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global delay

Discussion in 'Primary' started by kangaroo.poop, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. while you are fighting a bit of a battle for help with him you need to target his mum. she's his biggest weakness but also his best chance for help.
    would you be able to get her in the classroom to demonstrate to her how you think she should be handling him ( not in a patronising way). if she is all that you have in terms of someone thats keen make use of her. how you do this depends entirely on the relationship you have with her.
  2. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    I have a good relationship with his mum because she knows I am trying my best with him. I quite like the idea of her coming in but he always acts up when she was there. I suppose that makes it easier to show her what to do when he does! Don't know how it would go down with the other parents though.
  3. maybe to stop chin wagging you could do a open invite to parent to come to an open morning to let their kids show them some work. no-one would notice if she is at every session or if she stays behind. they would think she was being a pest.
    i assume you are having her teach him phonics at home with magnetic board or similar. if not thats stuff that you could teach her to do in the classroom.
    or you could ask her to come in at 10 til 11 when no parents are around and the kids are on with a task.
    if he is acting up when she is around then thats probably why she treats him like she does. maybe she needs teaching how to handle his behaviour or to have him see her with a bit more authority (if you get what im trying to say)
    obviously i don't know if this is viable and if you would need a TA or extra help while you are with her.

    i'm picking this as a statement can take months by which time he will i assume be in a different class and it will probably be out of your hands. while you can set the ball rolling it might be the year 3 teacher that benefits from this.
  4. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Thanks. I will see what I can do about getting her in.
  5. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Have you heard of Portage?

    My son has Down Syndrome, and when he was teeny, I had a monthly visit from a worker from the Portage service in my area. They were fab, and one of the best things I got hold of was the Portage Checklist.

    Sometimes it can feel as if there is an enormous mountain to climb, and the teacher/parent/whoever has no idea where to start. The checklist is a long list of skills, from fine/gross motor skills, through cognitive development to social skills and self care. If your littel boy has been seen by them his mum may well have a copy (I filched one for myself!!), which could be enormously helpful to you in giving you a place to start and focus his activities as finely as you can.

    Another resource I used with my son in order to help him with his concepts of number was NUMICON - specifically designed for children with special needs. If you can get hold of a set to help him with his maths, it may help him begin to grasp the concepts.

    And I suppose one of the best things you can do is get a good relationship going with mum. One of the great advantages of Portage is that the professional comes into the home, and can get a really good idea of the sort of hurdles the child is facing there. You are disadvatnged in this regard, so the next best thing is to get to know mum as well as you can, and make sure that you are both working/moving in the same direction.

    Hope this helps :^) xx
  6. correct me if i'm wrong but i thought portage was only for under school age.
  7. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Yes, you're absolutely right. However the checklist goes up to the development (off the top of my head, without digging it out of...actually, I'm not sure where it is!!) of around 6yrs, and so as a resouce for a child with global delay I thought it might be a useful starting point, as presumably he won't be operating at the level of a 'normal' child of his age.

    It might give mum some focus on the activities she does at home with her son too?

    It's also valuable as an assessment tool, as there is a tick chart at the back which can highlight areas of strength and weakness, and therefore where they need extra input.

    It's been a while since I used mine (my son's now 10), but it's worth a look as a means of focussing the mind, if neccessary (and invaluable in the writing of statement statements, as you can very finely pinpoint what the child can do.

    The other service I found fabulous was the Occupational Therapists. After a chat with the SENCO, we decided that it would be quicker if I referred my son rather than the school. They had some very useful info, which I put into place straight away at home, and school nabbed off me as soon as they could!! They had loads of practical solutions and acitivities, and as I'm a doing sort of person, I loved them!

    Hope you find the support you need soon.

  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Those all look like good suggestions. It always surprises me that these things always fall to the class teacher to sort, and there isn't a whole school approach. Mum being keen is problem number one sorted. But it sounds like she needs some tasks to do at home with him that will really capture his attention. Number things need to be concrete and based around his interests.Does she have some money to spend or will it all be provided by the school?
    Numicon sounds great. Also young children love doing number things with those little plastic teddy bears that you can buy big pots of. But there might be something that grabs his attention more successfully - scoobydoo pasta, small cars, toy soldiers, who knows.
    Does she have a DVD player and or computer with CD-rom? I would suggest that there might be quite a few educational DVDs he might benefit from repeatedly watching - and which he might concentrate for - and also CD-roms that would have appropriate material on. e.g. phonics DVDs, some fun basic numbers ones (Numberjacks?) etc
    There are some free websites that might help him improve his reading e.g. starfall?
    If he is the kind of kid that is hooked by a screen this might take the behaviour management problem away from mum for a short while each day, and she could just concentrate on being with him while he completes the on-screen tasks or watches the DVD. He might enjoy a hug during these times so it would become a relaxing time for both of them.
    Can you get your reception teacher involved? It sounds as though there are some elements missing from his education which are the realm of the second half of the reception year maybe. She might have some games, puzzles, other resources that Mum can borrow.

