This year has mostly been about Boyo and the big achievements he is making and the paperwork we are making. FASD diagnosis. EHCP. Sensory work.
We haven’t forgotten Jelly; but around Christmas, I threw my hands up in disgust at the SENCO and shrugged thinking Y1 will be different. There are so many things that they are not getting in reception and even the SENCO can’t see the sense in what they are doing; but without a formal document or diagnosis and no money for real support we have felt lost.
I went with Jelly and the class TA to an attention and listening group provided by speech and language. I stated that I wasn’t worried about his attention, but his speech. School insist that his lack of attention is a problem (remember he is developmentally delayed and functioning as 3 year old now). Speech and language said after 3 sessions that his attention is fine. I suggested perhaps the environment at school doesn’t suit him, however they still insist that attention is his biggest problem.
I still insist his developmentally delay is his biggest issue.
We go round in circles. He does something. The class teacher tells me he has been naughty and what he has done and I suggest a reason for the behaviour. He does something (sometimes different, sometimes a repeat behaviour); the teacher tells me what he has done, and I suggest a reason behind the behaviour. I have sat in a meeting with the SENCO and teacher and discussed behaviour as language. I have sat in a meeting with the head and teacher and discussed behaviour as language. We have talked about trauma, attachment and other related issues. He does something; the class teacher tells me he has been naughty and I suggest a reason for the behaviour.
This week she called me into school on Tues to try to make Jelly tell me what he had done. I object (& vocalised these objections to SENCO) to this shaming of him and asked a child who hasn’t got the language to explain to explain to me. He just hid his head in my arms and refused to talk or look at teacher.
He had a school trip on my working day. My friend went as her daughter is in the same class but she went as she knew I couldn’t. The comment I had back today was how fantastic she was with him. She just did what was needed. She is horrified by the lack of understanding of him by the staff.
Her comments back up what I’ve been saying. He was told off for waving his hands around… he uses them for talking as his speech is limited. He was told off for scraping gravel, which she saw as a sensory thing. He was told off for holding onto a railing – her response was he needed to know where he was. SENCO suggested months ago he went at back of all lines – yesterday friend had her group at back to help him and was told that another group was supposed to be at the back. During a talk she realised he couldn’t sit on the seat, so moved him to her lap, where he pulled his knees up into foetal position and she held him to provide feedback. Teacher said, I said he’d be okay, he likes animals.
I am so cross; it doesn’t matter who says what to teacher, she plainly knows best. I am so frustrated because he just keeps getting into trouble, where if they bothered to read him, they would know what his triggers were and what his tells are. He isn’t actually hard to read.
I asked today for a(nother) meeting with the SENCO. We agreed last year we would try to talk about one boy at a meeting. Today was Boyo’s turn. I have to hope that next year when we move to Y1 that we have a more supportive teacher. I do know he will have a TA as that was one of the reason’s I agreed to him moving up. We have also already discussed a chair with arms for him.
It is hard, because I think the school is amazing. The SENCO is amazing. The head always takes time to talk to me when I want it. Some teachers are fantastic. Most are adequate. But we seem to have had a bad time in reception for both boys, which means they start y1 disliking school and it takes a lot to get over that.
I have to hope that Y1 turns things around for Jelly and that things start to improve and there is a greater understanding of him.