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disparity between home and pre-school on assessments


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Hi all

 

Could really do with some advice. I have two children who for differing reasons I am unsure how what assessment to judgement to make.

 

One child is a selective non talker he doesn't say a word in pre-school but communicates through gesture and sign. However at home talks for England. Now we have asked for some evidence / obs of this for his file so we can get a true picture of what he can do. However looking at the judgements in the EYFS under speaking I am unsure where to put him because of the drastic difference in behaviour. If we were to grade on what he does at home it would be well within the 30-40 months age bracket and probably more. However when you look at the descriptors and compare with what he does in the setting its all around verbal communication (of which there isn't really any) and therefore would be graded incredibly low.

We do use ECAT assessments and he has been flagged up as 'at risk of delay' because of the selective non speaking and there are lots of things in place to support him, but just concerned where we should be grading him in terms of progress both for his file and cohort progress charts. I should add he is 46 months.

 

Then we have child number two who point blank refuses to be in the setting without mum. She cannot be distracted or comforted when mum is not there so mum has been staying and to be honest then she is like a different child. Mum doesn't 'hover' but is just in the room and the little girl just checks in fairly frequently but will play and interact with others, independently use the resources chat to staff and generally get a good experience of pre-school just by know mum is there. So again do we grade personal and social to the level of development we see with mum there or do we (under) grade as she cannot be in the setting without mum?

 

help????

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Tricky I feel your pain!

 

I always tell my staff that children need to be seen doing things totally independently to be assessed and as for the girl, in a sense, she is, however, unable to do so without mum being in the room, so her PSED is likely to be low, whereas other areas could potentially be at age or above. you don't give her age, or how long you have had her with you, I would tend to be patient, try as hard as you can to make her feel secure don't mention mummy being there or asking her to let mummy leave, re-visit that in a few weeks' time when she has become relaxed and secure that mummy is always there, try very hard to engage her with one or two other children, certainly more than one, just in case one is off sick or holiday and she may transfer her need to her new friends, some children do just find it hard for whatever reason, many I suspect to let mummy go. There is no need to make her anxious, go with the flow. I'm sure mum wants to leave and she isn't the problem? You could may be try a social story, take photographs of her doing different activities without mummy in sight and then in very positive terms write a story about the little girl's sessions, all in the first person with photographs to match.

 

Your little boy we had one years ago who never spoke and there really wasn't as much support system then as there is now for this type of thing in pre-school. If you did a home visit do you think he would talk? Have you got video evidence that he talks at home? Again a social story may help him, The little boy we had spoke once he was at school, I remember he had a very croaky/gruff voice and that may have been part of his problem.

 

They may appear to score low for their assessments, but you can always explain why to on-going setting or Ofsted. You are being sensitive and doing all that you can to help, that's all that matters at the end of the day.

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We had a similar situation last year with a little girl who was being fostered.

 

Obviously we were sensitive to her needs but she would not talk at all in the setting.

 

Her foster mum said that at her house this child chatted non stop!

 

We got the foster mum to write some notes.... Like an observation really to put in with the child's profile etc, and whilst I hadn't heard her myself I had evidence as to why we weren't overly concerned and why we didn't refer her for help.

Having done the ECAT course we used stategies to make her feel comfortable about her choice not to talk.

 

The thing is so much of the profile is language based that if children don't choose to talk or can't talk then it's very hard to get an accurate idea of where they are at!

 

Now, this little girl is talking to us, and when a visitor came in the other day she was confident enough to almost talk her ear off!

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IMO i would assess at the level that you can prove and see....but i would include information from home in any notes i made. Of course i would discuss this with the parents so that they know why i have done it this way. The reason i would do this is because when they go to school they will need to be able to do these things independently and at the moment neither of them can. With the selective mutism there are lots of things you can do to help but this little one needs a referral to a SALT...it is a very complex and difficult condition that needs careful support there is a set of 'rules' to follow to aim towards free speech.

how old is the other little one and how long has she been in the setting?....can you really say she is hitting her developmental milestones?

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Hi every one thank you for your advice. It seems for the little boy that we have to grade by what we can see in the setting but have the obs from home so that it shows he is capable and this is a choice rather than an inability to do or a developmental issue. We did discuss a SALT referral but as he is such a good talker at home mum is not keen and I can see why.

As for the other little one mum is now saying she will leave the little girl with us as of this term so I guess we will again see what happens.

 

I think this is why I don't like the assessment side of EYFS it is so soulless and doesn't really tell you anything about a child who is a 'little different' and parents get so upset or concerned no matter how many times you explain.

Edited by Johanna1
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We had a child who had delayed speech for almost a yr with oral dyspraxia

We went on our gut feeling and knew that he knew more than he could verbalise so we placed him on the bands we felt were right, we were spot on if we had looked at the guidelines without his speech he would have been under achieving this was not correct for him we knew he was higher than that

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