5 year old about to be expelled - need advice.(69 Posts)
I'm making this post as I'm really feel emotionally drained, really have no idea what to do and would appreciate any advice - i am sorry that it's so long.
The first thing I noticed was at his childminders when he was 3 - as soon as he thought he wasn't being watched he really 'went for' the other child who was 18 months at the time for absolutely no reason. This aggression alarmed me at the time as the other child was so small and it was a 'hard' hit.
Following this, he went to nursery where he consistently could not play with other children, he would hit/be unable to share / play rough etc. He was unresponsive to discipline at this stage - he was both excluded and sent to the headteacher when he was 3 and also referred to therapy. This therapy was not effective (was CAHMS) and there were no strategies offered and no changes to behaviour observed.
Fast forward to reception the problem esculated, I was called into school 4 out of 5 days every single week of the year. The children were awarded a green sticker for a 'full week of staying green' - he did not behave for a full week at school. This included, the continuation of rough play, ripping a boys coat hood off, turning off the lights in a full school assembly, seeing the headteacher at least once a week and just being completely unresponsive to any kind of discipline.
There was a complete lack of support from the school towards myself. I should probably say here, I have tried EVERY form of discipline at home to which he is totally unresponsive. In front of myself/teachers he will literally start laughing even if he is being shouted at. He will roll his eyes/shrug shoulders and seems completely not bothered at all. He is also unresponsive when I tried the naughty step for an extended period of time / taking toys away etc. From therapy i tried to concentrate on positive behaviour much more, but 'stickers and treats' aren't enough for him. He really isn't that bothered about them. He literally does not seem to care about anything.
Anyway, this resulted in me moving him schools as the general attitude of the school before was ' we cant do anything with him'. At his new school, within 6 weeks his class teacher was on the border of crying that she cant cope with him at a school meeting involving about 10 members of staff. He has been hurting other boys (pinching, scratching etc), pushing teachers (hard), pushing boys down the stairs, being completely defiant, wont respond to discipline, consistently calls out in class, laughs when hes being told off etc.
I have Another meeting on tuesday as a follow up to a behavioural analyst from 6 weeks ago - he said if he didnt response to the new discipline system (of ticks/tokens) - he was probably a sociopath. The head also told me we are discussing in this meeting 'how to move forward as he cannot stay with this behaviour'.
I am literally at my wits end. I have absolutely no idea what to do with him. Last night I couldn't stop crying because of this situation that's been for the past 3 years and he literally laughed in my face.
I just don't know what to do. He has also been laughing at any misfortune of someone else if he sees them dropping something/falling over/hurting themselves. He's also told me he 'wouldnt care if i died and wouldnt even come and see me in the graveyard'. i mean it's just strange that a 5 year old would even think like that?
Also, he's given me really sinister smiles. what I mean is for example if he gets in the car after school, i'll question him about how he was feeling that day / why he behaved in that way (e.g scratching someone and leaving a bad bleeding scratch) - he will smile, but it's almost like a sinister smile with strange eyes(?!) and he will say 'oh he was annoying me it was HIS fault'
I also feel like if i talk to my gp about this i'll sound slightly crazy? I mean i know this has been so long, but ?! what kind of professional help am i supposed to seek. and what the hell do i say on tuesday?
Sounds like he needs a referral to an ed psych and 1:1 support. We are going through this at my school at the moment and my school have been really proactive in trying to get things sorted. You need to push for adequate support in class/on the playground. Speak to the senco and spell out your concerns. As he had a hearing test?
Your first step is to definitely talk to your gp about him, perhaps without him there as a first appointment.
Sounds like you're having a horribly rough time - I'm so sorry to hear that.
I'm afraid I don't have much advice but just wanted to offer my virtual support.
How is his home life? Has something happened in his life that could have triggered this behaviour? Does he have siblings? Is his father present? What about friends?
He sounds like he must be very unhappy for some reason.
sorry forgot to add he has a teaching assistant now (this is the new plan that was put in place a month ago and he has not responded to) and shes with him for the whole day.
Yep hearing is fine
Have you spoken to your GP at all about him, in all this time? Or your health visitor when he was younger?
Sociopath is a strong word to use for a child. How qualified was the behavioural analyst?
I think you should see your GP about it.
And have others have said absolutely push for all the support you can get from GP and school. A meeting with the Senco should definitely be planned
the thing with his home life (yes im on my own) but it has been stable since he was born. his dad has never been involved since my pregnancy. he has no siblings and is understandably finding it hard to have friends when he is behaving in this way.
one of the sources of unhappiness the behavioural analyst found was that he has dyspraxia. so he hates being involved with games/p.e/music and movement and will be especially difficult during those periods in the school day.
Sorry on breakfast and school duty so brief but who the hell labels a five year old a sociopath? I would suggest reposting on the special needs boards as well as here, there are a lot of parents whose children didn't respond to ticks and tokens and they are not a bunch of budding sociopaths - just little (and bigger) ones who were overwhelmed by their particular needs and needed the right help to cope.
He is in state school? In the UK?
All the best. I am sure he can be helped and you need better help than you have had to date.
The behavioural analyst is incredibly well respected and one of the top people in the country just to add (also nauseatingly expensive)
he was in a state school before they said they couldn't cope with him anymore and didn't know where to go - i felt like his behaviour would only get worse. he's now in a private school with a very small class
Sounds like he has some serious issues that you really are doing your best to address. I am so sorry that you are going through this with your son. Has he been assessed for the obvious ones? ADHD, autism, etc? Have you tried medication? Definitely make a gp app as the stress could be having negative effects on you apart from anything else and the gp may have some advice.
