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Behavioural concerns

(8 Posts)
advisemeplease Thu 25-Jun-09 09:41:58

Warning: I have namechanged for this, if you recognise me, please don't out me!

I'm in a sticky situation because I'm only the nanny and not a parent so I'm not entirely sure whether to say anything about what I've observed. Please bear this in mind when you read through and advise me at the end.


7 year old boy, only child, very bright in a rigid but quite academic school system - enjoys school because he learns things, no trouble persuading him to do homework, very high reading age (devoured Harry Potter independently), excellent at maths and science because he likes know the 'how' and 'why' of things.

HOWEVER he has no social skills whatsoever, he's constantly imposing what he wants on his friends, he's physically violent when he doesn't get his own way/a change upsets him, he can't share, he can never accept that he's wrong (and I mean never) unless it's physically proven to him, he gets locked into activities, everything has to be perfect (piano practice is a nightmare) and he gets distraught if he gets anything wrong, he avoids eye contact, he can't hold a two-way conversation, he interrupts adults constantly, he doesn't understand that there are some things you just don't say in public, he doesn't have any idea of personal space and can be overly (to the point of inappropriately) affectionate, he doesn't really have any friends because he says he doesn't like anyone and he has a constant need to be the best/fastest/first.

I don't think many of these things can be put down to being an only child and having a nanny because his parents are pretty sensible and so was the one previous nanny I knew who was there for 3 years.

We've put a great routine in place so he knows what's happening and when but this doesn't help his skills with other people. I've used techniques from 'the unwritten rules of friendship', I model and point out good social skills, we talk about what went well/wrong if he intiates a discussion about another child's behaviour, I try to stress how people feel when we're talking about things as well as the facts of the matter but it doesn't seem to register.

I've tried being involved in disputes, I've tried leaving him alone to sort things out (but then it comes to blows), I've tried to teach him to walk away from a stressful situation but nothing seems to have worked and I really want to help him.

His parents took him to a psychiatrist who said that 'he couldn't help how he felt and couldn't control himself' within his hearing so for about 6 months that was his excuse for every single outburst. He's much improved since we stopped going there and was told what's acceptable behaviour and what isn't but he doesn't seem able to put that knowledge into practice.

I suspect Aspergers (very bright but poor social skills) but I'm not an ed. psych or mental health professional. We live in a country which doesn't recognise it - there is no such thing as the autistic spectrum over here and I really don't know what to do.

What would you advise?

Scorpette Thu 25-Jun-09 09:50:57

I have a relative with Aspergers and your description of this little boy sounds 100% Aspergers. Well done you for spotting it, but if no-one recognises it, the parents are in a real bind. And no doubt it'd be really hard for you to suggest this to the parents. What sort of country doesn't recognise the Autistic spectrum?! It's absurd - not to mention damaging to not let kids and adults on the spectrum get help!

Even if the country doesn't recognise it, I would still broach the subject with the parents. They could at least look up help on the internet, order books from abroad, etc. Good luck!

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 25-Jun-09 09:53:04

It does sound like aspergers to me aswell. My son used to be like this, his school refused to acknowledge that he had SN and he was labelled as naughty and it was left for me to help him and teach him these skills. It's taken me years. Did the book not help at all?

I've got to go out but shall be back later.

ICANDOTHAT Thu 25-Jun-09 10:03:32

What do his school say about him?

advisemeplease Thu 25-Jun-09 10:19:06

Book helped a bit but he didn't really seem to connect what I was saying to his behaviour, IYSWIM?

I can't say where I am as that would completely out me but here autism is REALLY bad - think totally non-functioning autism.

His school label him as naughty, disruptive and pushy. He is constantly being kept in for running down stairs, pushing other children, answering back to the teacher etc. It's a quite old-fashioned school system.

I've heard his teachers call him rude, uncontrallable, obsessive and violent. The best way I heard it phrased was high maintenance and this was all within my hearing but I don't think they know I speak the local language. His report is stunning except for the bits about personal discipline, working with others, communal life etc.

I just don't know how to bring up the subject. They're on the ball, they know he has behavioural issues but they don't seem to want to do anything about it. Every time I've tried to sit them down and talk through concerns I have, which was quite a lot in the beginning, they listen, nod and don't act on it. It took weeks of me insisting there was a problem before they grudgingly agreed to a psychiatrist (who was a disaster but that's for different reasons).

hettie Thu 25-Jun-09 11:08:41

ok- it's not so great that the psychiatrist was a disaster as that will have coloured the judgement of profesional help...... BUT it does sound like the 'professional' help in the country you're in would be apnts anyway (I can't think of a single psychological professional body in any developed country that doesn't recognise aspergers).
How about the whole..."it would be unprofesional/negligant of me not to raise this concern" way of talking to them. It is simply impossible to say what is goign on for this boy without a UK (or other apropriate) psychologist assesing him. Do they come back to UK ever? You could also try the "there are lots of really helpful things that we could be doing if we knew what it was" route?

advisemeplease Thu 25-Jun-09 11:27:57

hettie - can't specify location but you hit the nail ok the head in your post and therein lies the problem. We don't come to the UK so I guess what I need is strategies that I can implement without said diagnosis targeting the behaviour described, which is why I deliberately avoided saying he is ASD and merely suspect. If other people think he is I may start a post on ways to deal with possible ASD.

BonsoirAnna Thu 25-Jun-09 11:32:57

I know who you are and therefore the context smile.

There is nothing you can do concretely. Don't beat yourself up about it. Direct the parents to the association L.. p... S... - if that doesn't mean anything to you, get in touch with me and I'll tell you.

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