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A mum in denial

(18 Posts)
zumbaleena Thu 24-Jan-13 14:43:30

I have a mum whose dc is in dd nursery. Dd is HFA and her friend is classic autism. I am not making a diagnosis but he clearly has severe asd symptoms. His mum keeps saying he has a speech problem. We hv had 2 play dates where I could see how much help this child needs. I sent her links to everything - for diagnosis, statementing, IPSea. It is in his report that he needs 1:1 support, to the extent that he may need a special school. I saw the boy in dd class today. He was sitting in a corner alone lining up dinosaurs. Dd is fond of him and talks abt him but I.ve had to stop play dates as I realised she was copying him and becoming worse. 2 questions-

1. I really would like to say to this child.s mom that she is hurting her child by not statementing, diagnosing and asking for proper support structure by staying in denial. But am not sure how to do it cos she might be stressed already. The Headteacher also said this child will get funding but mom is quiet. Should I say something to mom or keep quiet?

2. About the play dates, I feel bad but we have seen dd behave like crazy after the play dates. I think she thought that is the acceptable way to behave.

Pls feel free to give your input.

Dev9aug Thu 24-Jan-13 15:10:50

I am probably not going to explain very well but I would stay quiet, you have sent her the links, told her the process, now it is upto her, her child, her life.

Massive generalisation here but it is often the case that people who stay quiet get given more support because LEA people are humans too, just like you they are trying to help in their own ways. it's just you and me know that what they are offering is sub standard so we fight and that puts their backs up and makes them out to be heartless bastards. So behind the scenes, there could be lots going on which you might not be aware of.

zzzzz Thu 24-Jan-13 15:16:06

The difference between language impairment and autism is discussed in this

personal.us.es/cvm/docs/bishop/Bishop2003_Autism_SLI.pdf

I would follow the mums lead on what she feels is wrong with her child. I can tell you that my experience is that the distinction between the two is NOT clear cut and your characterisation of the situation is the source of much misery to me. I am so tired of people's assumption that we don't have a dx because we are "in denial".

I don't believe that a child is implicitly hurt by not having a dx or statement. Which is a good thing given it isn't a route open to us. There are many ways to skin a cat, and just because you have chosen one route doesn't make it the only way.

If your child is very badly affected by copying hers, you must make the call as to weather dealing with that behaviour is an option or weather you don't play with them. This is the same decision your dd's nt friends presumably make when deciding weather to have you over for play dates.

sad

zumbaleena Thu 24-Jan-13 15:24:01

Thanks zzzzzz. Your points taken gracefully and dev9aug...agreed to keep shut. I may actually hurt the mom more than anyone else...as u said...I hv already sent the links. Upto her now...I also believe no one knows a child better than his or her mum

zzzzz Thu 24-Jan-13 15:28:05

zumba it really does make me miserable. Thank you so much for asking that in the spirit it was sent. thanks

Honk honk

zumbaleena Thu 24-Jan-13 15:29:02

I am aware of your last para zzzzz....what other parents of nt kids might be thinking while having dd over for play dates. Honestly, I was the one to invite the other kid many times to my house as I wanted him to benefit with my dd despite never having been called to their place as mum said it is too much for her to manage and I can understand that....now we just sort of kept quiet. How many times can I invite the kid over when dd cannot go there...so went quiet

zzzzz Thu 24-Jan-13 16:06:57

It is always a choice. Benefit versus detriment. I have the opposite situation, in that is almost impossible for me to go to others houses because I have more than one child with sn and 5 all together. Some people can handle always coming to us, some can't. It certainly makes for a more difficult dynamic.

Ultimately IMO play dates only really work if the parents get on well for little ones. If it is entirely artificial it has a limited shelf life anyway.

coff33pot Thu 24-Jan-13 16:32:08

forgive me if I am less tactful as its not a good time for me right now so a bit on the teasy side.

However. I would definitely say nothing because being honest here you have no right to tell her she is hurting her child..... You are correct in that the parent of the child knows best. She is NOT "hurting" her child just because he doesnt have a statement or a dx.

If school are providing 1 to 1 then there you go the child is getting support. The HT is very wrong to discuss funding and circumstances of another child with you. (IF I read that write as you may have got this info from the mother and I could be incorrect).

She obviously cares for her child, discloses his speech issues and is open about that.

