Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

What Would You Do?


 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a child who is starting school in September who has been with me since 3 months old. I have had concerns about her hearing for the last two years which I have raised with parents several times and given them a letter for the consultant. They have been told that her hearing is fine and that the audiologist felt that her not responding in the hearing test was down to being stubborn.

 

Mum also thinks she might have a hearing problem but she has just asked me not to inform school about my concerns. She thinks that if the teacher comes to her with concerns it will be more convincing evidence for the consultant.

 

The problem is that I would not be giving a complete picture of her if I didn't mention my concerns and it might make for a much more difficult settling in process. I have explained this to mum but she is adamant.

 

If I put my concerns in her transition record Mum may not pass it on at all.

 

There is an added complication in that the class will be taught be three different teachers (not together) and two teaching assistants so it could be a long time before it is noticed.

 

What would you lovely, experienced practitioners out there do?

Edited by AlisonP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ooo that is tricky...you wouldn't feel you were doing your job properly if you didn't pass this important information on...but how can you without mum's consent....does mum realise the implications for her child's future development if this goes unnoticed for longer...surely she can inform the teachers of the history regarding intervention from the consultant and that 'may' prompt the teacher(s) to enquire further (by asking you)....but it sounds like a tricky situation for the child, big class, several teachers, noise levels, transition anxiety....I don't envy you....my instinct is that somehow you have to work on getting mum on side to pass the information on as an ongoing concern, it could be detrimental for the child, and not fair and frustrating, she could be so misread and misunderstood if they believe her to be 'stubborn' - labelled at an early age, early intervention is vital for her if there is a problem.........good luck. :oxD

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh how difficult for you.

 

I think you have to 'go along with mum' on this one - although I completely understand your concerns and you are not giving the 'full picture' in her transition records.

 

If mum had not consulted specialists my reponse would be completely different.

 

As shirel said - keep on trying to get mum to see the 'bigger picture'.

- could mum be persuaded to seek a second opinion?

 

Not much help there I know - sorry.

 

Sunnyday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could I ask what symptoms give you cause to think she has a hearing problem?

 

Sometimes a child who appears not to hear or listen actually has a different underlying special need that makes them find communication difficult.

 

Perhaps the mum is confused because the hearing specialist said there was nothing wrong and she doesn't want to appear neurotic. If you can identify a 'real' problem that might make her more inclined to pass on info to the school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point SuzieC8,

 

I did question myself when we had the first feedback from the audiologist. I have wondered about whether this is about deliberate ignoring or deep concentration. Her speech is clear but although her vocabulary is fine I don't feel that it is as developed as it should be. She does not respond in noisy atmospheres but once her attention is caught she is cheerful and cooperative which would be at odds with deliberate ignoring. She asks for lots of repetition and makes strenuous efforts to see your mouth when you are speaking. She has also complained that small electronic toys are broken because she cannot hear the noises they are making. I have no guarantees that I am right but I have 15 years experience of looking after various small children and my gut ffeling is that she just often cannot hear me.

 

I just feel very uncomfortable about passing on an incomplete picture to school when I know the teachers well and am aware that they will rely on it in the early days. It would maybe seem better to send nothing at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

do you invite the reception teachers into your setting to meet the children who will be going to school in september? if so could you 'stage' the session or time that they are with you to show this little one's needs (without it being too obvious and putting the child under too much pressure.) they may then see without you having to actually say anything! just a thought, it's such a shame that all you want to do is whats best for the child and come across obsticles in your way knowing full well that it could take months to be recognised at school and procedures put into place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about doing something like that.

 

I take the child into the reception classroom once a week while dropping others off and I will be dropping her off for a couple of familiarisation storytime sessions too. I could probably 'stage' making an effort to be heard quite easily in that situation but I wasn't sure if that was a bit unethical. It isn't actually telling a teacher but it amounts to the same thing in reality. I certainly won't be making an effort to hide it if it does come up on one of those occasions but I can guarantee that means it won't happen!

 

I don't usually invite the teachers to visit my setting as I am childminder, I am quite involved with the school anyway and a teacher will be visiting her at home as a matter of course. I could do it but it might be a bit obvious and I don't want to upset mum.

 

I will revisit the subject with her in the hope of changing her mind.

 

Thanks for all this feedback. It is really helping me get my head round this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the teacher actually asked you if there was a hearing problem, you couldn't lie - that would be a definite 'no no'.

