To wonder if this hurdle with my son and his dad not switching on are a symptom of the same thing?

(90 Posts)
TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 09:34:45

This is an example of a conversation I had with my 6.4 year old son last night.
Me-"DS, your bath is ready. go up stairs, get undressed. Pants and socks in the wash. Uniform over the stair gate. Ok, I will go through it again. Uniform off, pants and socks in the wash, uniform on stair gate. Now, what is it I need you to do?
DS- "erm, take my uniform off.. Erm... Errr
Me - Ok, uniform off. Pants, socks in wash. Uniform on stair gate.
DS - repeats it back and goes upstairs.

I leave it 5-6 mins, and shout up are you in the bath? He says no. I go up and hes sat on his bed, fully clothed playing. I asked why he wasnt undressed. He said he didnt know what I meant. I asked what he didnt understand about taking his uniform off and putting his pants and socks im the wash? He said he thought I meant tomorrow.

He was looking at me worried, (I think he was worried I was going to get cross) wide- eyed and genuinely confused.

We have these conversations day in day out.

Even simple 3 word tasks get the same results. I switch off the tv, make sure I speak slowly and clearly, and he is looking at me and repeats it back.

This is a child that gets on well at school, has absolutely no SN, and no sing of them. I know for a fact this is not the cause.

Now his dad hmm. I will hear my youngest son ask him a question up to 10 times in a row and his dad simply doesnt switch on and hear it. He locks onto something, the TV, a book or his phone he literally cannot unswitch and hear his son. Ive had to tell DS1 to stand in front of the tv to get his attention. His dad is not hard of hearing and he appologises to him for not noticing. He can be a pillock but hes not ignorant and would never deliberately ignore his son.

Its causing arguments now though because I will be upstairs getting showered and dressed and I can hear 2yo ds2 saying mummy over and over again, but his dad not answering him. No one answering him. When I confront his dad about it, he says he only just started asking for me 1 second ago. Except I was stood at the top of the stairs listening for ages waiting for him to be answered, his dad just thinks Im using it as an excuse to nag him and genuinely believes he 'only just started asking for you.' Asking for mummy 12 times in a row is not just a second.

He literally cannot switch on his brain to register his son talking. He'll be sat on his lap and say "Daddy look." Over and over again and he doesnt notice,

It drives me nuts.

Wise worse, PLEASE.

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 08-May-13 09:37:05

No idea, but will watch with interest as I have the same problem with my DS1 and DH!

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 09:37:42

Really!! Thats a relief to hear!!

aldiwhore Wed 08-May-13 09:42:40

This sounds like an extreme problem of a fairly common issue!!

I have had to learn to block out everything as I find it hard to concentrate and am easily distracted, so often, if I'm working on the kap top it takes my DH to actually TAP me before I even realise that one of my children has been standing in front of me saying MumMUmMUMUMUM for 5 minutes.

I'm also prone to day dream, my mum used to say she'd often look at me and know I was 'elsewhere'.

For me, the skills I learned to cope with life in general can sometimes become a problem themselves!

Perhaps been spoken at is not how your men listen? Maybe walk through the afterschool routine with your son? I did this for a week with my boys, everyday the same 10 minute routine (shoes on the shoe shelf, uniform over the chair, change clothes, drink, relax) a REALLY simple one. They now do it. This is after a lot of frustration from trying to TELL them.

As far as your DH goes you really need him to be more aware, in his defense, perhaps the children need to know when to wait so they don't become 'white noise'?

Exhaustipated Wed 08-May-13 09:46:00

I do know what you mean... it is a problem with listening in both cases, and multitasking in your DH's case. I really don't want to get into gender stereotyping but let's just say that some men/boys (as well as some women/girls) have a problem with these two skills!

Um, what a vague and unhelpful response blush

Have you properly discussed with DH the ignoring thing? I think that sounds a bit worse than average tbh and should be addressed.

OnTheNingNangNong Wed 08-May-13 09:46:42

I know that my eldest (6, no learning difficulties) finds it difficult to follow long sets of instructions, I have to break it down into smaller, manageable chunks, so for bedtime. 'DS1, please take your uniform off now and hang it on your chair' when that's done. 'DS1, please put your underwear in the laundry basket'.

I know in my eldests case, his mind is whizzing away on whatever latest thing takes his fancy and what I'm saying gets confused in his head and gets mixed up.

FruOla Wed 08-May-13 09:52:33

No particularly wise words - nor experience. But do you think that your DH ignoring what's going on around him is sending signals to your DS that it's OK to do this?

You say DS is doing well at school; presumably he's concentrating there because he knows his teachers are concentrating on him?

What Exhaustipated said, it looks as though you're going to have to address this with DH before you can make progress with DS.

