Yes, that just about covers it. That is if I don’t use the many expletives that come to mind.
Nothing has happened in particular, but that is half the problem.
I got a call from the school this morning. They had the social communication team in to discuss strategies about lots of children, including Dinky. In the discussion about dinky they are putting into place a pastoral support plan or PSP, which I already knew, as I signed a PSP parental consent form! She said that they were going to suggest a part time timetable. Which I do understand but she was talking about before lunch. Which is not happening! Dinky is entitled to free school meals and likes to play, it is the only thing she DOES like about school! I said that in principle I agree with the idea, HOWEVER, I wont pick her up until after lunch. (I know that they have to have my permission for a part time timetable otherwise it is illegal exclusion, although it will go in her favour for a statement, as nothing says ‘school cant cope’ like a child on a part time timetable. But it has to be right for everyone).
I asked how the head of nurture is.” Still not good”, was the answer. “Brave, and strong as she is, there is an emotional element to it too”. I again passed on my best wishes.
If I am completely honest- I don’t know how to react to this as a parent. I know Dinky didn’t mean to hurt her. If anything Dinky really likes the head of nurture, and is upset herself that she has hurt her. I am sorry she was hurt, she is the first teacher that has actually tried to take on board PDA and use strategies in the nurture group. She has taken a lot from Dinky and not got too cross which has built up Dinky’s trust.
It is hard as I know Dinky didn’t mean to hurt her, but the fact remains that my child has hurt someone, and while she will be absolutely fine, was in a considerable amount of pain and was unable to work. I feel for the teacher, her job shouldn’t come with risk of injury. I also feel for Dinky, she was obviously very stressed and in meltdown, and feels really bad, bad enough that she made a card for the teacher.
When I think about it, the question remains… how on earth was a small (height measured at 25th percentile), 5 year old able to hurt a teacher that badly- (in the order that it should have been stopped)
a) how/why was it allowed to escalate that far?
b) what de-escalation strategies were used?
c) why was Dinky not stopped when she charged?
d) why did the teacher not block dinky’s head butt?
These are all valid questions, the last one may sound like I am blaming the teacher, but I have had many charging head butts from dinky. I place my hand on her head to slow her down before she makes contact with the rest of me. It is how I am not completely covered in bruises around the hip/lower back region.
The school finished off by telling me what she would be doing if she were in school so that I could do some work with Dinky.
I haven’t heard back from the social worker about what is happening regarding the sessional worker.
I phoned the child development centre and asked if the report was done yet. Apparently it was. So I took Dinky to pick it up. I was disappointed when I read it.
this is the letter.
Problems: 1. High anxiety level
2. Severe behavioural difficulties
3. Obsessive behaviour
Provisional Diagnosis: Pathological demand avoidance (PDA)
It was a pleasure to review Dinky who is a 5 year 10 month old girl who I saw in the company of her mother at the Child development centre, on 13th January 2014.
I was pleased to hear that the social communication team are going into school this week, then once a week for the next six to twelve weeks to help school learn about strategies to meet Dinky’s needs. I understand Dinky is also on our waiting list to be seen in the social communication clinic and it has been arranged for her to be seen by the educational psychologist next week.
Maternal concerns are around high anxiety level, obsessive resisting ordinary demands, excessive mood swings and often switching suddenly. There are no concerns regarding health and currently she is symptom free and on no prescribed medication.
In school, Senco reported that Dinky is able to communicate on her terms and is demanding of adult attention, especially when it is another child’s turn. She is able to play with other children when this is on her terms and agenda. Her behaviour when learning is such that if she does not want to learn she will not; she will hide under tables, and systematically tip chairs over, checking to see if adults are watching. If they are, she escalates her behaviour.
I understand that currently everything has to be on Dinky’s terms within school; she regularly runs out of the classroom without asking adults, after escalating her behaviour but she is always quick to criticise if someone else is not behaving well. Dinky will refuse to comply with most adult requests and continue to escalate her behaviour, hitting, throwing, and being verbally rude. Dinky has on numerous occasions climbed things and does not appear to be aware of dangers.
On examination, Dinky looks healthy and is thriving. Physical examination was unremarkable.
During the consultation Dinky gave me good eye contact when she was interested in the subject. Initially she insisted on sitting on the couch, closing the curtains and she switched the lights on and off. She threw tantrums, kicking her mother “my way or no way”.
We had a long conversation regarding behavioural difficulties, and I suggested that her mother finds a compromise between, on the one hand, letting dinky follow her own bent completely and, on the other, insisting that she conforms, ie, to meet her half way.
Dinky will be reviewed in 4 month’s time to monitor her progress. Mean while she should keep her appointment with the various professionals as arranged.
there are a few things amiss here:
1. Dinky is on melatonin- that is prescribed medication
2. Dinky doesn’t check adults are watching when she escalates her behaviour. 1 teacher said it and now the senco puts that in everything!
3. I don’t get his way of explaining, but I get the gist. It is hard not to say “No, you cant leave the room” when in the middle of the consultation, and hard not to give her the sweets she is screaming over, especially seeing as I brought them specifically for that reason. If she had asked instead of raiding my bag, I would have just given them to her. A consultation room is not an area to be judging parenting skills, it is not typical of the environment that we are usually in.
This just does my head in as I have no idea when we might be able to get a formal diagnosis for Dinky. I am sick of everyone saying “yes but it is only provisional”.
Then I got thinking about the TAC. I even started writing my agenda before I began this, however it is really difficult not to say
I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN!!!
I TOLD YOU TO USE PDA STRATEGIES!!!
I WAS RIGHT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY- HOW MANY TIMES HAS THE SCHOOL BEEN RIGHT?
oh and last but not least….
I TOLD YOU NURTURE WASN’T SUITABLE FOR DINKY!!!
so I thought I would write this before going back to it. I cant get it done during the day with Dinky off school.
The statement will take as long as it takes and meanwhile we wait.
For a very impatient person, waiting sucks! I am an extremely impatient person, so it actually physically riles me up waiting for everyone to get round to dealing with the issues at hand. Meanwhile, dinky gets excluded near enough every week and how many more people does she have to injure before she gets the correct support?
Thursday we have our TAC meeting… I can see it being really difficult to maintain my fake calm exterior!