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Making Referrals To Other Agencies


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I am in the process of referring a child for 1:1 support and as part of that, I am compiling a report based on his behaviour and interactions (as requested by his Health Visitor).

 

I am finding it really hard trying to put into writing the impact his unwanted behaviour is having on him and the rest of the group. He appears to run around aimlessly, shouting out random words (usually swear words) totally out of context, he is difficult to engage in any activity, even it is one that directly appeals to his interests of cars, trains and helicopters, he is unable to give eye contact to adults or children and finds close interactions difficult, he will attempt to run away, shouting as he does so. When he becomes cross or frustrated, he uses cars, trains or helicopters and throws them around the room, and sometimes at other children and adults.

 

This is what I would like to try and communicate in my report, but I am aware that it is all very negative stuff, worded in a negative way. It is obviously important to communicate just how much support the child needs but without being specific (and therefore coming across as negative) how am I going to do that?

 

Does anyone have any tips or advice for writing this report please?

 

Thanks

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Hi Clare

Some similarities to one of our children.

 

Could you start with strengths/interests such as the cars, helicopters etc, then move onto areas to develop - social interaction

 

Could you say that he sometimes/often communicates his feelings about situations that cause him anxiety or overwhelm him, such as close proximity to other children, by running away or throwing objects and that the setting would benefit from support in developing strategies that help the child to find alternative coping methods.

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if this is any help ...

how about trying to write the report set out in the six areas of learning this way you can say the positive and the negative together. If you stick to statements rather than opinions then it is a bit easier i find.

So for instance xx can communicate his needs for food and drink by selecting as appropriate. He is currently unable to express these needs verbally.

I avoid the word but as it becomes very negative and the positives are missed.

Make sure his parents have seen it before you send it and agree with all the points (if you write it factually then they can't really argue) but if they have an issue with anything you could add At home he is reported to.......' or mum says he..... etc etc

always difficult and i try to sell it to parents by saying how much help their child will get and this sometimes requires us to say what he is unable to do as well as what he can.

Have you looked at where he is on the development matters statements...it might help to identify his most difficult areas (probably PSE from what you say)

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Thanks for the replies.

 

It sounds horrible, but I am really struggling to focus on the child's strengths and I think this is what is making the rest of the report sound so negative. It's really hard because I'm trying to be objective, but just keep coming back to the negative behaviours he shows. I intend to show Mum what I have written before it goes off, obviously because I think it is important she knows exactly what is being said about her child - that way, nothing is a surprise later on down the line.

 

I have recently begun to get more involved in the SEN side of things at pre-school, mainly to relieve some of the pressure from my manager, so this is all kind of new to me and I want to do a good job, not only for me, but also to make sure the child gets all the help he really needs.

 

Looking at the development matters statements is probably the way forward because that way I can compare his behaviour to them and link the positives in as well as mentioning the difficulties he has. Thank you for that suggestion. You would think I would get this by now!

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It might also be useful for you to get the HV or LA support in writing this because we are trained to focus on the positives. I was previously involved in writing pre-statement report for a little boy who really did need the statement, but our focus on the positives nearly cost him the statement. In my LA they wanted to see very clear statements of negatives to consider the child for support. I'm hoping that not all LAs are the same and that mine might have got more EYFS friendly since then, but it would be worth checking it out too.

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Thanks for the reply holly35.

 

I have made good progress with this since yesterday when I posted, but there is still some tweaking to do. We are applying for 1:1 support for this child and at times, I feel like I am trying to "sell" it to the people who decide - there is lots of "he will do x with an adult" or "without an adult x happens" which is all true but I don't want them to be raising their eyebrows about it! The positives are definately in there too though so now I don't feel like I'm totally writing this little boy off.

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I would second Holly35's comments about being careful not to be too positive. I know it goes against the grain and it is hard to read as a parent but you are asking for help and giving evidence as to why you need it. You need to make sure the evidence stands out. If his development is significantly behind his peers you need to say this clearly or the people making the decision may just assume that he's lagging a little but will catch up.

 

I would also focus on what the adult needs to do and what the result is if you don't do it. There are no real positives to include in that kind of statement so jst don't worry about it.

 

You can always include a little pen-portrait of the child at the beginning pointing out a few positives and giving a little context. Perhaps a couple of sentences pointing out positives in his personality, what he likes and who he lives with. This can bring him to life for a panel and also help the parents feel that you value him as a person despite the negative nature of the report. I certainly have appreciated this in reports about my own children.

 

I worry dreadfully when a report looks really positive because I then feel that it is saying my child is coping and does not need the support I know is crucial for her.

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Upsy Daisy, you have hit the nail on the head.

 

As with any reports I write (usually for my key children) I like to give a bit of contextual information but in this case, there is a sibling with an ADHD and ASD diagnosis at home and I'm wary of including it because it could seem like I am saying that this is the reason he is "behaving" the way he is (even though it isn't, if you see what I mean?). But at the same time, it could be valuable information to the panel. This is a real challenge for me, one which I have not come across before, so I am really grateful, as always for the advice.

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I would include that information along with his likes/dislikes, etc just because it's a statement of fact.

 

As long as you are not making the link yourself between this and the child's behaviour within the report I think it's fine.

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