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Does anyone have experience of a bright child being disruptive due to being bored?

(130 Posts)
Aloha Wed 20-Jun-07 18:14:02

My ds has Aspergers and we are having a nightmare with his school - feel very let down. He is only five & in reception, but arrived at school able to read fluently (started to read at three), add, subtract blah blah. We think he is very bright. For the last year in Reception he's been doing Jolly phonics etc and basically working about two years behind his ability IMO. We are constantly told that his behaviour is deteriorating (long story) but I am convinced that part of this is due to his being bored witless. He is now spending more and more time out of the classroom and not learning anything at all
Has anyone experience of a bored child acting up and what did you do to solve the problem and did it work? Please help! Have meeting on Friday and want to bring ideas to the table.

Ladymuck Wed 20-Jun-07 18:15:45

How many are in the class and what support does he have with Aspergers?

Aloha Wed 20-Jun-07 18:16:52

28 or something, and yes, he's on School Action Plus, that that's clearly not enough & IMO not the right approach. Am applying for statement. Of course having an ASD will affect behaviour, but I'm convinced it is not the full story.

sniff Wed 20-Jun-07 18:22:42

my son has apergers he could read and spell when went to school however he still cant spell why because he learnt phonetically and he will no longer read

aspergers children learn a rule and want to stick to it so now in yr 4 he still spells phonetically they should know this about your son that he needs to be challenged and taught things in particular ways

my son is good at school but daydreams alot because he is bored - doesnt do work that is boring either finds a way out of it

I would make an appointment with the senco and ask what special help in the classroom he can get eg encouraging his reading and one to one

TheApprentice Wed 20-Jun-07 18:30:32

When I taught reception I had a boy who was very able, and we arranged for him to do his maths lesson with an older class every day. That way , he was being stretched but still with his peer group most of the time iyswim. However, he was quite a mature little lad and able to deal with this well. I could also give him stretching type tasks in other subjects and just leave him to get on with it, so didnt need to spend massive amounts of time with him.

Would this be possible with your ds? Would he cope with being with older kids for part of the day?

LIZS Wed 20-Jun-07 18:32:44

I'm relieved dd is one of the youngest because if she were in the year below she'd be terribly bored now. iirc she is only a few weeks older than your ds. She may be physically very little for the year but at least she is challenged and stimulated, keeping well up with those almost a year older. I guess your ds suffers partly being at the other end of the age range as well as his SN.

Friends' ds (yr5) was in a very small school with mixed age classes, which he just seemed to outgrow, he didn't want to try hard as it was well within his competence and the parents were getting called in as he was disruptive. They recently moved him to a larger private school with higher expectations of academics and behaviour, there are children with whom he can compete more equally and they are providing higher level opportunities in some subjects to develop him. Apparently he is a changed child.

Aloha Wed 20-Jun-07 18:34:31

My son can spell why - he can spell most things, even though his handwriting is appalling (dyspraxia, left-handed, low muscle tone)
I think he would like to actually learn something at school from time to time so I would like him to work with other groups.
I can't believe that he will learn to tell the time next year! He can do that. Or that they won't start teaching history for ages.
What is he supposed to do with himself?

Aloha Wed 20-Jun-07 18:36:45

Thanks LIZS (and everyone) - yes I think being one of the oldest in his year is a VERY mixed blessing. He is not emotionally very mature, but he has learned NOTHING in a year. NOTHING. And he's just a sponge for learning. Had to explain my new satnav device to him in great detail over tea tonight.
The class are still doing letter sounds. I'd DIE of boredom.

foxinsocks Wed 20-Jun-07 18:43:47

ds gets given different maths stuff. Teacher doesn't make a big fuss about it - just thought he would be bored out of his mind learning to count to 20 when he's obviously very good at maths so gives him different work.

I don't think your school have handled him very well aloha.

However, ds started school reading (I think he's much the same age as yours). He quite enjoys learning stuff like the letter sounds but he does get to do reading at a level of book that challenges him iyswim.

I don't know enough about your situation to comment really aloha but it does seem to me that the school have no real understanding of your child and what he needs to be able to 'deal' with being at school both academically and emotionally.

In a class of 30, no parent can expect every need of their child to be met, especially academically, but I do think, in your case, it seems that they are not making an effort to understand HOW to meet your child's needs.

