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What Can I Do?


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What a day!!! Had an incident today concerning 2 children....the little girl had been sitting at the mark making table concentrating on her drawing when a little boy came along & without any provoking bit the little girl on her arm. I have already been on here asking for advice on this boy (about his autism) & it's not been getting any better. I had to call his Mum to come and collect him because this really was a bad bite.....even when I removed him from the situation he threw the selotape dispenser at me.

 

Mum came to collect him, at this point he was on the computer then went outside.....mum followed him then the next minute she marched him in telling him off because he had tried to bite another child outside.. at this point Mum was very distressed (not crying but i could see it in her face). I talked to Mum about this situation & she basically said she wouldn't bring him again.

 

I feel I have failed him because to be honest I can't see what he is getting out of being in the nursery. He is putting the other children at risk, the staff and even himself because if he can't find an item to throw he will throw himself on the floor. Last week I did a time event observation on him throughout the session & most of the children moved away from him if he went near them. All incidents are recorded and accident sheets are filled out for each child he bites......have already had a mum in to see me saying that if it happens again she will remove her child.

 

I know this will probably sound awful but I can't keep one child & parent happy and lose about 50+ others, but I don't want to give up on him. There must be other help for him.

 

Your words of wisdom would be gratefully received...mrsb

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Have you got links to the SENCO/health worker/educational physcologist.. it reallly does sound as though you, mum and especially him are in need of support and soon. What about mum contacting her GP and asking for a referal in order to be assessed... sorry I dont know your set up or whether these avenues have been explored. We are a maintained nursery school and have 4 children in similar positions... with the support of our SENCO we are getting the ed physc to visit in a couple of weeks how we cope until then is another question? I need to get the head in to observe these children too so that she can see how we are trying to cope!

School systems are so slow however, and sometimes referrals through the health visitor or GP can be quicker. What I was told to do is to collect as much information on the child as possible as this will help to form a clearer picture of their difficuluties/triggers etc. and you are already doing this.

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we had a very similar situation and although SEN chld was geeting help from area senco we ended up with all children keeping well away and complaints from other parents.....luckily for us a super lady turned up with a visual timetable and valuable advice on what staff could do with said child once he started getting phyiscal with toys and other children..

 

6 weeks later all the children in the setting adored him and he knew his routines and barriers.....

 

having said this we only managed as the lady who came to help really

knew autistic children and how we as adults need to traet them :o

 

visual timetables are invaluable...any advise with using one if you havnt i will give xD

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have you asked area SENCo for help , tell them how you feel you are / not coping , and with mums approval ask them come in to see the child in the setting, may be able to offer more specific advice on what to do where to go for help. But of course this may not be possible if she does not return.

 

We also have a local opportunity group who help in these circumstances, often the children attend there for a few days as well as us and we work together with strategies etc. They have even provided the 1:1 care in our setting when we could not cope.

 

Mum is obviously having a difficult time and in need of support as well, any parent groups she could contact ours is called Supportive Parents and they go and ask for help, we cannot refer or ask for help but have to tell parents who to contact and how to do it, its up to them to use the service.

 

Don't know what you have in your area but you may find something to help.

 

Inge

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Hi Apple, he has been assessed by speech & language therapist, & Mum has portage visit her once a week (mum doesn't think they are helping). Before the summer holidays he was seen by the Child development centre in our area & again Mum & Dad were not happy with the way they assessed him. I have had the head teacher into assess him (before it was confirmed about his autism) & she recognised the signs and gave me some strategies to use which we have put in place and seemed to be working for a while. Sure start have also been involved & visits by 'FIRST' who help do a play plan for him etc.

 

Hi hali, we use a visual timetable with him and he has shown great response to this....except when he has a really bad day and he just throws the pictures on the floor. I would be grateful if you could share your visual timetable though, just to confirm I'm doing things correctly because at the moment I'm doubting everything I do!

 

I have asked for help myself on information about autism so I can give him every little bit of help I can but was basically told that it's no different from the way I would treat any other child.

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ok... xD

we were told to start if off simply...so had freeplay: singing time; milk time; outdoor play and story time on there... everytime child compled these activites they took picture off timetable and put i a plastic wallet underneath....so he could see progression through the session.... :(

 

we then added registration: group time: show and tell and lunch club to it....... :o

 

child was praised with thumbs up when he did these activities... if child got unrully with other children or objects he was removed from situation to sit on 'his mat' (this was a space just for him to calm down with an adult near by)...this mat was also used in singing time or story time to give him a sence of space.....away from others.... :(

 

within a month this childs behaviour completly changed... he accepted other children palying around him and the routine of the day... he did have his bad days believe me.. but we also got mum to introduce the timetable at home and it dramatically improved his behaviour at nursey also ....... :(

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ok... xD

we were told to start if off simply...so had freeplay: singing time; milk time; outdoor play and story time on there... everytime child compled these activites they took picture off timetable and put i a plastic wallet underneath....so he could see progression through the session.... :(

 

we then added registration: group time: show and tell and lunch club to it....... :o

