Educuational Psychologist visits Dinky in school

Today Dinky had a visitor in school… the educational psychologist.

I have met quite a few professionals, and PDA has been a little hit and miss. I was hoping she would know what it was, especially considering that both Educational psychologists I have met through various means (county Parent and carer exhibit and PPM) have known what it is, and it being on the paperwork from both my views, and the PPM paperwork.

I bumped into the Educational psychologist before Dinky started school and she seemed really nice, I then handed her my lovely novel… I mean parental views, all 14 typed pages!

I wasn’t due to see her until 11.30 am. So I went into town and came back in time to talk to her.

When I went up to the room that she was in, the head of nurture was just leaving, she said Dinky had been pretty good. Which I thought was a bad thing, obviously, trust her to act nicely for the EP (educational psychologist)!!

I cant remember it all in order as I was pretty nervous.

Observations of Dinky- she said:

  • Dinky was lovely, and she asked if she would show her round the school, which Dinky said she would , but it was breakfast time and she had to have breakfast. so she would After toast. The EP said she was glad Dinky agreed to it.
  • she offered some of her toast- actually pretty much forced her toast on her! She wanted the EP’s attention and to be in control of the situation.
  • they played some games, all on Dinky’s terms which incorporated some rule changes from the little monkey
  • She could see the love hate relationship Dinky had with another girl in nurture, and how controlling she was (the one who pulled Dinkys hair Monday, and dinky was excluded for head butting in a sharing incident yesterday :/ )
  • when it came to showing her around, in the time it took the nurture staff to say “do you know where you are going? it is left and left again” Dinky was gone! She had run off. The EP said she panicked, she had been responsible for her for 2 seconds and she had already lost her! Fortunately the staff knew where she had gone! This made me literally laugh out loud.. I think at first the EP was horrified that I was laughing, but I said she was safe so it was fine, but yes Dinky is fast, she said Dinky was the fasted little person she had met! She said it would have been fine if Dinky just said No, but she ran off instead! I told her that is why Dinky is still on wrist reins and missed the first school trip to the woods, because she is fast and we don’t want to lose her! (I laughed again just thinking about it.. the EP seemed really taken aback by it all)
  • Dinky is quite an anxious child and has lots of sensory issues. I asked her what she noticed, apparently Dinky was rocking on her chair which a lot of people would see as inattentive, but she did it more when she was anxious. She also licked the door handles, and asked if I had ever seen her do that. I said she likes to lick metal, not just door handles, but bus stops and all sorts. YUK!
  • She said she tried to get dinky to do some cognitive tests done, but dinky wouldn’t engage. I laughed.

PDA and Dinky- She said that she wasn’t allowed to diagnose- however! She said:

  • She wasn’t surprised that that the provisional diagnosis was PDA, but couldn’t understand why the diagnosis was only provisional, and after I explained that the paediatrician was in the room alone she said that made sense. She looked at his report.
  • Given her knowledge of PDA, it fits Dinky like a glove
  • Although she cant write PDA on her report she will write Avoidant behaviour and all the other PDA behaviours Dinky exhibits.

Dinky and school- Again she wasn’t allowed to say she should be some where but said the following

  • When I asked if she thinks Dinks needs small classes, she agreed Dinky couldn’t cope in a class of 30
  • She asked me what I thought of the special school I saw. I asked her how she knew I had been to see a special school, and she said that one of the professionals involved had told her. She said I should see the one closer to my house. I told her that I am going to see it on Thursday and she said that she would be interested to know what I thought about it.
  • She said Nurture are using PDA strategies now and the head told her I lent her a PDA book. To which I said ” nurture wont last past the end of the school year. it is a temporary provision.
  • We discussed why I don’t want Dinky in nurture.
  • we discussed special school vs Mainstream it went kind of like this

Me: So what kind of school do you think would be best for Dinky

EP: I am not allowed to say where I think she should go to school, or the type of provision overall she should have, but I shall make recommendations. They would mainly be PDA strategies.

