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Extreme disruptive behaviour


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I have posted about this child in inclusion when we thought he had glue ear and how it could affect his behaviour but he has now been to see an ENT surgeon who has categorically confirmed that he does not have it.

His behaviour is getting to a stage that I can't guarantee the safety of my other children and staff (he has hurt a member of staff twice this week) and I don't really know how to handle this. The Inclusion department have asked us to fill in the ABC form but I have been doing this for a week but can't see any antecedents to the behaviour. I actually have stopped filling in the form as it is not big enough!! We do have some good moments but they are actually few and far between but it shows what a lovely little boy he can be. He was 3 in October and started with us in February. Mum seems to be blaming us as 'he wasn't like this before' but I have spoken to the setting he was at before and they have told me that there was something that they couldn't quite put their finger on and then he left so they couldn't do anything about it.

His sister used to come to us and it got to a point that when we knew she was coming in we would't put certain things out as he used to come in like a whirlwind, destroy everything and then leave.....

The Inclusion department have told me to look at their website where they have some behaviour strategies which I will do and print off for my staff to look at.

After Christmas mum is putting him into a pre-school attached to a private school for two days and with us for two days as she believes the 'school' setting will be better for him than us (but still leaving him with us for some of the week!).

Mum has admitted to us and our Chairwoman how she can't cope with him at home as his behaviour is not good (he scratched his sister quite badly this week) but in another breath tells me that his behaviour is only bad with us so it must be our fault. I am at my wits end as we can't seem to keep up with him to limit his behaviour and stop him hurting the other children as we don't know when it is going to happen. He doesn't respond to one-to-one and is so quick to throw something you can be right next to him and not be able to stop him.

I don't know what I am posting for as I don't know what advice can be given but just need to get it down.

It has also come to the point where I have some parents wanting their children to start but are unsure about it because they see this child at school and have a small taste of his behaviour there they don't want to expose their children to him.

Edited by starsdance
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After some careful observing, recording and reflection the cause and possibly thereby the solution may appear.

One of the things we have found working well is to channel the energy that is expressed negatively into something positive - physically demanding work, preferably outside.

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We shall carry on with observing as you say and hopefully something will come to light.

I don't like telling him off but when he is hurting others on a regular basis it is very difficult to praise.

We have free flow and he likes being outside but again a couple of minutes of good behaviour soon turns quite bad - but we need to watch carefully. This we do as sometimes it can be easy to blame when actually he was the innocent party at the time.

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I think some children need to experience the boundary between right and wrong with a clear 'No hitting' and being removed from the activity so the child knows that one must be kind when being part. Praising considerate behaviour when it happens may not be clear enough if the child has impulse-control issues. And I don't think mixing settings will be helpful at all, as there are two sets of rules. What about suggesting that the mother chooses one place for that reason?

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Mum possible feels that his behaviour is not as bad at home as it probably isn't, there's less children that he has to interact and share with, there's more moveable and relaxed boundaries plus she will anticipate his needs and behaviour well before it occurs as that's what mothers do. So you will probably have/see more of the behaviour if this is or could be the case, I know I've not really helped. If you have concerns and don't know what to do after trying various things the only option is to refer to inclusion well that's what we would do, let them observe and assist/support you. Hopefully the parent will be ok with this route. x

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i agree with wildflower that two settings is probably not going to work...he will not be able to cope and the link between you is going to have to be perfect to sort out any problems. Have you spoken to the HV? or has Mum? (im assuming you have no safeguarding concerns?) can you provide him with a quiet space? somewhere to go when you can see he's starting to react ?

I think my top tips would be ....one to one him (this does not mean they have to work with him...just be in the very near vicinity and stop as many incidents as possible...do this on a rotational basis it is too stressful for one person and you may find he reacts to some better then others.

Praise anything you can.

If necessary i would do time out (with parents permission...how do they discipline at home?) ...personally i would try doing this with no verbal instructions(or very few) until he has calmed down and then be VERY clear about how he has made others feel . Pushing hitting is not allowed is a better instruction because of the way the sentence is constructed ...most children only hear the end of the words so no hitting means they hear hitting!! you might like to try hush bottles (pintrest) if he is particularly frantic.

