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To ask you to help me unpick why my son struggles socially at school?

(76 Posts)
OhioOhioOhio Mon 25-May-20 23:37:30

I can't figure out what they mean when they tell me this. He's 8. He is very social when out and about with me and his younger siblings. I've asked if they arw trying to tell me that he's a bully and they say no. Apparently if you have to choose a partner he doesn't really respond. He's not asd. He might have traits of add but not enough to do anything formal about it. I'm a single parent. He father is an abusive piece of work. I have a kind family we usually see a lot of. Also I'm a teacher. I can't see what they mean.

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ShouldWeChangeTheBulb Mon 25-May-20 23:43:24

I don’t think you can ever see these things in your own children. I’m aware of my DD social communication traits but I cannot see it in her at all dispute being an SEN professional.
Social communication is so vast and intricate that it can be very hard to work out. Especially as the ‘rules’ between kids are vastly different to the ones with an adult and child dynamic.
I would look for very specific things, like the example of not choosing a partner and tell him what he should do.

OhioOhioOhio Mon 25-May-20 23:47:23

Thank you. We do practise that. Can you recommend a book I could share with him? I can't see him not managing socially and wonder what changes for him at school?

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Ihadvodkaforbreakfast Tue 26-May-20 00:37:26

Have you observed your son interacting socially other than with his siblings? ASD Is a spectrum and not every child will tick every box in the diagnostic criteria, but social difficulties is one of the most commonest traits, and pls bear in mind they are relaxed with their own family so you are less likely to see social awkwardness.
Have you chatted with school SEN team?
Wish you well op 💐

GreenTulips Tue 26-May-20 00:44:32

It could be that’s he’s in a loud dominate class and doesn’t want to interact.

Sometimes you get a glut of boys wanting to be top dog and along side that a quiet few kids who when in small groups shine through.

Twofurrycatsagain Tue 26-May-20 01:01:55

What are the class he is in like? The 'character' of a class, particularly as they progress through KS2, can have a big impact.

DamnYankee Tue 26-May-20 01:32:13

Apparently if you have to choose a partner he doesn't really respond

I didn't like partner work either - mostly b/c my team mates let me down. And so awkward choosing in the moment.

Guess who did all the work? Never had the guts to dig my heels in. No ASD/ADHS here. BA, MA - successful career.

Did you like group work?

Antipodeancousin Tue 26-May-20 02:16:41

I would ask his teacher for more examples. It could be that he is in a class with a lot of domineering kids and he’s not as dominant and happier to take a more laid back approach, i.e. not keen to ‘claim’ a partner. In which case you might be happy to let him be because when he goes to secondary he’s more likely to find ‘his people’. Just my speculation though, you’re better off asking the teacher.

NuffSaidSam Tue 26-May-20 02:27:51

Maybe it's just a numbers issue. Some people are fine one on one or small groups, but a class of 30 is a different matter.

Also, outside of school there must be few places where he's constantly forced to attempt to socialise with the same 29 other people day after day. School is a unique environment in that sense and that's why you can see behaviour there that you don't see anywhere else.

PickUpAPickUpAPenguin Tue 26-May-20 02:33:28

Is his friendship group odd (as in a group of 3 or 5?) If his best mates pick each other then he's the odd man out in that case.

RitzSpy Tue 26-May-20 04:57:23

Is this the first time it has been mentioned? Maybe the teacher is reading into something that isn’t an issue at all because you seem quite surprised by this - it seems he has friends? Not everyone likes partner work and at eight is could be just the way he expresses a preference- you don’t get much say at eight regarding the way you want to work.

Ozgirl75 Tue 26-May-20 05:01:28

I’d ask them to give you some more firm examples of exactly what they mean.

CovidicusRex Tue 26-May-20 05:02:14

What do they mean he doesn’t respond? He just sit staring blankly at the wall? Or he doesn’t join in fighting over the kid of the moment?

Ozgirl75 Tue 26-May-20 05:02:28

There’s loads of reasons he might not want to pick a partner - not being bothered, not wanting to leave out a friend, worrying that the other person won’t want to be his partner etc.

OhioOhioOhio Tue 26-May-20 05:04:49

Thank you everyone. I quite like the fact that he's not carried along by the massivecgang mentality. He has a hard time at his father's and I wonder if it's part of his head being filled with that?

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fairislecable Tue 26-May-20 05:08:09

At the same age my daughters teacher was worried that my DD had chosen to be alone and not sit with anyone on the long journey to school residential.

When I questioned DD she pointed out that if she was alone on a double seat she could lie down and be more comfortable.!

Sometimes how they react has a simple explanation.

ludothedog Tue 26-May-20 05:18:34

Trauma in children often looks like asd. You must know this from your training in child development. Of course being with an abusive parent is going to affect his emotional development. I would start there.

Otherwise when lick down eases get him involved with activities out of school and lots of play dates with other children from class. Just give him lots of positive experiences with other children.

OhioOhioOhio Tue 26-May-20 05:32:45

Can you please tell me more about trauma in children? We do have lots of positive family experiences of other people but are not in the click of Facebook friend mums from the class. There is definitely a core group of the trendy bunch. I'm certain he's experienced trauma, his father is very cruel. Knowingly so and in a very sinister way. Been through the courts. No recourse. The kids hate him mostly. They still do the cheering thing when they see him come to collect them but I know from what they say that it's a difficult time.

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BiblioX Tue 26-May-20 05:45:07

Not being in a Facebook Mum clique won’t be having a particular impact on his behaviour at school with his peers. Does he have friends round to play? Does he usually do any out-of-school activity such as Cubs or Tae Kwondo etc? If he does, how is he with them/there?
If he seems happy in himself regarding his social communications I’d try not to worry - some people simply are more introvert and the class he is in right now may not bring out his more gregarious side.
Trauma in children can lead to extreme anxiety around possible conflict, a desire to appease, a desire to hide. It can also lead to the opposite!!
Keep talking to him, keep giving him social opportunities out with school, keep being open with his teacher but as previous people have said, ask for further details.

ludothedog Tue 26-May-20 05:45:42

Op as a teacher you must have had some training in child development? Do some research into ACE's - adverse childhood experiences - domestic violence - emotional abuse etc there's lots of research out there.

ludothedog Tue 26-May-20 05:47:32

OhioOhioOhio Tue 26-May-20 05:52:21


The link doesn't work. Thank you.

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ludothedog Tue 26-May-20 05:54:32

I'm really shocked to think that as a teacher you are not aware that what's happening at home for a child can have a negative impact on their learning and social/emotional development. Surely that's day one in teacher training???

Come on, you know this op. Why are you pretending that you don't?

Josette77 Tue 26-May-20 06:00:47

Your child is continuing to experience trauma. Of course he is struggling.

OhioOhioOhio Tue 26-May-20 06:05:23


I've been a teacher for 20 years and a mother for 8. Im not pretending I don't know. That kind of verbal put down is a very helpful example of what my children have to put up with. If you dont want to help go somewhere else. I believe that it is highly regular for medical staff or dentists etc not to treat family because of their lack of perspective due to their emotional connection.

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