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Help with SEN child

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jwteacher, May 1, 2012.

  1. jwteacher

    jwteacher New commenter

    I have a class of 28 Y3 children, nine of whom have special needs, mainly in Literacy, and who require some extra support throughout the week to fully access the curriculum and make expected progress. So far, so normal.
    One of the children, 'R', has considerable special needs. He has global developmental delay (so has difficulty dressing, eating etc), is blind in one eye and has limited vision in the other. His medical needs mean he is at heightened risk of retinal detachment meaning he must be constantly watched to ensure he does not bang his head. He has limited speech and significantly underdeveloped gross and fine motor skills. He can recognise single letters and is learning to write his name. He can count up to 12 reliably and can add single digit numbers with equipment such as cubes. He will focus on a task for up to ten minutes with adult support, but for far less time without. My problem is that my support for him has been cut to 6 hours per week (down from 15, which still wasn't enough) 1-2-1 time with a SEN teaching assistant. I am struggling massively with this. I can't teach the rest of the class without interruption from him as his attention span is so limited. I am struggling to find meaningful activities that he can do independently so I can work with the class or a group. Obviously, some of my time I can work 1-2-1 with him, but not the 20 hours a week that it is just me and him and 27 other children!
    Can anyone advise me? Can you point me in the direction of any good resources or ideas that I can try with him? Maybe something that my LSA can start with him and then he can continue independently? Our SENCO is currently off on long term sick and the senior leadership team are not being remotely helpful - there response is that he is a member of my class and I need to find ways to help him access the curriculum. I am not disputing that but I am really struggling and I don't think that anyone in my class at present is getting a good enough education while I juggle unsuccessfully. I have been threatened with capability if I do not get this sorted.
    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. jwteacher

    jwteacher New commenter

    I have a class of 28 Y3 children, nine of whom have special needs, mainly in Literacy, and who require some extra support throughout the week to fully access the curriculum and make expected progress. So far, so normal.
    One of the children, 'R', has considerable special needs. He has global developmental delay (so has difficulty dressing, eating etc), is blind in one eye and has limited vision in the other. His medical needs mean he is at heightened risk of retinal detachment meaning he must be constantly watched to ensure he does not bang his head. He has limited speech and significantly underdeveloped gross and fine motor skills. He can recognise single letters and is learning to write his name. He can count up to 12 reliably and can add single digit numbers with equipment such as cubes. He will focus on a task for up to ten minutes with adult support, but for far less time without. My problem is that my support for him has been cut to 6 hours per week (down from 15, which still wasn't enough) 1-2-1 time with a SEN teaching assistant. I am struggling massively with this. I can't teach the rest of the class without interruption from him as his attention span is so limited. I am struggling to find meaningful activities that he can do independently so I can work with the class or a group. Obviously, some of my time I can work 1-2-1 with him, but not the 20 hours a week that it is just me and him and 27 other children!
    Can anyone advise me? Can you point me in the direction of any good resources or ideas that I can try with him? Maybe something that my LSA can start with him and then he can continue independently? Our SENCO is currently off on long term sick and the senior leadership team are not being remotely helpful - there response is that he is a member of my class and I need to find ways to help him access the curriculum. I am not disputing that but I am really struggling and I don't think that anyone in my class at present is getting a good enough education while I juggle unsuccessfully. I have been threatened with capability if I do not get this sorted.
    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  3. I am so sorry that I can't think imediately of anything that will make a difference to your life and that of the children in your class.
    I am very lucky to be in a position where the delays of my children are supported by 3 additional adults - full time. Any strategies I use will not be possible with 6 hours of support. I am so sorry you are in this tricky position - I really do understand that it is not easy for you.
    I also think you have got the rough end of the stick when it comes to your SENCo being off and your leadership team being a bit unhelpful. We always say that it isnt the teachers problem in a situation like this but that it is a school problem and we all pull together to help for the good of all involved - other teachers from across the school included. I know I am in a very different school to you though.
    Again, I am sorry I don't have answers but I didnt like to read and run. I decided that a response - even if only sympathetic would be better than none at all. I do really feel for you.
    :)
     
  4. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Interestingly i've just made a thread earlier asking about SEN activities that are independent due to a lack of 1:1 adult support. Will keep an eye on this and maybe you could look at mine when some replies come in... I don't know the answer yet.
     
  5. Keep telling your SLT this - you should be able to get extra SEN support for this child.
     
  6. What do you think to the idea of giving him a task that he has to complete (that would take up to 10 minutes) and, when he proves he has done it, he can have 5 minutes' reward. I really don't think that's unreasonable. It sounds as though this would be all he could sustain anyway and it might help motivate him to complete his work independently. That should start to free up some of your time and attention for the others. There's also nothing wrong with sometimes asking the other children to partner him in an activity. I'd share this role amongst a few so it's not always the same one. These pupils can gain from this too, socially and academically: by explaining how to complete a task they are developing their literacy skills as well as those for the specific subject.

    Are there any specific subjects/topics you're doing where you're stuck? That might help focus our suggestions. I'll continue thinking about this too.
     
  7. Having re-read your post, I thought of the following (though you may well have already thought of these yourself):

    fine motor skills: using tweezers to transfer small objects from one tray/pot to another. There's another thread somewhere from not too long ago about fine motor skills/tweezer activities. If I find it, I'll post the link. It included a good idea about rescuing the stars (hologram sequins) from alien slime (cheap hair gel).

    art - making a collage perhaps to go with your topic/story; gluing pasta shells to paper (perhaps counting the right number to put in different shapes)

    maths - numicon - see Lillipad's thread for more on this

    making letters in sand/paint/finger painting his name/using different things to make his name

    Gross motor skills - throwing and catching a ball, with a partner (could be part of his reward)

    Just a point re his gross motor skills, the whole class could benefit from stopping now and then to do some brain gym type moves. Other gross motor skill stuff is hard I think without a second person involved.

    I'll keep thinking.
     

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