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If I listed these behaviours, what would you think?

(50 Posts)
WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 19:47:16

I'm concerned about a child in my family's behaviour. Parental discipline is very lax, but I'm worried there's more to it than lack of boundaries, structure and consequences.
If I list some behaviours, could you please tell me what you think?
5 year old boy. Late walker and talker. Now has a very wide vocabulary.

Very confident, cocky with adults, not so confident with peers. Dictates what and how they play. Has an overwhelming obsession with transport. Has memorised whole timetables and talks about these constantly. Watches hours of transport videos on YouTube. Is word perfect quoting films he watches over and over.

Very limited food likes. Poo withholding, monumental tantrums. Manipulative behaviour to get what he wants. Very impulsive with little concept of cause and effect. Constantly interrupts conversations to talk about something unconnected, usually transport. Has anxiety about everyday situations. Hits people, randomly pokes eyes, spits, bites and laughs when he hurts someone.

Has no sleep routine and seems to function on very little sleep. Selfish, demanding and never satisfied with the here and now.

He will start reception class after the summer holidays. The family know his behaviour is challenging, but think he's just a typical boy, is ready for school, hilarious and highly intelligent yada yada. I'm not so sure and would really appreciate your thoughts.

PolterGoose Mon 08-Aug-16 21:09:32

Why are you asking here and not talking to the parents?

Is there anything you like about this child?

Do bear in mind that many of us posting here have children who might be described how you've described this little boy, and it's not exactly nice to hear.

WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 21:21:02

I absolutely adore this child. I am listing behaviour not perceived faults! I have spoken to the parents, but as I explained in my post, they see high spirits and willfulness. I'm looking for advice on a parenting website, on the appropriate section. I'm sorry if it's not nice to hear, but I'm looking for help and advice from others. I tried to keep the post short and to the point, that doesn't mean I dislike him. I am trying to help the family but could do with some help. I am not be judgmental or nasty, and I honestly don't understand why your post is so snippy.

NobodyInParticular Mon 08-Aug-16 21:33:05

I'd be thinking the special interests and sensory issues with food / poo could be red flags, ditto late walking and talking (depending on how late).

The other stuff such as impulsiveness, sleep, hitting could be red flags or could just be to do with parenting style if you think there is an issue?

I hope school works out for him (it really might, I know a child with a somewhat similar profile who thrived on the discipline and routine at school).

PolterGoose Mon 08-Aug-16 21:38:23

Ok, if you were a parent listing all that I would say write a list of all your concerns and ask you GP for a referral to a developmetal paed.

The thing is, if it's a parent asking they usually post when they've tried everything and have exhausted all the usual parenting strategies. Our first instinct as parents of a child we are worried about is often to assume we are crap and try to be better. Then we come to a realisation there's something else causing the problems. Then we ask for help.

When someone who's only seeing things from outside asks, like you are, it is different, and it does feel like over-stepping. You are using judgey language in your OP (lax, manipulative, selfish, demanding) am that will raise hackles, or it raised mine anyway.

If you are concerned all you can do is support them. Be there. Don't give unsolicited advice. Do offer to take him out for fun. Don't criticise their parenting either overtly or tacitly.

PolterGoose Mon 08-Aug-16 21:39:28

... and that will raise hackles.

WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 21:45:56

Thank you so much for your helpful reply NobodyInParticular, the parenting style is a possible issue. I'm more worried than the parents who don't see any problems, and I know wouldn't take kindly to the suggestion that he may have any special needs or behavioural issues. I have mulled this over for months and am concerned about him starting school. I hope that school will either be the making of him or that any issues are picked up on.

WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 22:05:57

Thank you PolterGoose. I'm sorry if you found my description judgey, but I'm trying to state the facts. We see the family very regularly and I am often asked for advice on day to day problems. I give suggestions about the mundane stuff, but would never undermine or criticise their parenting style. They are both at the end of their tether, so we try to take the pressure off them where we can. We will always be here for them all, whatever.

Shesinfashion Mon 08-Aug-16 22:22:06

I'd think from your description that he may be on the autistic spectrum. Some of what you mention, for example having specific interests that can become obsessive in conversations with others would suggest a referral to a community paed.

WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 22:34:11

If the school picks up on this, will they approach his parents? I fear that it would be met with some resistance. I could never voice my concerns.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 08-Aug-16 22:43:39

If parents are asking for advice then I'd suggest getting them to write a diary of behaviours, what they try and what does and doesn't work and approach GP.

WoodchipPicker Mon 08-Aug-16 22:52:23

They have been to see a paediatrician regarding the poo withholding, but because he/she suggested a long term plan and not a quick fix, they said it was a waste of time. I've said about a diary before, but everything seems to be tried for a day and then discarded as being useless. sad

Imaginosity Tue 09-Aug-16 07:16:45

I agree with Poulter. When I read your initial post it didnt sound very nice. I understand you were trying to briefly sum up this boy's issues but be careful how you describe him if talking direct to his parents. You've made him seem dislikeable in the description. If you like him then he must have positives so maybe emphasis them too. As a parent, I would be very sensitive to hearing someone else describe my child in that tone even if sometimes his behaviour is not the best.

