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Child behaviour escalating out of control (help)

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We have a child who attends our provision 3 mornings a week.

The child's behaviour has always been challenging but we have managed it, however this term  the behaviour and hitting staff and children is increasing.

we have done abservations, outside agency has been in to observe, parent has been in for several meetings to discuss how we work this situation.. We have put several strategies in place to help the child.

we are waiting for one to one funding although this will only cover 8 hours.


the other children in the setting are frightened of the child and visible shrink when they are approached by the child concerned.

i have also had 3 parents saying their children do not want to come anymore.

i am at the stage where we are for the welfare of the children going to remove the child completely!

i really do not like having to do this but we really do not know what else we can do.

has anyone had to do this or can anyone give advice? 

I am wondering if I am missing something obvious here. 

Many thanks in advance 


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I think a lot of us have been here at some point or other, and it's really draining on the staff.  We also found that child X was getting the blame for everything by the other children- even on the days the child wasn't even in!.... and  we would remind complaining parents about this.

It's usually all about finding the 'triggers' to the behaviour.  We noticed with our little one that praising the positives actually made him worse, and what actually helped was giving him grown up jobs like washing the paint pots, cleaning the tables down etc were the things that calmed him done.


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I cant offer much, we too had a little one like this last year, and he moved on to a different setting, for various reasons mostly to do with the family circumstances changing..   We found very similar patterns as you have.   He became rather jealous if that's the correct word of me spending time with other children, especially say, storytime if I did that his behaviour was quite upsetting,   throwing things etc.     Mum said similar when dad would come home from work, he couldn't take her not  focussing on him.  We also found that giving him tasks was helpful to him and, what is sometimes called "heavy work", might be an Americanism, but, moving heavy things like logs about in the garden chilled him out for some while afterwards, pushing, pulling things, putting the shopping away,   Our little one really needed one to one support all the time, and as the weeks went past it was more demanding.  When he first started, in the January not too bad but by the July it was essential.  He was usually ok up until about 10.30, then the behaviours began, it was all too stimulating for him.   He was also very sugar intolerant, mum was kind of on board with this, but we began to really look at the contents of some of his lunch box items "supposedly" good items, loaded with sugar, even too many raisins would set him off.

I don't think there is anything wrong with giving your little one jobs, but while he is doing them, bring in some learning alongside, our lad loved doing the washing up, so we played building then - with the cups or the bowls etc, counting, colour matching.   

His speech was poor for his age too, so he was just beginning to go to speech therapy.

We did much same as you, gathered evidence, filled out forms, asked for assistance from LA, but as I say, after all that he moved on.

Our parents were tolerant.  The children were wary.  Other children were very drawn to him, fascinated by him, as he was so lively.  

Edited by Panders
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The child is almost 4, parent has concerns that  child could be on the spectrum she's mentioned ADHD, we suggested she speaks with health professionals, as yet has not done this, the parents do not appear to be taking our concerns seriously and after the incidents over the last few days, I have serious concerns that a child could be really harmed! And if that were to happen then where do we go with remaining parents already not happy? 

I have re read our T/C and polices which do refer to the interest & welfare of all other users.

welcome any more thoughts 

many thanks

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We've had the LA Send adviser who has seen the child and recommend an Educational psychologist sees the child and to apply for inclusion funding, we are in contact with our CC for them to come and see also! We have and are still doing all of the above that you've all commented on! Each session events are still escalating!

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Yes I saw that Sunnyday.  The parents of this little boy sued the Scouts Assoc for not making reasonable adjustments as required by the Equality Act and for a breach of privacy because of briefings to other parents and e mails to other parents which the little boys parents felt identified them.

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Hi oldbear...so if you can get inclusion funding would you employ some additional help for this little guy? 1-1 may be what you need to do at the moment until he has settled and understood the boundaries a bit more. There will be a WHY as to his behaviours trying to get to the bottom of (not just a diagnosis) will be the key to helping him ...and therefore helping everyone else. It must be really frustrating for him to be trying to make friends and not being able to work out why they don't want to play.

He needs to see an Ed physc or a paediatrician (which ever your borough goes with!) to get an assessment. And the parents need to agree to this ....the alternative would be to go through early help.

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I have taken advice from a very well respected SEND specialist and the advice they have given me to pass on is as follows:

Great thread and one that screams out the why it's vital to explain to all parents/carers as part of the induction process that you're an inclusive setting and support all children, this definitely helps when complaints come in.  Also that you work in partnership with a range of other professionals and may need to make referrals to meet the child's needs.  It's a whole other topic about why parents/carers don't give permission but fear is usually at the heart of it so discussing the role of other professionals with all parents/carers during induction can make a big difference.  In this case I'd advise the setting to go back to the LA SEND Advisor and say that they're really struggling and can they come in again.  When I was an Area SENCO in cases such as this I'd often cancel other visits and spend whole sessions in the setting to try to work out what was going on, building up the confidence of staff who were often extremely distressed and demoralised. I'd be wondering if anything has changed for the child, either in the setting or at home, ruling out any safeguarding issues (including domestic abuse) and making sure I've got an up to date developmental assessment to identify any areas of delay which could be impacting on the behaviour.  Have they had a recent hearing test and is diet and sleep OK as this can impact on behaviour. What does the child enjoy and when is the behaviour not happening?  How are staff dealing with the behaviour and is there a consistent response which is appropriate for the child's developmental stage?  Has this been agreed with parents/carers and written in a plan? Have they explained to parents/carers what the role of the Educational Psychologist/Paediatrician is?  Both are very scary titles and parents/carers might be concerned that school won't take their child if he's seen by another professional. Sadly there are many myths around, including the parent/carer fear of Special Schools.  I hope that helps, it's such a tough situation but excluding a 4 year old a term before they're due to start school really should be a last resort. They have the opportunity to turn a life around here and that's not an exaggeration, I've seen it happen time and time again, that's why working in early years is a privilege, even though it's exhausting!

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7 hours ago, oldbear said:

Thank you Rebecca, yes i agree we are in a privileged position.

We will continue to do our very best for this child and the rest of the cohort.

I think it's just so hard when you don't get the help/support that other educational settings seem to - we are just expected to find the money for extra staff from the pittance we are paid.

I read somewhere that when Phil Hammond was visiting an early years setting this week he told the owner that they should be changing their working model to make more profit... they should 'be like an airport and charge more for busy periods" :o.... well he obviously understands how the funding works then!

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