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permanent classroom exclusion

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by maggieDD, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    I work as a 121 LSA for an almost 7 year old statemented child with behavioural problems. He has been excluded for violence towards adults and children 18 times
    since the beginning of the school year. However, since the beginning of
    February I have been requested to keep him out of the classroom (as he
    does not participate in lessons and is very disruptive) His mother has
    made arrangements to send him to a special school in September, but
    until then he is not in class for mornings and most of the afternoon. I attempt to integrate him into class for some lessons but he usually ends up dragging chairs around, slamming doors or shouting and throwing things.
    I have to plan all of his activities (he refuses to write anything, so most of his learning is play based) I am finding this very difficult as he has an extremely short attention span and this is my first position (since September last year)

    We spend most of the day in a small cold room with sofas that he uses to bounce all over and trying to get him to do anything that he hasn't decided to do is virtually impossible.
    Any advise would be welcome
     
  2. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    I work as a 121 LSA for an almost 7 year old statemented child with behavioural problems. He has been excluded for violence towards adults and children 18 times
    since the beginning of the school year. However, since the beginning of
    February I have been requested to keep him out of the classroom (as he
    does not participate in lessons and is very disruptive) His mother has
    made arrangements to send him to a special school in September, but
    until then he is not in class for mornings and most of the afternoon. I attempt to integrate him into class for some lessons but he usually ends up dragging chairs around, slamming doors or shouting and throwing things.
    I have to plan all of his activities (he refuses to write anything, so most of his learning is play based) I am finding this very difficult as he has an extremely short attention span and this is my first position (since September last year)

    We spend most of the day in a small cold room with sofas that he uses to bounce all over and trying to get him to do anything that he hasn't decided to do is virtually impossible.
    Any advise would be welcome
     
  3. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Sounds like your having a real tough time, I can relate to this, as
     
  4. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Goodness knows what happend here i will try again.
    Sounds like your having a tough time of it. I can relate to this I am supporting a yr 3 child with ADHD who was very abusive physical and verbal, but things have very much improved now thank goodness.
    I would suggest if you haven't done this already finding out what makes him tick, does he have any special interests like cars, BenTen dinosaurs etc then perhaps work on this for now. You could suggest he brings in a few items, you could both talk and play then he does something for you, then back to his items. Please be aware that bringing items in could also act as a weapon should he become violent so he will have to be told firmly that if this ever happens the items will have to be removed. I think the important thing here is to keep things calm and settled and getting him on side so to speak, once this has been achieved work from there. I do believe that all children even those with SEN need routine rules and boundaries. At first my 1-1 hated the thought of rules etc he would be very violent like your 1-1 but I stuck at it and he now knows ( which took 5 months) the routines and what happens when boudaries are crossed he has accepted this, there obviously are days when he still has bad days and makes the wrong choices but overall things have improved greatly. I wouldn't even worry about school work at the moment the important thing is to try and keep him calm settled in a routine and get him on side so to speak then take it from there. You could then slowly introduce a visual timetable adding things on as you go. Do you have access to a computer this could save the stress of writing.
    Without sounding rude to you is this your first role as a 1-1, if so its a lot to ask someone new to the position to support a child with these difficulties.
    This won't be an easy task and I wish you well please keep us informed how you are getting on.
     
  5. tamtams

    tamtams New commenter

    Sorry about my posting being repetative in parts I think my laptop has developed a mind of its own, hope you get the idea of what I am trying to say.
     
  6. This is not an acceptable position for you to be in. I know this happens to lots of LSAs but it is the responsibility of the teacher to plan his work. If they want to ask you for your feedback and input that's great but this isn't what's happening. As you suggest in the title of this thread, this boy has effectively been excluded. If he'd been officially excluded, though, the teacher would have to set work. I know you're in a really difficult position but it's not fair on your or this child for this situation to continue. If you can't get anywhere with the teacher, can you speak to the SENCO, your line manager or another TA? I don't just want to fob you off with unhelpful comments but this is beyond your level of experience and is certainly beyond your job description and level of pay.
     
