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Need Some Help


Lucie
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Hi everyone.

 

I think I have a little boy in my class who is either autistic or has aspergers. I posted about him when I first met him for transition last year, he seems to get a tiny bit more challenging every day :o

 

He:

-HAS to close the doors - even the role play house door - he closed it and wouldn't let anyone else in.

-Has an obsession with any musical instruments - including the playground bell, which he has been found wandering in school looking for.

-Just falls down for no reason, then repeats this action over and over

-He has no awareness of things that aren't safe or could hurt him.

-He plays alongside others, no real interaction and if he does try to talk to other children what he says is so bizarre that they just walk away.

-Wherever he goes to play the rest of the children disperse.

-((he just has this ''oddness' about him))

-if you talk to him about what he is doing his responses are normally completely unrelated

-he repeats behaviours over and over, washing hands, pretending to ring a bell, the other day he 'smelled' a plastic bunch of flowers said 'atchoo', then he carried on doing this for about 10minutes until I took them fowers away.

 

mum said that he talked and walked late but she doesn't really see any other issues -or thats the impression she gave.

He has seen the paediatrician who says he has problems with attention, hyperactivity and communication, and they make a comment about a possibility of ASD dignosis in the future.

 

Mum seems to be in complete denial, I'm just not sure where to go next with her in order to support him the best I can in the classroom.

 

Any advice? Am I thinking the right thing?

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It sounds like you're probably on th eright track but TBH your best course of action is to support the needs you see.

 

The falling down could be a sensory seeking behaviour. Do you have access to an OT who could come and give you some tips on proprioceptive feedback. Weighted lap pads and wobble cushions could help with it.

 

Try hard to model appropriate speech patterns and behaviour for him so that he can learn to behave more appropriately. If nobody tells him he may not be able to work it out for himself.

 

I'm not sure that you can do much about his mother's denial. It's perfectly normal and she may well come round in time. In the meantime talk about how you are supporting the individual behaviours rather than discussing an umbrella term for them.

 

Lots of observations and IEPs will help him to get the support he needs when everyone else feels that an assessment is necessary.

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UpsyDaisy always has the best advise on these topics. She's absolutely right about supporting the needs you observe, and I (for one) could do with some of her practical solutions. The tricky thing, for those of us (me) without her wealth of experience, is knowing what that support is appropriate.

 

I have recently antagonised a parent (after four years of trying to support her and her child) by finally suggesting that the child exhibited some (a lot!!) of the symptoms of Aspergers and might benefit from external assessments. I am not School but Childminder - have child morning and afternoon - and I was really at a loss as to how best to support the child and needed a bit of education and support myself. The parent just saw my inability to manage and blamed me (and my child actually) for the behaviour.

 

Not being able to share this with anyone has been very difficult for me. In school I expect and hope that there would be to access a lot more support and alternative opinions which may be more helpful in getting the mother to accept that her child would benefit from assessment (diagnosis and statement if appropriate). I hope that you are all able to work together to support the child and his family for the best possible outcome. Hope I can work my issue out too and I apologise for this being so rambling.

 

Very best of luck,

 

Honey

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lucie ...great advice from previous posts. If he has already been assessed what is the result of this...surely the Ep should have set a review date or suggested where to go from here???? the hard bit has been done, now this has to be acted upon...if in doubt ring the ep and have the conversation...dont leave it the parent may be cross initially but will thank you in the long run as long as everything is done for the sake of the child.

By the way ...i suggest you remove the door from the home corner until this behaviour can be controlled (i have had this often!!)

try to remind him what he has in his hand and its function e.g. if he has a ball it is for throwing and catching if he has a tomato it is for eating!

try to set up activities where he can work 1st 1-1 with an adult and then with one child and then more in order to engage the other children with his play...he will need support in this

keep him on track with his speech...try to regain his attention to what you are both talking about ...use visual aids if poss.

try the first this then that approach with the bell ...can he be bell monitor?....so first ride on scooters then ring bell (if you get what i mean??!!)

i would tend to set a limit on behaviours so wash hands once then....xxxx sort of approach.

hope that helps...thinking of you! :o

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Hi, I have taught an ASD class within an SEN school for 3 years now and the behaviour you describe sounds very typical (both the child's and his mum's!).

