If your a regular reader you’ll know that we’ve had some behavioral issues with baby girl at school. Since we made the decision to move middle girl from their shared room, baby girl has been sleeping considerably better and consequently the frequency and severity of her ‘difficult behaviors’ are much less. They haven’t gone though. I recently asked our GP to make a referral for baby girl to see our community pediatrician as I’m wondering if baby girl might have some sensory issues. If she does, it would explain the issues she had with sharing a room and also explain why she becomes so easily dysregulated.
Anyway, I knew a long time ago that baby girl was struggling at school for various reasons, so I put together a helpful guide for her teacher before the start of the school year last July, I did one for all of the girls, you can read big girls here. I also included a copy of the National Children Bureau ‘Understanding Why’ booklet. Baby girls letter was obviously different to big girls as it focused on her needs, here is a small extract:
Sometimes when it looks like I’m having lots of fun and behaving ‘silly or excited’, I’m actually not coping very well and may need your help to calm me down and reassure me that everything is ok. I find unstructured time at school a little overwhelming because I can’t regulate my behavior. Mummy says I’m a bit like a bottle of fizzy pop, and the excitement of school shakes me up and up, but when I get home I take the lid off and fizz all over the place. Please help mummy by helping to keep me calm throughout the day. Sometimes I might just look like I’m an active bubbly little girl, but really that’s just me not coping very well. When I’m coping I’m very kind, considerate, thoughtful, chatty and sensitive.
I’ve had my suspicions that baby girls teacher hadn’t bothered to read the information I gave her for a while. Today I read another message in baby girls ‘home school diary’ that just reinforced my suspicions.
‘XXXXX was distracted this afternoon and although she was asked several times to avoid distractions she still put herself in distracting positions. Silly behavior this afternoon as well Mrs B’
I wont tell you the words I initially used when I read this, but lets just say I tut’d, a lot!
I spoke to baby girl about her day at school she talked about children ‘being very naughty’ and her teacher ‘using her shouting voice’ , one particular incident I suspect would have been quite worrying for baby girl, they were doing some maypole dancing and one of the boys tied the ribbon around his neck and the teacher shouted, I expect there was a lot of panic around the incident which would have frightened her and also a lot of shouting which she also doesn’t cope well with. Baby also tells me that during one of her own many telling’s off this afternoon her teacher informed her ‘Mommy wont be very happy with you when you get home’. I’m not even going to tell you how furious that remark made me as I’m not sure I could refrain from swearing. It was the wrong thing to say to a child with a background such as hers and generally just wrong on more levels than I can count.
So, do I waste even more breath trying to get her teacher to understand, or just hope September brings a new teacher who doesn’t think she knows my child better than me!?