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Hi All,

this is a sensitive issue and I have not posted before as did not know how to put into words this particular situation, I just want people thoughts to confirm what I am doing and thinking.

We were made aware by parent (father) that child had been diagnosed with ASD ,i showed empathy ,understanding etc and parent was happy for myself and SENCO to get ball rolling in terms of IEP and additional support etc.

This is the difficult part- the child other parent is a member of staff,she had that morning said she needed to have chat with me , so after her hubby telling me,I took her to one side to have chat, she was tearful and said she was coming to terms with it but obviously upset and felt the consultant had painted a very dark picture of child's future. I again reassured her and showed empathy, I asked for the report/letter and she said she only had what her friend had printed from internet. |( hubby had previously said she had relevant paperwork) I asked if she could get letter of diagnosis so we could get things into placeand

She agreed but 2 days later hubby accompanied into work and wanted to chat with me, he stated that they felt harrassed and could i not ask for paperwork etc. I tried to assure him that I was doing my job and had duty of care to children, he said they did not want us to get any support and to continue treating his child like everyone else but make allowances for some of his behaviou due to ASD. i stated that I had no evidence of it , he made it very clear that this is what they wanted and when i mentioned how difficult it was with the parent/staff role , he stated that as a parent everything could come through him and therefore not be discussed with his wife who was struggling with it.I astated that we could not proceed without their permission and i respected his wishes.

 

There have been sevaral incidents since and I am now wondering why they refuse and are being evasive with regards diagnosis date etc , i made a written record of our conversation but everytime i ask him to sign it as record he refuses with some excuse.

It has obviously made things difficult at work and worse still so many lies have been told.

 

What would you do in this situation ?? I could add so much more but wont for the time being.

I await your responses o 'wise ones'

x :o

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sorry forgot to say we know for sure that diagnosis was made and when but this info was not given truthfully by parents.

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These parents are going through a grieving process. They are having to come to terms with losing the future child they thought they had. It is a horrible process to go through and it's quite understandable that their behaviour may be erratic.

 

They may be concerned about whether he has been given an inappropriate diagnosis and be trying to prevent him being stuck with a label they don't agree with or which means he is stigmatised later on.

 

The most important thing they need just now is support to come to terms with it in their own way. This could well take months or even years.

 

In the meantime can you try to forget the diagnosis and just look at the child's individual needs? Put in place the support the parents suggest and what you can see you need to add to it. Obviously you need permission to get outside agencies involved but you can still plan in-house support without parents' signatures.

 

Just try to keep it all as low key as possible for a while. They have years of this ahead of them so let them take their time about starting out.

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What sort of setting are you? Do you have concerns regarding the welfare of the child, as reading between the lines, you seem to indicate that something is really troubling you here.

 

With regards to the child, you presumably already treat them as school action plus or early years action plus. Are you thinking about going for statutory assessment? Is your concern that the parent's will block this?

 

If you can provide a little more info, albeit carefully as you clearly feel there are issues that should not be posted here on the forum, others may be able to give you better advice.

 

However, having dealt with many parents as they go through the emotional minefield of diagnosis, I would say that parents not handling the news well is very normal. They are often in shock, and an almost grief like situation, where the future they "saw" for their child feels like it has been ripped away.

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If you havent seen anything to support the diagnosis I think in cases like this its better to record everything and carry on as normal but with extra thought to the childs needs. I wouldnt worry about a diagnosis letter or dates or anything else. If you see this child has a special need, address it, adapt your activities, routines and anything you need to to help him but dont necessarily use the phrase IEP, ASD, just support him like you would support a child who was still in nappies or who was learning a new skill. Mom and dad might come round when they see you're not going to make an issue out of it.

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Sorry, crossed post with Upsy Daisy. Well said Upsy, I share your sentiments exactly

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Thanks for your replies , they all make sense, my background is special needs and have seen many sides to parents ,

To answer a few queries- the said member of staff was originally the temp supervisor, she came to setting (preschool) with her child, he was allowed to wander round , drinking from bottle , eating as and when he wanted despite other children adhering to routine and expected behaviour, staff felt they could not question it with her.

I came in as new supervisor but really liked member of staff and tried my best to encourage interaction,communication and socialisation with her child, ( he has severe food allergies, there was no evidence of this until i put it into place procedures etc

Mum often made statments about her child re communciation ( suddenly anouncing that he was under a speech therapist) I asked for relevant report and info so we could support him at setting , she was happy to do so.

