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Hi folks

just needed a bit of reassurance or somone to tell me that I am a complete and utter failure! I have a child in my nursery group who is displaying some 'quirky' behaviour- very little eye contact, flapping hands, lots of repeated phrases (echolalia perhaps). Although it is very early days Mum had asked me how the child was getting on. I told her of the patterns of behaviour I had observed and wondered if this was the same at home- my intention was to a) communicate to mum what had been observed, especially since she had asked :o try to establish whether this is what said child did at home so that I could begin to 'read' the child's characteristics better

Mum who works in education and who has recently been on an ASD course presummed the worse and although I said I had not even considered that and that I was purley communicating my obdervations- mum has got hereself into a right pickle over it. There is a lot going on in the family which I will not go into but I feel so torn as to know whether I ahve done the right thing- I know it is too late now- but just wanted to see what others would have done, especially in light of the EYFS and the importance of communication

Would love your views

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Oh Apple, how sad she's reacted this way!


You talked to her with the best intentions and when she's had time to calm down and reflect she may come back to talk it through with you again.


A teacher friend was sent on a course on Dyspraxia 2 years ago and she said it suddenly enlightened her about her 8 year old son! She spoke to his teacher who'd never heard of it but was willing to do some research. He was diagnosed dyspraxic a few months later, so it was a blessing in this case.


However, his Mum says whenever she goes on a course she is able to recognise symptoms in pupils in her class and often meets denial when she first raises concerns with parents.


Don't despair - you acted in the child's best interests.


Hope it gets resolved soon.



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I too would have approached parents and asked about behaviour at home, etc..

Not having seen the child it is hard to comment further, but by mums reaction I would feel she has been having a few concerns herself but not wanting to voice them, often the case when children are a bit different and parents unsure themselves.. just needs another professional to notice and comment for them to begin to question further, and perhaps panic.


More than once we have had to ask parents about children who have given us concern.. each time our feelings have been correct and with support for us and the parents all have been positive experiences.. eventually!



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I too would have done the same as you apple - you did the right thing! None of us can guess how a parent is going to react, don't beat yourself up about it. As Hali said, I;m sure once she's thought about it, she'll realise that you were acting in her child's best interests.

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Hi Apple - think about the other alternative - you say everything is fine no problems and later on in the year things become worse and then you are asked why you said things were fine? I agree with everyone else - she may have already had some concerns and has panicked now that she has had her fears confirmed. I know of one family who denied that there was anything "wrong" with their son even htough 5 of us in the team had the same concerns. Mum and dad refused to accept our offers of further investigation and it wasn't until he moved to another school to start reception and they were told the same things that they finally accepted support and the child had to have support from the VTS and other agencies. don't doubt yourself. You did the right thing. Unfortunately it can be hard for parents to accept if there is a problem.

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Thankyou so much for that folks. It is so difficult as the problems the family are facing are immence. Plus this child has a serious medical condition which has meant the child has had to spend long periods in hospital so my observations are probably another hurdle/worry ontop of all this xD

And I think that is what has sent mum close to breaking.

Let's just hope that as I observe x over the next few weeks things will become much clearer for us all

Thankyou once again, I do appreciate your support :o

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I have done the same and in almost identical circumstances. Mum also responded in the same way and was also in education and had recently done some ASD training (spooky!).


However it emerged after a few more days that mum's reaction was down to fear. She had suspected her child was displaying certain symptoms and when I voiced concern she panicked as I seemed to be confirming her fears. I had to gently approach her again and tell her that I wasn't trying to imply a diagnosis and ask her permission to get the area Senco involved. Happily everything worked out well and the child is now settled in a year 1 class in a small local school. She has no official diagnosis and as she is developing and settling well in school I agree with mum's eventual decision not to proceed further down this line. Please don't doubt yourself though. In my case it gave mum permission to discuss a lot of things that were bothering her about home, things which were probably having a negative effect on the child, and together we worked on strategies for dealing with these.

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I think you were very professional in your approach, you didn't indicate any 'label', you voiced as you say, observations, and you did it sensitively because you know the family and their current situation. To not mention anything, or to not seek further information from the parent would have been a failure on your part.

I, as many others, have been in similar situations and I know we always have regard for parents feelings equally alongside wanting to 'do best' for the childrens observed needs. It is intrinsic in our caring nature.


Unless you've experienced the situation of having the suggestion that your child has a special need it is impossible to know how it feels for a parent. This is not your fault.

I recently wrote a 14 page report to support the Statutory Assessment process for my 10 yr old foster son, It was written like I have previously done for many preschool children, objective and factual. Following this I got a phone call from my designated person dealing with the application, she said a decision had been made that my foster son has Profound, severe, complex needs (PSCN). Now I know he has, but when told by someone else, I felt devastated for him. I said that the experience had made me a bit more understanding of what it must feel like to a real parent to be told such news. Even with this 'insight' it is still impossible for me to know how a 'real' parent would feel.

What I do know is that my foster son will now get the support he needs.....and I get past the 'label' and know him for who he is, and learning more about him as each day passes.


You will be the person that this parent can 'chat' to, to share 'concerns' but also his 'unique' abilities too. xD just give her time for the 'possibilities' to sink in, and continue to help her keep things in perspective. :o



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