I wonder how you come across to his parents? My sister was quite judgmental of DS and my parenting before he was diagnosed. She had no experience of parenting but seemed to think she knew how to manage my child who was more difficult than the average child. She didn't have a clue. It made me really annoyed at her. I ignored all her suggestions - I was already actually getting an ASD assessment for DS but I didn't let her know that as I was tired of her interference.

I think if you've suggested ASD to the parents there's not much more you can do. The school are likely to raise issues if they spot there's something going on. Whether or not the parents want to consider it then is not something you can force them to do. So maybe step back now and concentrate on having fun with the child. Maybe take him out to some transport related trip if his parents are happy to let him go with you. Or get him a book on trains or something he'd like.

PolterGoose Tue 09-Aug-16 08:05:56

If they're resistant there is nothing you can do. If you are worried about him being neglected as a result, which is different, I would hope you'd be calling children's social care.

School will pick up on behaviour, but they will almost certainly attribute it to crap parenting (even if it isn't) and deal with it through their behaviour management policy. This can be harmful to kids with neuro/developmental conditions, which would worry me, but again, it's all in the parents hands.

WoodchipPicker Tue 09-Aug-16 11:25:42

I've never suggested asd to them. I know if I opened that can of worms, there's no way the lid would ever go on again. DP thinks I should, but it would be construed as me saying 'he's not perfect'. I never offer my opinion, only if asked do I make suggestions on things to try. We regularly do transport related trips and activities. We love spending time together and are all close, that's why I wanted to see if I was worrying unnecessarily. He is a wonderful boy and they are a lovely family unit. Thank you for your advice, and I'm sorry if my clumsy posts sounded cruel and judgmental. They were never intended to be.flowers

NobodyInParticular Tue 09-Aug-16 14:02:00

It's sad OP - looks as though we can all see some ASD red flags but the parents seem so resistant and may be contributing to some of the problems. It's very hard, you're in such a tricky position because there's really nothing you can do unless they see the light.

I hope Polter is wrong about the usual school reaction for his sake, but I'm sure Poleter knows more bat it than I do! It's possible that if he is dealt with under the behaviour policy and the parents are getting lots of phone calls then perhaps they will reconsider the idea of a Paed referral.

zzzzz Tue 09-Aug-16 14:42:45

A child who has autism is no more "not perfect" than a child who has red hair is "not perfect". They require different support to be happy and healthy. More sunscreen than the average Joe, or more help with emotional resilience, but they are not "damaged", "broken" or "less". Autism is part of humanity and autistic people are very human.

I'm wondering what precisely you are worried about? confused.

WoodchipPicker Tue 09-Aug-16 15:11:32

Where in my post do I say he is not perfect zzzzz? If you RTFT before jumping in with your stupid comment and confused face, you would see that I'm worried his parents will think we see him as imperfect. Which couldn't be more untrue. Christ on a bike.

zzzzz Tue 09-Aug-16 15:24:41

You're extremely rude. I have read your thread and fail to see why I must give your rather insensitive OP given your audience the benefit of the doubt and yet you feel no need to listen to what the very population you are interested in think.

For clarity, you posted

I've never suggested asd to them. I know if I opened that can of worms, there's no way the lid would ever go on again. DP thinks I should, but it would be construed as me saying 'he's not perfect'.
And I responded to that.

As I said I fail to see the focus of your concern. Breaking that down for you

If the child has additional needs, what is the concern?

If he doesn't what is the concern?

What is it you want to, or think you should DO about it?

WoodchipPicker Tue 09-Aug-16 15:58:32

I will do nothing.

Kanga59 Tue 09-Aug-16 17:35:35

He sounds normal to me. behind with his personal and social.development but given that he hasn't even started reception yet, that's no biggie that won't be sorted in time. living trains and times tables is clever. He has interests. If there's anything untoward, his teacher will brig it up with the parents. you sound very judgemental.

NobodyInParticular Wed 10-Aug-16 23:16:55

Wow, I don't really understand why so many people are offended by the OP! Clearly this is someone who cares for the child and wants the best for them and is trying to deal with tricky parents.

I do think the OP's descriptions were blunt, but I'm sure they were very accurate!

zzzzz Thu 11-Aug-16 06:28:59

Well most of us are what you do charmingly describe as "trick parents" aren't we? Perhaps we don't appreciate the sentiment. After all it's saved only for the parents of that subset of disabled children isn't it, you know the ones that get a good hard kick in to already stretched parents. It really doesn't happen with other disabilities in the same way.

MN ran a national campaign to try to educate on this vey point not long ago.

www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/this-is-my-child

zzzzz Thu 11-Aug-16 07:44:26

Apologies for annoying typos. I am annoyed and it is making me slap dash.

RunnyRattata Thu 11-Aug-16 08:02:17

My experience as a parent of a child with relatively mild ASD is that the family shapes itself around the child and it's later, when you see the child in context of other children from outside the family, that the penny starts to drop. In my professional experience of beginning to broach the possibility with parents who I know will be reluctant, the most opportune time is usually in Year 4 or Year 5 when there is a history of behaviours that might have been easy to explain away in Year 2 but mean that the difference between the child and their peers is opening up. In the meantime, the advice to staff would be to put all the helpful ASD strategies in to support the child whether they have a diagnosis or not. This is obviously for children at the milder end of the spectrum.
Many of the behaviours you list can be attributed to various additional needs so it would be a developing picture anyway. Also, co-occurance is the norm rather than the exception.

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