  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Or being controversial, what about Kumon maths and English ........ it would probably cost the LEA a whole lot less than all those special services and might even get him somewhere.
    Is he an old or a young year 2? Any idea what the barriers are to him getting beyond 1b in reading - reading band 4? Is it not remembering the phonic sounds, not getting words into his long term memory, lack of interest in the books available at that level (they are pretty dire for a year 2 child), inability to concentrate.
    Got any volunteers that can work with him one to one?
    Why would "global delay" result in the unpleasant playground behaviour you are describing I wonder?
  10. is he her only child?
    if not she might find it really hard to give him the time he needs. especially if he were to have a younger sibling that demands more time or attention.
    she is really the best bet for bringing him on and if shes keen i'd grab her while she still is.
  11. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I found myself thinking about your situation when I was supposed to be sleeping last night, and I think the OTs might be really helpful to you - particularly with the problem you have with distraction.

    It could be that this little boy is either a.senstitive to stimulation, and therefore finding it difficult to concentrate in a busy classroom setting, or b. insensitive to stimulation, in which case he could be seeking extra stimulation in order to help him make sense of the world (lots of movement, twitching, noises, etc), and there are practical solutions to both of these scenarios.And stimulation can come across all of the senses - for my son it tends to be touch that he is insenstive to. The OTs gave me a whole list of possible problems, after a detailed questionnaire regarding my son, which both I and his class teacher filled in, and there were some really simple steps I took to help him feel settled before even he got to school.
    For instance, riding a bike/scooter, carrying as weighted bag (that threw the school - why on earth was he carrying a bag of rice???!); simple things that made a big difference, and were easy to fit into his day.
    From our experience, it seems that little (even as simple as getting the child to hand out books, put the chairs up on the tables, clean the board - the OT called it 'heavy work') things can make such a difference in getting a child to the point where they are ready to learn - as you have rightly identified, babyish social skills make life very difficult in a primary classroom, but there are basic behavioural techniques that make all the difference.
    A word of caution, however. I spent a lot of time during my son's baby years, with parents of children with special needs. They are a special bunch themselves, and easily depressed/upset. Living with a child with special needs has, shall we say, particular challenges, and parents can often be overtired and fragile. There can often be conflict within the family regarding the special child and their upbringing/education, and many old, negative feelings regarding a diagnosis of a problem. [​IMG] And, let's face it, by Year 2 there have been long years of setting up ways of relating to each other within the family, special child or not. Sometimes the spirit is willing, but, face with the intransigence of a small child, the flesh is weak! (if you know what I mean!)
    I wait with interest to hear how you get on![​IMG]
  12. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Those were very interesting points about stimulation. Do you see these not "average" requirements regarding stimulation as a possible indication of mild autism of some form? Or is this just a common phase in children, and children learn to concentrate outside their comfort zone as they get older?
    Even as adults we all have different ways of concentrating our best - e.g. some people need music, others can't stand it, others need a particular composer, some like dim lighting, others like it bright etc etc.
    Is the problem not that some children have something "wrong" with them and need special help, but that they just do not fit well with the average school environment, and you're never going to get the best learning out of them in that situation?
  13. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I don't claim to know anything about autism (even though though there is a training disc sitting in my hard drive as I type!!) - I suspect (and this is purely a layman's point of view, I would have to check with a real, live OT), that many children (and as you rightly point out, adults) have different needs regarding stimulation - some of us being more sensitive than others. As a child I remember tapping my feet constantly (I must have been very annoying), and now that I'm all grown I am happiest in a state of mild chaos...!
    I think, as far as calssroom practice is concerned, that most children develop coping mechanisms - and some don't. These children can become difficult to teach, so, some simple techniques (depending on the needs of the child), can make all the difference. The qustion is, with all these mulit-agnecies and their plethora of acronyms, where is the classroom teacher to turn to get said help? I am very fortunate to have a paediatric OT as one of my friends!
    I know a little boy (who only has the ordinary needs of the ordinary child) who would fit very well into this category! But there we go, that's a whole 'nother story! Children have such diverse needs - and it is the skill of the teacher to bring them together. Oooh, I'm can feel myself getting all philosophical over the needs of the group (society) vs the needs of the individual...! [​IMG]
    (and here's a question - is the classroom the best place to get the best out of children at all...????)
  14. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Another thought - poor little kid already has global delay, let's not be hasty about giving him the autism label too!
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Well I wasn't too sure from some of the progress info given whether he really did have "global delay" - may be it just depends how global global has to be!!
  16. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    True, true. Not an expert about that either!
    A quick google says that it is significant delay across the developmental milestones of social/emotional, cognitive, fine/gross motor skills and speech and language. It can be caused by a plethora of factors, inc chromosomal abnormailites, traumatic birth, familial factors, etc.
    A challenge, anyway!
  17. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Thanks very much for all the replies.
    Today I had a chat with his mum and she is going to do some fine motor skills and handwriting with him at home and also some work to prepare him for next weeks lessons on shape. I didn't mention coming into the classroom as the head wasn't in today so I couldn't check this was ok. I am getting a pack of work ready for him for half term (practical based maths things - ideas welcome!)
    I found out our numicon so will start with that on Monday.
    I worked 1:1 with him for 15 minutes (not long but better than nothing).
    He also got a detention for kicking!

