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I would apprciate any advice any of you can give me reguarding a child in my setting.


she has benn attending nursery for three terms now in the afternoon session and is due to join a reception class in January. She is 4 years old.


I am concerned as she hasn't made any progress since joining us when she started nursery she took a while to settle and needed constant adult support.


She comes into nursery ok now but still needs to be left with an adult, the activity that she settles at is where she stays all afternoon not joining in just watching or staring she talks to adults but only when they ask her questions the rest of the time she is slient and sometimes dosen't respond to the adults talk. She dosen't interact with any of the children.


In previous terms she would just flop onto an adults lap this has stopped now only because adults have had to be firm and encourage her to sit on a chair next to them but she hasn't made any other progress or gained any independence.


I observed her for 10 mins today she just sat on a chair even when the adult who was supporting her moved she stayed there she got up at one point then sat back down again.


It is a difficulut process just to get her to move she dosen't play with anything. She is extremly shy and lacks confidence and has a nervous disposition when she dose move it's like she is an old frail lady not a 4 year child all bent over and really slow.


I have never seen her run, rarely smile, join in, or find anything remotely exciting or interesting.


I have expressed concerns to my superior that this is more than just a lack of confidence.


What do you all think? does it sound to you that she might have deeper problems?


I would love to hear any views you have as you are all highly experienced and professional people.


Has anyone had a child like this in their setting? what can I do to help? apart from supporting and encouraging her as much as we can!! all advice welcome.



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It certainly sounds as though this little girl is unhappy for some reason. Have you spoken to her parents about her. How does she behave at home? Are they concerned? If she is apparently very lively at home then you could perhaps ask a parent to come and spend some time in the setting with her, playing and joining in. It might help her to make her way in, or the parent might notice anything the child is finding hard or scary. If the child is like this at home too it might be worth suggesting the family see the health visitor, or ask the health visitor to ring you. Lack of sleep is a fairly common cause of very listless behaviour, but she may need to see a doctor to check her out for other causes eg anaemia. Good luck!

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I agree, see what the parents tell you about her personality at home, I think support from health Visitor and maybe SENCO will be useful to help find out the causes for her reluctance to join in.


How do the other children respond to her?



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Thanks for your replies I will suggest to the teacher of the class that we should talk to her parents this can be difficulut as she is looked after by grandparents and we rarely see her parents perhaps we can invite them in to talk about our concerns and work out how to help her best.


At parents evening mum didn't express any concerns I don't know what her behaviour is like at home.


The other children tend to not notice her or ignore her as she dosen't respond to them some have wanted to play with her but she got upset when other children approached her.



I just want to help her as much as possible so thanks for your comments.

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