The final entry in our four part Autism Diary series
February 23rd, Year 7 Head of Year diary
Another letter from parents today. The third this past month stating how distressed H.V.’s behaviour is at home after the bus ride from school. It seems to be further exacerbated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I have talked to the staff supervising transport at the end and beginning of the day to see if they notice anything. Mum has adjusted her working day to make sure she meets H.V. at the bus stop. Some days H.V. has had to be brought to school by his parents. The first term seemed to go well with no apparent issues reported. H.V. has also taken to using the learning support centre more frequently at break times. Staff there have noticed that when H.V. starts to pace back and forth and talk about his favourite topics, it seems to indicate increased agitation, but what this relates to is not always clear.
February 26th, Thursday
The member of staff on transport duty noticed H.V.’s agitation increase while waiting for the school bus and sent him back to Learning Support. Contacted mum by phone who will pick up H.V. Need to have a talk with mum and get the staff together who have been involved, to see if we can get to the root of this.
February 27th, Friday
H.V. not in for the morning but mum will pop in for emergency meeting at end of the school day. Staff have noticed on the transport roster that certain other pupils are on those buses from another year group who are involved in after school clubs on the other days. Will look into this.
Sometimes the reason for a pupil’s change in behaviour can be puzzling, especially when there does not appear to have been any prior indication in the same situation. The head of year is on the right track in asking the other staff involved to observe the situation. In these kinds of situations a bit of detective work is needed. One of the tools that can be used to record and collate information is an A.B.C. chart. An Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence chart on which are recorded the events leading up to an incident (the antecedent), the behaviour that occurs and the consequence of the behaviour. Other information may also be needed and the indications of anxious behaviour in the Learning Support area at certain times, coupled with the change in pupils who take the transport on certain other days could suggest that interactions with other pupils may be a possible reason. Of course one should never jump to conclusions. It is also very important that information from parents and communication with parents cannot be stressed highly enough. A pupil’s behaviour at home is different from in school, and this information is also important.
Alastair Fielden is our Education Consultant with over 20 years experience in SEND Education and assistive technologies.