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#1 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:34 AM

DD started year 1 this year. She has a mild intellectual disability but hasn't quite qualified for any funding this year. She is in mainstream and is doing OK with the school work despite being slightly behind on some things. She liked going to school in kindy for the most part. She would occasionally have a small anxiety attack usually after having been on school holidays but wouldn't take long for her to get back to normal.
This year is a different story. Week 5 and she is crying almost every morning now! She says she doesn't play with anyone at recess or lunch. She said it didn't bother her and she "likes playing by herself". However I'm not sure if she was just saying this as perhaps she's embarrassed?
This morning she was crying again and said "I don't want to be by myself at recess again". It is breaking my heart. After leaving her with her teacher this morning I sat in the car in tears. She is struggling to make connections wirh kids. I've talked to her about just smiling, saying hello and asking to play with kids. She seems to lack some social skills but has mentioned kids she's played with before. She did play with more kids in kindy.
She told me she has asked to play but some kids say "no". Not sure who she is asking though as she keeps saying she doesn't know who she asked.
Its so hard to know what is going on! Her teacher doesn't have duty in the playground so it's near impossible to find out the truth. They tried buddying  her up with a girl but I don't think that girl likes playing wirh my DD.
Just hit be today that in the year and a bit we've been at school she hasn't been invited to any birthdays either.
Where do I go from here? I've just bought a few books to help with some stories around making new friends and how your actions affect other people etc. (She may need some help with empathy also).

#2 Riotproof

Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:43 AM

Oh the poor love. I think you should make a time to talk to the teacher about it. There may be programs the school runs that may help her.

#3 Chamomile

Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:59 AM

This is really hard. I hope things get better for your DD. I don’t have kids this age, but was wondering if there are any particular ‘trends’ she could join in? Eg, do the kids play with skipping ropes or handball?
Someone else might know what kids her age play with.

#4 No Drama Please

Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:59 AM

That’s so hard, poor thing. Could you set up a few play dates, see if can make some connections there?

#5 doubledelight

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:00 AM

Oh my heart breaks for you both.  Please follow up with the school to get more active support for your DD.

My youngest DS is on the spectrum and really struggled early on to make connections with other children and he had it a bit easier being a twin but still struggled.  There was a lot of parallel playing in the earlier stages and even now at 14 he can still have trouble regulating certain behaviours.

We did a lot of work on reading body language and facial expressions along with role playing different scenarios.

Often a good starting point is finding people with common interests so there is a platform to build on.

Follow up with the teacher to find out what the school can do to help your DD..

#6 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:12 AM

View PostNo Drama Please, on 26 February 2020 - 09:59 AM, said:

That’s so hard, poor thing. Could you set up a few play dates, see if can make some connections there?
To be honest I don't know a lot of the parents and feel like I would be forcing it then. She does play with her cousin (same age) and a girl at her dance class quite a lot and seems to get along OK.
Girls there age seem to be interested in soft cute toys (DD does often take her toy unicorn to school. They also like little cutesy things like barbies, LOL dolls and any of those surprise type toys. She does take things along sometimes but seems to use that to then sit and play with on her own.
So hard to navigate!

#7 mintpatty

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:30 AM

My daughter was shy and when she started school she didn't know anyone.  Like your daughter she would ask to play and the girls would say no.  I read an interesting article on this which said that instead of asking to play, approaching girls and saying "what are we playing today", it removes the power for them to say no.  Kids, particularly girls can be so unpleasant from quite early on.

I also approached the teacher who was great.  Before breaks she would ask "okay, who doesn't have anyone to play with today?" if anyone put up their hand she would say, "okay, who's going to let ** play today?".

#8 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:36 AM

View Postmintpatty, on 26 February 2020 - 10:30 AM, said:

My daughter was shy and when she started school she didn't know anyone.  Like your daughter she would ask to play and the girls would say no.  I read an interesting article on this which said that instead of asking to play, approaching girls and saying "what are we playing today", it removes the power for them to say no.  Kids, particularly girls can be so unpleasant from quite early on.

I also approached the teacher who was great.  Before breaks she would ask "okay, who doesn't have anyone to play with today?" if anyone put up their hand she would say, "okay, who's going to let ** play today?".

That's fantastic!! Thanks

#9 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:46 AM

Along with the suggestions above,  if you think she needs boosting in social skills, does any of your local occupational therapy places offer social skills classes? They mainly do them in school holidays but it might be an option if the above doesn't work out.

#10 T2Mum

Posted 26 February 2020 - 10:57 AM

The book “Friends a Forever” by Frankel has some very practical suggestions on things parents can do to assist their children with the skills needed to make and keep friends.

