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Mummy, I'm so lonely at school...

(5 Posts)
MerryMarigold Wed 20-Mar-13 09:55:10

Social skills, 'obsessive' friendships, dealing with 'bullying'

Hi. I didn't really know where to post this. My ds1 is 7 and possibly has some special needs. It is being looked into at the moment. Academically he is ok, making progress though near bottom of class. I am not so worried about that.

Socially, I feel very worried. Since Nursery, he has always latched onto 1 child despite my efforts to invite other kids round (the latching on has not been reciprocated generally). In Reception his 'best friend' pretty much dumped him and it really hurt him. He then moved on to another boy, who he hero worshipped. This boy manipulated and controlled him for 2 years, sometimes even phyisically bullying him - during Reception and Y1. My very sunny boy became anxious, unconfident, sleeping badly, playing up with me etc. We talked to him about how friends would treat you, tried to get other kids round to play, but he had no interest in them and was just miserable when this boy wasn't his friend and so happy when he was. In Y2 he has moved classes, thank goodness, and has managed to let go of that destructive friendship.

He has made a new friend who is a nicer boy but this is again becoming obsessive. This boy was off sick for 2 days last week and ds's behaviour/ sleep went awry. He was awful at the weekend and then on Monday morning at 5.45 he got into bed with me and said he was so lonely at school. Apparently no-one would play with him, as the other boy is his ticket into games. I think he also didn't know where to start without this boy around as he is so dependent on him. He's also really sensitive to other kids, so if they won't play it hurts him and he doesn't bounce back easily.

I feel at a loss as to how to help him. His relationships at school have seriously dented his confidence. He hides in his hood all the time. I'm so grateful he has a friend, but I don't want him to be so dependent on this friend as it's hurt him a lot in the past when this has happened.

Any advice would be REALLY appreciated...

troutsprout Wed 20-Mar-13 10:42:06

I would approach the school and ask for help on this one tbh. Dd's primary has a " communication group" ... For kids who struggle in this area....there are also playground initiatives that perhaps could help.

adelinehillman Wed 20-Mar-13 10:55:05

Hi, I am sorry you are feeling at loss on how to help your son. I had similar problems with my DS who is in Yr 2 and 5 years old. He has recently been disanosed with ASD , which explains a few things. I suggest you speak with the school. My son's school have a freindship group that stay in some lunch times for the kids who arn't so socially aware - see if your school do this - if they don't then maybe suggest it (I am sure your DS isn't the only kid who wants more friends). This has helped my DS a bit, plus has made him more confident when speaking to other kids. Also my DS has a lot of girl friends - think girls play more gently. Maybe do some play dates at home with other kids and try and get him involved in after school activities. Do you have any friends with kids of a similar age - try and get together with them. Its all about developing his social skills and soons he'll be running around the playground with all the other kids and you'll wonder what you were worrrying about. But if you think its a bit more serious than that, do speak to you school/GP about your concerns and maybe they can refer your DS to an Ed Psyc and OT who may be able to help him. Hope this helps.

MerryMarigold Wed 20-Mar-13 12:36:33

Thanks so much for suggestions.

He is currently waiting for OT, has been referred. The school don't do any friendship group stuff, but I will talk to them about this. It is an infant school, and only has a part time SENCO who is also a class teacher. He's moving up to juniors next year so am a little worried about how that will pan out.

We have some friends outside school and he is ok as long as kids aren't already close friends. He seems to be able to handle one kid at a time but if we have 2 round, ds1 will generally be left out/ exclude himself. We know a family of 2 girls and an older boy who we spend a lot of time with and he is ok, as his younger brother and sister are there too and the older boy is old enough to be a bit distant.

SallyBear Wed 20-Mar-13 12:47:29

Currently having similar issues with DS3 at school. He used to have a great circle of friends and a best friend. School decided at the end of last year to move DS and BFF to a separate class to the group of kids that DS hung out with. Their reasoning (which I objected to at the time) was that BFF was sensitive and needed DS's support. DS and BFF are now completely reliant on each other and when one of them isn't around they don't know what to do with themselves, or to play with other boys. I was hopping mad yesterday when I found out that DS had been taken out of class to offer support to BFF as he didn't want to go to school. DS told me that he didn't really know why he was needed for stories to calm down BFD that took 20 minutes to read!
I worry that DS is probably on the spectrum (having two brothers with ASD its highly likely he has it too), so I've told school that they need to step it up. They're getting him to do football on a Monday and friendship club on a Tuesday. I've also asked for more interaction with other class members to try and open up his world a bit more.

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