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SN child in mainstream nursery

(25 Posts)
Zoey33 Fri 11-Jul-14 09:06:18

Hi, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts. My 3 year old DS has a severe communication delay, we are in the process of getting him an ASD diagnosis. So far his nursery have tried to be accommodating, stating that although they are not experienced in this area, they are training their staff etc. They also have top up funding to buy in someone to work 121 with him all the time. However it seems since we dropped the term autistic to them, they have suddenly out of the blue decided that his current two full days are too much for him and want to cut this down to two half days, (which is disastrous for me as a I also have a very young baby.) Despite having been told repeatedly when we collect him that he "has had a good day today". I would also like to add he is a very sweet boy, not violent to any other children. He just requires additional support (for which they receive a lot of extra funding) as he is so delayed with his communication, learns differently and has a door/window obsession. It feels at the moment that he is just a problem to them, that they would like to get rid of. Are they within their rights to do this? And will all nurseries, pre-schools be the same? If we look else where.
I don't want to take him out as he seems happy there, and it is what is best for him at the end of the day, even though two half days is not ideal. It just breaks my heart, that because he does require extra help and support, he is viewed as a problem. Are we SN Mums not entitled to the same rights to get child care as everyone else?

zzzzz Fri 11-Jul-14 09:30:30

Ask them by email to explain why they no longer think full days are working for him. Once you see what their detailed concerns are you will be able to judge what to do next.
IMO any nursery should be able to accommodate your ds, but I would be looking for one that is going to optimise his experience not just "cope".

OneInEight Fri 11-Jul-14 09:38:55

So they have got the funding and now want to cut back the hours? I assume they are going to give half the funding back. At a much later stage of schooling we did agree to cutting of school hours but this was because ds2 was not coping with fulltime (there were clear behaviours to show this). Agree with zzzZZ they need to give you specifics as to what they have based their reasoning on but meanwhile I would be looking for a more inclusive nursery

amymouse Fri 11-Jul-14 10:27:33

Hi, my DD is almost 4 and in a mainstream nursery. We also get some top up funding for 1:1 support for her, which is definitely beneficial but recently has been causing some disagreements within nursery. I think they see the extra help coming in as a bit of a disruption to their day and partly a pride thing that they are not seen as "good enough" even if by their own admissions they don't always have a clear idea of how to progress with DD. We have SALT, amongst other things, who recently and clearly stated that some 1:1 was highly recommended, and it helped coming from another person. If you have any outside involement, it can really help getting them involved.
ps. everything got hugely more complicated when the word "autism" was mentioned here too, goodness knows why when nothing changing apart from out paediatrician throwing that possibility into the mix..

kyz1981 Fri 11-Jul-14 10:31:17

This is my experience, I Have a lang disordered and ASD son (4) who is in a private day nursery with a statement and full time 1-2-1, this has taken me the best part of 2 yrs to sort and it's still not ideal, I have tried and failed to get him in to a Montessori nursery several times but our local ones are very full. The nursery will only have him for 15 funded hrs and no extra sessions, and are still not using visuals and sign consistently and really don't have much of a clue- despite me taking them to courses and our OT and Salt coming in often.

My LA have told me that they have no real impact as its a private setting and cannot force them to provide good support or structure.

I think Montessori nursery's are much better at catering for all children not just children with special needs.

Ask the nursery to involve the Inclusion office - which I assume they have already done as you appear to be getting extra funding, ask for a meeting with them- explain to them about what is going on and ask for everything to be in writing, it will support you applying for a statement if nothing else as by telling you he can't cope its the nursery that are not able to meet his needs.

I find the nursery my son is in they just baby sit him and his learning at nursery is very limited, Staff always tell me he has been fine but then also tell me he has been taking his clothes off, upset, laying on the floor, screaming - this to them seems to constitute fine so I would always double check that they are not spouting nonsense out as I get told different things by different members of staff.

If I knew then what I know now -I would have moved him to a Montessori and taken any hours they could give me, Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I also have a 7 month old so I know how important it is to just have a break and spend some time with a little one.