#11 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 11:04 AM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 26 February 2020 - 10:46 AM, said:

Along with the suggestions above,  if you think she needs boosting in social skills, does any of your local occupational therapy places offer social skills classes? They mainly do them in school holidays but it might be an option if the above doesn't work out.
She has done some social groups with her speech therapist. It wasn't all that useful as she has basic social skills (ability to share, participate in a class game etc), a lot of the kids had greater behavioural issues so struggled to participate in the group. As a result she spent a lot of time playing with the facilitator. She seems to do Ok in the classroom with a teacher facilitating. The playground however is every child for themselves.

#12 sandy34

Posted 26 February 2020 - 12:03 PM

Maybe ask if the school could organise a "friendship bench". A place where kids can sit if they need someone to play with, so that the other kids can facilitate that. It's really helped out at my DSs school. Lots of different kids use it.Even popular kids.

#13 Questionable13

Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:35 PM

View Postsandy34, on 26 February 2020 - 12:03 PM, said:

Maybe ask if the school could organise a "friendship bench". A place where kids can sit if they need someone to play with, so that the other kids can facilitate that. It's really helped out at my DSs school. Lots of different kids use it.Even popular kids.

I love this idea!!

To the OP, my daughter is in year 1 too and she has struggled at times with finding friends to play with (last year and this year). She is shy and has one friend who tells her sometimes "I'm playing with xx, you can't play with us". It's so sad to hear this, so I completely understand your upset!
We've been trying to encourage her to walk around and see what other kids are doing. She has started to approach other kids in  and just start joining in with their play (rather than asking to play). It has been a slow process but she is getting more confident.
I've been reluctant to let her take toys, but last week she did take a little stuffed toy which seemed to impress some of the kids.
We also signed her up for an activity after school that includes quite a few kids from her year, in the hope to increase her social network.

Definitely talk to the teacher, as they will be able to monitor it, and also may have some strategies to help.

#14 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:44 PM

View Postsandy34, on 26 February 2020 - 12:03 PM, said:

Maybe ask if the school could organise a "friendship bench". A place where kids can sit if they need someone to play with, so that the other kids can facilitate that. It's really helped out at my DSs school. Lots of different kids use it.Even popular kids.
They actually already have this at school. I think the prefects monitor it. So she sometimes tells me she played with a big kid or a big kid took her to the library (They sometimes have clubs at the library where they do things like origami etc), I think this is what she means. They don't however pair her up with kids her own age so doesn't seem to work everyday.

#15 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:46 PM

View PostQuestionable13, on 26 February 2020 - 01:35 PM, said:



I love this idea!!

To the OP, my daughter is in year 1 too and she has struggled at times with finding friends to play with (last year and this year). She is shy and has one friend who tells her sometimes "I'm playing with xx, you can't play with us". It's so sad to hear this, so I completely understand your upset!
We've been trying to encourage her to walk around and see what other kids are doing. She has started to approach other kids in  and just start joining in with their play (rather than asking to play). It has been a slow process but she is getting more confident.
I've been reluctant to let her take toys, but last week she did take a little stuffed toy which seemed to impress some of the kids.
We also signed her up for an activity after school that includes quite a few kids from her year, in the hope to increase her social network.

Definitely talk to the teacher, as they will be able to monitor it, and also may have some strategies to help.

So hard isn't it?? Kids are BRUTAL. Toys seem to give them confidence/something to talk about so I don't mind too much.

#16 Ozquoll

Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:48 PM

View PostQuestionable13, on 26 February 2020 - 01:35 PM, said:

I've been reluctant to let her take toys, but last week she did take a little stuffed toy which seemed to impress some of the kids.

We also signed her up for an activity after school that includes quite a few kids from her year, in the hope to increase her social network.

I was originally reluctant to let my 6yo DS take toys to school, but I must say that when we bought him last year's trendy toy, it did help him play more with the other kids. We lost a few, and there was a stern talk about not giving them away, but on balance it was a good thing for him socially.

We also have him in before school sports, held on the school grounds. That has been very good for him getting to know kids in his own year and other years.

#17 BECZ

Posted 26 February 2020 - 03:15 PM

Even if her teacher doesn’t do playground duty, she can still try and pair her up somebody new (you said the other one didn’t work out) when leaving the classroom and observe who seems to be playing with whom at the end of lunch and recess.
My DS2 (in year 2 this year) is very shy and this year has been put into a class with only one other student from his class from last year. We changed schools last year and even though there are 6-8 classes per year, they didn’t seem to mix with those in other classes in his year last year, so he doesn’t really know anybody in his class.

I mentioned this to his teacher at meet the teacher meetings this week and she said that she’ll observe what’s happening.  He told me that he likes playing by himself when outside, but I know that this isn’t true and his teacher agreed as he is quite playful etc. with other kids when inside (they eat both lunch and recess in the classroom), he just seems to get lost when they all leave the classroom and head in different directions.  She mentioned that he is quiet, but always had someone to play with when stuck inside with recent wet weather, so she thinks that it’s not that he can’t get along with people, he just needs some help with the initial connection process.

‘Most’ teachers will do what they can to help kids out even if it means missing their break and if not, ask what other systems the school has in place to help her out.

