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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

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?

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.

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

What an excellent and thoughtful post SCOTCHandWRY.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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 12:34:10

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.

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.

50shadesofvomit Tue 22-Jan-13 12:06:58

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

DoodlesNoodles Mon 21-Jan-13 23:14:47

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

Good luck

DoodlesNoodles Mon 21-Jan-13 23:07:07

What about him joing cubs or some other out of school club. School playgrounds are not for everyone.

50shadesofvomit Mon 21-Jan-13 23:07:07

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.

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 23:02:08

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.

learnandsay Mon 21-Jan-13 23:00:58

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.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 23:00:53

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?

AngryFeet Mon 21-Jan-13 22:56:51

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 confused.

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:52:57

The school nurse may be another option? Or your GP?

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 21-Jan-13 22:52:06

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?

AngryFeet Mon 21-Jan-13 22:50:42

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 grin

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:50:36

Maybe worth asking if you could chat to the Ed Psych about your concerns?

AngryFeet Mon 21-Jan-13 22:47:55

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.

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:41:07

Does he flap his arms a lot when is excited? Or distressed?

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