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Help needed - social skills/no friends

(11 Posts)
mummyof2boys30 Thu 17-Oct-19 23:42:10

My son (age 7) has developmental language disorder. This is his first year in mainstream and he is really struggling. He likes his teacher but has no friends. He cries at home about it. I live very close to school ( about a minute walk) and anytime I drive past and its break time he is walking about on his own. Its parent teacher meetings next week and I need some advise on what support I should be trying to get for him and what is realistic as I know a teacher has enough to do without managing friendships too. It's so hard seeing them struggle

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CaviarAndCigarettes Fri 18-Oct-19 00:07:23

Hi op I don't want to read and run, I also want to bump this up for you because I'm sure someone has better advice for you than I do!

But in the mean time... does your school have a buddy up system or a friendship post? We have a friendship post in the playground at school and kids are taught to invite kids at the post to come and play because they're feeling lonely. Lunchtime supervisors encourage/enforce this.

We also have a buddy system where older kids in school will buddy up with a new kid and include them and introduce them. They're also the super helpful helpers that help little kids do coats up and put gloves on! We have a reward system for buddies and they can earn little prizes for their helpfulness and a school service badge too. They love it!

I hope your child feels more settled soon

AlunWynsKnee Fri 18-Oct-19 00:11:59

Are you talking to the SENCO? Don't rely on the class teacher to solve this.
My dd is autistic and similarly spent breaks alone. The SENCO put a great lunch club in place which really made a difference.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 18-Oct-19 00:29:37

Hi, I second Senco, see what they advise, although really as a new starter I don't think its unreasonable to expect the teacher to help buddy him up with kids she feels would match personality wise.

Is there any lunchtime clubs - eco, gardening, band, choir, etc he can join? At the very least it will keep him busy and open up new social opportunities where hopefully he can make friends/have something to bond over.

Does he go to any clubs outside of school?

(((Big hugs))) we went through similar with one of ours and its heartbreaking.

Theresnobslikeshowbs Fri 18-Oct-19 06:08:06

Our primary school had a buddy system and bench. Buddy system- they can go to their body if they are alone and play with them. Bench- they can sit on the bench and then children come over and invite them to play. Kids used to be race to see who could be the first to get someone off the bench.

mummyof2boys30 Fri 18-Oct-19 06:40:58

Thanks for all your replies. They have a helper system where the p7 (we are in Northern Ireland) will help the younger kids but it still doesnt help the friends in his own class situation. His school senco is currently off sick. Has been since September and not likely to return this side of Christmas. He is really struggling. His older brother had to take him to the library at lunch yesterday as the dinner hall was too noisy which isn't fair on him either. He started back to Boys Brigade last night, about 6 weeks into the term as we couldn't get him to go before then

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Mumof21989 Fri 18-Oct-19 11:21:27

Hi, my DD is four and very shy. She rarely speaks to people unless she is really comfortable. She won't answer her friends at the school gates etc. I've just written a post myself about how shy she is and how on tapestry it's clear she's alone or not getting involved.

I was advised to look into clubs. She swims on Saturdays and I think when she's more settled and has more energy I will pop her into an after-school club to get her even more mingled. Is this something you could try?

I think teachers need to lead abit and help him find someone to play with? It's sad and no child should be alone at this age. I feel for you as I also feel sad and worry she won't adjust and make friends. I don't have much more advice. Unless there's a little friend you could ask to to to the cinema or something with you both? A one on one treat might be nice and an easy thing to break the ice a little xx

Pollaidh Fri 18-Oct-19 11:40:11

Ask the school what they do to manage this, he won't be the only child.

Our infant school has a buddy bench, any child who feels left out/lonely/wants to play with someone, goes to sit on the bench and all children know that means they should go up and include that child, also there are playground monitor children whose job is keep an eye on that bench and go over and include that child. Could you suggest this to the school? There is no stigma about being on the bench, they all go at some point.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Fri 18-Oct-19 13:40:32

How long do you get for parents meeting /evening? If its like ours (10 mins) it's not going to be long enough. I'd book in a meeting with the teacher/head. School have an obligation to look out for his emotional welfare - do they have a pastoral care type officer?

UpToonGirl Fri 18-Oct-19 13:52:06

I hear what you're saying about not wanting to push it back to the teacher to manage because of their workload but in this situation I would. Or get some input from the head, just because the SENDCO is off doesn't mean the school can stop supporting the children who need it.

It sounds like he could benefit from smaller workshops, my son's school has these. Some are during class time and others at lunch.

Can you also look at arranging a few play dates with other children in his class. If your son isn't close to any of the children I'd just ask anyone who you chat to at pickup/drop off times.

mummyof2boys30 Fri 18-Oct-19 18:48:31

Yip unfortunately it's the usual 10 minutes. Thankfully academically he is doing well so at least that part is currently straight forward at the minute. He cried today in school because a wee boy that cam be mean to him grabbed his tie and spilt his water into his soup. It's a small school so problem is there isn't an awful lot of potential friends to make. He used to play with a few in the year above but they are now in the older playground so he doesnt have them. He says he just looks after the grass and takes all the leaves off it at breaktime

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