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 09:57:43

I have this too but I don't think there's an excuse for it really. I think it is disrespectful to ignore other people even if you can't help it. It means you are putting yourself first at all times and not considering that other people are important.

Men do it more than women, men have bigger egos. I don't think it's a built-in genuine disability, it's that they don't need to, they get more out of life when they focus on their own needs. It's selfish. I do think there are times when DCs should learn to wait and not interrupt adults but when they are little their needs should come first.

This is very interesting though, as there is an argument that aspergers is a valid excuse to be given by women about neglectful men. But is that a good enough excuse? Isn't that just the same as saying 'they never learned to cook so shouldn't need to learn now'?

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 09:59:10

The kids Dad definitely isnt ignoring the children, he genuinely doesnt hear them.

I dont think its sending out signals, no. Because ds1 always answers when asked/called, and you can see him wide eyed trying to take in the information, and I can also see it flying out the other ear, its not for want of trying.

Walking DS through the instructions is a good idea.

But Aldi Im not really sure what you mean by the children waiting? Do you mean, wait for him to stop watching the TV?

TBh they would be forever waiting. Their dad can be making a cup of tea or staring outside, if he isnt engaged he isnt engaged, they would forever be waiting. Plus when the toddler is on his lap saying "Daddy look!" im not sure exactly what it is he would be waiting for. Im not sure if I explained that very clearly, I hope you understand my ramblings! smile

WilsonFrickett Wed 08-May-13 10:05:38

Erm, no wondering asperger's is not 'a valid excuse' it is a defined condition which affects how some people interact with the world.

OP I know you say your son has no SNs so don't freak out when I say this but: the techniques used to manage SNs like autism will be very helpful to you here. If you have a search around the SN boards you'll find out more, but it sounds to me like you're being too verbal with your DS (some people are not good verbal learners) and over complicating things (some people have problems in planning).

So for the situation you describe here are some ideas
a) only issue one instruction at a time
b) make a check list - a visual timetable - for DS to follow, this can be pics or words
c) label - the cupboard with the washing, the spot where you want the uniform to go

You may not have to do all of these of course! Just some suggestions. HTH.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 10:08:10

I think you hit the nail on the head Wilson, and I really like your suggestions. As soon as I read them I thought yes, DS could do it that way.

Thank you.

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:14:42

AFASIC also have some good resource for good communication which could work for anyone.

I know Aspergers is a defined syndrome, with a fairly wide spectrum of symptoms, but many have it and are not diagnosed for years. It does often become an excuse for poor behaviour but there is no way of knowing without a diagnosis.

Maybe you could get him to do an online test - this would make him more aware of the behaviour itself and possibly help him to change it.

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:16:24

I'm talking about the DH there, not DS. He's still little and could do with ideas such as Wilson suggests. I do think it's likely that Dad models the behaviour and he copies. It's what children do. It must be quite confusing for him.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 10:21:26

I was just wondering if ds could manage an online test and I saw your next post. grin

I dont think ds has aspergers, I just read the symptoms of them and honestly he just doesnt fit the bill at all.

I have noticed that he doesnt seem to notice when another child is not liking him leaping all over them, cuddling them, getting giggly right in their face and generally not respecting personal space, but Ive put this down to over excitement.

But apart from the apparent difficulty reading friends body language, that really is the only box he ticks.

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:23:35

It is a wide spectrum. I would say as long as it doesn't get him into trouble you could ignore it. If he's not able to modify his behaviour as he gets older you may want to get an assessment.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 10:29:34

Oh right. What age would you think?

BeaWheesht Wed 08-May-13 10:29:57

I don't know but my 6 year old son is the same As is my Dh and it causes massive issues! Dd (2) will ask 'what's this?' 10 times nd Dh ignores her it pisses me off massively.

PeneloPeePitstop Wed 08-May-13 10:33:49

Would it be worth investigating whether or not he has some kind of auditory processing disorder?

Visual timetables may help...

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:35:35

Not sure what age, a professional could do an assessment now, perhaps that would help? They should be able to tell you whether it is a learned behaviour or a genuine disability. AS kids do exactly the things you describe, but even with a diagnosis it's about managing the symptoms and finding strategies which work and not about finding a 'cure'.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 08-May-13 10:38:55

I don't think this is unusual. Both my DDs are this way...they tend to be worse when it's things they'e not particularly interested in doing...such as laundry type things and washing!

If however I say "Go upstairs, go into the cupboard and get my face painting bag and glitter...then fill up a pot of water and bring it all down so we can paint faces." they'll manage that just fine!

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:41:44

Good point Neo. OP is it selective hearing? You can test them by saying quietly 'there's a bar of chocolate for you at the top of the stairs' and see his response. Or to DP 'I'm going to cancel the broadband tomorrow' and see what happens grin

CheesyPoofs Wed 08-May-13 10:42:08

DH is like this. He 'switches off'.