Good luck

hazeyjane Fri 11-Jul-14 10:37:30

I think you need to know the details of why they think that he is not coping. Does he have any professionals involved who can go in and give their opinion? I say this because my ds's portage worker would go in peridoically to preschool and observe ds, and I found it really helpful to have someone elses input. In ds's case he can't cope with the full day, so he does more mornings. His preschool has been very flexible and we have had many meetings about the way to make it work best for him.

Hope you have some success.

autumnsmum Fri 11-Jul-14 11:16:01

Tbh I think there is good and bad Montessori just the same as any other type of setting . The one near us is supposedly dreadful with sen , your local child development centre may be able to recommend some good setti gs

hazeyjane Fri 11-Jul-14 12:41:25

Yes, we looked at a Montessori for ds and it was bloody awful, they were also unprepared for ds to have a long settling in period with me coming with him.

I think it is down to the staff rather than the ethos.

zzzzz Fri 11-Jul-14 13:04:41

Montessori education in the uk is entirely unregulated. In its true form I doubt there could be a much better system for a language disordered child. I'm not convinced it can be utilised to such effect to a child with autism in a classroom setting. Montessori after all encourages the kind of investigative tactile activities that are often refered to as "stimming". I personally think it could and should be the route, but that doesn't mean I think you are likely to find a setting that can deliver that.

TigerLightBurning Fri 11-Jul-14 18:05:43

I think sometimes they lack the confidence and knowledge of what to do that doesn't mean they shouldn't try. Maybe you could tell them what a good job they are doing and reassure them that he is happy there and you see no reason to move him.

zzzzz Fri 11-Jul-14 18:13:28

I think our children deserve better than inexperienced people, giving it a reluctant go. angry

TigerLightBurning Fri 11-Jul-14 20:50:45

Look around at different places and trust your instincts. We all start off inexperienced, and all children are different. Good luck.

ConstantCraving Fri 11-Jul-14 21:33:26

I was lucky that my DD's Montessori actually listened and implemented the techniques suggested. She has loved it there - but it did take some work in the beginning to get them on board.

zzzzz Fri 11-Jul-14 22:27:19

tiger I'm intrigued that you think a nursery with no experience of this level of sn, and who are reluctant to do ,the work are a good bet. Do you have a child with a communication disorder? Did this approach work for you? hmm

BackforGood Fri 11-Jul-14 22:50:05

No, they are not within their rights.
No, not all Nurseries and Pre-schools are the same.
I think the idea from zzzzz to ask them to put in writing why they think it's not working (when they are telling you he's had a good day) is an excellent one.
Are they able to access training - AET (Autism Education Trust) / NAS (National Autistic Society) / Local Authority Staff (have diff names in diff areas from Area SENCos to Inclusion Teams, to Comunication and Autism Teams to Early Support Teams)

Zoey33 Sat 12-Jul-14 11:13:35

Thanks everyone. Good to hear I'm not alone. It really feels like it sometimes. I have done what a few of you have said and emailed them requesting in writing why they feel full days are too much and expressing my concerns that this has happened just after we told them we think he is autistic. So will see what they come back with! I have a feeling, it may just be more convenient for them, but we'll see. As for the top up funding that is per hour, every hour he is there, and goes with him wherever he is. So another nursery would have the same funding for him. It is a shame, as we chose the nursery as they seemed to have a lovely inclusive environment, are the best in the area (well the most expensive, which means nothing I know) and have all organic food, lovely grounds etc... But all that doesn't mean a lot when they have left me feeling as I do now, confused and upset that my child appears to be a problem. Also extremely anxious that I will have to give up my job and source of income, when I return to work (I'm on mat leave at present) in the autumn.

NoMoreParades Sun 13-Jul-14 00:32:19

Could it be that your DS genuinely isn't coping with full days? I just say this because my DS is in very similar situation; nearly 3, serious speech delay and suspected ASD. I put him in preschool 2 full days a week at the beginning of the year, but had to change this quite soonafter as he just wasn't coping. It was too long, he got tired and overwhelmed. I switched him to 4 mornings a week instead (3 hrs) and it's a thousand times better. Is something like this do-able for your DS?
If the nursery are still reluctant when you suggest this then you know it might be time to change.

zzzzz Sun 13-Jul-14 08:57:21

"Not coping" can cover a variety of presentations. I would want to know exactly how they had come to that conclusion before doing anything.

