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Key Child Transition To School..


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Just wanted to have a bit of a moan and see if anyone can give me some advice. Although I work primarily with the 2-3 yr olds, I am also key worker and 1:1 support for a young child with Autism. He will be 5 soon and willl be starting school full time in Septmeber. Mum has managed to get him into a local mainstream school, (although I reckon he may have some troubles getting on in a class of about 30 mainstream children). At the last review meeting I met the SENCO at the school and we talked about helping him to make the transition. Today Mum has been to the school and it is being rushed through so that he now starts part time after the half term holiday. He will still be coming to the nursery after school for 2 days of the week when his Mum is at college. When she came to collect him today, she told me that the SENCO has decided that it would be a good idea for me to take him up there on his first few days and stay to settle him in, as she thinks he will find it too distressing with Mum there. This is fine, and I'll do anything I can to help, although I do have concerns about him associating his school with me taking him. Also when I mentioned it to our MD who pays our wages she said that I wouldnt get paid for the time out up there!! :( I can't see that this is fair as he will still be attending our nursery, and if I dont go I feel I will be letting everyone down. Has anyone else found themselves in a similar position?? :oxD

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A difficult one...none of us like to feel we may be letting a family down, unable to offer much advice of immediate help as it does seem to be happening soon,

however when we have children with special needs moving on the school or nursery usually visits us for a few sessions and the child gets to know thier new support in familiar surroundings.and also helps them assess the childs needs. (we had one teacher come in for a term one day a week)

 

this helps the child as they do not associate school with thier present support worker.(too many supports but you get the drift!)

 

is the school aware that you would not be paid for your time? dont know if it would help any if they did...but you dont know unless you let them know. They may be able to reassess the transition plan..

 

sorry wish I could be more helpful...

 

Inge

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Hi. Not sure how that managed to get to be a double posting.. Ah, As i type I realised what I did.. I pushed the back button and then noticed some mistakes so edited them and in that case resubmitted the post.. Doh xD:o Anyone know how to get rid of the other post?

I havnt' managed to let them know at the school yet that I wont be getting paid. The SENCO is meant to be coming to our setting on Friday to see him and talk again to us. I don't yet know who his actual support worker will be though.

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"she told me that the SENCO has decided that it would be a good idea for me to take him up there on his first few days and stay to settle him in, as she thinks he will find it too distressing with Mum there."

 

Hi Amethyst,

It is obvious that you have a good relationship with this child and want the best possible transition for him, and to support the parent and school during this important phase of his life.

I have put the quote above because I don't fully understand the geographical logistics. When he is part time at school after half term, will he also be part time at Nursery? Is the school on the same site as the Nursery or will you be expected to transport this boy from your setting to the school? Will your MD give you time off in lieu for hours spent at the school or is the school possibly considering paying for this time?

 

The SENCO's suggestion has come to you via the Mum, and not direct, so hopefully your meeting on Friday will be an opportunity to ask a few more questions about the best support you can offer.

Does the child have a statement? Are there any other agencies involved who support him and his parents?

I don't think there has been enough time allowed to plan for him starting after half term if there are still these questions regarding his settling in.

Do you think he will find it too distressing to be settled in by mum? How has the SENCO come to this conclusion?

 

Each child is different and deals with transitions differently, only you, his parents and others who have worked with this child can decide what would be in his best interest and I think you all need to get together (yourself, parent, School SENCO & teacher) and all be clear about his next steps, and how you will all support him in their acheivement.

The pay and responsibilities are an issue which should be discussed by all parties ( Nursery MD and School) as they are the ones who have responsibilities for this childs education and needs. Anything they suggest or ask of you in helping them to meet their responsibilities should be within your current contractual obligations or new arrangements to be decided with your agreement ( including financial reward). You may decide to volunteer your services unpaid but the school will still have responsibilities to you on the same level as they would any other employee.

 

Good luck, hopefully things will become clearer on Friday. Let us know what happens.

 

Peggy

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Hi Peggy

Yes I am lucky to have a very good relationship with the boy. Mum told me that he constantly mentions me at home and she also wants me to babysit for her. As you say I just want a smooth transition for both himand his mum. You asked when he will be at school and nursery. Well we run an after school club and I think so far the idea is that he does mornings at the school and then on a thurs and friday we will collect him form school at 11.30 and he will be with us till his normal finishing time at 6. The nursery is at a local school, and we are a private day nursery. It's about a 5 minute walk away and yes we would be collecting him from school and possibly dropping him off there in the mornings. We have a couple of other children we pick up from the same school.