Remove from play as soon as you get any bad behaviour and stick to the plan....everyone must do and say the same things...he needs to get a consistent message that good behaviour gets lots of attention and bad behaviour does not get him what he wants.

Is this about taking turns ....trying to play.....attention seeking.....WHY is he doing it ?what is he getting out of it? he will be doing it for a reason. Does he target anyone in particular?

So hard for you all !

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. If you have concerns and don't know what to do after trying various things the only option is to refer to inclusion well that's what we would do, let them observe and assist/support you.

I love this idea but completely non existent in this borough....! if you have help available certainly use it but i think most settings are now going it alone...or is it just around here?????

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Ours are fantastic both inclusion and speech and language they all say refer, refer, refer obviously we don't do it lightly and it has to be weighted but after trying various techniques and questioning various routes etc etc we can only know and do so much and it's up to the specialists to dig deeper. I must say we are lucky in that essence that they want to see the children referred. x

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I think my top tips would be ....one to one him (this does not mean they have to work with him...just be in the very near vicinity and stop as many incidents as possible...do this on a rotational basis it is too stressful for one person and you may find he reacts to some better then others.

Praise anything you can.

 

We had a little one not too dissimilar to this last year and in the end we were effectively doing exactly as Finleysmaid has described above - it is however very wearing and changes the dynamic of the whole group.

Like Finleysmaid we get little to no support with children with additional needs whatever they are (I made a SALT referral in May for another child and the child is just about to start some sessions with the therapist - and then only after nagging - it will only be 3 sessions instead of the usual 6 so I suspect that the nagging got him a cancellation!)

To echo finleysmaid again speak to the parents and ask them what strategies they use at home (they may not be using any!!!) - draw up an individual support plan detailing the strategies you are going to use and how the parents can do this at home too to provide consistency - use the legalities of the EYFS to support you and explain that record sharing is a legal requirement of the EYFS and that you will expect to engage with his other setting in a two way information sharing and try to include the second setting in offering a consistent approach and the same support strategies.

If this child really needs some 1:1 support do you have a charging policy that says that you will charge parents for this if the LA can't/won't provide adequate levels of support. We calculated that providing the sort of 1:1 support for the little one that we had cost us nearly £6K!!!! (money we just don't have) in extra staffing.

We were fortunate to get a bit of LA 1:1 funding in the end (5 hours - the child attended 20!). We referred to SALT, Portage however to get more 1:1 funding out of the LA we needed to make an Ed Psych referral and in the end parents refused to engage with us in getting this referral so we said that the child was still welcome to come but only for the 5 hours that the LA would fund 1:1 support unless they wanted to pay for the additional 15 hour/week 1:1. I know that sounds harsh but there is only so much that we could do - supporting this child indefinitely at these levels without some financial support from the LA was becoming completely unsustainable. Inclusion is a wonderful thing but only if the powers that be are actually going to put their money where their mouths are. There was considerable parental denial about the needs of the child and whilst we had tiptoed everso gently through the minefield that is trying to engage with them and encourage them to accept the support of other agencies we reached an impasse. In the end the family enrolled the child elsewhere however the SEN issues didn't go away and the new setting had to start the ball rolling all over again.

I know that's not much help but sometimes we cannot be all things to all children despite our best efforts :(

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If this child really needs some 1:1 support do you have a charging policy that says that you will charge parents for this if the LA can't/won't provide adequate levels of support. We calculated that providing the sort of 1:1 support for the little one that we had cost us nearly £6K!!!! (money we just don't have) in extra staffing.

[...] I know that sounds harsh but there is only so much that we could do - supporting this child indefinitely at these levels without some financial support from the LA was becoming completely unsustainable. Inclusion is a wonderful thing but only if the powers that be are actually going to put their money where their mouths are.

[...] I know that's not much help but sometimes we cannot be all things to all children despite our best efforts :(

Are we allowed to ask parents to pay for the extra support needed? I've been in similar situations in the past, really struggling and loosing other children. I don't know about larger settings, but small ones like ours (mostly 2 staff), don't cope well with children who hit and/or are very disruptive.

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Our LA encourage all our settings to make it transparent to parents what their additional charges are - it may be the provision of sunscreen, nappy changing charges, lunch fees, late fees and additional support fees.

