help needed with 6 year old son(6 Posts)
Hi all on Mumsnet, I am a newcomer and in a lightbulb moment thought some Mum out there might have some advice/experience on what's going on with my 6 year old son.
Here are the facts:
- he is a year 2 at the local village primary
- for the first time since he has started school 3 years ago he has said he likes school
- his teacher (who is lovely) is concerned that he is not happy in the classroom and has suggested getting some advice on what could be done to help him
- I have first voiced my concerns about him when he was 3 and at playschool, and this is what he used to do then: walk around in circles talking to himself, not engage in play with any other child, not make eye contact when spoken to (nothing was done then)
- when he was 4 and still behaving in the same way I approached playschool again and got in touch with our midwife. As a result of that, he was put on a waiting list for assessment for speech development and observed whilst at Playschool by a behavioural specialist
- just before starting primary school, he was assessed by a speech therapist who thought he was not too bad although he scored quite low on her charts (will give details if interested)and put on a 12 month waiting list for NHS speech therapy
- I then got my GP to refer him to a professional who specializes in Autistic syndrome, and again the outcome of the visit was that he was not too bad and therefore nothing else needed to be done
- once he started primary, unhappy as all hell, I started taking him to private speech sessions to a great speech therapist who helped him gain some confidence when spoken to by a "stranger" (as I am sure he viewed his teachers)
- things did not improve much in year 1 and I concentrated mostly on keeping him happy with what he likes most, drawing, planning stories in his head and sometimes drawing the characters from these stories, cutting them out, displaying them around the house, playing learning games on the computer
- he still finds very difficult to structure a sentence correctly but he makes himself understood without having to retort to shouting like he used to (out of frustration)
- he is very technical, but not in an "Asperger" kind of a way, he likes to build things, loves malleable materials such as playdough to bring to life his imaginary world
- can only read words of three letters each
- is good with numbers
- is a perfectionist who gets extremely frustrated when he realises that his work is not up to scratch (that's what's happening in the classroom at the moment)
I realise this is such a long message! Thank you so much to those of you who have read on so far
I feel sad that no-one ( apart from you) seems to think he's ' bad enough' to be offered any extra support.Whether he has a label or not, from what you say he could obviously do with a bit of targeted help, especially with his language development so I hope his 12 months' waiting is up soon.
By the way, Asperger's shows in many different ways - they're all different but do, obviously, have some common difficulties. They're not all text book cases!
As you already seem to be doing, you're probably going to have to get back in there and demand a bit more support / assessment - whatever. It's a pain - and a thick skin is a useful acquisition , but you sound like you're doing a great job already - especially keeping him happy whilst trying to find the best help.
You sound like you've done so much for him already, so how frustrating to be stuck not knowing what's next. I have a close friend who's son is similar in that he's deemed mostly okay so gets little help. Ridiculous system and I've no advice, other than to suggest maybe try posting on the SN section as your post might get missed on this board. Not saying your son has special needs, but there are lots of MNetters who've been through the assessment system and know it backwards, so they might be able to help or offer advice.
He sounds like a bright little chap who just doesn't learn in the same "conventional" way others do!
Two ideas just from my own experience.
Ds1 (6) can be a bit of a geek, very good at maths, in his own little world, very imaginative and creative (I think your ds sounds very creative), not great in big groups but fine with one other child or maybe even a few. School suggested his social skills were a little lacking (in particular lack of eye contact) - we didn't agree as such as he's actually good at interaction with adults and small groups of children, but gets lost in bigger groups. Anyway - the upshot was that he saw a creative arts therapist, who pronounced him to be a delightful little boy who just happened not to fit the mould that the school wanted! She suggested various strategies that the teacher could use to deal with him, although tbh what has worked for us is a change of teacher in year 2 - she's much more positive with him and we've seen a huge difference in just a few weeks.
Second question - has his hearing been tested? With ds2 (now 5) we had concerns about his speech and vocab, but the NHS audiologist we saw pronounced his hearing perfect. It was only when we shelled out to see a private speech therapist and ENT consultant that the real problem was uncovered - huge swollen tonsils and adenoids and glue ear. Once those problems were resolved he came on in leaps and bounds.
Hope I'm not stating the obvious to you, I've no special knowledge or experience but hope you get things resolved.
SN is Special Needs section on MN. There is SEN section too - Special Educational Needs. You might find more advice there.
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