Aloha Wed 20-Jun-07 18:47:18

Of course, like you, I don't expect every need to be met, but atm he is just in such trouble and heading for exclusion (at five!) and I'm so stressed and worried about him.
He is becoming much more emotional at school and unable to cope. And they won't TALK to me!

foxinsocks Wed 20-Jun-07 18:50:26

It's ridiculous aloha, it really is. If they can't communicate properly with you, how on earth are they going to come up with any plans as to how to move forward from here.

I feel very sorry for your ds - especially as this is his first experience of school.

foxinsocks Wed 20-Jun-07 18:53:26

what's happening with the school? Have you made any progress over hte lunch thing and the statement?

silverfrog Wed 20-Jun-07 18:57:15

Only read OP - is it not possible for the school to give your son extension work to stretch him further? Or for him to move up a year (although that might not work due to friendships etc, but worth a thought - I moved up twice during primary school, and while it was hard leaving friends behind/making new friends, the relief at being challenged and able to learn something was indescribable)

Another thought - is it possible that your ds is now acting up because it gets him attention? Ie he is bright and doesn't normally need help so is overlooked in the classroom, and now he has found a way to be the centre of attention?

Pinkchampagne Wed 20-Jun-07 18:59:03

It doesn't sound like the school are meeting your DS's needs very well at all. Why is he spending time out of the classroom?

I work in a reception class & we have some children who are still working on sound recognition, while others are reading so well that they are now moving up reading levels & changing their books daily.
Also the children are in ability groups, so the more able are stretched further in all areas of the curriculum.

Have you tried to have a chat with the class teacher or the SENCO?

flamingtoaster Wed 20-Jun-07 19:03:29

This is a very common problem. Your son is obviously very bright - and any very bright child will become disruptive if not engaged (there's a lot of active brain cells looking for something to do!). I don't know where you are but a lot of areas now have a Talented and Gifted Team. If your area has one someone from the team could advise you (and subsequently the school) how to stretch your son. If your area doesn't have one then contact either The National Association for Gifted Children Head Office (details on and ask for details of your local Branch. You don't have to join to be able to go along to a few meetings and meet other parents - there is a wealth of experience you can tap into. Many gifted children have a learning difficulty of one sort or another.

Bink Wed 20-Jun-07 19:04:57

Well, ds is like this ... but his old school did try to manage him via lots of stretching and extension work and it didn't quite answer - he went on being disruptive, and doing work only when he felt like it, with loads of daydreaming and displacement activity.

So my feeling is - if your ds is like mine - that it isn't quite boredom (or what's normally meant by that) - it's more a certain kind of independent-mindedness that means he's passionately interested in what's he's interested in, and passionately uninterested in what he's not. So the standard sorts of extension activity mightn't solve things.

We've had better results by, counter-intuitively, thinking of ds as "getting stuck" rather than "being bored" by something. For instance, he used to be a royal pain when it was time to write News - those little diary pages they get children to do - and it turned out that he simply could not get himself to write about what he did at the weekend unless he had a grip on exactly what he'd done in exactly what order. Once he'd managed to work it out (flowcharts, little diagrams, etc.) then he could do it.

However - I do think they at least ought to be trying extension work with him. Have they said why they aren't?

flamingtoaster Wed 20-Jun-07 19:17:54

Sorry - should have added I agree with TheApprentice that it is worth exploring having him work with a higher class (though it can take them a while to settle in), and also asking for other activities for him to do when he has finished class work. If the school say they cannot supply additional activities/work for him as it takes too much teacher time then offer to send ds in with a book (maybe of fun maths he likes, which you would mark, or a more advanced story book he is reading, etc.) to use when he has finished class work - that way there is no extra work put on the teacher's shoulders and he would have something interesting to do.

DaphneHarvey Wed 20-Jun-07 19:33:58

I know nothing about Aspergers or Gifted And Talented children, Aloha, but just felt the need to say when you have the meeting on Friday:

1. you are distraught that they aren't TALKING to you, but they are prepared to do so on Friday, so that is a good thing

2. they have 27 other children in the class to cater for

3. being negative about anything the school has or has not done for your DS will not help

4. stating clearly and calmly what you would like them to do for your DS, is the only way forward. This appears to be taking account of his special needs at the same time as taking account of his special talents.

It is a lot to ask of a state primary.

Obviously your point in starting this thread is to get ideas, I'm sure you will convert any that you get into a way of presenting your pov in a positive "this is do-able" fashion.

