Profile

I found an example SEN profile online and wanted to share it. Sadly I am having difficulty attaching it to this post, so I will have to add at a later date.

I did something similar for my son (although I shamefully rushed mine using felt tip pens). I’m sure I missed lots! In fact, I know I did. My mother in law said that his difficulties during transitions were not included but luckily I mentioned this, and so much more, during our visit. I also forgot to mention that I use 3, 2, 1 and time out/thinking chair, but this was also mentioned in person. I mentioned a lot in person like how he will strip off if he gets wet…despite loving water. How he always has fingers and toys in his mouth, and that we have tried so many chewy toys and none of them seem to appeal to him. He likes a Lego one for a particular sensation between his lip and top teeth/gums, but the majority of the time he just swings the chewy by its chord so it has to be confiscated. He also hates having it around his neck…and I’ve caught him trying to pull it tight around his neck… He licks windows and blows raspberries at them; he also does this to phones. He has compulsions to touch people and grab their faces. It’s usually through excitement so he has no control and doesn’t pick up on the fact that most people don’t like it.

When he was at the settling in session at school, they got to see some of this behaviour immediately. When asked to do things, he just wandered around aimlessly. He struggled with transitions and didn’t put his hands on his head or line up like the other children. He cried his heart out and shouted/screamed when he realised he had to take off his builder outfit at the end of play time, and hit me out of frustration.

It’s just too tricky to put everything about these wonderful, challenging, unique children on one page. And too late for me to tell you any more.

As a reminder to myself, I want to discuss the oral needs he has and the dangerous things he has done. I also want to talk about behaviour management strategies for children, SEN or not. This may include at home, in the classroom and out in the world.

Self Care

As a parent, it is so hard to take time out for yourself. When the children have extra needs, it can be almost impossible as it’s not easy to leave them with other people.

I am starting to feel that perhaps it is time, now the routines we’ve put in place seem to be having some effect (oh so suddenly 😮), that we attempt some time out as a couple.

My mother in law actually said now my eldest will be attending school, she would happily look after my youngest so I can have a bit of a break and maybe do things like get my hair done (I manage one to two times a year if I’m lucky! 😂) How kind is that?

This whole idea seems a bit alien to me. I have always been attached to my children. Mainly out of choice…but sometimes as I said because I haven’t really felt I can leave their side.

So self care. Time out! What do you do? If anything?

Amazon Smile

If you are an Amazon customer, remember to buy through Amazon Smile, if you aren’t already. We chose to support Autism Wessex and just received an update showing how much had been raised for the charity through our purchases. Every penny counts.

Isolation

Thank you Claire for joining us and for your question about isolation booths.

https://www.google.co.uk/…/www.…/news/amp/education-47963554

This is something we need to discuss.

A local school has adopted zero tolerance for the children they teach. I have been told by parents and teachers that they are put in isolation over low level behaviours such as chatting. They are not allowed to talk in between lessons, whilst walking through the corridor, which I think is a shame. I used to love speaking with my friends in between classes to reflect on the lesson and see how they got on with a particular task etc.

I understand that this school experienced a lot of behaviour issues in the past and it is performing well now, but does it have to be this way?

I am very torn.

In particular, how does this affect SEN children? When I was working as teacher, isolation booths were something I only experienced later in my career. The objective was to help children concentrate but I didn’t really find that this worked all that well. It literally just isolated the children…who were usually SEN.

School Place

So my child has been offered a school place. 🤗

We had a meeting with the SENCo and pastoral care worker, who were amazing, and I left feeling much more confident about him attending school.

They really knew their stuff but even more importantly, they were so lovely. I know he will be safe and secure with them.

It’s going to be so hard as he’s my little friend but I know he is going to love it. If not to start with, most certainly long term.

I imagine there will be ups and downs, and some heartache…

One thing the SENCo told me was that they will not call me to come in unless a situation is really unmanageable. I was told by another school I would most certainly need to be available, and as a teacher I know that this is sometimes the case. However, I was told what strategies they were likely to use and they wisely said that he needs to learn to trust them. Calling me in every five minutes is not going to enable them to get to know him and his needs.

I’m a little surprised, but also feel so happy that he is going to this particular school. Their curriculum seems incredibly engaging and the staff are great.

We are going in tomorrow morning to get familiar and will go from there.

Thank You

I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback about my blog. Thank you so much.

There is SO much I want to share with you, I don’t know where to begin. I am trying so hard not to bombard you with too many posts all at once.

I mentioned in another post I would really like to work in the field of SEN, officially, but I am not yet sure in which capacity.

I have spent hours looking at job specifications to get an idea of what to do…but there are so many possibilities…I can’t physically do all of them.

I looked into getting my SENCo qualification but after thorough research, I don’t think it’s quite what I am looking for.

After visiting our new paediatrician today (I will update you on this another time), I looked into becoming a paediatrician who specialises in autism. It appears you need a medical degree (which are apparently competitive courses to get on to) then a further two years of study to specialise. I didn’t particularly want to have to return to education but as I am in my mid to late thirties, and hopefully still have a lot of working years ahead of me, I am happy to do whatever it takes to enter a career that interests me and helps others. The problem really is course fees!

I have lots of soul searching to do. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? How can I make a difference?

Crayon

This book is really lovely. It appears quite simple when you first look at it but there are lots of opportunities to discuss how the characters are feeling and what’s going on in the pictures. Also good for prediction skills and colour recognition. The children love it. Last night Nanny was here. She has worked in the field of SEN for years and is brilliant at sign language, so she taught us how to sign the colours.

Crayon by Simon Rickerty

Triggers

…and things not going as expected, transitions, fixating on things and having to let them go/not being able to access them… etc etc

What a day!

I tried to post this yesterday but it wouldn’t save…

We had the best day today. I’m utterly beaming.

I managed to take the children out by myself to a group, and they absolutely loved it. They were engaged all the way through. We had a slight upset at the end but it was manageable.
We then went to the library to return and choose some new books, as well as to buy a cake to take home.

I’ve had some health issues that are now (hopefully) being managed, so this is a big thing for me. This blog is not about my health but I mention it briefly because it has made everything I have discussed SO much harder. At the moment, I am just loving life and being able to do all the things I once took for granted. I have my bad days, but so many more good.

Anyway, we had an active day where they were engaged and happy, and when I read them their bedtime stories, there was just such a wonderful atmosphere of calm and happiness.

To the outside world today, my eldest in particular most certainly didn’t present as autistic as he used his scripts and toolkit. It was beautiful to watch, and for the first time in my life so far, I got to sit and have a cup of tea and a chat with other parents. Obviously, I needed to have eyes on but I didn’t need to be attached to them.

I know not every day will be like this but what a lovely day!

I want to thank Daniel the Tiger for helping me to resolve a situation where there could have been a mega meltdown. My eldest’s doughnut got squished. I saw all the signs but luckily remembered an episode he watches on repeat about birthday cake being ‘smushed’ but still tasting great.

This past week, he has been singing lots of songs from Daniel the Tiger and has even been teaching his brother some of the advice from the show. It’s going in!!!!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

I am sure I will be referring to how Daniel the Tiger has helped us in other ways. I can already tell you that “If you got to go potty, stop and go right away, then flush and wash and be on your way…” has been beyond helpful!!!!!