Dh and Ds(15 Posts)
Don't really know where to start...
Dh and I started seeing each other when Ds was 2. Ds was the apple of Dh eye very quickly . I had 3 children, 2 dd and 1 Ds (youngest). When Ds was 6 we had a DD together. Her siblings adored her and still do. So all together we now have dd18, dd16, Ds 11 and dd (Dh biological daughter) 5.
Within the last 12 months we've started having issues with Ds. As soon as he started high school and we gave him more responsibilities, that's when things went wrong. He forgets his PE kit (Even though I hand it to him), he needs constantly reminding of homework, says 'I can't do it' even when we know he's more than capable, does his homework then forgets to take it in, he's lost 5 coats since September. The biggest thing I've had to deal with is school lunches. I was sending him in with a packed lunch, I checked his bag (not sure why) and found 3 mouldy sandwiches and lots of mouldy fruit . This has happened several times. Spoke to him and he said he forgets to eat as he's playing football on the Astro. So when I said 'that must mean none of your friends must eat' he said yes they do, they eat their lunch in the Astro! I say 'why don't you??' He's says it's the rules mum, we're not allowed to eat on the Astro.
I'm starting to think he's probably on the spectrum, I'm a CM and I've looked after children with additional needs
2 things really;
1: am I worrying about nothing, if not where do I go/ who do I turn to?
2: my Dh treats Ds and youngest dd very differently, but gets extremely upset if I point it out. He's started saying to Ds things like 'if you waste food and let it go mouldy, you'll have to start paying for shopping out of your pocket money'
'Do we have to start treating you like a baby?'
Sorry for the essay and if you've got this far thank you for reading. For the record DH is an amazing man and he is a great father.I just really don't know what to do!
Anyone? This is my first time posting (always been a lurker) but I'm kind of desperate
Not 100% sure what you are asking.
I think it's pretty reasonable to treat an 11 yr old dc who is at secondary school differently from his 5 yr old sister. From what you've said, I can't see that that is to do with your ds not being biologically his.
I, personally wouldn't suggest he pays for things with his pocket money, but it's the sort of thing parents do say all the time - dc (quite rightly) have little idea about how difficult it is to balance the books and how it hurts you to see food wasted.
I'm not sure why him not eating his lunch whilst playing football leads you to think he might be on the spectrum ?
Can you tell us a LOT more about your worries? For example, were there any issues at Primary school ?
Hi crazycake, didn't want to leave your thread unanswered, even though I've nothing that helpful to say really. I'm sdure you'll get some better advice soon.
My ds was very forgetful in primary, he is dyslexic and organisational difficulties are often an associated issue. However things like forgetting to hand in his homework, not eating his lunch (my ds used to hide his old lunches in his bedroom, we usually found them when they went smelly!) didn't appear, he was just never very good at following instructions. As he's got older things have got much better for him, especially moving to secondary school slightly to my surprise (we thought it might be overwhelming).
I think with something new I'd be wondering if there is perhaps something going on at school, so my first port of call would be to make an appointment with his teacher.
When kids go to high school they are not lined up to go to the dinner hall as they do in Primary. They are expected to be independent in many other areas and there is no class teacher there all day reminding them to pick up homework. I am sure you know this lol. So they need to be learn to do it themselves. I don't think your son needs a punishment. He just needs to learn time keeping and organisational skills. Can his phone alarm Buzz to remind him to eat? Could it Buzz after hometime to remind him to pick up homework. Ask the school pastoral team or his form tutor whether they can investigate or help.
Hi. I wanted to just suggest a chat with the school Senco, or your son's form tutor. Loosing coats, missing lunch, not having the right equipment for lessons, all points to issues with transition and responsibility. The school should put a programme in place to help him regain control of his daily activities. He might possibly be on the spectrum, these things can all be a symptom, but unless he's got other signs I would first see if he's just not quite settling to secondary school.
Your DH could be more supportive, I agree. Perhaps a quiet word that your son is entering a new phase and that communication is key, and is going to get tough over the next 5 years, so trying not to close lines of communication now would be a good starting point.