 

Do you have a specialist support school nearby? My school is one of these and we support a cluster of about 50 mainstream schools in the area. We go into the class and observe the child then give practical advice on where to go next. we also have the option of staff from the mainstream schools coming into our school to observe the way that we do things and to see the resources and strategies in action.

 

if you don't have this option try the suggestions that have already been made, especially modelling appropriate behaviour because autistic children do tend to struggle with working out what is appropriate for themselves. They also latch onto things very quickly and can repeat actions like with the flowers. He probably saw someone do this once and liked the sound of the word 'atchoo' so now he thinks that that's what you do with flowers!

 

look out for things that motivate him, whether it's a certain toy or topic and use this to engage him. E.g. if he loves Peppa Pig you could read Peppa stories, role play Peppa, print and laminate pictures of Peppa to count, put them in the sand and water etc.

 

If you have no experience of ASD it can be quite confusing when a child behaves in this way but it's also fascinating and so rewarding when you have a breakthrough, however small. Don't try to deal with all the issues at once. Take it one step at a time and try not to worry too much about the other things. decide what you think are the priorities for him and write an IEP with realistic and achievable targets. There is no overnight miracle fix so plan for very small steps and don't see it as a failure if it doesn't work straight away.

 

Also don't focus too much on the fact that he probably has ASD, just see him as an individual, the same as with any other child, and do what you need to do to help him progress.

 

Ask your SENCO about what support is available from outside agencies and accept all the help you can get. by this time next year you'll probably be the one handing out advice about ASD! Good luck x

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Thanks for all of this info.

The SENCo is.....me, but only just started so am using 'the rest of the worlds' knowledge + what already happens in school to help me find my feet with the kind of external support that is available. This little one has another appointment with the paediatrician this month so hopefully that report will provide some useful info.

We use autism outreach from our local ASD school for a couple of others in school....but does he need to have a 'diagnosis' for me to be asking for their support?

 

Everything that's been suggested are things I have put in place or have considered so thankyou everyone for confirming my thoughts and actions!! (maybe i do know what Im doing :o )

Edited by Lucie
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You may find that you can't do anything about getting their support without Mum's agreement and if she's denying there's a problem you are up that well known creek. I've been there several times and it's very frustrating.

 

I am in a similar situation with a small boy who very obviously has a problem, but Mum says he does all sorts at home - including speaking what appear to be quite complex sentences - all we ever hear is 'duh'. If Mum's not on board, my hands are well and truly tied.

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The way that we we work things is that no diagnosis is needed, in fact most of the children we are asked for help with do not have a diagnosis probably because once they have one, more help becomes available from other sources so they don't need us as much. We are not allowed to say what we think a diagnosis may be, we just look at behaviours/ problems and suggest ways to deal with them based on each individual case.

To be honest, I'm not sure whether parental consent is needed. I don't think it is but I'll try and remember to find out tomorrow and let you know.

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Thanks Missblinx!

 

I'm hoping that I can get her on board, I know that nursery have spoken with her about this, and I have already raised my concerns. I'm going to talk again with her this week and discuss my obervations of him with her (he's been one of the focus children so it's his turn for obs to be shared). The head has also noted her concerns with me so I can share that.

 

I think we've got a good relationship so hopefully this will just stregthen it. I'm hoping he can see that my concern is so that I Can do the very best for him.

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UpsyDaisy always has the best advise on these topics. She's absolutely right about supporting the needs you observe, and I (for one) could do with some of her practical solutions. The tricky thing, for those of us (me) without her wealth of experience, is knowing what that support is appropriate.

 

I have recently antagonised a parent (after four years of trying to support her and her child) by finally suggesting that the child exhibited some (a lot!!) of the symptoms of Aspergers and might benefit from external assessments. I am not School but Childminder - have child morning and afternoon - and I was really at a loss as to how best to support the child and needed a bit of education and support myself. The parent just saw my inability to manage and blamed me (and my child actually) for the behaviour.

 

Not being able to share this with anyone has been very difficult for me. In school I expect and hope that there would be to access a lot more support and alternative opinions which may be more helpful in getting the mother to accept that her child would benefit from assessment (diagnosis and statement if appropriate). I hope that you are all able to work together to support the child and his family for the best possible outcome. Hope I can work my issue out too and I apologise for this being so rambling.