    I don't see autistic traits in him. He is a baby - very much a baby despite being one of the older year 2s!

  18. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Ah well, take heart from the fact that he's only little - and it wasn't really so long since he was heaved out into the world!!
    Here's a little story to give you something to think over: at home my son is expected to behave as much as possible within the 'normal' expectations for his age group. He was potty trained (clean and dry) by age 3, he was dry at night by age 8, he feeds himself normal food, he is expected to dress himself, and behave himself while out and about. He does not throw tantrums to get his own way at home, and he beats up his younger brother and sister in the way that older siblings tend to do (how DARE they exist?!). He sleeps through the night (mostly). He attends an ordianry main stream school, in his chronological age group. He has Down Syndrome. Yet up until this academic year there was a marked difference between the way he behaved at school and the way he behaved at home. At home he was (generally) calm and well behaved (mostly - he's no angel, and neither am I a perfect parent!), yet at school he seemed to be throwing wobblers the entire time, expecting staff to do everything for him, in other words behaving much more like a baby. I came to the conclusion that that year, he was rising to the lower expectations at school than at home.
    My point is this. It is possible for a child to behave completely differently at home than at school (how many times have we heard this on parents' evening?!). So therefore, you have a good chance of getting your little boy to toe the line with his behaviour. Behavioural methods do take longer with a child with learning difficulties - many times I have felt as if I have mount Everest to climb in only my slippers - and you DO need support, but you CAN get there! Strong, clear, realistic expectations work wonders.[​IMG]
    Ooooh, and the other thing - I never realised the tiny incremental steps I needed to plan for until I had my son - if you make the steps small enough then before you know where you are, you are at the top of a mountain admiring the view. (blimey, I've outdone myslef with my metaphor there, haven't I?) [​IMG]
  19. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    PS I've got a Numicon at Home set - if you can get hold of one of those it might be a nice way of getting them to play together and do some maths at the smae time... I discovered endless supplies of sneakiness when my son was little...![​IMG]
  20. I don't think there are any easy answers to supporting this child but a few thoughts have come to mind (from working with children at a similar level, although older, in a special school). When you don't know the child it's difficult and some are probably way off or you've already tried!
    You wrote-
    'He sometimes lashes out in the yard and take instant dislikes to some of his peers even though they haven't done anything to him.'
    If he has difficulties with both communication and social skills he might find other children challenging to deal with, particularly in unstructured situations such as playtimes. He might not always understand everything they are saying at the speed they are saying it- one child I know can become unhappy with other children for apparently no reason, but we've worked out it seems to be because the other children are functioning (talking, playing) at a speed he can't keep up with making him feel excluded and causing problems with his self-esteem. The child might also struggle with understanding the 'unwritten' social rules that other children seem to follow eg. taking turns.
    Knowing that these things can be problems for a child and doing anything about it can be 2 different things! I don't suppose there are staff available to support? But any input in encouraging simple games that he can participate with might help. Also are there any older children that could be buddies, with a bit of support from staff they might be able to encourage some suitable play ideas?
    You also wrote about his poor concentration skills- adaptations to seating arrangements (if possible) could help with this. Children with learning difficulties can find it very difficult to filter out what is relevant/not relevant, so other people, displays, classroom noise etc. can be very distracting. When you are working 1 to 1 is there any chance of him sitting at a table facing a blank section of wall, ideally with you opposite but if not then you alongside? When he is working independently this would also be a good place for him to sit as there is less to distract him (I know he could still turn round but it's a start!)