Previous to my starting she had told staff that her child had been diagnosed with ASD at a weekend ?? then said they just suspected it ,staff said they felt unsure what to believe as felt it was always changing.

I have done my upmost to support this member of staff only to have it thrown it back at me but despite this I am worried that should she leave she has already said she does not trust anyone with her child so therefore he would not attend setting. he was diagnosed last year before she started at setting. The child has made real progress with us but we can give him the support as parents don't want it only on their terms.

I feel this will soon be verging on a safeguarding issue.

he is fortunate that an early diagnosis was made as he is not 3 until springtime. it was SLT that referred him.

Mum has been offered parent support groups and although has made calls to the group leader has told me that she has had no support from anyone ........

Edited by lashes2508

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the reason I asked dad to sign record of meeting is that is our protocol with all parent consultation ,usually an appointment would have been made but i was happy to listen to him there and then as I did not expect what he was going to say. It is good practice to do so as we both sign it to confirm what has been discussed, therefore there are no misunderstandings especially with something as serious as this.

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I am sorry to hear of your dilemma with regard to the little boy and his family, made more difficult presumably by the fact that they are also a staff member.

It is most definetly a grieving process and i would back off completely from suggesting any additional support at this time if the child in question is able to cope well with your routine as it is now.

I think you need to continue to make small obs of his strengths and weaknesses much the same as you probably do already with all your children. This will be so useful if and when the time comes whilst he is with you or moving on to school to identify any support that may be required.

Do you meet with all parents generally to discuss a child's progress throughout the year.This maybe another opportunity to have a

sympathetic chat.

It is so important to keep an open dialogue with them and in time they may come to see that you only have his best interests at heart.

If he has already been seen by SLT he should already be on the system.

Can you ask your Area Senco to come in for an informal view and any suggestions for support for you all. [We have done this many times in the past].

How do you know when the diagnosis was made, and also who he was he referred to.

From my experience of situations like those you describe often parents may have paid privately for a diagnosis in which case this could have been done at a weekend.

Remember they could well be frightened, confused and possibly in denial and only time and a great listening ear may help to alleviate their fears.

At our setting we gain permission from parents to speak to other agencies with regard to a child's special needs before a child starts, this also helps to alleviate situations like the one you describe, this might be worth considering in the future.

Wishing you well. :o

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reading through and thinking about time scale this involves they may still be grieving, but it has been a while now and I was beginning to wonder about it being safeguarding, even before reading your comment, if they continue to refuse recommended further help . any number locally you could ring for advice, need not be named but asking for advice on if it needs taking any further or observing and seeing how things progress for longer.. often better to find out as it may be part of a bigger picture if others have too voiced concerns and commented on it..you may never know but if they have had dealings with other professionals it could be already noted their refusal or reluctance to get the support he may need.

 

so long as all is recorded and you have asked parent to sign that would be fine, comment when you asked them and their refusal to do so..we too had parents confirm conversations in this way if it was relevant to care of the child and against our advice..

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Thanks Inge and bridger for your advice and comments, i am doing my best to be understanding and support them. We know for sure that the diagnosis was by peadatrician at local childrens centre , child was referred by SLT at same centre and it was confirmed as we rang to ask for verification when dad first told us although obviously could not send us copy of report as parental permission needed by centre.We had a heads up by specialist teacher who was visiting another child in our setting.

|Our area senco visited today - child was not in attendance today and never is when any outside professionals visit-(could be coincidental),staff member said he was ill at hospital and I said she should have let me know last night so as to take day off and did not need to come in and did she want to go - she said no.

This is a mother who does not trust anyone with her son because of food allergies yet does not want to be with him at hospital??

I rang her hubby later to confirm he could not make appointment on friday (wife told me) and enquired about child and he was surprised to hear that i thought he was at hospital??

I also said that now his wife had bought in letter today confirming diagnosis ( signed by SLT not consultant)did he want us to just acknowledge and still not act on it, he confirmed that was correct until we were asked otherwise.

They are allowing SLT to visit but its not til end of march.

I knew being a Supervisor was going to be challenging but blimey ..... thanks again :o

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Blimey indeed and i'm getting itchy too.

From the comments you are now making it would suggest that there is certainly more to this situation, especially regarding the child being at the hospital.

So let me get this right, child was supposed to be at the hospital [ with who] mum [staff member came to work].

Did she speak to the Area Senco at all.