I suspect you are genuinely concerned and I am sorry if I sound snappy but it really isnt any of your business. x

As for playdates. DS doesnt go to anyone elses house. I have children over all the time despite that. If I only invited under the expectation of DS being invited back well...then DS would be a very lonely boy sad

lougle Thu 24-Jan-13 16:32:47

If the school think her DS needs a Special School placement, they will be telling her very soon. If he needs a special school placement, he will need a statutory assessment and statement.

Let her have this period of denial - in this case it doesn't sound like it will do any harm at all.

I have one DD with very obvious needs - we were thrown into the world of SN abruptly at 2.9, when she started preschool and suddenly instead of everyone saying she was 'spirited' and 'intense' and we were 'neurotic' first time parents, people were saying 'immature' 'behind' 'delayed'. We had so many appointments, and when I applied for SA, it went through without a hitch. In fact, sending the letter requesting a Statutory Assessment to Final Statement naming a Special School was just 20 weeks - a full 6 weeks earlier than the process is meant to take.

I have another DD who has emerging needs. She is very passive and moulds to the situation she's faced with - she'll shut down rather than make a fuss, in general. It is so much harder to get her any help, or even to get her issues recognised.

I would say that this boy will get the provision he needs one way or the other, because he will cause a problem for the school, so they'll push. That's the way of it, really.

TheLightPassenger Thu 24-Jan-13 16:37:17

If he is in the system to a sufficient degree that it is documented he needs 1-1 support and possible SS place, then I really wouldn't worry too much about her being in "denial" re not actively pursuing an ASD DX, as it sounds like the right bases are being covered in one way or another. Not everyone is a fighter in terms of statementing etc, as they find dealing with the SN stuff enough to get their head round, without feeling they can't trust the "authorities".

PoshCat Thu 24-Jan-13 17:29:44

Agree with coff33pot. The child may well "only" have severely delayed speech, as does my daughter.
She also qualifies for 1:1 support and may well need as statement which her mainstream school support.
You've provided her with the SEN information which probably just scared the woman to death as well as totally confusing her.
Please don't even hint that you think her son has ASD. sad

justaboutchilledout Thu 24-Jan-13 18:53:07

I think what you have to be careful of is that severely delayed speech can look very like autism but isn't (bitter experience here). It becomes clearer as child grows what the actual problem is. She may well have been advised to wait and see what happens as the language improve.

Crawling Thu 24-Jan-13 19:38:02

Just to add the child may actually have a diagnosis or be going through one I have been in the system a while but I only recently started telling people other than close family because I needed to deal with my feelings first.

zumbaleena Thu 24-Jan-13 20:04:41

right...i got the point...not to trouble the lady more. will stick to that. but it is not just speech delay as he does have repetitive behaviour. in any case...as i said...i will leave the lady to decide.

WadingThroughTreacle Thu 24-Jan-13 20:10:43

Stay out of it. You have given her useful info. She knows something is up, it will run its course. Long before my own sons probs I had a friend who's child clearly had classic autism, v noticeable at age 3. He was diagnosed at 5 and it was the shock of her life. My own son is five and about to be diagnosed, I believe. I thought speech to start with, now I think autism but the journey in between is too long to go into here. I have another friend whose child clearly has some traits and she is in denial, he is poss quite mild but you can just see that probs might escalate as he gets a bit bigger. I suffered massive guilt about not getting my son referred earlier than 4 but what do you know, once he was referred everyone trots out the, it's need, not diagnosis that counts, line. It may be best to distance yourself a little and concentrate on your own child but be there if she wants to chat at a later date.

PoshCat Thu 24-Jan-13 21:12:50

Even if he is a text book case for ASD the advice is the same. Glad you've decided to back off and leave it.

zumbaleena Thu 24-Jan-13 23:09:36

Yes wadingthru.. I will distance myself but will continue to be friendly. If she ever needs to chat, I will be there. I have been on that side where it can get very overwhelming and if I did not have SN mums help me, I would have been a nutcase. So yes I will help when she asks for it

WadingThroughTreacle Thu 24-Jan-13 23:44:45

Aw, I think when it comes to denial, a part of the brain actually shuts down. I watched my friend go through and yet couldn't see it myself when it was my turn. I do know how you feel, I spot it everywhere now and it's agonising sometimes not to say.

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