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Loud, bossy 7yo and sensory processing anyone?

(8 Posts)
sugarman Sat 06-Dec-14 19:18:28

Disclaimer: in NZ where it is summer, end of school year and state schools not proactive about special educational needs

Feeling worried about my 7yo's social skills. He has a very loud voice which gains volume in social situations, particularly bad at parties and the playground.

He is also inclined to be bossy; we have had lots of talks about being argumentative to the point where I banned him from disagreeing with me for a time (draconian I know but I was exhausted by his endless negotiating and fault-finding). Since then, a few months now, he seems to have gained insight into his controlling impulses and does stop to think before asking to do things differently and often precedes his request by acknowledging what has been asked of him.

By nature he is a joyful, loving child who makes friends easily, but he is inclined to lapse into bossiness and I worry he will lose friends. By contrast his older sister is exceptionally quiet and well behaved.

School was fine until July when he got a new teacher (new to teaching) who has an authoritarian style, blows a whistle constantly etc and I suspect he spends most of his time on the thinking chair.

I wonder if he has learning difficulties is he seems bright, very verbal (high volume but very articulate), excellent on maths but behind in reading. The optometrist has identified vision problems and referred him on to an Irlens specialist. (He cannot make sense of black text on white paper but once the paper is covered with blue film "the words stay on the page")

The OT says he is overstimulated by light and touch, and possibly sound (still assessing) and has recommended the Wilbarger brushing and joint compressions to help him stay calm.

This is proving highly effective, he had a friend here all day yesterday and was able to stay mostly calm and reasonable (huge breakthrough)

Can anyone else relate to this? Is there anything else I can do to help him stay calm and reasonable? Especially on hot days at school when I am not there to brush him!

I am aware that his tendancy to be loud and bossy will be viewed by many as simply brattish but I work really hard to teach him to behave and it is as if he isn't able to moderate his behaviour the way most children learn to do.

sugarman Sun 07-Dec-14 19:01:55


ElviraCondomine Sun 07-Dec-14 21:23:29

Slightly different but my DD2 has always been loud, with a massive tendency to try to organise her peers. As she's the oldest (and considerably the tallest - by a good 8 cm!) in her school year, we always thought that was the issue. She's also bright especially in maths and to a lesser extent in English, as although an able reader she's also quite reluctant. She has some degree of hypermobility in her joints and finds gross motor activities difficult. I thought she was hitting the hormonal teen phase early and that accounted for her inability to organise herself, remember to brush her teeth twice a day, shut doors, switch lights off etc in spite of us bellowing at her many times a day! I also thought she was a terrible fussy eater with her refusal to try new foods/ dislike of sauces etc. After a year with a wonderful teacher who really 'got' her, she's now quite unhappy with an equally good teacher she doesn't seem to gel with, and is constantly in tears about perceived injustices, lack of friends, etc.

Eventually all these things have been pieced together and we have a dyspraxia diagnosis. It's been an eye opener. Everything suddenly makes sense. Now we're just on the waiting list for PT and OT input - that could take some time. She's still my funny, bright, lovable, perceptive, emotional girl - it's me who's got to make the adjustments. And she does seem to be popular even though she can't quite accept the fact.

Madcatgirl Sun 07-Dec-14 21:27:05

Hi Sugar, I've asked MNHQ to move your post to the special educational needs boards.

This sounds very like my ds1, he has dyspraxia, adhd, ASD and is hypermobile.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 07-Dec-14 21:39:19

Hi OP,

We're happy to move this thread over for you, as suggested.

Please just drop us a line to let us know.

sugarman Mon 08-Dec-14 07:38:49

Thank you Elvira, I understand exactly what you are saying about the parent needing to make the adjustments. I feel as though I am on the cusp of getting to know my son better, working out how much to expect of him.

When you say you got a dyspraxia diagnosis, how did you get to that point? Did you go a GP?

Matcatgirl how old is your ds and how did you reach the diagnoses? And can I ask what you have been able to do for him?

Thank you both so much.

ElviraCondomine Mon 08-Dec-14 09:37:01

When you say you got a dyspraxia diagnosis, how did you get to that point? Did you go a GP?

DD has been under an orthopaedic consultant since she was 3 due to her mobility problems. They have always been put down to a slight but significant skeletal muscular problem which we all - including the consultant - thought accounted for her difficulties with walking and running. (You don't notice she has any issues until you put her next to her peers, then you see she has a very awkward gait.)

This last appointment, the orthopaedic consultant decided he wanted her seen by an paediatrician, whose assessment was dyspraxia. We'd considered it before, but because DD is really bright with beautiful handwriting, the other symptoms were being masked.

I am still having to make adjustments in my thinking - and sometimes it's a very difficult call as to what is dyspraxia, what is hormones and what is disobedient and stroppy pre-teen! I was hoping that the OT input would be in place before the transfer to high school so that we can address the physical issues while still at primary, and then focus on the social aspects.

There is a degree of social anxiety related to her panic about finding new places and expressing herself appropriately to teachers when challenged/ stressed etc. Her current class teacher has been really good about helping her towards that transition and is encouraging her to use high school strategies for self-organisation prior to the big move next September. We know the school really well (have one DD already there) so I'm not massively worried, but DD has moments of pure panic...

We've only just got the diagnosis and appreciate it's going to take some time to put helpful strategies into place, but I think we're heading in the right direction (even if yesterday I failed miserably as a mother and yelled at her for not putting her uniform in the wash.)

Madcatgirl Mon 08-Dec-14 11:33:54

We got his diagnosis once I convinced school and the gp that there was something not quite right. Took the best part of 7 years. He is 9 now, but always been "different" to his NT peers.

The kickstarter was we sat him for a private school and whilst bye didn't get in, they did send us a report on him with their suspicions which we took into parents evening a couple of weeks after.

That was February this year, we are now on the waiting list for occupational and physical therapy. He was diagnosed by the community paediatrician. He saw the ed. Psych just over a week ago as well. At school he now uses a laptop for most of his written work.

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