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Guest Libra

I'm new here but wondered if anyone could help.


A 4year old started at the nursery in Aug 2003. In the first week, she was into everything (a whirlwind you might say) but because she had never attended a childcare setting before there was no real concern, we thought it was just excitement.


Over the last few months we have become increasingly worried about her strange behaviour especially compared to the others in our setting.. when a carer sits or plays with her on a 1:1 basis, her attention is excellent, she may remain at one activity upto and over a hour in length. However, we cannot always provide the 1:1 care which she so obviously needs.


Specific observations made have been -


- language- has difficulty forming sentences, shouts rather than speaks, often uses abusive language or swears

- Physical- runs/walks on tiptoes, cannot sit still for long periods, we have identified some problem with her balance

- social- very rarely makes eye contact, often hits out physically towards other children even though there is no provication, although she does try to join in with other children's games.

- she does not know her colours, shapes, numbers, or letters, although we are now just beginning to see some improvement in that area.

- Although she eats well through out the day, she has begun to eat paper and tissue that is around the nusery, more specifically this week when my back was turned she removed tissue from the toilet bowl and began eating it, when I approached the mother to discuss this she didn't appear concerned about how serious this is.


I have mentioned to my supervisor, that I believe we should contact the Early Years SENCO and we are in the process of making detailed observations.


I know this is a long post but if anyone has any ideas what the reasons for this behaviour could be I would be very grateful. I have not had special needs training hense the reason for asking for help.


Look forward to replies


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Libra, hi


I teach children with a wide range of special needs, but am no expert.

However, there certainly sounds as if there's something going on with this little girl.


You have already made a good couple of steps, mainly the recorded observations. What activities does she concentrate at most? What activities does she not?


Does she shout out at any particular time, at anyone or in frustration?


One thing that may help, and I don't mean to teach you to suck eggs, but Speak to her in short, simple phrases, eg cup down, coat on, finish now etc. Signing often helps in these situations and there are many places to find out more about this.


If you like you could email me privately if you'd like more advice or support and with more details as you get them.


Let us know how you get on.



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Hi Libra

thanks for your post and welcome to the site. It's very difficult when you don't come across children with special needs very often to know how to deal with them. I would suggest that you carry on as you are making observations on a daily basis and keeping a record. You need to get somebody in as soon as possible but need parental permission to do this-we have a child at the moment we are concerned about. He is very aggressive, poor concentation unless with an adult, flits from one area to another. We asked his parents to contact their health visitor and was it ok for our early years advisor to observe him.

We are at the stage now where they, the advisor and health visitor, are going to refer him on. You need outside agencies now to confirm your concerns. The early years senco would be a good starting point. But ensure that you are involving parents at every stage.


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