DS constantly rejected by peers(36 Posts)
I have posted about this in the past. DS (5.11) just cannot make friends. He is a lovely boy and gets on well with his sister (8) but he cannot seem to get on with his peers. This has been a problem since nursery - he did 2 mornings a week for a year when he was 3, 5 mornings a week when he was 5 then started reception. He is now half way through year 1 and still has not friends. He comes across as more babyish then them but I can't explain how. Just not as eloquent I guess. He had a few speech issues and is having speech therapy for that. He can be understood though but he tends to mumble/speak too fast and he struggles with the K and G sounds. He also has some motor skills issues which he is seeing an OT for.
He made a good friend at the end of nursery who was put in a different class when they moved to reception. After 2 terms in reception he made a friend but that friend ignores/runs away from him now and his parents always make excuses when I talk about playdates/invite him to birthday parties.
To be fair DS doesn't seem that bothered and me and his teacher are trying lots of different things to help him integrate with his class mates but it just isn't working. It really worries me and I don't know what to do although I hide this all from DS (and everyone else).
DS says the other boys hurt him in the playground and tell teacher he has done things that he hasn't. He is very matter of fact about it and never gets upset.
I asked the teacher if he could have a further assessment (he had one in reception and they said he was fine). His Dad has mild aspergers traits so I wonder if he has the same although he doesn't have obsessions at all so I am not sure.
I am trying to just ride things out but I am feeling a bit sad today (I think because the boy he really likes in his class isn't coming to his birthday party next month and I honestly think his parents are making excuses - I might be paranoid to be fair). I don't know how to help him and his teacher seems at a loss too. In reception it seemed like he was becoming a scape goat and that is still there. Like he is the 'weirdo' in the class (sorry I know that sounds horrible). When I asked him who he wanted to come to his party he named a few friends we know outside of school then only 3 from school as everyone else is "horrible" to him and "hurt" him.
I just don't know what to do. His sister is fine and has no problems socially. He isn't shy and to be honest I never expected him to have problems as he is so confident.
Why not arrange a play date with the old nursery friend who is now in the other class and his mother?
Any possible friends among the girls? Dd2 found socialising really hard, but has found her soul mate amongst the boys.
I didn't want to read and run. I think you need to go back to see his teacher and have a very frank discussion with her. The school should be supporting your son and meeting his needs socially. At our school there is a 'buddy bench' where children can go and sit if they feel sad or lonely and an older child will sit and talk to them.
I would also check if she feels your son is doing anything to exclude people e.g is he a bit bossy about rules of a game etc.
He is very young and I am sure this can be sorted. It's horrible as a mum to worry about this sort of thing. Maybe invite one child (boy or girl) to tea and build up some friendships. Hope it improve soon.
hi angry.so sorry to hear this.i didn't want to read and not reply.
I have no experience of this but i know how painful it can be to see dc not "fitting in".
I am sure you have been through all this but what does he like doing?maybe a club or group with others sharing similar interests would help?
it is at least good if he does genuinely notseem to be bothered.i can understand why you and his teacher are trying to make efforts for him to mix but maybe he picks up on this and makes it seem more of an issue or pressure. i don't know if i could do this but maybe let it be for a bit and see if things happen at their own pace? he is still only young.
my dd doesn't have this but is painfully shy.she won't even say hello or bye to those she calls her friends if i am there. she got a bit bullied in the first term but isgradually getting there.
if your son is secure and happy at home (which it sounds like he is) that is the most important. I do sympathise. hope someone else more helpful comes along soon.
My heart goes out to you. I'd say first off if he's not worried or sad then try to take a step back - if you keep asking him about it then you may make him worried about it and I can only imagine that will make things worse.
What has the teacher tried/recommended? Can she or the playground monitor help with some group games that everyone is involved in?
As for play dates - going back to the friend from nursery is a good idea. What about the girls - is he friends with any of them? (My DS actually learnt much better social skills from play dates with girls than play dates with boys) And if he has friends out of school continue to keep contact with them. Does he do any groups/classes - maybe where there is a specific focus he'll find it easier to connect with the others? Doesn't have to be football/rugby type - my DSs confidence and balance improved massively from Kung fu.
He may have some special needs and you're right to push for an assessment but equally he may just be more of a loner. 5 is still very young to label him and friendship groups change so rapidly at that age.
The school are trying I think but the playground seems a bit of a 'free for all' and he struggles there. I think he is happy playing by himself but the boys tend to approach him and wind him up and now he is starting to lash out which doesn't help. They don't have the buddy bench thing at his school. I have another appt to talk to his teacher tomorrow. They are trying really hard with him and take him into small groups everyday to try and help him integrate and learn names (he still struggles to know who is called what in his class) but it isn't helping much.
I have enrolled him in the local Beavers and he went for a trial last week. I was asked to stay and the difference between him and the others is so obvious. They are just chatting away and he is standing there flapping his arms in excitement at the game of volleyball they are playing. He tried to join a group and they immediately said to him "Go away". I don't mean to sound horrible but he doesn't look different to anyone else which I know sometimes children are funny about. Kids just seem to react weirdly to him.
I don't ask him about it really as I know it will make him paranoid. I am just going on what I see and hear.
I tried several classes but his bad motor skills mean he really struggles with anything and the loudness at kung fu and beavers really bothered him. They all tend to shout the promise type bits at the end and he just covers his ears and runs away.
Does he flap his arms a lot when is excited? Or distressed?
Ok. Why learnandsay?
Yes he does when excited stargirl. The school don't think autism but I think maybe on the spectrum (aspergers) but not sure because of the lack of obsessions.
Maybe worth asking if you could chat to the Ed Psych about your concerns?
I have asked a few of the girls Mums for playdates but they looked at me like I was odd then never got back to me. I am the class rep and get on well with everyone so not like they think I am a weirdo/nutter
The flapping sounds quite typical of an AS disorder but I'm sure someone will be along who knows much more than I do and if that's his only "symptom" it may well be nothing.
How is he doing academically? If he's young for his age, would he benefit from repeating reception year and is this something the school might consider?
The school nurse may be another option? Or your GP?
Yes I have mentioned to his teacher that there seems to be something wrong that I can't put my finger on and she agreed and said she had been worried about bringing it up as some Mums react badly .
Being highly sensitive to noise and being so matter of fact/unemotional about his social problems also sound like possible signs of AS. Can you push for another assessment?
I suggest the ball games because they're typical games. If he can play the games with the other children he'll find fitting into the ball game playing side of things better. If he has motor skills issues which are preventing him from playing ball games well, then perhaps you could teach him chess instead.
OK. So, both mum and teacher have concerns then. The next step is to find out who has management responsibility for children with Additional Support Needs in school and ask to meet with them. It would be a good idea to note down all your worries on paper. During that meeting you can talk about whether the school needs to provide more support and/or more support needs to be sought from out with the school.
What's he interested in?
My youngest is August born and only had a couple of friends this time in Y1 but by the end of the year he was friends with everyone. He likes "typical boy"games like chasing, Star Wars and telling jokes which seems to bind his friends together.
What about him joing cubs or some other out of school club. School playgrounds are not for everyone.
If you are concerned about Aspergers I would go to the GP and ask for a referral. It is easy to see Asperger type characteristics in all sorts of people but you need to get a proper diagnoses by someone trained to do so.
Here is the NHS direct info
Agree with Doodle.
My August born son and March born son were socially awkward in reception and y1 and their school had nurture group and social speech therapy to help their social immaturity.
He may have SN but it's easy to see how some innocent behaviour can be mistaken for SN
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