When I'm telling him something important I have to ask him to turn the TV or music off, make sure he's looking at me and get him to repeat back to me what I've just said.

He absolutely can't multi-task, even if it's just watching TV and talking to someone at the same time.

He's also prone to daydreaming, standing there with glazed eyes, obviously not 'there'.

He says it's actually a really nice place in his head cos he doesn't notice all the minor irritations that I so, and never gets stressed about anything.

LadyBigtoes Wed 08-May-13 10:44:08

Exactly the same thing here. We usually make a joke about it - DS (aged 7) knows he is "dreamy" and I will say things like DS, time to get dressed.. ... ...Earth calling space cadet DS, GETTING DRESSED TIME" etc etc then I will have to frequently remind him to get on with it all the way through. DS, why have you put on two pairs of pants one on top of the other (this morning)!? DS your top is on backwards, twizzle that top!! DS are you dressed, or are you boinging about on the sofa wearing nothing but one sock with 5 mins to go until school time?

And yes his dad is the same - sometimes have to say things multiple times to both of them before they wake up. Ipads and iphones do not help either. DP cannot focus on more than one thing at a time so if he's looking at his phone, he doesn't hear anything. I sometimes shout VERY loud at home - not in anger, just to wake people up and get them to hear me.

I generally just get on with it but sometimes (e.g. when I have PMT) I get really irate at never, ever being listened to by them.

DS is dyslexic, but DP isn't and they are the same in this way.

LadyBigtoes Wed 08-May-13 10:45:40

I do the selective hearing test as well.

DS get dressed.
DS get dressed.
DS get dressed.
DS get dressed.
DS time to get dressed.
DS shall I get mint choc chip ice cream at the supermarket today?

DS: Eh, wha'...?

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 10:46:46

I've given up with mine. I'm on a no-nag strike. They are teens now and I'm exhausted.

ArtemisiaGentileschisThumb Wed 08-May-13 10:49:41

Did I name change and post this?! Sounds exactly like my DH and DS. We even had the educational psychologist come to nursery because I was worried about how vague he can be (only 4 but struggles with simpler instructions than your DS op). The psychologist said that there were some issues with following instructions but its not big enough to be aspergers, the nursery have set learning targets for him to help him understand instructions and at home we are doing the same thing as you, turning off TV, getting him to look at me and repeat etc. repetition seems to be the key for us and routine and massive praise. Once instructions sink in he can do the same thing the next day (ie take off his pyjama trousers off and put his nappy in the bin) with minimal fuss.
Re DH I fear he's a lost cause and I have no idea what to do with him, like your DH he isn't ignoring DS on purpose, it just doesn't register if he's doing something else. It feels like there is a link though so I totally blame DH for DS's head being in the clouds grin

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 10:51:10

i think that was too long a list for a 6 year old boy tbh.

Id start by lessening it to two stages, and gradually increasing it.

Like get undressed and then bring your washing to me

im not very good with long lists of instructions (dyspraxic) and both my ds' have ASD and until he was 10 i was still using a visual routine reminder on the door about the morning routine to stop him getting flustered.

Its very possible that if your dh doesnt process long to-do lists very well, then your ds will be similar, but 6 is quite young to do it anyway maybe?

Primrose123 Wed 08-May-13 10:52:03

I think young children just struggle to concentrate sometimes. (Don't know what the excuse is for your DH though!)

When mine were little, I would ask them to tidy their rooms, but it never got done because they said they didn't know what to do. I used to write them a little list like this:-

1. Pick up any clean clothes and put on bed.
2. Pick up any dirty clothes and put in washing basket.
3. Pick up any books and put in a pile by the bookcase, and we will put them away together.
4. Put any lego in the lego box.

It made a huge difference. They would cross each one off the list and the room would look much better.

Could you do this? How is his reading? He could even have a little treat if it is all done well. Perhaps you could tell him you'll be coming up the stairs in ten minutes with a chocolate biscuit, but only if the list is done!

schobe Wed 08-May-13 10:53:19

Yes my DD and my DH do this. I have a real thing about people being heard and acknowledged, so I get very worked up about this.

I am fully prepared to make some allowances and try to facilitate things as much as possible. But with both of them I also see that it is a choice and a strategy to do this in order to avoid annoying conversations and tasks or, in DH's case, to admit he doesn't know the answer to something. Also I KNOW the behaviour not a choice he makes at work for example.

I also see that it is learned behaviour to an extent for DH from his dad and brothers in dealing with his Dmum. I don't want it modelled for DD - and DS too if he ever becomes verbal (SN).

At the end of the day it is a hugely important social skill to listen and acknowledge and also to seek help proactively if you missed an instruction. It is also important to me as a person to be acknowledged when I speak, it feels like a sign of respect to me. So we have many, many wrangles about this and I try to be very consistent with DD and not let things go, or she will learn that she can get out of things this way.

