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Class with lots of SEN, Behaviour & emotional needs- Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by sophie3, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. sophie3

    sophie3 New commenter

    Just needed another perspective on my class as I am at the end of my tether and so is my poor Nursery Nurse. We have 28 chn in the class, 18 boys and 10 girls. One child has just been diagnosed with Autism and we are in the process of collecting evidence for a statement. He spends most of his day enacting a computer game he plays at home (mum wont stop him playing it) hitting, pushing and spitting other children unless he has 1-1 support, even then we have to use 'Team Teach' methods to hold him at least 2 times a day to stop him hurting himself or others. One child has emotional and behaviour problems and needs adult support just to get through the day- has never had any pre-school experience & doesn't know how to make friends. One child has global developmental delay, and we are waiting for an ed psych assessment to try to start the statementing process, if you leave him alone he will just sit and cut a piece of paper into a million pieces, or push other children over in an attempt to talk to them I think but is severely limited in his communication skills, and one child has behaviour problems (I think learnt behaviours- he used to just run round in circles, but we have now managed to get him to stay at an activity of his choosing for 3 minutes) and can hurt other children. 43% of the class are summer born and have very limited independent skills.
    I have put every thing into place I can think of e.g. visual timetables, ensure each child has adult time each day to work on an IEP target, or help them to make friends by playing a game together of their choosing, and many many more.
    This week has been a nightmare, I have had a queue of parents at the door complaining that their child has been hurt by one of the above chn & what am I doing about it. I have been explaining all the interventions put in place & how we are sorting out the situation but things do take time, and we will keep an extra eye out for their child etc but they are going away still angry.
    I just dont know what to do any more, there are too many issues for 2 people to handle, the school has no budget so cant afford to buy in anyone else. I feel guilty all the time because I dont spend enough time with any of the children. The head is very supportive as is the SENCO but at the end of the day I have to try to teach these chn and end up crisis managing instead of teaching.
    This is not the first time I have had a number of SEN chn in my class, and usually by this time of the year there are signs of improvement, I think the problem this time is that all 4 chn are violent and hurt others and often for no reason at all.
    Has anyone had this situation before? Can anyone think of anything I can do to make the day more productive for everyone?

    Thank you in advance
  2. First of all well done for coping so far!! You have my sympathy!!

    Are you nursery or reception? I ask because if you are a nursery class you have 2 children over the legal limit of 26 if it is just you and one NN.

    However I will assume you are reception. When I was in your situation my HT was great, if any of the children kicked off he took them to his office for time out. You say your HT is supportive then perhaps this is what should be happening. Also refer your parents to the HT he/she should be speaking to them you have enough pressure!!

    Get the school to get outside agencies in as soon as possible, you need their advice. The parents need to be involved too. Can you set up reward charts something to match their interests e.g. pictures of trains. They have to earn a certain amount before they gain an agreed reward with their parents, this strategy was advised by the team that observed my classroom. Also at the beginning of every day my HT kept one boy until all the children were in then he brought him down to join us.

    With this sort of behavior in the classroom you do have to have a more structured day and the visual timetable is a must.

    Sorry not much help!! Good luck!
  3. sophie3

    sophie3 New commenter

    Thank you for your comments [​IMG]
    I am in a Reception class. We have had behaviour support in for the child with Autism so get someone for 2 afternoons a week, however she is secondary school trained & has no idea how to react to a small child, therefore I don't find these afternoons helpful as I am spending them training her! This is being relayed back to behaviour support.
    I have tried the part time with two of the children and we have built up their sessions to full time, mainly from pressure from parents (who are finding behaviour at home challenging & behaviour support did not like fact we asked them to do part time!)
    There is limited support with parents, one not interested (Autisic child mum- going through marriage break up and pleased to have him out of her hair as she put it for the day), Mum of child with emotional issues currently caring for her mum in hospital & child staying with family friends so I dont feel I can talk to her at the mo, as she has enough on her plate- though we are referring family to try & get a family support worker involved. Other two parents were very supportive at first, but trailed off now.
    Thank you for the suggestions I did have a reward chart up & running but they were not ready for that at the beginning of the year, perhaps I will try again.
    Today has been a nightmare day again spitting and kicking adults & children. The problem is there is no trigger so can't predict when it is going to happen!
    Still at least it is Friday!!!!!!!
  4. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I was in a similar situation last term, only I didnt have HT support at first and kept being told that everyone forgets how bad they seem at the start of the year! We also had a very vocal set of parents who were complaining about their kids being hurt and stirring things up in the playground. If there really is no money, then I think the head should take them for large parts of the day when they kick off. My head does this to calm them down/ punish as need be and I only have nursery. This is the first time in my career, i have had to resort to scary head tactics with 3 year olds. I also now have a couple of other Tas that can be borrowed from other classes on bad days. However I try to avoid this as I dont think it fair on other staff. As to the complaining parents, send them to the heads, its amazing what help materialises when they have a line of complaining parents at the door.
  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    I am sorry to hear you have had yet another awful day.
    Could you try your early years SEN team for strategies?
    Strategies! Hark at me!
    what you need are pairs of hands. Pairs of hands with specific training in behavioural support.
    So what sanctions have you got up and running?
    This reminds me of a year when I had four wild boys. I got an untrained inexperienced class room assistant and he was watching them one day when I taught phonics.. reading them a story or other similar activity - and they all ran away from him in different directions around the school. I am still laughing to this day. One of these children was known to run around on the window ledges knocking everything off while swearing something horrible.
    But he turned out really lovely at the end of key stage one. I used to hug him when he arrived and tell him he was a lovely boy. Before the day went badly and we fell out. Eventually it became a self fulfilling prophesy. Not sure the others turned out happily though.
  6. sophie3

    sophie3 New commenter

    Lol NellyFUF- if we can't laugh about these things what can we do!
    I've had a weekend to think about it and I have decided I am going to start hounding people for more useful strategies starting with the Early Years SEN team. It sounds like bliss to have the head come and take the chn when they are finding things hard, I dont want to start using scary tactics with the chn, but the rest of the class are important too, and I need to think of them. I do also start the day giving each child a hug and saying how pleased I am to see them.
    I have currently in place: visual timetables, behaviour chart, a cosy den- for when the classroom can get too much, balls to roll over Autistic child- calms him down, quiet time for 1-1 attention for these chn while others go to assembly, ummmm marble jar,
    Anything else I could do? Needs to be practical though as no pairs of hands :)
  7. natt180

    natt180 New commenter

    Hi Sophie,
    Well done for getting this far. My class is exactly the same and as you have already stated budget is so tight that the option of getting in another pair of hands is simply not there. The main thing is that your SLT are supportive this is so essential but I feel like they need to spend more of their free time helping out in your classroom. Budget is tight and flexibility is needed. In addition to this send the disruptive children out to the office as many times a day as you need to, you and the rest of the class need the break. While the needs of these children are important why should the rest of the children in the class constantly be ignored and suffer at their exspense? Also perhaps your Senco could come into the class and work with these children 1:1 whenever he/she is free. If it is any help we made up a 'special box' for our SEN children and we filled it with bits and bobs that we new they loved (a trip to argos was needed) to help them concentrate and to entice them to carry out certain routines ect
    In regards to parents I would start forwarding them onto your head. It is completely understandable that they are upset and angry that their children keep coming home injured at the hands of your violent children but you are doing all you can and I would send them onto your head before they seek out the head themselves at a later date.
    You are doing an amazing job keep positive :)
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I've got a list of little boys who're going to get Big Hugs from me this week!

    Actually, most of them really are lovely boys, even if their mothers areblind to their shortcomings.

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