyone. Her parents are wonderful and supportive, I don't get the impression there's an issue at home. I think it's tiredness. She's got a designated space, a tent, that is full of cushions and she loves it. It's just Fridays when she gets so angry and frustrated that she can't seem to remember to use it. I'll look at the lunches though, I hadn't thought of that. Lots of ideas to consider, thank you.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Penguinsetpandas · 22/09/2018 22:05

Asked DS and he was very similar around this age (though suddenly improved at this point and has been much better since). He said it will be the lessons, with my DS then if first lesson after lunch bothered him he would be in a mood or in hiding under a desk all afternoon. Though if she's fine in the same lessons with the same teacher at different times of the week I would imagine its more tiredness / had enough of school. I just thought of lunch as somedays he wouldn't eat anything at school and its normally something immediately before they start getting grumpy.

Please
or
to access all these features

Apple23 · 22/09/2018 23:37

I was going to mention lunches - often schools seem to have fish on Fridays which can be sensory overload for some children.

Is your routine different on Fridays (Awards assembly, spelling/ tables test, fewer staff due to part-time working?) Or is her home routine different? What do you usually do on a Friday afternoon?

What does she like doing?
Does she like/ need to be physically active or have somewhere quiet to work?
Can she get on with a task for a time without heavy adult input, or could she undertake some useful tasks, e.g. in the library or in a younger class?

Once you've got her settled, you could then adapt whatever works so it becomes more learning focussed.

Please
or
to access all these features

GloomyMonday · 23/09/2018 04:31

Yes routine is slightly different because of an awards assembly. I'm going to speak to her when she's calm tomorrow. I'd assumed it was tiredness but can see now it could be any one of several things, or a combination. She's so lovely when she's calm, really want to do everything I can to help her.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Want2bSupermum · 23/09/2018 04:38

Speak to the OT about exercises you can do to help calm her down. DS has had a similar problem and the OT showed everyone squeezing down his arms and legs, which has helped a lot.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.