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twinthinguk

supporting a child who is waiting for diagnosis possible ASD

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I would really appreciate some advice from all you lovely experienced practitioners ( and parents)!

this September I have a child starting that has been assessed but not had a diagnosis who possibly has ASD. Our setting has not supported a child on the spectrum before so I have put some things in place. Firstly I am senco and will be the child's key person, so I have researched and read books and created a list of questions to gather as much information as I can when I meet parents so I can see what the child's needs might be before he starts. I will use this information to create an individual plan and a one page profile so that I can ensure all practitioners in my setting understand how to support the child. I have also time tabled a staff meeting so that I can ensure all staff have the knowledge they need to support the child in the setting. Is there an alternative assessment tool other than development matters? I am sure I have seen one but cannot find it despite searching on here. Is there anything you can recommend I put in place that I have not mentioned? what would you as a parent like to hear from me? I have only met the child briefly so will be spending time with him to assess him so that I can put in place a variety of strategies once I have a good picture of his likes/dislikes etc. I have also been told that he was removed from another setting as mum felt they did not meet his needs.

I look forward to any suggestions, thank you. :P

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Hi Twinthinguk, two immediate things spring to mind. Do you absolutely need to be the child's key person? The combination of the two roles, Senco and Key person can be a tricky job to do especially if you have other key children. Secondly, as you are already preparing to do, there is a wealth of information to get from the parents. Talk to the child's parents and find out how they feel their child's needs would be best met, given that they have had previous experience at another setting and, of course, are the experts here on their child. Call your local authority Inclusion Team in as soon as you can too for as much help and expertise as you can get.

 

It could be that the child has a lot of sensory sensitivities you need to plan for - so that unnecessary distress can be avoided or at least eased

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Thanks Panders x my manager has given him to me as she believes I have the best skills at supporting this child as I have had experience supporting other children with complex needs. I have a list things to do as soon as I know what I am dealing with which includes contacting the inclusion team. I will plan for any sensory needs, Mum wants him to attend long all day sessions and lunch times so there is a lot to think about and she is desperate to get him in! I have already explained that settling in will all depend on how he copes within the setting and might take some time. She wants him to do full sessions straight away which I have pointed out might not be what happens.

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Advice we had with a very similar sounding child was to prepare a staged and agreed settling in process over an extended period of time.

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Have ypu met the little treasure yet?

How you support will depend on hus need which I think you have already understood.

We have supported several children with as things I wod prepare in advance,although you may not use them in beginning is

Visual clues - so photos of people or objects like a paint brush to encourage or give choice of painting, sitting down et

A laminate board with Velcro for sticking pictures on. We have a now and next board.

Gather together high attention toys to use. Small wind up or light up toys.

 

Settling is always tricky and I would go for little and often. So do agree full day to start with may be too much but maybe mum knows that her child can do it. Also could be that mum needs the time. So be understanding of her request. (Not that I think you are not but some of your staff team may not until they get to know the family)

And yes keeping communication with mum and therapists is vital.

Good luck. Such a lovely job to have.

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I would really appreciate some advice from all you lovely experienced practitioners ( and parents)!

this September I have a child starting that has been assessed but not had a diagnosis who possibly has ASD. Our setting has not supported a child on the spectrum before so I have put some things in place. Firstly I am senco and will be the child's key person, so I have researched and read books and created a list of questions to gather as much information as I can when I meet parents so I can see what the child's needs might be before he starts. I will use this information to create an individual plan and a one page profile so that I can ensure all practitioners in my setting understand how to support the child. I have also time tabled a staff meeting so that I can ensure all staff have the knowledge they need to support the child in the setting. Is there an alternative assessment tool other than development matters? I am sure I have seen one but cannot find it despite searching on here. Is there anything you can recommend I put in place that I have not mentioned? what would you as a parent like to hear from me? I have only met the child briefly so will be spending time with him to assess him so that I can put in place a variety of strategies once I have a good picture of his likes/dislikes etc. I have also been told that he was removed from another setting as mum felt they did not meet his needs.

I look forward to any suggestions, thank you. :P

Hiya unsurprisingly (!) I have a few thoughts!!!

 

Firstly I wouldn't make your mind up about what you need just yet....every child I have had in my setting with AS difficulties has been really different...some are really affectionate and others don't want to be touched at all ...some speak fluidly and constantly and others don't say a word!. Spend time getting to know him..if he isn't too bothered about others emotions or tuned in to his own he may not worry about being left at all and it may be better to start as you mean to go on...however everything is going to be tricky for him and take more time and effort so even if you have a good day on Monday and Tuesday you may face a completely different child by Wednesday!

