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not be really happy about other kids telling me my DS "has done well today"?

(68 Posts)
DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 18:16:56

My DS has learning disablities, speech and language problems and asd traits. He's 6, tiny for his age. I know his classmates feel protective towards him but I feel a bit cheesed off when other 6 or 7 year olds think it's their job to judge how well he's done in class. Surely that's the job of the teachers and TAs? He spends 19 hours with the TAs and SEN TAs anyway. The kids don't want to be his friend, he never gets invited to parties or playdates, plays by himself at playtime - he just seems to be molly-coddled by his peers.

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 19:42:29

When you're a child it's quite simple.

You accept difference AND you acknowlegde it. They accept him and are positive, but they treat him as though he's different because he is. I don't think it's negative, but I understand how it would hurt you.

I am all for celebrating difference (of everyone) and accepting it. Would you prefer it if they treated him as the 'same'... if they did, they would probably therefore treat him badly for his needs?

YANBU, especially regarding inclusion in parties and social events, friendship circles etc., but I think for six years old, the children in your child's peer group sound lovely. Your son will be less different to his peers as they know him more... he will become, simply, him, to them.

Not sure if I've come across right, but whilst I believe in equality in respect and care, equal opportunity and inclusion, I also feel we should acknowledge difference and celebrate it. My school friend WAS different. He was in a wheelchair and didn't share lunch with us (as I remember he didn't 'eat food') and I adored him (and he DID get invited to playdates and parties) but he was different. Over time, we realised we both were, we all were and over time, that gave us all strength of character and a feeling of belonging.

I still do not think YABU though, you're his parent, and obvious differences make you worry... you're not alone though. My son has no special needs, he feels different in that he has different interests and ideals, I worry for him. I shouldn't, because he is accepted and acknowledged.

Fresh01 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:43:17

On the play date issue have you said "can x come on y day at z time to play" I know my DD1 (7) is very fond of the little girl in her class with downs syndrome and keeps asking to have her come and play. I usually do play dates during the week or during holidays but I can't invite this little girl then as I have 3 younger children to also supervise. I need to arrange a weekend play date when DH is here to look after the younger kids so I can be hands on with DD1 and her class mate but weekends are so busy with sports, parties etc 6 months later it hasn't been organised. Could a factor like this be at play?

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 19:43:35

And yes, NQS - I agree.

Sorry, my last post came over a bit narky. Not intended that way at all... just tired!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:47:03

MissBetsey. I understood. I wondered if I'd worded mine badly. It must be very hard. God knows how I about one of mine's social relationships.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:48:20


Great post.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:49:24

Bloodybipad. Meant to write God knows i worry about my DSs relationships

Catsdontcare Thu 31-Jan-13 19:55:02

Great post aldiwhore.

McNewPants2013 Thu 31-Jan-13 19:59:34

My own son has austism, and i get this off the kids as well.

His progress is very slow and he is always the last in the class to achive any given task. When he does get it the children seems to be excited for him.

they are soon to tell me about the negitive things as well.

3birthdaybunnies Thu 31-Jan-13 20:29:25

My two girls will come and report on each other's day if one of them did something really good and they are two years apart. I don't think it is unnatural for them to do that, I then turn to the one who did something really good and ask them about it. They will also sometimes tell me about how well other children did, they are genuinely pleased when other children do well at something. Dd2 is v small for her age and she does find that children think she must be younger. Are you partly annoyed that the TA/ teacher isn't commenting? It sounds a bit like that in your post.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 31-Jan-13 20:33:20

YABU, although I completely appreciate why you feel sensitive about this. You can't project an adult's understanding of what constitutes patronising behaviour onto 6 and 7 year olds though. As far as they're concerned, they're being kind and supportive to a classmate.

NeverQuiteSure Thu 31-Jan-13 20:36:53

I think there is a difference between classmates getting excited about specific achievements (DS managed all of circle time today/remembered his words to X/etc) and classmates who, as the OP said, feel like they are qualified to "judge how well he's done in class"

It's a sad indictment of our society when parents of DC with SN are expected just to be grateful that their DC aren't being bullied by their peers and suck up patronising attitudes as par for the course.

Yes he is different. Yes he needs additional support. Yes some of the classroom rules will be applied differently to him. He is not, and should not be 'equal' in any of those senses. However, he occupies the same place on the social hierarchy of the classroom as the rest of the children. The other children have a very valuable role in supporting him. Their role is to make him feel included socially and celebrate his academic successes with him. It is a very different role to the teacher/TA's role. It seems like there is some confusion between the two.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 20:43:58

Some children take it upon themselves to talk about or to other children. I think it meets their need to feel important or grown up. i have noticed it. It does need to be gently tackled though, as you say.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 20:54:42

Thanks for all your comments, I've just come back on so I haven't read all of them yet. But your comments have all made sense, good suggestions and nice to know other mum's have this too. I do have to realise that the other kids are little too and don't understand the concept of patronising - I suppose I just feel like they want to mother him than be his actual friend. It doesn't really help that he is usually accompanied by an adult at play time - my older DD (9) says she sees him holding the hand of a TA as he's quite scared of lots of children being naturally noisy when out playing. Yes, it's great he's not bullied, only ignored sometimes when he says "hello" to another child, which makes me a little sad, but kids do that.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 21:00:43

Useful ideas for playdates, thanks. We live not far from a park with swings and slides and it might be a good idea (when the weather gets warmer) to invite a couple of children to the park (pack some refreshments) to play with DS. That way I can avoid him playing with dolls or dressing up in girls' clothes at home with the the children - don't think it would go down well with the boys.