  7. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    Thank you both for your replies.

    I have spoken to the SENCO (unfortunately she is only in once a week and has to deal with the other children in the school for the majority of the day) She basically said 'you're creative, you'll be fine' and when I say that actually I'm struggling she just comes back with a few ideas I could do, which doesn't help because I need a more structure consistant plan.
    Behaviour support have visited regularly and I've aired my concerns with them, they have spoken to the head and SENCO on my behalf but things still haven't changed.
    Basically, the teacher and head just wants him out of the class, they don't even ask what he's doing all day.
    I have tried my best, using Numicon for his maths (which works only when he's in the mood) and as he likes to draw we make lots of books (I do the writing)
    What I struggle with mostly is his rudeness. Although he clearly has issues (whether both psychological and physiological isn't known as he hasn't been diagnosed) he still is capable of being a spoilt rude child and I feel that - for example, he threw a tantrum yesterday because I wouldn't carry him to lunch.
    I have one morning away from him where I swap with another TA (there is no option to increase this respite) and I'm finding it intensively stressful.
    Despire telling the head this I feel she just wants him silenced until he goes at the end of term.
     
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    If a child has been excluded so frequently, especially one who is not yet in KS2, I would expect that the school must have set up a pastoral support plan and involved the LA. What does the Educational Psychologist recommend? If he has a statement of SEN, the EP must have been involved at some stage. The decision must also have been made that he requires alternative provision for KS2, probably as a result of his annual review. Unless his mother is making private arrangements, I can't see that a change in provision would take place without a decision by the LA.
    However, it is clear that you need more support than you are getting at present. Keeping him out of the classroom may be beneficial for the teacher and other pupils,but you need training and strategies to use with him, especially as this is your first position. Although I'm a qualified teacher, I have worked as a TA and been in a similar position. It's very lonely and I certainly felt that it was my responsibility and mine only! However, SEN is the responsibility of the class teacher too. Ask if you can have some training from your LA behaviour support organisation. Otherwise it's going to be a very long term and the pupil is not going to learn more positive behaviours if he is always outside the classroom.
     
  9. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    Thanks :)

    I have never met his EP, she has never attended any of the review meetings we've had. It seems that he is being let down dreadfully by all of the 'professionals' involved. CAMHS have not been helpful at all, his psychotherapist has tried to move him down to tier 2 (he is currently on 3, although some of his actions/words; wishing he was dead, etc, suggest to me that he should perhaps be moved up to 4)
    His mother isn't concerned at all that he isn't receiving a proper curriculum led education. It feels more like a child minding job to be honest and no matter how often I air my concerns I don't get anywhere. I have had positive behaviour training, but to be honest I was implementing all of their suggestions before hand. The only thing I gained from that was how to restrain correctly.
    Is it actually legal to have him out of the classroom all of the time? His IEP states that I should work towards getting him in the class for 20% of the day, but the moment we go back into class he will cause such disruption that he knows he'll have to go that's exactly what he wants; he boasts to the other children that he doesn't have to do 'work'.
    The room we use has two sofas in and he will spend the majority of the time bouncing and clambering over them, rather than doing the work I've set.
     
  10. I can't really offer any advice on top of what other people have already said to you but I just wanted to say I really feel for you-it sounds like an absolutely horrible situation to be in!
     
  11. Just to follow on from what senteachinginfo has said, which is all good advice. You could do a now and next. The now is what you choose for the child to do, as in work etc, and the next could be something of his choice and do it like that until everything else is more settled.
     
  12. maggieDD

    maggieDD New commenter

    Thank you so much, really helpful stuff there.

