View Full Version : Advice please?

Heaven Scent
18-05-2010, 08:40 PM
Ok this is about a mindee of another minder who lives near me.

The child is 2.5yrs and he goes to the minder 3 days pw.

The minder has looked after his older brother who is now 11 since he was a baby and is the younger ones God Mother.

Now child went to minder when he was about 9 mths old and appeared like any other baby (not the best looking - because he has a funny shaped head inherited from his dad!!) Having said that he was a lovely placid baby then Dad lost his job and he looked after baby and by all accounts baby spent a great deal of time playing in his playpen alone. Dad is known to be very lazy -anyhow after several months dad went on a training course and minder had him again and has had him since.

When baby returned to the minder he was about 1.5 and wasn't walking but mum thought that this was fine as the older brother didn't walk until he was 18mths. He is still not walking but has recently started pulling himself up and will do a walking movement with support but he cannot place his feet flat on the floor they are both twisted and bent and his toes are curled in. Mum puts Clarkes cica trainers on him (she says to keep his feet warm) I think to hide them and she probably feels that if they are clarkes then they won't do him any harm - he came with a new pair this week - not because the others are worn out - they don't get used but probably because she probably felt he'd had the others a long time and they will probably be getting too small for him - she can't have an idea of whar size he takes because nobody would measure his feet and fit him with shoes as he cant walk and they are all twisted.

He gets around by bum-shuffling but not flat on his bum moving both legs he has a more prominent leg and uses the opposite arm to support him and help him to scoot along. (it reminds me of the man in the film My Left Foot if any of you can remember that).

As time passed the child has been looking more and more unusual his eyes are very close set and look (point) in different directions He looks sort of cross eyed but its not just that. We are not sure if he can see properly or if he has no peripheral vision or if he just sees shadows as sometimes he hits out at people who approach him and he sometimes hold things up close to his eyes before using them (toys etc) or eating them (items of food).

The next point is that he is still not speaking - he started to babble a few months ago and now he will wave bye bye (in his own way) and says something which could be bye bye or which we believe to mean bye bye it has two syllables.

He also holds his hands in a pecular manner and seems to have very little muscle control - although he has recently started trying to feed himself with a spoon he doesn't get any food on the spoon this could be because he can't physically do it or because he can't see to do it or a mixture of both.

He hits out at other children and people for any reason or no apparent reason ????? - I do think some of this is because he cant see them - I'm no expert so I am only guessing. This is a problem because he really really wallops them - be can hit really hard now!!! He also hits himself on the face and around the head.

He also throws toys from one end of the room to another and I took all the metal cars and some other toys out of the minders toy boxes as I felt he could do a great deal of harm to other children with them. Because of the bad control of his arms these can go anywhere.

He is still in nappies.

About 6 months ago mum told the daughter of the of the minder who is a family support worker at the childrens centre that when she was pregnant an abnormality in one of the lobes of his brain showed up during a scan - they were told he would need a brain scan when he was 2 - according to mum this would involve him having a general anaesthetic which she doesn't want him to have.

He gets recurring chest infections which need inhalers as well as antibiotics to clear them up.

Now for a background of the family mum is a nervous type of person with a stammer and dad is a very tall man with a very very large head which is a really strange shape. Apparently he has a temper and is very stressed. He got a series of P/T & temp jobs over the past year and has been in the same temp job with the local council for about 8 mths now. But durning that time he suffered a heart attack and was off work for ages.

They had a baby who died or was still born it was very ill and quite badly malformed then they had the 11 year old brother who had a heart condition but that appears to have righted itself. The 11 year old has a stammer also which he has had help with and has inherited dads large bulbus head (bless him).

Now the minder has been on and on at mum about the childs development and she just keeps saying "oh they all do it", "so what if he walks late", "so what if he doesn't start preschool with the rest his age, he can do it later", the list goes on and on. Mum eventually gave in and took him to be weighed which led to a very quick appointment with a paediatrician who referred him to an eye specialist - who said he has a squint in both eyes (???) and it keeps swapping between them but they want to see him again soon. The next appointment was with a kidney specialist who said that he had too much salt in his system and this can lead to floppy muscles and they need to watch his salt intake. He is also supposed to be having an appointment with someone regarding his brain development (possibly leading to a brain scan). But the paperwork regarding the appointment got lost and a new appointment had to be made but has not come through yet as far as either the other minder or I know. It was just after the appointment went missing that dad had the heart attack.

