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I hope you can help! What actually constitutes as a child with SEN in reception? I'm asking because there have been mixed responses when I've previously asked for children to have IEPs.

 

Here are a few of my concerns:

 

Child A: communication on his terms alone. Whenever asked a direct question or simply spoken to by adults, he puts his chin on his chest and sticks his bottom lip out. He cannot hold eye contact whatever the situation. He plays within the classroom, mostly alone, but sometimes with another child. Can become very upset and annoyed when it comes to sharing - as he can't. When you try and talk as a class or group, he is not on task, and he cannot be relied upon to actually communicate relevant information - often it is unrelated and simply because he wants to say it (more so than the average chatterbox!). Very babyish. When he is getting ready to go home he will stand in the cloakroom with bag, coat and work in hand - cannot follow simple commands/instructions. Leaves pumps anywhere and everywhere and cannot find them because he goes straight to his peg to get them - when directed to look around he cries because they are not on his peg.

 

Child B: EAL and very immature. Strips naked to go to the toilet. Not on task at all. Plays with playdough and in home corner. Explores paint with hands very much like a toddler. Cannot retain things - even in home language.

 

Child C: Behaviour problems - mild but annoying! Cannot retain, not on task, doesn't pay attention and doesn't really seem to do much in the classroom, either adult directed or child initiated. Ooh does tend to throw sand about and put everything and anything in the sand and smiles when he's being told off (and not the uncomfortable smile that most children do - this is the not really bothered smile). He has spent time in another classroom because of his behaviour, but it didn't do much to stop him.

 

I've got a couple more. The reason why I ask is because when I look at eprofile, they are still not hitting a lot of the SS. Their progress is not coming along as much as you'd think it would - and sometimes it doesn't seem to be going anywhere at all. I am going to request IEPs but I've become a little despondent about putting them on because nothing ever gets done about them. I've got staff shortage and no chance to spend quality 1-1 time with them, but on the other hand, they definitely need to have these in place so that when it does come to ticking of targets, there is a little more awareness of individual needs due to IEP status.

 

Does anyone else have these issues?

 

xx

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Oh dear, sounds like you're feeling a bit demoralised by all this! I would think you're right about them needing more individual attention. It's a shame you have staffing issues, because you may need to get a better picture before you can really start asking for IEPs?

 

As I'm not a teacher, I won't stick my neck out too far here - I expect someone will be along soon who really can help, meanwhile, chin up!!

 

Sue :D

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Thanks Sue - that was a quick response! Thought I was the only one living on this site today!

 

It's not that I'm feeling demoralised really. They are settled, they do seem to enjoy the classroom - but as far as it being a learning experience for them, the observations and assessments I'm making seem to show them getting further and further away from the other children in the class.

 

There is a lack of SEN support in my school - but the argument is starting to come about that the earlier a child's learning issues are made aware, the better in the long run for the child's support. However, practice isn't always what they preech, so to speak at the minute, so I'm weighing up the pros and cons of writing an IEP at the minute or waiting a little longer.

 

Thanks again,

 

x

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HI Gater, although in some respects Im inclined to say you can afford to wait a little longer and work with these children yourself before starting the paperwork route as its only just the start of the second half of the first term, it certainly doesnt do any harm to bring these children and your concerns to the attention of your SenCo. A child at the earliest level of alert, School action (or maybe early years action depending) is only really being monitored anyway. Do make sure that any targets that you set are managable and achievable though.

Good luck.

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Hi Gator

As a lowly Pre-schooler why weren't these children already identified as having problems before they came to you. I would have been concerned by the things you have said if those children were in my pre-school, and would have already had them on Action Plus before they got to your level. Just keep thinking that those are the ones that in a few years time you will see have got the most benefit from your expertise kep going you'll get there in the end. I sympathise as i always have 1 or 2 children like that at pre-school and never know how far to go for help. I always go on my "gut" feeling if you think there's something wrong don't doubt yourself get the help you need. go for it and good luck :)

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Is there any mileage in getting the SENCo in to observe so that he/she can see why you are concerned? Then you can perhaps work out what you need to do.

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Thanks to both of you for your advice. I know that they should have come up with some 'concerns' identified, but as I've said, there's never been much umph as far as SEN support in my school, so it has always been left to the severely SEN children to get the support or the attention - the rest have had to muddle on, until in Year 6 when there are then complaints that these issues should have been raised earlier!

 

Steph I totally agree, they should have been picked up sooner. The negative thing is that it is always put down to the fact that they are EAL children. I definitely don't echo this opinion - as the rest of the children in my class seem to be doing just fine or are at least making adequate progress to catch up to national standards.

 

Susan, it usually falls down to my input anyway with them, so your advice is valid too. I just feel that there needs to be recognition that these children, at this early stage, are still showing concerns.

 

Will mull it over over the weekend - but more than likely will meet with SENCO about them and discuss where to go from there.

 

Thanks again.

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I am in the fourtunate (or some might think unfortunate) position of being the SENCO in our school and working in Foundation. I think you should certainly talk to your SENCO about these children and fight for some support to begin to address their needs. Before I started working in foundation these children were very often left to see how they developed and often weren't picked up as a problem until Year 2 SATS! By then the behviours and learning were so imbedded that it has been really hard to move them forward. we now have a policy (driven by me!!!) of highlighting children with any form of difficulty as early as possible and writing them IEPs and giveing them sharp focussed support by using LSAs within the class and withdrawing children either 1:1 or in small groups for 5 to 10 minutes each day to work on specific skills. Its important to remember that children can always be withdrawn from SEN if they make the required progress. We have found that by identifying them early lots of children have made progress and by the end of Year 2 coming away from IEPs and additional support. You need to keep badgering your SENCO so that you egt some support...it works with me and i keep badgering the head and eventually changes happen...the thing with SEN is that everything takes sSOOOOOO long!!! I suppose I am lucky i work in a schol where SEN has high priority and lots of money is given at additional adults. However this has not always been the case and it has taken a long time to get to where we are. Remeber anything that you do now could make a huge difference to these children's long term achievemnts. :)

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Thanks Sarah - think your advice is sound and has given me a few quotes to take with me to the meeting. It's hard not having the staff to work with them regularly on 1-1 or small group focused activities. I've also got to take into account the rest of the class when thinking about such a huge time constraint - and it's difficult to say where they are best put. So, will talk to the SENCO and arrange for her to come in and observe before taking it further.

 

Thanks to all - am glad you lot give me sound advice - can I bus you in to staff my school???!!!!

 

:D

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