not be really happy about other kids telling me my DS "has done well today"?

(68 Posts)
DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 18:16:56

My DS has learning disablities, speech and language problems and asd traits. He's 6, tiny for his age. I know his classmates feel protective towards him but I feel a bit cheesed off when other 6 or 7 year olds think it's their job to judge how well he's done in class. Surely that's the job of the teachers and TAs? He spends 19 hours with the TAs and SEN TAs anyway. The kids don't want to be his friend, he never gets invited to parties or playdates, plays by himself at playtime - he just seems to be molly-coddled by his peers.

Panzee Thu 31-Jan-13 18:19:38

I can see why you feel this way but they are showing their love for your son. It might seem a bit patronising but they are also six and don't get that.

StuffezLaBouche Thu 31-Jan-13 18:20:42

They're children - they most likely think they're being nice and supportive.
Though from the second half of your post i can see why you might feel like that.

Seabird72 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:20:43

Sounds like the teachers may have told them to deal with your ds in this manner - I don't think any child that age would automatically think that they should be praising another kid in class - especially if it's on a regular basis and they don't treat other classmates in the same fashion - I would say maybe their parents but if a lot of different kids are doing it I think it's more likely the school teachers have said something. At least he's not being bullied for being different.

scottishegg Thu 31-Jan-13 18:22:44

I honestly think the other kids are pleased that your son has done well, they possibly do feel protective over him and are probably aware of his differences.
Its a shame that he never gets invited to parties though but I place the blame for this solely on the other childrens parents shoulders, they are the ones to send out the invites and this is cruel. Have u tried to organise playdates for your son yourself?

AngelWreakinHavoc Thu 31-Jan-13 18:24:09

I think y a b a little bit u.
They obviously think a lot of your Ds to be protective of him and Molly coddle him.
They are but children themselves.

Branleuse Thu 31-Jan-13 18:28:59

i get this a lot with ds1 (12) and always have. I get what you mean, it is nice, but it hurts too

LadyMargolotta Thu 31-Jan-13 18:29:27

You have to admit, it's far better then him being bullied or made fun off for his problemssad

My ds has similar problems, and gets looked after by the girls in his class. I think it's really sweet.

One child did upset me, by coming up and saying very loudly, 'I never understand ANYTHING he says, he just speaks blasfdfeafejfejskgf' imitating his speech).

It's sad that your ds is not being invited to birthday parties, but I would blame the parents for that, not the child. Do you invite these children to your ds's birthday party? We tend to get reciprocal invitations.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 18:29:30

I do realise that they are looking out for him and find him endearing but I'm sad that they treat him as different. He has quite eccentric behaviour - his thing at the moment (well for a year or so) is dressing up in girls' clothes - I don't mind but his male classmates might find that odd - I have tried asking parents for a playdate - but the parents just look uncomfortable and say "yes that would be nice" but they don't ask me when... maybe I should be a bit more pushy.

DeWe Thu 31-Jan-13 18:32:50

I don't think they mean anything other than are pleased for him.

I've seen it happen with a little lad who has Downs syndrome in the year below dd2. The children would often come out and tell his mum how he'd done this or that and wasn't it brilliant. The teachers didn't tell them to do it, just they all loved him for who he was and seemed to instinctively recognise that some things were more effort for him than them.

I often get reports from other children about what sort of day DS2 has had at school. All his peers seem to know what his IEP targets are better than he does himself! The positive side of it is that his classmates are very protective of him; they won't tolerate him being 'picked on' by children from other year groups and they look out for him and his needs generally.

As he has got older and made more progress, they have begun treating him more equally.

He usually gets invited to a party or playdate about once every year or two.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 18:35:09

I should mention that most of his friends are "fictitious" - he can't tell me who he likes at school. I also forgot to say he has poor social interraction skills maybe down to no playdates.

LadyMargolotta Thu 31-Jan-13 18:36:02

If you ask them for a playdate, you have to be specifiek with a date and time. And if that is inconvenient, suggest another date.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:36:39

I can understand why you feel upset. Some children are keen to report on their peers. It's a natural drive for them to want to feel important, they think they are being kind by being positive about him. They are also emulating adults. Yes, it is cack handed, and seems patronising, and the genuinely kind thing to do is to include him, BUT, they may have no idea how to do this, or opportunity.

I'd do two things

A) ask that the teachers don't talk about your DS to you in front of the other children, unless urgent.

B) if she isn't already, ask that your DS does some social skills or friendship groups.

KellyMarieTunstall Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:18

If he is smaller than them they probably think he is actually younger than they are.