It's hard though. Agree that visual timetables can be very useful for all DC.

mum2bubble Wed 08-May-13 10:58:14

'zoning out' like that can be a symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder. If so, a different approach may be needed for otherwise simple instructions - no concrete advice sorry. Still trying to work out a way to focus my DD (and me).

Exhaustipated Wed 08-May-13 11:09:10

He is ignoring him though isn't he?confused

I see that he has selective hearing but that isn't a medical condition is it (genuinely please correct me if I'm wrong)?

Some part of him is hearing DS and choosing not to respond. Unless he actually is partially deaf or has some degree of hearing loss.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 11:10:36

A lot of the time I have to do the "eyes on me!" thing, and even then, when I ask ds to tell me what I just said, he looks blank, and says "I can't remember".
I found writing things down helps though, since he loves lists.
So, I write him lists for lots of tasks, and with regular routines, he will know that number 4, for example, is brush his teeth.
So, ds hates being given verbal instructions, but loves ticking off a list.
Having said that I do think it's selective. If I whisper under my breath "should we watch Spiderman.." he would hear that from the next room and come running.

Jux Wed 08-May-13 11:12:30

Does your dh have a very complicated job which he thinks about a lot? Is he an inventor or is he trying to discover the chemical composition of an unknown substance or something, so that it is constantly there taking up a lot of space in his brain? That sort of deep concentration will make it hard for anyone to pull the,selves back into the real world.

Is he just very verymtired from brainwork in his job, and vegges out when he gets home?

Whatever it is, he needs to retune so that key things like 'Mummy' 'Daddy' etc alert him. If he's not awar he's doing it then you could record him and play it back to him.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 08-May-13 11:13:58

Or just maybe get a water pistol, and instruct the kids to use it when they want his attention.

Midlifecrisisarefun Wed 08-May-13 11:21:21

Never mind DC/DH's doing this, I have the same problem! grin
DH has just asked me something and I was too busy reading this!! I 'heard' but didn't register! I drive him nuts!
I have always been like it!
I also struggle with multiple instructions and have to write them down.

Pokeroot Wed 08-May-13 11:29:39

I do this too, but then I have an auditory processing disorder which means I can be told something and even repeat it back with no idea what was said.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 12:39:35

That was a bit offensive Jux. Not really sure there was much need for your firsy paragraph?

For those who asked, no it isnt selective. I could give him instructions about nos favorite toy and it would still baffle him. I does baffle him. It happens in all areas.

I was thinking, surely if he had aspergers then school would flag it up?

Theres other areas we are grately struggling in, although I dont know if it is linked or not...

He tantrums particularly at bed time, like he did when he was 3. He physically struggled to brush his teeth, or obey the only rule to stand in front of the mirror.

He melts down at bed time at leasy once a week refusing to wash or be washed, refusing to do his teeth, to go to bed etc etc etc.

I mean, I dont think this is a symptom of aspergers, but I wonder if the difficulty in other areas is linked. Just thought id put it out there really as night times can be very painful.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 12:49:09

Im just reading more about aspergers and something just mase my heart sink.

Ds hates change, he finds it painfully stressful, he will tantrum for days on end before 'the change' occurs. When pregnant I couldnt mention the baby coming, when starting school I had to ask all my family and friends not to ask DS about it, when moving house I couldnt tell him until the day before etc etc.

My heart isnt sinking at the thought of him possibly having Aspergers, but at the thought of having possibly gone through all this thinking he was just being a pain in the butt.....

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:03:55

That's ok, better to find out now than later still.

Start with school and GP if you want to try to get him on the road to being assessed. Look at it as getting him and you some support in dealing with these types of issues. Might be autism-related, might not be. But either way you are being proactive and leaving no stone unturned to make sure he gets whatever support he may need.

My DS has severe autism - perhaps no coincidence that I struggle with these issues with my DD who is not officially on the spectrum.

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:05:45

And no, school won't necessarily flag it up if he is 'getting by' in general there.

Without wishing to doom-monger, do be prepared to be assertive about wanting to investigate these issues. Some (not all) schools/doctors will prefer to send you away and not act.

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:06:48

PS I honestly think Jux was being genuine, not sarcastic in her 1st para smile

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 13:08:55

Thanks Schobe, we have an amazing, paediatric GP who I will try and see this week.

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:13:38

Ooh, excellent start.

peachypips Wed 08-May-13 13:16:13

Don't be too quick to label everything though- from reading this thread he could have at least five different conditions! My DH and DSs are exactly the same. I sometimes feel like my kids say everything to DH through me. They speak to him, he doesn't respond, I shout through from the other room to DH telling him that the kids are talking to him! This happens many times daily.
DS1 needs to be told a hundred times to do everything- this is normal kid behaviour.
Weirdly I have noticed FiL does it to MiL too. Def learnt behaviour.
Be careful of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy with the diagnosis thing...