I wonder could you say, 'just between you and me...' ? What a shame there isn't something about hearing in the 'stepping stones' then there could have been an observation. Have you an observation you can pass on or does everything go through 'Mum'?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have a couple of obs and it's up to me to decide what to do with them. I have always passed records on through parents before but I don't really know what is seen as good practice. Does anyone pass anything straight to the schools?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the past we've had reports that go to schools which, without being negative, paint a picture of the child in what they don't say if you get my meaning, for instance if 3 of them say 'really good at sharing' and the 4th one doesn't.....

Last year we used the county's transition sheets which are little more than the stepping stones highlighted, but this year I'll be sending my own (see another thread) although the parent has to sign this to say that they are happy for the info to be passed on.

We usually get visits from the children's new teachers and we have a natter with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have a couple of obs and it's up to me to decide what to do with them. I have always passed records on through parents before but I don't really know what is seen as good practice. Does anyone pass anything straight to the schools?

I pass 'straight to school' but only with 'parental permission' - we are lucky that reception teacher visits ..... so it would be easy to 'set up' an 'accidental' incident in which the teacher could spot the problem!

 

Try talking to the 'mum' again - I don't really understand 'her problem' - if she is worried too it really doesn't make any sense to me.

 

Good luck

Sunnyday

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may also find that on the teacher's home visit to the child that they will pick up on a possible hearing deficit, if they are there for half an hour or so, they should be looking for overall interaction - there will be no other distractions, other than a parent - alarm bells may begin to ring

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose it may depend on the background noise - could you prompt the teacher to actually come out and ask the parent about any worries about hearing or speech at the home visit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I could just ask if it's something she's likely to ask about couldn't I? She's bound to take the hint and ask then isn't she?

 

It could be my fall back position if mum won't change her mind. I will find out when the home visits are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the past we've had reports that go to schools which, without being negative, paint a picture of the child in what they don't say if you get my meaning, for instance if 3 of them say 'really good at sharing' and the 4th one doesn't.....

 

Perhaps I could make the point that she benefits from the one to one nature of my setting and the lack of noise and distractions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your help guys. It feels like I can get round this now. I'll find a way to deal with it without upsetting mum. It wouldn't be fair to her or school to let it go.

 

Gold stars all round!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a child who is starting school in September who has been with me since 3 months old. I have had concerns about her hearing for the last two years which I have raised with parents several times and given them a letter for the consultant. They have been told that her hearing is fine and that the audiologist felt that her not responding in the hearing test was down to being stubborn.

 

Mum also thinks she might have a hearing problem but she has just asked me not to inform school about my concerns. She thinks that if the teacher comes to her with concerns it will be more convincing evidence for the consultant.

 

The problem is that I would not be giving a complete picture of her if I didn't mention my concerns and it might make for a much more difficult settling in process. I have explained this to mum but she is adamant.

 

If I put my concerns in her transition record Mum may not pass it on at all.

 

There is an added complication in that the class will be taught be three different teachers (not together) and two teaching assistants so it could be a long time before it is noticed.

 

What would you lovely, experienced practitioners out there do?

 

Can i say it should be you that passes on the transition record to the school, for the reason parents may not forward them on .This must be done in person .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can i say it should be you that passes on the transition record to the school, for the reason parents may not forward them on .This must be done in person .

 

But if you haven't got permission from the parents to pass on this information then you shouldn't go against their wishes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you talk some more to mum about the different aspects of her child and how while it's really imporatant that she gets support for her hearing difficulties, that that must not be at the expense of her socialisation, settling in and other aspects of her learning and development when she starts school.

 

If you don't give the teachers this information it will take them longer to get to know the little girl and plan appropriately for her. It will generally make her transition so much smoother if the teachers know everything.

 

I think maybe if you tactfully emphasise the difficulties that this may cause for her daughter, the mum might agree to what you suggest. The teacher can still say that they discovered / agreed that hearing difficulties appear to be present - I don't think this bears less weight than them saying - 'We were entirely unaware that she might have hearing difficulties and our assessments suggest that she does.' Even if the teachers don't know, then pass on their similar opinions about the hearing, there is no guarantee that this will make all the difference with the doctors and at the same time, precious time will have been lost in the relationship between the little girl and her teachers.

 

The teachers will also be better placed to talk to the school nurse and get her on side, too, which might also lend weight to the mum's case with the doctors. School nurse does hearing tests too, and if she's clued up beforehand, that might help.

 

My main feeling, though, is for the little girl to have the best start at school she needs the teachers to know her as well as possible - and leaving such a huge thing as this out really is a barrier to this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also - what would it do for your standing as a professional in the eyes of the school if, from their point of view, you fail to pass on such a vital piece of information? Might they think that you didn't notice it yourself?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can i say it should be you that passes on the transition record to the school, for the reason parents may not forward them on .This must be done in person .