Children commonly think age is indicated by size (which makes for a few giggles among small/old - tall /young staff ) so it would be quite normal to them to look after the little one. They are being supportive in their own way and letting you know they are looking after him for you.

He is probably not being invited to parties for much the same reason -especially if he spends a lot of time with other adults in school rather than in peer groups.

Perhaps you could invite a couple of classmates for tea every so often to help him connect with his classmates in his own surroundings.

LadyMargolotta Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:23

My ds doesn't tell me either, so I make a point of regularly asking the teacher who he has been playing with.

Jinsei Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:59

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. There is a little boy in my dd's class who has special needs (don't know details) and my dd is similarly very protective towards him. They are both 7. Tbh, I think she likes to mother him a bit. blush She quite often comes home and tells me if he has achieved something that might be unusual for him. There is no malice in it at all, it's just her way of wanting to celebrate his achievement - she says it in exactly the same way as she might tell me about another child's achievement, as she recognises that for him, whatever he has done is a significant step forward.

I always found it quite sweet if I'm honest, but having read this thread, I wonder if it is just a bit patronising. sad I hope she would never say anything to his mum, but who knows. blush

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:38:13

X posts. Took me ages to write this!

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 18:47:38

My DS2 is tiny, has a severe language impairment, likely learning problems and is partially hearing. He also has some behavioural issues at school. I feel a bit like you do when we have children from his class over to play (he's only in Reception) and they tell me how he's a bit naughty in class sometimes or how he's done well at X or Y. They are assuming a role though. I think that, deep down, I feel that irritation because their behaviour makes me see how different his is and it makes me scared for his future.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:51:24

MissBetsey. I wondered about that.

pigletmania Thu 31-Jan-13 19:00:12

Yabu they ar only 6 and are trying to be friendly and supportive.

Summerblaze Thu 31-Jan-13 19:20:34

My ds has developmental delay, speech, language problems too. He is 5. This doesn't happen yet as he has only just started but I would think this was quite cute and their way of looking after him and acknowledging that his needs are different. My DS has a posse of girls who fuss over him every day. He couldn't care less though.

Do you think you being cheesed off is more due to the fact that you wish there was no need for them to be letting you know because you want him to be seen as their equal and for there to be nothing for them to notice. I do. I love my boy to bits and certain parts of his delay make him who he is but I still wish for his sake that he was developing as he should.

That said, I'm not sure I would like it still to be happening at 12.

Actually I'm going to buck the trend and say YANBU.

My own (non SN, if it makes a difference) DC are close in age and my older DC will sometimes say things like "now you sit there like a good little girl while Mummy does X" in a manner that seems very patronising. It's almost like he's trying to assert himself a higher place in the family hierarchy by assuming a parental role with her. I encourage him to look out for and support her but remind him that I am the parent and they are equals.

It is wonderful that your DS receives such encouragement from his classmates, but I wonder if the children in your DS's class have lost sight of the fact that he is their peer and occupies an equal footing on the classroom hierarchy. It does sound a little like in encouraging them to help him they have inadvertently been encouraged to see themselves as somehow superior to him. Perhaps an informal word to the teacher might be in order?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:37:04


Good point

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 19:40:22

Yes Jamie, I think IABU to feel that way but I have to acknowledge it nonetheless. How supportive are the school of his friendships, OP? When you say he spends 19 hours a week with the TAs, is that time withdrawn from class or in class? My DS has SALT every day in a small group and I know that that can be a little haven for him when things are stressful.

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 19:42:29

When you're a child it's quite simple.

You accept difference AND you acknowlegde it. They accept him and are positive, but they treat him as though he's different because he is. I don't think it's negative, but I understand how it would hurt you.

I am all for celebrating difference (of everyone) and accepting it. Would you prefer it if they treated him as the 'same'... if they did, they would probably therefore treat him badly for his needs?

YANBU, especially regarding inclusion in parties and social events, friendship circles etc., but I think for six years old, the children in your child's peer group sound lovely. Your son will be less different to his peers as they know him more... he will become, simply, him, to them.

Not sure if I've come across right, but whilst I believe in equality in respect and care, equal opportunity and inclusion, I also feel we should acknowledge difference and celebrate it. My school friend WAS different. He was in a wheelchair and didn't share lunch with us (as I remember he didn't 'eat food') and I adored him (and he DID get invited to playdates and parties) but he was different. Over time, we realised we both were, we all were and over time, that gave us all strength of character and a feeling of belonging.

I still do not think YABU though, you're his parent, and obvious differences make you worry... you're not alone though. My son has no special needs, he feels different in that he has different interests and ideals, I worry for him. I shouldn't, because he is accepted and acknowledged.

