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Charming but controlling DS

(32 Posts)
Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 00:26:41

My son is 5. He is articulate, charming, caring and enthusiastic... about what he is interested in. Fortunately, he has a broad range if interests and likes to learn about the world. But only what HE wants to know at that particular time. He finds it terribly frustrating to follow the direction of others unless they are 'helping him' (going along with) what he would like to do anyway.
He has been difficult to manage for this reason in both nurseries and his Reception class. The constant necessity for the teacher to repeat instructions causes alienation from his peers - they perceive him as naughty as he doesn't just do as he is told.
I don't know whether to get him assessed. He has to sit on his own to do his work now ;(
Parents are surprised at how charming and nice he us when he goes on play dates (all two he has been invited to)!
His first cousin has asperges but us v different- not particularly articulate and has typical traits such as avoiding eye contact. My son is particularly interested in electricity and will gladly sit for hours asking questions about it... but gets soooo frustrated if the conversation isn't directed by him and you start talking when he's about to / yearning to ask about something he's thinking about. Busy brained child.
Exhausted and alienated mummy.
Pls excuse typos.
Using phone. Too tired to proof read and edit.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 00:29:06

Oh - fantastic eye contact and incredibly confident. Behaviour with adults is unusual. V confident with adult strangers (such as club leaders) / teachers, etc. this doesn't help with his reluctance to respect and follow directions

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 00:48:47

Hiya. Most poster on here are active during the day rather than night but for the time being this book is excellent:

It's aimed at parents with children who have autism, but I don't think the autism thing is necessary to find the book useful. It is more about how to understand and also deal with controlling behaviuors, particularly those that don't appear to respond to usual reward systems.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 00:49:57

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 00:55:39

I see from your other thread that you are thinking of going ahead with asking for an assessment.

In that case, it would be a good idea to look at symptoms of ASD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia (I know you know about that one), Semantic-Pragmatic disorder, and Sensory processing Disorder, and anything else that you come across.

Then Write a list of every single symptom that you think your ds 'could' display making sure you give at least one real life example.

Once created, if it looks concerning to you enough to then go to the GP, should be unable to refuse a referral to a developmental paediatrician. If they do, then send the list to them with a written request so that it would have to be kept on their file. That is how you get round the 'don't think he is bad enough' thing that you mentioned on your other thread.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 00:59:09

Another thing you should probably do is to start keeping two logs.

The most important one is a 'contact' log of every incident that is reported to you by a professional, or promised to you i.e. 'Wel'll get the EP in to see him in May', or 'I have referred him to a Occupational Therapist'. Keep a log of visits and phonecalls that you make even if you don't though. It can be helpful to give a list of dates and times when you need to insist that you have waited long enough for someone to get back to you.

The other log is just really a list of incidents or behaviours that are concerning you, that highlight his difficulties or that you want to figure out a solution for.

These two logs should keep you sane and give you a feeling of control which will keep some of the worry in check.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 07:13:32

You've been so very helpful - incredibly so. Ordering book straight away!
If I wrote incidents down they'd look trivial - mostly, but I will try.
I will start both logs. However after almost 3 years of negativity in the stare system we used my in laws' inheritance to pay for private schooling so have to fund support ourselves.
I will copy comment just added on other thread I was writing as maybe you/ someone else here can give their opinion:
I'm hesitating over getting a referral as after a horrible experience at a state school he is now in a private svhool. It's killing us financially and so I'm not keen to jump to pay for an assessment if it isn't the right time. We shall see. Half of me think sits be useful to know (ie have a label), the other half of me thinks it may make the parents of his peers alienate him further out of ignorance and view him negatively, rather than with a question mark.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 07:14:34

State- not 'stare'

Dinkysmummy Sat 06-Apr-13 08:57:14


I would have to agree with starlight, look at symptoms of ASD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, sensory processing ect... But I would also have a look at PDA.


Only you know the best route forward for you and your DS.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 11:11:16

'However after almost 3 years of negativity in the stare system'
I'm sorry to hear that. What do you think the reasons were?

Shit state generally, or square peg in a round hole?

A dx of most developmental disorders (the ones listed above really) don't ever have to be disclosed btw. Some parents on this board have chosen not to disclose them (and some have chosen not even to seek them, but they tend to be the ones who are able to get their child's needs met without having to which is extremely difficult).

Ineedmorepatience Sat 06-Apr-13 11:47:15

I know writing a log is hard and some of the incidents might seem petty but it will help you in many ways. You will be able to see any patterns, you may find some triggers for behaviours and be able to put some strategies into place. It will also help if you do decide to go for assessment because when the proffs ask what you are worried about you can pull out the log and quote specific things.

Good luck whatever you decide smile

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 15:23:51

StarlightMcKenzie, not at all 'shitty state'. In fact, we were v fortunate to get him into an outstanding local state school where I've done a lot of supply teaching and so know how good it is.
It was absolutely the 'square org in a round hole' thing.
They were extremely strict and were no less that infuriated by his unwillingness to fit in and go along with things.
Complaints where, to my mind, trivial but important enough hit them to make a huge deal. I escalated things when I was called to be told that his behaviour was nooner acceptable at the school. Mortified, I asked what he had done to be told he'd taken a bite out if someone's ... sandwich.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 15:34:15

Of - not 'if'.
Please excuse copious number of typos!
My son had been alienated by other children as his name was called out with intolerance so often. They told me that they could not find any positive behaviour strategies that would work with him and "I've worked with hundreds of children before!" (quote).
I thought that he was, perhaps, bright and needed more of a challenge.
Things are significantly better - at least the daily complaints about not following instructions are brought to me with a pained smile (instead of an exasperated glare).
Had enough. Spoke to council to ask for support from behavioural team as teacher told me she had no more ideas or strategies and no one at school who could advise her.
Went down like a lead balloon!