    He isn't actually doing any 'work' as such because the head's just concerned about keeping his behaviour in check. His problem seems to be mostly with dealing with any mistakes he makes (and this is when he's doing something he likes, like drawing or playing on the computer) I attempted to get him to write a couple of words yesterday and he point blank refused and threatened to have a 'strop' It really is like getting blood out of a stone getting him to do anything vaguely academic. When I mention this to the head or senco they tell me not to try at all and just to let him do fun activities.
    Problem is, I'm running out of ideas! He has such a short attention span and something that he enjoyed one day would be a no go area the next.
    Also, he appears to be not wanting to engage in the things he likes anymore either. Yesterday, for example, we did some research on nocturnal animals and looked at bat's habitats. He chose a book and was going to draw a picture of a cave but then he asked me to draw it instead. I tried to compromise by drawing the outline (he's a very good drawer and could have easily done it himself) but then he threw a wobbly because I wouldn't do the whole picture.
    I feel like the more choice he's given, the worse he is becoming. I have tried the rewards approach with him but it failed miserably. If he thinks he needs to do something in order to get something he gets extremely stressed, shouting that he can't do it, etc
    Regarding BESD I have asked the senco what she's suggests and she just says play 'turn taking' games with him. Which I do, every day, and unless he wins he has a major meltdown.
    I think the problem is that I'm finding it too much, all day, every day in isolation is far too wearing (and him sneezing all over me last week has given me a ruddy cold on top of everything)! Ok, I'm just moaning now!
     
  13. 'Fun activities' are all very well but a lack of structure only make things worse. The rewards approach will fail unless it's linked to a clear behaviour programme with consistent rewards and sanctions. He sounds bored and seems to have very low self-esteem. Avoiding doing any work at all is not going to help his self-esteem. For his sake and yours I don't think it's a good idea to continue to just play games all day every day. Play based learning is very effective when done right but it can't be done right when you're shut up in the same room day in day out. It works in the foundation stage because they have carefully thought out activities and a range of areas and resources for pupils to access. It is natural that when you begin any rewards system he will display challenging behaviour because he is trying to get you to drop the whole thing so he can avoid doing any work. His lack of confidence in his ability is real and the only way he will start to believe that he can do something is to actually do it. This means starting out with activities that he can definitely achieve, building up the level of challenge. Could you talk to staff in your foundation stage for ideas if you're not getting anywhere with the SENCO and class teacher? I must - once again - point out that this is not your responsibility but if no one else is going to accept it, maybe that's your next step.

    I just want to reiterate that a common response when starting a rewards approach is that 'it doesn't work'. It takes effort and stamina to see it through and then it does work but you have to have a well-thought out behaviour plan, with clear expectations (clear for all staff and the pupil), and rewards that actually mean something to the pupil. If he is used to getting to do what he wants without having to do any work then of course he is not going to like it initially when you tell him he has to work first. However, if you don't stick it out, then the situation won't improve on its own.
     
  14. This is a very difficult situation for any class teacher, however skilled and experienced, and for the other children... and for the child himself. For 18 years i've been a dramatherapist working in schools with children such as this child. Before that (and occasionally since) i've been a teacher. I don't tend to mix my hats, but the dual experience helps my work.

    My suggestion is that specialised family work would be useful.
    Dramatherapy with Children, Young People and Schools: enabling creativity,
    sociability, communication and learning, pub. Routledge
    Editors: Lauraine Leigh, Irvine Gersch, Ann Dix, Deborah Haythorne.
    25+ contributors write as many chapters, from across the multi-disciplinary team and Europe.
    Professor Gersch leading Child and Educational Psychologist (UEL) joins leading dramatherapists, clinical psychologist, psychodramatist, CAMHS primary healthcarers, environmentalists, play therapist, social worker, teachers, parents.
    Case studies give schools a real picture of how, what, why, where dramatherapy. We work with children who have all emotional and psychological needs and diagnoses. 'Holding the family in the heart of school' Chapter 25, gives more of a picture of work i offer.
    Please see link:
    <u><font size="3">http://www.psypress.com/dramatherapy-with-children-young-people-and-schools-9780415670760</font></u> As keynote speaker for a conference on education in Malta, hosted by the Ministry of Education and Creative Arts Therapy team, (May 16th 2012) i offer tailor-made workshops and staff training to schools. Please don't hesitate to ring me: 01189 402 670.
     

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