Parents can then make an informed choice as to whether they wish their child to attend your setting on that basis.

We do not make a charge for additional support until we have had involvement with other agencies that determine that additional support is what is needed to meet a child's needs - LA money for SEN support is apparently so short in our area that we are lucky if we get 3 hours per week for a child attending 15 hours per week and that is only for children in receipt of early education funding. To get this we must have (at our own costs) followed the appropriate identification, referrals and in-setting support for usually two support plan review cycles and persuaded a panel hearing that the support is something the LA should be providing. Whilst I have all sympathy for families with children who need additional support regrettably hard decisions have to be taken - the LA don't seem to have a problem taking these hard decisions when it comes to money and I'm afraid that in order to remain sustainable we are having to do the same. We get no SEN budget only dire EEF rates so we to have no slack in our budget!

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Does anyone have a policy for the procedures to go through before asking a parent to pay for an extra member of staff? Here is a draft:

'If a child's needs require an extra member of staff and/or their behaviour is putting other children's safety at risk, we will follow our procedures for identifying the cause and taking appropriate action. If a support plan, established together with the child's parents, has had no effect, and we, the child's parents and outside agencies determine, after two reviews of the support plan, that additional adult support is required and the LA is unable to cover the cost, we will inform the child's parents that they must finance this.'

Badly written, I know, but I'm trying to clarify what we can and can't do in this situation.

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A quick scout around the fees charged by private schools shows they charge for additional 1:1 support as it constitutes an additional service - one even charges £250 for annual assessments and reports for the LA

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I'd never actually thought of this but with more and more children 'demanding' and awful lot of staff attention and less and less county funding to get this support it could well be a way forward, it is so wearing and it worries me how much the other children are losing out on because of what seems like constant coaxing and cajoling of some children now just to get them to respond/ carry out the smallest of tasks or have them where you want them when you want them :( the last18 month battle to get additional support funding ( other agencies involved to) finally paid off 5 weeks before the child left for school....they gave us 1 hr S&L a week and told me I could back date it 3 months ....no idea how they thought that was going to work :/ ....and S&L was the least of the problems.

Edited by Mouseketeer
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I'd never actually thought of this but with more and more children 'demanding' and awful lot of staff attention and less and less county funding to get this support it could well be a way forward, it is so wearing and it worries me how much the other children are losing out on because of what seems like constant coaxing and cajoling of some children now just to get them to respond/ carry out the smallest of tasks or have them where you want them when you want them :( the last18 month battle to get additional support funding ( other agencies involved to) finally paid off 5 weeks before the child left for school....they gave us 1 hr S&L a week and told me I could back date it 3 months ....no idea how they thought that was going to work :/ ....and S&L was the least of the problems.

i do agree mouseketeer. we have a little boy with little speech who has tantrums if he can't have his own way or anything changes. IDS have said he'd have been in a special nursery previously, but he'll be lucky to get an hour a day of 3 hour session..... he's a big lad as i feel mum feeds him to calm him/keep him happy a home.... little sister is 2 and has no speech and family support worker feels she has issues. so children are becoming scared of him and one or two are crying now at the start of the session, which may be a coincidence.... but may not ....... he screams and throws himself on the floor, and if i was 3 i would find it a frightening experience. we have only got 30 between 3, but are having 9 more after christmas, who were 3 in the autumn term. we cannot give him the 1:1 he needs as there are 2 other needy boys, who present like children who would have previously ended up statemented when they got to reception. and several with terrible speech. and a behaviour issue child who is testing boundaries .... used to swear and throw chairs at staff at his previous pre-school. how is this fair to anyone?????????

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Mums and their phones are affecting childrens lives.....my opinion only as I see it at my Nursery..mum chatting on her phone or texting as her child presents his artwork done that day....no time for him ....so sad.....

And I agree about the help not being there anymore for 1:1.....my staff rotate their 30 mins each with our SEN child,,,,to protect other children from his unpredictable actions.....throwing anything......then when the afternoon starts.,we add 2 other little boys with no speech...but each have very healthy lungs,....very stressful for my staff....while still attending to our other 21 children.I despair of the future when these children got to mainstream school......perhaps they will get more help there than is available to us in Early Years

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,,,,to protect other children from his unpredictable actions.....throwing anything......

