How can I encourage him to talk to me?(18 Posts)
DS1 is nearly six and although he has a diagnosis of high-functioning autism, he is managing very well in mainstream school atm.
However, he seems to find it very difficult to talk to me about what happens at school - good things as well as bad things. For example, yesterday he came home with a certificate signed by his class teachers and assistant, which said it was "For Being A Good Role Model". But he just wouldn't tell me what he'd done that had prompted this - he did almost start telling me, but then he just broke down in tears and couldn't get any further. I have left it that he's going to try and write it down for me.
Anybody got any ideas on how to help?
Can he draw you a picture about it - and then maybe talk about what he's drawn?
That's a good idea, assumedname. He does love drawing pictures.
Rather than asking what happened at school today, how about asking about something that is more directive (and a bit of fun), like "did anyone have anything yucky in their lunch box today?" - Something to make it seem like you are interested rather than interrogating him (not that you would be but sometimes kids feel on the spot if they can't give you an answer or don't know how to express it)
The drawing idea sounds great.
Also, if he is into role play, you might try that with him (where can tell you what your part is). So like for the certificate, you could pretend to be him and he could pretend to be the teacher giving out the certificate - this might give you a chance to have a bit of fun and laughter (of course mummy won't always get the role right and he'll have to "help" you with it).
Does he have a Home/School contact book dino? We use this to follow up any incidents, good or troubling, that don't seem to lend themselves to conversation.
Like KiwiKate's idea too - it is often the little oddities of classroom life that lead on to what parents reall want to know.
My ds won't tell me what happened at nursery! "don't remember'. Don't mean to make light of this at all, but I absolutely hated talking about school with my parents most of the time.
Good suggestions kiwikate, will try them.
Aloha - really? Why was that, do you think? DS2 has no problem at all telling me what he does at nursery - he's very garrulous. But perhaps he is the exception, rather than the rule.
Marina, he used to have a home/school book but we gave up on using it becauase he doesn't ahve a bag to take it in every day - they only have bags on book bag days, and these are very sporadic. DS1 wouldn't take a bag in if the other children weren't taking one, iyswim.
Oh dear dino, we do have book bags daily which makes it all effortless.
Well, maybe Aloha is right and I am making too much of it. I don't know. Anyone else got any thoughts?
I can certainly concur with aloha that talkative NT boys will say "Can't remember"...or "do I have to, this is boring" on a regular basis dinosaur.
But no, we don't have tears of frustration as a consequence so I think you are right to not let the matter drop and continue to canvass opinion.
Oh gooodness, my boys spent years doing 'Nothing' at school!! How they passed their time is still a mystery to me. But I think if your ds is distressed then you do need to follow it up - maybe his teacher can enlighten you this time and give you ideas for helping him open up in future?
Just bumping this again to see if anyone has any more suggestions?
It's not a suggestion of how to encourage your child to talk more, but it might help IYSWIM.
A while ago we had a boy with ADHD at school and whenever anything note-worthy happened, either good or bad, the classteacher would e-mail his mum just to let her know. We had tried a home-school book, but the boy in question used to hide it regularly. It then gave his mother a chance to prompt him to talk to her because she already knew roughly what had happened.
This system worked well for us because the teachers have laptops in their classrooms which are linked to the internet so it was very quick and easy to do, so as I say, it may not be possible in other schools.
Perhaps if you explained to your DS classteacher that he becomes upset if he can't explain, then she may be able to suggest an alternative way of communicating between home and school.
Dinosaur - When we went to Bibic they suggested setting up a timetable and then using pictures to help talk about dd's day.
Lots of children with communication difficulties find it hard to answer "wh" questions, such as who, what, where and when. We have pictures for these such as who has a face on it, etc. It really does help to promt them to talk about there day. Also we have home/school book which also helps as it talks about specific things and I also asked school for a weekly timetable so I know which day she does certain things.
This is going to sound rather regimented and bizarre, but you know. It's sort of a performance game.
We do "mummy school news". Ds and dd stand in the middle of the carpet (ds at this point is saying "but I don't want to this is boring" and being not heeded) and I do one-potato, two-potato to see who is going to get the Prize of telling me something about their day. The element of lottery-winning seems to be effective, who knows why.
Usually start with dd who is falling over herself to tell me that she had baked beans, that she played with boy-she-blushes-about (she's four!), that Miss X Forgot the Reading Folders. This seems to amuse ds so he tends to start burbling about whether he had baked beans too, so when it's his turn I get at least a glimmer of information. It's not too very difficult to lead him on from that.
Incidentally I do think narrative is inherently difficult for him, and I really do recognise the collapsing in tears when you can't order your thoughts/words to get a picture across.
Oh by the way when ds had his group SALT I noticed the same kind of technique being used - going round the group with each child offering an item of "news" (which could be anything at all).
binkie - that might very well work. I have tried to do something similar but not in such a structured way.
Eg. last week - DS2 told DS1 and me that "Everyone else except me was not listening to the teacher". DS1 and I: "So what were you doing, DS2?" DS2: "Weeelllll....I was mopping Alice wih the mop..."
Needless to say, DS1 and I collapsed in giggles at this point...
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