I think your trickiest issue with this family will be Mum by the sounds of things....she may have very definite ideas about what she wants you to do or not do with him which may conflict with your ethos. Get her on your side and things should go well.

I guess my top tips would be...

Praise specifically (good eating/good sitting etc)

Use his name to gain attention

Allow flexibility to start with ...if he doesn't want to sit for story then go do something else....if a child says something then just say oh its ok Johnny's still learning ..you show him how it's done (that sort of thing!)

Encourage others to join in with his play

Don't helicopter over him

Have fun!

find out what he likes and doesn't and don't get too stressed about getting it right!

Share care over the day or you'll be shattered and he'll only engage with you

 

 

One of my past pupils with ASD was chatting to me in the supermarket yesterday about where he was going on holiday..fab eye contact and lovely speech :1b and my first little chap is in his second year at Uni, living with a group of friends completely independently :wub: so there are no limits ;)

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I agree completely with Finleysmaid in that getting to know the child and what works or doesn't work is the most important (but isn't that the case for all children!)

We were lucky to have good support from our LA special needs support team who helped with different strategies.

Visual timetables and picture cues using Boardmaker worked for us, although I was really sceptical at first. Our little one was much happier to follow routines or instructions if the "picture said he had to" rather than an adult.

We also referred to him by name all the time, e.g. .... needs to put his coat on now, rather than "you need to".

Be prepared to anticipate tricky situations and act beforehand. Our little one really struggled with others coming into his space so we often manoevred other children into spaces a little away when they were playing alongside so as not to have outbursts.

Other children became quite accepting of him and his different behaviours after a while although other parents less so. With his parents consent, we were up front to them and any visitors about his diagnosis and the fact that we worked with him in a different way and that our expectations and rules for him reflected his difficulties.

Finally, I am the playgroup leader, and the Senco and I was his support person. In a small setting, its what you have to do. Supporting him was the hardest year I've ever had but also the most rewarding. But I won't miss that feeling of always having to check where he was, listen out and anticipate any difficulties at a moment's notice.

If I can help with anything else, just let me know.

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I love the replies you've had so far.

I would suggest that you ask the mother what support she feels he needs and go into depth about why she feels he needs it, what else has been tried, why she thinks the other setting wouldn't support him that way, etc. Have this conversation away from the child if possible so she can concentrate and speak more freely.

 

Arrange to meet her again shortly after he has started to review everything and tweak anything that needs it.

 

Can you get any information from the previous setting about what they implemented for him and how it was evaluated? It could stop you repeating any mistakes they made.

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I love the replies you've had so far.

 

I would suggest that you ask the mother what support she feels he needs and go into depth about why she feels he needs it, what else has been tried, why she thinks the other setting wouldn't support him that way, etc. Have this conversation away from the child if possible so she can concentrate and speak more freely.

 

Arrange to meet her again shortly after he has started to review everything and tweak anything that needs it.

 

Can you get any information from the previous setting about what they implemented for him and how it was evaluated? It could stop you repeating any mistakes they made.

I have a meeting with Mum before he starts so will be finding out what her expectations are, I have already let her know he is unlikely to receive one to one support and I wonder if that is what she wanted in the other setting. I will have access to his previous learning journal but wondering if I need parental permission to contact the other setting for information which is something I was considering seeking. I will be letting her know that she will be a big part of his time at our setting, I will definitely be meeting her regularly and I hope she will be proactive which will make it a lot easier x thanks all for your fantastic replies. I feel a little more confident now .

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I have a meeting with Mum before he starts so will be finding out what her expectations are, I have already let her know he is unlikely to receive one to one support and I wonder if that is what she wanted in the other setting. I will have access to his previous learning journal but wondering if I need parental permission to contact the other setting for information which is something I was considering seeking. I will be letting her know that she will be a big part of his time at our setting, I will definitely be meeting her regularly and I hope she will be proactive which will make it a lot easier x thanks all for your fantastic replies. I feel a little more confident now .

I would get her permission to talk to previous setting, and I would definitely want to talk to them.

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I would get her permission to talk to previous setting, and I would definitely want to talk to them.

 

Me too but be very careful to make sure she knows that this is about finding out about what they have learned about him and what the outcomes were for the different strategies they used.

 

As parents, it is very easy to worry and feel defensive when professionals talk to each other, especially if you don't have a good relationship with one of them. Children's difficulties are blamed on parenting far too quickly and far too often and it can make parents feel vulnerable.

 

I hope it all goes well for you.

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