Our old school had buddy benches, but they weren’t monitored by anybody and their play areas were separated, so kids usually found someone close to their age to play with.



#18 Steph19

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:00 PM

View PostBECZ, on 26 February 2020 - 03:15 PM, said:

Even if her teacher doesn’t do playground duty, she can still try and pair her up somebody new (you said the other one didn’t work out) when leaving the classroom and observe who seems to be playing with whom at the end of lunch and recess.
My DS2 (in year 2 this year) is very shy and this year has been put into a class with only one other student from his class from last year. We changed schools last year and even though there are 6-8 classes per year, they didn’t seem to mix with those in other classes in his year last year, so he doesn’t really know anybody in his class.

I mentioned this to his teacher at meet the teacher meetings this week and she said that she’ll observe what’s happening.  He told me that he likes playing by himself when outside, but I know that this isn’t true and his teacher agreed as he is quite playful etc. with other kids when inside (they eat both lunch and recess in the classroom), he just seems to get lost when they all leave the classroom and head in different directions.  She mentioned that he is quiet, but always had someone to play with when stuck inside with recent wet weather, so she thinks that it’s not that he can’t get along with people, he just needs some help with the initial connection process.

‘Most’ teachers will do what they can to help kids out even if it means missing their break and if not, ask what other systems the school has in place to help her out.

Our old school had buddy benches, but they weren’t monitored by anybody and their play areas were separated, so kids usually found someone close to their age to play with.

Does sound similar. Well we just did bed time and I haven't asked about school today. We had activities planned this afternoon so thought I'd just let her relax and only talk about it if she wanted to. So before bed she said "you just left me at school while I was crying today!" Obviously had a tall that once the bell goes ALL the parents have to leave, not just me.
She said she tried playing with 3 girls from another year 1 class today but they said no because there wasn't enough toys or something? Very hard to make sense of the story but she did seem to end up on her own. Wet weather at lunch time so they watched a movie in their classroom, yay!

#19 Prancer is coming

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

I would be chatting to the teacher about it.

i have a kid that struggles socially.  Sometimes when he says he did not play with anyone, it means he did not play with anyone at one moment at lunch, if thst makes sense.  He seems happy wandering, so unless he appears upset, I don’t get invested when he mentioned he was on his own at lunch.

stuff thst helps is structured activities.  Sometimes there is an organised game of dodgeball. My kid even goes to a Christian group once a week, and whilst I am so not into organised religious groups, he enjoys it and the supervised play is what he needs.  He is right into running at the moment so he also runs laps at lunch.  It gives him a purpose and then other kids seem interested in what he is doing and joking in (or try to trip him up!).

#20 Jingleflea

Posted 27 February 2020 - 06:20 AM

Handball is big at DD's school.
From kindy up to yr 6 it seems.

#21 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 27 February 2020 - 06:31 AM

Playdates are essential.
I used to make ours really fun experiences - lots of cooking so even if the children didn't particularly want to spend time with DS they wanted to come for the activity and this flowed over into spending time at school.

you say you don't know many of the parents.
i am afraid that like it or not you need to get involved for her sake. Attend any coffee dates or parent get togethers. The more you connect, the more she will too and it will be harder not to issue a birthday invitation if they know you personally. Even if you are as introverted as I am for her sake you have got to do it.

Are you able to help out in the classroom? Make yourself known to the children and they will respond to her. She will also see your involvement and perhaps feel more comfortable.

And speak to the teacher about what their plan is for her.

#22 José

Posted 27 February 2020 - 06:36 AM

you really need to be chatting with the teacher. for a few reasons.
1, youre not fully understanding whats going on because your DD cant fully explain it. you need info from the teacher.
2, the school needs to be part if the solution here. its a big ask to expect a young child with a disability to solve this problem all on their own.

i notice other posters have suggested that you speak to the teacher, is there a reason that you havent?

#23 Expelliarmus

Posted 27 February 2020 - 06:42 AM

Ensure that addressing it is included in her individual education plan.

#24 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:00 AM

Poor Love :(

Does the school have any lunchtime activities she could get involved in, for example going to the computer room?  

I think the school needs to get on board a bit more, her class teacher could talk to the lunch time teachers to see if they can help.

Around year 1 playing on 'the bars' was a huge thing here. Maybe you can find out what the kids do at lunch and recess and help her with that. For example if its playing on the bars you could visit the school on Saturday and practise swinging on the monkey bars.

#25 CrankyM

Posted 27 February 2020 - 08:49 AM

You need to talk to the teacher so they can help facilitate something. They can also note it down in her ILP and even though she doesn’t qualify for aide support other strategies can be put in place to support her during the classroom breaks.

We’ve had this on and off. Letting the teacher know has helped. It means that some sort of structured activities can be done. At our school it also means that they start talking to the whole class about appropriate social skills in the playground and about including others. They have days where they facilitate the kids playing with different kids and mix it up.




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