 

I do think that our MD and our school need to discuss the time I will be there and arrange finances. I feel awful even considering it but then I work full time for a reason and cannot afford to be taking time out unpaid.

 

The boy is on Early Years Action Plus and is going through statmenting at present. He also has the speech therapist but will be changing to one at the school, and a special needs co-ordinator from Sure start si involved along with others.

 

I agree that it is too short notice to arrange getting him settled in. We had visits already planned to the school. 1 with me, 1 with mum and a further with the both of us. Not going to have time for these now! He was also meant to be going in for luchtime over one day to see their routine. I'm unsure as to how distressed he would be with mum there, but I could imagine him saying to mum after about 10 minutes 'go home now'. It took us months to settle him into our setting and he has been with us a year and half. I can imaging his mum doing what she did when he first started with us and staying all the time, which we found actually made it harder for him to settle. He used to sit by the door and scream constantly.

 

Also on a more personal level, I do feel sad that we will be losing him so quickly. I always look forward to my time with him, and despite getting scratched and kicked and thumped and constantly watching him so he doesnt turn on the other children.... which contrary to some peoples beliefs I dont have eyes in the back of my head, He gives the best cuddles ever.. And when he says lvoe you Eve....!!!! :oxD

 

As you say, hopefully things will become clearer on Friday.

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Hi amethyst,

I too have a boy with me at present, he was 4 in March, is statemented, Autistic and will go to a special school in September. His social interactions have come along in leaps and bounds since starting with us in November. He also attends a special unit with children who have profound disabilities. Mum wanted him to be with "normal" ( no offence intended) peers because one of his traits is to mimick expressions and communication styles of his peers around him and at the unit there are only 1 or 2 children who are able to speak.

 

As I said before each case is individual but I can't help wondering why the school can only take him part time now if they can full time in September. ( something to do with compulsory school age?)

I offer ten sessions a week at my setting and when the younger children start school in September part time I have offered to provide extended care for afternoon sessions for a few of my children who are used to attending all day. The schools advice to parents is that this would be confusing for the children, are they at school or preschool?

 

A common need for children with Autism is careful management of any change to routines as these can be difficult for the child to cope with. It's never "black & white" is it, other considerations are resources and parent/family needs. Let us know how you get on and don't feel guilty about finances, you have needs too ( like paying the bills :o )

 

Peggy

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Hi, I just read these posts and another thing occured to me ... Will he be starting in a reception class? If so will the children he will be spending time with after half term be the same children he will be with in September?

Also, we have one entry per year and so our classroom looks and feels very different during the summer term than it does in the Autumn term, is this the case with this school? If either of these apply to your situation I think it will cause more confusion if he starts earlier especially if he does not benefit from a smooth transition period.

 

Is all this set in stone????

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to update on topic.. The SENCO and the FSCO came to visit and meet us and him. After about half an hour of observing him and seeing all my scars and scratches i have recieved they were having doubts as to whether or not their school would be suitable for him. They would still like me to take him up there soon for some of a morning session and maybe for lunch to see how he goes. If (and it now seems a big if), he is going to be starting it will be in the reception class for only a couple of mornings a week. The school though are going to have one whole unit for the reception and nursery, intergrating the two after sept though and have strong concerns as to how he will mix socially with approx 60 children when e has so many difficuilties in a room of 10-20 at a time. :o

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Interesting update Amethyst,

It appears there is a bit of backtracking. Sorry to be a bit cynical but the school ( now they have seen him in a preschool environment) response seems really to be about their needs in how they will cope, rather than the childs needs, how they can provide an inclusive environment to enable him to have the compulsory education he is entitled to.

 

Hopefully he will be able to stay with you until September until they have a clear framework in place to support his start at school. Is his statement near completion?

 

If you do visit with him prior to September, did they discuss the position this will put you in? Are they requesting voluntary help from you or is it seen as an extnsion to your current employment responsibilities?

 

Good luck, I really hope it does all work out in the best interest of the child.

 

Peggy

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Just thought I would add to this - there is another important issue here - what about insurance? If you are required to take the child to school and your MD has said that it will be in your own time then ultimately if anthing happens who takes responsilbity. Sorry to add to the burden but I really think some consideration ought to be given to this area to make sure that you do not leave yourself open.

Nikki

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