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:19:34

No I agree, but she has added more behaviours in subsequent posts. Worth checking out at least.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 13:26:53

Ds2 is the same, my sister is a LD nurse and thinks he's on the spectrum. I better go read up on it.

Sorry op that was no help at all was it!

diddl Wed 08-May-13 13:32:48

I think the instructions in the OP were too much.

My son would have struggled with that & probably chosen to do none of it rather that do part of it wrong.

Daughter would have done what she wanted thought was right.

I do find the thinking that you meant tomorrow an unusual response, though.

Did he mean it or was it an excuse?

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 08-May-13 14:07:39

I am sure there is no 'label' in my situation, just a dreamer and lack of focus. Ds1 is 7.7, so a bit older than OP's, and really should be able to concentrate for long enough to get undressed and out his pyjamas on without constant reminders!

He doesn't have concentration problems at school, only at home. And I think DH just finds it really easy to tune out their noise, so doesn't twig when it is actually directed at him rather than just being noise!

peachypips Wed 08-May-13 14:09:32

That's exactly my situation plastic !

StillSeekingSpike Wed 08-May-13 14:16:07

Actually I found that list of instructions confusing as well! Although my mother did take me to get my hearing tested when I was 4, as I never listened to her blush.
All my school reports mentioned my daydreaming- and I'm still a bit like that now. I wonder if your son is actually quite introverted- hence the not liking change, or over demonstrative children? - and these 'demands' just don't penetrate his own little world?

aldiwhore Wed 08-May-13 14:21:47

Sorry twinkletits by 'waiting' I think I meant that I am deaf to the common and repetitive 'mumumumumumumum'... waiting for a response, not getting one, saying excuse me - that sort of thing - rather than going straight for 'mumumumumumumum' which I have learned to ignore and now find I can't hear it at all.

Saying that, it has to come from parent (me in this case) to acknowledge a reasonable commment - for example - if my youngest (5) says 'mumumumumum' I do not hear him. If he says 'excuse me mum' I make an effort to acknowledge him straight away (even if it's just to ask him to wait until I'm off the phone/loo/etc.,) that way he knows that mumumumum gets him nowhere BUT 'excuse me' will.

Not sure if that's clear??!

Obviously I don't mean "wait until the adverts come on"! smile

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 14:34:19

Aldi, yes that makes much more sense, and good advice thank you!

With regards to the Aspergers thing, all of a sudden I seem to be opening my eyes to some very obvious behaviours that my son does that could be linked, this morning I didnt think for a split second that they may be related. Now I feel as though there has been some sort of revelation.

I have been questioning, reading books on and stewing over certain different areas with DS. We discuss them on a weekly basis and try and figure out ways round them, what we are doing wrong.

Its now dawning on me that every, single one of them is linked.

I just read a description of an aspergers tantrum and it described our sons weekly tantrum to a T. The 'acting in' followed by the 'acting out' the 'recuperation' in which is typical they have no memory of the tantrum. I always found it odd that DS looked genuinely blank when I asked him what the tantrum was about, he's never had a memory of them. He loks genuinely surprised that I mentioned any tantrum. Or can this be normal for any childs tantrum?

He is my eldest so I have nothing to compare to.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 14:37:27

Also, WRT to the instructions being top long, I totally agree. It was. In fact, thats what I put it down to.

But this morning I gave him an instruction to do one thing which consisted of four words, and still it didnt compute. It was that that made me throw my hands in the air and ask on here, because I realised he's 6 and a half and hes always been this way, and wondered when it might improve.

WilsonFrickett Wed 08-May-13 14:42:46

If he is coping at school (and many children with ASD-type disorders do cope better at school than anywhere else) then no, school won't necessarily flag it up. If my DS hadn't had his diagnosis pre-school there is no way they would have picked it up, because he is very quiet and compliant.

The SN boards here are a good place to start. And pleased to hear you have a good GP. Have school flagged any issues at all?

Grammaticus Wed 08-May-13 14:46:00

I don't think jux was being mean either

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 15:02:56

Ok sorry if I was being over sensitive. Its very likely at the moment.

Jux Wed 08-May-13 15:13:24

Twinkletits, I am really sorry. I didn't intend to be mean, I was using exaggeration to try to put across what I meant but got it wrong.

My friend's dh is a nuclear physicist, and he is like this. When you get his attention you find he is completely immersed in some weird mathematical problem, and the house could be on fire and he wouldn't notice. They don't have children so it doesn't matter so much.

I put it really badly.

How is your DH when you ask him something?