We take the children to Jo Jingles every week (which he really really loves) and mum came one week for a few minutes in the weeks after Dads Heart Attack and she spoke to me about him and seemed quite positive about getting help for him but finished saying that she needed to get dad sorted out first - quite understandably - but he has been back at work for ages now and she has been very happily sticking her head in the sand.

Everybody who sees him asks what is wrong with him and some parents really complain about how he hits their children when we are out at Ceramic Experience where we go for Jo Jingles.

The minder has actually got cancer of the bone marrow she has had treatment but it has never fully gone and she has a bad back which she really hurt badly a couple of months ago whilst carrying him out of a building where we hold our support group during a fire drill he is really heavy. So she is not only taking all the flack by worrying about him to the point where she has sleepless nights but she has to try to care for his needs without knowing what they are and does not know how to handle him correctly as a result. She give him loads of love an affection but she doesn't know how to properly help his development - neither do I.

Growth wise he is quite tall for his age and is not fat or plump just heavy he has after all got that huge head (out of proportion with the rest of his body).

Mum brought up the subject of the appointment for his brain this morning and was really hostile and told the minder to forget about it as it wouldn't show anything, (she says there is no point in taking him to the doctor because they won't do anything - she waits until he is really ill every time) so the minder said that OK even if they do forget about the brain appointment/scan then he will still need physiotherapy & speech therapy. Mum said that she wasn't to say anything to dad about mindees problems or (in mums own words) "he will go up like a bottle of pop". She also said something about thinking that he may have autism but having researched it she doesn't think it is. - she is in pure denial and is terrified of upsetting that great ugly lazy oaf of a husband of hers surely he can see it - he has a problem with one of his eyes and has difficulty seeing with it but that is no excuse.

Anyhow, now that I've said all that what I want to know is

a) if any of you have ever come across anything like this? - I feel like its a cross between Cerabal Palsey & perhaps something on the autistic spectrum.

b) our network co-ordinator (or whatever she is called these days) and another of the family support workers say mothers denial is now bordering on neglect. - what do any of you feel about this?

c) Do you feel there is anyone the minder can speak to either in confidence either by giving her name and explaining her role with the child or annonymously and if she won't/or feels she can't should I or one of the other minders do it????

I am really really sorry that this is so long - I have been meaning to post about it for months now but have just not got round to it because I didn't know how to approach it and I knew it would be long.

I really do feel so sorry for this poor little mite I also feel really sorry for his mum she has had a lot to contend with in her life - I think she just doesn't feel she can cope with or face up to him being ill or having something wrong with him - if she doesn't find out then there won't be anything wrong.

The Juggler
18-05-2010, 08:50 PM
oh hon! how sad.:( I would keep pressuring mum to keep the appointments and if not, I would think about looking at it from the neglect view. I would perhaps see if you can get some anon. advice from your local CAF team?

Heaven Scent
18-05-2010, 08:56 PM
Being thick here what is CAF???

19-05-2010, 05:19 AM
I would say its neglect. Its obvious there is something wrong and they are not putting the needs of this child first! I do think it might be worth speaking to the safeguarding team and getting some advice......not only are you looking at helping this child, you have to protect the ones that are in the minders care also if this child is hitting out etc. The childs quality of life would improve with the right care and medication etc.
Remember to call ofsted and tell them if you contact the safeguarding team. I would suggest a health visitor to, but the parents are less likely to take notice IYSWIM so i would def. go down the neglect route.
Big hugs to you x and your friend needs to put herself first if she is ill, so big hugs to her too x

Heaven Scent
19-05-2010, 07:18 AM
Thank you - Why do you think I need to contact Ofsted? Surely as far as this is concerned I am just a member of the public I intend to do it annonymously as I feel that if this man does have a huge temper I need to protect my family and the mindees in my care!!! I don't want any unnecessary scenes of anger here - also these people need help rather than an attack so I don't want to go in with all guns blazing - I feel with all that has gone on the mum is on the brink of a breakdown. The minder obviously knows her really well and in the past has had a good relationship with her because she asked her to be God Mother.

