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to be slightly shocked that a child who is 5 yo (socially/ emotionally about 3 yo) should be out alone?

(42 Posts)
thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 16:56:48

Child who lives near us has LD ? ASD and was in my dds class in YR and has specialist teaching support 1:1.
Child has gone off wondering having played with dd1 and dd2 until about 3/4 of an hour ago. Dad came out asking if I had seen him so I said that they had all gone out on the grass outside (I had not previously been asked to look after him btw). My dds were still playing at the front.
Dads response was 'oh well he will come back eventually! shock We live on an enclosed estate, however, I doubt he has any sense of time or road sense hmm I found this really worrying. AIBU?

DoingMyVeryBest Fri 16-Sep-11 17:02:32


If his dad isn't worried then perhaps you needn't be. Maybe that's a bit naive actually.

If you ARE worried about him perhaps you and DDs should go out and have a look for him.

Once he's found you'll have less worry and more time to consider the ethics etc of it all.

If it does make you uncomforable perhaps mention it to the teacher or HV. Or parents...

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 16-Sep-11 17:05:54

I'd be worried about a five year old playing out alone as I think its too young regardless. However everybody parents differently.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 17:07:41

I did send dd1 to see if she could see him at the park and down the street the opposite direction but he was not anywhere obvious. This child is only 5 - I only just allow dd1 who is very sensible out to specific places on her own i.e. park or a friends house. He has less sense than my 3 yo and less communication. I just worry he might get run over.

AngryFeet Fri 16-Sep-11 17:08:52

That is weird. If my 5 year old had disappeared I would call the police!

AmberLeaf Fri 16-Sep-11 17:10:24

I have been trying to think of a way to say this tactfully but there really isnt one.

His parents are idiots.

My DS has ASD, is 8 and theres no way id allow him to do that for a number of reasons.

Where is his mum? I wonder if they both do this or just his dad on this occasion?

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 17:13:22

Not sure where mum is today Ambert, but I know since he moved in across the green he is always wondering into our house with no sign of his parents outside or checking where he has gone, i.e. knocking on the door asking if he is here sad. The boy is not at all worldly iyswim.

AmberLeaf Fri 16-Sep-11 17:30:53

What a worry.

I have in the past worried about children who are just left to roam, I would worry even more knowing it was a child with SN.

So hard not to feel 'involved'

Oh and you are deffo not BU.

DoingMyVeryBest Fri 16-Sep-11 18:19:14

Is there someone at the school who deals with social/community issues? For the sake of the little boy could you find someone appropriate to speak to about your worries about him?

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 18:25:38

It is quite tricky because the boys dad is someone DH knew and they worked together at one point but I don't know them to say anything and DH doesn't want to rock the boat iyswim. I might speak to the head tomorrow but if she mentions it even without my name it will be obvious who has told her iyswim.

AngryFeet Fri 16-Sep-11 18:27:34

To be honest I would call SS - and I don't say that lightly. Is he back yet? If not go and have a go at the parents. Fuck how it affects your friendship - this is a young childs life at risk IMO.

thederkinsdame Fri 16-Sep-11 18:27:48

I would speak to the school.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 18:32:37

I don't know if he is back yet but the back door is now closed. I can't have a go at the parents from a professional pov and I have to add it is a small military community where everyone knows everything. I will speak to school on Monday (although it seems like I am always having to speak to them regarding other peoples children not being supervised). If I see him I will try to get into discussion about it i.e. Oh what time did x come back yesterday? Do you think it is safe for him to be out alone.........

Oblomov Fri 16-Sep-11 18:54:18

You have had to speak to them before about children unsupervised ?
Is that good or bad ? Either you are very observant and helpfull or over-cautious.
Calling SS is a serious thing. Is it abuse or neglect, or both, that you think is occuring ?