A couple of things to mention tish...can you arrange some time away from the other children for him to do some throwing (emphasis on turn taking ) ...you may find if he is allowed to do this a couple of times a session that it helps lessen the effect...i would suggest outside if poss. Also when he does throw tell him what the thing is and what it is for (so apples are for eating balls are for throwing etc) does he throw toys up or at people?

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Thank you for your replies they have been most helpful.

I don't think I will be able to talk mum out of sending him to two settings as she is adamant that the school setting will do him good. I suppose I can only hope that she takes him away from us (I don't want this to happen as I will then feel I have failed him).

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A couple of things to mention tish...can you arrange some time away from the other children for him to do some throwing (emphasis on turn taking ) ...you may find if he is allowed to do this a couple of times a session that it helps lessen the effect...i would suggest outside if poss. Also when he does throw tell him what the thing is and what it is for (so apples are for eating balls are for throwing etc) does he throw toys up or at people?

Hi finleysmaid...thanks for your comments....i am afraid it is mostly random,,... although sometimes triggered by other children appoaching to play with him......so staff have to be vigilant...he loves to be outside like all boys xx

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Thank you for your replies they have been most helpful.

I don't think I will be able to talk mum out of sending him to two settings as she is adamant that the school setting will do him good. I suppose I can only hope that she takes him away from us (I don't want this to happen as I will then feel I have failed him).

But you really wouldn't have 'failed him' at all - I can't see two settings working for him - if mum truly believes the new setting 'will do him good' then I would suggest (ever so politely) that she changes to the new setting and leaves you......

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Hello stardance, I remember you posting about this little one in the inclusion thread a while ago and at this time of year, with the chaos of Christmas I really feel for you.

Reading your older post as well as this one, I see that he's just turned 3 so is due to start school in September 2016. You mentioned he had a delay in all the prime areas, I wonder if you still think that and how much of a delay there is. He was particularly active, I see that's still the case and I wondered if he gets to run around much when he's not with you. A lot of the children in the nursery where I work live in flats and are brought to us in pushchairs so they're desperate to run around when they arrive. Free flow has helped a great deal with this but we always have a few extra activities set up, I've attached some ideas I've found useful for helping all children "let of steam."

Have you got a copy of a letter from ENT saying he doesn't have glue ear? If not, I'd suggest you ask mum for a copy for your records. If he still has a permanent runny nose (does he breath through his mouth?) the glue ear could return. It's so annoying as it's intermittent so children can pass a hearing test then a week later you know that they're not hearing which is why many children need to be re-referred. I've attached a booklet about glue ear which might be useful.

I completely appreciate that filling in forms about the behaviour is time consuming but in my experience, they've been invaluable in helping all staff (who have all filled in the forms) identify when the behaviour is and isn't happening. The latter is really important because so often we think it's happening all the time because that's what we notice because we're exhausted and feel useless!

You mentioned your forms aren't big enough, I've attached an ABC sheet which you can complete very briefly in bullet points. My record so far for these is 42 sheets for a 3 hour session for a child. Although it was time consuming, it made a huge difference to the parent accepting our concerns, and also helped us to get support for home from a Family Support Worker. Most importantly, it helped us to plan experiences that interested him and made us see that our expectations were completely unrealistic in terms of his general development.

You mentioned that he's scratched his sister at home and hurt a member of staff. I wonder if mum could complete ABC sheets at home and you could compare them after a week. That way, you can work together to work out what to do. I've found that saying to parents "I need your help with this" can take the pressure off them and ease the defensiveness that is only natural for them to feel.

Unfortunately, parents will always complain and threaten to remove their child. I found a wonderful letter recently which we're considering giving out to all parents when their child starts to help them realise that sometimes things aren't as clear-cut as they might think, the link is below:

http://missnightmutters.com/2014/11/dear-parent-about-that-kid.html

Just as an aside, some of the most troubled children I've worked with have witnessed domestic abuse. Sometimes I've been privileged enough for a parent to share this with me, at other times we've found out later or it's just been a hunch.

Thinking of you.

Glue_ear_English.pdf

Letting off steam.doc

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Wow Kitkat1972 that is some epic and well thought out post - thank you very much.

