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AS boy having trouble in the playground

(10 Posts)
Rizbeth Thu 08-Sep-11 00:27:42

Hello, everyone
I've been hiding behind the potted bushes here for a long time, eavesdropping on your wonderful conversations. And now I'm jumping in.

DS is 10, he has AS, and he had been managing to cope last year (Year 5). He had some bad run-ins with nasty kids, but he has one good friend and that seemed to be enough. Since going back to school yesterday (Year 6), he's cried himself to sleep both nights, saying no one wants to be his friend and that he's left out.

As you can imagine, I've gone through a box of kleenex myself, while trying to hold it together for him. DH tends to think it's exaggeration, that it's just the trauma of going back to school that's setting him off.

I've been trying for years to get some of the kids in his class to ours, but he rarely gets invited in return. I see the end of my rope rapidly approaching.
Does anyone know of a parents' support group in north London that might be of help (for me ... if I don't talk to someone soon I'll blow up and leave a giant mess.)
Thanks for listening. It helped to get it off my chest!

chuckeyegg Thu 08-Sep-11 06:37:44

There is one in Enfield I've never been but was in that area for a while and looked into it.

Here's a link to NAS support groups in London, I hope this helps. here

Big hugs to you and DS, it's rotten to see them so sad, maybe you could talk to the teacher. xx

Rizbeth Thu 08-Sep-11 09:41:10

Hi Chuckeyegg

Thanks very much, I will check out the one in Enfield. I think there's one in Haringey, too.

Yes, it's awful for him. He goes through waves -- sometimes it's fine and he's happy, sometimes he's very down. He's got a new TA this year and I think that's hard. The school has been very supportive but there's only so much they can do when all the other ten year olds want to play football except him!

BakeliteBelle Thu 08-Sep-11 09:47:46

Sounds horrible for you all.

Do they have 'lunchtime clubs' in school breaks? DS's school has one for those who don't want to play footie and who maybe need a bit more of a nurturing environment. They also have a load of other clubs, like gardening and chess and this gets them out of the playground.

Would it be of any help for the Head to have a coffee morning for SN parents at the school? There may be others who are experiencing the same issues and that could be a way of connecting you and your children?

suburbandream Thu 08-Sep-11 09:52:27

Hi Rizbeth, sorry to hear what your DS is going through sad. DS2 is in year3 and I worry more about playtimes than how he's actually getting on in the classroom! He tends to like to be by himself at playtime, but he goes through phases of wanting friends but not being able to make them (usually because he wants to be friends with a much older girl or younger child for example, who just wouldn't want to play with him), or else other children try to get him to play but he just isn't interested or doesn't "get" the game.

Have you talked to the school? Do they have any quiet areas that children are able to use - where he might find more sympathetic children, or any social skills groups? At DS2's last primary they had a little group of children (DS2 included) who would get together, play games, learn to take turns etc and that was helpful. Sadly his new school doesn't seem so organised - but I'm working on that smile.

Good luck with the local contact groups too.

LeninGrad Thu 08-Sep-11 09:56:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IndigoBell Thu 08-Sep-11 10:55:18

There's a support group in hillingdon - if that's not too far away......

My school runs a 'lunchtime club' for kids who 'need support'.

Why don't you talk to the SENCO and find out if school can also help in anyway.

amberlight Thu 08-Sep-11 11:35:46

Unstructured social time is a total nightmare for many of us on the autism spectrum. The suggestions to ask for a lunchtime club are very good. Or a quiet corner of the library in which a few quieter ones can read and just share the space together etc. Or my local primary set up a Buddy Scheme where sensible older ones are given armbands and trained on how to be a friend to anyone who's struggling. Seems to work very well. Are the school teaching social skills? Might be worth getting them to investigate bringing in a local group who can teach these, as it really helped me to learn about what the body language of others meant. I still can't see it fast enough a lot of the time, but it's saved me from the worst of social mistakes sometimes.

bigbluebus Thu 08-Sep-11 12:15:22

My DS (HF ASD) detested football at primary school. He could join in 'tag' but football was beyond him. Fortunately, one of the lunchtime supervisors ran a girls football team, so she encouraged him to join in with her assistance and helped him learn the rules.
I said fortunately as when DS went to secondary school, he had to do football as part of PE lessons (and rugby too). Luckily he was in a PE group with mostly unsporty types so he didn't stick out too much for his lack of ball skills.
Rizbeth I just thought I would mention this as I see your DS is in Yr 6 now so you may need to consider how your DS will cope with PE if he is going to mainstream secondary next year and what the school will put in place for him.
On the plus side, lunchtimes at secondary school are much better as there are usually more clubs on offer - my DS spends most lunchtimes in the IT room with a group of like minded boys!

Rizbeth Thu 08-Sep-11 14:40:58

You guys are so great, thanks! Although you've made me weepy again, and now I have to go to Londis to get more tissues.

The school has been pretty good -- DS has been a mentor to younger kids, they ban football for one week a month (not my doing, I swear!) and there's a "buddy bench." I am going in to talk to Senco next week.

The problem, as you all probably know, is that it's a complex thing. Sometimes he wants friends -- in fact, now, he keeps talking about wanting to be "popular" -- but often he wants to be on his own and cannot stand the noise/chaos of the boys around him. So he's just learning to juggle those things.

I have to say, I'm so proud of him -- last year one boy (a supposed friend) called him an awful name and DS just shrugged it off. The headteacher came to talk to him and he said, "Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I think (the other boy) was just having a bad day." Now THAT really made me cry! But in a good way.

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