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DS constantly rejected by peers

(36 Posts)
AngryFeet Mon 21-Jan-13 21:57:55

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.

Please help sad

middlesqueezed Tue 22-Jan-13 12:21:34

I'd also try to get him looked at by a psychologist. The National Autistic Society has a lot of information on social skills for children, much of which would be applicable for children without a diagnosis but who have issues such as the ones you describe.

Phoebe47 Tue 22-Jan-13 12:34:10

I would definitely seek an appointment with the school's SENCO and ask for a referral to the Educational Psychologist. They will be able to then help the school to help your son. If necessary a referral can be made for further assessment so and the school can be helped to give your son appropriate support also.
With regard to your experience with Beavers - what were the leaders doing allowing the other children to tell your son to go away? Sounds like really crap leaders.

Phoebe47 Tue 22-Jan-13 12:41:07

Just to add - I teach children with Autism and not all of them have obsessions. One or two just don't seem to have this although they have a diagnosis of autism.

Phoebe47 Tue 22-Jan-13 12:42:07

Just to add - I teach children with Autism and not all of them have obsessions. One or two just don't seem to have this although they have a diagnosis of autism.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 22-Jan-13 13:17:25

The school don't think autism
The school staff should really NOT be making such comments! But I'm going to grin

Ok, it is very relevant that your DH has ASD/Asperger's, there is a hereditary component, and I think it's really important that your DS is referred and assessed by the appropriate expert(s), not school staff.

As the mother of a DS with Asperger's Dx, my gut instinct is that your son is quite likely to be on the spectrum - I say that because YOU are very aware yourself that he is different in comparison with his peers and also because of the way his peers are rejecting him. I realise that's really not what you want to hear smile. I knew my DS was different well before his second birthday - no individual behaviour or development was terribly "odd", but taken all together, he quite clearly was different to most other toddlers. The diagnostic process started just after his 3rd birthday after a GP referal and he was seen by several different specialists over several months.

A diagnosis means the school will have to develop inclusion strategies and provide other help.

I also think it is important, that if your DS is diagnosed (with ASD or anything else), you explain his differences and teach him coping strategies, I could not believe our primary school staff advised us strongly not to tell our DS he was different shock DS was already very aware he was different even at age 5 (and it made him sad) and he was happy be told why he was different and happy to learn some simple coping strategies.

Even after an official real diagnosis, more than one member of staff at his school voiced the opinion that DS couldn't be on the Autistic spectrum because he made eye contact, had a good sense of humour (for visual jokes), and wanted to play with people. There is a lot of ignorance out there.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 22-Jan-13 13:29:34

And Obsessions - my DS didn't/doesn't really have them - he has some strong interests but isn't massively upset if routine changes (likes routine but is quite flexible).

EnjoyResponsibly Tue 22-Jan-13 13:44:29

OP your DS sounds a lot like mine. May baby in Y1.

He's seen an Ed Psych who thinks he's emotionally immature and will most likely learn to cope with his traits with the support of school and home.

I want to send a unMN ((hug)) to you, because it's so hard to see a DC polarised by something they just can't help.

I would advise asking for the school SENCO to be at your next meeting with his teacher. Try to identify key areas where he has difficulties and discuss coping strategies.

Also, I LOVE the idea of the Buddy Bench. That's quite the most fabulous notion I've read for a long time. Playtime is a minefield for spectrum kids, but they react so well to bigger kids. Genius.

tricot39 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:05:30

Is there any way you can organise play dates with slightly older children? They are easier to relate to for kids who struggle socially.

DoodlesNoodles Tue 22-Jan-13 21:40:35

What an excellent and thoughtful post SCOTCHandWRY.

mrslaughan Tue 22-Jan-13 21:57:29

You should post on special needs children ..... A lot of people there will have great advice on how to handle the school and his social needs.
To start with your DS sounds like he has sensory issues - the flapping arms , not coping with loud noise. Before you assume this means ASD, my DS has Sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia But is not thought to have ASD..... And he sounds a lot like your son. He's now year 3 and although socially he doesn't always get it right , he has friends , and is a much happier boy.
Key was sorting out the root of his issues and slowly working through them, that has allowed him to function better in all situations. His self esteem has improved and that has has a huge flow on effect to everything.

drjohnsonscat Tue 22-Jan-13 22:44:38

sorry to read about the problems DS is having. Must be awful to watch and not to be able to help. He sounds lovely.

There have been plenty of posts about the autistic spectrum and I don't know anything about this so won't comment on that. I'm sure the advice is all good. I just wanted to say that I do know a child who does hand-flapping some of the things you describe and she does not have autism or anything on the spectrum. She has been very thoroughly assessed and it's not that. She just is physically somewhat highly strung and finds noise and crowds difficult. Her way of expressing this is quite physical perhaps because she doesn't have the emotional maturity to express it otherwise.

Anyway I wonder if very social or physical things like Beavers and sports clubs might be hard for your son to engage with. What about some more solitary activities that you do alongside other people iyswim. So it's companionable rather than actively social - art or pottery or something?

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