FrivolousCake Wed 08-May-13 15:52:34

Wow, sorry for the hijack, I just want to thank the poster who mentioned auditory processing disorder - I'd never heard of it before but it explains so much!

I've always felt very rude because I sometimes can't focus on what is said to me even though I've "heard" it, struggle on the phone and couldn't concentrate in lessons/lectures. People just assume that I'm not paying attention.

I wish I'd known about this at School, it might have avoided some embarrassing situations sad

Twinkletits - I know I drove my Mum to despair when I was little and I'd forget what I was doing halfway through, so I admire your patience flowers You're doing a great job finding help for your DS!

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 15:54:01

No worries Jux, Im taking things to heart far too much at the moment, no need to appologise.

You could be right to some extent though, because if there are issues at work or something is pressing - say for example as soon as the kids are in bed he has to go to a clients house and talk numbers then it will be a lot worse. Im more forgiving then, because Im the same when I have things on my mind but Im a snapper "What now?!" Then a person that shuts it out.

Jackie, I cant be compared to the kids as I make myself heard from the off. grin seriously though, the way they approach him and the way I begin a conversation are very different.

He occasionally complains of me 'talking at' him though. shock the swine. grin

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 15:58:11

Im going to post a list of the things Ive flagged up in my head on the SN forum. Thanks so much for your help everyone.

I almost want a label because then we could actually make life for everyone so, so much easier. Honestly, life can be miserable here with the tantrums and everything its a constant battle. At least of there was a reason we could work with him and not against it which is what we may have been doing if he has it.

And, at the end of the day, he he does have something then he will just grow out of it one day. smile

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 15:58:47

*if he doesnt have something

WilsonFrickett Wed 08-May-13 17:58:13

I will look out for your thread on SN Op but will reiterate what I said in my very first post on this thread. Just because I wish - oh how I wish - someone had said it to me. It took us two years to get a dx you see, and because my DS is very borderline (and the first time I googled his symptoms I actually shat myself and didn't go near the internet again) I didn't really do anything in this time, except for struggling on.

If you suspect your child has any kind of additional needs, start to treat them as if they do. Read up, try the techniques, approach it like you're a detective - 'he does this, but what if I do that...'. It will not do your DS any harm, you don't need to talk to anyone about it. But in the meantime you could actually find the key to some of his behaviours. You don't need a dx to give you 'permission'.

I'm geniunely not trying to dx over the internet or to freak you out. I just wish someone had told me, that's all. <bitter, moi?>

wonderingagain Wed 08-May-13 19:51:36

Twinkle the way you describe his behaviour with the jumping on childrens backs and laughing right in their face in an eager to please attention seeking manner, the blankness when being told of what they have done describes my friend's AS kid to a tee. What's awful is that to the untrained eye it really does just seem like bad behaviour with an element of sneakiness and denial. I'm hoping for you now that you get an assessment done.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 20:25:56

Thank you Wilson, you've said similar to what his Dad and I have been discussing. At the end of the day, even if he has nothing, we may well (In fact I know we will) pick up tips to manage his behaviour along the way.

I feel actual relief that we may be able to handle (prevent!) his tantrums, which we havent succeeded in before now.

hettie Wed 08-May-13 20:40:25

Twinkle- just as another possibility...I am dyslexic and there is no way my working memory would cop with more than three instruction (tbh 2 is optimal). Also, I can't take things in if there is another demand on my working memory (like music or the radio going on at the same time). I too can loose the plot when there are too many things going on at once, too many inputs just fry my brain. Basically I can't 'think' of several things at once, so I am often immersed/oblivious, because I kind of need to be to maintain my concentration. Rather untypically, I learnt to read easily, was a fluent reader and writer fairly early and have a very high verbal comprehension- which is why it went undetected for a very long time. I did very well at school, but I can't spell, write down phones numbers or take directions.... I'm telling you all of this because it might be another possibility, don't assume dyslexia just manifests itself in reading and writing abilities.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 20:53:05

Thank you hettie, I will look into it.

auntpetunia Wed 08-May-13 20:55:58

Like Hettie I wondered about dyslexia or dyspraxia you could have been describing my DS 10 years ago he couldn't process more than 2 instructions at a time. Over time we've worked on this, and now he's older he has a good way of managing but if he's tired he can revert back to staring in complete bewilderment. He was assessed for Aspergers and autism he was classed as having some traits on the spectrum but his dyslexia was his main problem.

TwinkleTits Wed 08-May-13 21:21:00

Thanks auntpetunia.

BelleJolie Wed 08-May-13 21:30:56

He may benefit from his language skills being assessed by a speech and language therapist. They assess auditory memory and ability to follow instructions, which are aspects of language skill (among other aspects such as vocabulary and understanding / use of grammar).

