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  1. #11
    Gothel's Avatar
    Gothel is offline Skip the drama, stay with Mama!
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    I agree that the teacher doesn't sound like she's on top of this, she's taking a bit of a heavy hand with a wee little prep. I think your son needs a safe place he can go when distressed, so that the teacher knows where to find him (preferably in the classroom I guess). I think its a good idea to mention the psych & try to postpone a trip to the principal. If the teacher will work with you in isolation, it might make less of a "deal" of it for your son, and talking about the psych's methods might lend some weight to back up your approach (not that you should need backing up, you're his Mum but you know what I mean)

    I'm on phone so can't see names but many thanks to the PP who mentioned that list of 10 bad things. Dd1 gets very frustrated at little things to the point where she destroys work & refuses to continue, so I will be doing this with her in the very near future. Its an excellent idea!
    ETA it was patsmum, thank you

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    I haven't read all the replies so sorry if I'm repeating all that has been said.

    Firstly I would be asking for a parent teacher meeting, perhaps with some involvement from the psych. Sending him to the principle doesn't seem like a very good method of handling the situation, and perhaps some sort of management plan needs to be put in place to help your son and the teacher.

    Something that may help your son is writing him a "social story", if you google this you will get lots of ideas about how they work. Basically it is a little book directed at your son explaining how he should act/react in certain situations. ie Sometimes at school I don't like it when XYZ happens. This makes me feel angry/sad/hurt/upset etc When this happens i should ask my teacher for help etc. Start the story off positive ie Now that I am a big boy I go to school. At school I like ...... etc. Take some photo's of him in his uniform, and with the teacher, in the playground etc to include in the story to make it personal for him.

    We had to do this for our middle daughter. I wish she had had the confidence to take herself into time out, she would instead just melt into tears and have a panic attack type reaction. We had to teach her that if she felt overwhelmed by a certain situation it was ok to walk away and calm down, and ok to talk to the teacher and ask for help. She never lashed out at other kids, just withdrew into herself and panicked. Now she's in grade 4 and has a great group of friends, she is still shy & reserved but is able to talk to her teachers quite confidently. her social story book really helped her during her first term of school.

    Could you ask the teacher agree on a spot that he can take himself to if he needs some time out, and give him a timer of some sort so he can set it for 3 or 5 minutes and knows that when that time is up he needs to rejoin the class. Maybe giving him some control over the timer might help him feel a bit more in control of the whole situation.

    Poor little man, it is tough for some kids to follow the rules expected of them at school.

    Goodluck.

  3. #13
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    I read your other thread but don't think I got the chance to reply (baby brain though, if I did sorry I'm repeating myself).

    The strategy of giving a child their own 'cool down' place is one that I've used even up to year 6 and I think that his teacher should consider this as a good option for him. It's not babyish, it teaches the child to take responsibility and manage their own behaviour (which it sounds like your son already does to some extent which is great!) She can work with your son so ensure that he takes himself there before he escalates to the point of hiding under a table for 2 hours. For example, while the issues that triggered his self-withdrawl may have seemed small, he may have had 4 other smaller incidents already that day and if he could have had 5 minutes to cool off at the first incident then none of the others would have bothered him.

    It could be a physical place (eg. book corner as PP suggested), a card that he has on his desk (eg. he turns the card to red and that means "leave me alone") or a carpet square which he sits on (so it can go out to specialist classes/sport etc), or anything else that works in his situation. It should be somewhere that keeps him in view of the teacher for duty of care reasons. It gives everyone in the room a chance to know that your son needs to be left alone. The other children should be made aware of the strategy as well so they know when to leave him alone.

    To organise this though you need to make a proper appointment to sit down with his teacher, depending on policies this is the sort of thing that would be put into an individual behaviour plan (or similar - that's a WA term). Having it documented makes it easier for relief teachers etc as well.

    As to the "why now?" question, if he's anything like my DD who has just started her first year of full time school this year, it's probably because he is tired, his brain is full to bursting and he's putting lots of pressure on himself to do his best. Even compared to daycare, school is just so much more tiring for kids. So try to keep his out of school load light at the moment if possible and of course early bed etc (haha, cos that's so easy!).

  4. #14
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    Thank you to everyone who has replied - I'm really grateful for your ideas and support.

    An update: the wheels totally fell off today. After a great morning at home, he switched off the second we got through the school gates and refused to line up, come to class, etc. I ended up staying with him and getting him down to the classroom whereupon he stood in the bag room and refused to move. The teacher (substitute today) came out and could see I was getting upset (I'd used every trick I could think of and was getting SO frustrated) so she said I had to got to work and that she would help him from now.