Kleinzeit Sat 06-Apr-13 16:22:25

Sounds potentially ASC-ish to me. I’d chug along and get an assessment. If your DS is doing it persistently in lots of settings when you’re not around then it’s unlikely to be anything you’re doing wrong.

Some tools that helped my ASC-ish son to do what’s necessary are: regular routines; simple limited choices (this or that); visual timetables (even for kids who apparently very verbal!); and basic social stories (though for these you probably need some assessment first so you know where he’s starting from).

I had a real eye-opener when my son (now diagnosed with Asperger’s) saw the speech and language therapist as part of his assessment. First they had a lovely conversation about maps – one of DS’s interests. Adult, sensible, good vocabulary, responsive, mature, to and fro, eye contact, the works. Then the therapist changed the subject. And DS just didn’t know what to say. Not at all. He went dead silent. Turns out he controlled conversations (and other interactions) because he had to, he didn’t have the adaptive skills to do anything else. And DS would appear confident with strangers because he very outgoing and wasn’t making the distinctions most kids make between known and unknown adults.

I wouldn’t go looking for a specific diagnosis myself. Keeping a log of problems and oddities is a good idea. Let the professionals sort out the label. The psychologist said DS might not quite tick all the boxes but gave him the diagnosis anyway, these things are not black-and-white. I’d even say the right help is more useful than the perfect label, and certainly DS’s diagnosis has got him the right help.

(by the way in my area help with social skills is available to kids in private as well as state schools, since it’s a joint NHS/LEA service. )

Best of luck!

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 17:29:29

Do I go NHS or privately for a diagnosis? So confused. Sounds like you got a more global assessment incorporating sp&l too! I'm really pleased for you ;) what area are you in? I'm in Hertfordshire.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 17:34:02

What is ASC? Pls excuse my ignorance. Getting scared by my own googling. I'm just trying to acquaint myself with the terminology.

notapizzaeater Sat 06-Apr-13 17:37:21

I'd try for NHs first - I know n my local authority they don't like private assessments at all. If that fails then look private.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 17:45:04

Thank you for the advice. I'm not sure whether I'd get an assessment as his symptoms aren't bad enough to cause aggression or extremity and he has charmed anyone who has been to observe (health visitor, SENCO). I called Watford Peace Centre and after a long conversation they told me in the phone that they couldn't help.

Kleinzeit Sat 06-Apr-13 18:21:19

Woops sorry – ASC = Autism Spectrum Condition. It can include “classic” (Kanner’s) autism, or high functioning autism, Asperger’s syndrome, semantic-pragmatic disorder, and pathological demand avoidance (which is quite a new one, I hadn’t heard of it when DS was diagnosed!) If it’s not too overwhelming maybe have a look here for more information:

There are two main routes to a diagnosis. One is to go to your GP, explain your concerns and ask for a referral to a specialist. Different areas do this in different ways – we’re in Scotland, and were referred initially to a paediatritian in CAMHS (Children’s Mental Health) who talked to me and to DS in depth, then we were also referred to a clinical psychologist and speech/language therapist. We had to wait quite a few months to see the paediatritian, so don’t give up if they put you on a waiting list! I didn’t realise but the speech/language therapists know a lot about social-communication problems and nonverbal communication, not just speech.

The other route would be via an educational psychologist, which the school might be able to arrange. If your son's in a private school then they might sugest a private educational psychologist, which might be quicker (if more expensive!) and so long as it's someone the school are comfortable with that might be a reasonable way forward.

You can try both routes - the head teacher at DS's (state) school suggested trying both and see who gave us an appointment first!

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 18:32:29

Thank you - really clear and helpful in what is a new and cloudy area for me. I called an excellent Educational psychologist but she said going to a child psychologist was more appropriate for behavioural issues. Not sure.

Kleinzeit Sat 06-Apr-13 18:35:15

PS I had a quick look at the website for The Watford Peace Centre – they might be able to help but you would probably need to be referred to them by the GP. A lot of the NHS works that way, you can’t self refer directly, the GP or paediatritian would be expected to point you at the service.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 18:35:36

Her contact (the child psychologist) said an ed psych was better suited when problems are affecting their school work. I disagree but that was the ed psych I had faith in going to.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 21:03:27

Educational Psychologists can advise on educational strategies and modifications, but they can't diagnose.

If you do it privately (or on the NHS for that matter) you'll need either a clinical psychologist or a paediatrician. The law will recognise a private diagnosis, but sometimes LA's like to pretend that they will not until you start throwing the law at them.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 21:10:11

Which codes of practice etc will I need?
If he is at private school, where do I stand regarding having state support?

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 21:10:30

Very helpful of you to advise. Thank you!

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