Fresh01 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:43:17

On the play date issue have you said "can x come on y day at z time to play" I know my DD1 (7) is very fond of the little girl in her class with downs syndrome and keeps asking to have her come and play. I usually do play dates during the week or during holidays but I can't invite this little girl then as I have 3 younger children to also supervise. I need to arrange a weekend play date when DH is here to look after the younger kids so I can be hands on with DD1 and her class mate but weekends are so busy with sports, parties etc 6 months later it hasn't been organised. Could a factor like this be at play?

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 19:43:35

And yes, NQS - I agree.

Sorry, my last post came over a bit narky. Not intended that way at all... just tired!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:47:03

MissBetsey. I understood. I wondered if I'd worded mine badly. It must be very hard. God knows how I about one of mine's social relationships.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:48:20


Great post.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:49:24

Bloodybipad. Meant to write God knows i worry about my DSs relationships

Catsdontcare Thu 31-Jan-13 19:55:02

Great post aldiwhore.

McNewPants2013 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:59:34

My own son has austism, and i get this off the kids as well.

His progress is very slow and he is always the last in the class to achive any given task. When he does get it the children seems to be excited for him.

they are soon to tell me about the negitive things as well.

My two girls will come and report on each other's day if one of them did something really good and they are two years apart. I don't think it is unnatural for them to do that, I then turn to the one who did something really good and ask them about it. They will also sometimes tell me about how well other children did, they are genuinely pleased when other children do well at something. Dd2 is v small for her age and she does find that children think she must be younger. Are you partly annoyed that the TA/ teacher isn't commenting? It sounds a bit like that in your post.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 31-Jan-13 20:33:20

YABU, although I completely appreciate why you feel sensitive about this. You can't project an adult's understanding of what constitutes patronising behaviour onto 6 and 7 year olds though. As far as they're concerned, they're being kind and supportive to a classmate.

I think there is a difference between classmates getting excited about specific achievements (DS managed all of circle time today/remembered his words to X/etc) and classmates who, as the OP said, feel like they are qualified to "judge how well he's done in class"

It's a sad indictment of our society when parents of DC with SN are expected just to be grateful that their DC aren't being bullied by their peers and suck up patronising attitudes as par for the course.

Yes he is different. Yes he needs additional support. Yes some of the classroom rules will be applied differently to him. He is not, and should not be 'equal' in any of those senses. However, he occupies the same place on the social hierarchy of the classroom as the rest of the children. The other children have a very valuable role in supporting him. Their role is to make him feel included socially and celebrate his academic successes with him. It is a very different role to the teacher/TA's role. It seems like there is some confusion between the two.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 20:43:58

Some children take it upon themselves to talk about or to other children. I think it meets their need to feel important or grown up. i have noticed it. It does need to be gently tackled though, as you say.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 20:54:42

Thanks for all your comments, I've just come back on so I haven't read all of them yet. But your comments have all made sense, good suggestions and nice to know other mum's have this too. I do have to realise that the other kids are little too and don't understand the concept of patronising - I suppose I just feel like they want to mother him than be his actual friend. It doesn't really help that he is usually accompanied by an adult at play time - my older DD (9) says she sees him holding the hand of a TA as he's quite scared of lots of children being naturally noisy when out playing. Yes, it's great he's not bullied, only ignored sometimes when he says "hello" to another child, which makes me a little sad, but kids do that.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 21:00:43

Useful ideas for playdates, thanks. We live not far from a park with swings and slides and it might be a good idea (when the weather gets warmer) to invite a couple of children to the park (pack some refreshments) to play with DS. That way I can avoid him playing with dolls or dressing up in girls' clothes at home with the the children - don't think it would go down well with the boys.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 21:03:41

NeverQuiteSure you've conveyed perfectly what I wanted to say.

Zavi Thu 31-Jan-13 21:15:27

Why on earth is your son in a mainstream school if he needs so much additional SEN support???

Can't you get a place at a special needs school - surely that would be more appropriate for your son if he has learning disabilities

CloudsAndTrees Thu 31-Jan-13 21:43:08

I completely understand why this would make you feel a bit sad, and a myriad of other emotions, but it's actually really lovely that other children are celebrating your ds's achievement and want to be a part of that somehow by telling you, so that you can be pleased too.

I work in a school and I see exactly the sort of thing you are taking about. (I also have an autistic child of my own so I see it from that perspective too) Children at the school I work in do the things you are talking about, mollycoddling children that they know have specific difficulties and who they know struggle with certain things.

They are just doing what they are taught to do, and they are expressing that in its purest form, in a way that only children can. They are taught they have to be kind, helpful to people who need help, they need to be pleased for achievement in their class, even if its not their own, they need to accept differences without questioning. And that's what they are doing. They might not want to be his friend, and while it's sad, from their point of view it's probably understandable, especially as they sound like lovely children.