Me: We already agreed that she wont cope with a class of 30, plus there is the added fact of going to the slightly less demanding nurture into a demand filled year 2 classroom.

EP: I don’t think the school expect her to go into year 2

Me: So she should go to special school

EP: Well, the LA don’t like sending young children to special school

Me: But Dinky cant cope in mainstream
EP: You can name a special school in the proposed statement when it comes, I don’t think that if current school cant cope that she would go into another mainstream.

we talked about who was involved with Dinky. I don’t know why she said it, but she said that the LA are not the enemy, we are on the same side and I need to stop gearing up for a fight. I said that would be great, but I need to make sure Dinky gets what she needs.

She wanted to discuss the special school I had seen and why I haven’t seen the closer one. I said it was because I was told it was a severe learning difficulty school. She said they do take more academically able children, and as it is the closest school, if the LA were to grant a special school it would be the closest one to my house, see what you think when you go there, it might be good for her.

After we discussed the other people involved with Dinky she said her report will be with me in 3 weeks or so.

It was a very positive meeting and it seems she thinks Dinky may get a statement and go to the local special school. I cant wait to see it on Thursday now, I hope that it will meet Dinkys needs!

I went home very happy!

I went to go and get Dinky from school. I waited outside Nurture, and the door opened, the teacher let me in.

Ok.. visualise a large room, on the left are draw units, straight ahead is a door with someone standing guard to the right of that are the sofas, going roud to the kitchen area. In front before the door are two sets of 2 tables with chairs. The room looks like the Tasmanian devil had teamed up with the hulk! There was glitter, paper and bits of stuff everywhere, including the head of nurtures hair! boxes of toys have been thrown across the room. The door closes behind you and the teacher stands guard.

yep… that is what I walked into!

Dinky then appeared, climbed onto the table, lay down, and started trying to unpeel the orange! It was surreal!

It took some doing but I got her stuff, it was all going so well until she asked for a lego man. I told hre that maybe she can get it tomorrow, as the lego men are for when I come and she is ready to go. I got kicked in the face. I took that as she wasn’t happy!

I tried everything, nothing was going to cut it and I wasn’t left with much choice, I put her shoes in her bookbag, put her book bag over my head, grabbed her coat and then was punched, slapped, kicked and bitten all the way out of school. Once out of school she calmed down, but wouldn’t put her shoes on. My face still hurt from where she kicked me and I was not in the mood for a stand off, so I carried her to the bus stop and we got the bus home.

At home she span for half hour and then acted as if nothing happened!

So I thought the EP was great, but obviously dinky wasn’t too impressed!

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3 thoughts on “Educuational Psychologist visits Dinky in school

  1. I think this EP definitely gets it. In a way, I’m glad that she infomred you about the closer special ed school, because if I were you, I’d look at what they offer not what their main target population is. The thing is, PDA kids and most ASD kids need an individualized approach anyway. Of course the school will need to acknowledge Dinky’s academic potential. My special ed (two of the three schools I attended) denied my intelligence while I’m in the gifted range. That was one big reason my parents had had it with special ed and insisted on mainstreaming eventually even though I needed pretty substiantial support.

    • Thank you for your reply.

      I think you are right the population doesn’t matter quite so much due to the individualised approach PDA needs. It was more that I didn’t think dinky would actually be eligible to attend. I only found out last week this wasn’t the case, hence already having an appointment to view the school on Thursday.

      I think the thing I have to balance up as a parent is wether I pick learning over her anxiety and mental well being. There are no high functioning schools in my area until dinky reaches 7. Dinky can’t stay here longer than July, and she will only be 6 in February.
      I don’t think dinky is gifted bless her. Which makes that decision easier.
      I will continue to try and teach her at home by using her special interests, but I think she will learn more when she is settled in the learning environment.
      I don’t think the school can take much more of the chaos at the level I saw when I picked her up this afternoon.

  2. Pingback: Educational Psychology: Recommendations for Parents | Blogging Astrid

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