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Son 7 (ASD) tearful and doesnt want to learn...its boring.Should he be in school??

(12 Posts)
logi Mon 20-Jun-11 15:33:14

I try and get a small amount of "work" that i can keep from my son and the past couple of weeks it is getting increasingly difficult it ends in tears and he says "he doesnt want to learn anymore" and it is "boring".

I am always questioning if i am doing the right thing by home ed.

The LEA have ask me to choose a school for him September with a temporary one to one.

This isnt really what i want but he does say at times he is lonely and doesnt mix with children his age.

If you even mention school he gets extremely upset and distraught.........i love HE but he is hard work and refuses to join any new groups he generally wants to stay in all day....unless its something he suggests. HELP...

TheDuckster Mon 20-Jun-11 19:07:26

We were in a similar position many years ago. My DD (who has AS) was being HE'd and seemed to be OK but I always worried because she wasn't socialising. We always asked her if she wanted to go to school and decided that if at any time she said yes we would allow her to. Just before she was at secondary school age she decided she did. She was enrolled in a secondary school and lasted about two and a half (very long) years before we took her out again - she was very unhappy.

Throughout her childhood I always wondered if we had done the right thing. But I do know she was happier at home than she ever was at school - most of the time she was miserable at school.

We started following the national curriculm but dumped it very quickly. I took the view that she could learn what she wanted to learn, when she wanted to learn it. The whole emphasis was on there being as little stress as possible. She was (is) very bright and was for the most part self-taught.

Fast forward to 17 years of age and she decided that she wanted to go to college. She seemed much happier in the college environment - took GCSEs, took A' levels and is now at uni.

I'm sure this approach won't work for everyone - and at times I worried I might have ruined her life - but in the end it worked out relatively OK.

wordsmithsforever Mon 20-Jun-11 19:26:58

Hi logi, I was going to say something similar to the duckster but then lost my whole post! Grrrrr!

What I was going to ask was: is there anything that he absolutely loves? Have you tried organising his learning around his passions? My Ds (also 7) went through a stage of being really interested in rocks. We have a few little collections of gemstones and we always keep an eye open for cool rocks on walks, so we spent quite a bit of time weighing them (Maths) and reading books about geology. I also encourage him to keep scrapbooks and although he's not interested in drawing, he quite likes making scientific style diagrams with labels and so we'd write (either he would or I'd do it) a sentence about the rock, where it was found etc. We'd then go back and read through it all which he quite liked.

On the social front, I do empathise with your DS wanting to stay in as DS and I are both total home bodies. My DD (10) on the other hand is real social butterfly so she drags us out regularly, having made all sorts of arrangements independently! My DS and I end up actually quite enjoying ourselves, despite our reluctance. Maybe it would be worth seeking out like minded children (being quite choosy and finding those who share his interests) and gently prodding him to meet up with others and he might even enjoy himself.

I also have a theory that all children become lovely in the woods (sorry to sound like a tree hugger!) For some reason, DS and I are always happier if we're somewhere green and beautiful, especially near a river and even better if there are animals/dogs around. Does he like nature? Could you arrange to meet friends in this kind of setting? Somehow I find all children are always happier out in these kind of environments.

I agree with you - home ed is really hard sometimes (I think it's natural to question - think most of us do at some point) but the highs can be so lovely. Hopefully others with more experience will be around to advise on the LEA asking you to choose a school - doesn't sound right if the very mention makes him upset? (Lovely to hear the duckster's positive outcome btw, thanks for that!)

logi Mon 20-Jun-11 19:55:35

Thankyou both for your very positive posts Duckster my ds sounds like your dd he has taught himself alot,i do hope that he may one day go onto college/uni.

Wordsmithforever i dnt drive so getting out and about can be difficult (hubby drives and we are getting a car soon) so hopefully will be a little easier soon.

We do have some scrapbooks and i often feel negative when i talk about him but he doesnt have any great interests as such .

He enjoys board games but with everything we do from morning til night he wants to control everything.

Sometimes he will show a bit of an interst but the minute anyone else suggests something he says "forget it"

I dont understand him at times he is bright and did get tested by a teacher from LEA and apparently children are expected to be working towards a certain level by september and the teacher said he is already there ..which is good.She also said he is very controlling and its got to be his way or no way.