You say that you don't think it's their job to judge how well your ds has done in class, but they won't be able to help that. They will see and notice if something is different to usual, they will hear the praise your ds receives, just the same as they will hear the praise, or sometimes the tellings off, that everyone else receives.

I think that the issue with the parties maybe one of smaller parties. In yr R we had lots of whole class parties, now there are more smaller parties, we have a small house, the children are limited to the number who can squeeze in, so they only invite the 5 or 6 closest friends. It's not meant to be a rejection of your child although I can see that it might seem like that to you. If you work on the friendships the parties might follow. It is different if they are excluding him from whole class parties though.

I would talk to the TA and see who tends to spend time with him, and don't assume it has to be the boys, dd2's best friend is a boy and they often play fairies together. Does he use signs if he has language delay? Teaching a few children to sign with him could be a good way to break down the barriers.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 31-Jan-13 21:46:19

Zavi! shock

Was that really worth posting? Don't you think the OP knows what's best for her own child without the input of some Internet random that knows next to nothing about her family?

And mainstream schools can cater exceptionally well for many children with LDs. As you would know if you had the first clue what you were on about.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:48:46

I can't speak for the OP or for any other parent of a child with SN but the reason why we chose to educate our DS at the local school is that our child has as much right to be a full part of his community as any other - attending the same school as his siblings, being there with children he's known his whole life, going to the park afterwards... some of the things it is hard to do if you are bussed out of your area to school then bussed home again afterwards if the school for children with special needs isn't local. (As ours isn't.)

For many parents, a place in a specialised unit is the right thing and for many it's not. I for one am glad my DCs attend a fully inclusive mainstream school, where a child's difference is planned for right from the start. My youngest is the 'Star Achiever' in his class this week and his brother will be cheering him on at his special assembly tomorrow, something that wouldn't be happening if they were separated. A small thing perhaps - but important too.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:01

Zavi, children with SEN can and do thrive in mainstream schools with appropriate support in place.

What a ridiculous post!

exoticfruits Thu 31-Jan-13 22:02:07

An utterly ridiculous post!

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 22:03:29

Neverquitesure and diamonddoris on one count you are both unargueably (spelling sorry) right... the playdates, parties, general mateyness... to be excluded from that is awful and upsetting. It's simply not on.

I guess I see it (aside from that) like this... my 5 year old comes home with certificates saying "good job today - Huwi showed really imagination/was kind/shared his things" etc etc., and Huwi echoes that language with his brother, me, his dad, the damn cat! I see the general support of any child as a positive thing. Whether our children have SEN or not, they and us are all 'grateful' they're not being picked on... sadly becase it's so common.

My son (as I've said) has no SEN, just different tastes that leave him omitted from various social engagements. The parents are guilty of excluding him 'because they know his doesn't like football and it was a football party' = assumption and missing the point! Or because the children just don't gel with him, and it's heartbreaking. Not everyone is as forward as the parent who hands every child (if they can afford an all child party) an invite and says "I know you hate footy but we'd love you to come along!" - THAT is a very common problem and not just a SEN problem. (We see it on here enough).

On the point of social inclusion outside of normal school hours, hey, your child is suffering what many non SEN children suffer, and it is not an exclusive SEN issue. It's horrid, I feel for you, all I know is you cannot change everyone else, all you can do is not join them, and make a massive effort to throws random BBQ's, playdates, park trips and invites everyone you possibly can think of (at no financial cost!) so that you can always say you tried. x

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 22:04:12

Haven't made it clear, but I have two sons... both very different! In case the flow seemed contradictory.

McNewPants2013 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:08:27

Zavi, my son doesn't need a special school. He functions well in school but with a bit of extra support.

Did you mean for your respponce to be so rude?

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 22:10:20

Zavi - he's getting a statement - I think the next step will be a special school.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:10:28

My DS1 is a footie hater too. He 'doesn't like the pushing and shouting and kicking.' He's fanatical about Lego though. Shall we hook them up aldiwhore ? grin

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 22:11:57

X posts OP. Well done on the statement. smile

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 22:13:48

MisBetsey, and aldi

Yes, Ds1 is also lego, hates football, loves hornby. Can he join? He's a bloody great kid, even though many of his peers don't appreciate him.

Summerblaze Thu 31-Jan-13 22:16:25

Zavi. Have a biscuit.

nailak Thu 31-Jan-13 23:07:03

there is a child in my dd2s nursery with behaviour issues they are 3/4 and when my 2 year old does something wrong dd2 often tells me, dont worry mummy, he is still learning, just like x,

the teacher says the whole class seem to be quite protective of this boy when i mentioned my dd2 was always mentioning him.

