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What is going on with my son?

(11 Posts)
Kazjam Wed 01-Jul-09 09:44:18

My son is just 12yrs old. He is an only child and we live in a rural area where there are no children of his own age. I try to involve him as much as I can in out of school activities eg. scouts, youth club etc etc and I have NEVER had a problem with him out of school socially.

At School he has , since about 8yrs old, found it difficult to get on with other children although he does desperately want friends.

When he started secondary school this got much worse.....he started to have social problems leading to behaviour problems. There was also a lot of bullying and provocation and he found it very hard not to react.

I took him to be tested on the Wechsler tests. He came up with an overall IQ of 116.
He was higher than average in cognitive ability, higher than average in verbal ability but superior in percptual reasoning and in particular did VERY well in the abstract reasoning test. His lowest score was in the ability to process information quickly.

I am now wondering if he could be classed as gifted and talented in the area of perceptual reasoning and if this may be causing a lot of his problems.

Can anyone give advice.

missmem Wed 01-Jul-09 09:48:38

If he has a high IQ in perceptual reasoning then his social skills should be strong as he should be able to pick up on social cues. Unfortunately he is probably just a really nice lad who is an easy target for the bullies.

Kazjam Wed 01-Jul-09 09:56:29

Although you say his social skills should be strong they just aren't. He does find it hard to think flexibly and often if bullied he has reacted without thinking in the heat of the moment. Sometimes he will also react to even what seems a trivial thing .

missmem Wed 01-Jul-09 10:46:05

What I meant is that a high IQ in this area will not affect his social skills. In theory it should enhance them but obviously doesn't in this case. An IQ test is all very well but I would suggest getting a test for aspergers. It is a condition that can be so mild and contradictory and sometimes it may be obvious he has aspergers and at other times you may feel there is no way he has it.

School is clearly not working and for his happiness you need to find another alternative whether that be home-ed or a cheap private school. He can't go on suffering like this.

cory Wed 01-Jul-09 10:52:35

being gifted in the area of perceptual reasoning won't be causing your son's problems, but it may be combined with social difficulties- in which case, it is the latter that would be causing the problems

it is also possible that the real problem lies with the bullies

do you know who they are? have you spoken to the school about it?

Kazjam Wed 01-Jul-09 10:56:27

I have had him tested and although he has traits of aspergers and adhd they are nowhere near enough to give a diagnosis. This was carried out by an adolescent physciatrist for me.

The only explanation I have for his behaviour is this difference in perceptual reasoning and his inability to process information quickly.

So I think he reads a situation but cannot process the information quickly enough to react appropriately ie. by walking away.

I am concerned as schools reaction to this has been to suspend him for months and then isolate him from other children - not as he is a threat to them but they seem to deal mainly with behaviours and have not helped him to develop socially so by being isolated his social skills have gone worse.

To be honest I am at my wits end.

Kazjam Wed 01-Jul-09 11:09:21

Yes....I have spoken to the School about the bullies but they will not recognise this...or if they do then only internally and not to me.

Only after much questionning was I told another teacher had witnessed my son being severely bullied but they then just swept this under the carpet and to this day I still don't have full details. My son has also had belongings stolen and been called "gay" - I have told school several times and the response is always they have dealt with it.

I am not happy about the bullying but in my own mind I need to understand what is really happening and I can't.

All I know for FACT is the bullying is going on, my son has traits of aspergers and adhd but not enough for diagnosis, he has superior perceptual reasoning and weak (by comparison) ability to process information quickly.

If I could make sense of these facts to get to the root of things it would be so much easier to know what to do.

The School just want to get rid of my son....easier to deal with the end result of any problems than get to the root cause...I think.

TwoSunnyDays Thu 02-Jul-09 13:06:57

I would withdraw him from school. It sounds really horrible.

eclipse Sun 05-Jul-09 22:19:11

Who has assessed him so far? Interpretations of assessments vary from place to place and it sounds like he might have some social dififculties which are more evident in large unstructured groups, such as secondary school playgrounds, and it is likely another assessment centre might conclude he has ASD or executive/attention difficulties.

If your ds has higher than average verbal skills and superior perceptual skills, the discrepancy between verbal vs nonverbal skills may not be unusually large. The slow processing speed may be a problem though for the reasons you identify. A more comprehensive neuropsychological assessment might be useful.

Where difficulties are more subtle, parental hunches are usually right so I would suggest asking your paed for a referral to a specialist clinic for a second opinion.

cory Mon 06-Jul-09 08:03:55

agree with TwoSunnyDays; having seen how well an anti-bullying policy can work when it does work, this simply isn't good enough

senua Mon 06-Jul-09 08:50:27

It's a bit late in the year to do anything now but, if things flare up next year, be more directed in your complaints e.g. ask to see the anti-bullying policy, ask about the complaints procedure. If it sounds like you mean business then they may take you more seriously.

What is he doing over the summer holidays? Can you organise his social life (because boys are rubbish at this) so that he goes back to school with one or two good mates in place to help him counter the bullies. Ensure that he gets addresses, phone numbers, MSN addresses etc before the end of term.

Teenagers go through a growth-spurt in their brains, similar to toddlers, and have to lay down new neural pathways. One of the skills they have to learn is recognising cause-and-effect, that actions have consequences. This is why teenagers, before they reach this level of maturity, have a lot of stupid and dangerous acccidents and do a lot of risk-taking. You will do your DS a great service if you teach him to think before he acts (instead of learning the hard way, by trial and error) .

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