2boysnamedR Sun 13-Jul-14 15:06:36

My DS is happy in mainstream. It was different for me as he got feet funding and thn I found a place. I described him at his worse and only talked to the settings that genuinely seemed to welcome him - and all his faults. However his childmider isn't the same. She doesn't get him, thinks I need to toughen him up and tells me never eats and screams the place down every day! Then she seemed surprised when we didn't want to carry on their. Its never easy, but it shouldn't be so hard either!

Zoey33 Mon 14-Jul-14 22:43:52

Hi Everyone, I have had a reply from the nursery. They are now basically saying, (after initially saying it was in my ds bests interests) that it is a funding issue. His top up funding isn't enough to cover all the hours he currently attends! I am just not happy with this, as I don't agree he needs 121 support the whole time he is there. He is not aggressive or disruptive, he plays happily at home on his own for ages. He just needs more support than other children as he is developmentally delayed. I'm guessing they can do what they like though, as they are a private company, so have the right to refuse any child? He obviously is too much of a headache for them sad

zzzzz Mon 14-Jul-14 22:52:51

I think if he needs more funding they would have to prove that to the LA and then they'd get it. If they can't prove it they don't need it. Either way they can't use that as a reason not to have him there. Phone the LA and a sky their "advice". wink

BackforGood Mon 14-Jul-14 23:31:47

No, private companies are not allowed to discriminate either.

In our LA (I know it's not the same all over the country, from other threads I've read on here) the aim is to give the most support as we can to as many children as we can - it is very, very, very unusual for any child to get full time 1:1 additional funding. The Nurseries have to fill out an application form explaining how they are going to use the extra person, and why the child needs support at such a time. Some Nurseries try the "we can't possibly have him/her without full time 1:1 funding", but then when they need to say what the person will be doing / why the child needs support at all the various times, they rarely can. They can get advice on strategies / environment / working with children with sensory issues specific to the child, and they can get whole staff training on autism awareness all without any cost to them.

Ask them what training they've accessed recently if they are struggling so much with him.

kyz1981 Tue 15-Jul-14 08:25:19

If the high needs funding is for the 15hrs that should cover 9-3 2x and 2-4 x1 as my son gets his via a statement but is essentially the same thing, this gives him full time 1-2-1 and then his statement tells them about SALT, OT and other things he needs.

I would ask to speak to the inclusion officer as they will know what funding the nursery can get and if they are claiming it all in the right way, the LA should be able to let you know the name/number of the inclusion officer.

The other thing I would do is apply for a statutory assessment for your little one, they may tell you that you get high needs funding and that is the same, its not apply for a stat assessment and then you have some protection, it will also give nursery a kick as they will be forced to sit down and work out what the issues are and gather evidence. You can get a template letter from IPSEA.

My son does need 1-2-1 the whole time he is at nursery and he is not aggressive or disruptive but struggles with language so much that it would be unfair on him to not know what's going on, it's also to protect him from the other children as he is so passive they can hurt him and he just laughs or does not defend himself. So 1-2-1 is vital for him but for very different reasons.

Hope that helps

kyz1981 Tue 15-Jul-14 08:31:23

Oh I forgot to add all the funding is term-time only as its education based so my DS is at home in school holidays.

Zoey33 Tue 15-Jul-14 15:52:25

Thanks, that's great. This is all so new to me and a little overwhelming. I will be on to my LA today. An assessment, would determine whether we/nursery need to apply for more funding, or whether they can cope with him without 121 all the time. I really wish, there was somewhere more suitable that little ones. with my son's needs could go to. I think there are many benefits to mainstream nursery for him, but not if I am sending him every day feeling like he is going to be a burden. I suppose, I just didn't realise that a lot of people are still not very accepting of the complexity of
children that have additional needs sad

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