I'm going to ring our Network Co-ordinator who was a minder in the town and who has been a good friend of this minder for many years and tell her about yesterday and ask her she is very very aware of the situation with this poor boy and when we go to the childminding group at the Childrens Centre she puts a great deal of time and effort into this boy.

This is all very scarey!!!!

19-05-2010, 07:26 AM
hi celest you can contact your local c.c for advice without mentioning lo name thats what there for also if mum agrees you could go support her with meeting at docs/health visitor it does sound like some sort of brain problem its afecting all of his body and without help will detoriate i would talk to mum tell her how important she needs to get help if she refuses i would get help myself evan if its c.p as its neglect. poorly little boy he may be suffering good luck and your friend.:) sandy

Heaven Scent
19-05-2010, 08:26 AM
He's not my mindee and the other minder offered to go to appointments with mum but she won't let her go with her - If mum goes alone she can play it all down and say he's doing things he's not - he keeps telling the minder that he talks loads at home - babbling isn't talking is it?

The poor woman is in denial and is probably scared of her wits to be told the truth - things may not be as bad as she thinks if she would only get him checked and then he will get help - without help he will just get worse.

19-05-2010, 08:49 AM
My daughter has spastic diplegia which is a form of cerebral palsy, When you said " He is still not walking but has recently started pulling himself up and will do a walking movement with support but he cannot place his feet flat on the floor they are both twisted and bent and his toes are curled in" that instantly reminded me of my daughter but I picked up on it from a really young age, she was delayed in everything from rolling to sitting to pulling herself up etc. Then as she became older I picked up on her learning and how far she was behind with all that. She is now 7, she'll be 8 in August, and still struggles but always tries her best and thats all i ask for, Her head is a normal size and no funny shape so that maybe something completely differnt. Anyway back to what i was going to say, I was very hands on and pushed for every single appointment as i knew things werent right and my health visitor agreed with me and was a fantastic support. My husband, mum and close family were forever telling me there was nothing wrong with her, i was over reacting etc etc. I'm not really one for being told what to do especially when it comes to my childrens well being and so glad i pushed. She now has physio every month sees her paediatrician regulary and has one to one help in school. I know this doesnt really help but the point im making is if there both in denial someone else needs to step in and as the others have already said this does sound like neglect.

I really hope things work out for the little boy

Amanda xxx

mandy moo
19-05-2010, 10:00 AM
CAF - Common Assessment Framework..

19-05-2010, 01:37 PM
The network coordinator sees him every week.

She must know if the situation is not improving.

I would say as lead professional (as far as his care when with the childminder is concerned) then she should be doing something to protect the child.

There should be intervention yes and I think if it's getting that bad then she (or the childminder herself) should be looking at how it is put in place.


19-05-2010, 01:48 PM
If she sees him regularly, I'm astounded that the network co-ordinator hasn't taken any action yet :panic: She should know it's not something the childminder is qualified to deal with, but should know where to go for help.

I think it's quite common for parents to be in total denial and it is something I have dealt with before.
With the child I looked after things had progressed a bit further in that various agencies were involved, but mum was reluctant to follow their advice. I used to have a nursery teacher, physiotherapist & someone connected with the sight problems (can't remember who it was) come to me. Mum was OK about her child being given the right treatment when she was with me, but didn't want to do it herself at home (denial, but partial acceptance of a problem). I was given lots of advice, support & additional equipment and worked on the physio etc. Once mum could see it was making a difference, she did start to get involved herself. The biggest breakthrough was when she stopped saying "it doesn't matter if she's a bit late walking" or "she talks all the time at home", and accepted that her daughter was never going to walk or talk. Now she fights for her daughter to get the best opportunities & treatment she can :)

Heaven Scent
19-05-2010, 05:23 PM
Right, Well, I spoke to the network co-ordinator on the phone this am before seeing the minder and said her words about mum's denial bordering on neglect had been niggling on me and then I told her what had happened yesterday and she said that we have to be very careful as we don't have permission from the parents to discuss the case and that he will be undergoing his 2.5year check soon and that it will all be highlighted then. When I said that his symptoms were pointing in the direction of Cerebal Palsey she said only mildly. I'm no expert but they do match one type to a T but I didn't like to say that - she tends to like to think she is an expert on all things childcare related. I know her heart is in the right place but she is no expert - she worked in a childrens home in the past and was a minder for years before she did this job - she has no particularly spectacular qualifications in childcare - I can see that she sees herself as this childs saviour.