Have i got this right or completely misread you post.

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Hi bridger sorry went out for a few drinks last night as its been that kind of week , yes mum ( staff member) came in 25mins late saying they had been up all night with son as he was poorly they took him to hospital who said he was dehydrated and dad was taking him back to hospital this morning , i said she should have rung or text me and she did not need to come in and did she want to go and be with him , she declined, when i spoke to dad via telephone later he seemed to wonder why i asked after son and hospital.

I keep wondering if they are compulsive liars, attention seekers or playing some sort of game or worse still that she is a victim of domestic abuse and he is controlling her in some way. it really is a sorry situation, we have just reached the end of her probationary period and done a performance review , probation period has been extended for another month , it is hard to keep things separate and increasingly difficult for everyone to work with someone who lies ,

she never spoke to the Area Senco , the area senco has been told of concerns regarding the child .

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Oh i see, I really do feel you should go with your gut instinct and if you continue to be concerned contact your local safeguarding department, who can give you advice.

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I have read this and really feel for you, the most difficult thing if a child is diagnosed with any SEN can be for the parents to accept the diagnosis and then to get them on board with the support that you need to put in place.

 

Reading the post it suggests that the diagnosis was accepted and then maybe the Mum had second thoughts, what makes it more difficult is that she works with you and her child is at your setting. Maybe because she is having problems with acceptance then the Dad is just supporting her especially if he is concerned about her coming to work and worrying about their child while she is trying to work with other children.

 

Don't feel that you have to have a report or a diagnosis before you put things in place that will help to support the child, after all some children are not diagnosed for quite a while but still need support to access the activities, however you cannot put in place an IEP without parental support i.e. a signature, but as has been said it doesn't mean you can't adapt things, unless of course you feel that extra staff are required to enable the support for the child, which normally means financial support.

 

I see you are in Essex, have you heard of Early Support which helps the families of children with disabilities, even those that are not yet diagnosed? (hope i'm not teaching you to suck eggs here!)

 

Of course if you are still concerned about safeguarding then you still need to follow that route, although it does sound like two parents who aren't in agreement and finding it difficult to come to terms with things.

 

Hope you all get the support that you need.

 

Rachel

 

And I meant to add, do you feel that the child needs support and are you already adapting sessions for this child?

Edited by rachelllps

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Hi rachel,

thanks for your comments, we have and are supporting child as much as possible although mum and dad both agree he has made some progress mum also makes it difficult and finds our methods at times displeasing, it is obvious that this chld has never had any boundaries or routine, his food allergies have hindered his development as parents have allowed it too. I know that does not sound like an understanding colleague /professional but so many lies have been told and answers changed that we are all left wondering ......

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Hi Lashes,

 

It must be a really difficult situation. I have had the experience of working with fellow members of staff who have had their own children attending our setting. Ironically I now realise that I have been the key worker for all of them! (I am the supervisor) However none have had any SEN issues and all the parents/co workers have been happy for me to deal with all issues.

 

It seems strange that the member of staff doesn't seem to have boundaries or routines for her child, is this in your setting as well as you suggest at home, how is she with the other children? Surely as you must have rules and procedures in place then she should be adhering to them even if it's not what she does at home?

 

It could still be early days in her accepting what is happening, could you talk to her about it, about how she is coping (maybe you have done this already) but her lies could be covering up how she is really feeling.

 

Sorry to not be of more help, but let us all know how you are getting on.

 

Rachel

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an update on the situation- today we had S&l assistant come in - she has worked with the family for 6 weeks - visiting at home - she came as mum suggested she did - we were keen - she spoke to our senco and mum - child was present but asleep and had to be woken up so he could be observed- mum said blatantly that her son was supported during register but otherwise left to get on with it !!!the S&L told our senco she felt that mum was playing them off against each other. She spoke of strategies regarding his asd not his speech - she also emphasised that funding could be available so we could get extra support , mum said she would have to discuss with dad -

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an update on the situation- today we had S&l assistant come in - she has worked with the family for 6 weeks - visiting at home - she came as mum suggested she did - we were keen - she spoke to our senco and mum - child was present but asleep and had to be woken up so he could be observed- mum said blatantly that her son was supported during register but otherwise left to get on with it !!!the S&L told our senco she felt that mum was playing them off against each other. She spoke of strategies regarding his asd not his speech - she also emphasised that funding could be available so we could get extra support , mum said she would have to discuss with dad -

 

Poor little boy! And poor you & senco & other staff & S&L asst.