 

i see what you mean but

Why would parent not want the records past on ? Its childs interest that the present school as at heart , would it not be total waste of our time us doing these learning journeys if they was to go no further than our setting.I ve never came cross parent yet who wishes not to have them forward on . The only thing i ve come cross is parents not even bothering to look at there children learning journey as much we inforce them to . Does anyone else have this problem .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is mum thinking about how the other children in the class will respond to her daughter if they perceive that she is ignoring them when she doesn't respond? She could quite easily miss out on massive chunks of the social side of school if the teachers are unaware that there is a hearing concern. If they know this, they should be sensitive to encouraging and modelling audible speaking within the class for everyone.

Classrooms can be very noisy places compared to home and even Nursery settings and it could take months for the staff to begin to even think that her hearing might be down.

20 years teaching experience tells me that you must ask mum to let school know the situation and ask them to keep a diary or something similar each time the child seems to be ignoring them. In my experience, this will be far more useful to a consultant than waiting and hoping the school notice and register their concern. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would really really strongly encourage Mum to contact the audiologist again (through her GP if necessary). I had concerns about my own son's hearing when he was about 2 years and took him to the audiologist several times. They always took my concerns seriously and were always willing to test him again. I felt foolish and that I was a 'fussy mum' and could so easily have been put off if my brother (a GP himself) had not encouraged me to fight on.

 

It took till my son was almost 4 and due to start school a few weeks later (he's an August baby) before they finally agreed he did have a problem. My GP was brilliantly supportive and got the surgery to pay for him to have grommets inserted privately.

 

So much in school and life in general would be affected without getting it sorted out. Moreover having a difficulty with hearing, however mild, will make life plain hard work for her.

 

Good luck

Gruffalo2 :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there, I do think that you should try to get Mum to get a second opinion. Children's hearing can fluctuate with Glue Ear - worse in winter/when they have a cold etc. I worked for many years as an audiometrician doing hearing tests in schools, and so often by the time the hospital appointment came round the problem had cleared.

 

However it does seem that this child has taught herself lip reading if she is looking at people as they speak to her, and also a quiet room might be manageable for her, but a noisy classroom!!!!

 

If you want to try out some testing yourself, try speaking to her quietly but with your lips covered with your hand or a piece of paper, and with her full attention. How many times would you have to raise your voice until she understands? You could play a game with her - find objects of "pairs" and ask her to point to them - the "pairs" having vowel sounds similar i.e. duck/cup horse/fork plate/cake spoon/shoe

 

I'm afraid those are all the pairings I can recall at the moment (it was a long time ago I used them)

 

I do feel it really would be in her best interests if her hearing is as good as possible when she starts school, so she is not at a disadvantage.

I have a daughter who had hearing problems, grown up now, but she certainly had issues at school, especially when staff weren't aware of her needs, and she wasn't able to lip read them (different accents and men with moustaches being her biggest bugbears!)

Keep us aware of any development please.

Elylass

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all of your advice.

 

I feel I have lots of different options to deal with this now the first being to have another chat with mum. Didn't do it tonight as she was 45 minutes late and little one was ready to go and I think I need to talk to mum on her own. If I don't get anywhere I have some other options for making sure that the school are aware and in the meantime I will try Elylass's game which might make the picture a little clearer - thanks for that. I think there might be an element of her hearing changing like you suggested Gruffalo2 and that really doesn't help does it?

 

I can see now that sending her to school without the full picture is not fair and could cause awful problems for her. I am also not willing to risk my reputation with the school as Cait pointed out. I will find a way to deal with this without openly going against the parents' wishes.

 

It is lovely to have such a wealth knowledge and experience to draw upon.

 

I'll keep you all informed of what happens next week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry..................I don't understand why you don't just tell the teacher about your concerns, without hints etc ( which just might go over her head!).You are cleared to pass on any information which is relevant and in the child's best interests, which clearly, this information is??? I do understand about the parent, but the child comes first and you could simply say to the teacher that you have had the concerns for some time and that mum doesn't particularly want the info shared until they are certain, but you wanted to give the child the best start, so here's a quiet, confidential 'heads up' for her! Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are cleared to pass on any information which is relevant and in the child's best interests, which clearly, this information is??? ...a quiet, confidential 'heads up' for her!

 

Thanks narnia.

 

Can you tell me how I am cleared? Have Ofsted told you this?

 

If I have a confidential discussion with the teacher and she tells the parent I may be risking a complaint to Ofsted. How would they respond?

 

If you have access to any guidelines I would be really grateful to see them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)