2rebecca Wed 08-May-13 21:42:42

My son is dyslexic and didn't cope with a series of more than 2 instructions when younger. We had to give him a couple of instructions then go in a few minutes later and give him the next couple if a series was required. Eventually "go up and get ready for your bath" was sufficient as he knew what that entailed.
As a teenager it still tends to be uniform on the beds pants and socks on the floor until he gets moaned at, but I think most teenagers are like that.
I can understand the husband being engrossed by something and not answering issue as if I'm involved in something someone has to say my name fairly loudly to get my attention, if they just start talking I tend to miss the first half of what they are saying because my brain hasn't switched tasks.
Also small kids talk and witter away constantly so your brain filters alot of it out so you can stay sane, and 2 year olds go "mummy mummy" most of the time so I doubt that him not responding to that before you had finished your shower or the 2 year old bothered to actually look for mummy would have done any harm. Teaching the kids to only talk to people in the same room as them might cut down on some of the noise as it sounds as though everyone in your house is always shouting. Also why should the person who wants to talk always take priority?

jalopy Wed 08-May-13 21:43:10

Agree with an earlier post, it may be some sort of auditory processing disorder.


Queenbee245 Wed 08-May-13 21:43:21

I'm sure there's a mild form of epilepsy whereby the person blanks out but just looks like they're daydreaming/watching tv etc while its happening but when they 'return' they can't recall anything that's happened during the episode
Although it doesn't sound like it's that for your Ds

HopingItllBeOK Wed 08-May-13 23:31:27

twinkle even if you don't think that your DS or DP may be on the spectrum, it absolutely wouldn't hurt to look up some of the coping strategies employed for this who are and either use them or adapt them for your family.

DS1 has ADHD and Aspergers and on some of the (many, many) courses and talks I attended while we were in the road to diagnosis, a common theme was "these techniques can work for any child or indeed adult who has difficulty in these areas." A lack of diagnosis or actual disorder of any kind doesn't mean those techniques will bounce off a magical barrier and not work. They work for everyone who needs a bit of extra help, they just work better for, or rather are more geared towards, spectrum kids.

Things like 'chunking' instructions worked brilliantly for (NT) DS2 when he was at a daydreamy stage and he was already used to the concept because I used it with DS1.

It really doesn't matter how self sufficiency is achieved, what matters is the end result and putting their own clothes in the laundry basket is an important step towards having a confident 18 year old off to uni who can look after themselves rather than one who has never learnt how to do household tasks of more than 2 stages and becomes the bane of their flatmates lives.

MCos Thu 09-May-13 00:14:28

When I read OP - I went 'I have one of those'. DD(10 yrs). It drives me crazy at times.

At nearly 11 - I get best response from her if I break task down into small chunks and follow up after each chunk. Otherwise, nothing gets done on time.
Until she was about 8 or 9, I used to have to stand over her reminding her of each 'next' task to ensure we got out of house on time for school.

My DD is also dyslexic.
She just doesn't do 'quick' or 'hurry up'... (Think airy fairy spacer, in the nicest possible way).

Actually, she is slow to interpret many signals. e.g. If she dances to choreography, she will be out of time. If she does the choreography herself, she has no problems with timing... If she acts out a scene from a book, she can't get the emotions right. But if she acts out something she makes up herself she gets it spot on.

I have often wondered if DD1 is 'somewhere' on the spectrum... I think she might be just be somewhere or other at the very edge. She certainly has no empathy when it comes to her parents!

However DD2 has more severe dyslexia, and responds very well to instructions or any of the above situations. But has more difficulty than DD1 with reading, writing, spelling, etc.

So maybe dyslexia has nothing to do with it.

MCos Thu 09-May-13 00:19:43

Oh, forgot to add.
DH can be the same - he can't do 'quick' or 'hurry up' either. He is PhD, but needs processing time or kick in the arse before reacting to anything.

I'd hate to need him to rescue the family from a fire!

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 10:02:37

My son is the same in that he never has a sense of urgency about anything.

For example, if he is in my way and Im carrying his brother, bags, washing etc that Im about to drop, I'll ask my eldest to move out the way and he will do it very, very slowly.

Same goes for crossing roads safely, he will dawdle behind me.

cumfy Thu 09-May-13 14:22:49

Seems like DH is providing the "perfect" role model here. grin

Have you tried training him up (DS not DH btw) ?

eg taking him step-by-step through a task, and reinforcing that each time you ask X, this is precisely what he's supposed to do.

greenformica Thu 09-May-13 14:37:25

Get him to repeat every thing back to you after you have said it?

FreyaSnow Thu 09-May-13 14:40:42

I would find it hard to follow adult instructions expressed in that way, and my children wouldn't follow instructions well expressed like that either. It would be similar to me attempting to read instructions to flat pack furniture. It isn't that they don't make rational sense; it's just my brain struggles with, I'm not sure here, the blandness of it? It's like I can spell really well, but if somebody spells a word out loud with each individual letter, I can't follow that.