Also if he doesnt understand something he wont even try to................he has a reading age of a secondary school pupil but is interested in mr. men books or little miss books (he has memorised all the characters and the numbers lol)......he also knows all the words in his dictionary.

It sounds like hes doing great but his daily routine is basically sat at home a lot of time in his room,not dressed first thing he says in the morning is "we are not going any where today are we" sad

He seems so much older in some ways yet hes very immature in others.

He is adamant he doesnt want to go to school he had a bad experience when he was 4 he went for 3 weeks and became a nervous wreck,the school was awful and offered no support....and if im honest i know he wouldnt fit in ,he can say odd things and doesnt "get" other kids at times.

ommmward Tue 21-Jun-11 17:05:08

I soooooooooooo understand that feeling of wanting to keep something that looks educational.

That's really fairly impossible for me at the moment: a lot of the learning happens on the computer; a LOT of learning happens in those unrecorded conversations when everyone has piled into my bed for a cosy lie-in in the morning [smug home-educating bastard emoticon]; the only camera in the family (because the one on my phone got too much rain in) belongs to someone who knows perfectly well how to find the unprotect and delete buttons, and will cheerfully delete videos or pictures if wanting them gone; there's a smaller child around whose greatest joy in life is cutting up brightly coloured pieces of paper with scissors, or really, any pieces of paper that are in sight...

And then I try to remember the iceberg theory of learning (90% of it going on under the surface). The occasional moments when something emerges and is preserved that looks amazingly educational (and would even satisfy those who think HE is a self-indulgent and child-indulgent nonsense) are witnesses to weeks, months, years even, of background development. Perhaps we should just try to savour those moments, and not expect more than one or two of them a year?

From the LEA teacher: 'he is very controlling and its got to be his way or no way.' I really hate this, honestly. There's this strong idea that Good Children are ones who are happy to go along with adult agendas most of the time. And that's lovely for those who only ever encounter biddable and easy going children. Excellent. Well done you. The rest of us - well, we are either shit parents, or our children have much more difficulty in letting go of their vision of how something is going to be, and we are still working with our children on learning some measure of flexibility about that stuff, but it's a slow road. I bet those biddable children were all perfectly potty trained at 15 months, too, and speaking perfect fluent English by 2 and a half. Let's think one more time about the kinds of people who hold on with tenacity to a vision and follow it through despite all kinds of opposition. That would be entrepreneurs, and creative artists of all types, and great researchers and really, just shut the fuck up, Mrs Expert LEA Teacher With The Undermine Logi Agenda.

<gets off soapbox>

logi Tue 21-Jun-11 22:59:31

Ommmward that couldnt have come at a better time smile

Had a day on phone following LEA instructions to find a school that would suit us and is local ....and all full also when i mentioned part-time they never heard of it .

One head teacher asked was my son aggressive blah blah i rang LEA told them schools are full asked about schools for autism told no because not statemented, i feel under sooo much pressure to do right by him.

I did say to his then teacher who "tested" him i liked the fact that he had an opinion as it was part of his character to be outspoken.

When she first met him he told her she couldnt teach him anything as he already had knowledge smile....yes your right regarding "his way or no way" as alot of his control is anxiety based not aggression he likes to find things out on his own.

Everywhere i go lately i feel judged as a parent as im qutie laid back as ive brought up 3 children and not in any rush now.He was at doctors recently first time in months and he mentioned that he has a bottle of milk at night and doc was in shock im sure she is going to find someone to report me too,the appointment then became about the bloody bottle.

With 90% of learning going on underneath ....my son always shocks me with things he does know so i guess something must be going in smile

He finds writing difficult but he can write i think i need to stop worrying i do feel like ive got to gather "work" as proof.

My DH said today just carry on as we are as he knows i am happy to HE i just worry that he doesnt have friends and once or twice we had a friend round (but younger again) after hes had a play he will go to his room or even say "you can go now" smile

Think i need to stop questioning my own ability as a parent because of what others think.

ommmward Wed 22-Jun-11 08:24:24

anxiety not agression - I hear you, I really do. By now, there must be ezamples of massive anxiety-based responses to things that have then just dissipated and become so last year's problem. Remind yourself, and others, of those, and of your tolerance and patience in supporting your child in overcoming his fear as vindication of your rejection of the school-of-hard-knocks approach.

