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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 Sun 07-Apr-13 19:35:47

I will go for the assessment. Just it's sooo expensive n I want to be armed with views of all who are involved with him. I even asked the Easter camp he did 2 days of to give their input and they said I should think of going for it as he did like to do things HIS way all the time and he was noticeably different.
Don't get me wrong. 'Different' I don't have issue with. In fact, I welcome individuality. Car and truck pushers (normal boy stuff) bores me and I find my son very stimulating. But when it's affecting his social and educational development (peers and teachers frustrated and put off), enough is enough!

Kleinzeit Sun 07-Apr-13 12:43:03

I’m afraid I would want to give that SENCO/head of year a good smack around the head. No matter what is causing the problem, by the time your DS has decided to “rebel and become naughty” it’s too late – well not too late but it’ll be a damn sight harder to get him back on track if he does eventually get a diagnosis, because his experience of school will have been so negative.

I would go to the GP, saying pretty much what you’ve told us here, pointing out that your son’s schooling is already being affected and his social development too, and ask for a referral.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 22:33:52

She is the SENCO / as near to.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 06-Apr-13 22:33:32

Head of Infants just calls him 'eccentric' and said he will go one if two ways: decide to follow directions as he sees his peers progress as a result - or rebel and become naughty.
She said, two weeks ago, to wait until half term and chat again before having an assessment.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 21:23:15

The SENCOP is probably a good starting place.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 06-Apr-13 21:22:05

But there might be some access to things outside of school such as social skills groups or Communication Therapy/Occupational Therapy etc.

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

'If he is at private school, where do I stand regarding having state support?'

Well, technically you're still a tax payer but some LA's will refuse support to someone at an independent school (unless they have managed to get that independent school onto the child's statement on the basis that there are no adequate state alternatives).

I'm afraid Hertfordshire is without a doubt one of the ones that will refuse.

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

Very helpful of you to advise. Thank you!

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?

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 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.

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 18:32:29

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 18:21:19

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 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.

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 17:34:02

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

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.

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 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!

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.

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

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).

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.

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

State- not 'stare'

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