    I wonder whether some TEACCH type activities might also be useful? These are designed for children with autism but I find they can be useful with children with other learning difficulties too. A simple version would be to have 2 boxes, one to the left on the table containing simple activities that need to be completed, then one to the right on the table that activities are put in when completed. The activities obviously need to ones that the child can complete independently- puzzles, simple worksheets, sorting or matching activities, cut and stick activities. If you can put some time into developing his skills to do these activities independently then if there are part of lessons that you think he will not benefit from (eg. perhaps longer carpet times or explanations) he could at least be keeping busy and achieving some success. It might not seem he is learning much at this time but learning to concentrate on an activity and work independently is a useful skill in itself. (Sand timers can also help as to how long you expect him to work for).
    Another point about his concentration- sensory integration ideas can be helpful when looking at supporting children with learning difficulies to be 'ready to learn'. As someone else suggested, an OT could hopefully suggest some activities depending on his needs that might help with this (eg. some children need 'alerting' before work which can be helped by bouncing on a gym ball or trampette before starting an activity, or some children might need calming which can be provided by hand massage, or heavy muscle work such as carrying heavy bags or pushing a trolley).
    You wrote- 'He struggles to even count 1:1 because he misses out some of the objects or rushes the words he is saying'.
    Ideas for this- try activities where he has to put the objects into a pot on the other side of the table as he counts them, so he has to slow down and hopefully have more time to think about saying one number as he moves one object. Also try him having large dots or squares in a line on paper, he puts the objects he has, one on each dot, then moves them down one at a time into a line below the dots, saying a number as he moves each down. It's just another way of slowing it all down a bit.
    You wrote- 'He has basically no understanding of + or - and does not remember methods at all. He does however recognise numbers to 20 but he doesn't have an understanding of the size of numbers.'
    This probably requires lots more practical work with objects. To start with pick one way of doing addition and one way of doing subtraction and practise these over and over again. Eg. for addition always use 2 small plates (put an amount on each) and move both groups onto one big plate to count the total. For subtraction start with one big box, then move out the objects that are being taken away into a smaller box and count the remainder. In the end he might start to associate the operation with that equipment and start to get the idea. You'd obviously need to generalise the ideas later but it would be a start!
    Thinking about the size of numbers, perhaps have a number line with the correct numbers of dots (or objects) under each number, then count up the number line looking at how the amounts get bigger as you count up.
    You wrote- 'Speech and language have given him a program which he does weekly in school (no improvements made).'
    Weekly is unlikely to be enough, loads of repetition is likely to be needed so little and often would be ideal (I know not always possible!) are there are any parent helpers or older children who could help? Also see if you can have a good talk to the speech therapist. Make sure they have done a thorough assessment of his receptive and expressive langauge. What does he understand? Is it sentences with 3 key words? (eg. man eating apple), in which case instructions in class such as 'Draw a picture of the Gingerbread Man running away from the fox' are likey to be too hard for him to understand, everything needs to be modified don to his level.
    You wrote- 'A local authority SEN specialist comes in weekly and although he knows his stuff there has been no impact'.
    Do you really mean NO impact? If so then something is wrong and you need to have a serious conversation with the SEN teacher. Or has there been some impact, just not as quickly as you might expect? As frustrating as it can be, progress with some children with SEN can be very slow, pick a couple of key areas and make sure you set small, realistic targets (they can always be extended if he achieves them) so you and he can achieve some success.
    You wrote 'My SENCO has said a statement is unlikely and although I have asked for help they haven't really done anything.'
    I would pursue this and perhaps get mum on your side to push a little more for some support. There is such variation between different areas in terms of provision but th general situation seemsto be the louder you shout the more you get!
    I think you are obviously in a difficult position with this child and it must be incredibly hard work to support him as one child amongst a whole class. One thing I would say is that some of what you wrote sounded a little negative (perhaps understandably!), just try and make sure this child doesn't pick up on this negativity. School probably feels like really hard work to him and his self-esteem seems likely to be suffering if he sees that he can't do what others can. The system is letting him down if there isn't support to enable him to work and make progress at his own level. That obviously isn't your fault, but you and his mum are the best chance he's got of something changing to give him the best chance of success! So keep going and good luck!

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