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Thread: Should I warn people?

  1. #1

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    Default Should I warn people?

    Do you tell people in advance about your child's issues? Especially if they're issues that aren't immediately noticeable or could be misconstrued as 'bad' behaviour/parenting?

    So, I have done two workshops in the past week, both for parents....both said chn are welcome but participants can obviously concentrate better if chn aren't around. Unfortunately, DS has had no choice but to come with me....

    ....now, he's not a bad kid, but his one of his sensory issues means that he often needs to 'fill a space' with his own noise, especially if it's an unfamiliar place, situation or people. If there's already noise, he has to be louder. We generally get a running commentary of whatever he's up to at home, or humming, self talk or singing. We're used to it. But in a workshop it'd be darn annoying for most people.

    Today he totally freaked out, almost threw up, came over all hot and clammy, then proceeded to stand semi-comatose for a good 15 minutes, just staring at a notice board of photos....he had worked himself into such a state he eventually fell asleep for the rest of the workshop. This is totally uncharacteristic of him and I assumed he was having a relapse of the bug he had on the weekend. He can sometimes get upset if he sees something he doesn't like (realistic animal paintings or toys etc hanging from a ceiling will make him not go in a room, for example). It wasn't until we were leaving that I saw one of the photos was a painted preg belly with a kind of monster type face on it -big white teeth and green eyes etc. That was what had freaked him out!

    The two presenters today both commented on how DS' freak-out had freaked them out, and several people at the first workshop commented on DS' constant talking and moving about. Not in a nasty way, just in a,'well, you can't miss him, can you?!' or a 'he's definitely a boy!' way.



    Should I have told the presenters (the whole course?) that DS has some sensory issues and is likely to verbalise the whole time, or perhaps even freak out? I don't feel I need to justify his behaviour, or be told he's not welcome, and the vast majority of the time you'd never know there was anything different about him. But is it rude/inappropriate of me to not warn people in advance?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    I would. I don't think it's actually any of their business but if it is distracting, then I think it's the polite thing to do. People always give much more courtesy too if they understand what's going on.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    I do if it is relevant. Otherwise no.

    It's hard to describe the impact that behavioral issues can have on others though- my DS is highly intelligent but can't understand or encode changes in rules or behaviors from other people. So he appears completely normal until he has complete meltdowns for what other people would perceive as a minor issue. It's hard to explain until it happens.

    For your DS - I would have said something, just in case.

    Best wishes.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divvy View Post
    I do if it is relevant. Otherwise no.
    this.

    I don't think there is a need to tell everyone, but if it is relevant to the person, or could make it easier for the child, I would give a brief description.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    I do when taking Liebs to places where his behaviour is likely to be innappropriate and other adults may be affected. I rarely do this as it isn't appropriate, but as you say sometimes you have no choice. Liebs has been to Uni lectures with me, class and tutor approved beforehand.

    Comments in the supermarket are met with smiles and thanks: people either don't mean to be rude or intend to hurt, so I turn their comment to them. Really annoys the rude people. But I don't give details to randoms, just as I don't expect details when I talk to a child out and about.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    I think it was definitely relevant in this situation to disclose his sensory issues. Others need to be aware that he might be distracting during the workshop.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    Thanks everyone. This is all still quite new to us, so hearing what others (would) do is great. I'm still learning about what situations he does/doesn't cope well in, and I've never had to take him anywhere like this before, so didn't know it'd be an issue. He is no problem at my chiro/ob/physio appointments, and I figured with plenty of toys to play with it'd just be an extension of that. I did make a general comment as we went in both times, apologising that he was with me and saying that he was likely to talk through the whole thing, but I didn't say that it was due to sensory issues. Most people have never heard of SPD anyway...

    Interestingly, his 3yo kindy teacher doesn't think I should say anything to his 'big kindy' teacher next year. Surely if there's anyone who needs to know, it's his teachers? I should arrange an interview for the beginning of school next year, shouldn't I?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    If he has a written statement of needs and the kindy has that, you do nothing. Liebs does not and will not have this, so I flag it up for his teachers atm.

    TBH, I see so many children with communication differences these days that I can spot it fairly quickly. As do others. Children don't need statements but do need caring adults, differences or not. And teachers do talk to each other.

    I'd flag it even if I didn't need to, just for peace of mind. And I don't mind parents flagging me with stuff I have buried under 5000 other similar pieces of paper (also stored on computer and annotated on registers and my seating plans and lesson plans - not ignored, I promise).

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Should I warn people?

    He doesn't have anything 'official' yet...we're only one OT session in and don't see anyone else until next year. His 3yo kindy this year and kindy next year are at different places, so it's not like his teachers can chat easily. I too can spot most children with differences/difficulties - years of practise!

    Caring and understanding is all I ask for for DS. I think flagging his needs can help adults do this.

    I know I should know all this, I'm a teacher for crying out loud!! Thanks TFB

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