I don't really know how else to help you but I hope you get some answers soon.
Those of you shocked by the use of the word sociopath, unfortunately it is thought that sociopathic tendancies can be seen from a very young age. It does not surprise me that a child not responding to numerous attempts to calm him would be "labelled" in such a way. Sad but I can see the logic if all attempts are being unsuccessful.
How have the school helped in terms of supporting his dyspraxia? It must be very difficult for him dealing with that and struggling to take part in certain activities. Is the TA there to deal with this need specifically?
I completely echo what others have said about the ridiculousness of using the term sociopath with reference to a 5 year old. With the correct support in place things will get better for both of you
the only reason im reluctant about the gp is that i went before, ended up at CAHMS and they were just absolutely awful. like a complete an utter waste of time - but what other option is there?
he said if he didnt response to the new discipline system (of ticks/tokens) - he was probably a sociopath
What a ridiculous thing to say! Personality disorders cannot be diagnosed in young children.
I am quite cross on your behalf at the failure of the school to assess his needs and provide support.
Please make a list of your concerns, take it to the GP and ask for a paediatric referral.
Although thankfully non-violent, DS2 was in trouble every single day at infant school and did not respond to any behavioural sanctions the school had. It turned out that he has ADHD, and once that was treated, it became obvious that he also has ASD. He is now attending a mainstream secondary school and in four terms has not had a single detention.
I am not saying your DS has either of those conditions. I am saying that if he gets the support he needs, things could turn around completely.
i've also been to a pediatric consultant who said he was a control freak, putting on 'bravado' when being told off etc. and we were discharged
it didnt actually change anything or help?
Sorry yes i've literally been to everything!
Didn't want to read and run...
Def GP, push for community paediatrician.
Labelling a five year old as a sociopath is unhelpful, unprofessional and frankly appalling. No matter how well respected. I would be making a formal complaint. I would also ask for a second assessment from someone else.
Your poor boy, and poor you. Being asked to behave for five days is next to impossible for some children. Is there any positive work going on with him? I.e. A sticker for a good session and if he gets two in a week he can get a treat. Then gradually increase the expectations? It all sounds very negative from the school end and that never helps.
Don't read too much in to the laughing when disciplined, generally children that young do it because they don't know how else to react. I bet his self esteem is rock bottom from the dyspraxia, making him incredibly frustrated. Has he been referred to OT? There may be a sensory issue.
I don't know about private schools but state schools have access to Pupil Referral Units who can help with this. It may be worth looking into this?
Sorry you are having to cope with all this, you must be exhausted
I would second/third/fourth trip to GP and request for referral to paediatric psych as a matter of urgency.
It being a private school, I think that it might be likely that they would ask him to leave.
When he was at the state school, did the school refer him, or get him assessed by an ed psych? Did he have a formal diagnosis at any stage?
I have a friend with a son with similar behaviour to your ds. She removed him from state primary because it was felt it was failing her ds. He went to a private school but was predictably sked to leave within about 6 weeks. He is now at a different state school and is doing much better, but is also being medicated (ADHD). After leaving the private system, the new school were more proactive with arranging expert diagnosis and guidance. I think the chequered educational picture he presented upon rejoining state system meant that the new school were much more keyed into what help he might need.
Agree that the 5 day behaviour scheme is really unlikely to work with lots of children. 5 days is an age when you're 5 years old, and it's much better to reward as good behaviour happens rather than delaying, almost waiting for the child to cock up.
Ok you need to start again with assessments and you're going to need to find your inner pushing so to get the help you need
Go back to your gp or hv if you have one and tell them you want him assessing for adhd and the like and start there.
It's unfortunate that we have to fight so hard to get our kids help these days.. especially when so many people think that adhd, autism etc are made up and excuses for lazy parenting.
don't let them label him without offering support as well.
yep he's been having the stickers and treats which aren't enough for him - he doesn't seem bothered about stickers or treats at all. thats been the new plan. to have a token a day and then a treat every day for a token.
i will ask about a paediatric psych i am actually seeing the gp in about a week but i've never met her before so not sure what im going to have to say.
the private school has actually been amazingly pro-active in terms of getting him a dyspraxia diagnosis and he is 'bright' and i think they like that but i think it's got to the point where they've had enough. his class teacher visbily hates him. i really dont know how to deal with her in this meeting, she is incredibly immature / emotional / unprofessional and really frustrates me.
dyspraxia is very rarely a stand-alone diagnosis. its often part and parcel of other issues, often ASD or ADHD and quite frequently sensory processing disorder!
Also, has anyone mentioned or looking into Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)?
a token a day is not enough
he needs much more immediate rewards
if he sits on the carpet nicely for 10 minutes he should get a sticker
if he read his book nicely he gets a sticker
literally the rewards should be every few minutes. daily or weekly are NOT going to work.
his ta needs to be sitting with him all the time, constantly looking for things to praise. 'i love the way you are sitting nicely' 'oh how polite you are for saying thank you!' ' wow-you are trying really hard to colour neatly'
this needs to be constant.
does he like things like the computer? if he does the right thing for an hour-he gets five minutes computer time/ lego time whatever.
if he laughs when he has done a bad thing-ignore it.
how did he manage to turn the lights off in an assembly? that suggests to me that he is not being adequately supervised.
i truly think you need to lovebomb this child-look for any small thing you can to praise him for and ignore bad things. just give him no attention for them.
Bless you you really sound like you are doing everything to get him the help he clearly needs.
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