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Can anyone shed light/give an opinion as to why by ds gets such a hard time?

(37 Posts)
birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 13:41:15

I am starting to think it may be something deeper. I apologise for name changing but I'd rather not share this with RL friends (who also use the board) I don't blame anyone for thinking troll but I would be happy to get some insight and hopefully someone can help?

My ds is not a PFB, he is such a kind, caring, considerate child. He normally thinks of others before himself. He has never shown a greedy/self absorbed streak like my others grin Compared to my others he is also very academically bright, able to read well and above his age, very capable with numeracy too. His teachers are delighted with him in that respect.

My heart breaks for him because he has no connection with any other children other than his siblings (who are not at the same school as him so no support there)and it's not just at school- other children seem to sense how vulnerable he is and take advantage- it's like they can smell it. he appears to have zero self esteem and I can't understand why.

He is only six but I can't help but compare him to his siblings and his peers- he delights me in the way that he sees the world and the way he talks to other adults but he can't seem to engage other children. This has happened from very early on including nurseries/reception/playdates.

I have had to go to his school on other matters before and I have seen him tearful and on his own on more than one occasion which was addressed by his school but something is bothering me, it feels like something is up.

Any other similar stories or ideas on how one helps with self esteem issues would be very welcomed by a worrying and emotional mum.

abra1d Mon 19-Oct-09 13:45:07

My son was very similar to this at the same age. Although things are much easier now we're actually investigating some counselling. He's 12 and next year moves on to senior school, at year 9. We just don't want it to start again when he's back with older boys.

I'd be tempted to see your GP and ask them to refer you. Our GP was very sympathetic. In our area, they're keen to sort things out sooner rather than later.

Things are considerably better. As he's discovered activities he enjoys and as is quite good at (crosscountry running and rifle shooting) he has grown mroe confident.

Restrainedrabbit Mon 19-Oct-09 13:45:48

I was that child grin and I worry that one of mine will be like that. However the best thing my parents did was to encourage out of school activities where I could mix with likeminded children and where there would be older children present - as I was more relaxed in their company.

He sounds like a lovely sensitive little boy but who has a need to please (considerate) so therefore won't stand up for himself when needed? Can you work on a few lines to say if he feels picked on? So he has a coping strategy?

Restrainedrabbit Mon 19-Oct-09 13:47:09

I think finding an activity he can enjoy and develop in is possibly the key. This will help his esteem tremendously. What does the school say?

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 13:59:38

Thank you.

You hit the nail on the head. For some reason he is a people pleaser. I feel like I have failed in raising him. sad

He has zero sporting prowess (my others range from will try to very sporty)

I have tried role/play, giving him lines- he will just retreat and roll over in any given situation then his shoulders slouch his head is bowed and he walks away.

I love him so much. sad I am so sad when he is sad.

Restrainedrabbit Mon 19-Oct-09 14:22:19

what about cubs or drama or something? I hated anything sporty as a kid and made me feel even more useless. Also sporty kids seemed to be the popular one

I feel for you as we all want our children to feel and be the best they can.

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 14:32:54

I have tried the cub thing- he went to one session and was freaked out by it, I am wondering about some kind of drama workshop.

I don't even care if he isn't sporty, I just want him to feel valued (don't we all) and feel important in some way. I think he only feels that way when he's with me or my friends/adults/teachers.

Restrainedrabbit Mon 19-Oct-09 14:51:34

I think drama is good for building confidence (plus being great fun!), might be worth a shot. Please don't feel like you have failed him, you are clearly a caring and loving mother and that is all any of us can be. What is he like with younger children? Sometimes being able to be a role model for a littler child can help esteem.

nondomesticgoddess Mon 19-Oct-09 15:05:39

You can get him referred. When you go for the appointment, they will play with him and give you lots of ideas on how you can help him. Go and talk to your GP and see what they say.

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 16:48:33

I am very intrigued by visiting the GP.

I fear they will just laugh at me when I go in and say- other children don’t like him and he is scared of everything??

He is lovely and gentle with younger ones but even they can upset him sometimes. By friend’s 23mth old told him to get off the slide because he did not want to share and he did as he was told and then came to be so upset (tears and everything) sad

MumofJTM Mon 19-Oct-09 16:52:10

Your DS (who sounds delightful, by the way - big hugs from me!) should have someone at school who could help him with a "Social Story" which is like a script for what could happen in different situations. It would help him develop some coping strategies and also stop him feeling completely tongue tied if he stumbles in to a difficulty. Also, more positively, it could help him with some ways of connectiing with his peers. They're usually used with kids on the autistic spectrum, and I am NOT for one millisecond suggesting that your son sounds like that applies to him, it's just a technique that I've seen work with lots of different kids, even those not on autistic spectrum.

To be honest, and I am a middle school not primary school teacher, I would expect relationships and making friends to be something that is approached during Cirle Time and PSHE sessions.