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:04:58

Young children in YR, not older children iyswim. Again parents letting children roam and not checking on their whereabouts after several hours ....I had 2 parents come to my house to ask if their 4 yo's were here at 2000hrs shock
I have just seen the boy who was back (not sure if he was looked for or was his own accord iyswim........he went to the ice-cream van again no adult and then walked off up the hill and round the corner. His dad came out with a beer in hand, so I asked if he knew he had gone right to the top of the road - no he didn't. This child is speech impaired, not socially able and very easily led. At 7pm should parents know where their 5 yo is?

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:07:11

Oblomov I haven't said that I will phone ss, but I will ask school if they feel he is capable to be doing this and probably welfare. I did say to the dad that I wasn't sure how safe it was for him to be going on the roads.

Birdsgottafly Fri 16-Sep-11 19:09:51

You say you doubt that he has road sense, so you don't know, he may have.

My DD has moderate LD's, she had delayed development etc, but could play out safely and wander about, in all fairness she usually had her sister with her.
If it is 'a small military community', is he in any danger?
I had quite a few arguements over her, with busy bodies, who thought that they knew my child better than me. I also had to tell a health professional straight, my DD's problems were not global, she is now nearly 14 and is more independant than my other DD's NT friends.

SN does make a child more vulnerable but it doesn't always have to stop independance.

I am not saying there is absolutely no cause for concern, if you feel that there is, speak to the school.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:19:59

I think the issue is more that people perceive being on a base as safe. There are tradesmen, delivery drivers, visiting trainees, peoples family visiting i.e. lots of strangers who we know nothing about. He is vulnerable and is not as capaable as my 3yo dd tbh. I don't think any 5yo should be wondering around alone at 7pm, never mind a child with SN. Children under 7 generally cannot judge speed and distance of cars well, so that is another risk. He wonders into houses, what happens if he wonders into the wrong kind of house? I have a friend who's ds went to visit a friend and she knew the family.......turns out that the friends DH (not the dds father) was downloading child pornography and she arrived to collect ds as ss and police arrived to arrest him. Not everyone is safe.

singforsupper Fri 16-Sep-11 19:23:57

If your dcs play with this child on a regular basis it would be helpful for you to talk to his Dad and make some kind of arrangement regarding who is looking after him. My dd has various disabilities and she regularly plays outside, but the other dcs know who she is and I have made a point of speaking to all their parents.

It is a fantastic thing for her to be able to play out with other children, it has helped her development enormously. You could turn this from being a social services nightmare to a fine example of an inclusive community.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:35:33

singforsupper I don't want him to not be able to play out but like you said, I do expect his dad or mum to speak to me and ensure that it is ok. I resent being a babysitting service when it isn't reciprocated. If my dds are out then I am watching them to make sure they stay where I can see them. He comes across uninvited just before meal times and then I have to make sure he goes home ok when I am trying to get ready for work or cook. It isn't my responsibility to ensure he is safe...... it is his parents. He is no problem generally when in here, except not doing anything he doesn't want to do such as tidy toys away after getting them all out. The dad is just lucky that I saw where he went the second time because if we hadn't gone to get an ice-cream tonight he could have gone anywhere.

Desiderata Fri 16-Sep-11 19:37:21

Why is it always boys who have ASD?

Maybe he just wants to play.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:38:39

fwiw there is a good reason that primary school aged children are not allowed to walk to school alone at this age and why people caring for children under 8 must not leave them unattended outside the place they are being cared for. Safety.

saladsandwich Fri 16-Sep-11 19:38:55

i was having a conversation the other week with ds's h.v, my ds who is 2 and on reins is forever running in the road or doing his best to get in the road and she said till the age of 7 children don't have road sense, children forget to look sometimes when they are playing.

i do regularly see young children as young as 5 on bikes on their own where i live and its a busy-ish road

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:40:58

Not sure Desi, yes he does just want to play but he needs some supervision. He is a lovely funny little boy and I do like him but I expect him to be cared about by his parents who are there to protect him.

thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 16-Sep-11 19:42:41

Thats what I do salad and why I feel this is unacceptable sad

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