    Fast forward two hours - my husband gets a call from the principal to say DS has refused to move since I left!!! DH ended up leaving work (god love him) and going into the school. He sat with DS and the principal discussing the situation, and then went back to class with DS who proceeded to have an awesome day, even after DH left. Phew!

    In the meantime, we have met with the principal and discussed the game plan, which is working on a timer of 10 minutes for his timeouts, offering daily rewards after school (like iPad time), a teacher/parent communication book and clearly teaching and remembering the phases of "great day" all the way through to "bad day" and the emotion thermometer. So you clever clever women were all spot on in your advice!!!

    DS was so pleased he had a better afternoon and was also really proud he had apologised to his teacher for the behaviour. I'm thrilled he was able to turn the day around.

    So now, we begin the process of going through all the rules and emotion levels etc and trying to help DS with these moods and shut downs. The principal thinks it has a lot to do with the change from daycare/his friend group/his sister to a new school with all new friends (even though he has been getting along great with them so far), so we are going to organise some playdates etc with boys from his class, and hopefully that will give him more stability.

    The funniest thing was when DH was talking to the Principal who was saying they used the same techniques with another "problem" child (X) and X was responding really well to them. Just as she says this, X comes bolting out of the classroom and across the oval with the teacher in hot pursuit! I shouldn't laugh but it broke the ice for DH which was nice.

    Anyway, thank you all again, I have really appreciated it.

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Shananaaah For This Useful Post:

    Boobycino  (12-03-2013),patsmum  (13-03-2013),Stretched  (12-03-2013)

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    No more help from me, the teachers had no plan, wanted to know what I do at home when he acts like this. He doesn't at home. I suggested they get they school psych in to give them some ideas. Hopeless. If he has not settled by the end of term I am seriously thinking about taking him out and moving on so he can do distance ed again. Not sure it is worth this much upset for him. Pity there is not another school here because I would change schools as he has never had a problem any where else. At least that would either fix it or maybe prove he hates school all together!?!?!? haha

    Oh the joys!

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    Gosh, the poor boy is being responsible by taking himself away from a potentially bad situation. This is an awesome strategy, one we encourage the children at our centre to do. The fact he is recognizing that things are bad and taking actions as to diffuse the situation is awesome. Im an Early Childhood Teacher and Director, and sadly I think your sons teacher needs to revisit her theory around behaviour guidance. What your son is doing is awesome, give the poor boy a break!

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    Shananaaah  (16-03-2013)

  9. #17
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    PS-One thing I should add, we have several children that are learning to manage their emotions and their coping strategy is to tell their educator they need space by flashing their "I need space" card which is kept on the book shelf and then walking to the office to read a book in quiet. They then return when they're ok. We introduced the card so the Educator knew where the child was, rather than just having them disappear, which WOULD be an issue. Perhaps the issue is not that he's taking himself away for space, but maybe that the teacher is scared she's lost him?

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to jaandaw For This Useful Post:

    Shananaaah  (16-03-2013)

  11. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by patsmum View Post
    No more help from me, the teachers had no plan, wanted to know what I do at home when he acts like this. He doesn't at home. I suggested they get they school psych in to give them some ideas. Hopeless. If he has not settled by the end of term I am seriously thinking about taking him out and moving on so he can do distance ed again. Not sure it is worth this much upset for him. Pity there is not another school here because I would change schools as he has never had a problem any where else. At least that would either fix it or maybe prove he hates school all together!?!?!? haha

    Oh the joys!
    Oh patsmum, I'm sorry your meeting went like that!! We have the same issue about the behaviour not (or very very rarely) occurring at home. I hope you find a solution, or the teachers come up with something. Maybe print out this thread and take it in ? Surely they have to have SOME action plan?

    And jaandaw, thank you for your comment and great suggestion! I think I will suggest it to the teacher as it's a great idea.

  12. #19
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    No worried OP, I was actually thinking about it again today and thought that the teacher and ur boy should just agree on a safe space within the classroom for him to go when he needs to. Saves the teacher panicking if she can't see him because he's hiding, just give him a cushion or something cosy for him to go to when a bit cross.

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to jaandaw For This Useful Post:

    Shananaaah  (24-03-2013)

  14. #20
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    I had a meeting with the teacher and the school psych. DS has 2 teachers, one he has been better with and the other he still pushes the boundaries. The psych was not that concerned (compared to other schools she doesn't see the big problem ) she is going to have a look at reasons he gets frustrated at writing, (pretty much it is a lovely school, but very soft and perfect, so your buggered if you stand out a little bit!) It is good to have her assess the situation and the teachers can then be given advice in what needs to be done.

    I am happy now as yes there is some problems, but from her point of view compared to most he is normal. Just not normal enough for his school! lol

    I hope you are having success as well!


 

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