Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tips for School Survival for Adopted Children

Things that helped our Son settle in to school particularly at the scary break and lunch times.

Break time and lunchtime were the times when 80% of inappropriate behaviours happened in the early days at school.

Unsurprising really. Little Bear couldn't self regulate, doesn't cope with new and different things without warning, and was unable to manage imaginative play without a lot of direction from me. He was also scared. Playtime is noisy and Little Bear doesn't cope with excessive noise. It's a large space with lots of people he doesn't know very well and they are running about and screaming.

Little Bear was either inside on time out or hiding under a big bush in the playground, until with the school we worked to make playtime better for everyone.

Little Bear (fairly quickly and surprisingly for an adopted child) transferred his attachment from me as his main carer to his wonderful YrR teacher and TA. Therefore they were key to his settling down in school.

I worked with LB to identify 'sad feelings' which led to 'thinking that wasn't good thinking' and worked on a process of avoiding meltdown with the teacher.

When LB had an 'angry feeling in his tummy' he would ask for Miss P or Mrs D and without fail they would come out into the playground to him. He learned that his safe people in school would ALWAYS be there for him if he needed them.

Then a learning support took him out of the playground at lunchtime to work with other children (of his choice) on social skills using quiet games.

He was gradually reintroduced to the playground and buddied up with some older children who would lead games and organise participation with an learning support supervising from a distance.

This was a very gradual process and it is by no means complete in Yr1 but LB knows he can rely on the school staff.

I am posting this because, together with our Adoption Support social worker who was involved at the beginning of Reception, we see Little Bear's school as an example of good practise with an adopted child and hope these pointers could be of use to other adopters.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this - I shall reread it nearer the time, and go armed with suggestions!
    Sounds like you have a great school.