He will go to a 'nursery' class in the local school in January 2016 (I say 'nursery' but they are a very small school and he will essentially be in the reception class).

I will redo the prime areas when he comes back but he has left today to go to NZ for a month and we are hoping the sunshine and wide open spaces will do him good! He does get a lot of exercise - mainly running away from mum but he does walk to us and have space to play in at home. I don't know how much time he gets to spend outside as he will always need an adult with him - we do free flow but any ideas are gratefully received.

I will continue to do the ABC sheets when he returns but have noticed that there is a section of time (could be when he comes in or further on into the morning) where he is just wild (the only way to explain it). The problem I have is that whenever he goes near anybody whether he is in his 'good' mood or not they flinch and move away pretty quickly which is not good for him but I do have a priority to keep my other children safe which unfortunately I can't guarantee as we don't know when the mood will change.

I can't say categorically that there is no domestic violence at home but I very much doubt it but will keep that in mind (if that makes sense)

Again, thank you so much for your reply and I will update after the new year.

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Just a thought but if you can fit it into a time scale, it can be worthwhile checking this against food intake... timings after food to begin with and then if this does have a relation what foods he had, or even did not have as hunger can trigger wild episodes..

We had a child who went wild regularly, and eventually it clicked that this was exactly 20 to 30 mins after snack.. or after breakfast, on checking diet and what we were giving at snack time I concluded it must be the bread we had for toast. No one believed it could be bread but on investigation there is an additive in some bread to inhibit mould that is know to cause anger and behaviour changes in children. We checked our bread, and once we had changed it the episodes decreased. Once we had mum on board which was not easy, and she changed too, it worked wonders..

Having a son who reacted to food additives it surprised me how much they can change if they eat one that effects them. My son it was all additives, but particularly blue colouring.. in everything including white foods to make it look whiter.. he did not grow out of it until his mid 20s and he still finds some make him react.

May have no link whatsoever but it was always one thing in back of my mind .

http://nutrition.answers.com/vitamins-and-supplements/everything-you-need-to-know-about-calcium-propionate

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Just a thought but if you can fit it into a time scale, it can be worthwhile checking this against food intake... timings after food to begin with and then if this does have a relation what foods he had, or even did not have as hunger can trigger wild episodes..

We had a child who went wild regularly, and eventually it clicked that this was exactly 20 to 30 mins after snack.. or after breakfast, on checking diet and what we were giving at snack time I concluded it must be the bread we had for toast. No one believed it could be bread but on investigation there is an additive in some bread to inhibit mould that is know to cause anger and behaviour changes in children. We checked our bread, and once we had changed it the episodes decreased. Once we had mum on board which was not easy, and she changed too, it worked wonders..

Having a son who reacted to food additives it surprised me how much they can change if they eat one that effects them. My son it was all additives, but particularly blue colouring.. in everything including white foods to make it look whiter.. he did not grow out of it until his mid 20s and he still finds some make him react.

May have no link whatsoever but it was always one thing in back of my mind .

http://nutrition.answers.com/vitamins-and-supplements/everything-you-need-to-know-about-calcium-propionate

 

Following on from this Inge we don't use Warburtons bread at pre school because of their use of calcium proportionate in their bread. this is a preservative which has known side effects such as irritability, restlessness, in attention and sleep disturbance.

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I empathise with you. I had a boy last year, that I mentioned on here as I was at the end of my tether as he was disruptive, attention seeking (bad or good) and took immense pleasure in hurting other children - particularly the youngest. Mum too, said he didn't behave like that at home, yet she took up 20 minutes of my time at the end of every session asking me how he had been, what his behaviour was like etc. I checked with the setting he left, and he left because behaviour was appalling and they had involved Senco and Mum didn't want to accept anything was wrong.

I appreciate all the wonderful ideas and comments that have been made, but extremem behaviour changes the dynamics of the whole setting and it is stressful and very time consuming for the staff and the other children. Their play was constantly disrupted by him, or he would smash what they were building and then not only would we have to deal with him, but console the distressed child. We had parents threatening to remove their children which I was really upset about as why should we lose the ones that cooperate, mostly behave in a reasonable manner, are kind to their friends etc. leave?

I had lots of agencies involved, and to be truthful their ideas were pitiful and I ended up inviting them to spend a morning with him to implement their ideas and see how they got on.

