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Child with sensory issues with pencils in your class.
9

pennib · 03/07/2020 07:36

We're moving to the UK in the autumn and my 12 years old will be enrolling in a state school. He is not autistic but has a rather unusual sensory issue around pencils. To him, they sound like nails on a chalkboard only 100 times louder.

Where we are now he uses pens for most of his work. For maths, he is allowed to use a pen but for compass and angle drawings he has to use a pencil. He has to wear earplugs to do this. If at home he is allowed to put on music to drown out the sound.
In art lessons, he is allowed to use drawing pens. For work that needs colour in other subjects, he uses Staedtler twistable crayons.

I know it is a rather strange but also frustrating issue to have at school. If a child turned up in your classroom with this problem, would you be accommodating? I'm really worried that a new school might make an issue out of it and think he is just being awkward. He really isn't. For years I've been trying to give pencils ago. We make light of it, so the last thing I want is it to become a big issue.
PS- He can't wait to drop Art.Grin

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Dotinthecity · 03/07/2020 07:56

We’d let him use a pen in our school. 👍

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NeurotrashWarrior · 03/07/2020 08:29

I'm certain at that age it would be ok, chat to the art teacher who should be accommodating and should know that all artists should be individual!

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BrickOgrass · 04/07/2020 08:32

I would talk to the school and explain how he has been accommodated before. I am sure they will do they same.

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Wavingnotdrown1ng · 04/07/2020 13:18

Contact the Head of Year/House and the SENCO and tell them about his difficulties - does he have a diagnosed sensory processing disorder? Also, how is he with other students using them next to him? Be aware that UK class sizes can be pretty big in secondary schools ( as many as 36 in my school and certainly 33 in most classes). As a teacher I am more than happy to try to accommodate barriers to learning and really the best thing you can do is get the information out there to staff. Ask for him to have an IEP/ IPM/ Student Profile (different UK names for a document about a child’s learning needs/barriers that the SENCO will draw up). Be prepared to email your child’s individual teachers as a back-up in September. Some secondary staff teach hundreds of children each week and an individualised reminder is helpful. Finally, lots of children have issues like this and there is a growing awareness of sensory difficulties - I have one myself!

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PumpkinPie2016 · 04/07/2020 13:40

I had a child with this very issue last year. I teach Science and we generally use pencil for graphs/tables/diagrams.

I either let the child use a pen or gave him a printed copy of the table/diagram to fill in using pen.

Speak to the SENCo at the school where your son is going.

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SionnachRua · 04/07/2020 16:55

I'd let him use a pen. How is he with peers using pencils - if it's a problem, can he use ear defenders or similar items?

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ohthegoats · 04/07/2020 21:58

I've had one of these too - she just used a pen for everything.

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YayGlitter · 06/07/2020 20:30

Sensory issues are quite well known so I think with a note/chat with the SENCO it'd be fine, although maybe give him a note to keep with him as communication isn't always great in school and teachers have lots of students so might forget til they get to know him.

From having come across similar issues before, can he cope with mechanical pencils? (they make a slightly different sound to normal pencil) or friction pens that he can then rub out if he needs to for diagrams?

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drspouse · 07/07/2020 14:53

Sensory issues are quite well known indeed, but a diagnosed sensory processing disorder is rare (partly as these difficulties are usually part of a wider disability) so schools should be accommodating.

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