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Advise Please!


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I need some advise please. We had a child start in September, EAL but excellent English. She had never been in a setting before. She is 3 1/2. At the beginning of term on arrival at the setting she would become very upset and cry so much she would make herself sick. This went on for the first two weeks. She made an attachment to me and after me giving her my full attention for 2 whole sessions she settled and coming into the setting was no longer a problem, the sickness stopped.

 

The problem has now shifted. My preschool is in a school and we have access to the grounds, we also have to go into the school grounds for fire drills etc. This little girl has now started to cry until she is sick whenever we go into the school grounds, even just getting our coats starts it off. I have tried to take her one-to-one, she is fine with this but even in a small group of 3 children she starts. She is in 5 sessions per week and we can't take the children out without her doing it. I am stuck between not wanting to upset her unduly but still wanting to use the school grounds for walks, fire drill practise etc. And who knows what would happen if there was a whole school fire drill!! :o

 

Sorry to ramble on, any suggestions??

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Hi

 

We have had a lot of children this term that have either been sick through crying or even can make themself sick. Five out of the seven have been children with EAL. We have found that it is easier to keep taking them to the thing that is making them get upset which leads onto them being sick. They do get use to it and accept the change in the routine. It is not as bad as it sounds and each child is different but that is what has helped with us.

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Thanks Lou. I thought I should continue trying. It is hard to loose a member of staff to then clearing up and sorting her out!! I think it may be a control thing. But it is really hard when we have 30+ others per session to think about. :o

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I know Shiny it is very hard with all the other children. It is a easier when you can anticipate what is going to happen and then one day it just stops.

One of our little ones who started every session being sick came in last week and ran around everyone waving hello. Thats why I persevere, she is now playing and trying to interact with the other children.

 

Good luck I hope it doesn't take long for the little one to settle.

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I agree to persevere, could you also maybe use picture clues to show what is happening next, ie: a basic drawing of the school building with a group of children walking into it and maybe a photo of the child with a smile. Just keep showing this a few minutes before going into school. Maybe find out whether she would respond better being at the front of the line, or the back, or holding a friends hand etc.

Also give her a bag to be sick in, :oxD this will show that;

 

1/ being sick will not stop her from going, and

2/ if she is sick she has to do it in a way that is considerate of others.

 

Would a pictural time line help, showing what happens before going into school and what happens when you return to play?

 

I've re-read the above and it does sound harsh when written down, but I do believe a 'positive, caring but firm attitude' helps children through such anxieties. Also have a word with parents about whether similar anxieties are displayed at home when changes in routine occur and what strategies (if any) work for them. Fr example, They may use a special toy or something for the child to take with her in such circumstances, or agree a special reward for when she succeeds ( or even if she cries but isn't sick) reward each small step towards your goal.

 

Good luck, let us know how it goes, I bet with your support, like arrivals she will get over this soon. :(

 

Peggy

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Yes I agree wholeheartedly with all the above. There is nothing to fear so caring, matter of fact perserverence is the answer, otherwise the child's fears are confirmed if too much attention is given. Poor you though, you must be exhausted :o Hopefully you'll look back on this soon as a distant memory.

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Thank you all. Just as I thought, we are doing the right thing being firm but fair. There is really nothing to be concerned about when we are out there, it is a lovely area with only the children she is used to playing with, and me for support.

 

Peggy, we have a timeline, and it is regularly visited. She knows what is coming as we do it every day, but as soon as we go to get our coats she starts and winds herself into a complete frenzy!! I know what you mean by saying it sounds harsh, it is hard to right it down with compation!! But I am totally with you.

 

She wasn't in today and (hate to say it) but we had a lovely time outside, running on the large astro-turf area, playing and really letting off steam. All without having to worry about how upset she is getting and when she will be sick!! :o

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we had one child last term who did this.. we too took the firm but fair line and supplied her with an appropriate receptical (sp?) for these incidents, she eventually stopped once used to routine and knowing that it was treated as a normal incident (for her) and she actually got less attention when she did it than when she did not.. hers was random so no clues...

 

Inge

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Your not on your own! We have a little boy who makes himself sick each time he arrives = just make sure we have the step (turned upside down!) with kitchen roll inside. We've had children in the past who are sick with anxiety, it does settle down after a week or so. just be patient with her.

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