All the emphasis is on inclusion, inclusion, inclusion...... well quite frankly, I don't think we should have to accept such extreme behaviour. We tried every strategy in the book with him, did loads of ABC charts, changed his diet, gave lots of praise, tried ignoring the unwanted behaviour, (hard when other children get hurt) did time outs and eventually I even sent him home (agreed with Mum) if his behaviour was so unacceptable and at the end of all this nothing worked.

At this point I think it becomes a liability if we have exhausted strategies and therefore agree to accept extreme behaviour and I really like SueJ's idea of charging for additional support outside of what would be allocated. I will be checking with my LA, but I know their view is there should not be a charge at all once funded - but I haven't checked for additional support. We only had him a few months as he went to school so we didn't get a chance to go down the route of Autism/Asperger's (I don't think it was either) but I have to admit I don't know how I would have coped with him another year.

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Don't be too impressed stardance, I was supposed to be writing my Xmas cards and was looking for distractions!

Megamum, I agree that in a small minority of cases, when all recommendations have been implemented consistently by all staff and the child's behaviour remains a danger to others then we may need to tell parents we can no longer meet their child's needs. I was an Area SENCO for nearly 10 years and in that time, this happened for 3 children I was involved with and it broke my heart. I later found out (through professionals involved I kept in touch with) that for Child 1, there was domestic abuse at home, Child 2's mum had significant post natal depression for his first year and Child 3's mum used alcohol and drugs to try to block out her own horrendous childhood.

I agree that working with a child with these needs is exhausting, frustrating and sometimes thankless. Like many others who use this forum, I've been kicked, hit, bitten, spat at and sworn at by children who were showing me in the only way they could that something wasn't right in their world. Unfortunately we don't always have access to all the information and resources to make a difference for every child.

By the way, I'm now avoiding completing my tax return! :1b

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Kitkat has triggered an old memory of a child I worked with many years ago in KS1 whose behaviour was unpredictable and violent as described above. It transpired that his mum had taken addictive (non-prescription) drugs while she was pregnant, and his behaviour was attributed to that.

He was a lovely boy most of the time, but would suddenly lash out and needed someone with him all the time in school to keep others safe and to help him to concentrate.

I have since worked with several children with the kind of behaviours you have described and as you say it is exhausting at the time. Usually they move through the school with individual support - and the school funds this while we go through the very lengthy statementing procedure, and often they don't get specialist support until they are well into the Junior school.

I agree so much that extra support is needed as soon as possible so that we can build the self-confidence of these 'angry' children, give them the boundaries they need and the friends they crave. This is a really specialist job, a very difficult and demanding job, but who does it?

When I first worked with the boy in KS1 I was a mum-helper - no knowledge of anything at all, but a 'pair of hands' and the school employed me for a couple of hours each day to 'help out'. As he was in my daughter's class I had a personal interest in the well-being of everyone in the class, so stayed around voluntarily for most of the day - that was over twenty years ago, and it doesn't seem as though anything has changed in terms of trained staff to help - or is that just here?

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I can't agree more marywilliam, this is a specialist job, and one that I am not trained in to be able to help children displaying extreme behaviour at the level they need. Kitcat1972, you are so right that we don't always know the circumstances of any children we have in our care, but in order to meet their specific needs, we need to be informed and trained in these areas to help these vulnerable and troubled children.

I don't have that expertise and that is why I don't think we should be forced to be inclusive when we can't always meet a child's particular needs. I can only support children that I have training and knowledge to help, coupled with the limited support of Senco.

In an ideal world, wouldn't it be nice when extra support is deemed necessary, the ones authorising it could also provide it?

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Mums and their phones are affecting childrens lives.....my opinion only as I see it at my Nursery..mum chatting on her phone or texting as her child presents his artwork done that day....no time for him ....so sad.....

Tish , get a no mobile phone policy and signs in place , we are very strict on this and all parents are reminded and told of initial visit that mobile phones are a no no ! We have this in place for safeguarding and for our children , I tell parents that it is important to be chatting and supporting their child on arrival and collection . We will not let any child out if their parent is on phone and will ask them to switch off if they attempt too. No call is more important than the time spent talking with their child.

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