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Can you please help me? (it's gonna come out wrong, but not supposed to)

(50 Posts)
Hoopsadazy Thu 28-Feb-13 19:41:17

So, there's a kid in DS's nursery class.

He clearly has some sort of special needs - he doesn't really talk and I can tell from his physical movement that 'something is up'. There is also another child who waves his hands around a lot uncontrollably but is otherwise communicative and plays 'normally'.

DS prompted conversation today about the first child and was curious as to why he doesn't play with the other kids but did spend time playing with the second today and seems to like him.

Anyway, please help me talk to my child in the right way about all this sort of thing as I have no experience and not sure what to say.

Since DS has started this train of thought, am pretty sure he'll continue it until he gets satisfactory answers. Not sure what the questions will be yet though.

Sorry this is rambling, but I was caught unawares and suddenly realised that I was unequipped for it.

Hope I haven't offended anyone.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 03-Mar-13 19:30:00

Hoops, nobody but the child's parents have any 'right' to know what that child's issues are. It is helpful for their education if they keep the school teachers involved, but outside of that very small sphere, if I don't wish to tell you or anybody else what is causing my DC's issues - and more to the point, I may not actually HAVE an answer to give anyone!

I can say what my DD's DIFFICULTIES are - but even though she is now 15yo, I STILL don't have a 'name' for what is causing these difficulties. She is classified as a 'SWAN', or 'symptoms without a name'.

It happens a LOT that parents don't have the answers anyway, and I WOULD have been (and was) angry and upset with anyone who asked me for a 'name' for DD's issues when she was preschool age - I was busy looking at other DC's cuddling their mums, chatting about what they did at Nursery, while I was busy trying to teach myself simple signing, taking my DD to A&E because she had cut herself whilst banging her head on the metal stairgate while I went to the toilet, seeing her shy away and scream when I tried to cuddle her, and her hiding under the tables at Nursery, and getting hurt by other DC's every day there until I pulled her out.

The LAST thing I wanted at the time was some well meaning busybody asking me what was the 'matter' with my DD, when I didn't have the answers to give them!

Just tell your DS that X is still learning to do that, or that not everybody CAN do that, and it shouldn't matter anyway because everybody is different.

hazeyjane Sat 02-Mar-13 06:31:06

Please don't assume all strangers are nosey idiots who wouldn't understand though cos that's not a good example for your children.

As others have said, I try and set a good example to my children by explaining that all people are different, and to try and show kindness to everyone.

I don't assume all strangers are nosey idiots, but have been taken aback when people have asked, 'what's wrong with him?'! That, to me, is just rude and intrusive.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 23:21:07

My DD is verbal, but also uses Makaton. She has friends, genuine friends, who use Makaton alone. She also has friends who are minimally verbal, or non-verbal. She has friends who use picture symbols. She has friends who use wheelchairs, kaye walkers, standers. She has friends who have splints or gaiters. She has friends who have feeding tubes in their nose, or feeding tubes into their stomach. She has friends who wear nappies during the day, when she wears nappies only at night.

The only time she 'notices' these differences is when she fancies having some of the cool equipment they use. So she sometimes comes home a bit frustrated that her friend has cool splints and she doesn't.

silverfrog Fri 01-Mar-13 23:18:06

I can't believe that anyone seriously believes that their 3 year old has a ight to know intimate details about their peers hmm

grow up, and when you have, start acting like a decent person, rather than whining about your child's rights.

5madthings Fri 01-Mar-13 23:17:32

Surely you just tell your child that everybody us different? And just to be nice to everyone.

Also children adapt easily and work out ways of communicating very easily themselves quite often.

zzzzz Fri 01-Mar-13 23:16:04

You want your son to be an understanding member of society, yet you yourself show very little understanding or empathy.

I think you are being quite rude and confrontational.

It isn't at all "normal" to discuss your children's medical history with strangers even if they have met your child twice through nursery. hmm

Your ideas about friendships and interaction are frankly very odd. You don't need to couch your child to tolerate children with sn, you need to teach him how to be kind to everyone.

Panicking over a bad cold or rash or crying at a weepy movie is not like having a child with sn. That's a ridiculous idea. I find much of what you post utter nonsense.

Do you go through all this faff when he asks about race, or gender too? hmm

coppertop Fri 01-Mar-13 23:14:41

"Why does my son not have a right to know what a classmates issues are?"

Because those classmates and their families have a right to privacy.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 22:20:43

I'm sorry...I'm actually not able to sit back on this.

Nobody suggests that all strangers are nosey idiots.

You have come to ask advice about a child who you have only seen twice and want to know

"Why does my son not have a right to know what a classmates issues are?"

What on earth makes you feel that your DS has a right to know what his classmates issues are??