Backforgood, I completely understand what you're saying and this is what worries me about being taken seriously, I'm not brilliant at expressing myself
He takes things very literal, you have to explain things word for word. He doesn't really understand relationships, unlike a lot of children with ASD he is very emotional and loving but is over affectionate, doesn't know when to step back. His friends fall out with him because he's too full on. He goes through phases where he gets obsessed with certain things, at the minute he's obsessed with dancing, his older sister dances and since I've bought him the uniform, I'm having trouble peeling it off him. He obsesses over time regularly and can't deal with a change in his routine.
Ahh there's so much more but it's hard to put it into words. At parents evening his teachers said he's a kind hearted, lovely boy but is a massive scatter brain.
Thank you moopoint. Theres so much more, I need to start writing things down. He's always had a thing about smell, in reception if he lost a jumper he'd go to lost property and smell the jumpers
Without looking at labels he'd know it was his by the smell. Just recently (in the last 12 months) he's started to hate wearing jeans as joggers are much more comfy and I have to cut the label out of everything.
Sensory issues are common with additional needs. It's starting to paint a picture. Has no-one at school raised the issue before?
A diagnosis of an additional need should he have one obviously doesn't fix anything. He needs help now, an advocate at school to help him navigate.
I suspect he stays and plays football to feel like he's fitting in and actually he could do with a different safe space to visit with less people where he is under less pressure to conform, and he can eat his lunch.
One of the reasons he gave for leaving his lunch
to rot in his bag was that he was expecting ham sandwiches and I gave him tuna. When I said 'but you love tuna' he said yes I do but I thought I was having ham today
Moo, at my daughters parents evening (GCSEs year) his maths teacher pulled my husband aside. Dh did some placement work at the school a few years ago as an NQT and so he knows the maths teacher. She said that its took her a few terms to get to really know Ds as he can sometimes spin a yarn but that he reminds her of her son who has additional needs. She's Ali said that she adores him, he's very pleasant but sometimes she could happily throttle him
To be honest, I know this is just a snapshot, but none of this rings alarm bells with me.
Your DH pointing out that the waste costs money and (I presume idly threatening) that DS should pay for it is something I would say to any of my DCs. Treating an 11 y/o at secondary school differently from a younger sibling is also not uncommon. They need to be more independent and mature by this age and mollycoddling him won't prepare him for the hard work to come.
Is he markedly different from his sisters at that age? I suspect as they're a bit older
and girls could you have forgotten what that transition age is like? He is probably having some hormonal surges that are interfering with his common sense!
I work as a CM and my DD can identify who any school jumpers left behind belong to just by sniffing them. She is not on the spectrum, just has a good sense of smell like me! She'd definitely be able to sniff out her own jumper from a pile
My DS1 probably is on the spectrum, although mildly and not diagnosed. He also forgets his lunch all the time, is a bit scatty about remembering homework etc but he has found his way over the last few years and really changed a lot during his time at secondary school. I'm sure your DS will do the same.
Keep an eye on his quirks and potentially look for a diagnosis if you think it will help, but I'd say that most of what you have said here is just fairly normal for a boy of his age!
Thank you mark, that has made me feel better. He is massively different to his older sisters though, they are both very organised, never had detentions or been in trouble at school, I weekly get a phonecall home about Ds, never anything horrendous, the last one was about his PE. I literally dread phonecall from school. I've always passed his quirks off as 'being a boy' but now I've noticed that friends with boys of the same age don't have the same problems.
I have a 13 year old. I would
1) email the school, asking for your email to be forwarded to the SENCO. Explain the things you've listed here, that you think he's in the spectrum, plus the disorganisation and why he isn't eating his lunch.
2) help him daily get into the routine of packing his bag and going through his homework. Agree that at 6pm every weekday night you will watch him unpack his bag, go through his homework diary and repackage his bag. If he says a homework is too difficult, get him to email his teacher saying that. Help him get into good routines. It's a huge leap responsibility wise!
3) agree a strategy with DH. Personally I would help DS make his own lunch the night before while he's going through his school bag. Tell him he needs to eat his lunch before playing on the astro turf. Ask him where he will go to do this. Who he will sit with and what he will say to his astro turf friends ('I'll see you in there in 10 minutes').
Thank you spandex, I've always found being a mum easy until the the last couple of years. It's nice to hear constructive feedback from others parents. My children are my world, its very difficult not knowing what to do in a certain situation, I've always found parenting amazing.
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