 

Very best of luck,

 

Honey

 

I've been in this position, too, and it's heartbreaking... I had great support from my Childminding Network Team who came out and did their own observations while he was with me. Their findings supported my concerns and the Pre-school special needs team became involved..they also visited him here and recorded their thoughts.

 

Having my concerns re-inforced gave me the confidence to address them with the parents...I have to say that it still ended badly but I know that I did my best and had the child's best interests at heart and, God forbid, if problems are diagnosed later I have records to show that I identified and voiced my concerns :o

 

Hope your situation reaches a happy conclusion... and remember, there's always a shoulder here on the forum for those bad days!

 

Nona

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Hi Lucie,

sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you, I kept forgetting to find out about parental consent. It turns out that yes they do have to have consent but we don't need any proof of that, we just take the school's word for it...

I know that's not really the answer you wanted, sorry x

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi 'other lucie'!

Firstly when they bite the first reaction will be to pull away. DON'T!! Push into the bite. This will trigger their gag reflex and they will immediately let go. It takes some getting used to doing this but it really does make the bite less severe.

Keep a record of when/ where (in the room)/ they bite and try to write a note about what happened before they bit. There is usually something that triggers this kind of behaviour and if you've got a record you might start to see a pattern that can help you figure out what the antecedent is. It could be something like if someone goes too close to them or if there is a loud/ high pitched noise. It could take a while to figure out because it might be something very subtle that's triggering this, but try and be patient and remember that the children are probably doing this because something is making them feel unsafe or scared so try not to be angry with them. There's also the possibility that they are doing it for the reaction from you (what do you do? Shout? Run across the room? both potentially quite entertaining!) or from the child they have bitten because autistic kids do tend to see other people as cause and effect toys, so instead of pressing a button to play a tune, they bite an arm to hear a scream.

I know this must be difficult because you've got all the other children to think about as well but, if you possibly can, try and assign somebody to keep an eye on them and keep the records of the biting. If they manage to find a pattern it will be time well spent.

 

Also ask your head to come in and observe for an hour. Tell your head that you're after their advice but the real purpose will be to show them just how much time is taken up by these two children and to prove that you need more staff to be able to do your jobs properly.

 

Good luck and please keep us updated x

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  • 3 months later...
hi 'other lucie'!

Firstly when they bite the first reaction will be to pull away. DON'T!! Push into the bite. This will trigger their gag reflex and they will immediately let go. It takes some getting used to doing this but it really does make the bite less severe.

Keep a record of when/ where (in the room)/ they bite and try to write a note about what happened before they bit. There is usually something that triggers this kind of behaviour and if you've got a record you might start to see a pattern that can help you figure out what the antecedent is. It could be something like if someone goes too close to them or if there is a loud/ high pitched noise. It could take a while to figure out because it might be something very subtle that's triggering this, but try and be patient and remember that the children are probably doing this because something is making them feel unsafe or scared so try not to be angry with them. There's also the possibility that they are doing it for the reaction from you (what do you do? Shout? Run across the room? both potentially quite entertaining!) or from the child they have bitten because autistic kids do tend to see other people as cause and effect toys, so instead of pressing a button to play a tune, they bite an arm to hear a scream.

I know this must be difficult because you've got all the other children to think about as well but, if you possibly can, try and assign somebody to keep an eye on them and keep the records of the biting. If they manage to find a pattern it will be time well spent.

 

Also ask your head to come in and observe for an hour. Tell your head that you're after their advice but the real purpose will be to show them just how much time is taken up by these two children and to prove that you need more staff to be able to do your jobs properly.

 

Good luck and please keep us updated x

 

Just wanted to say thank you for this and all the other great advice on the thread (and forum!) - I'll be taking over as Acting SENCO from Friday as our SENCO is leaving us, and one of our little boys has just started biting, mainly another little boy with his own challenges - yesterday the bite was provoked by the bitten boy trying to take the doll's buggy from the biting boy... The bitten boy has just been diagnosed with high functioning autism, so this has helped me remember that he doesn't actually push other children over to deliberately cause them pain, and I already knew its sometimes when they're in his space, but it may also be for the reactions.

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