If I wanted my child to do that I'd go along the lines of, 'feed your socks to the washing basket monster, put your uniform on the stair gate so it is all ready to put on for school tomorrow and slide into the bath like a mermaid. The less imagination in the instruction, the harder we would find it to remember. I don't think this is a disorder. People are taught to remember foreign vocab using the same process.

Dervel Thu 09-May-13 14:58:06

Try this a little test, sit him down and give him a set of three instructions. Explain he has to do these things in order, but make sure the last one is something he will like be it retrieve a sweet from the table, or something of that ilk.

Watch to see if he get's the instructions jumbled up, and performs them out of sequence, and most importantly make a note if he forgets to take the sweet.

I suffered from an auiditry sequential memory problem when I was young (I am also dyslexic), and my mother did that test when I was 7. I forgot the sweet. It's a bit of a shot in the dark, but I thought it might be useful.

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 16:21:17

Dervel, I will try that now.

I had a meeting with the lady at school who specialises in this area and she mentioned possible dyslexia.

The good thing is, even if he has nothing I will absolutely be gaining tools to help him which is just brilliant.

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 16:22:29

greenformica you must not have read the OP at all. I mentioned him repeating it back to me several times.

TwinkleTits Thu 09-May-13 18:47:40

Ok, so I did as you suggested Dervel.

I said "Ds, I need you to do three things, go to your room and get your library books. Go to my room at get the pot of cream, then come down stairs and eat the slice of bread I left out for you." (He'd been nagging me about the bread Id baked, he was busting for a slice).

And guess what? He did it! No flipping problem!

There was far more words and instructions in that, then the example in the OP.

Does that then mean it is selective hearing and the stuff I ask him to do is ignored because there is no reward at the end?

Jux Thu 09-May-13 18:55:14

How about simplifying it completely for things he does every day? "Bath time. You know where your dirty clothes go and where to put your uniform, don't you? OK, Big Boy, off you go then." or something.

Leafmould Thu 09-May-13 19:08:55

Hi, op, you have got loads of things to be thinking about. I was wondering whether your ds can't see the wood for the trees. Ie: explain to him that now it is time for getting ready for bed, and there are a few things he needs to do. Can he think what they are? Once he knows the aim of all the instructions, and is thinking of them for himself he may find it easier to remember what he is doing. It's a different style of communication to try. Lots of people find following instructions difficult, especially a long list.

And if bed time is a flash point, work on trying different strategies at bedtime, to test them out.

Good luck.

wonderingagain Fri 10-May-13 09:38:28

Now that is a very interesting development OP. I had a discussion following dd's assessments about this type of thing and there is a big difference neurologically when a child internalises (if that's the right word) the instructions. When it's a list they will forget after the first thing, it uses a different part of the brain when there are different approaches to it. So a visual timetable / prompt cards work when the memory only functions after one instruction. But when the instructions are worked through differently, via other parts the brain using different methods such as visual language, reward, the impact is more effective.

wonderingagain Fri 10-May-13 09:48:09

I'm not explaining this well as I'm not a scientist. Hopefully one will come along soon. But what I am gleaning from the one that I spoke to, is that it's less to do with behaviour or character and more to do with how the brain works, where the information is stored and how the brain uses that information.

It may be that involving reward is the way forward. We are hard-wired to do what we need to do when the reward is right - food, sex etc - it makes our brains work more effectively so it would follow on that when a child perceives that an action, or several, will result in a reward it will store that information in a different part of the brain that works more effectively for recall.

steppemum Fri 10-May-13 09:58:09

my dh is just like your, kids can stand next to him going 'daddy, daddy etc for 5 minutes and I have to say in a loud voice 'DH' he startles looks up and sees dc.
He is concentrating on whatever is in front of him, sometimes just thinking hard about it really, and has tuned out the surroundings

Now I tell them to touch him, tap his arm etc, that really helps.

My dcs will also repeat back instructions and then when I go upstairs they are playing, just because by the time they get upstairs, the toy in front of them is so much more important than the instruction from 2 minutes ago. But when focussed can follow complex instructions.

livinginwonderland Fri 10-May-13 15:27:26

DP does this, especially if the TV is on or he's on a video game or his phone. You can sit there and go "DP. DP. DP." and nothing, you literally have to shake his arm or go "OI DP" pretty loudly before he realises. 99% of the time he has no idea you've said anything, so I've just learned to shake him or tap him or wave in front of his face to get his attention as opposed to calling his name or asking him something.

I tune out too. The other day I was sat in bed reading and DP came in from the shower, got dressed and spent 5 minutes trying to talk to me and I had no idea he was even back in the room until he sat down next to me and waved in front of my book! blush

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