Good luck.

gess Wed 20-Jun-07 19:44:23

I agree with Bink tbh. One of the biggest difference between spectummy and non spectrummy kids (imo) is that children who are not on the spectrum know that they are expected to behave like the other children in the class. Spectrummy kids have absolutely no idea, so off they go, do completely their own thing and have no idea that they're being disruptive (it's how I knew at 18 months that ds2 was fine- he was taken into nursery to sit with the other children whilst I had a meeting at the nursery about ds1- when I went to collect ds1 he was sat in circle time intently watching the other children and copying what they did).

Do you remember the school I mentioned to you that my (no blood relation) cousin sent her son to? He did exceedingly well there, might be worth considering.

interstellar Wed 20-Jun-07 19:47:01

Oh, I so feel for you.I really can't offer advice ,we are going through exactly the same with our child who is 8!! He does not have any asd, but is bright,and having v similar probs.You are so not alone, the whole thing with my ds has made me feel so ill, it's horrid isn't it, life throws terrible stuff at us,in the main we deal with it,but,when it's yr child ,well,that's a different ball game. Particularly when you know that it is only at school that this behaviour is happening, I always feel people think"hhmn ,the lady doth protest too much" when i am adament that we have NO probs at home.I feel judged by those who have no right-ie,other parents"well,being bright's no excuse to misbehave" blah blah bloody blah.My ds is bored witless,and I relly feel so sad for each and every child going thro this. Hope things go well for you.

wheresthehamster Wed 20-Jun-07 19:56:24

Aloha - I'm sorry I know nothing about your circumstances but if you have the time is it possible you could go into ds's class to do one to one with him a couple of times a week?
If he is being disruptive I'm sure the school would welcome you with open arms.

You would have an insight into what is not working in the classroom and maybe give you some constructive ideas for future meetings.

frogs Wed 20-Jun-07 19:58:20

Yes, we have had this, though minus the Aspergers issues.

It is a real problem, and a tricky one to solve without a great deal of creative and imaginative thinking on the part of the school. At 5 he's too young to be eg. sent off to the library to research by himself, but on the upside he's (probably) still too young to have worked out the power you can get from being deliberately disruptive.

Tbh, we spent 7 years beating our head against the wall, and it got us nowhere. Schools either 'get' that there's a problem and are motivated to solve it, or they can't or don't want to see that there is an issue beyond a child who is misbehaving.

The obvious avenues are class-teacher, deputy head, Senco, headteacher, governors, but by the time you get to the governors the odds are that you will have got so far up the school's nose that the whole thing becomes counterproductive.

toomanydaves Wed 20-Jun-07 20:07:33

Nothing useful to add except I've read about your ds on other threads (am infrequent poster - used to be zizou) and he sounds amazing and must not be thwarted by bordeom! Good luck with the school. I think a specific list of what you would like is always useful. Oh, and he does sound ripe for NAGC. Otherwise, would you consider moving him?

Bubble99 Wed 20-Jun-07 20:11:16

Have a word with your school SENCO. He/she should be able to help.

singersgirl Wed 20-Jun-07 20:27:50

Is he really not getting any extension work? He sounds so bright. Actually I sometimes think schools don't really know how to challenge very able pupils. They are often very closed in their thinking - our school would never move someone out of year group because there are lots of bright children and they think they are getting sufficiently stimulated.

Last year DS2's extension work consisted of choosing chapter books from an older class - but he didn't get to do any lessons with them. DS2 is bright, particularly verbally, but nowhere near as bright as your DS (he is not especially good at maths), and he is very young in his year which helps. If he had been born a day later I think he would really be struggling. As it is he says he hates school almost daily.

We do not have the ASD issues, but we have had inappropriate behaviour - biting twice, for example, which he has never done before.

I was observing a Year 3 lesson a couple of weeks ago, which was with a top literacy group (they stream across the two-form year group from Yr 1) and the teacher was re-capping on the use of the apostrophe. Got home and checked with DS2: "When there's a letter missing, like I'm, or when something belongs to someone". That made my heart sink. He is already coming home and telling me what spelling mistakes or other mistakes his teacher has made.

Do you know what kind of work would make your DS happy? I know that is a silly question, but while I realise DS2 is bored, I don't know if he would be less bored with harder work. What he wants to do is "scientific experiments", not sitting down and writing recounts or recipes.

I think the school see DS2 as one of a number of bright children, and perhaps that is all he is. I really have lost of sight of whether it is normal for 5 year olds to use words like 'penultimate', 'immortal' and 'temporal' correctly, or to use negative numbers in their number sequences.

I really hope you have a productive meeting with the school - your son is clearly a wonderful and talented boy who needs lots of stimulation and understanding.

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