He is three....he has no reason to know what the issues are. What makes you think that he should form social relationships based on whether 'issues' are justified or not?

I live my whole life with people 'noticing' that DD1 is 'definitely different'. I'm damned if I'm going to explain to you so that you can instruct your DS how to tolerate her.

If your DS was to play with her, accepting her as she was, then I might volunteer what her difference is.

In fact, contrary to your view, I'm incredibly open about DD1 and her differences.

hazeyjane Fri 01-Mar-13 22:15:57

The thing is hoopsadazy, when you have a child who is nt, you don't provide a list of their foibles and quirks and things that might upset them, so it seems intrusive when you expect some sort of précis of a child's issues. You say you are the sort of person who wants to base their actions and judgements on facts, but, especially at such a young age, these things are often unknowns to the parents. My ds is 2.8, he will be starting preschool in April, we have a possible diagnosis ( a condition I am almost certain you won't have heard of!) and there are issues we are aware of and others that are emerging, it is confusing enough for us! I think you are complicating the situation, small children are often satisfied by fairly simple explanations.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 22:14:32

It hasn't been misinterpreted at all - that's the issue.

dontknowwhat2callmyself Fri 01-Mar-13 22:14:29

Oh I see - you want to find out what the childrens issues are so you can explain it all carefully to your three year old son who will no doubt completely take on board your detailed explanation and show total empathy, understanding and friendship to the two boys in question - confused

Hoopsadazy Fri 01-Mar-13 22:10:41

I wouldn't have any issues with another parent asking about my child's development. That's normal with parents, isn't it? Everyone talks about how their kids are getting on and help each other out and most parents have concerns/struggles with their kids for one thing or another.

I am not nosey at all (have only seen the child in question twice) but I do want my child to not exclude a boy in his class cos he doesn't know how to interact with him.

I asked the question so I could help my son potentially understand another child because I am interested in my child's social development and generally want him to be an understanding member of society as he grows up.

I did say at the beginning that it might come out wrong but I am not going to post any more on here as some of you seem to be getting het up and having a go which means that some of this has been misinterpreted and I think that it is best to stop it now.

Am sorry for those of you having a bad time. Please don't assume all strangers are nosey idiots who wouldn't understand though cos that's not a good example for your children.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 22:07:10

See, call me crazy, but I mention DD1's situation when it's appropriate and now that she's 7 it's damned obvious there is 'definitely something.'

She goes to school with 112 children who have 'definitely something'. She comes home and talks about the other children in her school. She mentions the things she's noticed about them.

When she says 'X is rude because she blows raspberries', I don't say 'goodness....eek...don't know her condition...arrrgh'. I simply say 'It's not rude for X to blow raspberries, that's her way of talking. You use words and signing, so and so might use pictures....X blows raspberries. It's only rude if you can talk and you blow raspberries to be naughty.'

When she comes home and says 'why does Z have a tube to eat?' I say 'well Z's tummy finds it easier to have the food put straight in there so it doesn't have to work too hard.'

When she says that 'A screams a lot and scratches' I say 'well A gets frustrated sometimes, that's probably telling you to give A some space...'

It doesn't have to be the most accurate and profound insight into the child's needs. Just a simple explanation that every child has things they find easy and other things they find harder.

[Message edited by MNHQ to protect anonymity]

Journey Fri 01-Mar-13 21:57:06

Excellent point dontknowwhat2callmyself regarding asking a parent about their dc's development. So op how would you feel if another parent asked you about your ds's development? I'm sure you would think it was a private matter and they should mind their own business.

Perhaps you should show a bit of respect to the parents at your ds' nursery and keep your nose out of things. Nursery children do not need to know the amount of information you desperately want to know about these two dcs. Making out that your ds has all these questions is just a smoke screen to you being nosey.

Hoopsadazy Fri 01-Mar-13 21:56:26

I wish people at playgroups asked about DS's skin so I could explain rather than just move their child (they thought I didn't notice) away in case he was contagious. Those that did ask were great. Why shouldn't they know? Perhaps they could help him/me, perhaps they are just nice people who will be sympathetic? Perhaps they are just curious and if I had issues with people being curious I'd keep him indoors all the time.

PoshCat Fri 01-Mar-13 21:54:08

How old is your son OP? 3 or 4? Am sure you can divert him from the seemingly fascinating topic of his fellow classmates with "individual needs".
You're coming across as plain nosey and inappropriate.
Do you want to experience vicariously the pain of having a SN child whilst being smug in the knowledge that your own child has "nothing wrong with them?".

Hoopsadazy Fri 01-Mar-13 21:52:27

lougle: Well, I'd kinda expect you to say something helpful like: She struggles a bit with X and Y and it's great when other kids can just be patient with her to get her words out.....something that I can explain to DS about at least otherwise I would have to tell him 'I don't know' and then what? He ignores your child cos he is unsure how to interact with them? That seems a shame to me.