 

child was praised with thumbs up when he did these activities... if child got unrully with other children or objects he was removed from situation to sit on 'his mat' (this was a space just for him to calm down with an adult near by)...this mat was also used in singing time or story time to give him a sence of space.....away from others.... :(

 

within a month this childs behaviour completly changed... he accepted other children palying around him and the routine of the day... he did have his bad days believe me.. but we also got mum to introduce the timetable at home and it dramatically improved his behaviour at nursey also ....... :(

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Hi

It sounds like you're having a really tough time but you are obviously doing everything you can. I do not know as much professionally about autism as some of the others who have posted replies but we currently have a child in my group who has been diagnosed with autism. Our problem is that the parents refuse to accept the diagnosis and although we have tried really hard to work with them on this, we feel as if we are banging our heads against a brick wall. We can't do anything without consent of parents and it is becoming more difficult to manage the situation. This child takes up a member of staff and I feel at the moment that it is unfair on the rest of the group. Our child also bites others and he is so quick, it is sometimes impossible to intervene in time. We have also had complaints from other parents which I can fully understand. We are trying to get some funding for 1-2-1 with him and await the outcome. On a personal note, I understand the sentiment behind you being told to treat him like any other child, but with an autistic child, allowances and adjustments have to be made. My best friends 6 year old son is autistic and he has individual support at school for his needs. He hates being touched, hates loud noises, can become incredibly agitated for no apparent reason, obsessional behaviour such as following another child around constantly and he has to keep to a very strict and regular routine. The school do everything possible to ensure that he is fully included but they have to make allowance for his needs - other children in class have been made aware of things which he doesn't like (touching, shouting) and any change in the normal school routine has to be noted and planned for in advance - things like school trips, change of class/teacher (even when teacher was ill), even changing the layout of the classroom as this really threw him on one occasion. This is my own experience and I'm sure there are others much better qualified than me to advise but I would say that you have been doing the right thing and trying to get help and information are very sensible ideas.

Hope you can find a solution. All the best.

 

Sally

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Quote: "just to confirm I'm doing things correctly because at the moment I'm doubting everything I do!

I have asked for help myself on information about autism so I can give him every little bit of help I can but was basically told that it's no different from the way I would treat any other child. "

 

 

I'm not replying to give you an answer because as I think we all know there is not a 'magic wand' to wave in these situations, I just want to offer empathy and understanding and to say please don't let this situation make you doubt yourself, your skills and your abilities.

You speak in the person singular "I" don't want to let this child down, "I" feel I have failed him, "I" can''t see what he is getting out of being at the nursery. This is not just your issue, it is the concern of all, you are however showing your commitment which is frustrated through lack of immediate resolves for this situation.

 

1/ I was once advised at SENCO training that by saying "I" or "we" can't cope, actually helps to get the services ACTIVELY involved in helping the child. So, him having to leave may be the catalyst to getting the support he needs. Yet, as early years professionals we do feel that even thinking about exclusion is alien to our deep held principles. I learnt however that it could be a positive decision and not ' a failure' of meeting the childs needs.

 

2/ "Can't see what he is getting from being in the nursery".. What are his alternatives? He is getting recognition of his needs, he is getting 'socialisation' opportunities, he is getting support for his parents and much more. Giving this is however a great challenge. But, saying that, doesn't every child/family have their own challenges in different ways and at different levels, that is what is the context of our profession. Why we do our job.

 

3/ More challenges being, among many others: Consideration of his needs being met and the needs and wellbeing of the other children, the challenges of enabling other childrens parents to comprehend the needs and the value of this child as an individual with the same rights as their own children ( this one is a very great challenge)

 

Not sure how the situation is now, if mum will bring him back, hopefully she will because you have his best interests at heart, it is difficult, everything seems to move so slowly, ie: I am guessing mum was not too happy with portage because it is a 'slow' process, by which I mean a small step at a time, so it is hard to see progress even though it is happening.

 

Sorry, I've waffled on a bit, but basically don't beat yourself up over this, be there if as a service provider but also accept your limitations which do not equal inadequacy, you should not feel you have failed or doubt your abilities.

 

Peggy

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Mrsb

 

Lots of excellent advice has been posted and i do not have any further suggestions. I have used symbols before and have also found them very successful.

 

A thought i always keep in mind in these circumstances, - when i feel myself dealing with a particularly challenging child, or I begin to take things too personally - is that ....

 

'The child that annoys you the most, is the child that needs you the most'

 

Sometimes, this thought alone has helped me deal better with many situations.

 

Sam

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Oh thanks a a lot for your words of wisdom, you have made me feel a bit better. I'm going to ring Mum on Monday morning and we will work through this together...she needs as much help as he does.

 

I'm going to speak to the head teacher again & find as many contacts I can.

mrsb

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I agree with everything that everyone has said - there is no magic wand and yes the child who annoys you most needs you most. Keep at it - it must be very difficult but you have his best interests at heart and I am sure or rather I hope that additional support will be offered soon from one source or another.

Nikki

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