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Child Who Can't Cope With Change


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We have just moved our Pre-school into an Elliott hut from another part of the school. This move has been talked about for a long time and children have been involved and have seen the different stages of getting the room ready, so its not ubexpected!!! We have had one little boy, who is usually happy and settled who is completly freaking out about the move. His Mum said he hates change, has very particular routines and is possibly OCD (Her thoughts) What can we do to help him a adjust? I have suggested he comes in for short periods of time, which are then increased each day or that Mum can stay with him for a while. I am very aware that these methods are not part of his normal routine and should we just start as we want him to go on? Could really use some advice as we do not want to put him off pre-school for ever and want him to be happy. But we have never come across this challenge before. :o

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oh dear poor lad, can i ask how long he has been with you as it seems you were not aware of this other behaviour or trait before? I think to help his emotional well being to go gently as you have suggested as this is a transition for him in order to settle him again, he will of course face many changes in life so helping him as best you can now is good standing for the future, how does Mum cope with his dislike for change ?

Could you give him a job or role to build his confidence ,visual aids to help him a climatise and lots of praise and assurance that he is safe etc

it may be worth speaking to mum and your area senco for future

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He has been with us since September and we have never noticed this problem before. He is quietly confident and has made lots of friends in the group. I was quite surprised when Mum spoke about it. At home she says he will only eat certain foods and likes the same food each day, and will reject something if it looks different from the others.

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Can you get him to carry some resources into the new building and help place tables, cupboards etc. Give him some ownership about where things are put, so he will know exactly where everything is.

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Hi,

 

We have a little boy who has had problems with change but we have found that the earlier we can explain the changes/what is going to happen the better.

 

We haven't had the major changes that you have had zigzag but when this child was due to start a different day where we visited our local school for a time during the morning both us and his parents discussed it at length, where he would go, what he would do and when we would get back to our setting. We also used a visual time table to help show what happened each day and how this day would differ.

 

This little chap turned 4 in September and will go to school this year and we have noticed how the things that would have thrown him last year have not caused the same problems (although he did need the crown that he had made at home in order to play a King in our Nativity at Christmas and he did need to know that we had his outfit so it wouldn't get lost at home!)

 

Rachel

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I seem to be a magnet for 'I don't like change' control freaks, and my experience has taught me that it's the children whom I expect to kick off at any change in routine are who exactly the ones that surprise everyone by taking it in their stride. Maybe it's the extra work and explanation I do. Whatever, the point is that I don't know, but would be interested to hear how things work out for you so please re-visit this later.

 

Honey

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I think you are absolutely right to try to support this child in this transition. Some good suggestions already such as getting the child to transport toys and place them in the new setting, you could try getting Mum to 'pop in' on an errand so that the child gets used to it with short visits. Perhaps taking some photographs of familiar resources in the different environment, toilets etc and make them into a 'book' to talk about with parents at home.

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I would try to keep to a familiar routine but also take photographs of the buildings, resources in their new places etc and make the book as suggested above.

 

I would also make a visual timetable showing the routine you will be following in the new building (even if it hasn't changed) as he may not realise that the routines (or even the people) are not changing too.

 

You could send these home and ask the parents to read it through with him two or three times a day and bring it with him when he comes in so you can share it with him too.

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