Why does my son not have a right to know what a classmates issues are? If that is how you feel, what about at school? Will you be the kind of parent that has a go at me and my child when they said something inappropriate to your child because they didn't know they were putting their foot in it?

If DS knows, then he will be a lot more understanding, have empathy and, I would hope, a lot more friendly.

I am the kind of person that is interested as I can base my actions and judgements on facts rather than the natural fear of the unknown.

Have you been watching The Last Leg? It was great to watch the other week as the two presenters asked each other about how they handle their prosthetics(?). No one knows what it's like or how things are unless we ask. Without an explanation you will find that people will just blunder on with either too little or too much regard for your/DD's feelings.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 21:36:57

Say you did ask me and I said 'well she's got fine motor delay, gross motor delay, speech and language delay with articulation difficulties, ataxic gait, delayed social skills, no sense of danger and widespread subtle cortical dysplasia with epilepsy'

How, exactly, will that help your DS to understand why she may or may not play with him?

It doesn't tell you anything you don't already know.

It also doesn't reflect the absolutely wonderful girl that she is.

dontknowwhat2callmyself Fri 01-Mar-13 21:30:07

You don't know what the issue's are with the two children at your DS's nursery so when your DS ask's questions about them why can't you just say "I don't know" and leave it at that.

I would not suggest you ask the parents as it would sound rude and nosey - their son's issues should be no concern of yours. How would you feel if some random parent came up to you asking about your DS's development.

Sorry to sound blunt but you did ask

zzzzz Fri 01-Mar-13 21:24:07

What questions are you expecting?

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 21:19:13

I have the kind of daughter who asks questions and likes to have stuff explained to her day in, day out. She's special in her own way with that too.

However, she has to learn that sometimes the questioner isn't as important as the subject.

Please don't suggest that your DS's quest for knowledge is more important than a child's right to respect and dignity hmm

Just accept that you don't have the right to know why this child is the way he is. Full stop. angry

Hoopsadazy Fri 01-Mar-13 21:15:19

lougle: DS and I have discussed a boy in his class who was having trouble with English when DS first started. They now play together a lot but he had a few questions and seemed happier when we talked about it (we have friends with children who don't speak much English so was easy to relate the situation with them).

I have the kind of child who asks questions and likes to have stuff explained to him day in, day out. He is special in his own special way with that too. So, lougle please calm down a little because I know my child best and know that if he's been thinking about it, it's because it's likely he'll want an explanation at some point. Perhaps for all children it is not normal to just get on and play together?

PoshCat Fri 01-Mar-13 20:59:37

Please don't approach these children's parents. I was one of those parents and added to my own fears and worries about my undiagnosed child, having a parent of a NT child asking what was wrong with her would have left me distraught.
I say this as someone who found out a group of mothers from our local toddler group had been speculating that my 3 year old was "backward and probably autistic"
She is 4.5 yrs old, still has her issues and still has no diagnosis.
Don't say anything to the parents.

lougle Fri 01-Mar-13 20:47:44

"if I know the child doesn't speak but is otherwise entirely able then I can tell him to play with the child, chat to him and look out for hand gestures, or something to communicate together. "

Why would you need to tell him that? What do you think, for example, children who don't speak the same language do? They would play together by gesturing, putting a toy in the other child's hand, etc.

I think the fact of the matter is that you don't understand this boy's 'condition' and it makes you uncomfortable.

Why can't you just say to your DS 'I don't know, darling, but it doesn't matter why, just try to play with him like everyone else.'

Your DS doesn't need an in-depth explanation. He just needs you to set the example of treating this boy with the same respect as any other child.

DD1 was playing outside our house today. I have to keep constant watch. She is 7. The girls she was playing with don't know her diagnosis. They haven't seen her MRI scan...in fact, I'm not sure what they know.They know that she isn't safe out there without supervision.

One of them was helping DD1 on a scooter and said 'she did really well then, until she lost her concentration, then she hit the kerb.'

They didn't need me to tell them that DD1 loses concentration - they experienced it.

Hoopsadazy Fri 01-Mar-13 20:28:59

I guess so far when he asks questions I generally know the answer, but SN is a world I know nothing about. I wouldn't say I am 'nosey' but yes, I do want to know, but that way I'd feel better equipped to talk to DS about it - if I know the child doesn't speak but is otherwise entirely able then I can tell him to play with the child, chat to him and look out for hand gestures, or something to communicate together.

I'd just like to support DS and enable him to be inclusive in his playing rather than him just being curious as to why there is a boy in the class that doesn't play with the others.

Am happy to leave it to the classroom leaders to sort it all out there but it would be nice to have the opportunity to teach my son directly that he should include everyone and explain how to.

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