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Unaware of others feelings

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by legoearth, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I work with a girl with hemiplegia . She is over weight,lazy and pampered. She is classed as lower ability but I am discovering she is much brighter than previously assumed. She just doesn't try! Mom still dresses her ( I DON'T when it comes to PE she can manage well,I just hover around just in case). She expects the other children to fetch things for her and will jst sit and do nothing rther than fetch a pencil/rubber or what ever. I do understand her difficulties with shortening of limbs and paralysis on left side and some sight problems. I have worked with several children with the same disability and always encourage them to e as independant as possible (year 6) . Today though I was really shocked with a comment she made about the way a boy she knows looks. He has extremely 'buck' teeth. She laughed and laughed about how funny he looks. Any ideas how to deal with this, I've never come across such blatant lack of understanding of others feelngs,even from some of the really nasty kids in school! Her class mates are always kind to her and look after her even,as I said, some of the not so 'nice' kids. This is a main stream multi cultural school.
     
  2. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    I work with a girl with hemiplegia . She is over weight,lazy and pampered. She is classed as lower ability but I am discovering she is much brighter than previously assumed. She just doesn't try! Mom still dresses her ( I DON'T when it comes to PE she can manage well,I just hover around just in case). She expects the other children to fetch things for her and will jst sit and do nothing rther than fetch a pencil/rubber or what ever. I do understand her difficulties with shortening of limbs and paralysis on left side and some sight problems. I have worked with several children with the same disability and always encourage them to e as independant as possible (year 6) . Today though I was really shocked with a comment she made about the way a boy she knows looks. He has extremely 'buck' teeth. She laughed and laughed about how funny he looks. Any ideas how to deal with this, I've never come across such blatant lack of understanding of others feelngs,even from some of the really nasty kids in school! Her class mates are always kind to her and look after her even,as I said, some of the not so 'nice' kids. This is a main stream multi cultural school.
     
  3. This is an interesting one, it sounds as though much of this attitude is coming from home. There may be a level of co-dependency between her and Mum. It would be worth getting Mum in to talk about a plan to encourage her independence. Mum may be reluctant and she may also be unaware that her child is more than capable of getting dressed on her own. If you work out a set of targets that everyone agrees you have should get Mum's co-operation. It may be worth dressing this as preapartion for the change to secondary. Find out too what the child wants, it may be fear that stops her from becoming independent.
    I would also talk to Mum about the incident regarding the lack of understanding. Mum is the best person to deliver the hard hitting and obvious message. "You look different too is it OK for people to laugh at you?". Really all you can do directly is point out that her behaviour is unacceptable. Anything more and you may find yourself in trouble with Mum. Gaining Mum's co-operation is key to all of this.
     
  4. Sorry strange bug did not allow me to edit a couple of typos in last post. Also wanted to say have you considered that she may be leading the laughter so that is directed away from her. I find this to be quite common. It may not be the case but it could be a defence mechanism.
     
  5. legoearth

    legoearth New commenter

    Thanks for the reply. I've met Mom on a couple of occasions and she seemed quite aproachable. I spoke to her about getting some loser clothing ( her uniform is VERY tight) to make changing easier but nothing happened. I spoke to her teacher from last year and she said they had the same problems. Mom called the physio therapist in to show me how to help the child dress after I explained that I was encourageing her to be more independant! I don't want the child to feel worried that I wont help but it's no good doing everything for her. She will be going to a mainstream secondary that are not going to pander to her! She doesn't have many proper friends but some 'kind' girls will play with her at playtime so maybe it is a lack of self confidence as she is not generally a sociable child.
     
  6. Regarding the lack of independence/Mum doing things for her that she is perfectly capable of doing herself, this is a problem we come across a lot in the unit I work in. As it is a 16 to 19 provision, there is a lot of focus on independent living and self help skills. We have one young man with autism who is completely independent with his bathing routine and will make drinks for himself yet, at home, his single mother does everything for him at home down to having to stand on a stepladder to reach his hair so she can wash it for him. She has chronic back pain from doing this but he is so used to having everything done for him at home that he can't break out of it. She is always astonished at how independent he is with us! I know autism is completely different to hemiplegia but would it help to invite Mum in to observe what she can do for herself or would Mum step in and start taking over her dressing? I also think Mum is the best person to tell her how hurtful her comment about her classmate was. I completely agree that doing things for her that she is able to do herself is not preparing her for secondary school/life after school. We get a lot of bad tempers from students when we make them do things for themselves but, once they know that we know they can do it and therefore won't do it for them, they soon come round to doing it themselves.
     
  7. I work with many pupils with ASD who find empathy difficult. I know hemiplegia is different but many of the techniques used could be useful here. It may be that she just hasn't developed this skill yet. Behaviour has to be taught. Many children will have developed skills in empathy before they reach year 6 but it would appear that this girl has needs in this area. Address it just as you would any other identified need, eg if you found she had difficulties with phonics or with multiplication. Social stories are often useful in helping pupils to understand their actions and how these affect others. Often they just do not realise how others feel. If this girl has been used to attention being centred around her, it is understandable that she views the world solely/mainly from her own perspective, just as a much younger child would. I would also consider doing work with the whole class or a small group on social skills. My experience of Year 6 is that this would generally benefit the whole class anyway. SEAL resources could be used. In my school, we use the Talkabout social skills programme (produced by the fantastic Alex Kelly - google her). Hope this helps.
     

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