I would speak to his class teacher again and see if there are any ways that he can be included in a Friendship Circle or similar. Does his school have playground buddies? Worth asking about that too.

I think Drama club a good idea. Suits all sorts of kids, more so than sports or cubs. Can he sing? Choir might be good option too?

This must be such a worry for you and your gorgeous boy.

Big supportive hugs to you both xxx

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 16:58:29

That post you wrote just made me cry and it has crossed my mind that perhaps there is more to this and he may not be NT but how would I go about finding out for certain.

He is such a lovely human being.

Unfortunately his school do not seem to want to help in any way, they think that he is just very emotional and implied today that it must be connected to something at home. That hit me very hard- he is great at home, really helpful,funny, thoughtful, caring with his brothers and sisters and there is not really much in the way of tears and certainly no shouting and hysteria.

He wet himself at school and they implied he must be emotional because of home.

ninagleams Mon 19-Oct-09 18:04:06

Have you tried the Woodcraft Folk? I was an Elfin and did well in a less formal environment than brownies. It was off the beaten track, encouraged personal choice, there were lots of games, loads of singing (Bob Dylan) and it was difficult for it to be cliquey! The description of Woodcraft is here.

WonderBundlesMommy Mon 19-Oct-09 19:19:37

OP my heart goes out to you - tears in my eyes reading your post...

Not everyone may agree with this but my suggestion would be to consider enrolling him in some type of martial arts. I have seen many children similar to your son really blossom through martial arts classes - where the learning and "competition" is individual but takes place in a group setting. There are a range of ages that participate in family-style classes, and kids are exposed to (and often get partnered with) all kinds of different people in a very structured environment. IMO the confidence gained through martial arts is invaluable and would probably really help. It is also an excellent route to teaching kids about respect - giving it, and that they are deserving of it.

As another note - have seen lots of mums/dads take the family classes with their DC's, which is great under many circumstances - but in your DS situation they seem to be able to "come out of their shell" more without a parent present, IMO.

Good luck....

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 20:53:19

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen.

The woodcraft sounds wonderful but is too far away from me. I am wondering about a family clas that sounds lovely.

He did go to a Martial arts class (I thought the same last year)and the female helpers adored him but that is only because when they had to stand in line to do an activity (chop pads etc) he would gaze at them all limp wristed and say things like "Don't you have lovely hair?" or "I like your toes". It didn't take him long to bow out when the going got a bit much for him.

blush it was the other children that he couldn't start a conversation or bond with. I have tried playdates too but it is painful to watch.

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 21:02:03

Have you read that book "the unwritten rules of friendship"? anything in there to help?

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 21:02:54

I have not cargirl, could you give me some pointers please?

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 21:05:53

I haven't bought it yet keep meaning to

here is a review on it, it's aimed at youngish children, well the parents of

MrsFlittersnoop Mon 19-Oct-09 21:10:10

Birdbox, please consider asking the school for a SALT referral for your DS. The SALT team will assess him for a range of issues, including social skills and communication problems. If they won't play ball then go to your GP.

Your DS sounds just like my son at the same age, sensitive, tearful, academically bright, poor at sports, delightful company with adults and family but unable to engage with his peers.

My DS is now 13 and has just joined a new school. He was bullied during his last 2 years at primary and 1st 2 years at secondary. I was told it was because he was an only child, I was overprotective, he needed to toughen up/learn martial arts/was spoilt rotten yada yada yada.

Within 2 weeks of joining his new school, he was referred for assessment by the SENCO, and has just been given a provisional diagnosis of dyspraxia and possible aspergers syndrome.

Many dyspraxic kids experience similar difficulties at school to kids with aspergers. We tend to think of dyspraxia in terms of clumsiness and poor co-ordination, but it can have a huge knock on effect on their social skills.

I would give anything to be able to turn the clock back and fight tooth and nail to get DS properly assessed when he was tiny. I could have saved him years of unhappiness, loneliness and stress at school.

Best of luck, and please follow your instincts!


abra1d Mon 19-Oct-09 21:14:58

'I fear they will just laugh at me when I go in and say- other children don’t like him and he is scared of everything'

No, they shouldn't do this. I found our doctors incredibly sympathetic. Even when I accidentally booked us in to the emergency slot on a Monday morning!

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 21:17:04

Mrs Fritter I have tears rolling down my face.

I think he is Dyspraxic but the school scoffed at me and said he didnt fit any profile. I can't explain why I think he is.

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 21:25:01

well the zero sporting prowess is one indicator that makes it worth ruling out dyspraxia surely!

I've just posted about neuro developmental delay on another thread but it can be cause of the dyspraxia and INPP treatment can help people with aspergers and dyspraxia fulfill their potential

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 21:33:40

I don't want to go through the school is there a way I can get a referral through the GP.

CarGirl Mon 19-Oct-09 21:40:25

I have no idea presumably you can ask your GP and explain that the school have been unhelpful?

birdbox Mon 19-Oct-09 21:51:11

Thank you.

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