No-one needs a diagnosis to say "he has various spectrummy characteristics" and that is all you need in civilian life.

friends: I highly recommend focusing on younger children where you like the mum and noone expects more than parallel play, if that. I would also make sure yuou lay on some set piece entertainments like making chocolate cakes together, so that there is an opportunity for everyone to have a shared goal. and keep it short and sweet, or meet people at the park/a local attraction so that that can provide the focus. Also consider hiring an 11 yr old at baby sit rates to come and play with your child on their agenda

xx

logi Wed 22-Jun-11 10:18:32

I seem to have lost all my "friends and family" they dont agree with home ed. (think im mad) they also have questioned his "autism" dx because he is a bright lad.

On the last 4 occasions i took him park another child (older) has said he is a weirdo....or whispering and giggling about him.He did follow one older child shouting "oi excuse me pick up your litter" lol until she did .Also kept telling the children who were climbing up the netball post to " get down as its very dangerous and they may injure themselves" smile

He comes across like a mini adult.

On the plus side i do have 4 granddaughters who we see daily aged 1...2...3..and 4 he is very close to the 4 yr old a little too much as she runs rings round him when bantering with him (usual playground stuff ..like im not ur friend) but he gets very distressed with this.

Good idea to hire someone smile will have a think. xx

ommmward Wed 22-Jun-11 12:43:07

"i do have 4 granddaughters who we see daily aged 1...2...3..and 4"

he's socialising. Not peer socialising but socialising. And how many children with ASD characteristics do we know who comfortably socialise in a same-age peer group? Why would we bother inflicting that on them when they do so much better with kindly older children and tolerant younger ones?

logi Wed 22-Jun-11 22:39:12

Yes true he is a little obsessed with my 4yr old granddaughter though....which worries me at times....she is very much at the stage of i dnt want to play or im going home and he begs her to stay says im lonely sad....this is part why id like him to meet new "friends"

Although i do realise that wouldnt happen for him in a manic class of 30+ kids becuse his anxiety would be too great.

FionaJNicholson Thu 23-Jun-11 06:44:42

What you're describing sounds quite familiar to me. My son is now 18. When younger (actually still now but masked...) his view of other people was that they were there to service him, follow his suggestions, listen to him, come up with their own excellent ideas...but not mess with his stuff or out-stay their welcome. To be sort of on-tap but only when he felt like turning the tap on. When I read a biography of Neil Young I thought ah yes, the rock star/employee relationship might be a reasonable parallel. He was aware he had a different idea about this than most other people though, and he observed with some bemusement that other people seemed to be BORED when they were with their friends, whereas for him, he was already sacrificing a definitely interesting time on his own to be with someone else so at the very least it had to be interesting. I used to worry desperately that he would be like this for ever, that he would treat future partners like objects instead of people etc etc.

When I look back, it started to improve when he was around 12/13. One thing changed when I sort of adopted a bunch of homeless people who would turn up for bacon sandwiches and cups of tea and found that Theo treated them with courtesy and humour, though they always nagged him to get a haircut. He'd also play computer games with them sometimes. The second thing was when he was around 14 he started volunteering at a local digital media lab which uses recycled computers (Theo is genius with open software) We had some teething problems till we established a structure and again I used to fret about Theo being abrupt or high maintenance, but it's worked out very well and he's met people he now chats with if he meets them in town. Sorry not sure if that's of any help whatsoever, but it was quite therapeutic to relive it and to contrast then and now.

logi Thu 23-Jun-11 23:02:09

Hi Fionajnicholson its nice to hear things can work out smile

Yes my son does like everyone to follow his suggestions and play the way he wants too....except when he gets a little obsessive with someone then he is too much the other way giving them whatever they want (my eldest granddaughter at present) if she cries he gets upset and angry if we dnt let her have what she wants.

smile peolpe always saying my ds should get a haircut too..which doesnt go down too well.Its good to hear your son has friends to meet up with as we do worry that he will get older and just stay in more and more.

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