As far as the health visitor is concerned it just me or wouldn't you think that if you saw this child and referred him then you would make a note to see what the outcome was.

Since the mum spoke to the minder yesterday morning she seemed to have changed her attitude when she picked him up in the evening and said that during the day she sent some emails to chase up appointments but I don't know what for but by the time she came back this morning she was all negative again she said she'd been on the internet and read that behavioural problems disappear when they are 5 and so there is no point in going down that route after all gggrrrrrrr the minder just wanted to bang her head on the wall - she was gutted. But thought that she had managed to talk the mum round by the time she left again - she's stayed over half an hour at drop off this morning.

When it comes to things like this I really really wonder why they tell us that we should note everytbing down if nobody is ever going to consult us we are supposed to be a link in the chain so why cant we speak up.

19-05-2010, 07:26 PM
i would contact local safeguarding team, anon if you prefer and get advice from them, waiting for 2 1/2 check will just take even longer and sounds like this poor child needs some help now! a Caf will probably be a good call around now as sounds like a few people could do with being involved but you would need permission from parent for this to begin. is there a family support worker at childrens centre you could ask advice off, unfortunately childminding coordinators aren't always the best people to call on for advice as previously said they don't always have the experience/knowledge themselves.

sending hugs to you, your friend and the little one and hope you start the ball rolling soon xx

Heaven Scent
20-05-2010, 08:58 AM
Amanda Jane thatnk you so much for sharing your experience with me on here. I just wish that poor old Thomas had a mum with as much concern as conviction as you. Bless him he needs someone to fight his corner for him and she just hasn't got it in her to do it.

I don't think the large bulbus head has a connection with his other problems but I don't think it helps its just a lot of extra weight for the poor lamb tohave to carry and it makes him stand out in a crowd more.

There is however a slim chance that it is connected and he could have a condition that passses down through generations shich gets progressively worse. The school teacher calls the 11yr old brother quirkey and he is a bit different bt having said that he has got a lot to contend with. Mum thinks its great that the teacher said this about her son and says they are just a quirkey family - they are just a bit unique in her eyes.

Poor old older brother is tall and thin with this triangular shaped head that bulges out at the forehead. He has to put up with all that this little fella throws at him and he is told not to tell him off if he hits him or throws things at him he is becomming really badly affected by all this and is is off up to high school in Sept and will be going through a the difficulties that puberty will throw at him.

One other thought I have is that this poor wee chappie will grow up and will be bright enough to know he has problems and is different to everyone else and he will wonder why his mum didn't try to help him earlier and he will be very likely to ask outright and how will she live with herself if that happens. I just cant get my head round why she is so reluctant to take the bull by the horns and fight tooth and nail for her poor little one. I can sort of feel empathy for her reasons and her fear that the stress may cause her husband to have abother heart attack and then she would be the only earner in the home again - I have no doubt they are in a financial mess at the moment and lots of appointments with her LO will mean her taking time off work etc so she will be worried in case that goes against her but she only works 3 days pw and she could always ask to see doctors in an alternative hospital on her days off - I did this when my 2 were little and they had appointments regarding their hearing and sight plus regular checks etc - I went through a phase of feeeling as though I was never away from hospitals with them.

Mum didn't say anything at pick up last night so nothing else will happen now till he returns on Monday.

Thanks again for all your replies - I'm no further on with where to go from here and feel this is a delicate situation and I am not in a position to just shoot from the hip and as he is generally loved and very well cared for I do have a little time to play with while I take my time in making the right decision. Like I said before my family and mindees have to come first.

20-05-2010, 09:08 AM
Sounds like a difficult situation to be in for you, the cm and the mum. If you have spoken to your dw about this then I think it is her responsibilty to go down the CAF route. Maybe contact them and see what they say. The mum must know that the cm has concerns about her little boy and maybe if the cm starts the CAF process then Mum will be forced to admit that there is a problem and get help for the whole family. Sounds like they all need support in different ways.
Hope you can soon get some support on what you/the cm should be doing.