Autism, Speech and Language Difficulties(6 Posts)
I am step mother to a sweet little boy who will turn 8 in two weeks. He is on the autistic spectrum with a two year delay in his learning - he has significant speech and language problems and social difficulties. He struggles with many things although at the same time has many wonderful strengths.
I am wondering firstly if anyone has any recommendations for speech and language/maths/extra tuition therapists/teachers? He has a lot of extra help at school but I feel we need to get him more. We need to find someone who can make learning fun for him as he absolutely hates it. I feel we're at a critical point in his learning and we've got to really push to make much needed progress.
Secondly and heartbreakingly, he has no friends. There have been incidents of him being bullied at school, children don't seem to be very nice to him - I think because his speech is so muddled and his social boundaries/interactions aren't quite right he's an easy target to be picked on : ( He constantly comes home from school saying so and so was horrid to him and no one likes him and he just wants one friend : ( Therefore I wonder if anyone has any leads or information on groups we could take him to where he might be able to make a friend and have some fun.
His dad has been a single father for a long time before I met them and we have become rather isolated in Hastings. We're pretty much just a unit of 3 without any respite or help from extended family. We're all a bit in need of some friends who understand the highs and lows of raising a child with autism. His dad said to me recently 'I just can't bare to be friends with anyone who has normal children and complains if their child didn't get 10/10 in a maths test when my boy can hardly even speak properly and he's nearly 8. It kills me.' It's all very hard.
Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated. We're at a bit of an all time low and I'm desperate to help them both. Thanks so much x x x
Aww your poor stepson especially the fact he finds it hard to make friends, I was wondering if perhaps having a word with a beaver or cubs volunteer to get him mixing with other children may help with getting him more friends and socialising with other children? You or your partner could even volunteer there to keep an eye on him and encourage friendships??
It can't be nice for him having no friends, have you spoken to the school about his problems with making friends?
Are any of the mums at school very friendly that perhaps you could get to know to encourage friendships?
Hi so sorry to hear you're having a tough time. You're right to reach out as there are so many families out there dealing with similar situations. Even that sense of not being alone, by spending time with other parents, can will help you feel so much better and more able to support your stepson.
It's important to start putting things in place outside of school as provision from schools, even where it's good, only scratches the surface of what our children need, and actually there are a lot of options. There is a lot going on in this area but it can be hard to find out about and even schools/county don't know about it all. I would suggest plucking up the courage to some meetings and then following up on ideas that other parents suggest. Online forums are great too if you don't have time to get out and about.
Here are some ideas:
iContact in Lewes www.icontactautism.org.uk
Families for Autism in Eastbourne www.familiesforautism.com
Hastings Branch of National Autistic Society (NAS) Tel 07920 254569 "We are a friendly group of parents looking for new faces to join us for a cuppa! All family members & carers are welcome to come along."
Then all sorts of other things depending on his interests, like Brighton football club have Albion in the Community which runs a range of special needs football classes tailored to different types of difficulty (if he likes football).
I'm in Eastbourne and my 9 year old is autistic and has verbal dyspraxia he goes to a school in Hastings that has a special speech unit.
Autism Sussex offers support, activities and respite. They have a branch in Hastings
CLASS - who go into schools in East Sussex to help children with autism have recently launched events for parents.
They're having a coffee and chat for parents at 9.30am to 11.30am on August 16th at Centre Stage Hall, 87 London Road, Bexhill.
It might be a good place to start as you'll be able to meet other parents and step-parents who will have lots of advice for you.
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