Zavi Fri 01-Feb-13 13:35:41

Good luck Diamond.

With specialist teaching, in a setting that is appropriate to your son's specific needs and abilities, I wouldn't be surprised if you see him flourish - including socially.

Mainstream schooling was not designed for children with special needs and, from what i've seen, despite a willingness to be inclusive by offering additional support, often fails them.

I'd be very surprised if your son was excluded/treated differently to the same extent as he is now by his peers in a special school.

elliejjtiny Fri 01-Feb-13 14:00:04

My DS2 has physical disabilities and the other children in his class tend to mother him, I think it's quite sweet. DS1 also tends to mother him at school, including telling DS2's teacher when she isn't looking after DS2 to the standard DS1 thinks is right. I think that's quite swweet as well although I don't think DS2's teacher agrees grin

FightingForSurvival Fri 01-Feb-13 14:30:25

Aw it's quite sweet really. My worst obeisance a mum who lives near me and she has chats with her son about mine and reports back to me. Wtf lol. I avoid her much as I can!

FightingForSurvival Fri 01-Feb-13 14:31:00

I have no idea what an obeisance is!

mathsconundrum Fri 01-Feb-13 14:36:02

These are the type of children who'd leave someone out but make a big show of taking them to the teacher if they were injured. Small children can be patronising and smug too.

Songbird Fri 01-Feb-13 14:42:48

I can totally understand where you're coming from, but it is quite sweet DiamondDoris. The children haven't necessarily 'made a judgement' about his work and achievements, they might just have been repeating what the teacher said in class.

lougle Fri 01-Feb-13 15:03:40

I wouldn't have phrased it in the way Zavi has, and I would defend every parent's right for a child to be educated in a MS school, but my heart sang when you said Special School is the next step, DiamondDorris!

My DD1 goes to SS. She is 7. She's probably the most able child in her class. She is more able than many in the school who are in higher years, as she has Moderate Learning Difficulties and her school caters from PMLD-MLD.

The truth is, "However, he occupies the same place on the social hierarchy of the classroom as the rest of the children" just isn't true, because his needs and developmental delays place him in a different zone to the other children, no matter what we would like to think.

In Special School, all the children have needs. DD1 has articulation problems, she has general needs. She's continent by day. Someone else at her school may have perfect speech but be incontinent by day.

The bizarre thing, is that all the children are just who they are there. DD1 says 'oh yea, Wobbie uses signs to talk. Tameron uses words....' Children with SN aren't silly, they just know that 'this is the way this is' and the needs are inconsequential to their day.

At SS my child is independently collecting a register from the office and returning to her classroom. The site is secure, they have CCTV - she can't get lost and she can't escape. At MS she would need a TA by her side, because the site isn't secure.

nailak Fri 01-Feb-13 15:06:12

Others experiences are different though. Not all kids do better in special schools.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Feb-13 15:11:59

It is nonsense to suggest all children to better in SNS.
My son is doing beautifully in a SNS but he could have stayed in MS with the right support.

There is absolutely no reason for him to be SNS apart from the fact I got sick of trying to get him properly supported.

He flourishes in a SNS because it has small classes and they are nurturing.

There are no magic and mysterious teaching tricks or special equipment.

The children are just children.

OP. I understand why you feel cheesed off. I am sure they are being kind but I would be a bit hmm too.

Good luck with the statement.

nailak Fri 01-Feb-13 15:20:03

Why would a ms site not be secure? That is strange!

I have a good friend whose child was in SS, and was not progressing, as soon as he moved to ms within 2 weeks he was reading, socialising, talking etc. she found in SS they met his reluctance to talk by using sign, and didn't really encourage him, did not meet his needs.

MrsDeVere Fri 01-Feb-13 16:10:44

I am sorry Lougle I hadn't read your post when I posted.
Your DD's sounds a lot like my DS and I a very happy that he is in SNS.
BUT what Zavi appears to be saying sounds very different from what you seem to be saying.

SNS should not exist. I am not anti SNS (that might sound weird) but kids should be educated together.

I think the SNS model is far superior to the MS model. If all MS followed it we would not need SNS.

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 01-Feb-13 20:17:26

Ds1 is also lego, hates football, loves hornby. Can he join? He's a bloody great kid, even though many of his peers don't appreciate him.

Yes, let's start a club! smile

kids should be educated together.

And this ^ exactly. And until they are, and it's done properly, the kind of ignorance that makes my DS's life harder than it is already will continue to exist.

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