 

I've always been told that if one of the parents with parental responsibility is happy to sign IEP etc, you are good to go. Now, I don't know how that works if the other parent comes in & gives you a signed letter or other paperwork saying No to IEP - that's something I guess to check with your area senco. I did tell my husband if our son had come to my preschool, I'd have had him on an IEP asap & signed it myself as mum (as well as then senco).

 

I think I be starting to get them to sign to say they understand you are able to get extra support but that they don't want you to. For everything, having a friend in another preschool who ended up with a complaint made against her that she hadn't done enough for a child (that she'd picked up SEN issues but the parents wouldn't sign an IEP for). If they try telling you why they don't want help for their child, I'd say 'Can you write it here?' showing a space to write it. Get mum to write it as she must be literate to be able to work in early years.

 

I think I'd also think about how I'd support the child and write that down so they can see that & say what specifically they're objecting to. I'm trying to make sure I differentiate between 'We're going to take a group of children including little Jessie into the lobby to play turn taking games', and 'We're going to use Jessie's PECs board to show her that we're going in the lobby to play games.' So parents can see we're using the lobby to play games, not using the lobby as somewhere to hide children with SEN.

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[quote name='Lyanne' date='Feb 27 2012, 21:05' post='315940'

I think I be starting to get them to sign to say they understand you are able to get extra support but that they don't want you to. For everything, having a friend in another preschool who ended up with a complaint made against her that she hadn't done enough for a child (that she'd picked up SEN issues but the parents wouldn't sign an IEP for). If they try telling you why they don't want help for their child, I'd say 'Can you write it here?' showing a space to write it. Get mum to write it as she must be literate to be able to work in early years.

 

 

A few years ago I had concerns about a child in my care and couldn't get parental consent for any referrals. Finally, after many months of stress, tears and sleepless nights for me I gave them notice and ended our contract. Before doing so I spoke to Ofsted and was advised to make sure I had recorded every conversation with parents in writing and to keep the copy of his daily diary where I had written my concerns as at any time up until the child reaches the age of 21 years and 3 months he can make a complaint or a legal claim against me if he feels his life has been affected by issues not being picked up and dealt with earlier :o

 

He starts Reception class, at the school I take my minded children to, in September and I will be interested to see if the staff there pick up the same concerns and whether his parents are yet ready to listen!

 

Nona

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Gosh what a topic! Do we have any further news a few months on....

 

Hi , the situation took the following path - the senco resigned the day ofsted visited , the parent in question contract was terminated as her work was not up to standard despite appraisals and performance reviews , we emphasised how much we would like her son to continue, she did not work notice and eventually informed us ( well hubby did ) that their son would not be staying with us.

We have since heard throught the grape vine that she may have a place elsewhere but not until September and has not taken up support offered by parents group with specialist teacher, she has contacted other members of staff but not me. It was a difficult situation and i feel i failed them both but for the whole benefit of the setting it was best she did not remain on the staff, shame

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I dont think you failed at all you tried your very best it sounds as if it was an impossibel situation and you did all that you could do.

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lashes2508, you haven't failed the child or his parents.... you did your best for them, and your setting, it will just take time for the hurt to heal and your professionalism to kick back in and tell you that you did everything you could and should.

 

I guess I was lucky that I had great support from my LA Network and Ofsted.......Ofsted rang me the day after they knew I was giving notice to ask if I was OK and to thank me for everything I had done and tried to do. It reduced me to tears at the time but now I can look back and tell myself that everyone apart from the parent appreciated my concerns and efforts!

 

Hope this child gets the support he needs in the future.

 

Nona

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Sending you a huge hug lashes.......please don't feel that you have failed anyone - you did what we all try to do 'your absolute best' - sadly there are situations that are out of our control.......

 

xxx

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Sorry to hear how this all ended, but your posts show that you tried to do everything to help both the parent and the child.

 

hugs x

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thankyou for your hugs and kind words - had visit from my area senco who also restored my faith as she knows what a difficult time i have had since starting at setting - she was very complimentary with regards to all the children i have supported and parents i have helped even though i am not officially Senco - so thanks again .

interesting that she mentioned that for July 2013 settings will need to have 2 trained Senco in setting so that there is always one present in the setting - did you know this or is it essex only ??
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Hi, no I've not heard that, and was at a senco training today. Perhaps just your area?

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