DiamondDoris Thu 31-Jan-13 21:03:41

NeverQuiteSure you've conveyed perfectly what I wanted to say.

Zavi Thu 31-Jan-13 21:15:27

Why on earth is your son in a mainstream school if he needs so much additional SEN support???

Can't you get a place at a special needs school - surely that would be more appropriate for your son if he has learning disabilities

CloudsAndTrees Thu 31-Jan-13 21:43:08

I completely understand why this would make you feel a bit sad, and a myriad of other emotions, but it's actually really lovely that other children are celebrating your ds's achievement and want to be a part of that somehow by telling you, so that you can be pleased too.

I work in a school and I see exactly the sort of thing you are taking about. (I also have an autistic child of my own so I see it from that perspective too) Children at the school I work in do the things you are talking about, mollycoddling children that they know have specific difficulties and who they know struggle with certain things.

They are just doing what they are taught to do, and they are expressing that in its purest form, in a way that only children can. They are taught they have to be kind, helpful to people who need help, they need to be pleased for achievement in their class, even if its not their own, they need to accept differences without questioning. And that's what they are doing. They might not want to be his friend, and while it's sad, from their point of view it's probably understandable, especially as they sound like lovely children.

You say that you don't think it's their job to judge how well your ds has done in class, but they won't be able to help that. They will see and notice if something is different to usual, they will hear the praise your ds receives, just the same as they will hear the praise, or sometimes the tellings off, that everyone else receives.

3birthdaybunnies Thu 31-Jan-13 21:44:28

I think that the issue with the parties maybe one of smaller parties. In yr R we had lots of whole class parties, now there are more smaller parties, we have a small house, the children are limited to the number who can squeeze in, so they only invite the 5 or 6 closest friends. It's not meant to be a rejection of your child although I can see that it might seem like that to you. If you work on the friendships the parties might follow. It is different if they are excluding him from whole class parties though.

I would talk to the TA and see who tends to spend time with him, and don't assume it has to be the boys, dd2's best friend is a boy and they often play fairies together. Does he use signs if he has language delay? Teaching a few children to sign with him could be a good way to break down the barriers.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 31-Jan-13 21:46:19

Zavi! shock

Was that really worth posting? Don't you think the OP knows what's best for her own child without the input of some Internet random that knows next to nothing about her family?

And mainstream schools can cater exceptionally well for many children with LDs. As you would know if you had the first clue what you were on about.

MissBetseyTrotwood Thu 31-Jan-13 21:48:46

I can't speak for the OP or for any other parent of a child with SN but the reason why we chose to educate our DS at the local school is that our child has as much right to be a full part of his community as any other - attending the same school as his siblings, being there with children he's known his whole life, going to the park afterwards... some of the things it is hard to do if you are bussed out of your area to school then bussed home again afterwards if the school for children with special needs isn't local. (As ours isn't.)

For many parents, a place in a specialised unit is the right thing and for many it's not. I for one am glad my DCs attend a fully inclusive mainstream school, where a child's difference is planned for right from the start. My youngest is the 'Star Achiever' in his class this week and his brother will be cheering him on at his special assembly tomorrow, something that wouldn't be happening if they were separated. A small thing perhaps - but important too.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:01

Zavi, children with SEN can and do thrive in mainstream schools with appropriate support in place.

What a ridiculous post!

exoticfruits Thu 31-Jan-13 22:02:07

An utterly ridiculous post!

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 22:03:29

Neverquitesure and diamonddoris on one count you are both unargueably (spelling sorry) right... the playdates, parties, general mateyness... to be excluded from that is awful and upsetting. It's simply not on.

I guess I see it (aside from that) like this... my 5 year old comes home with certificates saying "good job today - Huwi showed really imagination/was kind/shared his things" etc etc., and Huwi echoes that language with his brother, me, his dad, the damn cat! I see the general support of any child as a positive thing. Whether our children have SEN or not, they and us are all 'grateful' they're not being picked on... sadly becase it's so common.

My son (as I've said) has no SEN, just different tastes that leave him omitted from various social engagements. The parents are guilty of excluding him 'because they know his doesn't like football and it was a football party' = assumption and missing the point! Or because the children just don't gel with him, and it's heartbreaking. Not everyone is as forward as the parent who hands every child (if they can afford an all child party) an invite and says "I know you hate footy but we'd love you to come along!" - THAT is a very common problem and not just a SEN problem. (We see it on here enough).

On the point of social inclusion outside of normal school hours, hey, your child is suffering what many non SEN children suffer, and it is not an exclusive SEN issue. It's horrid, I feel for you, all I know is you cannot change everyone else, all you can do is not join them, and make a massive effort to throws random BBQ's, playdates, park trips and invites everyone you possibly can think of (at no financial cost!) so that you can always say you tried. x

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 22:04:12

Haven't made it clear, but I have two sons... both very different! In case the flow seemed contradictory.

McNewPants2013 Thu 31-Jan-13 22:08:27

Zavi, my son doesn't need a special school. He functions well in school but with a bit of extra support.

Did you mean for your respponce to be so rude?

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